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´╗┐Title: Isaac T. Hopper
Author: Child, Lydia Maria Francis, 1802-1880
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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A True Life




[Illustration: Isaac T. Hopper]

  Thine was a soul with sympathy imbued,
    Broad as the earth, and as the heavens sublime;
  Thy godlike object, steadfastly pursued,
    To save thy race from misery and crime.









This biography differs from most works of the kind, in embracing
fragments of so many lives. Friend Hopper lived almost entirely for
others; and it is a striking illustration of the fact, that I have found
it impossible to write his biography without having it consist largely
of the adventures of other people.

I have not recounted his many good deeds for the mere purpose of
eulogizing an honored friend. I have taken pleasure in preserving them
in this form, because I cherish a hope that they may fall like good seed
into many hearts, and bring forth future harvests in the great field of

Most of the strictly personal anecdotes fell from his lips in familiar
and playful conversation with his sister, or his grand-children, or his
intimate friends, and I noted them down at the time, without his
knowledge. In this way I caught them in a much more fresh and natural
form, than I could have done if he had been conscious of the process.

The narratives and anecdotes of fugitive slaves, which form such a
prominent portion of the book, were originally written by Friend Hopper
himself, and published in newspapers, under the title of "Tales of
Oppression." I have re-modelled them all; partly because I wished to
present them in a more concise form, and partly because the principal
actor could be spoken of more freely by a third person, than he could
speak of himself. Moreover, he had a more dramatic way of _telling_ a
story than he had of _writing_ it; and I have tried to embody his
unwritten style as nearly as I could remember it. Where-ever incidents
or expressions have been added to the published narratives, I have done
it from recollection.

The facts, which were continually occurring within Friend Hopper's
personal knowledge, corroborate the pictures of slavery drawn by Mrs.
Stowe. Her descriptions are no more fictitious, than the narratives
written by Friend Hopper. She has taken living characters and facts of
every-day occurrence, and combined them in a connected story, radiant
with the light of genius, and warm with the glow of feeling. But is a
landscape any the less real, because there is sunshine on it, to bring
out every tint, and make every dew-drop sparkle?

Who that reads the account here given of Daniel Benson, and William
Anderson, can doubt that slaves are capable of as high moral excellence,
as has ever been ascribed to them in any work of fiction? Who that reads
Zeke, and the Quick Witted Slave, can pronounce them a stupid race,
unfit for freedom? Who that reads the adventures of the Slave Mother,
and of poor Manuel, a perpetual mourner for his enslaved children, can
say that the bonds of nature are less strong with them, than with their
more fortunate white brethren? Who can question the horrible tyranny
under which they suffer, after reading The Tender Mercies of a
Slaveholder, and the suicide of Romaine?

Friend Hopper labored zealously for many, many years; and thousands have
applied their best energies of head and heart to the same great work;
yet the slave-power in this country is as strong as ever--nay, stronger.
Its car rolls on in triumph, and priests and politicians outdo each
other in zeal to draw it along, over its prostrate victims. But, lo!
from under its crushing wheels, up rises the bleeding spectre of Uncle
Tom, and all the world turns to look at him! Verily, the slave-power is
strong; but God and truth are stronger.



Allusions to his Parents.
Anecdotes of Childhood.
Allusions to Sarah his Wife.
Allusions to Joseph Whitall.
Anecdotes of Apprenticeship.
His Religious Experience.
Tales of Oppression and Anecdotes of Colored People.
Anecdotes of Prisoners and of Vicious Characters in Philadelphia.
His Love of Fun.
Allusions to his Private Life and Domestic Character.
Anecdotes connected with Quakers.
Schism in the Society of Friends.
Anecdotes connected with his Visit to England and Ireland.
Anti-Slavery Experiences in New-York.
His Attachment to the Principles and Usages of Friends.
Disowned by the Society of Friends in New-York.
His Connection with the Prison Association of New-York.
His Illness, Death, and Funeral.


His birth.
Anecdote of his Grandmother's Courage.
His Childish Roguery.
His Contest with British Soldiers.
His Violent Temper.
Conscientiousness in Boyhood.
Tricks at School.
Going to Mill.
Going to Market.
Anecdote of General Washington.
Pelting the Swallows.
Anecdote of the Squirrel and her young ones.
The Pet Squirrel.
The Pet Crow.
Encounter with a Black Snake.
Old Mingo the African.
Boyish Love for Sarah Tatum.
His Mother's parting advice when he leaves Home.
Mischievous Trick at the Cider Barrel.
He nearly harpoons his Uncle.
He nearly kills a Fellow Apprentice.
Adventure with a young Woman.
His first Slave Case.
His Youthful Love for Sarah Tatum.
Nicholas Waln.
Mary Ridgeway.
William Savery.
His early Religious Experience.
Letter from Joseph Whitall.
He marries Sarah Tatum.
His interest in Colored People.
Charles Webster.
Ben Jackson.
Thomas Cooper.
A Child Kidnapped.
James Poovey.
David Lea.
The Slave Hunter.
William Bachelor.
Levin Smith.
Etienne Lamaire.
Samuel Johnson.
Pierce Butler's Ben.
Daniel Benson.
The Quick-Witted Slave.
James Davis.
Mary Holliday.
Thomas Harrison.
James Lawler.
William Anderson.
Sarah Roach.
Poor Amy.
Slaveholders mollified.
The United States Bond.
The tender mercies of a Slaveholder.
The Foreign Slave.
The New-Jersey Slave.
A Slave Hunter Defeated.
Mary Morris.
The Slave Mother.
Colonel Ridgeley's Slave.
Stop Thief!
The Disguised Slaveholder.
The Slave of Dr. Rich.
His Knowledge of Law.
Mutual Confidence between him and the Colored People.
Mercy to Kidnappers.
Richard Allen, the Colored Bishop.
The Colored Guests at his Table.
Kane the Colored Man fined for Blasphemy.
John McGrier.
Levi Butler.
The Musical Boy.
Mary Norris.
The Magdalen.
The Uncomplimentary Invitation.
Theft from Necessity.
Patrick M'Keever.
The Umbrella Girl.
The two young Offenders.
His courageous intercourse with violent Prisoners.
Not thoroughly Baptized.
The puzzled Dutchman.
Hint to an Untidy Neighbor.
Resemblance to Napoleon.
The Dress, Manners, and Character of Sarah, his wife.
The Devil's Lane.
Jacob Lindley's Anecdotes.
Singular Clairvoyance of Arthur Howell, a Quaker Preacher.
Prophetic Presentiment of his Mother.
The aged Bondman emancipated.
A Presentiment of Treachery.
The Quaker who purchased a Stolen Horse.
Elias Hicks and the Schism in the Society of Friends.
Pecuniary difficulties.
Death of his Wife.
Death of his son Isaac.
Journey to Maryland, and Testimony against Slavery.
His marriage with Hannah Attmore.
Removes to New-York.
Matthew Carey's facetious Letter of Introduction.
Anecdotes of his visit to England and Ireland.
Anecdote of the Diseased Horse.
Visit to William Penn's Grave.
The Storm at Sea. Profane Language rebuked.
The Clergyman and his Books.
His Book-store in New-York.
The Mob in Pearl-Street.
Judge Chinn's Slave.
One of his sons mobbed at the South.
His Letter to the Mayor of Savannah.
His Phrenological Character.
His Unconsciousness of Distinctions in Society.
The Darg Case.
Letter from Dr. Moore.
Mrs. Burke's Slave.
Becomes Agent in the Anti-Slavery Office.
His youthful appearance.
Anecdotes showing his love of Fun.
His sense of Justice.
His Remarkable Memory.
His Costume and Personal Habits.
His Library.
His Theology.
His Adherence to Quaker Usages.
Capital Punishment.
Rights of Women.
Expressions of gratitude from Colored People.
His fund of Anecdotes and his Public Speaking.
Remarks of Judge Edmonds thereon.
His separation from the Society of Friends in New-York.
Visit to his Birth-place.
Norristown Convention.
Visit from his Sister Sarah.
Visit to Boston.
Visit to Bucks County.
Prison Association in New-York.
Correspondence with Governor Young.
Preaching in Sing Sing Chapel.
Anecdotes of Dr. William Rogers.
Interesting Cases of Reformed Convicts.
Letter from Dr. Walter Channing.
Anecdotes of William Savery and James Lindley at the South.
Sonnet by William L. Garrison.
His sympathy with Colored People turned out of the Cars.
A Methodist Preacher from the South.
His Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Law.
His Domestic Character.
He attracts Children.
His Garden described in a Letter to L.M. Child.
Likenesses of him.
Letter concerning Joseph Whitall.
Letters concerning Sarah his wife.
Letter to his Daughter on his 80th Birth-day.
Allusions to Hannah, his wife.
Letter resigning the agency of the Prison Association.
His last Illness.
His Death.
Letter from a Reformed Convict.
Resolutions passed by the Prison Association.
Resolutions passed by the Anti-Slavery Society.
His Funeral.
Lucretia Mott.
Public Notices and Private Letters of Condolence.
His Epitaph.

I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched

When the ear heard me, then it blessed me: and when the eye saw me, it
gave witness to me:

Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him
that had none to help him.

The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused
the widow's heart to sing for joy. Job xxix. 10, 11, 12, 13.


Isaac Tatem Hopper was born in Deptford Township, near Woodbury, West
New-Jersey, in the year 1771, on the third day of December, which
Quakers call the Twelfth Month. His grandfather belonged to that
denomination of Christians, but forfeited membership in the Society by
choosing a wife from another sect. His son Levi, the father of Isaac,
always attended their meetings, but never became a member.

A family of rigid Presbyterians, by the name of Tatem, resided in the
neighborhood. While their house was being built, they took shelter for a
few days, in a meeting-house that was little used, and dug a pit for a
temporary cellar, according to the custom of new settlers in the forest.
The country at that time was much infested with marauders; but Mrs.
Tatem was an Amazon in physical strength and courage. One night, when
her husband was absent, and she was alone in the depths of the woods
with three small children, she heard a noise, and looking out saw a
band of thieves stealing provisions from the cellar. They entered the
meeting-house soon after, and she had the presence of mind to call out,
"Hallo, Jack! Call Joe, and Harry, and Jim! Here's somebody coming." The
robbers, supposing she had a number of stout defenders at hand, thought
it prudent to escape as quickly as possible. The next day, her husband
being still absent, she resolved to move into the unfinished house, for
greater security. The door had neither lock nor latch, but she contrived
to fasten it in some fashion. At midnight, three men came and tried to
force it open; but every time they partially succeeded, she struck at
them with a broad axe. This mode of defence was kept up so vigorously,
that at last they were compelled to retreat.

She had a daughter, who was often at play with neighbor Hopper's
children; and when Levi was quite a small boy, it used to be said
playfully that little Rachel Tatem would be his wife, and they would
live together up by the great white oak; a remarkable tree at some
distance from the homestead. The children grew up much attached to each
other, and when Levi was twenty-two years old, the prophecy was

The young man had only his own strong hands and five or six hundred
acres of wild woodland. He grubbed up the trees and underbrush near the
big white oak, removed his father's hen-house to the cleared spot,
fitted it up comfortably for a temporary dwelling, and dug a cellar in
the declivity of a hill near by. To this humble abode he conducted his
young bride, and there his two first children were born. The second was
named Isaac Tatem Hopper, and is the subject of this memoir.

Rachel inherited her mother's energy and courage, and having married a
diligent and prudent man, their worldly circumstances gradually
improved, though their family rapidly increased, and they had nothing
but land and labor to rely upon. When Isaac was one year and a half old,
the family removed to a new log-house with three rooms on a floor,
neatly whitewashed. To these the bridal hen-house was appended for a

Isaac was early remarked as a very precocious child. He was always
peeping into everything, and inquiring about everything. He was only
eighteen months old, when the new log-house was built; but when he saw
them laying the foundation, his busy little mind began to query whether
the grass would grow under it; and straightway he ran to see whether
grass grew under the floor of the hen-house where he was born.

He was put to work on the farm as soon as he could handle a hoe; but
though he labored hard, he had plenty of time and strength left for all
manner of roguery. While he was a small fellow in petticoats, he ran
into a duck-pond to explore its depth. His mother pulled him out, and
said, "Isaac, if you ever go there again, I will make you come out
faster than you went in." He thought to himself, "Now I will prove
mother to be in the wrong; for I will go in as fast as I can, and surely
I can't come out any faster." So into the pond he went, as soon as the
words were out of her mouth.

A girl by the name of Polly assisted about the housework. She was
considered one of the family, and always ate at the same table,
according to the kindly custom of those primitive times. She always
called her mistress "Mammy," and served her until the day of her death;
a period of forty years. The children were much attached to this
faithful domestic; but nevertheless, Isaac could not forbear playing
tricks upon her whenever he had opportunity.--When he was five or six
years old, he went out one night to see her milk the cow. He had
observed that the animal kicked upon slight provocation; and when the
pail was nearly full, he broke a switch from a tree near by, slipped
round to the other side of the cow, and tickled her bag. She instantly
raised her heels, and over went Polly, milk-pail, stool, and all. Isaac
ran into the house, laughing with all his might, to tell how the cow had
kicked over Polly and the pail of milk. His mother went out immediately
to ascertain whether the girl was seriously injured.--"Oh, mammy, that
little rogue tickled the cow, and made her do it," exclaimed Polly.
Whereupon, Isaac had a spanking, and was sent to bed without his supper.
But so great was his love of fun, that as he lay there, wakeful and
hungry, he shouted with laughter all alone by himself, to think how
droll Polly looked when she rolled over with the pail of milk after her.

When he was seven or eight years old, his uncle's wife came one day to
the house on horseback. She was a fat, clumsy woman, and got on and off
her horse with difficulty. Isaac knew that all the family were absent;
but when he saw her come ambling along the road, he took a freak not to
tell her of it. He let down the bars for her; she rode up to the
horse-block with which every farm-house was then furnished, rolled off
her horse, and went into the house. She then discovered, for the first
time, that there was no one at home. After resting awhile, she mounted
to depart. But Isaac, as full of mischief as Puck, put the bars up, so
that she could not ride out. In vain she coaxed, scolded, and
threatened. Finding it was all to no purpose, she rode up to the block
and rolled off from her horse again.--Isaac, having the fear of her whip
before his eyes, ran and hid himself. She let down the bars for herself,
but before she could remount, the mischievous urchin had put the bars
up again and run away.--This was repeated several times; and the
exasperated visitor could never succeed in catching her tormentor. His
parents came home in the midst of the frolic, and he had a sound
whipping. He had calculated upon this result all the time, and the
uneasy feeling had done much to mar his sport; but on the whole, he
concluded such rare fun was well worth a flogging.

The boys at school were apt to neglect their lessons while they were
munching apples. In order to break up this disorderly habit, the master
made it a rule to take away every apple found upon them.--He placed such
forfeited articles upon his desk, with the agreement that any boy might
have them, who could succeed in abstracting them without being observed
by him. One day, when a large rosy-cheeked apple stood temptingly on the
desk, Isaac stepped up to have his pen mended. He stood very demurely at
first, but soon began to gaze earnestly out of the window, behind the
desk. The master inquired what he was looking at. He replied, "I am
watching a flock of ducks trying to swim on the ice. How queerly they
waddle and slide about!" "Ducks swim on ice!" exclaimed the
schoolmaster; and he turned to observe such an unusual spectacle. It was
only for an instant; but the apple meanwhile was transferred to the
pocket of his cunning pupil. He smiled as he gave him his pen, and
said, "Ah, you rogue, you are always full of mischief!"

The teacher was accustomed to cheer the monotony of his labors by a race
with the boys during play hours. There was a fine sloping lawn in front
of the school-house, terminating in a brook fringed with willows. The
declivity gave an impetus to the runners, and as they came among the
trees, their heads swiftly parted the long branches. Isaac tied a
brick-bat to one of the pendant boughs, and then invited the master to
run with him. He accepted the invitation, and got the start in the race.
As he darted through the trees, the brick merely grazed his hair. If it
had hit him, it might have cost him his life; though his mischievous
pupil had not reflected upon the possibility of such a result.

There was a bridge across the brook consisting of a single rail. One
day, Isaac sawed this nearly in two; and while the master was at play
with the boys, he took the opportunity to say something very
impertinent, for which he knew he should be chased. He ran toward the
brook, crossed the rail in safety, and instantly turned it over, so that
his pursuer would step upon it when the cut side was downward. It
immediately snapped under his pressure, and precipitated him into the
stream, while the young rogue stood by almost killing himself with
laughter. But this joke also came very near having a melancholy
termination; for the master was floated down several rods into deep
water, and with difficulty saved himself from drowning.

There was a creek not far from his father's house, where it was
customary to load sloops with wood. Upon one of these occasions, he
persuaded a party of boys to pry up a pile of wood and tip it into a
sloop, in a confused heap. Of course, it must all be taken out and
reloaded. When he saw how much labor this foolish trick had caused, he
felt some compunction; but the next temptation found the spirit of
mischief too strong to be resisted.

Coming home from his uncle's one evening, he stopped to amuse himself
with taking a gate off its hinges. When an old Quaker came out to see
who was meddling with his gate, Isaac fired a gun over his head, and
made him run into the house, as if an evil spirit were after him.

It was his delight to tie the boughs of trees together in narrow paths,
that people travelling in the dark, might hit their heads against them;
and to lay stones in the ruts of the road, when he knew that farmers
were going to market with eggs, in the darkness of morning twilight. If
any mischief was done for miles round, it was sure to be attributed to
Isaac Hopper. There was no malice in his fun; but he had such
superabounding life within him, that it _would_ overflow, even when he
knew that he must suffer for it. His boyish activity, strength, and
agility were proverbial. Long after he left his native village, the
neighbors used to tell with what astonishing rapidity he would descend
high trees, head foremost, clinging to the trunk with his feet.

The fearlessness and firmness of character, which he inherited from both
father and mother, manifested itself in many ways. He had a lamb, whose
horns were crooked, and had a tendency to turn in. His father had given
it to him for his own, on condition that he should keep the horns
carefully filed, so that they should not hurt the animal. He had a small
file on purpose, and took such excellent care of his pet, that it soon
became very much attached to him, and trotted about after him like a
dog. When he was about five or six years old, British soldiers came into
the neighborhood to seize provisions for the army, according to their
custom during our revolutionary war. They tied the feet of the tame
lamb, and threw it into the cart with other sheep and lambs. Isaac came
up to them in season to witness this operation, and his heart swelled
with indignation. He sprang into the cart, exclaiming, "That's _my_
lamb, and you shan't have it!" The men tried to push him aside; but he
pulled out a rusty jack-knife, which he had bought of a pedlar for
two-pence, and cut the rope that bound the poor lamb. A British officer
rode up, and seeing a little boy struggling so resolutely with the
soldiers, he inquired what was the matter. "They've stolen my lamb!"
exclaimed Isaac; "and they shan't have it. It's _my_ lamb!"

"_Is_ it your lamb, my brave little fellow?" said the officer. "Well,
they shan't have it. You'll make a fine soldier one of these days."

So Isaac lifted his lamb from the cart, and trudged off victorious. He
had always been a whig; and after this adventure, he became more decided
than ever in his politics. He often used to boast that he would rather
have a paper continental dollar, than a golden English guinea. The
family amused themselves by exciting his zeal, and Polly made him
believe he was such a famous whig, that the British would certainly
carry him off to prison. He generally thought he was fully capable of
defending himself; but when he saw four soldiers approaching the house
one day, he concluded the force was rather too strong for him, and
hastened to hide himself in the woods.

His temper partook of the general strength and vehemence of his
character. Having put a small quantity of gunpowder on the stove of the
school-house, it exploded, and did some injury to the master. One of the
boys, who was afraid of being suspected of the mischief, in order to
screen himself, cried out, "Isaac Hopper did it!"--and Isaac was
punished accordingly. Going home from school, he seized the informer as
they were passing through a wood, tied him up to a tree, and gave him a
tremendous thrashing. The boy threatened to tell of it; but he assured
him that he would certainly kill him if he did; so he never ventured to
disclose it.

In general, his conscience reproved him as soon as he had done anything
wrong, and he hastened to make atonement. A poor boy, who attended the
same school, usually brought a very scanty dinner. One day, the spirit
of mischief led Isaac to spoil the poor child's provisions by filling
his little pail with sand. When the boy opened it, all eagerness to eat
his dinner, the tears came into his eyes; for he was very hungry. This
touched Isaac's heart instantly. "Oh, never mind, Billy," said he. "I
did it for fun; but I'm sorry I did it.. Come, you shall have half of my
dinner." It proved a lucky joke for Billy; for from that day henceforth,
Isaac always helped him plentifully from his own stock of provisions.

Isaac and his elder brother were accustomed to set traps in the woods to
catch partridges. One day, when he was about six years old, he went to
look at the traps early in the morning, and finding his empty, he took a
plump partridge from his brother's trap, put it in his own, and carried
it home as his. When his brother examined the traps, he said he was sure
_he_ caught the bird, because there were feathers sticking to his trap;
but Isaac maintained that there were feathers sticking to his also.
After he went to bed, his conscience scorched him for what he had done.
As soon as he rose in the morning, he went to his mother and said, "What
shall I do? I have told a lie, and I feel dreadfully about it. That
_was_ Sam's partridge. I said I took it from my trap; and so I did; but
I put it in there first."

"My son, it is a wicked thing to tell a lie," replied his mother. "You
must go to Sam and confess, and give him the bird."

Accordingly, he went to his brother, and said, "Sam, here's your
partridge. I did take it out of my trap; but I put it in there first."
His brother gave him a talking, and then forgave him.

Being a very bright, manly boy, he was intrusted to carry grain several
miles to mill, when he was only eight years old. On one of these
occasions, he arrived just as another boy, who preceded him, had
alighted to open the gate. "Just let me drive in before you shut it,"
said Isaac, "and then I shall have no need to get down from my wagon."
The boy patiently held the gate for him to pass through; but, Isaac,
without stopping to thank him, whipped up his horse, arrived at the mill
post haste, and claimed the right to be first served, because he was the
first comer. When the other boy found he was compelled to wait, he
looked very much dissatisfied, but said nothing. Isaac chuckled over
his victory at first, but his natural sense of justice soon suggested
better thoughts. He asked himself whether he had done right thus to take
advantage of that obliging boy? The longer he reflected upon it, the
more uncomfortable he felt. At last, he went up to the stranger and said
frankly, "I did wrong to drive up to the mill so fast, and get my corn
ground, when you were the one who arrived first; especially as you were
so obliging as to hold the gate open for me to pass through. I was
thinking of nothing but fun when I did it. Here's sixpence to make up
for it." The boy was well pleased with the amend thus honorably offered,
and they parted right good friends.

At nine years old, he began to drive a wagon to Philadelphia, to sell
vegetables and other articles from his father's farm; which he did very
satisfactorily, with the assistance of a neighbor, who occupied the next
stall in the market. According to the fashion of the times, he wore a
broad-brimmed hat, and small-clothes with long stockings. Being
something of a dandy, he prided himself upon having his shoes very
clean, and his white dimity small clothes without spot or blemish. He
caught rabbits, and sold them, till he obtained money enough to purchase
brass buckles for his knees, and for the straps of his shoes. The first
time he made his appearance in the city with this new finery, he felt
his ambition concerning personal decoration completely satisfied. The
neatness of his dress, and his manly way of proceeding, attracted
attention, and induced his customers to call him "THE LITTLE GOVERNOR."
For several years, he was universally known in the market by that title.
Fortunately, his father had no wish to obtain undue advantage in the
sale of his produce; for had it been otherwise, his straight-forward
little son would have proved a poor agent in transacting his affairs.
One day, when a citizen inquired the price of a pair of chickens, he
answered, with the utmost simplicity, "My father told me to sell them
for fifty cents if I could; and if not, to take forty."

"Well done, my honest little fellow!" said the gentleman, smiling, "I
will give you whatever is the current price. I shall look out for you in
the market; and whenever I see you, I shall always try to trade with
you." And he kept his word.

When quite a small boy, he was sent some distance of an errand, and
arrived just as the family were about to sit down to supper. There were
several pies on the table, and they invited him to partake. The long
walk had whetted his appetite, and the pies looked exceedingly tempting;
but the shyness of childhood led him to say, "No, I thank you." When he
had delivered his message, he lingered, and lingered, hoping they would
ask him again. But the family were Quakers, and they understood yea to
mean yea, and nay to mean nay. They would have considered it a mere
worldly compliment to repeat the invitation; so they were silent. Isaac
started for home, much repenting of his bashfulness, and went nearly
half of the way revolving the subject in his mind. He then walked back
to the house, marched boldly into the supper-room, and said, "I told a
lie when I was here. I did want a piece of pie; but I thought to be sure
you would ask me again." This explicit avowal made them all smile, and
he was served with as much pie as he wished to eat.

The steadfastness of his whig principles led him to take a lively
interest in anecdotes concerning revolutionary heroes. His mother had a
brother in Philadelphia, who lived in a house formerly occupied by
William Penn, at the corner of Second Street and Norris Alley. This
uncle frequently cut and made garments for General Washington, Benjamin
Franklin, and other distinguished men. Nothing pleased Isaac better than
a visit to this city relative; and when there, his boyish mind was much
occupied with watching for the famous men, of whom he had heard so much
talk. Once, when General Washington came there to order some garments,
he followed him a long distance from the shop. The General had observed
his wonder and veneration, and was amused by it. Coming to a corner of
the street, he turned round suddenly, touched his hat, and made a very
low bow. This playful condescension so completely confused his juvenile
admirer, that he stood blushing and bewildered for an instant, then
walked hastily away, without remembering to return the salutation. The
tenderness of spirit often manifested by him, was very remarkable in
such a resolute and mischievous boy. There was an old unoccupied barn in
the neighborhood, a favorite resort of swallows in the Spring-time. When
he was about ten years old, he invited a number of boys to meet him the
next Sunday morning, to go and pelt the swallows. They set off on this
expedition with anticipations of a fine frolic; but before they had gone
far, Isaac began to feel a strong conviction that he was doing wrong. He
told his companions he thought it was very cruel sport to torment and
kill poor little innocent birds; especially as they might destroy
mothers, and then the little ones would be left to starve. There was a
Quaker meeting-house about a mile and a half distant, and he proposed
that they should all go there, and leave the swallows in peace. But the
boys only laughed at him, and ran off shouting, "Come on! Come on!" He
looked after them sorrowfully for some minutes, reproaching himself for
the suffering he had caused the poor birds. He then walked off to
meeting alone; and his faithfulness to the light within him was followed
by a sweet peacefulness and serenity of soul. The impression made by
this incident, and the state of mind he enjoyed while in meeting, was
one of the earliest influences that drew him into the Society of
Friends.--When he returned home, he heard that one of the boys had
broken his arm while stoning the swallows, and had been writhing with
pain, while he had been enjoying the consolations of an approving

At an early age, he was noted for being a sure shot, with bow and arrow,
or with gun. A pair of king-birds built in his father's orchard, and it
was desirable to get rid of them, because they destroy honey-bees. Isaac
watched for an opportunity, and one day when the birds flew away in
quest of food for their young, he transfixed them both at once with his
arrow. At first, he was much delighted with this exploit; but his
compassionate heart soon became troubled about the orphan little ones,
whom he pictured to himself as anxiously expecting the parents that
would never return to feed them again. This feeling gained such strength
within him, that he early relinquished the practice of shooting, though
he found keen excitement in the pursuit, and was not a little proud of
his skill.

Once, when he had entrapped a pair of partridges, he put them in a box,
intending to keep them there. But he soon began to query with himself
whether creatures accustomed to fly must not necessarily be very
miserable shut up in such a limited space. He accordingly opened the
door. One of the partridges immediately walked out, but soon returned to
prison to invite his less ventursome mate. The box was removed a few
days after, but the birds remained about the garden for months, often
coming to the door-step to pick up crumbs that were thrown to them. When
the mating-season returned the next year, they retired to the woods.

From earliest childhood he evinced great fondness for animals, and
watched with lively interest all the little creatures of the woods and
fields. He was familiar with all their haunts, and they gave names to
the localities of his neighborhood. There was Turkey Causeway, where
wild turkies abounded; and Rabbit Swamp, where troops of timid little
rabbits had their hiding places; and Squirrel Grove, where many
squirrels laid in their harvest of acorns for the winter; and Panther
Bridge, where his grandfather had killed a panther.

Once, when his father and the workmen had been cutting down a quantity
of timber, Isaac discovered a squirrel's nest in a hole of one of the
trees that had fallen. It contained four new-born little ones, their
eyes not yet opened. He was greatly tempted to carry them home, but they
were so young that they needed their mother's milk. So after examining
them, he put them back in the nest, and with his usual busy helpfulness
went to assist in stripping bark from the trees. When he went home from
his work, toward evening, he felt curious to see how the mother squirrel
would behave when she returned and found her home was gone. He
accordingly hid himself in a bush to watch her proceedings. About dusk,
she came running along the stone wall with a nut in her mouth, and went
with all speed to the old familiar tree. Finding nothing but a stump
remaining there, she dropped the nut and looked around in evident
dismay. She went smelling all about the ground, then mounted the stump
to take a survey of the country. She raised herself on her hind legs and
snuffed the air, with an appearance of great perplexity and distress.
She ran round the stump several times, occasionally raising herself on
her hind legs, and peering about in every direction, to discover what
had become of her young family. At last, she jumped on the prostrate
trunk of the tree, and ran along till she came to the hole where her
babies were concealed. What the manner of their meeting was nobody can
tell; but doubtless the mother's heart beat violently when she
discovered her lost treasures all safe on the warm little bed of moss
she had so carefully prepared for them. After staying a few minutes to
give them their supper, she came out, and scampered off through the
bushes. In about fifteen minutes, she returned and took one of the young
ones in her mouth, and carried it quickly to a hole in another tree,
three or four hundred yards off, and then came back and took the others,
one by one, till she had conveyed them all to their new home. The
intelligent instinct manifested by this little quadruped excited great
interest in Isaac's observing mind. When he drove the cows to pasture,
he always went by that tree, to see how the young family were getting
along. In a short time, they were running all over the tree with their
careful mother, eating acorns under the shady boughs, entirely
unconscious of the perils through which they had passed in infancy.

Some time after, Isaac traded with another boy for a squirrel taken from
the nest before its eyes were open. He made a bed of moss for it, and
fed it very tenderly. At first, he was afraid it would not live; but it
seemed healthy, though it never grew so large as other squirrels. He did
not put it in a cage; for he said to himself that a creature made to
frisk about in the green woods could not be happy shut up in a box. This
pretty little animal became so much attached to her kind-hearted
protector, that she would run about after him, and come like a kitten
whenever he called her. While he was gone to school, she frequently ran
off to the woods and played with wild squirrels on a tree that grew
near his path homeward. Sometimes she took a nap in a large knot-hole,
or, if the weather was very warm, made a cool bed of leaves across a
crotch of the boughs, and slept there. When Isaac passed under the tree,
on his way from school, he used to call "Bun! Bun! Bun!" If she was
there, she would come to him immediately, run up on his shoulder, and so
ride home to get her supper.

It seemed as if animals were in some way aware of his kindly feelings,
and disposed to return his confidence; for on several occasions they
formed singular intimacies with him. When he was six or seven years old,
he spied a crow's nest in a high tree, and, according to his usual
custom, he climbed up to make discoveries. He found that it contained
two eggs, and he watched the crow's movements until her young ones were
hatched and ready to fly. Then he took them home. One was accidentally
killed a few days after, but he reared the other, and named it Cupid.
The bird became so very tame, that it would feed from his hand, perch on
his shoulder, or his hat, and go everywhere with him. It frequently
followed him for miles, when he went to mill or market. He was never put
into a cage, but flew in and out of the house, just as he pleased. If
Isaac called "Cu! Cu!" he would hear him, even if he were up in the
highest tree, would croak a friendly answer, and come down directly. If
Isaac winked one eye, the crow would do the same. If he winked his other
eye, the crow also winked with his other eye. Once when Cupid was on his
shoulder, he pointed to a snake lying in the road, and said "Cu!
Cu!"--The sagacious bird pounced on the head of the snake and killed him
instantly; then flew back to his friend's shoulder, cawing with all his
might, as if delighted with his exploit. If a stranger tried to take
him, he would fly away, screaming with terror. Sometimes Isaac covered
him with a handkerchief and placed him on a stranger's shoulder; but as
soon as he discovered where he was, he seemed frightened almost to
death. He usually chose to sleep on the roof of a shed, directly under
Isaac's bed-room window. One night he heard him cawing very loud, and
the next morning he said to his father, "I heard Cupid talking in his
sleep last night." His father inquired whether he had seen him since;
and when Isaac answered, "No," he said, "Then I am afraid the owls have
taken him." The poor bird did not make his appearance again; and a few
days after, his bones and feathers were found on a stump, not far from
the house. This was a great sorrow for Isaac. It tried his young heart
almost like the loss of a brother.

