the course of examination he was asked what course members of the Society of Friends adopted when a fugitive slave came to them.
He replied, ‘I am not willing to answer for any one but myself.’
‘Well,’ said Mr. Ingersoll
, ‘what would you
do in such a case?
Would you deliver him to his master?’
‘Indeed I would not!’
answered the Friend.
‘My conscience would not permit me to do it. It would be a great crime; because it would be disobedience to my own dearest convictions of right.
I should never expect to enjoy an hour of peace afterward.
I would do for a fugitive slave whatever I should like to have done for myself, under similar circumstances.
If he asked my protection, I would extend it to him to the utmost of my power.
If he was hungry, I would feed him. If he was naked, I would clothe him. If he needed advice, I would give such as I thought would be most beneficial to him.’
The cause was tried before Judge Bushrod Washington
, nephew of General Washington
Though a slaveholder himself, he manifested no partiality during the trial, which continued several days, with able arguments on both sides.
The counsel for the claimant maintained that Samuel Mason
prevented the master from regaining his slave, by shutting his door, and refusing to open it. The counsel for the defendant