a profitable chance to sell him. His new master was a desperate fellow, and Levin was uneasy with the constant liability of being sold to the far South.
He opened his heart to a neighbor, who advised him to escape, and gave him a letter to Isaac T. Hopper.
His wife and children had removed to Philadelphia, and there he rejoined them.
She took in washing, and he supported himself by sawing wood.
He had been there little more than a month, when his master heard where he was, and bargained w drank a little too freely the evening previous, and so forgotten to get some goods on board, as he had promised.
Levin was seized and carried off; but the sloop was obliged to wait for the goods, and in the meantime messengers were sent to Isaac T. Hopper, He was in bed, but sprang up the instant he heard a violent knocking at the door.
In his haste, he thrust on an old rough coat and hat, which he was accustomed to wear to fires; for, in addition to his various other employments, he belonge
u showed the receipts for the passage money, and written directions to forward the three slaves to New-Jersey.
In this dilemma, he asked counsel of a colored man, whom he had formerly known in Guadaloupe; and he immediately conducted him to Isaac T. Hopper.
He related the particulars of his case very circumstantially, and the two colored men, who were really the slaves of Anslong, confirmed his statement.
When Friend Hopper had cautiously examined them, and cross-examined them, he became perus benevolent societies in that city, for the relief of the poor, the sick, and the aged, of their own complexion.
Etienne Lamaire was appointed treasurer of several of these societies, and discharged his trust with scrupulous integrity.
Isaac T. Hopper had been very active and vigilant in assisting him to regain his freedom; and afterward, when he became involved in some difficulty on account of stolen goods left on his premises without his knowledge, he readily became bail for him. His co
o the South and sell him. He told them they might carry him into slavery, or murder him, if they pleased, but no torture they could inflict would ever induce him to betray his family.
Finding they could not break his resolution, they tied his hands behind his back, and dragged him to a tavern kept by Peter Fritz, in Sassafras-street.
There they left him, guarded by the landlord and several men, while they went in search of the fugitives.
Some of Johnson's colored neighbors informed Isaac T. Hopper of these proceedings; and he went to the tavern, accompanied by a friend.
They attempted to enter the room occupied by Samuel and his guard, but found the door fastened, and the landlord refused to unlock it. When they inquired by what authority he made his tavern a prison, he replied that the man was placed in his custody by two constables, and should not be released till they came for him.
Open the door!
said Friend Hopper; or we will soon have it opened in a way that will cost s
to leave his wife, she being in delicate health and needing his support.
After mature consideration of the case, the committee, believing Ben was legally entitled to freedom, agreed to apply to Judge Inskeep for a writ of habeas corpus; and Isaac T. Hopper was sent to serve it upon Pierce Butler, Esq., at his house in Chestnutstreet.
Being told that Mr. Butler was at dinner, he said he would wait in the hall until it suited his convenience to attend to him. Mr. Butler was a tall, lordly looomine replegiando, at the suit of Mr. Butler, and two thousand dollars were demanded for bail.
The idea was probably entertained that so large an amount could not be procured, and thus Ben would again come into his master's possession.
But Isaac T. Hopper and Thomas Harrison signed the bail-bond, and Ben was again set at liberty, to await his trial before the Circuit Court of the United States.
Bushrod Washington, himself a slaveholder, presided in that court, and Mr. Butler was sanguine tha
ying him to purchase their wood and prepare it for the winter.
Upon one occasion, when he brought in a bill to Alderman Todd, that gentleman asked if he had not charged rather high.
Daniel excused himself by saying he had an aged mother to support, in addition to his own family; and that he punctually paid his master twenty dollars every six months, according to an agreement he had made with him. When the alderman heard the particulars, his sympathy was excited, and he wrote a note to Isaac T. Hopper, requesting him to examine into the case; stating his own opinion that Daniel had a legal right to freedom.
The wood-sawyer started off with the note with great alacrity, and delivered it to Friend Hopper, saying in very animated tones, Squire Todd thinks I am free!
He was in a state of great agitation between hope and fear.
When he had told his story, he was sent home to get receipts for all the money he had paid his master since his arrival in Philadelphia.