His intimacy with animals was of a very pleasant nature, except on one
occasion, when he thrust his arm into a hollow tree, in search of
squirrels, and pulled out a large black snake. He was so terrified, that
he tumbled headlong from the tree, and it was difficult to tell which
ran away fastest, he or the snake. This incident inspired the bold boy
with fear, which he vainly tried to overcome during the remainder of his
life. There was a thicket of underbrush between his father's farm and
the village of Woodbury. Once, when he was sent of an errand to the
village, he was seized with such a dread of snakes, that before entering
among the bushes, he placed his basket on an old rail, knelt down and
prayed earnestly that he might pass through without encountering a
snake. When he rose up and attempted to take his basket, he perceived a
large black snake lying close beside the rail. It may well be believed
that he went through the thicket too fast to allow any grass to grow
under his feet.

When he drove the cows to and from pasture, he often met an old colored
man named Mingo. His sympathizing heart was attracted toward him,
because he had heard the neighbors say he was stolen from Africa when he
was a little boy. One day, he asked Mingo what part of the world he came
from; and the poor old man told how he was playing with other children
among the bushes, on the coast of Africa, when white men pounced upon
them suddenly and dragged them off to a ship. He held fast hold of the
thorny bushes, which tore his hands dreadfully in the struggle. The old
man wept like a child, when he told how he was frightened and distressed
at being thus hurried away from father, mother, brothers and sisters,
and sold into slavery, in a distant land, where he could never see or
hear from them again. This painful story made a very deep impression
upon Isaac's mind; and, though he was then only nine years old, he made
a solemn vow to himself that he would be the friend of oppressed
Africans during his whole life.

He was as precocious in love, as in other matters. Not far from his
home, lived a prosperous and highly respectable Quaker family, named
Tatum. There were several sons, but only one daughter; a handsome child,
with clear, fair complexion, blue eyes, and a profusion of brown
curly hair. She was Isaac's cousin, twice removed; for their
great-grandfathers were half-brothers. When he was only eight years old,
and she was not yet five, he made up his mind that little Sarah Tatum
was his wife. He used to walk a mile and a half every day, on purpose to
escort her to school. When they rambled through the woods, in search of
berries, it was his delight to sit beside her on some old stump, and
twist her glossy brown ringlets over his fingers. A lovely picture they
must have made in the green, leafy frame-work of the woods--that fair,
blue-eyed girl, and the handsome, vigorous boy! When he was fourteen
years old, he wrote to her his first love-letter. The village
schoolmaster taught for very low wages, and was not remarkably
well-qualified for his task; as was generally the case at that early
period. Isaac's labor was needed on the farm all the summer;
consequently, he was able to attend school only three months during the
winter. He was, therefore, so little acquainted with the forms of
letter-writing, that he put Sarah's name inside the letter, and his own
on the outside. She, being an only daughter, and a great pet in her
family, had better opportunities for education. She told her young lover
that was not the correct way to write a letter, and instructed him how
to proceed in future. From that time, they corresponded constantly.

Isaac likewise formed a very strong friendship with his cousin Joseph
Whitall, who was his schoolmate, and about his own age. They shared
together all their joys and troubles, and were companions in all boyish
enterprises. Thus was a happy though laborious childhood passed in the
seclusion of the woods, in the midst of home influences and rustic
occupations. His parents had no leisure to bestow on intellectual
culture; for they had a numerous family of children, and it required
about all their time to feed and clothe them respectably. But they were
worthy, kind-hearted people, whose moral precepts were sustained by
their upright example. His father was a quiet man, but exceedingly firm
and energetic. When he had made up his mind to do a thing, no earthly
power could turn him from his purpose; especially if any question of
conscience were involved therein. During the revolutionary war, he
faithfully maintained his testimony against the shedding of blood, and
suffered considerably for refusing to pay military taxes. Isaac's mother
was noted for her fearless character, and blunt directness of speech.
She was educated in the Presbyterian faith, and this was a source of
some discordant feeling between her and her husband. The preaching of
her favorite ministers seemed to him harsh and rigid, while she regarded
Quaker exhortations as insipid and formal. But as time passed on, her
religious views assimilated more and more with his; and about
twenty-four years after their marriage, she joined the Society of
Friends, and frequently spoke at their meetings. She was a spiritual
minded woman, always ready to sympathise with the afflicted, and
peculiarly kind to animals. They were both extremely hospitable and
benevolent to the poor. On Sunday evenings, they convened all the family
to listen to the Scriptures and other religious books.--In his journal
Isaac alludes to this custom, and says: "My mind was often solemnized by
these opportunities, and I resolved to live more consistently with the
principles of christian sobriety."

When he was sixteen years old, it became a question to what business he
should devote himself.--There was a prospect of obtaining a situation
for him in a store at Philadelphia; and for that purpose it was deemed
expedient that he should take up his abode for a while with his maternal
uncle, whose house he had been so fond of visiting in early boyhood. He
did not succeed in obtaining the situation he expected, but remained in
the city on the look-out for some suitable employment. Meanwhile, he was
very helpful to his uncle, who, finding him diligent and skillful, tried
to induce him to learn his trade.--It was an occupation ill-adapted to
his vigorous body and active mind; but he was not of a temperament to
fold his hands and wait till something "turned up;" and as his uncle was
doing a prosperous business, he concluded to accept his proposition.
About the same time, his beloved cousin, Joseph Whitall, was sent to
Trenton to study law. This was rather a severe trial to Isaac's
feelings. Not that he envied his superior advantages; but he had sad
forebodings that separation would interrupt their friendship, and that
such a different career would be very likely to prevent its renewal.
They parted with mutual regret, and did not meet again for several

When Isaac bade adieu to the paternal roof, his mother looked after him
thoughtfully, and remarked to one of his sisters, "Isaac is no common
boy.--He will do something great, either for good or evil." She called
him back and said, "My son, you are now going forth to make your own way
in the world. Always remember that you are as good as any other person;
but remember also that you are no better." With this farewell
injunction, he departed for Philadelphia, where he soon acquired the
character of a faithful and industrious apprentice.

But his boyish love of fun was still strong within him, and he was the
torment of all his fellow apprentices. One of them, named William
Roberts, proposed that they should go together into the cellar to steal
a pitcher of cider. Isaac pulled the spile, and while William was
drawing the liquor, he took an unobserved opportunity to hide it. When
the pitcher was full, he pretended to look all around for it, without
being able to find it. At last, he told his unsuspecting comrade that he
must thrust his finger into the hole and keep it there, while he went to
get another spile. William waited and waited for him to return, but when
an hour or more had elapsed, his patience was exhausted, and he began to
Halloo!--The noise, instead of bringing Isaac to his assistance, brought
the mistress of the house, who caught the culprit at the cider-barrel,
and gave him a severe scolding, to the infinite gratification of his
mischievous companion.

Once, when the family were all going away, his uncle left the house in
charge of him and another apprentice, telling them to defend themselves
if any robbers came. Having a mind to try the courage of the lads, he
returned soon after, and attempted to force a window in the back part of
the house, which opened upon a narrow alley inclosed by a high fence. As
soon as Isaac heard the noise, he seized an old harpoon that was about
the premises, and told his companion to open the window the instant he
gave the signal. His orders were obeyed, and he flung the harpoon with
such force, that it passed through his uncle's vest and coat, and nailed
him tight to the fence. When he told the story, he used to say he never
afterward deemed it necessary to advise Isaac to defend himself.

Among the apprentices was one much older and stouter than the others. He
was very proud of his physical strength, and delighted to play the
tyrant over those who were younger and weaker than himself. When Isaac
saw him knocking them about, he felt an almost irresistible temptation
to fight; but his uncle was a severe man, likely to be much incensed by
quarrels among his apprentices. He knew, moreover, that a battle between
him and Samson would be very unequal; so he restrained his indignation
as well as he could. But one day, when the big bully knocked him down,
without the slightest provocation, he exclaimed, in great wrath, "If you
ever do that again, I'll kill you. Mind what I say. I tell you I'll kill

Samson snapped his fingers and laughed, and the next day he knocked him
down again. Isaac armed himself with a heavy window-bar, and when the
apprentices were summoned to breakfast, he laid wait behind a door, and
levelled a blow at the tyrant, as he passed through. He fell, without
uttering a single cry. When the family sat down to breakfast, Mr. Tatem
said, "Where is Samson?"

His nephew coolly replied, "I've killed him."

"Killed him!" exclaimed the uncle. "What do you mean?"

"I told him I would kill him if he ever knocked me down again," rejoined
Isaac; "and I _have_ killed him."

They rushed out in the utmost consternation, and found the young man
entirely senseless. A physician was summoned, and for some time they
feared he was really dead. The means employed to restore him were at
last successful; but it was long before he recovered from the effects of
the blow. When Isaac saw him so pale and helpless, a terrible remorse
filled his soul. He shuddered to think how nearly he had committed
murder, in one rash moment of unbridled rage. This awful incident made
such a solemn and deep impression on him, that from that time he began
to make strong and earnest efforts to control the natural impetuosity of
his temper; and he finally attained to a remarkable degree of
self-control. Weary hours of debility brought wiser thoughts to Samson
also; and when he recovered his strength, he never again misused it by
abusing his companions.

In those days, Isaac did not profess to be a Quaker. He used the
customary language of the world, and liked to display his
well-proportioned figure in neat and fashionable clothing. The young
women of his acquaintance, it is said, looked upon him with rather
favorable eyes; but his thoughts never wandered from Sarah Tatum for a
single day. Once, when he had a new suit of clothes, and stylish boots,
the tops turned down with red, a young man of his acquaintance invited
him to go home with him on Saturday evening and spend Sunday. He
accepted the invitation, and set out well pleased with the expedition.
The young man had a sister, who took it into her head that the visit was
intended as an especial compliment to herself. The brother was called
out somewhere in the neighborhood, and as soon as she found herself
alone with their guest, she began to specify, in rather significant
terms, what she should require of a man who wished to marry her.--Her
remarks made Isaac rather fidgetty; but he replied, in general terms,
that he thought her ideas on the subject were very correct. "I suppose
you think my father will give me considerable money," said she; "but
that is a mistake. Whoever takes me must take me for myself alone."

The young man tried to stammer out that he did not come on any such
errand; but his wits were bewildered by this unexpected siege, and he
could not frame a suitable reply. She mistook his confusion for the
natural timidity of love, and went on to express the high opinion she
entertained of him. Isaac looked wistfully at the door, in hopes her
brother would come to his rescue. But no relief came from that quarter,
and fearing he should find himself engaged to be married without his own
consent, he caught up his hat and rushed out. It was raining fast, but
he splashed through mud and water, without stopping to choose his steps.
Crossing the yard in this desperate haste, he encountered the brother,
who called out, "Where are you going?"

"I'm going home," he replied.

"Going home!" exclaimed his astonished friend, "Why it is raining hard;
and you came to stay all night. What does possess you, Isaac? Come back!
Come back, I say!"

"I won't come back!" shouted Isaac, from the distance. "I'm going home."
And home he went.--His new clothes were well spattered, and his red-top
boots loaded with mud; but though he prided himself on keeping his
apparel in neat condition, he thought he had got off cheaply on this

Soon after he went to reside in Philadelphia, a sea captain by the name
of Cox came to his uncle's on a visit. As the captain was one day
passing through Norris Alley, he met a young colored man, named Joe,
whose master he had known in Bermuda. He at once accused him of being a
runaway slave, and ordered him to go to the house with him. Joe called
him his old friend, and seemed much pleased at the meeting. He said he
had been sent from Bermuda to New-York in a vessel, which he named; he
had obtained permission to go a few miles into the country, to see his
sister, and while he was gone, the vessel unfortunately sailed; he
called upon the consignee and asked what he had better do under the
circumstances, and he told him that his captain had left directions for
him to go to Philadelphia and take passage home by the first vessel.
Captain Cox was entirely satisfied with this account. He said there was
a vessel then in port, which would sail for Bermuda in a few days, and
told Joe he had better go and stay with him at Mr. Tatem's house, while
he made inquiries about it.

When Isaac entered the kitchen that evening, he found Joe sitting there,
in a very disconsolate attitude; and watching him closely he observed
tears now and then trickling down his dark cheeks. He thought of poor
old Mingo, whose pitiful story had so much interested him in boyhood,
and caused him to form a resolution to be the friend of Africans.--The
more he pondered on the subject, the more he doubted whether Joe was so
much pleased to meet his "old friend," as he had pretended to be. He
took him aside and said, "Tell me truly how the case stands with you. I
will be your friend; and come what will, you may feel certain that I
will never betray you." Joe gave him an earnest look of distress and
scrutiny, which his young benefactor never forgot. Again he assured him,
most solemnly, that he might trust him. Then Joe ventured to acknowledge
that he was a fugitive slave, and had great dread of being returned into
bondage. He said his master let him out to work on board a ship going to
New-York. He had a great desire for freedom, and when the vessel arrived
at its destined port, he made his escape, and travelled to Philadelphia,
in hopes of finding some one willing to protect him. Unluckily, the very
day he entered the City of Brotherly Love he met his old acquaintance
Captain Cox; and on the spur of the moment he had invented the best
story he could.

Isaac was then a mere lad, and he had been in Philadelphia too short a
time to form many acquaintances; but he imagined what his own feelings
would be if he were in poor Joe's situation, and he determined to
contrive some way or other to assist him. He consulted with a prudent
and benevolent neighbor, who told him that a Quaker by the name of John
Stapler, in Buck's County, was a good friend to colored people, and the
fugitive had better be sent to him. Accordingly, a letter was written to
Friend Stapler, and given to Joe, with instructions how to proceed.
Meanwhile, Captain Cox brought tidings that he had secured a passage to
Bermuda. Joe thanked him, and went on board the vessel, as he was
ordered. But a day or two after, he obtained permission to go to Mr.
Tatem's house to procure some clothes he had left there. It was nearly
sunset when he left the ship and started on the route, which Isaac had
very distinctly explained to him. When the sun disappeared, the bright
moon came forth.--By her friendly light, he travelled on with a hopeful
heart until the dawn of day, when he arrived at Friend Stapler's house
and delivered the letter. He was received with great kindness, and a
situation was procured for him in the neighborhood, where he spent the
remainder of his life comfortably, with "none to molest or make him

This was the first opportunity Isaac had of carrying into effect his
early resolution to befriend the oppressed Africans.

While the experiences of life were thus deepening and strengthening his
character, the fair child, Sarah Tatum, was emerging into womanhood. She
was a great belle in her neighborhood, admired by the young men for her
comely person, and by the old for her good sense and discreet manners.
He had many competitors for her favor. Once, when he went to invite her
to ride to Quarterly Meeting, he found three Quaker beaux already there,
with horses and sleighs for the same purpose. But though some of her
admirers abounded in worldly goods, her mind never swerved from the love
of her childhood. The bright affectionate school-boy, who delighted to
sit with her under the shady trees, and twist her shining curls over his
fingers, retained his hold upon her heart as long as its pulses

Her father at first felt some uneasiness, lest his daughter should marry
out of the Society of Friends. But Isaac had been for some time
seriously impressed with the principles they professed, and when he
assured the good old gentleman that he would never take Sarah out of the
Society, of which she was born a member, he was perfectly satisfied to
receive him as a son-in-law.

At that period, there were several remarkable individuals among Quaker
preachers in that part of the country, and their meetings were unusually
lively and spirit-stirring. One of them, named Nicholas Waln, was
educated in the Society of Friends, but in early life seems to have
cared little about their principles. He was then an ambitious,
money-loving man, remarkably successful in worldly affairs. But the
principles inculcated in childhood probably remained latent within him;
for when he was rapidly acquiring wealth and distinction by the practice
of law, he suddenly relinquished it, from conscientious motives. This
change of feeling is said to have been owing to the following incident.
He had charge of an important case, where a large amount of property was
at stake. In the progress of the cause, he became more and more aware
that right was not on the side of his client; but to desert him in the
midst was incompatible with his ideas of honor as a lawyer. This
produced a conflict within him, which he could not immediately settle to
his own satisfaction. A friend, who met him after the case was decided,
inquired what was the result. He replied, "I did the best I could for my
client. I have gained the cause for him, and have thereby defrauded an
honest man of his just dues." He seemed sad and thoughtful, and would
never after plead a cause at the bar. He dismissed his students, and
returned to his clients all the money he had received for unfinished
cases. For some time afterward, he appeared to take no interest in
anything but his own religious state of feeling. He eventually became a
preacher, very popular among Friends, and much admired by others.--His
sermons were usually short, and very impressive. A contemporary thus
describes the effect of his preaching: "The whole assembly seemed to be
baptized together, and so covered with solemnity, that when the meeting
broke up, no one wished to enter into conversation with another." He was
particularly zealous against a paid ministry, and not unfrequently
quoted the text, "Put me in the priest's office, I pray thee, that I may
eat a piece of bread." One of his most memorable discourses began with
these words: "The lawyers, the priests, and the doctors, these are the
deceivers of men." He was so highly esteemed, that when he entered the
court-house, as he occasionally did, to aid the poor or the oppressed in
some way, it was not uncommon for judges and lawyers to rise
spontaneously in token of respect.--Isaac had great veneration for his
character, and was much edified by his ministry.

Mary Ridgeway, a small, plain, uneducated woman, was likewise remarkably
persuasive and penetrating in her style of preaching, which appeared to
Isaac like pure inspiration. Her exhortations took deep hold of his
youthful feelings, and strongly influenced him to a religious life.

But more powerful than all other agencies was the preaching of William
Savery. He was a tanner by trade; remarked by all who knew him as a man
who "walked humbly with his God." One night, a quantity of hides were
stolen from his tannery, and he had reason to believe that the thief was
a quarrelsome, drunken neighbor, whom I will call John Smith. The next
week, the following advertisement appeared in the County newspaper:
"Whoever stole a lot of hides on the fifth of the present month, is
hereby informed that the owner has a sincere wish to be his friend. If
poverty tempted him to this false step, the owner will keep the whole
transaction secret, and will gladly put him in the way of obtaining
money by means more likely to bring him peace of mind." This singular
advertisement attracted considerable attention; but the culprit alone
knew whence the benevolent offer came. When he read it, his heart melted
within him, and he was filled with contrition for what he had done. A
few nights afterward, as the tanner's family were about retiring to
rest, they heard a timid knock, and when the door was opened, there
stood John Smith with a load of hides on his shoulder. Without looking
up, he said, "I have brought these back, Mr. Savery. Where shall I put
them?" "Wait till I can light a lantern, and I will go to the barn with
thee," he replied.--"Then perhaps thou wilt come in and tell me how this
happened. We will see what can be done for thee." As soon as they were
gone out, his wife prepared some hot coffee, and placed pies and meat on
the table. When they returned from the barn, she said "Neighbor Smith,
I thought some hot supper would be good for thee." He turned his back
toward her and did not speak. After leaning against the fire-place in
silence for a moment, he said, in a choked voice, "It is the first time
I ever stole anything, and I have felt very bad about it. I don't know
how it is. I am sure I didn't think once that I should ever come to be
what I am. But I took to drinking, and then to quarrelling. Since I
began to go down hill, everybody gives me a kick. You are the first man
who has ever offered me a helping hand. My wife is sickly, and my
children are starving. You have sent them many a meal, God bless you!
and yet I stole the hides from you, meaning to sell them the first
chance I could get. But I tell you the truth when I say it is the first
time I was ever a thief."

"Let it be the last, my friend," replied William Savery. "The secret
shall remain between ourselves. Thou art still young, and it is in thy
power to make up for lost time. Promise me that thou wilt not drink any
intoxicating liquor for a year, and I will employ thee to-morrow at good
wages. Perhaps we may find some employment for thy family also. The
little boy can at least pick up stones.--But eat a bit now, and drink
some hot coffee. Perhaps it will keep thee from craving anything
stronger to-night. Doubtless, thou wilt find it hard to abstain at
first; but keep up a brave heart, for the sake of thy wife and children,
and it will soon become easy. When thou hast need of coffee, tell Mary,
and she will always give it to thee."

The poor fellow tried to eat and drink, but the food seemed to choke
him. After an ineffectual effort to compose his excited feelings, he
bowed his head on the table, and wept like a child. After a while, he
ate and drank with good appetite; and his host parted with him for the
night with this kindly exhortation; "Try to do well, John; and thou wilt
always find a friend in me."

He entered into his employ the next day, and remained with him many
years, a sober, honest, and faithful man. The secret of the theft was
kept between them; but after John's death, William Savery sometimes told
the story, to prove that evil might be overcome with good.

This practical preacher of righteousness was likewise a great preacher
orally; if greatness is to be measured by the effect produced on the
souls of others. Through his ministry, the celebrated Mrs. Fry was first
excited to a lively interest in religion. When he visited England in
1798, she was Elizabeth Gurney, a lively girl of eighteen, rather fond
of dress and company. Her sister, alluding to the first sermon they
heard from William Savery, writes thus: "His voice and manner were
arresting, and we all liked the sound. Elizabeth became a good deal
agitated, and I saw her begin to weep. The next morning, when she took
breakfast with him at her uncle's, he preached to her after breakfast,
and prophesied of the high and important calling she would be led into."
Elizabeth herself made the following record of it in her journal; "In
hearing William Savery preach, he seemed to me to overflow with true
religion; to be humble, and yet a man of great abilities. Having been
gay and disbelieving, only a few years ago, makes him better acquainted
with the heart of one in the same condition. We had much serious
conversation. What he said, and what I felt was like a refreshing shower
falling upon earth that had been dried up for ages."

This good and gifted man often preached in Philadelphia; not only at
stated seasons, on the first and fifth day of the week, but at evening
meetings also, where the Spirit is said to have descended upon him and
his hearers in such copious measure that they were reminded of the
gathering of the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Isaac was at an
impressible age, and on those occasions his thirsty soul drank eagerly
from the fountain of living water. He never forgot those refreshing
meetings. To the end of his days, whenever anything reminded him of
William Savery, he would utter a warm eulogium on his deep
spirituality, his tender benevolence, his cheerful, genial temper, and
the simple dignity of his deportment.

Isaac was about twenty-two years old, when he was received as a member
of the Society of Friends. It was probably the pleasantest period of his
existence. Love and religion, the two deepest and brightest experiences
of human life, met together, and flowed into his earnest soul in one
full stream. He felt perfectly satisfied that he had found the one true
religion. The plain mode of worship suited the simplicity of his
character, while the principles inculcated were peculiarly well
calculated to curb the violence of his temper, and to place his strong
will under the restraint of conscience. Duties toward God and his fellow
men stood forth plainly revealed to him in the light that shone so
clearly in his awakened soul. Late in life, he often used to refer to
this early religious experience as a sweet season of peace and joy. He
said it seemed as if the very air were fragrant, and the sunlight more
glorious than it had ever been before. The plain Quaker meeting-house in
the quiet fields of Woodbury was to him indeed a house of prayer, though
its silent worship was often undisturbed by a single uttered word.
Blended with those spiritual experiences was the fair vision of his
beloved Sarah, who always attended meeting, serene in her maiden beauty.
The joy of renovated friendship also awaited him there, in that quaint
old gathering place of simple worshippers. When he parted from his dear
cousin, Joseph Whitall, they were both young men of good moral
characters, but not seriously thoughtful concerning religion. Years
elapsed, and each knew not whither the other was travelling in spiritual
experiences. But one day, when Isaac went to meeting as usual, and was
tying his horse in the shed, a young man in the plain costume of the
Friends came to tie his horse also. A glance showed that it was Joseph
Whitall, the companion of his boyhood and youth. For an instant, they
stood surprised and silent, looking at each other's dress; for until
then neither of them was aware that the other had become a Quaker. Tears
started to their eyes, and they embraced each other. They had long and
precious interviews afterward, in which they talked over the
circumstances that had inclined them to reflect on serious subjects, and
the reasons which induced them to consider the Society of Friends as the
best existing representative of Christianity.

The gravity of their characters at this period, may be inferred from the
following letter, written in 1794:

  "Dear Isaac,--

  "While I sat in retirement this evening, thou wert brought fresh
  into my remembrance, with a warm desire for thy welfare and
  preservation. Wherefore, be encouraged to press forward and
  persevere in the high and holy way wherein thou hast measurably,
  through mercy, begun to tread. From our childhood I have had an
  affectionate regard for thee, which hath been abundantly increased;
  and, in the covenant of life I have felt thee near. May we, my
  beloved friend, now in the spring time of life, in the morning of
  our days, with full purpose of heart cleave unto the Lord. May we
  seek Him for our portion and our inheritance; that He may be
  pleased, in his wonderful loving kindness, to be our counsellor and
  director; that, in times of trouble and commotion, we may have a
  safe hiding-place, an unfailing refuge. I often feel the want of a
  greater dependance, a more steadfast leaning, upon that Divine Arm
  of power, which ever hath been, and still is, the true support of
  the righteous. Yet, I am sometimes favored to hope that in the
  Lord's time an advancement will be known, and a more full
  establishment in the most holy faith. 'For then shall we know, if
  we follow on to know the Lord, that His going forth is prepared as
  the morning, and He will come unto us as the rain, as the latter
  and the former rain upon the earth.' May we, from time to time, be
  favored to feel his animating presence, to comfort and strengthen
  our enfeebled minds, that so we may patiently abide in our
  allotments, and look forward with a cheering hope, that, whatever
  trials and besetments may await us, they may tend to our further
  refinement, and more close union in the heavenly covenant. And when
  the end comes, may we be found among those who through many
  tribulations have washed their garments white in the blood of the
  Lamb, and be found worthy to stand with him upon Mount Zion.

  "So wisheth and prayeth thy affectionate friend,


The letters which passed between him and his betrothed partake of the
same sedate character; but through the unimpassioned Quaker style gleams
the steady warmth of sincere affection. There is something pleasant in
the simplicity with which he usually closed his epistles to her: "I am,
dear Sally, thy real friend, Isaac."

They were married on the eighteenth of the Ninth Month, [September,]
1795; he being nearly twenty-four years of age, and she about three
years younger. The worldly comforts which a kind Providence bestowed on
Isaac and his bride, were freely imparted to others. The resolution
formed after listening to the history of old Mingo's wrongs was pretty
severely tested by a residence in Philadelphia. There were numerous
kidnappers prowling about the city, and many outrages were committed,
which would not have been tolerated for a moment toward any but a
despised race. Pennsylvania being on the frontier of the slave states,
runaways were often passing through; and the laws on that subject were
little understood, and less attended to. If a colored man was arrested
as a fugitive slave, and discharged for want of proof, the magistrate
received no fee; but if he was adjudged a slave, and surrendered to his
claimant, the magistrate received from five to twenty dollars for his
trouble; of course, there was a natural tendency to make the most of
evidence in favor of slavery.

Under these circumstances, the Pennsylvania Abolition Society was
frequently called upon to protect the rights of colored people. Isaac T.
Hopper became an active and leading member of this association. He was
likewise one of the overseers of a school for colored children,
established by Anthony Benezet; and it was his constant practice, for
several years, to teach two or three nights every week, in a school for
colored adults, established by a society of young men. In process of
time, he became known to everybody in Philadelphia as the friend and
legal adviser of colored people upon all emergencies. The shrewdness,
courage, and zeal, with which he fulfilled this mission will be seen in
the course of the following narratives, which I have selected from a
vast number of similar character, in which he was the principal agent.


In 1797, a wealthy gentleman from Virginia went to spend the winter in
Philadelphia, accompanied by his wife and daughter. He had a slave named
Charles Webster, whom he took with him as coachman and waiter. When they
had been in the city a few weeks, Charles called upon Isaac T. Hopper,
and inquired whether he had become free in consequence of his master's
bringing him into Pennsylvania. It was explained to him, that if he
remained there six months, with his master's knowledge and consent, he
would then be a free man, according to the laws of Pennsylvania. The
slave was quite disheartened by this information; for he supposed his
owner was well acquainted with the law, and would therefore be careful
to take him home before that term expired.

"I am resolved never to return to Virginia," said he. "Where can I go to
be safe?"

Friend Hopper told him his master might be ignorant of the law, or
forgetful of it. He advised him to remain with the family until he saw
them making preparations to return. If the prescribed six months expired
meanwhile, he would be a free man. If not, there would be time enough to
consult what had better be done. "It is desirable to obtain thy liberty
in a legal way, if possible," said he; "for otherwise thou wilt be
constantly liable to be arrested, and may never again have such a good
opportunity to escape from bondage."

Charles hesitated, but finally concluded to accept this prudent advice.
The time seemed very long to the poor fellow; for he was in a continual
panic lest his master should take him back to Virginia; but he did his
appointed tasks faithfully, and none of the family suspected what was
passing in his mind.

The long-counted six months expired at last; and that very day, his
master said, "Charles, grease the carriage-wheels, and have all things
in readiness; for I intend to start for home to-morrow."

The servant appeared to be well pleased with this prospect, and put the
carriage and harness in good order. As soon as that job was completed,
he went to Friend Hopper and told him the news. When assured that he was
now a free man, according to law, he could hardly be made to believe it.
He was all of a tremor with anxiety, and it seemed almost impossible to
convince him that he was out of danger. He was instructed to return to
his master till next morning, and to send word by one of the hotel
servants in case he should be arrested meanwhile.

The next morning, he again called upon Friend Hopper, who accompanied
him to the office of William Lewis, a highly respectable lawyer, who
would never take any fee for his services on such occasions. When Mr.
Lewis heard the particulars of the case, he wrote a polite note to the
Virginian, informing him that his former slave was now free, according
to the laws of Pennsylvania; and cautioning him against any attempt to
take him away, contrary to his own inclination.

The lawyer advised Friend Hopper to call upon the master and have some
preparatory conversation with him, before Charles was sent to deliver
the note. He was then, only twenty-six years of age, and he felt
somewhat embarrassed at the idea of calling upon a wealthy and
distinguished stranger, who was said to be rather imperious and
irritable. However, after a little reflection, he concluded it was his
duty, and accordingly he did it.

When the Southerner was informed that his servant was free, and that a
lawyer had been consulted on the subject, he was extremely angry, and
used very contemptuous language concerning people who tampered with
gentlemen's servants. The young Quaker replied, "If thy son were a slave
in Algiers, thou wouldst thank me for tampering with _him_ to procure
his liberty. But in the present case, I am not obnoxious to the charge
thou hast brought; for thy servant came of his own accord to consult me,
I merely made him acquainted with his legal rights; and I intend to see
that he is protected in them."

When Charles delivered the lawyers note, and his master saw that he no
longer had any legal power over him, he proposed to hire him to drive
the carriage home. But Charles was very well aware that Virginia would
be a very dangerous place for him, and he positively refused. The
incensed Southerner then claimed his servant's clothes as his property,
and ordered him to strip instantly. Charles did as he was ordered, and
proceeded to walk out of the room naked. Astonished to find him willing
to leave the house in that condition, he seized him violently, thrust
him back into the room, and ordered him to dress himself. When he had
assumed his garments, he walked off; and the master and servant never
met again.

Charles was shrewd and intelligent, and conducted himself in such a
manner as to gain respect. He married an industrious, economical woman,
who served in the family of Chief Justice Tilghman. In process of time,
he built a neat two-story house, where they brought up reputably a
family of fourteen children, who obtained quite a good education at the
school established by Anthony Benezet.


Ben was born a slave in Virginia. When he was about sixteen years old,
his mind became excited on the subject of slavery. He could not
reconcile it with the justice and goodness of the Creator, that one man
should be born to toil for another without wages, to be driven about,
and treated like a beast of the field. The older he grew, the more
heavily did these considerations press upon him. At last, when he was
about twenty-five years old, he resolved to gain his liberty, if
possible. He left his master, and after encountering many difficulties,
arrived in Philadelphia, where he let himself on board a vessel and went
several voyages. When he was thirty years of age, he married, and was
employed as a coachman by Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the
Declaration of Independence. He lived with him two years; and when he
left, Dr. Rush gave him a paper certifying that he was a free man,
honest, sober, and capable.

In 1799, his master came to Philadelphia, and arrested him as his
fugitive slave. Ben had an extraordinary degree of intelligence and
tact. When his master brought him before a magistrate, and demanded the
usual certificate to authorize him to take his human chattel back to
Virginia, Ben neither admitted nor denied that he was a slave. He merely
showed the certificate of Dr. Rush, and requested that Isaac T. Hopper
might be informed of his situation. Joseph Bird, the justice before whom
the case was brought, detested slavery, and was a sincere friend to the
colored people. He committed Ben to prison until morning, and despatched
a note to Isaac T. Hopper 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. Justice Bird, 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 passed out of the door, he saw
his master coming, and ran full speed. He had sufficient presence of
mind to take a zigzag course, and running through a house occupied by
colored people, he succeeded in eluding pursuit.

