employment for him here, if it is thy choice to remain.’
Again she wept, and repeated, ‘I do want to be free.’
But she was evidently bewildered and distrustful, and did not know how to understand the opposite professions that were made to her.
On representation of the claimant's friends, Judge Oakley
adjourned the case till the next morning; telling the woman she was at liberty to go with whom she pleased.
The colored people had assembled in considerable numbers, and were a good deal excited.
Experience led them to suppose that she would either be cajoled into consenting to return to slavery, or else secretly packed off to New-Orleans
, if she were left in Southern hands.
They accordingly made haste to hustle her away.
But their well-intended zeal terrified the poor bewildered creature, and she escaped from them, and went back to her mistress.
The pro-slavery papers chuckled, as they always do, when some poor ignorant victim is deceived by false representation, alarmed by an excitement that she does not comprehend, afraid that strangers are not telling her the truth, or that they—have not the power to protect her; and in continual terror of future punishment, if she should attempt to take her freedom, and yet be unable to maintain it. Great is the triumph of republicans, when, under such trying