informing him of the circumstance, and requesting him to call upon Dr. Rush
When the doctor was questioned, he said he knew nothing about Ben's early history; he lived with him two years, and was then
a free man.
When Friend Hopper
went to the prison, he found Ben in a state of great anxiety and distress.
He admitted that he was the slave of the man who claimed him, and that he saw no way of escape open for him. His friend told him not to be discouraged, and promised to exert himself to the utmost in his behalf.
The constable who had arrested him, sympathized with the poor victim of oppression, and promised to do what he could for him. Finding him in such a humane mood, Friend Hopper
urged him to bring Ben to the magistrate's office a short time before
the hour appointed for the trial.
He did so, and found Friend Hopper
already there, watching the clock.
The moment the hand pointed to nine, he remarked that the hour, of which the claimant had been apprized, had already arrived; no evidence had been brought that the man was a slave; on the contrary, Dr. Rush
's certificate was strong presumptive evidence of his being a freeman; he therefore demanded that the prisoner should be discharged.
, having no desire to throw obstacles in the way, promptly told Ben he was at liberty, and he lost no time in profiting by the information.
Just as he