When Friend Hopper went home, he found him at his house. He tried to
impress upon his mind the peril he would incur by remaining in
Philadelphia, and advised him by all means to go to sea. But his wife
was strongly attached to him, and so unwilling to consent to this plan,
that he concluded to run the risk of staying with her. He remained
concealed about a week, and then returned to the house he had previously
occupied. They lived in the second story, and there was a shed under
their bed-room window. Ben placed a ladder under the window, to be ready
for escape; but it was so short, that it did not reach the roof of the
shed by five or six feet. His wife was an industrious, orderly woman,
and kept their rooms as neat as a bee-hive. The only thing which marred
their happiness was the continual dread that man-hunters might pounce
upon them, in some unguarded hour, and separate them forever. About a
fortnight after his arrest, they were sitting together in the dusk of
the evening, when the door was suddenly burst open, and his master
rushed in with a constable. Ben sprang out of the window, down the
ladder, and made his escape. His master and the constable followed; but
as soon as they were on the ladder, Ben's wife cut the cord that held
it, and they tumbled heels over head upon the shed. This bruised them
some, and frightened them still more. They scrambled upon their feet,
cursing at a round rate.

Ben arrived safely at the house of Isaac T. Hopper, who induced him to
quit the city immediately, and go to sea. His first voyage was to the
East Indies. While he was gone, Friend Hopper negotiated with the
master, who, finding there was little chance of regaining his slave,
agreed to manumit him for one hundred and fifty dollars. As soon as Ben
returned, he repaid from his wages the sum which had been advanced for
his ransom. His wife's health was greatly impaired by the fear and
anxiety she had endured on his account. She became a prey to melancholy,
and never recovered her former cheerfulness.


The person who assumed this name was called Notly, when he was a slave
in Maryland. He was compelled to labor very hard, was scantily supplied
with food and clothing, and lodged in a little ricketty hut, through
which the cold winds of winter whistled freely. He was of a very
religious turn of mind, and often, when alone in his little cabin at
midnight, he prayed earnestly to God to release him from his

In the year 1800, he found a favorable opportunity to escape from his
unfeeling master, and made his way to Philadelphia, where he procured
employment in a lumber-yard, under the name of John Smith. He was so
diligent and faithful, that he soon gained the good-will and confidence
of his employers. He married a worthy, industrious woman, with whom he
lived happily. By their united earnings they were enabled to purchase a
small house, where they enjoyed more comfort than many wealthy people,
and were much respected by neighbors and acquaintances.

Unfortunately, he confided his story to a colored man, who, for the sake
of reward, informed his master where he was to be found. Accordingly, he
came to Philadelphia, arrested him, and carried him before a magistrate.
Having brought forward satisfactory evidence that he was a slave, an
order was granted to carry him back to Maryland. Isaac T. Hopper was
present at this decision, and was afflicted by it beyond measure. John's
employers pitied his condition, and sympathized with his afflicted wife
and children. They offered to pay a large sum for his ransom; but his
savage master refused to release him on any terms. This sober,
industrious man, guiltless of any crime, was hand-cuffed and had his
arms tied behind him with a rope, to which another rope was appended,
for his master to hold. While they were fastening his fetters, he spoke
a few affectionate words to his weeping wife. "Take good care of the
children," said he; "and don't let them forget their poor father. If you
are industrious and frugal, I hope you will be enabled to keep them at
school, till they are old enough to be placed at service in respectable
families. Never allow them to be idle; for that will lead them into bad
ways. And now don't forget my advice; for it is most likely you will
never see me again."

Then addressing his children, he said, "You will have no father to take
care of you now. Mind what your mother tells you, and be very careful
not to do anything to grieve her. Be industrious and faithful in
whatever you are set about; and never play in the streets with naughty

They all wept bitterly while he thus talked to them; but he restrained
his sobs, though it was evident his heart was well nigh breaking. Isaac
T. Hopper was present at this distressing scene, and suffered almost as
acutely as the poor slave himself. In the midst of his parting words,
his master seized the rope, mounted his horse, snapped his whip, and set
off, driving poor John before him. This was done in a Christian country,
and there was no law to protect the victim.

John was conveyed to Washington and offered for sale to speculators,
who were buying up gangs for the Southern market. The sight of dejected
and brutified slaves, chained together in coffles, was too common at the
seat of our republican government to attract attention; but the
barbarity of John's master was so conspicuous, that even there he was
rebuked for his excessive cruelty. These expressions of sympathy were
quite unexpected to the poor slave, and they kindled a faint hope of
escape, which had been smouldering in his breast. Manacled as he was, he
contrived to trip up his master, and leaving him prostrate on the
ground, he ran for the woods. He was soon beyond the reach of his
tyrant, and might have escaped easily if a company had not immediately
formed to pursue him. They chased him from the shelter of the bushes to
a swamp, where he was hunted like a fox, till night with friendly
darkness overshadowed him. While his enemies were sleeping, he
cautiously made his way by the light of the stars, to the house of an
old acquaintance, who hastened to take off his fetters, and give him a
good supper.

Thus refreshed, he hastened to bid his colored friend farewell, and with
fear and trembling set off for Philadelphia. He had several rivers to
cross, and he thought likely men would be stationed on the bridges to
arrest him. Therefore, he hid himself in the deepest recesses of the
woods in the day-time, and travelled only in the night. He suffered much
with hunger and fatigue, but arrived home at last, to the great
astonishment and joy of his family. He well knew that these precious
moments of affectionate greeting were highly dangerous; for his own roof
could afford no shelter from pursuers armed with the power of a wicked
law. He accordingly hastened to Isaac T. Hopper for advice and

The yellow fever was then raging in Philadelphia, and the children had
all been carried into the country by their mother. Business made it
necessary for Friend Hopper to be in the city during the day-time, and a
colored domestic remained with him to take charge of the house. This
woman was alone when the fugitive arrived; but she showed him to an
upper chamber secured by a strong fastening. He had been there but a
short time, when his master came with two constables and proceeded to
search the house. When they found a room with the door bolted, they
demanded entrance; and receiving no answer, they began to consult
together how to gain admittance. At this crisis, the master of the house
came home, and received information of what was going on up-stairs. He
hastened thither, and ordered the intruders to quit his house instantly.
One of the constables said, "This gentleman's slave is here; and if you
don't deliver him up immediately, we will get a warrant to search the

"Quit my premises," replied Friend Hopper. "The mayor dare not grant a
warrant to search my house."

The men withdrew in no very good humor, and a message soon came from the
mayor requesting to see Isaac T. Hopper. He obeyed the summons, and the
magistrate said to him, "This gentleman informs me that his slave is in
your house. Is it so?"

The wary Friend replied, "Thou hast just told me that this man _says_ he
is. Dost thou not believe him?"

"But I wish to know from yourself whether he is in your house or not,"
rejoined the magistrate.

"If the mayor reflects a little, I think he will see that he has no
right to ask such a question; and that I am not bound to answer it,"
replied Friend Hopper. "If he is in my house, and if this man can prove
it, I am liable to a heavy penalty; and no man is bound to inform
against himself. These people have not behaved so civilly, that I feel
myself under any especial obligations of courtesy toward them. Hast thou
any further business with me?"

"Did you say I dared not grant a warrant to search your house?" asked
the mayor.

He answered, "Indeed I did say so; and I now repeat it. I mean no
disrespect to anybody in authority; but neither thou nor any other
magistrate would dare to grant a warrant to search my house. I am a man
of established reputation. I am not a suspicious character."

The mayor smiled, as he replied, "I don't know about that, Mr. Hopper.
In the present case, I am inclined to think you are a _very_ suspicious
character." And so they parted.

The master resorted to various stratagems to recapture his victim. He
dressed himself in Quaker costume and went to his house. The once happy
home was desolate now; and the anxious wife sat weeping, with her little
ones clinging to her in childish sympathy. The visitor professed to be
very friendly to her husband, and desirous to ascertain where he could
be found, in order to render him advice and assistance in eluding the
vigilance of his master. The wife prudently declined giving any
information, but referred him to Isaac T. Hopper, as the most suitable
person to consult in the case. Finding that he could not gain his object
by deception, he forgot to sustain the quiet character he had assumed,
but gave vent to his anger in a great deal of violent and profane
language. He went off, finally, swearing that in spite of them all he
would have his slave again, if he was to be found on the face of the

John Smith remained under the protection of Friend Isaac about a week.
Spies were seen lurking round the house for several days; but they
disappeared at last. Supposing this was only a trick to put them off
their guard, a colored man was employed to run out of the house after
dark. The enemies who were lying in ambush, rushed out and laid violent
hands upon him. They released him as soon as they discovered their
mistake; but the next day Friend Hopper had them arrested, and compelled
them to enter into bonds for their good behavior. On the following
evening the same man was employed to run out again; and this time he was
not interrupted. The third evening, John Smith himself ventured forth
from his hiding-place, and arrived safely in New-Jersey.

He let himself to a worthy farmer, and soon gained the confidence and
good will of all the family. He ate at the same table with them, and sat
with them on Sunday afternoons, listening to their reading of the
Scriptures and other religious books. This system of equality did not
diminish the modesty of his deportment, but rather tended to increase
his habitual humility.

He remained there several months, during which time he never dared to
visit his family, though only eight miles distant from them. This was a
great source of unhappiness; for he was naturally affectionate, and was
strongly attached to his wife and children. At length, he ventured to
hire a small house in a very secluded situation, not far from the
village of Haddonfield: and once more he gathered his family around him.
But his domestic comfort was constantly disturbed by fear of
men-stealers. While at his work in the day-time, he sometimes started at
the mere rustling of a leaf; and in the night time, he often woke up in
agony from terrifying dreams.

The false friend, who betrayed him to his cruel master, likewise
suffered greatly from fear. When he heard that John had again escaped,
he was exceedingly alarmed for his own safety. He dreamed that his
abused friend came with a knife in one hand and a torch in the other,
threatening to murder him and burn the house. These ideas took such hold
of his imagination, that he often started up in bed and screamed aloud.
But John was too sincerely religious to cherish a revengeful spirit. The
wrong done to him was as great as one mortal could inflict upon another;
but he had learned the divine precept not to render evil for evil.

The event proved that John's uneasiness was too well founded. A few
months after his family rejoined him, Isaac T. Hopper heard that his
master had arrived in Philadelphia, and was going to New-Jersey to
arrest him. He immediately apprised him of his danger; and the tidings
were received with feelings of desperation amounting to phrensy. He
loaded his gun and determined to defend himself. Very early the next
morning, he saw his master with two men coming up the narrow lane that
led to his house. He stationed himself in the door-way, leveled his gun,
and called out, "I will shoot the first man that crosses that fence!"
They were alarmed, and turned back to procure assistance. John seized
that opportunity to quit his retreat. He hastened to Philadelphia, and
informed Isaac T. Hopper what had happened. His friend represented to
him the unchristian character of such violent measures, and advised him
not to bring remorse on his soul by the shedding of blood. The poor
hunted fugitive seemed to be convinced, though it was a hard lesson to
learn in his circumstances. Again he resolved to fly for safety; and his
friend advised him to go to Boston. A vessel from that place was then
lying in the Delaware, and the merchant who had charge of her, pitying
his forlorn situation, offered him a passage free of expense. Kindness
bestowed on him was always like good seed dropped into a rich soil. He
was so obliging and diligent during the voyage, that he more than
compensated the captain for his passage. He arrived safely in Boston,
where his certificates of good character soon enabled him to procure
employment. Not long after, he sent for his wife, who sold what little
property they had in Philadelphia, and took her children to their new

When John left New-Jersey, he assumed the name of Thomas Cooper, by
which he was ever afterward known. He had early in life manifested a
religious turn of mind; and this was probably increased by his continual
perils and narrow escapes. He mourned over every indication of
dishonesty, profanity, or dissipation, among people of his own color;
and this feeling grew upon him, until he felt as if it were a duty to
devote his life to missionary labors. He became a popular preacher among
the Methodists, and visited some of the West India Islands in that
capacity. His Christian example and fervid exhortations, warm from the
heart, are said to have produced a powerful effect on his untutored
hearers. After his return, he concluded to go to Africa as a missionary.
For that purpose, he took shipping with his family for London, where he
was received with much kindness by many persons to whom he took letters
of introduction. His children were placed at a good school by a
benevolent member of the Society of Friends; and from various quarters
he received the most gratifying testimonials of respect and sympathy.
But what was of more value than all else to the poor harassed fugitive,
was the fact that he now, for the first time in his life, felt entirely
safe from the fangs of the oppressor.

He remained in London about a year and a half. During that time he
compiled a hymn book which his friends published with his portrait in
front. He preached with great acceptance to large congregations: several
thousand persons assembled to hear his farewell sermon on the eve of his
departure for Africa. He sailed for Sierra Leone, in the latter part of
1818, and was greeted there with much cordiality; for his fame had
preceded him. All classes flocked to hear him preach, and his labors
were highly useful. After several years spent in the discharge of
religious duties, he died of the fever which so often proves fatal to
strangers in Africa. His wife returned with her children to end her days
in Philadelphia.


In the year 1801, a Captain Dana engaged passage in a Philadelphia
schooner bound to Charleston, South Carolina. The day he expected to
sail, he called at the house of a colored woman, and told her he had a
good suit of clothes, too small for his own son, but about the right
size for her little boy. He proposed to take the child home to try the
garments, and if they fitted him he would make him a present of them.
The mother was much gratified by these friendly professions, and dressed
the boy up as well as she could to accompany the captain, who gave him
a piece of gingerbread, took him by the hand, and led him away. Instead
of going to his lodgings, as he had promised, he proceeded directly to
the schooner, and left the boy in care of the captain: saying that he
himself would come on board while the vessel was on the way down the
river. As they were about to sail, a sudden storm came on. The wind
raged so violently, that the ship dragged her anchor, and they were
obliged to haul to at a wharf in the district of Southwark. A
respectable man, who lived in the neighborhood, was standing on the
wharf at the time, and hearing a child crying very bitterly on board the
vessel, he asked the colored cook whose child that was, and why he was
in such distress. He replied that a passenger by the name of Dana
brought him on board, and that the boy said he stole him from his

A note was immediately despatched to Isaac T. Hopper, who, being away
from home, did not receive it till ten o'clock at night. The moment he
read it, he called for a constable, and proceeded directly to the
schooner. In answer to his inquiries, the captain declared that all the
hands had gone on shore, and that he was entirely alone in the vessel.
Friend Hopper called for a light, and asked him to open the forecastle,
that they might ascertain whether any person were there. He peremptorily
refused; saying that his word ought to be sufficient to satisfy them.
Friend Hopper took up an axe that was lying on the deck, and declared
that he would break the door, unless it was opened immediately. In this
dilemma, the captain, with great reluctance, unlocked the forecastle;
and there they found the cook and the boy. The constable took them all
in custody, and they proceeded to the mayor's. The rain fell in
torrents, and it was extremely dark; for in those days, there were no
lamps in that part of the city. They went stumbling over cellar doors,
and wading through gutters, till they arrived in Front street, where Mr.
Inskeep, the mayor, lived. It was past midnight, but when a servant
informed him that Isaac T. Hopper had been ringing at the door, and
wished to see him, he ordered him to be shown up into his chamber. After
apologizing for the unseasonableness of the hour, he briefly stated the
urgency of the case, and asked for a verbal order to put the captain and
cook in prison to await their trial the next morning. The magistrate
replied, "It is a matter of too much importance to be disposed of in
that way. I will come down and hear the case." A large hickory log,
which had been covered with ashes in the parlor fire-place, was raked
open, and they soon had a blazing fire to dry their wet garments, and
take off the chill of a cold March storm. The magistrate was surprised
to find that the captain was an old acquaintance; and he expressed much
regret at meeting him under such unpleasant circumstances. After some
investigation into the affair, he was required to appear for trial the
next morning, under penalty of forfeiting three thousand dollars. The
cook was committed to prison, as a witness; and the colored boy was sent
home with Isaac T. Hopper, who agreed to produce him at the time

Very early the next morning, he sent a messenger to inform the mother
that her child was in safety; but she was off in search of him, and was
not to be found. On the way to the mayor's office, they met her in the
street, half distracted. As soon as she perceived her child, she cried
out, "My son! My son!" threw her arms round him, and sobbed aloud. She
kissed him again and again, saying, "Oh my child, I thought I had lost
you forever."

When they all arrived at the mayor's office, at the hour appointed for
trial, the captain protested that he had no knowledge of anything wrong
in the business, having merely taken care of the boy at the request of a
passenger. When he was required to appear at the next court to answer to
the charge of kidnapping, he became alarmed, and told where Captain Dana
could be arrested. His directions were followed, and the delinquent was
seized and taken to Isaac T. Hopper's house. He was in a towering
passion, protesting his innocence, and threatening vengeance against
everybody who should attempt to detain him. Badly as Friend Hopper
thought of the man, he almost wished he had escaped, when he discovered
that he had a wife and children to suffer for his misdoings. His tender
heart would not allow him to be present at the trial, lest his wife
should be there in distress. She did not appear, however, and Captain
Dana made a full confession, alleging poverty as an excuse. He was an
educated man, and had previously sustained a fair reputation. He was
liberated on bail for fifteen hundred dollars, which was forfeited; but
the judgments were never enforced against his securities.


Wagelma was a lively intelligent colored boy of ten years old, whom his
mother had bound as an apprentice to a Frenchman in Philadelphia. This
man being about to take his family to Baltimore, in the summer of 1801,
with the intention of going thence to France, put his apprentice on
board a Newcastle packet bound to Baltimore, without having the consent
of the boy or his mother, as the laws of Pennsylvania required. The
mother did not even know of his intended departure, till she heard that
her child was on board the ship. Fears that he might be sold into
slavery, either in Baltimore or the West Indies, seized upon her mind;
and even if that dreadful fate did not await him, there was great
probability that she would never see him again.

In her distress she called upon Isaac T. Hopper, immediately after
sunrise. He hastened to the wharf, where the Newcastle packet generally
lay, but had the mortification to find that she had already started, and
that a gentle breeze was wafting her down the stream. He mounted a fleet
horse, and in twenty minutes arrived at Gloucester Point, three miles
below the city. The ferry at that place was kept by a highly respectable
widow, with whom he had been long acquainted. He briefly stated the case
to her, and she at once ordered one of her ferrymen to put him on board
the Newcastle packet, which was in sight, and near the Jersey shore.
They made all speed, for there was not a moment to lose.

When they came along-side the packet, the captain, supposing him to be a
passenger for Baltimore, ordered the sailors to assist him on board.
When his business was made known, he was told that the Frenchman was in
the cabin. He sought him out, and stated that the laws of Pennsylvania
did not allow apprentices to be carried out of the state without certain
preliminaries, to which he had not attended. The Frenchman had six or
eight friends with him, and as he was going out of the country, he put
the laws at defiance. Meanwhile, the vessel was gliding down the river,
carrying friend Hopper to Newcastle. He summoned the captain, and
requested him to put the colored boy into the ferry-boat, which was
alongside ready to receive him. He was not disposed to interfere; but
when Friend Hopper drew a volume from his pocket and read to him the
laws applicable to the case, he became alarmed, and said the boy must be
given up. Whereupon, Friend Hopper directed the child to go on deck,
which he was ready enough to do; and the ferryman soon helped him on
board the boat.

The Frenchman and his friends were very noisy and violent. They
attempted to throw Friend Hopper overboard; and there were so many of
them, that they seemed likely to succeed in their efforts. But he seized
one of them fast by the coat; resolved to have company in the water, if
he were compelled to take a plunge. They struck his hand with their
canes, and pulled the coat from his grasp. Then he seized hold of
another; and so the struggle continued for some minutes. The ferryman,
who was watching the conflict, contrived to bring his boat into a
favorable position; and Friend Hopper suddenly let go the Frenchman's
coat, and tumbled in.

When he returned to Philadelphia with the boy, he found the mother
waiting at his house, in a state of intense anxiety. The meeting between
mother and son was joyful indeed; and Wagelma made them all laugh by his
animated description of his friend's encounter with the Frenchmen,
accompanied by a lively imitation of their gesticulations. In witnessing
the happiness he had imparted, their benefactor found more than
sufficient compensation for all the difficulties he had encountered.


Slavery having been abolished by a gradual process in Pennsylvania,
there were many individuals who still remained in bondage at the period
of which I write. Among them was James Poovey, slave to a blacksmith in
Pennsylvania. He had learned his master's trade, and being an athletic
man, was very valuable. During several winters, he attended an evening
school for the free instruction of colored people. He made very slow
progress in learning, but by means of unremitting industry and
application, he was at last able to accomplish the desire of his heart,
which was to read the New Testament for himself.

The fact that colored men born a few years later than himself were free,
by the act of gradual emancipation, while he was compelled to remain in
bondage, had long been a source of uneasiness; and increase of knowledge
by no means increased his contentment. Having come to the conclusion
that slavery was utterly unjust, he resolved not to submit to it any
longer. In the year 1802, when he was about thirty-three years of age,
he took occasion to inform his master that he could read the New
Testament. When he observed that he was glad to hear it, James replied,
"But in the course of my reading I have discovered that it would be a
sin for me to serve you as a slave any longer".

"Aye?" said his master. "Pray tell me how you made that discovery."

"Why, the New Testament says we must do as we would be done by," replied
James. "Now if I submit to let you do by _me_, as you would not be
willing I should do by _you_, I am as bad as you are. If you will give
me a paper that will secure my freedom at the end of seven years, I will
serve you faithfully during that time; but I cannot consent to be a
slave any longer."

His master refused to consent to this proposition. James then asked
permission to go to sea till he could earn money enough to buy his
freedom; but this proposal was likewise promptly rejected.

"You will get nothing by trying to keep me in slavery," said James; "for
I am determined to be free. I shall never make you another offer."

He walked off, and his master applied for a warrant to arrest him, and
commit him to prison, as a disobedient and refractory slave. When he had
been in jail a month, he called to see him, and inquired whether he were
ready to return home and go to work.

"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 about ordering him to be punished; for he
professes to be conscientious about submitting to serve as a slave. I
have myself suffered because I could not conscientiously comply with
military requisitions. The Society of Friends have suffered much in
England on account of ecclesiastical demands. I have thus some cause to
know how hateful are persecutors, in the sight of God and of men. I
cannot therefore be active in persecuting James, or any other man, on
account of conscientious scruples."

"It is your duty to have him punished," rejoined the blacksmith.

"I am the best judge of that," answered Friend Hopper; "and I do not
feel justified in compelling him to submit to slavery."

The blacksmith was greatly exasperated, and went off, saying, "I hope to
mercy your daughter will marry a negro."

At the expiration of the term of imprisonment allowed by law, James
still refused to return to service, and he was committed for another
thirty days. His master called to see him again, and told him if he
would return home, and behave well, he should have a new suit of clothes
and a Methodist hat. "I don't want your new clothes, nor your Methodist
hat," replied James. "I tell you I never will serve you nor any other
man as a slave. I had rather end my days in jail."

His master finding him so intractable, gave up the case as hopeless.
When his second term of imprisonment expired, he was discharged, and no
one attempted to molest him. He earned a comfortable living, and looked
happy and respectable; but his personal appearance was not improved by
leaving his beard unshaved. One day, when Friend Hopper met him in the
street, he said, "Jim, why dost thou wear that long beard? It looks very

"I suppose it does," he replied, "but I wear it as a memorial of the
Lord's goodness in setting me free; for it was Him that done it."


A Frenchman by the name of Anthony Salignac removed from St. Domingo to
New-Jersey, and brought with him several slaves; among whom was Romaine.
After remaining in New-Jersey several years, he concluded in 1802, to
send Romaine and his wife and child back to the West Indies. Finding him
extremely reluctant to go, he put them in prison some days previous,
lest they should make an attempt to escape. From prison they were put
into a carriage to be conveyed to Newcastle, under the custody of a
Frenchman and a constable. They started from Trenton late in the
evening, and arrived in Philadelphia about four o'clock in the morning.
People at the inn where they stopped remarked that Romaine and his wife
appeared deeply dejected. When food was offered they refused to eat. His
wife made some excuse to go out, and though sought for immediately
after, she was not to be found. Romaine was ordered to get into the
carriage. The Frenchman was on one side of him and the constable on the
other. "_Must_ I go?" cried he, in accents of despair. They told him he
must. "And alone?" said he. "Yes, you must," was the stern reply. The
carriage was open to receive him, and they would have pushed him in, but
he suddenly took a pruning knife from his pocket, and drew it three
times across his throat with such force that it severed the jugular vein
instantly, and he fell dead on the pavement.

As the party had travelled all night, seemed in great haste, and watched
their colored companions so closely some persons belonging to the prison
where they stopped suspected they might have nefarious business on hand;
accordingly, a message was sent to Isaac T. Hopper, as the man most
likely to right all the wrongs of the oppressed. He obeyed the summons
immediately; but when he arrived, he found the body of poor Romaine
weltering in blood on the pavement.

Speaking of this scene forty years later, he said, "My whole soul was
filled with horror, as I stood viewing the corpse. Reflecting on that
awful spectacle, I exclaimed within myself, How long, O Lord, how long
shall this abominable system of slavery be permitted to curse the land!
My mind was introduced into sympathy with the sufferer. I thought of the
agony he must have endured before he could have resolved upon that
desperate deed. He knew what he had to expect, from what he had
experienced in the West Indies before, and he was determined not to
submit to the same misery and degradation again. By his sufferings he
was driven to desperation; and he preferred launching into the unknown
regions of eternity to an endurance of slavery."

An inquest was summoned, and after a brief consultation, the coroner
brought in the following verdict: "Suicide occasioned by the dread of
slavery, to which the deceased knew himself devoted."

Romaine and his wife were very good looking. They gave indications of
considerable intelligence, and had the character of having been very
faithful servants. His violent death produced a good deal of excitement
among the people generally, and much sympathy was manifested for the
wife and child, who had escaped.

The master had procured a certificate from the mayor of Trenton
authorizing him to remove his slaves to the West Indies; but the jury of
inquest, and many others, were of opinion that his proceedings were not
fully sanctioned by law. Accordingly, Friend Hopper, and two other
members of the Abolition Society, caused him to be arrested and brought
before a magistrate; not so much with the view of punishing him, as with
the hope of procuring manumission for the wife and child. In the course
of the investigation, the friends of the Frenchman were somewhat violent
in his defence. Upon one occasion, several of them took Friend Hopper up
and put him out of the house by main force; while at the same time they
let their friend out of a back door to avoid him. However, Friend Hopper
met him a few minutes after in the street and seized him by the button.
Alarmed by the popular excitement, and by the perseverance with which he
was followed up, he exclaimed in agitated tones, "Mon Dieu! What is it
you do want? I will do anything you do want."

"I want thee to bestow freedom on that unfortunate woman and her child,"
replied Friend Hopper.

He promised that he would do so; and he soon after made out papers to
that effect, which were duly recorded.


In July, 1802, a man by the name of David Lea, went to Philadelphia to
hunt up runaway slaves for their Southern masters. A few days after his
arrival, he arrested a colored man, whom he claimed as the property of
Nathan Peacock of Maryland. The man had lived several years in
Philadelphia, had taken a lot of ground in the Northern Liberties, and
erected a small house on it.

In the course of the investigation, the poor fellow, seeing no chance of
escape, acknowledged that he was Mr. Peacock's slave, and had run away
from him because he wanted to be free. His friends, being unwilling to
see him torn from his wife and children, made an effort to purchase his
freedom. After much intreaty, the master named a very large sum as his
ransom; and the slave was committed to prison until the affair was

David Lea was a filthy looking man, apparently addicted to intemperance.
Friend Hopper asked him if he had any business in Philadelphia. He
answered, "No." He inquired whether he had any money, and he answered,
"_No_." Friend Hopper then said to the magistrate, "Here is a stranger
without money, who admits that he has no regular means of obtaining a
livelihood. Judging from his appearance, there is reason to conclude
that he may be a dangerous man. I would suggest whether it be proper
that he should be permitted to go at large."

The magistrate interrogated the suspicious looking stranger concerning
his business in Philadelphia; and he, being ashamed to acknowledge
himself a slave-catcher, returned very evasive and unsatisfactory
answers. He was accordingly committed to prison, to answer at the next
court of Sessions. It was customary to examine prisoners before they
were locked up, and take whatever was in their pockets, to be restored
to them whenever they were discharged. David Lea strongly objected to
this proceeding; and when they searched him they found more than fifty
advertisements for runaway slaves; a fact which made the nature of his
business sufficiently obvious. Friend Hopper, had a serious conversation
with him in prison, during which he stated that he was to have received
forty-five dollars for restoring the slave to his master. Friend Hopper
told him if he would give an order upon Mr. Peacock for that amount, to
go toward buying the slave's freedom, he should be released from
confinement, on condition of leaving the city forthwith. He agreed to do
so, and the money was paid. But the slave was found to be in debt more
than his small house was worth, and the price for his ransom was so
exorbitantly high, that it was impossible to raise it. Under these
circumstances, Friend Hopper thought it right to return the forty-five
dollars to David Lea; but he declined receiving it. He would take only
three dollars, to defray his expenses home; and gave the following
written document concerning the remainder: "I request Isaac T. Hopper to
pay the money received from the order, which I gave him upon Nathan
Peacock, to the managers of the Pennsylvania Hospital, or to any other
charitable institution he may judge proper."


He was discharged from prison, and the money paid to the Pennsylvania
Hospital. Next year, the following item was published in their accounts:
"Received of David Lea, a noted negro-catcher, by the hands of Isaac T.
Hopper, forty-two dollars; he having received forty-five dollars for
taking up a runaway slave, of which he afterward repented, and directed
the sum to be paid to the Pennsylvania Hospital, after deducting three
dollars to pay his expenses home."

The slave was carried back to the South, but escaped again. After
encountering many difficulties, he was at last bought for a sum so
small, that it was merely nominal; and he afterward lived in
Philadelphia unmolested.


It was a common thing for speculators in slaves to purchase runaways for
much less than their original value, and take the risk of not being able
to catch them. In the language of the trade, this was called buying them
running. In April, 1802, Joseph Ennells and Captain Frazer, of Maryland,
dealers in slaves, purchased a number in this way, and came to
Philadelphia in search of them. There they arrested, and claimed as
their property, William Bachelor, a free colored man, about sixty years
old. A colored man, whom the slave-dealers brought with them, swore
before a magistrate that William Bachelor once belonged to a gang of
slaves, of which he was overseer; that he had changed his name, but he
knew him perfectly well. William affirmed in the most earnest manner,
that he was a free man; but Mr. Ennells and Captain Frazer appeared to
be such respectable men, and the colored witness swore so positively,
that the magistrate granted a certificate authorizing them to take him
to Maryland.

As they left the office, they were met by Dr. Kinley, who knew William
Bachelor well, and had a great regard for him. Finding that his
protestations had no effect with the Marylanders, he ran with all speed
to Isaac T. Hopper, and entering his door almost out of breath,
exclaimed, "They've got old William Bachelor, and are taking him to the
South, as a slave. I know him to be a free man. Many years ago, he was a
slave to my father, and he manumitted him. He used to carry me in his
arms when I was an infant. He was a most faithful servant."

Friend Hopper inquired which way the party had gone, and was informed
that they went toward "Gray's Ferry." He immediately started in pursuit,
and overtook them half a mile from the Schuylkill. He accosted Mr.
Ennells politely, and told him he had made a mistake in capturing
William Bachelor; for he was a free man. Ennells drew a pistol from his
pocket, and said, "We have had him before a magistrate, and proved to
his satisfaction that the fellow is my slave. I have got his
certificate, and that is all that is required to authorize me to take
him home. I will blow your brains out if you say another word on the
subject, or make any attempt to molest me."

"If thou wert not a coward, thou wouldst not try to intimidate me with a
pistol," replied Isaac. "I do not believe thou hast the least intention
of using it in any other way; but thou art much agitated, and may fire
it accidentally; therefore I request thee not to point it toward me, but
to turn it the other way. It is in vain for thee to think of taking this
old man to Maryland. If thou wilt not return to the city voluntarily, I
will certainly have thee stopped at the bridge, where thou wilt be
likely to be handled much more roughly than I am disposed to do."

While this controversy was going on, poor William Bachelor was in the
greatest anxiety of mind. "Oh, Master Hopper," he exclaimed, "Don't let
them take me! I am not a slave. All the people in Philadelphia know I
am a free man. I never was in Maryland in my life."

Ennells, hearing the name, said, "So your name is Hopper, is it? I have
heard of you. It's time the world was rid of you. You have done too much
mischief already."

When Friend Hopper inquired what mischief he had done, he replied, "You
have robbed many people of their slaves."

"Thou art mistaken," rejoined the Quaker. "I only prevent Southern
marauders from robbing people of their liberty."

