occurred to Friend Hopper
that the present case came within the act; and if so, the colored man was of course legally entitled to freedom.
In order to detain him till he could examine the law, and take advice on the subject, he procured a warrant for debt and lodged it at the prison, telling the keeper not to let the colored man go till he had paid his demand of a hundred dollars.
When the Frenchman called for his slave next morning, they refused to discharge him; and he obtained a writ of habeas corpus
, to bring the case before the mayor's court.
was informed that the slave was on trial, that the Recorder
did not think it necessary to notify him, and had made very severe remarks concerning the fictitious debt assume ed for the occasion.
He proceeded directly to the court, which was thronged with people, who watched him with lively curiosity, and made a lane for him to pass through.
, the Recorder
, was in the act of giving his decision on the case, and he closed his remarks by saying, ‘The conduct of Mr. Hopper
has been highly reprehensible.
The man is not his debtor; and the pretence that he was so could have been made for no other reason but to cause unnecessary delay, vexation, and expense.’
The lawyers smiled at each other, and seemed not a little pleased at hearing him so roughly rebuked; for many of them had been more or less annoyed by his