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‘I am at home,’ replied James. ‘I expect to end my days here. I never will serve you again as a slave, or pay you one single cent. What do you come here for? There is no use in your coming.’

The master was greatly provoked by this conduct, and requested the inspectors to have him put in the cells and kept on short allowance, till he learned to submit. Isaac T. Hopper was one of the board; and as the question was concerning a colored man, they referred it to him. Accordingly, the blacksmith sought an interview with him, and said, ‘Jim has been a faithful industrious fellow; but of late he has taken it into his head that he ought to be free. He strolled off and refused to work, and I had him put in prison. When I called to see him he insulted me grossly, and positively refused to return to his business. I have been referred to you to obtain an order to confine him to the cells on short allowance, till he submits.’

Friend Hopper replied, ‘I have been long acquainted with Jim. I was one of his teachers; and I have often admired his punctuality in attending school, and his patient industry in trying to learn.’

‘It has done him no good to learn to read,’ rejoined the master. ‘On the contrary, it has made him worse.’

‘It has made him wiser,’ replied Isaac; ‘but I think it has not made him worse. I have scruples ’

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Isaac Tatem Hopper (1)
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