After much altercation, it was agreed to return to the city; and William
was again brought before the alderman, who had so hastily surrendered
him. Dr. Kinley, and so many other respectable citizens, attended as
witnesses, that even Ennells himself was convinced that his captive was
a free man. He was accordingly set at liberty. It was, however,
generally believed that Mr. Ennells knew he was not a slave when he
arrested him. It was therefore concluded to prosecute him for attempting
to take forcibly a free man out of the state and carry him into slavery.

When Friend Hopper went to his lodgings with a warrant and two
constables, for this purpose, he found him writing, with a pistol on
each side of him. The moment they entered, he seized a pistol and
ordered them to withdraw, or he would shoot them. Friend Hopper
replied, "These men are officers, and have a warrant to arrest thee for
attempting to carry off a free man into slavery. I advise thee to lay
down thy pistol and go with us. If not, a sufficient force will soon be
brought to compel thee. Remember thou art in the heart of Philadelphia.
It is both foolish and imprudent to attempt to resist the law. A pistol
is a very unnecessary article here, whatever it may be elsewhere.
According to appearances, thou dost not attempt to use it for any other
purpose than to frighten people; and thou hast not succeeded in doing

Rage could do nothing in the presence of such imperturbable calmness;
and Ennells consented to go with them to the magistrate. On the way, he
quarrelled with one of the constables, and gave him a severe blow on the
face with his cane. The officer knocked him down, and would have
repeated the blow, if Friend Hopper had not interfered. Assisting
Ennells to rise, he said, "Thou hadst better take my arm and walk with
me. I think we can agree better."

When the transaction had been investigated before a magistrate, Mr.
Ennells was bound over to appear at the next mayor's court and answer to
the charge against him. The proprietor of the hotel where he lodged
became his bail. Meanwhile, numerous letters came from people of the
first respectability in Maryland and Virginia, testifying to his good
character. His lawyer showed these letters to Friend Hopper, and
proposed that the prosecution should be abandoned. He replied that he
had no authority to act in the matter himself; but he knew the Abolition
Society had commenced the prosecution from no vindictive feelings, but
merely with the view of teaching people to be careful how they infringed
on the rights of free men. The committee of that society met the same
evening, and agreed to dismiss the suit, Mr. Ennells paying the costs;
to which he readily assented.


Levin was a slave in Maryland. He married a free woman and had several
children. In 1802, his master sold him to a speculator, who was in the
habit of buying slaves for the Southern market. His purchaser took him
to his farm in Delaware, and kept him at work till he could get 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 with the captain of a small sloop to catch him and bring him
back to Delaware.

The plan was to seize Levin in his bed, hurry him on board the sloop,
and start off immediately, before his family could have time to give the
alarm. They would probably have succeeded in this project, if the
captain had not 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 belonged to a fire-company. He hurried to the scene of
action as quickly as possible, and found that the slave had been
conveyed to a small tavern near the wharf where the sloop lay. When the
landlord was questioned where the men were who had him in custody, he
refused to give any information. But there was a crowd of men and boys;
and one of them said, "They are up-stairs in the back room." The
landlord stood in the door-way, and tried to prevent Friend Hopper from
passing in; but he pushed him aside, and went up to the chamber, where
he found Levin with his hands tied, and guarded by five or six men.
"What are you going to do with this man?" said he. The words were
scarcely out of his mouth, before they seized him violently and pitched
him out of the chamber window. He fell upon empty casks, and his mind
was so excited, that he was not aware of being hurt. There was no time
to be lost; for unless there was an immediate rescue, the man would be
forced on board the sloop and carried off. As soon as he could get upon
his feet, he went round again to the front door and ascended the stairs;
but the door of the chamber was locked. He then returned to the back
yard, mounted upon the pent-house, by means of a high board fence, and
clambered into the window of a chamber, that opened into the room where
the slave was. He entered with an open penknife in his hand, exclaiming,
"Let us see if you will get me out so soon again!" Speaking thus, he
instantly cut the cords that bound the slave, and called out, "Follow
me!" He rushed down stairs as fast as he could go, and the slave after
him. The guard were utterly astonished at seeing the man return, whom
they had just tossed out of an upper window, and the whole thing was
done so suddenly, that Friend Hopper and the liberated captive were in
the street before they had time to recover their wits.

A rowdy looking crowd of men and boys followed the fugitive and his
protector, shouting, "Stop thief! Stop thief!" until they came to the
office of a justice of the peace, half a mile from where they started.
The astonished magistrate exclaimed, "Good heavens, Mr. Hopper, what
brings you here this time of the morning, in such a trim, and with such
a rabble at your heels!" When the circumstances were briefly explained,
he laughed heartily, and said, "I don't think they would have treated
you so roughly, if they had known who you were." He was informed that
Levin was a slave in Maryland, but had been living in Delaware with a
man who bought him, and had thus become legally free. Measures were
taken to protect him from further aggression, and he was never after

Friend Hopper went home to a late breakfast; and when he attempted to
rise from the table, he was seized with violent pains in the back, in
consequence of his fall. He never after entirely recovered from the
effects of it.


This man was a slave to a Frenchman of the same name, in the Island of
Guadaloupe. In consideration of faithful services, his master gave him
his freedom, and he opened a barber's shop on his own account. Some time
after, he was appointed an officer in the French army, against Victor
Hughes. He had command of a fort, and remained in the army until the
close of the war. After that period, there were symptoms of insurrection
among the colored people, because the French government revoked the
decree abolishing slavery in their West India Islands. Etienne was a man
of talent, and had acquired considerable influence, particularly among
people of his own color. He exerted this influence on the side of mercy,
and was the means of saving the lives of several white people who had
rendered themselves obnoxious by their efforts to restore slavery.

Affairs were so unsettled in Guadaloupe, that Etienne determined to seek
refuge in the United States; and an old friend of his master procured a
passport for him. A man by the name of Anslong, then at Guadaloupe, had
two slaves, whom he was about to send to the care of Dennis Cottineau,
of Philadelphia, with directions to place them on a farm he owned, near
Princeton, New-Jersey. When it was proposed that Etienne should take
passage in the same vessel, Anslong manifested much interest in his
behalf. He promised that he should have his passage free, for services
that he might render on board; and he took charge of his passport,
saying that he would give it to the captain for safe keeping.

When the vessel arrived at Philadelphia, in March, 1803, Etienne was
astonished to find that Anslong had paid his passage, and claimed him
as his slave. Dennis Cottineau 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 perfectly satisfied
that Etienne was free. He advised him not to leave the city, and told
him to let him know in case Dennis Cottineau attempted to compel him to
do so. He accordingly waited upon that gentleman and told him he had
resolved not to submit to his orders to go to New-Jersey. Whereupon
Cottineau took possession of his trunk, containing his papers and
clothing, and caused him to be committed to prison.

A writ of _habeas corpus_ was procured, and the case was brought before
Judge Inskeep, of the Court of Common Pleas. It was found to be involved
in considerable difficulty. For while several witnesses swore that they
knew Etienne in Guadaloupe, as a free man, in business for himself,
others testified that they had known him as the slave of Anslong. It was
finally referred to the Supreme Court, and Etienne was detained in
prison several months to await his trial. Eminent counsel were employed
on both sides; Jared Ingersoll for the claimant, and Joseph Hopkinson
for the defendant. A certificate was produced from the municipality of
Guadaloupe, showing that Etienne had been an officer in the French army
for several years, and had filled the station in a manner to command
respect. The National Decree abolishing slavery in that Island was also
read; but Mr. Ingersoll contended that when the decree was revoked,
Etienne again became a slave. In his charge, Judge Shippen said that the
evidence for and against freedom was about equally balanced; and in that
case, it was always a duty to decide in favor of liberty. The jury
accordingly brought in a unanimous verdict that Etienne was free. The
court ordered him to refund the twenty dollars, which Anslong had paid
for his passage; and he was discharged.

He was a dark mulatto, tall, well-proportioned, and stylish-looking. His
handsome countenance had a remarkably bright, frank expression, and
there was a degree of courteous dignity in his manner, probably acquired
by companionship with military officers. But he belonged to a caste
which society has forbidden to develop the faculties bestowed by nature.
Such a man might have performed some higher use than cutting hair, if he
had lived in a wisely organized state of society. However, he made the
best of such advantages as he had. He opened a barber's shop in
Philadelphia, and attracted many of the most highly respectable citizens
by his perfect politeness and punctuality. The colored people had
various 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 confidence had not been
misplaced; for when the affair had been fully investigated, the recorder
declared that Mr. Lamaire had acted like an honest and prudent man,
throughout the whole transaction.

His gratitude to Friend Hopper was unbounded, and he missed no
opportunity to manifest it. To the day of his death, some fourteen or
fifteen years ago, he never would charge a cent for shaving, or cutting
the hair of any of the family, children, or grand-children; and on New
Year's day, he frequently sent a box of figs, or raisins, or bon-bons,
in token of grateful remembrance.


Samuel Johnson was a free colored man in the state of Delaware. He
married a woman who was slave to George Black. They had several
children, and when they became old enough to be of some value as
property, their parents were continually anxious lest Mr. Black should
sell them to some Georgia speculator, to relieve himself from pecuniary
embarrassment; an expedient which was very often resorted to under such
circumstances. When Johnson visited his wife, they often talked together
on the subject; and at last they concluded to escape to a free state.
They went to Philadelphia and hired a small house. He sawed wood, and
she took in washing. Being industrious and frugal, they managed to live
very comfortably, except the continual dread of being discovered.

In December, 1804, when they had been thus situated about two years, her
master obtained some tidings of them, and immediately went in pursuit. A
friend happened to become aware of the fact, and hastened to inform them
that Mr. Black was in the city. Samuel forthwith sent his wife and
children to a place of safety; but he remained at home, not supposing
that he could be in any danger. The master arrived shortly after, with
two constables, and was greatly exasperated when he found that his
property had absconded. They arrested the husband, and vowed they would
hold him as a hostage, till he informed them where they could find his
wife and children. When he refused to accompany them, they beat him
severely, and swore they would carry him to 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 something to repair it. Thou hast already made
thyself liable to an action for false imprisonment. If thou art not
very careful, thou wilt find thyself involved in trouble for this

The landlord swore a good deal, but finding them so resolute, he
concluded it was best to open the door. After obtaining the particulars
of the case from Johnson himself, Friend Hopper cut the cord that bound
his hands, and said, "Follow me!"

The men on guard poured forth a volley of threats and curses. One of
them sprang forward in great fury, seized Johnson by the collar, and
swore by his Maker that he should not leave the room till the constables
arrived. Friend Hopper stepped up to him, and said, "Release that man
immediately! or thou wilt be made to repent of thy conduct." The ruffian
quailed under the influence of that calm bold manner, and after some
slight altercation let go his grasp.

Johnson followed his protector in a state of intense anxiety concerning
his wife and children. But they had been conveyed to a place of safety,
and the man-hunters never afterward discovered their retreat.


In August, 1804, a colored man about thirty-six years old waited upon
the committee of the Abolition Society, and stated that he was born a
slave to Pierce Butler, Esq., of South Carolina, and had always lived
in his family. During the last eleven years, he had resided most of the
time in Pennsylvania. Mr. Butler now proposed taking him to Georgia; but
he was very unwilling 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

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 looking man, somewhat imperious in his manners, as
slaveholders are wont to be. When he came into the hall after dinner,
Friend Hopper gave him a nod of recognition, and said, "How art thou,
Pierce Butler? I have here a writ of _habeas corpus_ for thy Ben."

Mr. Butler glanced over the paper, and exclaimed, "Get out of my house,
you scoundrel!"

Feigning not to hear him, Friend Hopper looked round at the pictures and
rich furniture, and said with a smile, "Why, thou livest like a nabob

"Get out of my house, I say!" repeated Mr. Butler, stamping violently.

"This paper on the walls is the handsomest I ever saw," continued
Isaac. "Is it French, or English? It surely cannot have been
manufactured in this country." Talking thus, and looking leisurely about
him as he went, he moved deliberately toward the door; the slaveholder
railing at him furiously all the while.

"I am a citizen of South Carolina," said he. "The laws of Pennsylvania
have nothing to do with me. May the devil take all those who come
between masters and their slaves; interfering with what is none of their
business." Supposing that his troublesome guest was deaf, he put his
head close to his ear, and roared out his maledictions in stentorian

Friend Hopper appeared unconscious of all this. When he reached the
threshold, he turned round and said, "Farewell. We shall expect to see
thee at Judge Inskeep's."

This imperturbable manner irritated the hot-blooded slave-holder beyond
endurance. He repeated more vociferously than ever, "Get out of my
house, you scoundrel! If you don't, I'll kick you out." The Quaker
walked quietly away, as if he didn't hear a word.

At the appointed time, Mr. Butler waited upon the Judge, where he found
Friend Hopper in attendance. The sight of him renewed his wrath. He
cursed those who interfered with his property; and taking up the Bible,
said he was willing to swear upon that book that he would not take
fifteen hundred dollars for Ben. Friend Hopper charged him with
injustice in wishing to deprive the man of his legal right to freedom.
Mr. Butler maintained that he was as benevolent as any other man.

"Thou benevolent!" exclaimed Friend Hopper. "Why, thou art not even
just. Thou hast already sent back into bondage two men, who were legally
entitled to freedom by staying in Philadelphia during the term
prescribed by law. If thou hadst a proper sense of justice, thou wouldst
bring those men back, and let them take the liberty that rightfully
belongs to them."

"If you were in a different walk of life, I would treat your insult as
it deserves," replied the haughty Southerner.

"What dost thou mean by that? asked Isaac. Wouldst thou shoot me, as
Burr did Hamilton? I assure thee I should consider it no honor to be
killed by a member of Congress; and surely there would be neither honor
nor comfort in killing thee; for in thy present state of mind thou art
not fit to die."

Mr. Butler told the judge he believed that man was either deaf or crazy
when he served the writ of _habeas corpus_; for he did not take the
slightest notice of anything that was said to him. Judge Inskeep smiled
as he answered, "You don't know Mr. Hopper as well as we do."

A lawyer was procured for Ben; but Mr. Butler chose to manage his own
cause. He maintained that he was only a sojourner in Pennsylvania; that
Ben had never resided six months at any one time in that State, except
while he was a member of Congress; and in that case, the law allowed him
to keep his slave in Pennsylvania as long as he pleased. The case was
deemed an important one, and was twice adjourned for further
investigation. In the course of the argument, Mr. Butler admitted that
he returned from Congress to Philadelphia, with Ben, on the second of
January, 1804, and had remained there with him until the writ of _habeas
corpus_ was served, on the third of August, the same year. The lawyers
gave it as their opinion that Ben's legal right to freedom was too plain
to admit of any doubt. They said the law to which Mr. Butler had alluded
was made for the convenience of Southern gentlemen, who might need the
attendance of their personal slaves, when Congress met in Philadelphia;
but since the seat of government was removed, it by no means authorized
members to come into Pennsylvania with their slaves, and keep them there
as long as they chose. After much debate, the judge gave an order
discharging Ben from all restraint, and he walked off rejoicing.

His master was very indignant at the decision, and complained loudly
that a Pennsylvania court should presume to discharge a Carolinian

When Ben was set at liberty, he let himself to Isaac W. Morris, then
living at his country seat called Cedar Grove, three miles from
Philadelphia. Being sent to the city soon after, on some business for
his employer, he was attached by the marshall of the United States, on a
writ _De homine 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 that he should succeed in having Judge Inskeep's
decision reversed. The case was brought in October, 1806, before Judges
Bushrod Washington and Richard Peters. It was ably argued by counsel on
both sides. The court discharged Ben, and he enjoyed his liberty
thenceforth without interruption.


Daniel and his mother were slaves to Perry Boots, of Delaware. His
master was in the habit of letting him out to neighboring farmers and
receiving the wages himself. Daniel had married a free woman, and they
had several children, mostly supported by her industry. His mother was
old and helpless; and the master, finding it rather burdensome to
support her, told Daniel that if he would take charge of her, and pay
him forty dollars a year, he might go where he pleased.

The offer was gladly accepted; and in 1805 he removed to Philadelphia,
with his mother and family. He sawed wood for a living, and soon
established such a character for industry and honesty, that many of the
citizens were in the habit of employing 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 from these that he had
been a resident in Pennsylvania, with his owner's consent, a much longer
time than the law required to make him a free man. When Friend Hopper
gave him this information, he was overjoyed. He could hardly believe it.
The tidings seemed too good to be true. When assured that he was
certainly free, beyond all dispute, and that he need not pay any more of
his hard earnings to a master, the tears came to his eyes, and he
started off to bring his wife, that she also might hear the glad news.
When Friend Hopper was an old man, he often used to remark how well he
remembered their beaming countenances on that occasion, and their warm
expressions of gratitude to God.

Soon after this interview, a letter was addressed to Perry Boots,
informing him that his slave was legally free, and that he need not
expect to receive any more of his wages. He came to Philadelphia
immediately, to answer the letter in person. His first salutation was,
"Where can I find that ungrateful villain Dan? I will take him home in

Friend Hopper replied, "Thou wilt find thyself relieved from such an
unpleasant task; for I can easily convince thee that the law sustains
thy slave in taking his freedom."

Reading the law did not satisfy him. He said he would consult a lawyer,
and call again. When he returned, he found Daniel waiting to see him;
and he immediately began to upbraid him for being so ungrateful. Daniel
replied, "Master Perry, it was not _justice_ that made me your slave. It
was the _law_; and you took advantage of it. Now, the law makes me free;
and ought you to blame me for taking the advantage which it offers me?
But suppose I were not free, what would you be willing to take to
manumit me?"

His master, somewhat softened, said, "Why, Dan, I always intended to set
you free some time or other."

"I am nearly forty years old," rejoined his bondsman, "and if I am ever
to be free, I think it is high time now. What would you be willing to
take for a deed of manumission?"

Mr. Boots answered, "Why I think you ought to give me a hundred

"Would that satisfy you, master Perry? Well, I can pay you a hundred
dollars," said Daniel.

Here Friend Hopper interfered, and observed there was nothing
rightfully due to the master; that if justice were done in the case, he
ought to pay Daniel for his labor ever since he was twenty-one years

The colored man replied, "I was a slave to master Perry's father; and he
was kind to me. Master Perry and I are about the same age. We were
brought up more like two brothers, than like master and slave. I can
better afford to give him a hundred dollars, than he can afford to do
without it. I will go home and get the money, if you will make out the
necessary papers while I am gone."

Surprised and gratified by the nobility of soul manifested in these
words, Friend Hopper said no more to dissuade him from his generous
purpose. He brought one hundred silver dollars, and Perry Boots signed a
receipt for it, accompanied by a deed of manumission. He wished to have
it inserted in the deed that he was not to be responsible for the
support of the old woman. But Daniel objected; saying, "Such an
agreement would imply that I would not voluntarily support my poor old

When the business was concluded, he invited his former master and Friend
Hopper to dine with him; saying, "We are going to have a pretty good
dinner, in honor of the day." Mr. Boots accepted the invitation; but
Friend Hopper excused himself, on account of an engagement that would
detain him till after dinner. When he called, he found they had not yet
risen from the table, on which were the remains of a roasted turkey, a
variety of vegetables, and a decanter of wine. Friend Hopper smiled when
Daniel remarked, "I know master Perry loves a little brandy; but I did
not like to get brandy; so I bought a quart of Mr. Morris' best wine,
and thought perhaps that would do instead. I never drink anything but
water myself."

Soon after Daniel Benson became a free man, he gave up sawing wood, and
opened a shop for the sale of second-hand clothing. He was successful in
business, brought up his family very reputably, and supported his mother
comfortably to the end of her days. For many years, he was class-leader
in a Methodist church for colored people, and his correct deportment
gained the respect of all who knew him.

If slavery were _ever_ justifiable, under _any_ circumstances, which of
these two characters ought to have been the master, and which the slave?


About the year 1805, a colored man, who belonged to Colonel Hopper, of
Maryland, escaped with his wife and children, who were also slaves. He
went to Philadelphia and hired a small house in Green's Court, where he
lived several months before his master discovered his retreat. As soon
as he obtained tidings of him, he went to Philadelphia, and applied to
Richard Hunt, a constable who was much employed as a slave hunter.
Having procured a warrant, they went together, in search of the
fugitives. It was about dusk, and the poor man just returned from daily
toil, was sitting peacefully with his wife and children, when in rushed
his old master, accompanied by the constable.

With extraordinary presence of mind, the colored man sprang up, and
throwing his arms round his master's neck, exclaimed, "O, my dear
master, how glad I am to see you! I _thought_ I should like to be free;
but I had a great deal rather be a slave. I can't get work, and we have
almost starved. I would have returned home, but I was afraid you would
sell me to the Georgia men. I beg your pardon a thousand times. If you
will only forgive me, I will go back with you, and never leave you

The master was very agreeably surprised by this reception, and readily
promised forgiveness. He was about to dismiss the constable, but the
slave urged him to stay a few minutes. "I have earned a little money
to-day, for a rarity," said he; "and I want to go out and buy something
to drink; for I suppose old master must be tired." He stepped out, and
soon returned with a quantity of gin, with which he liberally supplied
his guests. He knew full well that they were both men of intemperate
habits; so he talked gaily about affairs in Maryland, making various
inquiries concerning what had happened since he left; and ever and anon
he replenished their glasses with gin. It was not long before they were
completely insensible to all that was going on around them. The colored
man and his family then made speedy preparations for departure. While
Colonel 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 with thee as thou hast
represented, he will doubtless return voluntarily, and my assistance
will be quite unnecessary. I do not justify falsehood and deception; but
I am by no means surprised at them in one who has always been a slave,
and had before him the example of slaveholders. Why thou shouldst accuse
him of ingratitude, is more than I can comprehend. It seems to me that
he owes thee nothing. On the contrary, I should suppose that thou wert
indebted to him; for I understand that he has served thee more than
thirty years without wages. So far from helping thee to hunt the poor
fugitives, I will, with all my heart, do my utmost to keep them out of
thy grasp."

"Have you seen my man?" inquired the slaveholder.

"He came to me when he left his own house in Green's Court," replied
Friend Hopper; "and I gave him such advice on that occasion, as I
thought proper. Thou art the first slaveholder I ever met with bearing
my name. Perhaps thou hast assumed it, as a means of gaining the
confidence of colored people, to aid thee in recapturing the objects of
thy avarice."

The Colonel replied that it was really his name, and departed without
having gained much satisfaction from the interview. He remained in
Philadelphia a week or ten days, where he was seized with _mania a
potu_. He was carried home in a straight jacket, where he soon after

A few months after these transactions, the slave called to see Friend
Hopper. He laughed till he could hardly stand, while he described the
method he had taken to elude his old master, and the comical scene that
followed with him and the constable. "I knew his weak side," said he. "I
knew where to touch him."

Friend Hopper inquired whether he was not aware that it was wrong to
tell falsehoods, and to get men drunk.

"I suppose it _was_ wrong," he replied. "But liberty is sweet; and none
of us know what we would do to secure it, till we are tried."

He afterward returned to Philadelphia, where he supported his family
comfortably, and remained unmolested.


In 1795, James escaped from bondage in Maryland, and went to
Philadelphia, where he soon after married. He remained undisturbed for
ten years, during which time he supported himself and family comfortably
by sawing wood. But one day, in the year 1805, his master called to see
him, accompanied by two other men, who were city constables. He appeared
to be very friendly, asked James how he was getting along, and said he
was glad to see him doing so well. At last, he remarked, "As you left
my service without leave, I think you ought to make me some
compensation for your time. 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
scene, and he exerted his utmost eloquence to turn the master from his
cruel purpose. The wife and children wept and entreated also; but it was
all in vain. He replied to their expostulations by ridicule, and
proceeded to hurry his victim off to prison. The children clung round
Friend Hopper's knees, crying and sobbing, and begging that he would
not let those men take away their father. But the fact that the poor
fellow had acknowledged himself a slave rendered resistance hopeless. He
was taken before a magistrate, and thence to prison.

Friend Hopper was with him when his master came the next day to carry
him away. With a countenance expressive of deepest anguish, the unhappy
creature begged to speak a word in private, before his master entered.
When Friend Hopper took him into an adjoining room, he exclaimed in an
imploring tone, "Can't you give me some advice?" Agitated by most
painful sympathy, the Friend knew not what to answer. After a moment's
hesitation, he said, "Don't try to run away till thou art sure thou hast
a good chance." This was all he could do for the poor fellow. He was
obliged to submit to seeing him bound with cords, put into a carriage,
and driven off like a sheep to the slaughter-house.

He was conveyed to Maryland and lodged in jail. Several weeks after, he
was taken thence and sold to a speculator, who was making up a coffle of
slaves for the far South. After crossing the Susquehanna, they stopped
at a miserable tavern, where the speculator and his companions drank
pretty freely, and then began to amuse themselves by shooting at a mark.
They placed the slave by the tavern door, where they could see him.
While he sat there, thinking of his wife and children, feeling sad and
forlorn beyond description, he noticed that a fisherman drew near the
shore with a small boat, to which was fastened a rope and a heavy stone,
to supply the place of an anchor. When he saw the man step out of the
boat and throw the stone on the ground, Friend Hopper's parting advice
instantly flashed through his mind. Hardship, scanty food, and above
all, continual distress of mind, had considerably reduced his flesh. He
looked at his emaciated hands, and thought it might be possible to slip
them through his iron cuffs. He proceeded cautiously, and when he saw
that his guard were too busy loading their pistols to watch him, he
released himself from his irons by a violent effort, ran to the river,
threw the stone anchor into the boat, jumped in, and pushed for the
opposite shore. The noise attracted the attention of his guard, who
threatened him with instant death if he did not return. They loaded
their pistols as quickly as possible, and fired after him, but luckily
missed their aim. James succeeded in reaching the opposite side of the
river, where he set the boat adrift, lest some one should take it back
and enable them to pursue him. He bent his course toward Philadelphia,
and on arriving there, went directly to Friend Hopper's house. He had
become so haggard and emaciated, that his friend could hardly believe it
was James Davis who stood before him. He said he dared not go near his
old home, and begged that some place might be provided where he could
meet his wife and children in safety. This was accomplished, and Friend
Hopper was present when the poor harassed fugitive was restored to his
family. He described the scene as affecting beyond description. The
children, some of whom were very small, twined their little arms round
him, eagerly inquiring, "Where have you been? How did you get away?" and
his wife sobbed aloud, while she hugged the lost one to her heart.

The next morning he was sent to Bucks County in a market wagon. Some
friends there procured a small house for him, and his family soon joined
him. He was enabled to earn a comfortable living, and his place of
retreat was never afterward discovered by enemies of the human family.


A very light mulatto girl, named Fanny, was slave to the widow of John
Sears, in Maryland. When about twenty-four years old, she escaped 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 testimony as
strong as if the woman were on trial for her life, which is of less
value than liberty. I object to the testimony as insufficient; for the
witness cannot say positively that he _knows_ she is the same person,
but only that he _believes_ so. Wouldst thou consider such evidence
satisfactory in the case of a white person?"

The mayor who was not friendly to colored people, replied, "I should
not; but I consider it sufficient in such cases as these."

"How dark must the complexion be, to justify thee in receiving such
uncertain evidence?" inquired Friend Hopper.

The mayor pointed to the prisoner and said, "As dark as that woman."

"What wouldst thou think of such testimony in case of thy own daughter?"
rejoined Friend Hopper. "There is very little difference between her
complexion and that of the woman now standing before thee."

He made no reply, but over-ruled the objection to the evidence. He
consented, however, to postpone the case three days, to give time to
procure testimony in her favor.

Isaac W. Morris soon after called upon Friend Hopper and said, "Mary has
acknowledged to us that her name is Fanny, and that she belongs to Mrs.
Sears. My family are all very much attached to her, and they cannot bear
the thought of her being carried away into slavery. I will advance three
hundred dollars, if thou wilt obtain her freedom."

Friend Hopper accordingly called upon Mrs. Sears, and after stipulating
that nothing said on either side should be made use of in the trial, he
offered two hundred dollars for a deed of manumission. The offer was
promptly rejected. After considerable discussion, three hundred and
fifty dollars were offered; for it was very desirable to have the case
settled without being obliged to resort to an expensive and uncertain
process of law. Mrs. Sears replied, "It is in vain to treat with me on
the subject; for I am determined not to sell the woman on any terms. I
will take her back to Maryland, and make an example of her."

"I hope thou wilt find thyself disappointed," rejoined Friend Hopper.
The slaveholder merely answered with a malicious smile, as if perfectly
sure of her triumph.

Finding himself disappointed in his attempts to purchase the woman,
Friend Hopper resolved to carry the case to a higher court, and
accumulate as many legal obstructions as possible. For that purpose, he
obtained a writ _De homine replegiando_, and when the suitable occasion
arrived, he accompanied Mary Holliday to the mayor's office, with a
deputy sheriff to serve the writ. When the trial came on, he again urged
the insufficiency of proof brought by the claimant. The mayor replied,
in a tone somewhat peremptory, "I have already decided that matter. I
shall deliver the slave to her mistress."

Friend Hopper gave the sheriff a signal to serve the writ. He was a
novice in the business, but in obedience to the instructions given him,
he laid his hand on Mary's shoulder, and said, "By virtue of this writ,
I replevin this woman, and deliver her to Mr. Hopper."

Her protector immediately said to her, "Thou canst now go home with me."
But her mistress seized her by the arm, and said she should _not_ go.
The mayor was little acquainted with legal forms, beyond the usual
routine of city business. He seemed much surprised, and inquired what
the writ was.

"It is a _homine replegiando_," replied Friend Hopper.

"I don't understand what that means," said the mayor.

"It is none the less powerful on that account," rejoined Friend Hopper.
"It has taken the woman out of thy power, and delivered her to another

During this conversation, the mistress kept her grasp upon Mary. Friend
Hopper appealed to the mayor, again repeating that the girl was now to
await the decision of another court. He accordingly told Mrs. Sears it
was necessary to let her go. She asked what was to be done in such a
case. The mayor, completely puzzled, and somewhat vexed, replied
impatiently, "I don't know. You must ask Mr. Hopper. His laws are above
mine. I thought I knew something about the business; but it seems I

Mary went home with her protector, and Mrs. Sears employed Alexander J.
Dallas as counsel. The case was kept pending in the Supreme Court a long
time; for no man understood better than Friend Hopper how to multiply
difficulties. Mrs. Sears frequently attended, bringing witnesses with
her from Maryland; which of course involved much trouble and expense.
After several years, the trial came on; but it was found she had left
some of her principal witnesses at home. Most of the forenoon was spent
in disputes about points of law, and the admissibility of certain
evidence. The court then adjourned to three in the afternoon.

Mrs. Sears was informed that even if the court adjudged Mary to be her
slave, Friend Hopper would doubtless fail to produce her, and they would
be compelled to go through another process to recover from him the
penalty of the bond. She had become exceedingly weary of the law, the
trouble and expense of which had far exceeded her expectations. She
therefore instructed her lawyer to try to effect a compromise. Friend
Hopper, being consulted for this purpose, offered to pay two hundred and
fifty dollars for Mary if the claimant would pay the costs. She accepted
the terms, well pleased to escape from further litigation.

When the court met in the afternoon, they were informed that the matter
was settled; and the jury with consent of parties, rendered a verdict
that Mary was free. By her own earnings, and donations from sympathizing
friends, she gradually repaid Isaac W. Morris three hundred dollars
toward the sum he had advanced for the expenses of her trial.

In his efforts to protect the rights and redress the wrongs of colored
people, Friend Hopper had a zealous and faithful ally in Thomas
Harrison, also a member of the Society of Friends. When recounting the
adventures they had together, he used to say, "That name excites
pleasant emotions whenever it occurs to me. I shall always reverence his
memory. He was my precursor in Philadelphia, as the friend of the slave,
and my coadjutor in scores of cases for their relief. His soul was
always alive to the sufferings of his fellow creatures, and dipped into
sympathy with the oppressed; not that idle sympathy that can be
satisfied with lamenting their condition, and make no exertions for
their relief; but sympathy, like the apostle's faith, manifesting itself
in works, and extending its influence to all within its reach."

Thomas Harrison was a lively, bustling man, with a roguish twinkle in
his eye, and a humorous style of talking. Some Friends, of more quiet
temperaments than himself, thought he had more activity than was
consistent with dignity. They reminded him that Mary sat still at the
feet of Jesus, while Martha was "troubled about many things."

"All that is very well," replied Thomas; "but Mary would have had a late
breakfast, after all, if it had not been for Martha."

From among various anecdotes in which Friend Harrison's name occurs, I
select the following:


James was a slave to Mr. McCalmont of Delaware. In 1805, when he was
about thirty years old, 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. McCalmont 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 McCalmont 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 might be found.

He replied, "It does not appear that James _thought_ himself so happy,
or he would not have left his service. Even if I had no objection to
slavery, I should still be bound by every principle of honor not to
betray the confidence reposed in me. But feeling as it is well known I
do on that subject, I am surprised thou shouldst make such a proposition
to me."

