the frontier of the slave states, runaways were often passing through; and the laws on that subject were little understood, and less attended to. If a colored man was arrested as a fugitive slave, and discharged for want of proof, the magistrate received no fee; but if he was adjudged a slave, and surrendered to his claimant, the magistrate received from five to twenty dollars for his trouble; of course, there was a natural tendency to make the most of evidence in favor of slavery.
Under these circumstances, the Pennsylvania Abolition Society was frequently called upon to protect the rights of colored people.
Isaac T. Hopper
became an active and leading member of this association.
He was likewise one of the overseers of a school for colored children, established by Anthony Benezet
; and it was his constant practice, for several years, to teach two or three nights every week, in a school for colored adults, established by a society of young men. In process of time, he became known to everybody in Philadelphia
as the friend and legal adviser of colored people upon all emergencies.
The shrewdness, courage, and zeal, with which he fulfilled this mission will be seen in the course of the following narratives, which I have selected from a vast number of similar character, in which he was the principal agent.