It was easy to prove
onel Hopper and the constable lay in the profound stupor of intoxication, they were on the way to New Jersey, with all their household goods, where they found a safe place of refuge before the rising of the sun.
When consciousness returned to the sleepers, they were astonished to find themselves alone in the house; and as soon as they could rally their wits, they set off in search of the fugitives.
After spending several days without finding any track of them, the master called upon Isaac T. Hopper.
He complained bitterly of his servant's ingratitude in absconding from him, and of the trick he had played to deceive him. He said he and his family had always been extremely comfortable in Maryland, and it was a great piece of folly in them to have quitted such a happy condition.
He concluded by asking for assistance in tracing them; promising to treat them as kindly as if they were his own children, if they would return to him.
Friend Hopper replied, If the man were as happy wit
Autumn is now coming on, and as that is always a busy season for wood-sawyers, perhaps you can make me a small payment at that time.
This insidious conversation threw James completely off his guard, and he promised to make an effort to raise some money for his master.
As soon as he had said enough to prove that he was his bondsman, the slaveholder threw off the mask of kindness, and ordered the constables to seize and hand-cuff him. His wife and children shrieked aloud, and Isaac T. Hopper, who happened to be walking through the street at the time, hastened to ascertain the cause of such alarming sounds.
Entering the house, he found the colored man hand-cuffed, and his wife and children making the loud lamentations, which had arrested his attention.
The poor woman told how her husband had been duped by friendly words, and now he was to be torn from his family and carried off into slavery.
Friend Hopper's feelings were deeply affected at witnessing such a heartrending s
scaped to Philadelphia, and lived in the family of Isaac W. Morris, where she was known by the assumed name of Mary Holliday.
She was honest, prudent, and industrious, and the family became much attached to her. She had not been there many months when her mistress obtained tidings of her, and went to Philadelphia, accompanied by a man named Dutton.
She was arrested on the seventh of June, 1805 and taken before Matthew Lawler, who was then mayor.
Isaac W. Morris immediately waited on Isaac T. Hopper to inform him of the circumstance, and they proceeded together to the mayor's office.
Dutton, being examined as a witness, testified that he knew a mulatto named Fanny, who belonged to Mrs. Sears, and he believed the woman present, called Mary Holliday, was—that person.
Mary denied that she was the slave of the claimant, or that her name was Fanny; but her agitation was very evident, though she tried hard to conceal it.
Friend Hopper remarked to the mayor, This case requires test
he escaped to New-Jersey and let himself out to a farmer.
After he had been there a few months, several runaway slaves in his neighborhood were arrested and carried back to the South.
This alarmed him, and he became very anxious that some person should advance a sum of money sufficient to redeem him from bondage, which he would bind himself to repay by labor.
Finding that his employer abhorred slavery, and was very friendly to colored people, he ventured to open his heart to him; and Isaac T. Hopper was consulted on the subject.
The first step was to write to Mr. Mc Calmont to ascertain what were the lowest terms on which he would manumit his slave.
The master soon came in person, accompanied by a Philadelphia merchant, who testified that his friend Mc Calmont was a highly respectable man, and treated his slaves with great kindness.
He said James would be much happier with his master than he could be in any other situation, and strongly urged Friend Hopper to tell where he mig
d constable and repaired to Philadelphia in search of his newly acquired property.
They arrived on Saturday, a day when many people congregated at the horse-market.
After spending some days in search of them, Ennells called upon Isaac T. Hopper and Thomas Harrison, and offered to sell them very cheap if they would hunt them up. Friend Hopper immedilately recognized him as the man who had threatened to blow out his brains, when he went to the rescue of old William Bachelor; and he course to thee with regard to these poor fugitives.
The speculator finally agreed to sell the three men for two hundred and fifty dollars. The money was paid, and he returned home.
In the course of a few days William Anderson called upon Isaac T. Hopper for advice.
He informed him that Thomas Harrison had bought him and his companions, and told him he had better find the other two, and go and make a bargain with Friend Harrison concerning the payment.
He called accordingly, and offered to