They then called upon Thomas Harrison, and tried to enlist him in their
favor by repeating how well James had been treated, and how happy he was
in slavery. Friend Harrison replied, in his ironical way, "O, I know
very well that slaves sleep on feather beds, while their master's
children sleep on straw; that they eat white bread, and their master's
children eat brown. But enclose ten acres with a high wall, plant it
with Lombardy poplars and the most beautiful shrubbery, build a
magnificent castle in the midst of it, give thee pen, ink, and paper, to
write about the political elections in which thou art so much
interested, load thee with the best of everything thy heart could
desire, still I think thou wouldst want to get out beyond the wall."

The master, being unable to ascertain where his slave could be found,
finally informed Friend Hopper that he would manumit him on the receipt
of one hundred and fifty dollars. Mr. John Hart, a druggist, generously
advanced the sum, and James was indentured to him for the term of five
years. Before the contract was concluded, somebody remarked that
perhaps he would repeat his old trick of running away. "I am not afraid
of that," replied Mr. Hart. "I will tie him by the teeth;" meaning he
would feed him well.

In fact, James now appeared quite satisfied. His new master and mistress
were kind to him, and he was faithful and diligent in their service.
When a year or two had elapsed, he asked permission to visit his old
master and fellow servants. Mr. Hart kept a carriage, which he seldom
used in the winter, and he told James he might take one of the horses.
This suited his taste exactly. He mounted a noble looking animal, with
handsome saddle and bridle, and trotted off to Delaware. When he
arrived, he tied the horse and went into the kitchen. Mr. McCalmont
coming home soon after, and observing a very fine horse in his yard,
supposed he must have some distinguished visitor. Upon inquiry, he was
informed that Jim rode the horse there, and was then in the kitchen. He
went out and spoke very pleasantly to his former slave, and said he was
glad to see him. Being informed that the horse belonged to his new
master, Mr. Hart, who had kindly permitted him to use it, he ordered the
animal to be taken to the stable and supplied with hay and oats. James
was treated kindly by all the family, and spent two days very agreeably.
When about to take leave, Mr. McCalmont said to him, "Well, Jim, I am
glad to find that you have a good master, and are happy. But I had
rather you would not come here again in the style you now have; for it
will make my people dissatisfied."

James returned much pleased with his excursion, and soon went to give
Friend Hopper an account of it. He served out his time faithfully, and
remained afterward in the same family, as a hired servant.


William was a slave in Virginia. When about twenty-five years old, he
left his master and went to Philadelphia with two of his fellow slaves;
giving as a reason that he wanted to try whether he couldn't do
something for himself. When they had been absent a few months, their
master "sold them running" to Mr. Joseph Ennells, a speculator in
slaves, who procured a warrant and 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.
Ennells soon espied the three fugitives among the crowd, and made an
attempt to pounce upon them. Luckily, they saw the movement, and dodging
quickly among the multitude, they escaped.

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 immediately 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 thus addressed him: "I would advise thee to
go home and obtain thy living in some more honorable way; for the trade
in which thou art engaged is a most odious one. On a former occasion
_thou_ wert treated with leniency; and I recommend a similar 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 bind himself as a servant until he had earned enough to repay
the money that had been advanced; but he said he had searched in vain
for the two companions of his flight. They had left the city abruptly,
and he could not ascertain where they had gone. Thomas Harrison said to
him, "Perhaps thou art not aware that thou hast a legal claim to thy
freedom already; for I am a citizen of Pennsylvania, and the laws here
do not allow any man to hold a slave."

William replied, "I am too grateful for the kindness you have shown me,
to feel any disposition to take advantage of that circumstance. If I
live, you shall never lose a single cent on my account."

He was soon after indentured to Mr. Jacob Downing a respectable merchant
of Philadelphia, who agreed to pay one hundred and twenty-five dollars
for his services. This was half of the money advanced for all of them.
William served the stipulated time faithfully. His master said he never
had a more honest and useful servant; and he on his part always spoke of
the family with great respect and affection.

When the time of his indenture had expired, he called upon his old
benefactor, Thomas Harrison. After renewing his grateful acknowledgments
for the service rendered to him in extremity, he inquired whether
anything had ever been heard from the two other fugitives. Being
answered in the negative, he replied, "Well, Mr. Harrison, you paid two
hundred and fifty dollars for us, and you have not been able to find my
companions. You have received only one hundred and twenty-five dollars.
It is not right that you should lose by your kindness to us. I am
willing you should bind me again to make up the balance."

"Honest fellow! Honest fellow!" exclaimed Thomas Harrison. "Go about thy
business. Thou hast paid thy share, and I have no further claim upon
thee. Conduct as well as thou hast done since I have known thee, and
thou wilt surely prosper."

Friend Hopper happened to be present at this interview; and he used to
say, many years afterward, that he should never forget how it made his
heart glow to witness such honorable and disinterested conduct. The two
other fugitives were never heard of, and Friend Harrison of course lost
one hundred and twenty-five dollars. William frequently called upon his
benefactors, and always conducted in the most exemplary manner.


Sarah Roach, a light mulatto, was sold by her master in Maryland to a
man residing in Delaware. The laws of Delaware prohibit the introduction
of slaves, unless brought into the state by persons intending to reside
there permanently. If brought under other circumstances they become
free. Sarah remained with her new master several years before she was
made aware of this fact. Meanwhile, she gave birth to a daughter, who
was of course free, if the mother was free at the time she was born. At
last, some one informed the bondwoman that her master had no legal claim
to her services. She then left him and went to Philadelphia. But she
remained ignorant of the fact that her daughter was free, in
consequence of the universal maxim of slave law, that "the child follows
the condition of the mother."

When the girl was about sixteen years old, she absconded from Delaware,
and went to her mother, who inquired of Isaac T. Hopper what was the
best method of eluding the vigilance of her master. After ascertaining
the circumstances, he told her that her daughter was legally free, and
instructed her to inform him in case any person attempted to arrest her.

Her claimant soon discovered her place of abode, and in the summer of
1806 went in pursuit of her. Being aware that his claim had no
foundation in law, he did not attempt to establish it before any
magistrate, but seized the girl and hurried her on board a sloop, that
lay near Spruce-street wharf, unloading staves. Fearing she would be
wrested from him by the city authorities, he removed the vessel from the
wharf and anchored near an island between Philadelphia and New-Jersey. A
boat was placed alongside the sloop, into which the cargo was unloaded
and carried to the wharf they had left.

The mother went to Isaac T. Hopper in great distress, and informed him
of the transaction. He immediately made application to an alderman, who
issued a process to have the girl brought before him. Guided by two
colored men, who had followed her when she was carried off, he
immediately proceeded to the sloop, accompanied by an officer. When the
claimant saw them approaching, he went into the cabin for his gun, and
threatened them with instant death if they came near his vessel. Friend
Hopper quietly told the men to go ahead and pay no attention to his
threats. When they moored their boat alongside of the one into which
they were unloading staves, he became very vociferous, and pointing his
gun at Friend Hopper's breast, swore he should not enter the vessel.

He replied, "I have an officer with me, and I have authority from a
magistrate to bring before him a girl now in thy vessel. I think we are
prepared to show that she is free."

The man still kept his gun pointed, and told them to beware how they
attempted to come on board.

"If thou shouldst injure any person, it would be impossible for thee to
escape," replied Friend Hopper; "for thou art a hundred and twenty miles
from the Capes, with hundreds of people on the wharf to witness thy

While speaking thus, he advanced toward him until he came near enough to
seize hold of the gun and turn it aside. The man made a violent jerk to
wrest the weapon from him, and still clinging fast hold of it he was
pulled on board. In the scuffle to regain possession of his gun, the man
trod upon a roller on the deck, lost his balance, and fell sprawling on
his back. Friend Hopper seized that opportunity to throw the gun
overboard. Whereupon, a sailor near by seized an axe and came toward him
in a great rage. Even if the courageous Quaker had wished to escape,
there was no chance to do so. He advanced to meet the sailor, and
looking him full in the face said, "Thou foolish fellow, dost thou think
to frighten me with that axe, when thy companion could not do it with
his gun? Put the axe down. Thou art resisting legal authority, and
liable to suffer severely for thy conduct."

In a short time they became more moderate, but denied that the girl was
on board. The vessel was nearly emptied of her cargo, and Friend Hopper
peeping into the hold found her stowed away in a remote part of it. He
brought her on deck and took her with him into the boat, of which his
companions, including the constable, had retained possession.

The girl was uncommonly handsome, with straight hair and regular
European features. No one could have guessed from her countenance that
any of her remote ancestors were Africans.

The claimant did not make his appearance at the alderman's office. A
warrant was obtained charging him and the sailor with having resisted an
officer in the discharge of his duty. Isaac T. Hopper returned to the
sloop with a constable and brought the two men before a magistrate to
answer to this charge. They did not attempt to deny the truth of it, but
tried to excuse themselves on the plea that they resisted an attempt to
take away their property. Of course, this was of no avail, and they were
obliged to enter into bonds for their appearance at court. Being
strangers in the city, it was difficult to obtain bail, and there seemed
to be no alternative but a prison. However, as there must unavoidably be
considerable trouble and delay in procuring all the necessary evidence
concerning the birth of the alleged slave, her friends agreed to dismiss
them, if they would pay all expenses, give each of the officers five
dollars, and manumit the girl. Under existing circumstances, they were
glad to avail themselves of the offer; and so the affair was settled.


A man by the name of Daniel Godwin, in the lower part of Delaware, made
a business of buying slaves running; taking the risk of losing the small
sums paid for them under such circumstances. In the year 1806, he
purchased in this way a slave named Ezekiel, familiarly called Zeke. He
went to Philadelphia, and called on Isaac T. Hopper; thinking if he knew
where the man was, he would be glad to have his freedom secured on
moderate terms. While they were talking together, a black man happened
to walk in, and leaning on the counter looked up in Mr. Godwin's face
all the time he was telling the story of his bargain. When he had done
speaking, he said, "How do you do, Mr. Godwin? Don't you know me?"

The speculator answered that he did not.

"Then you don't remember a man that lived with your neighbor, Mr.----?"
continued he.

Mr. Godwin was at first puzzled to recollect whom he meant; but when he
had specified the time, and various other particulars, he said he did
remember such a person.

"Well," answered the black man, "I am he; and I am Zeke's brother."

The speculator inquired whether he knew where he was.

He replied, "O yes, Mr. Godwin, I know where he is, well enough. But I'm
sorry you've bought Zeke. You'll never make anything out of him. A bad
speculation, Mr. Godwin."

"Why, what's the matter with Zeke?" asked the trader.

"O, these blacks come to Philadelphia and they get into bad company,"
replied he. "They are afraid to be seen in the day-time, and so they go
prowling about in the night. I'm very sorry you've bought Zeke. He'll
never do you one cent's worth of good. A bad speculation, Mr. Godwin."

The prospect seemed rather discouraging, and the trader said, "Come now,
suppose you buy Zeke yourself? I'll sell him low."

"If I bought him, I should only have to maintain him into the bargain,"
replied the black man. "He's my brother, to be sure; but then he'll
never be good for anything."

"Perhaps he would behave better if he was free," urged Mr. Godwin.

"That's the only chance there is of his ever doing any better,"
responded the colored man. "But I'm very doubtful about it. If I should
make up my mind to give him a chance, what would you be willing to sell
him for?"

The speculator named one hundred and fifty dollars.

"Poh! Poh!" exclaimed the other. "I tell you Zeke will never be worth a
cent to you or anybody else. A hundred and fifty dollars, indeed!"

The parley continued some time longer, and the case seemed such a
hopeless one, that Mr. Godwin finally agreed to take sixty dollars. The
colored man went off, and soon returned with the required sum. Isaac T.
Hopper drew up a deed of manumission, in which the purchaser requested
him to insert that Zeke was now commonly called Samuel Johnson. The
money was paid, and the deed signed with all necessary formalities. When
the business was entirely completed, the colored man said, "Zeke is now
free, is he?" When Mr. Godwin answered, "Yes," he turned to Friend
Hopper and repeated the question: "Zeke is free, and nobody can take
him; can they, Mr. Hopper? If he was here, he would be in no danger;
would he?"

Friend Hopper replied, "Wherever Zeke may now be, I assure thee he is

Being thus assured, the black man made a low bow, and with a droll
expression of countenance said, "I hope you are very well, Mr. Godwin. I
am happy to see you, sir. I am Zeke!"

The speculator, finding himself thus outwitted, flew into a violent
rage. He seized Zeke by the collar, and began to threaten and abuse him.
But the colored man shook his fist at him, and said, "If you don't let
me go, Mr. Godwin, I'll knock you down. I'm a free citizen of these
United States; and I won't be insulted in this way by anybody."

Friend Hopper interfered between them, and Mr. Godwin agreed to go
before a magistrate to have the case examined. When the particulars had
been recounted, the magistrate answered, "You have been outwitted, sir.
Zeke is now as free as any man in this room."

There was something so exhilarating in the consciousness of being his
own man, that Zeke began to "feel his oats," as the saying is. He said
to the magistrate, "May it please your honor to grant me a warrant
against Mr. Godwin? He violently seized me by the collar; thus
committing assault and battery on a free citizen of these United

Friend Hopper told him he had better be satisfied with that day's work,
and let Mr. Godwin go home. He yielded to this expostulation, though he
might have made considerable trouble by insisting upon retaliation.


A Frenchman named M. Bouilla resided in Spring Garden, Philadelphia, in
the year 1806. He and a woman, who had lived with him some time, had in
their employ a mulatto girl of nine years old, called Amy. Dreadful
stories were in circulation concerning their cruel treatment to this
child; and compassionate neighbors had frequently solicited Friend
Hopper's interference. After a while, he heard they were about to send
her into the country; and fearing she might be sold into slavery, he
called upon M. Bouilla to inquire whither she was going. As soon as he
made known his business, the door was unceremoniously slammed in his
face and locked. A note was then sent to the Frenchman, asking for a
friendly interview; but he returned a verbal answer. "Tell Mr. Hopper to
mind his own business."

Considering it his business to protect an abused child, he applied to a
magistrate for a warrant, and proceeded to the house, accompanied by his
friend Thomas Harrison and a constable. As soon as they entered the
door, M. Bouilla ran up-stairs, and arming himself with a gun,
threatened to shoot whoever advanced toward him. Being blind, however,
he could only point the gun at random in the direction of their voices,
or of any noise which might reach his ear. The officer refused to
attempt his arrest under such peril; saying, he was under no obligation
to risk his life. Friend Hopper expostulated with the Frenchman,
explained the nature of their errand, and urged him to come down and
have the matter inquired into in an amicable way. But he would not
listen, and persisted in swearing he would shoot the first person who
attempted to come near him. At last, Friend Hopper took off his shoes,
stepped up-stairs very softly and quickly, and just as the Frenchman
became aware of his near approach, he seized the gun and held it over
his shoulder. It discharged instantly, and shattered the plastering of
the stairway, making it fly in all directions. There arose a loud cry,
"Mr. Hopper's killed! Mr. Hopper's killed!"

The gun being thus rendered harmless, the Frenchman was soon arrested,
and they all proceeded to the magistrate's office, accompanied by
several of the neighbors. There was abundant evidence that the child
had been half starved, unmercifully beaten, and tortured in various
ways. Indeed, she was such a poor, emaciated, miserable looking object,
that her appearance was of itself enough to prove the cruel treatment
she had received. When the case had been fully investigated, the
magistrate ordered her to be consigned to the care of Isaac T. Hopper,
who hastened home with her, being anxious lest his wife should
accidentally hear the rumor that he had been shot.

He afterwards ascertained that Amy was daughter of the white woman who
had aided in thus shamefully abusing her. He kept her in his family till
she became well and strong, and then bound her to one of his friends in
the country to serve till she was eighteen. She grew up a very pretty
girl, and deported herself to the entire satisfaction of the family.
When her period of service had expired, she returned to Philadelphia,
where her conduct continued very exemplary. She frequently called to see
Friend Hopper, and often expressed gratitude to him for having rescued
her from such a miserable condition.


Manuel was an active, intelligent slave in North Carolina. His master,
Mr. Joseph Spear, a tar manufacturer, employed him to transport tar, and
other produce of the place, down Tar river to Tarborough. After
laboring several years for another's benefit, Manuel began to feel
anxious to derive some advantage from his own earnings. He had children,
and it troubled him to think that they must live and die in slavery. He
was acquainted with a colored man in the neighborhood, named Samuel
Curtis, who had a certificate of freedom drawn up by the clerk of the
county, and duly authenticated, with the county seal attached to it.
Manuel thought he could easily pass for Samuel Curtis, and make his way
to Philadelphia, if he could only obtain possession of this valuable
paper. He accordingly made him a confidant of his plans, and he bought
the certificate for two dollars.

The next time Manuel was sent to Tarborough, he delivered the cargo as
usual, then left the boat and started for the North. He arrived safely
in Philadelphia, where he assumed the name of Samuel Curtis, and earned
a living by sweeping chimneys. In a short time, he had several boys in
his employ, and laid by money. When he had been going on thus for about
two years, he was suddenly met in the street by one of the neighbors of
his old master, who immediately arrested him as a fugitive from slavery.
He was taken before Robert Wharton, then mayor. The stranger declared
that the colored man he had seized was a slave, belonging to one of his
near neighbors in North Carolina. Samuel denied that he was a slave,
and showed his certificate of freedom. The stranger admitted that the
document was authentic, but he insisted that the real name of the person
who had possession of the paper was Manuel. He said he knew him
perfectly well, and also knew Samuel Curtis, who was a free colored man
in his neighborhood. The mayor decided that he could not receive parole
evidence in contradiction to a public record; and Samuel Curtis was set
at liberty.

To the honor of this worthy magistrate be it recorded that during forty
years whilst he was alderman in Philadelphia, and twenty years that he
was mayor, he never once surrendered a fugitive slave to his claimant,
though frequently called upon to do so. He used to tell Friend Hopper
that he could not conscientiously do it; that he would rather resign his
office. He often remarked that the Declaration, "All men are created
equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;"
appeared to him based on a sacred principle, paramount to all law.

When Samuel Curtis was discharged, he deemed it expedient to go to
Boston; thinking he might be safer there than in Philadelphia. But he
had not been there many days, before he met the same man who had
previously arrested him; and he by no means felt sure that the mayor of
that city would prove as friendly to the colored people as was Robert
Wharton. To add to his troubles, some villain broke open his trunk while
he was absent from his lodgings, and stole a hundred and fifty dollars
of his hard earnings. The poor fugitive began to think there was no safe
resting-place for him on the face of the earth. He returned to
Philadelphia disconsolate and anxious. He was extremely diligent and
frugal, and every year he contrived to save some money, which he put out
at interest in safe hands. At last, he was able to purchase a small lot
in Powell-street, on which he built a good three-story brick house,
where he lived with his apprentices, and let some of the rooms at a good

In 1807, he called upon Friend Hopper and told him that his eagerness to
make money had chiefly arisen from a strong desire to redeem his
children from bondage. But being a slave himself, he said it was
impossible for him to go in search of them, unless his own manumission
could be obtained. It happened that a friend of Isaac T. Hopper was
going to North Carolina. He agreed to see the master and ascertain what
could be done. Mr. Spear never expected to hear from his slave again,
and the proposition to buy him after so many years had elapsed, seemed
like finding a sum of money. He readily agreed to make out a bill of
sale for one hundred dollars, which was immediately paid.

The first use Samuel Curtis made of the freedom he had purchased was to
set off for the South in search of his children. To protect himself as
much as possible from the perils of such an undertaking, he obtained a
certificate of good character, signed by the mayor of Philadelphia, and
several of the most respectable citizens. They also gave him "a pass"
stating the object of his journey, and commending him to the protecting
kindness of those among whom he might find it necessary to travel. With
these he carefully packed his deed of manumission, and set forth on his
errand of paternal love. When he went to take leave of Friend Hopper, he
was much agitated. He clasped his hand fervently, and the tears flowed
fast down his weather-beaten cheeks. "I know I am going into the midst
of danger," said he. "Perhaps I may be seized and sold into slavery. But
I am willing to hazard everything, even my own liberty, if I can only
secure the freedom of my children. I have been a slave myself, and I
know what slaves suffer. Farewell! Farewell, my good friend. May God
bless you, and may he restore to me my children. Then I shall be a happy

He started on his journey, and went directly to his former master to
obtain information. He did not at first recognize his old servant. But
when he became convinced that the person before him was the identical
Manuel, who had formerly been his slave, he seemed pleased to see him,
entertained him kindly, and inquired how he had managed to get money
enough to buy his children.

The real Samuel Curtis, who sold him the certificate of freedom, was
dead; and since he could no longer be endangered by a statement of
particulars, the spurious Samuel related the whole story of his escape,
and of his subsequent struggles; concluding the whole by expressing an
earnest wish to find his children.

Mr. Spear had sold them, some years before, to a man in South Carolina;
and thither the father went in search of them. On arriving at the
designated place, he found they had been sold into Georgia. He went to
Georgia, and was told they had been sold to a man in Tennessee. He
followed them into Tennessee, but there he lost all track of them. After
the most patient and diligent search, he was compelled to return home
without further tidings of them.

As soon as he arrived in Philadelphia, he went to Isaac T. Hopper to
tell how the cherished plan of his life had been frustrated. He seemed
greatly dejected, and wept bitterly. "I have deprived myself of almost
every comfort," said he; "that I might save money to buy my poor
children. But now they are not to be found, and my money gives me no
satisfaction. The only consolation I have is the hope that they are all

The bereaved old man never afterward seemed to take comfort in anything.
He sunk, into a settled melancholy, and did not long survive his


In the winter of 1808, several Virginia planters went to Philadelphia to
search for eleven slaves, who had absconded. Most of these colored
people had been there several years, and some of them had acquired a
little property. Their masters had ascertained where they lived, and one
evening, when they returned from their accustomed labors, unconscious of
danger impending over them, they were pounced upon suddenly and conveyed
to prison. It was late at night when this took place, and Friend Hopper
did not hear of it till the next morning.

He had risen very early, according to his usual custom, and upon opening
his front door he found a letter slipped under it, addressed to him.
This anonymous epistle informed him that eleven slaves had been
arrested, and were to be tried before Alderman Douglass that morning;
that the owners were gentlemen of wealth and high standing, and could
produce the most satisfactory evidence that the persons arrested were
their slaves; consequently Friend Hopper's attendance could be of no
possible benefit to them. It went on to say that the magistrate
understood his business, and could do justice without his assistance;
but if, notwithstanding this warning, he did attend at the magistrate's
office, for the purpose of wresting from these gentlemen their property,
his house would be burned while himself and family were asleep in it,
and his life would certainly be taken. The writer invoked the most awful
imprecations upon himself if he did not carry these threats into

Friend Hopper was too much accustomed to such epistles to be disturbed
by them. He put it in his pocket, and said nothing about it, lest his
wife should be alarmed. A few minutes afterward, he received a message
from some colored people begging him to go to the assistance of the
fugitives; and when the trial came on, he was at the alderman's office,
of course. Richard Rush was counsel for the claimants. The colored
prisoners had no lawyer. This examination was carried on with much
earnestness and excitement. One of the Virginians failed in proof as to
the identity of the person he claimed. In the case of several others,
the power of attorney was pronounced informal by the magistrate. After a
long protracted controversy, during which Friend Hopper threw as many
difficulties in the way as possible, it was decided that four of the
persons in custody were proved to be slaves, and the other seven were
discharged. This decision greatly exasperated the Southerners, and they
vented their anger in very violent expressions. The constables employed
were unprincipled men, ready for any low business, provided it were
profitable. The man-hunters had engaged to give them fifty dollars for
each slave they were enabled to take back to Virginia; but they were to
receive nothing for those who were discharged. Hence, their extreme
anxiety to avoid Friend Hopper's interference. When they found that more
than half of their destined prey had slipped through their fingers, they
were furious. One of them especially raved like a madman. He had written
the anonymous letter, and was truly "a lewd fellow of the baser sort."

Friend Hopper's feelings were too much interested for those who had been
decreed slaves, to think anything of the abuse bestowed on himself. All
of them, three men and one woman, were married to free persons; and it
was heart-breaking to hear their lamentations at the prospect of being
separated forever. There was a general manifestation of sympathy, and
even the slaveholders were moved to compassion. Friend Hopper opened a
negotiation with them in behalf of the Abolition Society, and they
finally consented to manumit them all for seven hundred dollars. The
money was advanced by a Friend named Thomas Phipps, and the poor slaves
returned to their humble homes rejoicing. They repaid every farthing of
the money, and ever after manifested the liveliest gratitude to their

When the anger of the Southerners had somewhat cooled, Friend Hopper
invited them to come and see him. They called, and spent the evening in
discussing the subject of slavery. When they parted from the veteran
abolitionist, it was with mutual courtesy and kindliness. They said they
respected him for acting so consistently with his own principles; and if
they held the same opinions, they should doubtless pursue the same

This was a polite concession, but it was based on a false foundation;
for it assumed that it was a mere matter of _opinion_ whether slavery
were right or wrong; whereas it is a palpable violation of immutable
principles of justice. They might as well have made the same remark
about murder or robbery, if they had lived where a selfish majority were
strong enough to get those crimes sanctioned by law and custom. The
Bedouin considers himself no robber because he forcibly takes as much
toll as he pleases from all who pass through the desert. His ancestors
established the custom, and he is not one whit the less an Arab
gentleman, because he perpetuates their peculiar institution. Perhaps he
also would say that if he held the same opinions as more honest
Mahometans, he would do as they do. In former days, custom made it
honorable to steal a neighbor's cattle, on the Scottish border; as many
Americans now deem it respectable to take children from poor defenceless
neighbors, and sell them like sheep in the market. Sir Walter Scott says
playfully, "I have my quarters and emblazonments free of all stain but
Border Theft and High Treason, which I hope are _gentlemanlike crimes_"
Yet the stealing of cattle does not now seem a very noble achievement in
the eyes of honorable Scotchmen How will the stealing of children,
within bounds prescribed by law and custom, appear to future generations
of Americans?


A planter in Virginia, being pressed for money, sold one of his
bondwomen, of sixteen years old, to a speculator who was buying up
slaves for the markets of the South and South-west. The girl was
uncommonly handsome, with smooth hair, and a complexion as light as most
white people. Her new owner, allured by her beauty, treated her with
great kindness, and made many flattering promises. She understood his
motives, and wished to escape from the degradation of such a destiny as
he had in store for her. In order to conciliate her good will, he
imposed few restraints upon her. The liberty thus allowed gave her a
favorable opportunity to abscond, which she did not fail to improve. She
travelled to Philadelphia without encountering any difficulties on the
road; for her features and complexion excited no suspicion of her being
a fugitive slave. She maintained herself very comfortably by her own
industry, and after a time married a light mulatto, who was a very sober
industrious man. He was for many years employed by Joshua Humphreys, a
ship-carpenter of great respectability in the District of Southwark. By
united industry and frugality they were enabled to build a small house
on a lot they had taken on ground rent. The furniture was simple, but
extremely neat, and all the floors were carpeted. Every thing indicated
good management and domestic comfort.

She had been in Philadelphia thirteen years, and was the mother of a
promising family, when in 1808 she was arrested by her last master, as a
fugitive slave. The Virginian who sold her, and two other persons from
the South, attended as witnesses. Isaac T. Hopper also attended, with
his trusty friend Thomas Harrison. When the witnesses were examined, her
case appeared utterly hopeless; and in private conversation with Friend
Hopper she admitted that she was a slave to the man who claimed her. Mr.
Humphreys, pitying the distress of his honest, industrious workman,
offered to advance one hundred dollars toward purchasing her freedom.
But when Isaac T. Hopper and Thomas Harrison attempted to negotiate with
the claimant for that purpose, he treated all their offers with the
rudest contempt. They tried to work upon his feelings, by representing
the misery he would inflict on her worthy husband and innocent children;
but he turned a deaf ear to all their entreaties. They finally offered
to pay him four hundred dollars for a deed of manumission, which at that
time was considered a very high price; but he stopped all further
discussion by declaring, with a violent oath, that he would not sell her
on _any_ terms. Of course, there was nothing to be done, but to await
the issue of the trial.

When the magistrate asked the woman whether she were a slave, Friend
Hopper promptly objected to her answering that question, unless he would
agree to receive as evidence _all_ she might say. He declined doing
that. Friend Hopper then made some remarks, in the course of which he
said, "The most honest witnesses are often mistaken as to the identity
of persons. It surprises me that the witnesses in this case should be so
very positive, when the woman was but sixteen years old at the time they
say she eloped, and such a long period has since elapsed.

"The question at stake is as important as life itself to this woman, to
her honest husband, and to her poor little innocent children. For my
own part, I conscientiously believe she has a _just_ claim to her

All this time, the woman stood holding her little girl and boy by the
hand. She was deeply dejected, but her manners were as calm and
dignified, as if she had been one of the best educated ladies in the
land. The children were too young to understand the terrible doom that
threatened their mother, but they perceived that their parents were in
some great trouble, and the little creatures wept in sympathy.

When Friend Hopper described this scene forty years afterward, he used
to say, "I shall never forget the anguish expressed in her handsome
countenance, as she looked down upon her children. I see it as plainly
as if it all happened yesterday."

At the time, it was almost too much for his sympathizing heart to
endure. He felt like moving heaven and earth to rescue her. The trial
came on in the afternoon, and it happened that the presiding magistrate
was accustomed to drink rather freely of wine after dinner. Friend
Hopper perceived that his mental faculties were slightly confused, and
that the claimant was a heavy, stupid-looking fellow. With these
thoughts there suddenly flashed through his brain the plan of eluding an
iniquitous law, in order to sustain a higher law of justice and
humanity. He asked to have the case adjourned till the next day, that
there might be further opportunity to inquire into it; adding, "Thomas
Harrison and myself will be responsible to the United States for this
woman's appearance to-morrow. In case of forfeiture, we will agree to
pay any sum that may be deemed reasonable."

The claimant felt perfectly sure of his prey, and made no objection to
the proposed arrangement. It was accordingly entered on the docket that
Thomas Harrison and Isaac T. Hopper were bound to the United States, in
the sum of one thousand dollars, to produce the woman for further trial
at nine o'clock the next morning.

When Friend Hopper had obtained a copy of the recognizance, signed by
the magistrate, he chuckled inwardly and marched out of the office. If
there was a flaw in anything, Thomas Harrison had a jocose way of
saying, "There is a hole in the ballad." As they went into the street
together, his friend said, "Thomas, there's a hole in the ballad. The
recognizance we have just signed is good for nothing. The United States
have not the slightest claim upon that woman."

The next morning, at nine o'clock all parties, except the woman, were at
the mayor's office. After waiting for her about an hour, the magistrate
said, "Well gentlemen, the woman does not make her appearance, and I
shall be obliged to forfeit your recognizance."

"A thousand dollars is a large sum to lose," rejoined Friend Hopper.
"But if it comes to the worst, I suppose we must make up our minds to
pay the United States all the claim they have upon us."

"The United States! The United States!" exclaimed the magistrate
quickly. He turned to look at his docket, and after a slight pause he
said to the claimant, "There is difficulty here. You had better employ

Thomas Ross, a respectable lawyer, who lived a few doors above, was
summoned, and soon made his appearance. Having heard the particulars of
the case briefly stated, he also examined the docket; then turning to
Isaac T. Hopper, with a comical gesture and tone, he exclaimed, "Eh!" To
the claimant he said, "You must catch your slave again if you can; for
you can do nothing with these securities."

Of course, the master was very angry, and so was the magistrate, who had
inadvertently written the recognizance just as it was dictated to him.
They charged Friend Hopper with playing a trick upon them, and
threatened to prosecute him. He told them he had no fears concerning a
prosecution; and if he _had_ played a trick, he thought it was better
than to see a helpless woman torn from husband and children and sent
into slavery.

The magistrate asked, "How could you say you believed the woman had a
right to her freedom? You have brought forward no evidence whatever to
prove your assertion."

He replied, "I did not say I believed she had a _legal_ right to her
freedom. That she had a _just_ right to it, I did believe; for I think
every human being has a just claim to freedom, unless guilty of some
crime. The system of slavery is founded on the grossest and most
manifest injustice."

"It is sanctioned by the law of the land," answered the claimant; "and
you have no right to fly in the face of the laws."

Friend Hopper contented himself with saying, "If I have broken any law,
I stand ready to meet the consequences. But no law can make wrong

The speculator spent several days in fruitless search after the
fugitive. When he had relinquished all hopes of finding her, he called
on Isaac T. Hopper and offered to manumit her for four hundred dollars.
He replied, "At one time, we would gladly have given that sum; but now
the circumstances of the case are greatly changed, and we cannot consent
to give half that amount." After considerable controversy he finally
agreed to take one hundred and fifty dollars. The money was paid, and
the deed of manumission made out in due form. At parting, the claimant
said, with a very bitter smile, "I hope I may live to see you south of
the Potomac some day."

