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[155] than to see a helpless woman torn from husband and children and sent into slavery.

The magistrate asked, ‘How could you say you believed the woman had a right to her freedom? You have brought forward no evidence whatever to prove your assertion.’

He replied, ‘I did not say I believed she had a legal right to her freedom. That she had a just right to it, I did believe; for I think every human being has a just claim to freedom, unless guilty of some crime. The system of slavery is founded on the grossest and most manifest injustice.’

‘It is sanctioned by the law of the land,’ answered the claimant; ‘and you have no right to fly in the face of the laws.’

Friend Hopper contented himself with saying, ‘If I have broken any law, I stand ready to meet the consequences. But no law can make wrong right.’

The speculator spent several days in fruitless search after the fugitive. When he had relinquished all hopes of finding her, he called on Isaac T. Hopper and offered to manumit her for four hundred dollars. He replied, ‘At one time, we would gladly have given that sum; but now the circumstances of the case are greatly changed, and we cannot consent to give half that amount.’ After considerable controversy he finally agreed to take one hundred and fifty dollars. The money was paid, and the deed of

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Isaac Tatem Hopper (1)
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