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[353] therefore the principal objects for urging it no longer existed.

Though the friends of human freedom made reasonable allowance for a man brought up under such demoralizing influences as Thomas Hughes had been, they of course felt less confidence in him, than they would have done had he sought to obtain liberty by some more commendable process. Being aware of this, he returned to his master, not long after he acknowledged the theft. At one time, it was proposed to send him back to the South; but he swore that he would cut his throat rather than return into slavery. The best lawyers declared their opinion that he was legally entitled to freedom, in consequence of his master's written promise to manumit him if the money were restored; consequently some difficulties would have attended any attempt to coerce him. He was tried on an indictment for grand larceny, convicted, and sentenced to the State Prison for two years; the shortest term allowed for the offence charged against him. Through the whole course of the affair, he proved himself to be a very irresolute and unreliable character. At one time, he said that his master was a notorious gambler; then he denied that he ever said so; then he affirmed that his first statement was true, though he had been frightened into contradicting it. When his time was out at Sing Sing, he expressed to Friend

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