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[238] with the fair character of the person accused that the witnesses were subjected to a very careful and shrewd examination. They became embarrassed, and the flaws in their evidence were very obvious. They were indicted for conspiracy against an innocent man; and being taken by surprise, they were thrown into confusion, acknowledged their guilt, and declined the offer of a trial. They were sentenced to two years imprisonment at hard labor in the Penitentiary of Philadelphia.

Isaac T. Hopper, who was at that time one of the inspectors, happened to be at the prison when they arrived at dusk, hand-cuffed and chained together, in custody of the sheriff. Their youth and desolate appearance excited his compassion. ‘Keep up a good heart, my poor lads,’ said he. ‘You can retrieve this one false step, if you will but make the effort. It is still in your power to become respectable and useful men. I will help you all I can.’

He gave particular directions that they should be placed in a room by themselves, apart from the contagion of more hardened offenders. To prevent unprofitable conversation, they were constantly employed in the noisy occupation of heading nails. From time to time, the humane inspector spoke soothing and encouraging words to them, and commended their good behavior. When the Board of Inspectors met, he proposed that the lads should be

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Isaac Tatem Hopper (1)
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