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‘ [170] falsely or not. But there is one thing I do know; and that is, I am not willing to trust thee.’

The agent reiterated, ‘I know the man standing there as well as I know any man living. I am perfectly sure he is the slave described in the advertisement. I was overseer for the gentleman who owns him. If you examine his back, you will find scars of the whip.’

‘And perhaps thou art the man who made the scars, if he has any,’ rejoined the Friend.

Without replying to this suggestion, the slavehunter ordered the colored man to strip, that his back might be examined by the court. Friend Hopper objected to such a proceeding. ‘Thou hast produced no evidence that the man thou hast arrested is a slave,’ said he. ‘Thou and he are on the same footing before this court. We have as good a right to examine thy back, as we have to examine his.’ He added, with a very significant tone, ‘In some places, they whip for kidnapping.’

This remark put the slave-hunter in a violent rage. The magistrate decided that his evidence was not admissible, on the ground that he was interested. He then proposed to summon two witnesses from a Virginian vessel lying at one of the wharves.

‘Of course thou art at liberty to go for witnesses,’ replied Friend Hopper. ‘But I appeal to the magistrate ’

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Isaac T. Hopper (2)
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