Friend Hopper replied, "Thou hadst better go home and repent of sins
already committed, instead of meditating the commission of more."

When telling this story in after years, he was wont to say, "I am aware
that some will disapprove of the part I acted in that case; because they
will regard it as inconsistent with the candor which men ought always to
practice toward each other. I can only say that my own conscience has
never condemned me for it. I could devise no other means to save the
poor victim."

Before we decide to blame Friend Hopper more than he blamed himself in
this matter, it would be well to imagine how we ourselves should have
felt, if we had been witnesses of the painful scene, instead of reading
it in cool blood, after a lapse of years. If a handsome and modest woman
stood before us with her weeping little ones, asking permission to lead
a quiet and virtuous life, and a pitiless law was about to tear her from
husband and children and consign her to the licentious tyrant from whom
she had escaped, should we not be strongly tempted to evade such a law
by any means that offered at the moment?

It would be wiser to expend our moral indignation on statesmen who
sanction and sustain laws so wicked, that just and kind-hearted citizens
are compelled either to elude them, or to violate their own honest
convictions and the best emotions of their hearts.


In the year of 1808 a Southerner arrested a fugitive slave in
Philadelphia and committed him to prison. When he called for him, with
authority to take him back to the South, the poor fellow seemed
dreadfully distressed. He told the keeper that his master was very
severe, and he knew that terrible sufferings awaited him if he was again
placed in his power. He hesitated long before he followed the keeper to
the iron gate, through which he was to pass out of prison. When he saw
his oppressor standing there with fetters in his hand, ready to take him
away, he stopped and pleaded in the most piteous tones for permission to
find a purchaser in Philadelphia. His owner took not the slightest
notice of these humble entreaties, but in a peremptory manner ordered
him to come out. The slave trembled all over, and said in the fainting
accents of despair, "Master, I _can't_ go with you!"

"Come out, you black rascal!" exclaimed the inexorable tyrant. "Come out

The poor wretch advanced timidly a few steps, then turned back
suddenly, as if overcome with mortal fear. The master became very
impatient, and in angry vociferous tones commanded the keeper to bring
him out by force.

All this time, the keeper had stood with his hand on the key of the iron
door, very reluctant to open it. But at last he unlocked it, and told
the poor terrified creature that he must go. He rushed to the door in
the frenzy of desperation, gazed in his master's face for an instant,
then flew back, took a sharp knife, which he had concealed about him,
and drew it across his throat with such force, that he fell senseless
near his master's feet, spattering his garments with blood. All those
who witnessed this awful scene, supposed the man was dead. Dr. Church,
physician of the prison, examined the wound, and said there was scarcely
a possibility that he could survive, though the wind-pipe was not
entirely separated. But even the terrible admonition of that ghastly
spectacle produced no relenting feelings in the hard heart of the
slaveholder. He still demanded to have his victim delivered up to him.
When the keeper declined doing it, and urged the reason that the
physician said he could not be moved without imminent danger to his
life, the brutal tyrant exclaimed, "Damn him! He's my property; and I
_will_ have him, dead or alive. If he dies, it's nobody's loss but

As he had the mayor's warrant for taking him, the keeper dared not incur
the responsibility of disobeying his requisitions. He convened the
inspectors for consultation; and they all agreed that any attempt to
remove the wounded man would render them accessory to his death. They
laid the case before the mayor, who ordered that the prisoner should
remain undisturbed till the physician pronounced him out of danger. When
the master was informed of this, he swore that nobody had any right to
interfere between him and his property. He cursed the mayor, threatened
to prosecute the keeper, and was in a furious rage with every body.

Meanwhile, the sympathy of Isaac T. Hopper was strongly excited in the
case, and he obtained a promise from the physician that he would let him
know if there was any chance that the slave would recover. Contrary to
all expectation, he lingered along day after day; and in about a week,
the humane physician signified to Friend Hopper, and Joseph Price, one
of the inspectors, that a favorable result might now be anticipated. Of
course, none of them considered it a duty to inform the master of their
hopes. They undertook to negotiate for the purchase of the prisoner, and
obtained him for a moderate price. The owner was fully impressed with
the belief that he would die before long, and therefore regarded the
purchase of him as a mere freak of humanity, by which he was willing
enough to profit. When he heard soon afterward that the doctor
pronounced him out of danger, he was greatly enraged. But his suffering
victim was beyond the reach of his fury, which vented itself in harmless

The colored man lived many years, to enjoy the liberty for which he had
been willing to sacrifice his life. He was a sober, honest,
simple-hearted person, and always conducted in a manner entirely
satisfactory to those who had befriended him in his hour of utmost need.


Early in the year of 1808, a Frenchman arrived in Philadelphia from one
of the West India Islands, bringing with him a slave, whom he took
before one of the aldermen, and had him bound to serve him seven years
in Virginia. When the indenture was executed, he committed his bondman
to prison, for safe-keeping, until he was ready to leave the city. One
of the keepers informed Isaac T. Hopper of the circumstance, and told
him the slave was to be carried South the next morning.

Congress had passed an Act prohibiting the importation of slaves, which
was to begin to take effect at the commencement of the year 1808. It
immediately occurred to Friend Hopper that the present case came within
the act; and if so, the colored man was of course legally entitled to
freedom. In order to detain him till he could examine the law, and take
advice on the subject, he procured a warrant for debt and lodged it at
the prison, telling the keeper not to let the colored man go till he had
paid his demand of a hundred dollars.

When the Frenchman called for his slave next morning, they refused to
discharge him; and he obtained a writ of _habeas corpus_, to bring the
case before the mayor's court. Friend Hopper was informed that the slave
was on trial, that the Recorder did not think it necessary to notify
him, and had made very severe remarks concerning the fictitious debt
assumed for the occasion. He proceeded directly to the court, which was
thronged with people, who watched him with lively curiosity, and made a
lane for him to pass through. Mahlon Dickinson, the Recorder, was in the
act of giving his decision on the case, and he closed his remarks by
saying, "The conduct of Mr. Hopper has been highly reprehensible. The
man is not his debtor; and the pretence that he was so could have been
made for no other reason but to cause unnecessary delay, vexation, and
expense." The lawyers smiled at each other, and seemed not a little
pleased at hearing him so roughly rebuked; for many of them had been
more or less annoyed by his skill and ready wit in tangling their
skein, in cases where questions of freedom were involved. Friend Hopper
stood before the Recorder, looking him steadfastly in the face, while he
was making animadversions on his conduct; and when he had finished, he
respectfully asked leave to address the court for a few minutes.

"Well, Mr. Hopper," said the Recorder, "what have you to say in
justification of your very extraordinary proceedings?"

He replied, "It is true the man is not my debtor; but the court has
greatly erred in supposing that the step I have taken was merely
intended to produce unnecessary delay and expense. The Recorder will
doubtless recollect that Congress has passed an act prohibiting the
introduction of foreign slaves into this country. It is my belief that
the case now before the court is embraced within the provisions of that
act. But I needed time to ascertain the point; and I assumed that the
man was my debtor merely to detain him until the Act of Congress could
be examined."

Jared Ingersoll, an old and highly respectable lawyer, rose to say, "May
it please your honors, I believe Mr. Hopper is correct in his opinion. A
National Intelligencer containing the Act of Congress is at my office,
and I will send for it if you wish." The paper was soon brought, and
Friend Hopper read aloud the section which Mr. Ingersoll pointed out;
placing strong emphasis on such portions as bore upon the case then
pending. When he had concluded, he observed, "I presume the court must
now be convinced that the censures so liberally bestowed on my conduct
are altogether unmerited."

The counsel for the claimant said a newspaper was not legal evidence of
the existence of a law. Friend Hopper replied, "The court is well aware
that I am no lawyer. But I have heard lawyers talk about _prima facie_
evidence; and I should suppose the National Intelligencer amounted at
least to that sort of evidence, for it is the acknowledged organ of
government, in which the laws are published for the information of
citizens. But if that is not satisfactory, I presume the court will
detain the man until an authenticated copy of the law can be obtained."

After some discussion, the court ordered a copy of the law to be
procured; but the attorney abandoned the case, and the slave was set at

As soon as this decision was announced, the throng of spectators, white
and colored, began to shout, "Hurra for Mr. Hopper!" The populace were
so accustomed to see him come off victorious from such contests, that
they began to consider his judgment infallible.

Many years afterward, when Friend Hopper met Mahlon Dickinson on board
a steam-boat, he inquired whether he recollected the scolding he gave
him on a certain occasion. He replied pleasantly, "Indeed I do. I
thought I _had_ you that time, and I intended to give it to you; but you
slipped through my fingers, as usual."


In the year 1809, a gentleman from East New-Jersey visited Philadelphia,
and brought a young slave to wait upon him. When they had been in that
city four or five months, the lad called upon Isaac T. Hopper to inquire
whether his residence in Philadelphia had made him free. He was informed
that he would not have a legal claim to freedom till he had been there
six months. Just as the term expired, somebody told the master that the
laws of Pennsylvania conferred freedom on slaves under such
circumstances. He had been ignorant of the fact, or had forgotten it,
and as soon as he received the information he became alarmed lest he
should lose his locomotive property. He sent for a constable, who came
to his door with a carriage. The lad had just come up from the cellar
with an armful of wood. When he entered the parlor, the constable
ordered him to put it down and go with him. He threw the wood directly
at the legs of the officer, and ran down cellar full speed, slamming the
door after him. As soon as the constable could recover from the blow he
had received, he followed the lad into the cellar; but he had escaped by
another door, and gone to Isaac T. Hopper.

It was snowing fast, and when he arrived there in his shirt sleeves, his
black wool plentifully powdered with snow, he was a laughable object to
look upon. But his countenance showed that he was too thoroughly
frightened and distressed to be a subject of mirth to any compassionate
heart. Friend Hopper tried to comfort him by promising that he would
protect him, and assuring him that he was now legally free. His
agitation subsided in a short time, and he began to laugh heartily to
think how he had upset the constable. The master soon came to Friend
Hopper's house, described the lad's dress and appearance, and inquired
whether he had seen him. He admitted that he had, but declined telling
where he was. The master made some severe remarks about the meanness of
tampering with gentlemen's servants, and went away. In about half an
hour he returned with the constable and said Alderman Kepler desired his
respects to Isaac T. Hopper, and wished to see him at his office. He
replied, "I think it likely that Alderman Kepler has not much more
respect for me than I have for him. If he has more _business_ with me
than I have with him, I am at home, and can be spoken with."

The master went away, but soon returned with two constables and a
lawyer, who was very clamorous in his threats of what would be the
consequences if the slave was not at once surrendered to the gentleman.
One of the officers said he had a warrant to search the house. "Very
well," replied Friend Hopper, "execute it."

"I have great respect for you," rejoined the officer. "I should be sorry
to search your house by virtue of the warrant. I hope you will consent
to my doing so without."

"There is no need of delicacy on this occasion," replied Friend Hopper.
"Thou hadst better proceed to the extent of thy authority."

"You give your consent, do you?" inquired the officer.

He answered, "No, I do not. If thou hast a warrant, of course my consent
is not necessary. Proceed to the full extent of thy authority. But if
thou goest one inch beyond, thou wilt have reason to repent of it."

The party left the house utterly discomfited. He afterward learned that
they had applied for a search-warrant, but could not procure one.

The first step in the process of securing the lad's freedom was to
obtain proof that he had been in Philadelphia six months. The landlord
of the hotel where the master lodged, refused to say anything on the
subject, being unwilling to offend his lodger. But the servants were
under no such prudential restraint; and from them Friend Hopper obtained
testimony sufficient for his purpose. He then wrote a note to the
alderman that he would be at his office with the lad at nine o'clock
next morning, and requesting him to inform the claimant. In the mean
time, he procured a writ of _habeas corpus_, to have it in readiness in
case circumstances required it. The claimant made his appearance at the
appointed hour, and stated how he had come to Philadelphia on a visit,
and brought a slave to attend upon him. He descanted quite largely upon
the courtesy due from citizens of one state to those of another state.

Friend Hopper was about to reply, when the magistrate interrupted him by
saying, "I shall not interfere with the citizens of other states. I
shall surrender the boy to his master. If he thinks he has a legal claim
to his freedom, let him prosecute it in New-Jersey."

Friend Hopper said nothing, but gave a signal to have the writ served.
The magistrate was highly offended, and asked in an angry tone, "What
was your object in procuring a writ of _habeas corpus_?"

Friend Hopper replied, "From my knowledge of thee, I anticipated the
result that has just occurred; and I determined to remove the case to a
tribunal where I had confidence that justice would be done in the

The Court of Common Pleas was then in session. The case was brought
before it the next day, and after the examination of two or three
witnesses, the lad was declared free.


In 1810, a slave escaped from Virginia to Philadelphia. In a few months,
his master heard where he was, and caused him to be arrested. He was a
fine looking young man, apparently about thirty years old. When he was
brought before Alderman Shoemaker, that magistrate's sympathy was so
much excited, that he refused to try the case unless some one was
present to defend the slave. Isaac T. Hopper was accordingly sent for.
When he had heard a statement of the case, he asked the agent of the
slaveholder to let him examine the Power of Attorney by which he had
been authorized to arrest a "fugitive from labor," and carry him to
Virginia. The agent denied his right to interfere, but Alderman
Shoemaker informed him that Mr. Hopper was a member of the Emancipation
Society, and had a right to be satisfied.

The Power of Attorney was correctly drawn, and had been acknowledged in
Washington, before Bushrod Washington, one of the judges of the Supreme
Court of the United States. Friend Hopper's keen eye could detect no
available flaw in it. When the agent had been sworn to answer truly all
questions relating to the case, he inquired whether the fugitive he was
in search of had been advertised; if so, he wished to see the
advertisement. It was handed to him, and he instantly noticed that it
was headed "Sixty Dollars Reward."

"Art thou to receive sixty dollars for apprehending the man mentioned in
this advertisement?" said he.

The agent replied, "I am to receive that sum provided I take him home to

"How canst thou prove that the man thou hast arrested is the one here
advertised?" inquired he.

The agent answered that he could swear to the fact.

"That may be," rejoined Friend Hopper; "but in Philadelphia we do not
allow any person, especially a stranger, to swear sixty dollars into his
own pocket. Unless there is better evidence than thy oath, the man must
be set at liberty."

The agent became extremely irritated, and said indignantly, "Do you
think I would swear to a lie?"

"Thou art a stranger to me," replied Friend Hopper. "I don't know
whether thou wouldst swear falsely or not. But there is one thing I do
know; and that is, I am not willing to trust thee."

The agent reiterated, "I know the man standing there as well as I know
any man living. I am perfectly sure he is the slave described in the
advertisement. I was overseer for the gentleman who owns him. If you
examine his back, you will find scars of the whip."

"And perhaps thou art the man who made the scars, if he has any,"
rejoined the Friend.

Without replying to this suggestion, the slave-hunter ordered the
colored man to strip, that his back might be examined by the court.
Friend Hopper objected to such a proceeding. "Thou hast produced no
evidence that the man thou hast arrested is a slave," said he. "Thou and
he are on the same footing before this court. We have as good a right to
examine thy back, as are have to examine his." He added, with a very
significant tone, "In some places, they whip for kidnapping."

This remark put the slave-hunter in a violent rage. The magistrate
decided that his evidence was not admissible, on the ground that he was
interested. He then proposed to summon two witnesses from a Virginian
vessel lying at one of the wharves.

"Of course thou art at liberty to go for witnesses," replied Friend
Hopper. "But I appeal to the magistrate to discharge this man. Under
present circumstances, he ought not to be detained a single moment." The
alderman needed no urging on that point. He very promptly discharged the
prisoner. As soon as he left the office, the slave-hunter seized hold of
him, and swore he would keep him till witnesses were brought. But Friend
Hopper walked up to him, and said in his resolute way, "Let go thy hold!
or I will take such measures as will make thee repent of thy rashness.
How darest thou lay a finger upon the man after the magistrate has
discharged him?"

Thus admonished, he reluctantly relinquished his grasp, and went off
swearing vengeance against "the meddlesome Quaker."

Friend Hopper hastened home with the colored man, and wrote a brief
letter to his friend William Reeve, in New-Jersey, concluding with these
words: "Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto the
least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." This letter was
given to the fugitive with directions how to proceed. His friend
accompanied him to the ferry, saw him safely across the river, and then
returned home.

In an hour or two the slave-hunter came to the house, accompanied by a
constable and two witnesses from Virginia. "The slave I arrested was
seen to come here," said he. "Where is he? Produce him."

Friend Hopper replied very quietly, "The man has been here; but he is
gone now."

This answer made the agent perfectly furious. After discharging a volley
of oaths, he said he had a search warrant, and swore he would have the
house searched from garret to cellar. "Very well," replied Friend
Hopper, "thou art at liberty to proceed according to law; but be careful
not to overstep that boundary. If thou dost, it will be at thy peril."

After the slave-hunter had vented his rage in a torrent of abuse, the
constable proposed to speak a few words in private. With many friendly
professions, he acknowledged that they had no search-warrant. "The
gentleman was about to obtain one from the mayor," said he; "but I
wished to save your feelings. I told him you were well acquainted with
me, and I had no doubt you would permit me to search your house without
any legal process."

Friend Hopper listened patiently, perfectly well aware that the whole
statement was a sham. When the constable paused for a reply, he opened
the door, and said very concisely, "Thou art at liberty to go about thy

They spent several days searching for the fugitive, but their efforts
were unavailing.


A woman, who was born too early to derive benefit from the gradual
emancipation law of Pennsylvania, escaped from bondage in Lancaster
County to Philadelphia. There she married a free colored man by the name
of Abraham Morris. They lived together very comfortably for several
years, and seemed to enjoy life as much as many of their more wealthy
neighbors. But in the year 1810, it unfortunately happened that Mary's
master ascertained where she lived, and sent a man to arrest her, with
directions either to sell her, or bring her back to him.

Abraham Morris was a very intelligent, industrious man, and had laid up
some money. He offered one hundred and fifty dollars of his earnings to
purchase the freedom of his wife. The sum was accepted, and the parties
applied to Daniel Bussier, a magistrate in the District of Southwark, to
draw up a deed of manumission. The money was paid, and the deed given;
but the agent employed to sell the woman absconded with the money. The
master, after waiting several months and not hearing from him, sent to
Philadelphia and caused Mary Morris to be arrested again. She was taken
to the office of Daniel Bussier, and notwithstanding he had witnessed
her deed of manumission a few months before, he committed her to prison
as a fugitive slave. When her husband called upon Isaac T. Hopper and
related all the circumstances, he thought there must be some mistake;
for he could not believe that any magistrate would be so unjust and
arbitrary, as to commit a woman to prison as a fugitive, when he had
seen the money paid for her ransom, and the deed of manumission given.
He went to Mr. Bussier immediately, and very civilly told him that he
had called to make inquiry concerning a colored woman committed to
prison as a fugitive slave on the evening previous.

"Go out of my office!" said the undignified magistrate. "I want nothing
to do with you."

He replied, "I come here as the friend and adviser of the woman's
husband. My request is reasonable, and I trust thou wilt not refuse it."

In answer to this appeal, Mr. Bussier merely repeated, "Go out of my

Friend Hopper offered him half a dollar, saying, "I want an extract from
thy docket. Here is the lawful fee."

All this time, Mr. Bussier had been under the hands of a barber, who was
cutting his hair. He became extremely irritated, and said, "If you won't
leave this office, I will put you out, as soon as I have taken the seat
of justice."

"I wish thou wouldst take the seat of justice," replied Friend Hopper;
"for then I should obtain what I want; but if thou dost, I apprehend it
will be for the first time."

Mr. Bussier sprang hastily from his chair, and seated himself at the
magisterial desk, which was raised about a foot from the floor, and
surrounded by a railing. Conceiving himself now armed with the thunders
of the law, he called out, in tones of authority, "Mr. Hopper, I command
you to quit this office!"

The impassive Quaker stood perfectly still, and pointing to Abraham
Morris, he again tendered the half dollar, saying, "I want an extract
from thy docket, in the case of this man's wife. Here is the lawful fee
for it. Please give it to me."

This quiet perseverance deprived the excited magistrate of what little
patience he had left. He took the importunate petitioner by the
shoulders, pushed him into the street, and shut the door.

Friend Hopper then applied to Jacob Rush, President of the Court of
Common Pleas for a writ of _habeas corpus._ The woman was brought before
him, and when he had heard the particulars of the case, and examined her
deed of manumission, he immediately discharged her, to the great joy of
herself and husband.

Friend Hopper thought it might be a useful lesson for Mr. Bussier to
learn that his "little brief authority" had boundaries which could not
be passed with impunity. He accordingly had him indicted for assault
and battery. He and his political friends were a good deal ashamed of
his conduct, and finally, after many delays in bringing on the trial,
and various attempts to hush up the matter, Mr. Bussier called upon
Friend Hopper to say that he deeply regretted the course he had pursued.
His apology was readily accepted, and the case dismissed; he agreeing to
pay the costs.


Gassy was slave to a merchant in Baltimore, by the name of Claggett. She
had reason to believe that her master was about to sell her to a
speculator, who was making up a coffle for the markets of the far South.
The terror felt in view of such a prospect can be understood by slaves
only. She resolved to escape; and watching a favorable opportunity, she
succeeded in reaching the neighborhood of Haddonfield, New Jersey. There
she obtained service in a very respectable family. She was honest,
steady, and industrious, and made many friends by her cheerful, obliging
manners. But her heart was never at rest; for she had left in Baltimore
a babe little more than a year old. She had not belonged to an unusually
severe master; but she had experienced quite enough of the sufferings of
slavery to dread it for her child. Her thoughts dwelt so much on this
painful subject, that her naturally cheerful character became extremely
saddened. She at last determined to make a bold effort to save her
little one from the liability of being sold, like a calf or pig in the
shambles. She went to see Isaac T. Hopper and communicated to him her
plan. He tried to dissuade her; for he considered the project extremely
dangerous, and well nigh hopeless. But the mother's heart yearned for
her babe, and the incessant longing stimulated her courage to incur all
hazards. To Baltimore she went; her pulses throbbing hard and fast, with
the double excitement of hope and fear. She arrived safely, and went
directly to the house of a colored family, old friends of hers, in whom
she could confide with perfect safety. To her great joy, she found that
they approved her plan, and were ready to assist her. Arrangements were
soon made to convey the child to a place about twenty miles from
Baltimore, where it would be well taken care of, till the mother could
find a safe opportunity to remove it to New Jersey.

Before she had time to take all the steps necessary to insure success in
this undertaking, her master was informed of her being in the city, and
sent constables in pursuit of her. Luckily, her friends were apprized of
this in season to give her warning; and her own courage and ingenuity
proved adequate to the emergency. She disguised herself in sailor's
clothes, and walked boldly to the Philadelphia boat. There she walked
up and down the deck, with her arms folded, smoking a cigar, and
occasionally passing and repassing the constables who had been sent on
board in search of her. These men, having watched till the last moment
for the arrival of a colored woman answering to her description, took
their departure. The boat started, and brought the courageous mother
safely to Philadelphia, where Friend Hopper and others rejoiced over the
history of her hair-breadth escape.

A few weeks after, she went to the place where her child had been left,
and succeeded in bringing it safely away. For a short time, her
happiness seemed to be complete; but when the first flush of joy and
thankfulness had subsided, she began to be harassed with continual fears
lest she and her child should be arrested in some evil hour, and carried
back into slavery. By unremitting industry, and very strict economy, she
strove to lay by money enough to purchase their freedom. She had made
friends by her good conduct and obliging ways, while her maternal
affection and enterprising character excited a good deal of interest
among those acquainted with her history. Donations were occasionally
added to her earnings, and a sum was soon raised sufficient to
accomplish her favorite project. Isaac T. Hopper entered into
negotiation with her master, and succeeded in obtaining manumission for
her and her child.


A slave escaped from Colonel Ridgeley, who resided in the southern part
of Virginia. He went to Philadelphia, and remained there undiscovered
for several years. But he was never quite free from anxiety, lest in
some unlucky hour, he should be arrested and carried back to bondage.
When he had laid up some money, he called upon Isaac T. Hopper to assist
him in buying the free use of his own limbs. A negotiation was opened
with Col. Ridgeley, who agreed to take two hundred dollars for the
fugitive, and appointed a time to come to Philadelphia to arrange the
business. But instead of keeping his agreement honorably, he went to
that city several weeks before the specified time, watched for his
bondman, seized him, and conveyed him to Friend Hopper's office. When
the promised two hundred dollars were offered, he refused to accept

"Why, that is the sum thou hast agreed upon," said Friend Hopper.

"I know that," replied the Colonel; "but I won't take it now. He was the
best servant I ever had. I can sell him for one thousand dollars in
Virginia. Under present circumstances, I will take five hundred dollars
for him, and not one cent less."

After considerable discussion, Friend Hopper urged him to allow his
bondman until ten o'clock next morning, to see what could be done among
his friends; and he himself gave a written obligation that the man
should be delivered up to him at that hour, in case he could not procure
five hundred dollars to purchase his freedom.

When the master was gone, Friend Hopper said to the alarmed fugitive,
"There now remains but one way for thee to obtain thy freedom. As to
raising five hundred dollars, that is out of the question. But if thou
wilt be prompt and resolute, and do precisely as I tell thee, I think
thou canst get off safely."

"I will do anything for freedom," replied the bondman; "for I have made
up my mind, come what may, that I never will go back into slavery."

"Very well then," rejoined his friend. "Don't get frightened when the
right moment comes to act; but keep thy wits about thee, and do as I
tell thee. Thy master will come here to-morrow at ten o'clock, according
to appointment. I must deliver thee up to him, and receive back the
obligation for one thousand dollars, which I have given him. Do thou
stand with thy back against the door, which opens from this room into
the parlor. When he has returned the paper to me, open the door
quickly, lock it on the inside, and run through the parlor into the
back-yard. There is a wall there eight feet high, with spikes at the
top. Thou wilt find a clothes-horse leaning against it, to help thee up.
When thou hast mounted, kick the clothes-horse down behind thee, drop on
the other side of the wall, and be off." The premises were then shown to
him, and he received minute directions through what alleys and streets
he had better pass, and at what house he could find a temporary refuge.

Col. Ridgeley came the next morning, at the appointed hour, and brought
a friend to stand sentinel at the street door, lest the slave should
attempt to rush out. It did not occur to him that there was any danger
of his running _in_.

"We have not been able to raise the five hundred dollars," said Friend
Hopper; "and here is thy man, according to agreement."

The Colonel gave back his obligation for one thousand dollars; and the
instant it left his hand, the fugitive passed into the parlor. The
master sprang over the counter after him, but found the door locked.
Before he could get to the back yard by another door, the wall was
scaled, the clothes-horse thrown down, and the fugitive was beyond his
reach. Of course, he returned very much disappointed and enraged;
declaring his firm belief that a trick had been played upon him
purposely. After he had given vent to his anger some little time, Friend
Hopper asked for a private interview with him. When they were alone
together in the parlor, he said, "I admit this was an intentional trick;
but I had what seemed to me good reasons for resorting to it. In the
first place, thou didst not keep the agreement made with me, but sought
to gain an unfair advantage. In the next place, I knew that man was thy
own son; and I think any person who is so unfeeling as to make traffic
of his own flesh and blood, deserves to be tricked out of the chance to
do it."

"What if he is my son?" rejoined the Virginian. "I've as good a right to
sell my own flesh and blood as that of any other person. If I choose to
do it, it is none of your business." He opened the door, and beckoning
to his friend, who was in waiting, he said, "Hopper admits this was all
a trick to set the slave free." Then turning to Friend Hopper, he added,
"You admit it was a trick, don't you?"

"Thou and I will talk that matter over by ourselves," he replied. "The
presence of a third person is not always convenient."

The Colonel went off in a violent passion, and forgetting that he was
not in Virginia, he rushed into the houses of several colored people,
knocked them about, overturned their beds, and broke their furniture,
in search of the fugitive. Being unable to obtain any information
concerning him, he cooled down considerably, and went to inform Friend
Hopper that he would give a deed of manumission for two hundred dollars;
but his offer was rejected.

"Why that was your own proposal!" vociferated the Colonel.

"Very true," he replied; "and I offered thee the money; but thou refused
to take it."

After storming awhile, the master went off to obtain legal advice from
the Hon. John Sergeant. Meanwhile, several of the colored people had
entered a complaint against him for personal abuse, and damage done to
their furniture. He was obliged to give bonds for his appearance at the
next court, to answer their accusations. This was a grievous humiliation
for a proud Virginian, who had been educated to think that colored
people had no civil rights. In this unpleasant dilemma, his lawyer
advised him to give a deed of manumission for one hundred and fifty
dollars; promising to exert his influence to have the mortifying suits

The proposed terms were accepted, and the money promptly paid by the
slave from his own earnings. But when Mr. Sergeant proposed that the
suits for assault and battery should be withdrawn, Friend Hopper
replied, "I have no authority to dismiss them."

"They will be dismissed if you advise it," rejoined the lawyer; "and if
you will promise to do it, I shall be perfectly satisfied."

"These colored people have been very badly treated," answered Friend
Hopper. "If the aggressor wants to settle the affair, he had better go
to them and offer some equivalent for the trouble he has given."

The lawyer replied, "When he agreed to manumit the man for one hundred
and fifty dollars, he expected these suits would be dismissed, of
course, as a part of the bargain. What sum do you think these people
will take to withdraw them?"

Friend Hopper said he thought they would do it for one hundred and fifty

"I will pay it," replied Mr. Sergeant; "for Colonel Ridgeley is very
anxious to return home."

Thus the money paid for the deed of manumission was returned. Forty
dollars were distributed among the colored people, to repay the damage
done to their property. After some trifling incidental expenses had been
deducted, the remainder was returned to the emancipated slave; who thus
obtained his freedom for about fifty dollars, instead of the sum
originally offered.


About the year 1826, a Marylander, by the name of Solomon Low, arrested
a fugitive slave in Philadelphia, and took him to the office of an
alderman to obtain the necessary authority for carrying him back into
bondage. Finding the magistrate gone to dinner, they placed the colored
man in the entry, while Mr. Low and his companions guarded the door.
Some of the colored people soon informed Isaac T. Hopper of these
circumstances, and he hastened to the office. Observing the state of
things there, he concluded it would be no difficult matter to give the
colored man a chance to escape. He stepped up to the men at the door,
and demanded in a peremptory manner by what authority they were holding
that man in duress. Mr. Low replied, "He is my slave."

"This is strange conduct," rejoined Friend Hopper. "Who can tell whether
he is thy slave or not? What proof is there that you are not a band of
kidnappers? Dost thou suppose the laws of Pennsylvania tolerate such

These charges arrested the attention of Mr. Low and his companions, who
turned round to answer the speaker. The slave, seeing their backs toward
him for an instant, seized that opportunity to rush out; and he had run
two or three rods before they missed him. They immediately raised the
cry of "Stop Thief! Stop Thief!" An Irishman, who joined in the
pursuit, arrested the fugitive and brought him back to his master.

Friend Hopper remonstrated with him; saying, "The man is not a thief.
They claim him for a slave, and he was running for liberty. How wouldst
thou like to be made a slave?"

The kind-hearted Hibernian replied, "Then they lied; for they said he
was a thief. If he is a slave, I'm sorry I stopped him. However, I will
put him in as good a condition as I found him." So saying, he went near
the man who had the fugitive in custody, and seized him by the collar
with a sudden jerk, that threw him on the pavement. The slave instantly
started, and ran at his utmost speed, again followed by the cry of "Stop
Thief!" Having run some distance, and being nearly out of breath, he
darted into the shop of a watch-maker, named Samuel Mason, who
immediately closed and fastened his door, so that the crowd could not
follow him. The fugitive passed out of the back door, and was never
afterward recaptured.

The disappointed master brought an action against Samuel Mason for
rescuing his slave. Charles J. Ingersoll and his brother Joseph, two
accomplished lawyers of Philadelphia, conducted the trial for him, with
zeal and ingenuity worthy of a better cause. Isaac T. Hopper was
summoned as a witness, and in the course of examination he was asked
what course members of the Society of Friends adopted when a fugitive
slave came to them. He replied, "I am not willing to answer for any one
but myself."

"Well," said Mr. Ingersoll, "what would _you_ do in such a case? Would
you deliver him to his master?

"Indeed I would not!" answered the Friend. "My conscience would not
permit me to do it. It would be a great crime; because it would be
disobedience to my own dearest convictions of right. I should never
expect to enjoy an hour of peace afterward. I would do for a fugitive
slave whatever I should like to have done for myself, under similar
circumstances. If he asked my protection, I would extend it to him to
the utmost of my power. If he was hungry, I would feed him. If he was
naked, I would clothe him. If he needed advice, I would give such as I
thought would be most beneficial to him."

