When Friend Hopper
went to the magistrate's office to inquire into the affair, he found the poor fellow in tears.
He asked for a private interview, and the alderman gave his consent.
When they were alone, Prince
confessed that he was the slave in question.
In the course of his narrative, it appeared that he had been sent into Pennsylvania
by his mistress, and had resided there with a relative of hers two years. Friend Hopper
told him to dry up his tears, for it was in his power to protect him. When he returned to the office, he informed the magistrate that Prince Hopkins was a free man; having resided in Pennsylvania
, with the consent of his mistress, a much longer time than the law required.
was irritated, and demanded that the colored man should be imprisoned till he could obtain legal advice.
‘Let him go and finish the wood he was sawing,’ said Friend Hopper
‘I will be responsible for his appearance whenever he is wanted.
If the magistrate will give me a commitment, Prince
will call at my house after he has finished sawing his wood, and I will send him to jail with it. He can remain there, until the facts I have stated are clearly proved.’
The slave-holder and his lawyer seemed to regard this proposition as an insult.
They railed at Friend Hopper
for his ‘impertinent interference,’ and for