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[202] his forty years residence in Philadelphia. But enough have been told to illustrate the active benevolence, uncompromising boldness, and ready wit, which characterized this friend of humanity. His accurate knowledge of all laws connected with slavery was so proverbial, that magistrates and lawyers were generally averse to any collision with him on such subjects.

In 1810, Benjamin Donahue of Delaware applied to Mr. Barker, mayor of Philadelphia, to assist him in recovering a fugitive, with whose place of residence he was perfectly sure Isaac T. Hopper was acquainted. After a brief correspondence with Friend Hopper, the mayor said to Mr. Donahue, ‘We had better drop this business, like a hot potato; for Mr. Hopper knows more law in such cases as this, than you and I put together.’

He would often resort to the most unexpected expedients. Upon one occasion, a slave case was brought before Judge Rush, brother of Dr. Benjamin Rush. It seemed likely to terminate in favor of the slaveholder; but Friend Hopper thought he observed that the judge wavered a little. He seized that moment to inquire, ‘Hast thou not recently published a legal opinion, in which it is distinctly stated that thou wouldst never seek to sustain a human law, if thou wert convinced that it conflicted with any law in the Bible?’

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