The cause was tried before Judge Bushrod Washington, nephew of General
Washington. Though a slaveholder himself, he manifested no partiality
during the trial, which continued several days, with able arguments on
both sides. The counsel for the claimant maintained that Samuel Mason
prevented the master from regaining his slave, by shutting his door, and
refusing to open it. The counsel for the defendant replied that there
was much valuable and brittle property in the watchmaker's shop, which
would have been liable to robbery and destruction, if a promiscuous mob
had been allowed to rush in. Judge Washington summed up the evidence
very clearly to the jury, who after retiring for deliberation a
considerable time, returned into court, declaring that they could not
agree upon a verdict, and probably never should agree. They were ordered
out again, and kept together till the court adjourned, when they were

At the succeeding term, the case was tried again, with renewed energy
and zeal. But the jury, after being kept together ten days, were
discharged without being able to agree upon a verdict. Some, who were
originally in favor of the defendant, became weary of their long
confinement, and consented to go over to the slaveholder's side; but one
of them, named Benjamin Thaw, declared that he would eat his Christmas
dinner in the jury-room, before he would consent to such a flagrant act
of injustice.

His patience held out till the court adjourned. Consequently a third
trial became necessary; and the third jury brought in a verdict in favor
of the watchmaker.

The expenses of these suits were estimated at seventeen hundred dollars.
Solomon Low was in limited circumstances; and this expenditure in
prosecuting an innocent man was said to have caused his failure soon


A colored woman and her son were slaves to a man in East Jersey. She had
two sons in Philadelphia, who had been free several years, and her
present master was unacquainted with them. In 1827, she and her younger
son escaped, and went to live in Philadelphia. Her owner, knowing she
had free sons in that city, concluded as a matter of course that she had
sought their protection. A few weeks after her flight, he followed her,
and having assumed Quaker costume, went to the house of one of her sons.
He expressed great interest for the woman, and said he wished to obtain
an interview with her for her benefit. His friendly garb and kind
language completely deceived her son, and he told him that his mother
was then staying at his brother's house, which was not far off. Having
obtained this information, the slaveholder procured a constable and
immediately went to the place described. Fortunately, the son was at
home, and it being warm weather he sat near the open door. The mother
was seated at a chamber window, and saw a constable approaching the
house, with a gentleman in Quaker costume, whom she at once recognized
as her master. She gave the alarm to her son, who instantly shut the
door and fastened it. The master, being refused admittance, placed a
guard there, while he went to procure a search-warrant. These
proceedings attracted the attention of colored neighbors, and a crowd
soon gathered about the house. They seized the man who guarded the door,
and held him fast, while the woman and her fugitive son rushed out. It
was dusk, and the uncertain light favored their escape. They ran about a
mile, and took refuge with a colored family in Locust-street. The
watchman soon got released from the colored people who held him, and
succeeded in tracing the woman to her new retreat, where he again
mounted guard. The master returned meanwhile, and having learned the
circumstances, went to the magistrate to obtain another warrant to
search the house in Locust-street.

At this stage of the affair, Friend Hopper was summoned, and immediately
went to the rescue, accompanied by one of his sons, about sixteen years
old. He found the woman and her son stowed away in a closet, exceedingly
terrified. He assured them they would be quite as safe on the
mantel-piece, as they would be in that closet; that their being found
concealed would be regarded as the best evidence that they were the
persons sought for. Knowing it was dangerous for them to remain in that
house, he told them of a plan he had formed, on the spur of the moment.
After giving them careful instructions how to proceed, he left them and
requested that the street door might be opened for him. A crowd
immediately rushed in, as he had foreseen would be the case. He affected
to be greatly displeased, and ordered the men of the house to turn all
the intruders out. They obeyed him; and among the number turned out were
the two fugitives. It was dark, and in the confusion, the watchman on
guard could not distinguish them among the multitude.

Friend Hopper had hastily consigned them to his son, with instructions
to take them to his house; and the watchman, seeing that he himself
remained about the premises, took it for granted that the fugitives had
not escaped.

As soon as it was practicable, Friend Hopper returned home, where he
found the woman and her son in a state of great agitation. He
immediately sent her to a place of greater safety, and gave the son a
letter to a farmer thirty miles up in the country. He went directly to
the river Schuylkill, but was afraid to cross the bridge, lest some
person should be stationed there to arrest him. He accordingly walked
along the margin of the river till he found a small boat, in which he
crossed the stream. Following the directions he had received, he arrived
at the farmer's house, where he had a kindly welcome, and obtained

The master being unable to recapture his slaves, called upon Isaac T.
Hopper to inquire if he knew anything about them. He coolly replied, "I
believe they are doing very well. From what I hear, I judge it will not
be necessary to give thyself any further trouble on their account."

"There is no use in trying to capture a runaway slave in Philadelphia,"
rejoined the master. "I believe the devil himself could not catch them
when they once get here."

"That is very likely," answered Friend Hopper. "But I think he would
have less difficulty in catching the masters; being so much more
familiar with them."

Sixty dollars had already been expended in vain; and the slave-holder,
having relinquished all hope of tracing the fugitives, finally agreed to
manumit the woman for fifty dollars, and her son for seventy-five
dollars. These sums were advanced by two citizens friendly to the
colored people, and the emancipated slaves repaid them by faithful


In the autumn of 1828, Dr. Rich of Maryland came to Philadelphia with
his wife, who was the daughter of an Episcopal clergyman in that city,
by the name of Wiltbank. She brought a slave to wait upon her, intending
to remain at her father's until after the birth of her child, which was
soon expected to take place. When they had been there a few months, the
slave was informed by some colored acquaintance that she was free in
consequence of being brought to Philadelphia. She called to consult with
Isaac T. Hopper, and seemed very much disappointed to hear that a
residence of six months was necessary to entitle her to freedom; that
her master was doubtless aware of that circumstance, and would probably
guard against it.

After some minutes of anxious reflection, she said, "Then there is
nothing left for me to do but to run away; for I am determined never to
go back to Maryland."

Friend Hopper inquired whether she thought it would be right to leave
her mistress without any one to attend upon her, in the situation she
then was. She replied that she felt no scruples on that point, for her
master was wealthy, and could hire as many servants as he pleased.
Finding her mind entirely made up on the subject, he gave her such
instructions as seemed suited to the occasion.

The next morning she was not to be found; and Dr. Rich went in search of
her, with his father-in-law, Mr. Wiltbank. Having frightened some
ignorant colored people where she visited, by threats of prosecuting
them for harboring a runaway, they confessed that she had gone from
their house to Isaac T. Hopper. Mr. Wiltbank accordingly waited upon
him, and after relating the circumstances of the case, inquired whether
he had seen the fugitive. In reply, he made a frank statement of the
interview he had with her, and of her fixed determination to obtain her
freedom. The clergyman reproached her with ingratitude, and said she had
always been treated with great kindness.

"The woman herself gives a very different account of her treatment,"
replied Friend Hopper; "but be that as it may, I cannot blame her for
wishing to obtain her liberty."

He asked if Friend Hopper knew where she then was; and he answered that
he did not. "Could you find her, if you tried?" inquired he.

"I presume I could do it very easily," rejoined the Quaker. "The colored
people never wish to secrete themselves from me; for they know I am
their true friend."

Mr. Wiltbank then said, "If you will cause her to be brought to your
house, Dr. Rich and myself will come here at eight o'clock this evening.
You will then hear her ask her master's pardon, acknowledge the kindness
with which she has always been treated, and express her readiness to go
home with him."

Friend Hopper indignantly replied, "I have no doubt that fear might
induce her to profess all thou hast said. But what trait hast thou
discovered in my character, that leads thee to suppose I would be such
a hypocrite as to betray the confidence this poor woman has reposed in
me, by placing her in the power of her master, in the way thou hast

Mr. Wiltbank then requested that a message might be conveyed to the
woman, exhorting her to return, and promising that no notice whatever
would be taken of her offence.

"She shall be informed of thy message, if that will be any satisfaction
to thee," replied Friend Hopper; "but I am perfectly sure she will never
voluntarily return into slavery."

Dr. Rich and Mr. Wiltbank called in the evening, and were told the
message had been delivered to the woman, but she refused to return. "She
is in your house now," exclaimed Dr. Rich. "I can prove it; and if you
don't let me see her, I will commence a suit against you to-morrow, for
harboring my slave."

"I believe Solomon Low resides in thy neighborhood," said Friend Hopper.
"Art thou acquainted with him?"

Being answered in the affirmative, he said, "Solomon Low brought three
such suits as thou hast threatened. They cost him seventeen hundred
dollars, which I heard he was unable to pay. But perhaps thou hast
seventeen hundred dollars to spare?"

Dr. Rich answered that he could well afford to lose that sum.

"Very well," rejoined his opponent. "There are lawyers enough who need
it, and still more who would be glad to have it."

Finding it alike impossible to coax or intimidate the resolute Quaker,
they withdrew. About eleven o'clock at night, some of the family
informed Friend Hopper that there was a man continually walking back and
forth in front of the house. He went out and accosted him thus: "Friend,
art thou watching my house?" When the stranger replied that he was, he
said, "It is very kind in thee; but I really do not think there is any
occasion for thy services. I am quite satisfied with the watchmen
employed by the public."

The man answered gruffly, "I have taken my stand, and I intend to keep

Friend Hopper told him he had no objection; and he was about to re-enter
the house, when he observed Dr. Rich, who was so wrapped up in a large
cloak, that at first he did not recognize him. He exclaimed, "Why
doctor, art thou here! Is it possible thou art parading the streets so
late in the night, at this cold season of the year? Now, from motives of
kindness, I do assure thee thy slave is not in my house. To save thee
from exposing thy health by watching at this inclement season, I will
give thee leave to search the house."

The doctor replied, "I shall obtain a warrant in the morning, and search
it with the proper officer."

"There appear to be several on the watch," said Friend Hopper; "and it
surely is not necessary for all of them to be out in the cold at the
same time. If thou wilt be responsible that nothing shall be stolen,
thou art welcome to use my parlor as a watch-house." This offer was
declined with freezing civility, and Friend Hopper returned to his
dwelling. Passing through the kitchen, he observed two colored domestics
talking together in an under tone, apparently planning something which
made them very merry. Judging from some words he overheard, that they
had a mischievous scheme on foot, he resolved to watch their movements
without letting them know that he noticed them. One of them put on an
old cloak and bonnet, opened the front door cautiously, looked up the
street and down the street, but saw nobody. The watchers had seen the
dark face the moment it peeped out, and they were lying in ambush to
observe her closely. After a minute of apparent hesitation, she rushed
into the street and ran with all speed. They joined in hot pursuit, and
soon overtook her. She pretended to be greatly alarmed, and called aloud
for a watchman. The offenders were arrested and brought back to the
house with the girl. Friend Hopper explained that these men had been
watching his house, supposing a fugitive slave to be secreted there; and
that they had mistaken one of his domestics for the person they were in
search of. After laughing a little at the joke practised upon them, he
proposed that they should be set at liberty; and they were accordingly

The next morning, as soon as it was light, he invited the watchers to
come in and warm themselves, but they declined. After sunrise, they all
dispersed, except two. When breakfast was ready, he urged them to come
in and partake; telling them that one could keep guard while the other
was eating. But they replied that Dr. Rich had ordered them to hold no
communication with him.

Being firmly persuaded that the slave was in the house, they kept sentry
several days and nights. For fear she might escape by the back way, a
messenger was sent to Mr. Warrence, who occupied a building in the rear,
offering to pay him for his trouble if he would watch the premises in
that direction. His wife happened to overhear the conversation; and
having a pitcher of scalding water in her hand, she ran out saying, "Do
you propose to hire my husband to watch neighbor Hopper's premises for a
runaway slave? Go about your business! or I will throw this in your

When Dr. Rich called again, he was received politely, and the first
inquiry was how he had succeeded in his efforts to procure a
search-warrant. He replied, "The magistrate refused to grant one."

"Perhaps Joseph Reed, the Recorder, would oblige thee in that matter,"
said Friend Hopper.

The answer was, "I have been to him, and he declines to interfere."

It was then suggested that it might be well to retain a lawyer with a
portion of the seventeen hundred dollars he said he had to spare.

"I have been to Mr. Broome," rejoined the doctor. "He tells me that you
understand the law in such cases as well as he does; and he advises me
to let the matter alone."

"I will give thee permission to search my house," said Friend Hopper;
"and I have more authority in that matter than any magistrate, judge, or
lawyer, in the city."

"That is very gentlemanly," replied the doctor; "but I infer from it
that the woman is not in your house."

He was again assured that she was not; and they fell into some general
discourse on the subject of slavery. "Suppose you came to Maryland and
lost your horse," said the Doctor. "If you called upon me, and I told
you that I knew where he was, but would not inform you, would you
consider yourself treated kindly?" "In such a case, I should not
consider myself well treated," replied Friend Hopper. "But in this part
of the country, we make a distinction between horses and men. We believe
that human beings have souls."

"That makes no difference," rejoined the Doctor. "You confess that you
could find my slave if you were so disposed; and I consider it your duty
to tell me where she is." "I will do it when I am of the same opinion,"
replied Friend Hopper; "but till then thou must excuse me."

The fugitive was protected by a colored man named Hill, who soon
obtained a situation for her as servant in a respectable country family,
where she was kindly treated. In the course of a year or two, she
returned to Philadelphia, married a steady industrious man, and lived
very comfortably.

Mr. Hill had a very revengeful temper. One of his colored neighbors
brought suits against him for criminal conduct, and recovered heavy
damages. From that time he seemed to hate people of his own complexion,
and omitted no opportunity to injure them. The woman he befriended, when
he was in a better state of mind, had been married nine or ten years,
and had long ceased to think of danger, when he formed the wicked
project of making a little money by betraying her to her master.
Accordingly he sought her residence accompanied by one of those
wretches who make a business of capturing slaves. When he entered her
humble abode, he found her busy at the wash-tub. Rejoiced to see the man
who had rendered her such essential service in time of need, she threw
her arms about his neck, exclaiming, "O, uncle Hill, how glad I am to
see you!" She hastily set aside her tub, wiped up the floor, and
thinking there was nothing in the house good enough for her benefactor,
she went out to purchase some little luxuries. Hill recommended a
particular shop, and proposed to accompany her. The slave-hunter, who
had been left in the street, received a private signal, and the moment
she entered the shop, he pounced upon her. Before her situation could be
made known to Isaac T. Hopper, she was removed to Baltimore. The last he
ever heard of her she was in prison there, awaiting her day of sale,
when she was to be transported to New-Orleans.

He used to say he did not know which was the most difficult for his mind
to conceive of, the cruel depravity manifested by the ignorant colored
man, or the unscrupulous selfishness of the slaveholder, a man of
education, a husband and a father, who could consent to use such a tool
for such a purpose.

Many more narratives of similar character might be added; for I think he
estimated at more than one thousand the number of cases in which he had
been employed for fugitives, in one way or another, during his forty
years' residence in Philadelphia. But enough have been told to
illustrate the active benevolence, uncompromising boldness, and ready
wit, which characterized this friend of humanity. His accurate knowledge
of all laws connected with slavery was so proverbial, that magistrates
and lawyers were generally averse to any collision with him on such

In 1810, Benjamin Donahue of Delaware applied to Mr. Barker, mayor of
Philadelphia, to assist him in recovering a fugitive, with whose place
of residence he was perfectly sure Isaac T. Hopper was acquainted. After
a brief correspondence with Friend Hopper, the mayor said to Mr.
Donahue, "We had better drop this business, like a hot potato; for Mr.
Hopper knows more law in such cases as this, than you and I put

He would often resort to the most unexpected expedients. Upon one
occasion, a slave case was brought before Judge Rush, brother of Dr.
Benjamin Rush. It seemed likely to terminate in favor of the
slaveholder; but Friend Hopper thought he observed that the judge
wavered a little. He seized that moment to inquire, "Hast thou not
recently published a legal opinion, in which it is distinctly stated
that thou wouldst never seek to sustain a human law, if thou wert
convinced that it conflicted with any law in the Bible?"

"I did publish such a statement," replied Judge Rush; "and I am ready
to abide by it; for in all cases, I consider the divine law above the

Friend Hopper drew from his pocket a small Bible, which he had brought
into court for the express purpose, and read in loud distinct tones the
following verses: "Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant
which is escaped from his master unto thee: He shall dwell with thee,
even among you, in that place which he shall choose, in one of thy
gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him." Deut. 23:
15, 16.

The slaveholder smiled; supposing, this appeal to old Hebrew law would
be considered as little applicable to modern times, as the command to
stone a man to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath. But when the
judge asked for the book, read the sentence for himself, seemed
impressed by it, and adjourned the decision of the case, he walked out
of the court-house muttering, "I believe in my soul the old fool _will_
let him off on that ground." And sure enough, the slave was discharged.

Friend Hopper's quickness in slipping through loop-holes, and dodging
round corners, rendered him exceedingly troublesome and provoking to
slaveholders. He often kept cases pending in court three or four years,
till the claimants were completely wearied out, and ready to settle on
any terms. His acute perception of the slightest flaw in a document, or
imperfection in evidence, always attracted notice in the courts he
attended. Judges and lawyers often remarked to him, "Mr. Hopper, it is a
great pity you were not educated for the legal profession. You have such
a judicial mind." Mr. William Lewis, an eminent lawyer, offered him
every facility for studying the profession. "Come to my office and use
my library whenever you please," said he; "or I will obtain a clerkship
in the courts for you, if you prefer that. Your mind is peculiarly
adapted to legal investigation, and if you would devote yourself to it,
you might become a judge before long."

But Friend Hopper could never overcome his scruples about entering on a
career of worldly ambition. He thought he had better keep humble, and
resist temptations that might lead him out of the plainness and
simplicity of the religious Society to which he belonged.

As for the colored people of Philadelphia, they believed in his
infallibility, as devout Catholics believe in the Pope. They trusted
him, and he trusted them; and it is remarkable in how few instances he
found his confidence misplaced. The following anecdote will illustrate
the nature of the relation existing between him and that much abused
race. Prince Hopkins, a wood-sawyer of Philadelphia, was claimed as a
fugitive slave by John Kinsmore of Baltimore. When Friend Hopper went
to the magistrate's office to inquire into the affair, he found the poor
fellow in tears. He asked for a private interview, and the alderman gave
his consent. When they were alone, Prince confessed that he was the
slave in question. In the course of his narrative, it appeared that he
had been sent into Pennsylvania by his mistress, and had resided there
with a relative of hers two years. Friend Hopper told him to dry up his
tears, for it was in his power to protect him. When he returned to the
office, he informed the magistrate that Prince Hopkins was a free man;
having resided in Pennsylvania, with the consent of his mistress, a much
longer time than the law required. Mr. Kinsmore was irritated, and
demanded that the colored man should be imprisoned till he could obtain
legal advice.

"Let him go and finish the wood he was sawing," said Friend Hopper. "I
will be responsible for his appearance whenever he is wanted. If the
magistrate will give me a commitment, Prince will call at my house after
he has finished sawing his wood, and I will send him to jail with it. He
can remain there, until the facts I have stated are clearly proved."

The slave-holder and his lawyer seemed to regard this proposition as an
insult. They railed at Friend Hopper for his "impertinent interference,"
and for the absurd idea of trusting "that nigger" under such

He replied, "I would rather trust 'that nigger,' as you call him, than
either of you." So saying, he marched off with the magistrate's mittimus
in his pocket.

When Prince Hopkins had finished his job of sawing, he called for the
commitment, and carried it to the jailor, who locked him up.
Satisfactory evidence of his freedom was soon obtained, and he was

The colored people appeared to better advantage with their undoubted
friend, than they possibly could have done where a barrier of prejudice
existed. They were not afraid to tell him their experiences in their own
way, with natural pathos, here and there dashed with fun. A
fine-looking, athletic fugitive, telling him his story one day, said,
"When I first run away, I met some people who were dreadful afraid I
couldn't take care of myself. But thinks I to myself I took care of
master and myself too for a long spell; and I guess I can make out."
With a roguish expression laughing all over his face, he added, "I don't
look as if I was suffering for a master; do I, Mr. Hopper?"

Though slaveholders had abundant reason to dread Isaac T. Hopper, as
they would a blister of Spanish flies, yet he had no hardness of feeling
toward them, or even toward kidnappers; hateful as he deemed the
system, which produced them both.

In 1801, a sober industrious family of free colored people, living in
Pennsylvania on the borders of Maryland, were attacked in the night by a
band of kidnappers. The parents were aged, and needed the services of
their children for support. Knowing that the object of the marauders was
to carry them off and sell them to slave speculators, the old father
defended them to the utmost of his power. In the struggle, he was
wounded by a pistol, and one of his daughters received a shot, which
caused her death. One of the sons, who was very ill in bed, was beaten
and bruised till he was covered with blood. But mangled and crippled as
he was, he contrived to drag himself to a neighboring barn, and hide
himself under the straw.

If such lawless violence had been practised upon any white citizens, the
Executive of Pennsylvania would have immediately offered a high reward
for the apprehension of the aggressors; but the victims belonged to a
despised caste, and nothing was done to repair their wrongs. Friend
Hopper felt the blood boil in his veins when he heard of this cruel
outrage, and his first wish was to have the offenders punished; but as
soon as he had time to reflect, he said, "I cannot find it in my heart
to urge this subject upon the notice of the Executive; for death would
be the penalty if those wretches were convicted."

There were many highly respectable individuals among the colored people
of Philadelphia. Richard Allen, who had been a slave, purchased freedom
with the proceeds of his own industry. He married, and established
himself as a shoemaker in that city, where he acquired considerable
property, and built a three-story brick house. He was the principal
agent in organizing the first congregation of colored people in
Philadelphia, and was their pastor to the day of his death, without
asking or receiving any compensation. During the latter part of his
life, he was Bishop of their Methodist Episcopal Church. Absalom Jones,
a much respected colored man, was his colleague. In 1793, when the
yellow fever was raging, it was extremely difficult to procure
attendants for the sick on any terms; and the few who would consent to
render service, demanded exorbitant prices. But Bishop Allen and Rev.
Mr. Jones never hesitated to go wherever they could be useful; and with
them, the compensation was always a secondary consideration. When the
pestilence had abated, the mayor sent them a certificate expressing his
approbation of their conduct. But even these men, whose worth commanded
respect, were not safe from the legalized curse that rests upon their
hunted race. A Southern speculator arrested Bishop Allen, and claimed
him as a fugitive slave, whom he had bought running. The constable
employed to serve the warrant was ashamed to drag the good man through
the streets; and he merely said, in a respectful tone, "Mr. Allen, you
will soon come down to Alderman Todd's office, will you?"

The fugitive, whom they were seeking, had absconded only four years
previous; and everybody in Philadelphia, knew that Richard Allen had
been living there more than twenty years. Yet the speculator and his
sons swore unblushingly that he was the identical slave they had
purchased. Mr. Allen thought he ought to have some redress for this
outrage; "For," said he, "if it had not been for the kindness of the
officer, I might have been dragged through the streets like a felon."

Isaac T. Hopper was consulted, and a civil suit commenced. Eight hundred
dollars bail was demanded, and the speculator, being unable to procure
it, was lodged in the debtor's prison. When he had been there three
months, Mr. Allen caused him to be discharged; saying he did not wish to
persecute the man, but merely to teach him not to take up free people
again, for the purpose of carrying them into slavery.

The numerous instances of respectability among the colored people were
doubtless to be attributed in part to the protecting influence extended
over them by the Quakers. But even in those days, the Society of
Friends were by no means all free from prejudice against color; and in
later times, I think they have not proved themselves at all superior to
other sects in their feelings and practice on this subject. Friend
Hopper, Joseph Carpenter, and the few who resemble them in this respect,
are _exceptions_ to the general character of modern Quakers, not the
_rule._ The following very characteristic anecdote shows how completely
Isaac was free from prejudice on account of complexion. It is an unusual
thing to see a colored Quaker; for the African temperament is fervid and
impressible, and requires more exciting forms of religion. David Maps
and his wife, a very worthy couple, were the only colored members of the
Yearly Meeting to which Isaac T. Hopper belonged. On the occasion of the
annual gathering in Philadelphia, they came with other members of the
Society to share the hospitality of his house. A question arose in the
family whether Friends of white complexion would object to eating with
them. "Leave that to me," said the master of the household. Accordingly
when the time arrived, he announced it thus: "Friends, dinner is now
ready. David Maps and his wife will come with me; and as I like to have
all accommodated, those who object to dining with them can wait till
they have done." The guests smiled, and all seated themselves at the

The conscientiousness so observable in several anecdotes of Isaac's
boyhood was strikingly manifested in his treatment of a colored printer,
named Kane. This man was noted for his profane swearing. Friend Hopper
had expostulated with him concerning this bad habit, without producing
the least effect. One day, he encountered him in the street, pouring
forth a volley of terrible oaths, enough to make one shudder. Believing
him incurable by gentler means, he took him before a magistrate, who
fined him for blasphemy.

He did not see the man again for a long time; but twenty years
afterward, when he was standing at his door, Kane passed by. The
Friend's heart was touched by his appearance; for he looked old, feeble,
and poor. He stepped out, shook hands with him, and said in kindly
tones, "Dost thou remember me, and how I caused thee to be fined for

"Yes, indeed I do," he replied. "I remember how many dollars I paid, as
well as if it were but yesterday."

"Did it do thee any good;" inquired Friend Hopper.

"Never a bit," answered he. "It only made me mad to have my money taken
from me."

The poor man was invited to walk into the house. The interest was
calculated on the fine, and every cent repaid to him. "I meant it for
thy good," said the benevolent Quaker; "and I am sorry that I only
provoked thee." Kane's countenance changed at once, and tears began to
flow. He took the money with many thanks, and was never again heard to

Friend Hopper's benevolence was by no means confined to colored people.
Wherever there was good to be done, his heart and hand were ready. From
various anecdotes in proof of this, I select the following.


John was an Irish orphan, whose parents died of yellow fever, when he
was very young. He obtained a scanty living by doing errands for
cartmen. In the year 1800, when he was about fourteen years old, there
was a long period during which he could obtain scarcely any employment.
Being without friends, and in a state of extreme destitution, he was
tempted to enter a shop and steal two dollars from the drawer. He was
pursued and taken. Isaac T. Hopper, who was one of the inspectors of the
prison at that time, saw a crowd gathered, and went to inquire the
cause. The poor boy's history was soon told. Friend Hopper liked the
expression of his countenance, and pitied his forlorn condition. When he
was brought up for trial, he accompanied him, and pleaded with the
judge in his favor. He urged that the poor child's education had been
entirely neglected, and consequently he was more to be pitied than
blamed. If sent to prison, he would in all probability become hardened,
if not utterly ruined. He said if the judge would allow him to take
charge of the lad, he would promise to place him in good hands, where he
would be out of the way of temptation. The judge granted his request,
and John was placed in prison merely for a few days, till Friend Hopper
could provide for him. He proposed to his father to have the boy bound
to him. The old gentleman hesitated at first, on account of his
neglected education and wild way of living; but pity for the orphan
overcame his scruples, and he agreed to take him. John lived with him
till he was twenty-one years of age, and was remarkably faithful and
industrious. But about two years after, a neighbor came one night to
arrest him for stealing a horse. Old Mr. Hopper assured him it was not
possible John had done such a thing; that during all the time he had
lived in his family he had proved himself entirely honest and
trustworthy. The neighbor replied that his horse had been taken to
Philadelphia and sold; and the ferryman from Woodbury was ready to swear
that the animal was brought over by Hopper's John, as he was generally
called. John was in bed, but was called up to answer the accusation. He
did not attempt to deny it, but gave up the money at once, and kept
repeating that he did know what made him do it. He was dreadfully
ashamed and distressed. He begged that Friend Isaac would not come to
see him in prison, for he could not look him the face. His anguish of
mind was so great, that when the trial came on, he was emaciated almost
to a skeleton. Old Mr. Hopper went into court and stated the adverse
circumstances of his early life, and his exemplary conduct during nine
years that he had lived in his family. He begged that he might be fined
instead of imprisoned, and offered to pay the fine himself. The
proposition was accepted, and the kind old man took the culprit home.

This lenient treatment completely subdued the last vestige of evil
habits acquired in childhood. He was humble and grateful in the extreme,
and always steady and industrious. He conducted with great propriety
ever afterward, and established such a character for honesty, that the
neighbors far and wide trusted him to carry their produce to market,
receiving a small commission for his trouble. Eventually, he came to own
a small house and farm, where he lived in much comfort and
respectability. He always looked up to Isaac as the friend who had early
raised him from a downward and slippery path; and he was never weary of
manifesting gratitude by every little attention he could devise.


Some one having told Friend Hopper of an apprentice who was cruelly
treated, he caused investigation to be made, and took the lad under his
own protection. As he was much bent upon going to sea, he was placed in
a respectable boarding-house for sailors, till a fitting opportunity
could be found to gratify his inclination. One day, a man in the employ
of this boarding-house brought a bill to be paid for the lad. He was
very ragged, but his manners were those of a gentleman, and his
conversation showed that he had been well educated. His appearance
excited interest in Friend Hopper's mind, and he inquired into his
history. He said his name was Levi Butler; that he was of German
extraction, and had been a wealthy merchant in Baltimore, of the firm of
Butler and Magruder. He married a widow, who had considerable property,
and several children. After her death, he failed in business, and gave
up all his own property, but took the precaution to secure all her
property to her children. His creditors were angry, and tried various
ways to compel him to pay them with his wife's money. He was imprisoned
a long time. He petitioned the Legislature for release, and the
committee before whom the case was brought made a report in his favor,
highly applauding his integrity in not involving his own affairs with
the property belonging to his wife's children, who had been intrusted to
his care. Poverty and persecution had broken down his spirits, and when
he was discharged from prison he left Baltimore and tried to obtain a
situation as clerk in Philadelphia. He did not succeed in procuring
employment. His clothes became thread-bare, and he had no money to
purchase a new suit. In this situation, some people to whom he applied
for employment treated him as if he were an impostor. In a state of
despair he went one day to drown himself. But when he had put some heavy
stones in his pocket to make him sink rapidly, he seemed to hear a voice
calling to him to forbear; and looking up, he saw a man watching him. He
hurried away to avoid questions, and passing by a sailor's
boarding-house, he went in and offered to wait upon the boarders for his
food. They took him upon those terms; and the gentleman who had been
accustomed to ride in his own carriage, and be waited upon by servants,
now roasted oysters and went of errands for common seamen. He was in
this forlorn situation, when accident introduced him to Friend Hopper's
notice. He immediately furnished him with a suit of warm clothes; for
the weather was cold, and his garments thin. He employed him to post up
his account-books, and finding that he did it in a very perfect manner,
he induced several of his friends to employ him in a similar way.

A brighter day was dawning for the unfortunate man, and perhaps he might
have attained to comfortable independence, if his health had not failed.
But he had taken severe colds by thin clothing and exposure to inclement
weather. A rapid consumption came on, and he was soon entirely unable to
work. Under these circumstances, the best Friend Hopper could do for him
was to secure peculiar privileges at the alms-house, and surround him
with, all the little comforts that help to alleviate illness. He visited
him very often, until the day of his death, and his sympathy and kind
attentions were always received with heartfelt gratitude.


One day when Friend Hopper visited the prison, he found a dark-eyed lad
with a very bright expressive countenance His right side was palsied, so
that the arm hung down useless. Attracted by his intelligent face, he
entered into conversation with him, and found that he had been palsied
from infancy. He had been sent forth friendless into the world from an
alms-house in Maryland. In Philadelphia, he had been committed to prison
as a vagrant, because he drew crowds about him in the street by his
wonderful talent of imitating a hand-organ, merely by whistling tunes
through his fingers. Friend Hopper, who had imbibed the Quaker idea that
music was a useless and frivolous pursuit, said to the boy, "Didst thou
not know it was wrong to spend thy time in that idle manner?"

With ready frankness the young prisoner replied, "No, I did not; and I
should like to hear how _you_ can prove it to be wrong. God has given
you sound limbs. Half of my body is paralyzed, and it is impossible for
me to work as others do. It has pleased God to give me a talent for
music. I do no harm with it. It gives pleasure to myself and others, and
enables me to gain a few coppers to buy my bread. I should like to have
you show me wherein it is wrong."

Without attempting to do so, Friend Hopper suggested that perhaps he had
been committed to prison on account of producing noise and confusion in
the streets.

"I make no riot," rejoined the youth. "I try to please people by my
tunes; and if the crowd around me begin to be noisy, I quietly walk

Struck with the good sense and sincerity of these answers, Friend Hopper
said to the jailor, "Thou mayest set this lad at liberty. I will be
responsible for it."

