Some one having told Friend Hopper
of an apprentice who was cruelly treated, he caused investigation to be made, and took the lad under his own protection.
As he was much bent upon going to sea, he was placed in a respectable boarding-house for sailors, till a fitting opportunity could be found to gratify his inclination.
One day, a man in the employ of this boarding-house brought a bill to be paid for the lad. He was very ragged, but his manners were those of a gentleman, and his conversation showed that he had been well educated.
His appearance excited interest in Friend Hopper
's mind, and he inquired into his history.
He said his name was Levi Butler
; that he was of German extraction, and had been a wealthy merchant in Baltimore
, of the firm of Butler
He married a widow, who had considerable property, and several children.
After her death, he failed in business, and gave up all his own property, but took the precaution to secure all her property to her children.
His creditors were angry, and tried various ways to compel him to pay them with his wife's money.
He was imprisoned a long time.
He petitioned the Legislature for release, and the committee before whom the case was brought made a report in his favor, highly applauding his integrity in not involving his