The jailer relying on his well-known character, and his intimacy with
Robert Wharton, the mayor, did not hesitate to comply with his request.
At that moment, the mayor himself came in sight, and Friend Hopper said
to the lad, "Step into the next room, and play some of thy best tunes
till I come."

"What's this?" said Mr. Wharton. "Have you got a hand-organ here!"

"Yes," replied Friend Hopper; "and I will show it to thee. It is quite

At first, the mayor could not believe that the sounds he had heard were
produced by a lad merely whistling through his fingers. He thought them
highly agreeable, and asked to have the tunes repeated.

"The lad was committed to prison for no other offence than making that
noise, which seems to thee so pleasant," said Friend Hopper. "I dare say
thou wouldst like to make it thyself, if thou couldst. I have taken the
liberty to discharge him."

"Very well," rejoined the mayor, with a smile. "You have done quite
right, Friend Isaac. You may go, my lad. I shall not trouble you. But
try not to collect crowds about the streets."

"That I cannot help," replied the youth. "The crowds _will_ come, when I
whistle for them; and I get coppers by collecting crowds. But I promise
you I will try to avoid their making any riot or confusion."


A stout healthy woman, named Mary Norris was continually taken up as a
vagrant, or committed for petty larceny. As soon as she was discharged
from the penalty of one misdemeanor, she was committed for another. One
day, Friend Hopper, who was then inspector, said to her, "Well, Mary,
thy time is out next week. Dost thou think thou shalt come back again?"

"Yes," she replied sullenly.

"Dost thou _like_ to come back?" inquired he.

"No, to be sure I don't," rejoined the prisoner. "But I've no doubt I
_shall_ come back before the month is out."

"Why dost thou not make a resolution to behave better?" said the kindly

"What use would it be?" she replied. "You wouldn't take me into your
family. The doctor wouldn't take me into his family. No respectable
person would have anything to do with me. My associates _must_ be such
acquaintances as I make here. If they steal, I am taken up for it; no
matter whether I am guilty or not. I am an old convict, and nobody
believes what I say. O, yes, I shall come back again. To be sure I shall
come back," she repeated bitterly.

Her voice and manner excited Friend Hopper's compassion, and he thus
addressed her: "If I will get a place for thee in some respectable
family where they will be kind to thee, wilt thou give me thy word that
thou wilt be honest and steady, and try to do thy duty."

Her countenance brightened, and she eagerly answered, "Yes I _will_! And
thank God and you too, the longest day I have to live."

He exerted his influence in her behalf, and procured a situation for her
as head-nurse at the alms-house. She was well contented there, and
behaved with great propriety. Seventeen years afterward, when Friend
Hopper had not seen her for a long time, he called to inquire about her,
and was informed that during all those years, she had been an honest,
sober, and useful woman. She was rejoiced to see him again, and
expressed lively gratitude, for the quiet and comfortable life she
enjoyed through his agency.


Upon one occasion, Friend Hopper entered a complaint against an old
woman, who had presided over an infamous house for many years. She was
tried, and sentenced to several months imprisonment. He went to see her
several times, and talked very seriously with her concerning the errors
of her life. Finding that his expostulations made some impression, he
asked if she felt willing to amend her ways. "Oh, I should be thankful
to do it!" she exclaimed. "But who would trust me? What can I do to earn
an honest living? Everybody curses me, or makes game of me. How _can_ I
be a better woman, if I try ever so hard?"

"I will give thee a chance to amend thy life," he replied; "and if thou
dost not, it shall be thy own fault."

He went round among the wealthy Quakers, and by dint of great persuasion
he induced one to let her a small tenement at very low rent. A few
others agreed to purchase some humble furniture, and a quantity of
thread, needles, tape, and buttons, to furnish a small shop. The poor
old creature's heart overflowed with gratitude, and it was her pride to
keep everything very neat and orderly. There she lived contented and
comfortable the remainder of her days, and became much respected in the
neighborhood. The tears often came to her eyes when she saw Friend
Hopper. "God bless that good man!" she would say. "He has been the
salvation of me."


A preacher of the Society of Friends felt impressed with the duty of
calling a meeting for vicious people; and Isaac T. Hopper was appointed
to collect an audience. In the course of this mission, he knocked at
the door of a very infamous house. A gentleman who was acquainted with
him was passing by, and he stopped to say, "Friend Hopper, you have
mistaken the house."

"No, I have not," he replied.

"But that is a house of notorious ill fame," said the gentleman.

"I know it," rejoined he; "but nevertheless I have business here."

His acquaintance looked surprised, but passed on without further query.
A colored girl came to the door. To the inquiry whether her mistress was
within, she answered in the affirmative. "Tell her I wish to see her,"
said Friend Hopper. The girl was evidently astonished at a visitor in
Quaker costume, and of such grave demeanor; but she went and did the
errand. A message was returned that her mistress was engaged and could
not see any one. "Where is she?" he inquired. The girl replied that she
was up-stairs. "I will go to her," said the importunate messenger.

The mistress of the house heard him, and leaning over the balustrade of
the stairs, she screamed out, "What do you want with me, sir?"

In very loud tones he answered, "James Simpson, a minister of the
Society of Friends, has appointed a meeting to be held this afternoon,
in Penrose store, Almond-street. It is intended for publicans, sinners,
and harlots. I want thee to be there, and bring thy whole household with
thee. Wilt thou come?"

She promised that she would; and he afterward saw her at the meeting
melted into tears by the direct and affectionate preaching.


One day, when the family were in the midst of washing, a man called at
Isaac T. Hopper's house to buy soap fat, and was informed they had none
to sell. A minute after he had passed out, the domestic came running in
to say that he had stolen some of the children's clothes from the line.
Friend Hopper followed him quickly, and called out, "Dost thou want to
buy some soap-fat? Come back if thou dost."

When the man had returned to the kitchen, he said, "Now give up the
clothes thou hast stolen."

The culprit was extremely confused, but denied that he had stolen

"Give them up at once, without any more words. It will be much better
for thee," said Friend Hopper, in his firm way.

Thus urged, the stranger drew from his bosom some small shirts and
flannel petticoats. "My wife is very sick," said he. "She has a babe two
weeks old, wrapped up in an old rag; and when I saw this comfortable
clothing on the line, I was tempted to take it for the poor little
creature. We have no fuel except a little tan. A herring is the last
mouthful of food we have in the house; and when I came away, it was
broiling on the hot tan."

His story excited pity; but fearing it might be made up for the
occasion, Friend Hopper took him to a magistrate and said, "Please give
me a commitment for this man. If he tells a true story, I will tear it
up. I will go and see for myself."

When he arrived at the wretched abode, he found a scene of misery that
pained him to the heart. The room was cold, and the wife was in bed,
pale and suffering. Her babe had no clothing, except a coarse rag torn
from the skirt of an old coat. Of course he destroyed the commitment
immediately. His next step was to call upon the rich Quakers of his
acquaintance, and obtain from them contributions of wood, flour, rice,
bread, and warm garments. Employment was soon after procured for the
man, and he was enabled to support his family comfortably. He never
passed Friend Hopper in the street without making a low bow, and often
took occasion to express his grateful acknowledgments.


Patrick was a poor Irishman in Philadelphia. He and another man were
arrested on a charge of burglary, convicted and sentenced to be hung. I
am ignorant of the details of his crime, or why the sentence was not
carried into execution. There were probably some palliating
circumstances in his case; for though he was carried to the gallows,
seated on his coffin, he was spared for some reason, and his companion
was hung. He was afterward sentenced to ten years imprisonment, and this
was eventually shortened one year. During the last three years of his
term, Friend Hopper was one of the inspectors, and frequently talked
with him in a gentle, fatherly manner. The convict was a man of few
words, and hope seemed almost dead within him; but though he made no
large promises, his heart was evidently touched by the voice of
kindness. As soon as he was released, he went immediately to work at his
trade of tanning leather, and conducted himself in the most exemplary
manner. Being remarkable for capability, and the amount of work he could
accomplish, he soon had plenty of employment. He passed Friend Hopper's
house every day, as he went to his work, and often received from him
words of friendly encouragement.

Things were going on thus satisfactorily, when his friend heard that
constables were in pursuit of him, on account of a robbery committed the
night before. He went straight to the mayor, and inquired why orders
had been given to arrest Patrick McKeever.

"Because there has been a robbery committed in his neighborhood,"
replied the magistrate.

He inquired what proof there was that Patrick had been concerned in it.

"None at all," rejoined the mayor. "But he is an old convict, and that
is enough to condemn him."

"It is _not_ enough, by any means," answered Friend Hopper. "Thou hast
no right to arrest any citizen without a shadow of proof against him. In
this, case, I advise thee by all means to proceed with humane caution.
This man has severely atoned for the crime he did commit; and since he
wishes to reform, his past history ought never to be mentioned against
him. He has been perfectly honest, sober, and industrious, since he came
out of prison. I think I know his state of mind; and I am willing to
take the responsibility of saying that he is guiltless in this matter."

The mayor commended Friend Hopper's benevolence, but remained
unconvinced. To all arguments he replied, "He is an old convict, and
that is enough."

Patrick's kind friend watched for him as he passed to his daily labors,
and told him that he would probably be arrested for the robbery that had
been committed in his neighborhood. The poor fellow bowed down his
head, the light vanished from his countenance, and hope seemed to have
forsaken him utterly. "Well," said he, with a deep sigh, "I suppose I
must make up my mind to spend the remainder of my days in prison."

"Thou wert not concerned in this robbery, wert thou?" inquired Friend
Hopper, looking earnestly in his face.

"No, indeed I was not," he replied. "God be my witness, I want to lead
an honest life, and be at peace with all men. But what good will _that_
do me? Everybody will say, he has been in the State Prison, and that is

His friend did not ask him twice; for he felt assured that he had spoken
truly. He advised him to go directly to the mayor, deliver himself up,
and declare his innocence. This wholesome advice was received with deep
dejection. He had lost faith in his fellow-men; for they had been to him
as enemies. "I know what will come of it," said he. "They will put me in
prison whether there is any proof against me, or not. They won't let me
out without somebody will be security for me; and who will be security
for an old convict?"

"Keep up a good heart," replied Friend Hopper. "Go to the mayor and
speak as I have advised thee. If they talk of putting thee in prison,
send for me."

Patrick acted in obedience to this advice, and was treated just as he
had expected. Though there was not a shadow of proof against him, his
being an old convict was deemed sufficient reason for sending him to

Friend Hopper appeared in his behalf. "I am ready to affirm that I
believe this man to be innocent," said he. "It will be a very serious
injury for him to be taken from his business and detained in prison
until this can be proved. Moreover, the effect upon his mind may be
completely discouraging. I will be security for his appearance when
called for; and I know very well that he will not think of giving me the

The gratitude of the poor fellow was overwhelming. He sobbed till his
strong frame shook like a leaf in the wind. The real culprits were soon
after discovered. For thirty years after and to the day of his death,
Patrick continued to lead a virtuous and useful life; for which he
always thanked Friend Hopper, as the instrument of Divine Providence.


A young girl, the only daughter of a poor widow, removed from the
country to Philadelphia to earn her living by covering umbrellas. She
was very handsome; with glossy black hair, large beaming eyes, and "lips
like wet coral." She was just at that susceptible age when youth is
ripening into womanhood, when the soul begins to be pervaded by "that
restless principle, which impels poor humans to seek perfection in

At a hotel near the store for which she worked an English traveller,
called Lord Henry Stuart, had taken lodgings. He was a strikingly
handsome man, and of princely carriage. As this distinguished stranger
passed to and from his hotel, he encountered the umbrella girl, and was
attracted by her uncommon beauty. He easily traced her to the store,
where he soon after went to purchase an umbrella. This was followed up
by presents of flowers, chats by the wayside, and invitations to walk or
ride; all of which were gratefully accepted by the unsuspecting rustic;
for she was as ignorant of the dangers of a city as were the squirrels
of her native fields. He was merely playing a game for temporary
excitement. She, with a head full of romance, and a heart melting under
the influence of love, was unconsciously endangering the happiness of
her whole life.

Lord Henry invited her to visit the public gardens on the Fourth of
July. In the simplicity of her heart, she believed all his flattering
professions, and considered herself his bride elect; she therefore
accepted the invitation with innocent frankness. But she had no dress
fit to appear in on such a public occasion, with a gentleman of high
rank, whom she verily supposed to be her destined husband. While these
thoughts revolved in her mind, her eye was unfortunately attracted by a
beautiful piece of silk, belonging to her employer. Could she not take
it, without being seen, and pay for it secretly, when she had earned
money enough? The temptation conquered her in a moment of weakness. She
concealed the silk, and conveyed it to her lodgings. It was the first
thing she had ever stolen, and her remorse was painful. She would have
carried it back, but she dreaded discovery. She was not sure that her
repentance would be met in a spirit of forgiveness.

On the eventful Fourth of July, she came out in her new dress. Lord
Henry complimented her upon her elegant appearance, but she was not
happy. On their way to the gardens, he talked to her in a manner which
she did not comprehend. Perceiving this, he spoke more explicitly. The
guileless young creature stopped, looked in his face with mournful
reproach, and burst into tears. The nobleman took her hand kindly, and
said, "My dear, are you an innocent girl?"

"I am, I am," she replied, with convulsive sobs. "Oh, what have I ever
done, or said, that you should ask me such a question?"

The evident sincerity of her words stirred the deep fountains of his
better nature. "If you are innocent," said he, "God forbid that I should
make you otherwise. But you accepted my invitations and presents so
readily, that I supposed you understood me."

"What _could_ I understand," said she, "except that you intended to make
me your wife?"

Though reared amid the proudest distinctions of rank, he felt no
inclination to smile. He blushed and was silent. The heartless
conventionalities of the world stood rebuked in the presence of
affectionate simplicity. He conveyed her to her humble home, and bade
her farewell, with a thankful consciousness that he had done no
irretrievable injury to her future prospects. The remembrance of her
would soon be to him as the recollection of last year's butterflies.
With her, the wound was deep. In the solitude of her chamber she wept in
bitterness of heart over her ruined air-castles. And that dress, which
she had stolen to make an appearance befitting his bride! Oh, what if
she should be discovered? And would not the heart of her poor widowed
mother break, if she should ever know that her child was a thief?

Alas, her wretched forebodings proved too true. The silk was traced to
her; she was arrested on her way to the store and dragged to prison.
There she refused all nourishment, and wept incessantly. On the fourth
day, the keeper called upon Isaac T. Hopper, and informed him that there
was a young girl in prison, who appeared to be utterly friendless, and
determined to die by starvation. The kind-hearted Friend immediately
went to her assistance. He found her lying on the floor of her cell,
with her face buried in her hands, sobbing as if her heart would break.
He tried to comfort her, but could obtain no answer.

"Leave us alone," said he to the keeper. "Perhaps she will speak to me,
if there is no one to hear." When they were alone together, he put back
the hair from her temples, laid his hand kindly on her beautiful head,
and said in soothing tones, "My child, consider me as thy father. Tell
me all thou hast done. If thou hast taken this silk, let me know all
about it. I will do for thee as I would for my own daughter; and I doubt
not that I can help thee out of this difficulty."

After a long time spent in affectionate entreaty, she leaned her young
head on his friendly shoulder, and sobbed out, "Oh, I wish I was dead.
What will my poor mother say when she knows of my disgrace?"

"Perhaps we can manage that she never shall know it," replied he.
Alluring her by this hope, he gradually obtained from her the whole
story of her acquaintance with the nobleman. He bade her be comforted,
and take nourishment; for he would see that the silk was paid for, and
the prosecution withdrawn.

He went immediately to her employer, and told him the story. "This is
her first offence," said he. "The girl is young, and she is the only
child of a poor widow. Give her a chance to retrieve this one false
step, and she may be restored to society, a useful and honored woman. I
will see that thou art paid for the silk." The man readily agreed to
withdraw the prosecution, and said he would have dealt otherwise by the
girl, if he had known all the circumstances. "Thou shouldst have
inquired into the merits of the case," replied Friend Hopper. "By this
kind of thoughtlessness, many a young creature is driven into the
downward path, who might easily have been saved."

The kind-hearted man next proceeded to the hotel, and with Quaker
simplicity of speech inquired for Henry Stuart. The servant said his
lordship had not yet risen. "Tell him my business is of importance,"
said Friend Hopper. The servant soon returned and conducted him to the
chamber. The nobleman appeared surprised that a stranger, in the plain
Quaker costume, should thus intrude upon his luxurious privacy. When he
heard his errand, he blushed deeply, and frankly admitted the truth of
the girl's statement. His benevolent visitor took the opportunity to
"bear a testimony" against the selfishness and sin of profligacy. He did
it in such a kind and fatherly manner, that the young man's heart was
touched. He excused himself, by saying that he would not have tampered
with the girl, if he had known her to be virtuous. "I have done many
wrong things," said he, "but thank God, no betrayal of confiding
innocence weighs on my conscience. I have always esteemed it the basest
act of which man is capable." The imprisonment of the poor girl, and the
forlorn situation in which she had been found, distressed him greatly.
When Friend Hopper represented that the silk had been stolen for _his_
sake, that the girl had thereby lost profitable employment, and was
obliged to return to her distant home, to avoid the danger of exposure,
he took out a fifty dollar note, and offered it to pay her expenses.

"Nay," said Isaac. "Thou art a very rich man, I presume. I see in thy
hand a large roll of such notes. She is the daughter of a poor widow,
and thou hast been the means of doing her great injury. Give me

Lord Henry handed him another fifty dollar note, and smiled as he said,
"You understand your business well. But you have acted nobly, and I
reverence you for it. If you ever visit England, come to see me. I will
give you a cordial welcome, and treat you like a nobleman."

"Farewell, friend," replied the Quaker. "Though much to blame in this
affair, thou too hast behaved nobly. Mayst thou be blessed in domestic
life, and trifle no more with the feelings of poor girls; not even with
those whom others have betrayed and deserted."

When the girl was arrested, she had sufficient presence of mind to
assume a false name, and by that means, her true name had been kept out
of the newspapers. "I did this," said she, "for my poor mother's sake."
With the money given by Lord Stuart, the silk was paid for, and she was
sent home to her mother well provided with clothing. Her name and place
of residence forever remained a secret in the breast of her benefactor.

Years after these events transpired, a lady called at Friend Hopper's
house, and asked to see him. When he entered the room, he found a
handsomely dressed young matron, with a blooming boy of five or six
years old. She rose quickly to meet him, and her voice choked as she
said, "Friend Hopper, do you know me?" He replied that he did not. She
fixed her tearful eyes earnestly upon him, and said, "You once helped me
when in great distress." But the good missionary of humanity had helped
too many in distress, to be able to recollect her without more precise
information. With a tremulous voice, she bade her son go into the next
room for a few minutes; then dropping on her knees, she hid her face in
his lap, and sobbed out, "I am the girl who stole the silk. Oh, where
should I now be, if it had not been for you!"

When her emotion was somewhat calmed, she told him that she had married
a highly respectable man, a senator of his native state. Being on a
visit in Friend Hopper's vicinity, she had again and again passed his
dwelling, looking wistfully at the windows to catch a sight of him; but
when she attempted to enter her courage failed.

"But I must return home to-morrow," said she, "and I could not go away
without once more seeing and thanking him who saved me from ruin." She
recalled her little boy, and said to him, "Look at that gentleman, and
remember him well; for he was the best friend your mother ever had."
With an earnest invitation to visit her happy home, and a fervent "God
bless you!" she bade her benefactor farewell.


In the neighborhood of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, there lived a man whose
temper was vindictive and badly governed. Having become deeply offended
with one of his neighbors, he induced his two sons to swear falsely that
he had committed an infamous crime. One of the lads was about fifteen
years old, and the other about seventeen. The alleged offence was of so
gross a nature, and was so at variance with the fair character of the
person accused that the witnesses were subjected to a very careful and
shrewd examination. They became embarrassed, and the flaws in their
evidence were very obvious. They were indicted for conspiracy against an
innocent man; and being taken by surprise, they were thrown into
confusion, acknowledged their guilt, and declined the offer of a trial.
They were sentenced to two years' imprisonment at hard labor in the
Penitentiary of Philadelphia.

Isaac T. Hopper, who was at that time one of the inspectors, happened to
be at the prison when they arrived at dusk, hand-cuffed and chained
together, in custody of the sheriff. Their youth and desolate appearance
excited his compassion. "Keep up a good heart, my poor lads," said he.
"You can retrieve this one false step, if you will but make the effort.
It is still in your power to become respectable and useful men. I will
help you all I can."

He gave particular directions that they should be placed in a room by
themselves, apart from the contagion of more hardened offenders. To
prevent unprofitable conversation, they were constantly employed in the
noisy occupation of heading nails. From time to time, the humane
inspector spoke soothing and encouraging words to them, and commended
their good behavior. When the Board of Inspectors met, he proposed that
the lads should be recommended to the governor for pardon. Not
succeeding in this effort, he wrote an article on the impropriety of
confining juvenile offenders with old hardened convicts. He published
this in the daily papers, and it produced considerable effect. When the
Board again met, Isaac T. Hopper and Thomas Dobson were appointed to
wait on the governor, to obtain a pardon for the lads if possible. After
considerable hesitation, the request was granted on condition that
worthy men could be found, who would take them as apprentices. Friend
Hopper agreed to find such persons; and he kept his word. One of them
was bound to a tanner, the other to a carpenter. But their excellent
friend did not lose sight of them. He reminded them that they were now
going among strangers, and their success and happiness would mainly
depend on their own conduct. He begged of them, if they should ever get
entangled with unprofitable company, or become involved in difficulty of
any kind, to come to him, as they would to a considerate father. He
invited them to spend all their leisure evenings at his house. For a
long time, it was their constant practice to take tea with him every
Sunday, and join the family in reading the Bible and other serious

At the end of a year, they expressed a strong desire to visit their
father. Some fears were entertained lest his influence over them should
prove injurious; and that being once freed from restraint, they would
not willingly return to constant industry and regular habits. They,
however, promised faithfully that they would, and Friend Hopper thought
it might have a good effect upon them to know that they were trusted. He
accordingly entered into bonds for them; thinking this additional claim
on their gratitude would strengthen his influence over them, and help to
confirm their good resolutions.

They returned punctually at the day and hour they had promised, and
their exemplary conduct continued to give entire satisfaction to their
employers. A short time after the oldest had fulfilled the term of his
indenture, the tanner with whom he worked bought a farm, and sold his
stock and tools to his former apprentice. Friend Hopper took him to the
governor's house, dressed in his new suit of freedom clothes, and
introduced him as one of the lads whom he had pardoned several years
before; testifying that he had been a faithful apprentice, and much
respected by his master. The governor was well pleased to see him, shook
hands with him very cordially, and told him that he who was resolute
enough to turn back from vicious ways, into the paths of virtue and
usefulness, deserved even more respect than one who had never been

He afterward married a worthy young woman with a small property, which
enabled him to build a neat two-story brick house. He always remained
sober and industrious, and they lived in great comfort and

The younger brother likewise passed through his apprenticeship in a
manner very satisfactory to his friends; and at twenty-one years of age,
he also was introduced to the governor with testimonials of his good
conduct. He was united to a very respectable young woman, but died a few
years after his marriage.

Both these young men always cherished warm gratitude and strong
attachment for Isaac T. Hopper. They both regularly attended the
meetings of the Society of Friends, which had become pleasantly
associated in their minds with the good influences they had received
from their benefactor.

Friend Hopper was a strict disciplinarian while he was inspector, and it
was extremely difficult for the prisoners to deceive him by any artful
devices, or hypocritical pretences. But he was always in the habit of
talking with them in friendly style, inquiring into their history and
plans, sympathizing with their troubles and temptations, encouraging
them to reform, and promising to assist them if they would try to help
themselves. It was his custom to take a ramble in the country with his
children every Saturday afternoon. All who were old enough to walk
joined the troop. They always stopped at the prison, and were well
pleased to deliver to the poor inmates, with their own small hands, such
little comforts as their father had provided for the purpose. He was
accustomed to say that there was not one among the convicts, however
desperate they might be, with whom he should be afraid to trust himself
alone at midnight with large sums of money in his pocket. An
acquaintance once cautioned him against a prisoner, whose temper was
extremely violent and revengeful, and who had been heard to swear that
he would take the life of some of the keepers. Soon after this warning,
Friend Hopper summoned the desperate fellow, and told him he was wanted
to pile a quantity of lumber in the cellar. He went down with him to
hold the light, and they remained more than an hour alone together, out
of hearing of everybody. When he told this to the man who had cautioned
him, he replied, "Well, I confess you have good courage. I wouldn't have
done it for the price of the prison and all the ground it stands upon;
for I do assure you he is a terrible fellow."

"I don't doubt he is," rejoined the courageous inspector; "but I knew he
wouldn't kill _me_. I have always been a friend to him, and he is aware
of it. What motive could he have for harming me?"

One of the prisoners, who had been convicted of man-slaughter, became
furious, in consequence of being threatened with a whipping. When they
attempted to bring him out of his dungeon to receive punishment, he
seized a knife and a club, rushed back again, and swore he would kill
the first person who came near him. Being a very strong man, and in a
state of madness, no one dared to approach him. They tried to starve him
into submission; but finding he was not to be subdued in that way, they
sent for Friend Hopper, as they were accustomed to do in all such
difficult emergencies. He went boldly into the cell, looked the
desperado calmly in the face, and said, "It is foolish for thee to
contend with the authorities. Thou wilt be compelled to yield at last. I
will inquire into thy case. If thou hast been unjustly dealt by, I
promise thee it shall be remedied." This kind and sensible remonstrance
had the desired effect. From that time forward, he had great influence
over the ferocious fellow, who was always willing to be guided by his
advice, and finally became one of the most reasonable and orderly
inmates of the prison.

I have heard Friend Hopper say that while he was inspector he aided and
encouraged about fifty young convicts, as nearly as he could recollect;
and all, except two, conducted in such a manner as to satisfy the
respectable citizens whom he had induced to employ them. He was a shrewd
observer of the countenances and manners of men, and doubtless that was
one reason why he was not often disappointed in those he trusted.

The humor which characterized his boyhood, remained with him in maturer
years, and often effervesced on the surface of his acquired gravity; as
will appear in the following anecdotes.

Upon a certain occasion, a man called on him with a due bill for twenty
dollars against an estate he had been employed to settle. Friend Hopper
put it away, saying he would examine it and attend to it as soon as he
had leisure. The man called again a short time after, and stated that he
had need of six dollars, and was willing to give a receipt for the whole
if that sum were advanced. This proposition excited suspicion, and the
administrator decided in his own mind that he would pay nothing till he
had examined the papers of the deceased. Searching carefully among
these, he found a receipt for the money, mentioning the identical items,
date, and circumstances of the transaction; stating that a due-bill had
been given and lost, and was to be restored by the creditor when found.
When the man called again for payment, Isaac said to him, in a quiet
way, "Friend Jones, I understand thou hast become pious lately."

He replied in a solemn tone, "Yes, thanks to the Lord Jesus, I have
found out the way of salvation."

"And thou hast been dipped I hear," continued the Quaker. "Dost thou
know James Hunter?"

Mr. Jones answered in the affirmative.

"Well, he also was dipped some time ago," rejoined Friend Hopper; "but
his neighbors say they didn't get the crown of his head under water. The
devil crept into the unbaptized part, and has been busy within him ever
since. I am afraid they didn't get _thee_ quite under water. I think
thou hadst better be dipped again."

As he spoke, he held up the receipt for twenty dollars. The countenance
of the professedly pious man became scarlet, and he disappeared

A Dutchman once called upon Friend Hopper, and said, "A tief have stole
mine goots. They tell me you can help me, may be." Upon inquiring the
when and the where, Friend Hopper concluded that the articles had been
stolen by a man whom he happened to know the police had taken up a few
hours previous. But being disposed to amuse himself, he inquired very
seriously, "What time of the moon was it, when thy goods were stolen?"
Having received information concerning that particular, he took a slate
and began to cipher diligently. After a while, he looked up, and
pronounced in a very oracular manner, "Thou wilt find thy goods."

"Shall I find mine goots?" exclaimed the delighted Dutchman; "and where
is de tief?"

"Art thou quite sure about the age of the moon?" inquired the pretended
magician. Being assured there was no mistake on that point, he ciphered
again for a few minutes, and then answered, "Thou wilt find the thief in
the hands of the police."

The Dutchman went away, evidently inspired with profound reverence.
Having found his goods and the thief, according to prediction, he
returned and asked for a private interview. "Tell me dat secret," said
he, "and I will pay you a heap of money."

"What secret?" inquired Friend Hopper.

"Tell me how you know I will find mine goots, and where I will find de
tief?" rejoined he.

"The plain truth is, I guessed it," was the reply; "because I had heard
there was a thief at the police office, with such goods as thou

"But what for you ask about de moon?" inquired the Dutchman. "You make
figures, and den you say, you will find your goots. You make figures
again, den you tell me where is de tief. I go, and find mine goots and
de tief, just as you say. Tell me how you do dat, and I will pay you a
heap of money."

Though repeatedly assured that it was done only for a joke, he went away
unsatisfied: and to the day of his death, he fully believed that the
facetious Quaker was a conjuror.

When Friend Hopper hired one of two houses where the back yards were
not separated, he found himself considerably incommoded by the
disorderly habits of his next neighbor. The dust and dirt daily swept
into the yard were allowed to accumulate there in a heap, which the wind
often scattered over the neater premises adjoining. The mistress of the
house was said to be of an irritable temper, likely to take offence if
asked to adopt a different system. He accordingly resolved upon a
course, which he thought might cure the evil without provoking a
dispute. One day, when he saw his neighbor in her kitchen, he called his
own domestic to come out into the yard. Pointing to the heap of dirt, he
exclaimed, loud enough to be heard in the next house, "Betsy, art thou
not ashamed to sweep dust and litter into such a heap. See how it is
blowing about our neighbor's yard! Art thou not ashamed of thyself?"

"I didn't sweep any dirt there," replied the girl. "They did it

"Pshaw! Pshaw! don't tell me that," rejoined he. "Our neighbor wouldn't
do such an untidy thing. I wonder she hasn't complained of thee before
now. Be more careful in future; for I should be very sorry to give her
any occasion to say she couldn't keep the yard clean on our account."

The domestic read his meaning in the roguish expression of his eye, and
she remained silent. The lesson took effect. The heap of dirt was soon
removed, and never appeared afterward.

Such a character as Isaac T. Hopper was of course well known throughout
the city where he lived. Every school-boy had heard something of his
doings, and as he walked the street, everybody recognized him, from the
chief justice to the chimney-sweep. His personal appearance was
calculated to attract attention, independent of other circumstances.
Joseph Bonaparte, who then resided at Bordentown, was attracted toward
him the first moment he saw him, on account of a strong resemblance to
his brother Napoleon. They often met in the steamboat going down the
Delaware, and on such occasions, the ex-king frequently pointed him out
as the most remarkable likeness of the emperor, that he had ever met in
Europe or America. He expressed the opinion that with Napoleon's uniform
on, he might be mistaken for him, even by his own household; and if he
were to appear thus in Paris, nothing could be easier than for him to
excite a revolution.

But the imperial throne, even if it had been directly offered to him,
would have proved no temptation to a soul like his. In some respects,
his character, as well as his person, strongly resembled Napoleon. But
his powerful will was remarkably under the control of conscience, and
his energy was tempered by an unusual share of benevolence. If the
other elements of his character had not been balanced by these two
qualities, he also might have been a skilful diplomatist, and a
successful leader of armies. Fortunately for himself and others, he had
a nobler ambition than that of making widows and orphans by wholesale
slaughter. The preceding anecdotes show how warmly he sympathized with
the poor, the oppressed, and the erring, without limitation of country,
creed, or complexion; and how diligently he labored in their behalf. But
from the great amount of public service that he rendered, it must not be
inferred that he neglected private duties. Perhaps no man was ever more
devotedly attached to wife and children than he was. His Sarah, as he
was wont to call her, was endowed with qualities well calculated to
retain a strong hold on the affections of a sensible and conscientious
man. Her kindly disposition, and the regular, simple habits of her life,
were favorable to the preservation of that beauty, which had won his
boyish admiration. Her wavy brown hair was softly shaded by the delicate
transparent muslin of her Quaker cap; her face had a tender and benign
expression; and her complexion was so clear, that an old gentleman, who
belonged to the Society of Friends, and who was of course not much
addicted to poetic comparisons, used to say he could never look at her
without thinking of the clear pink and white of a beautiful
conch-shell. She was scrupulously neat, and had something of that
chastened coquetry in dress, which is apt to characterize the handsome
women of her orderly sect. Her drab-colored gown, not high in the neck,
was bordered by a plain narrow tucker of fine muslin, visible under her
snow-white neckerchief. A white under-sleeve came just below the elbow,
where it terminated in a very narrow band, nicely stitched, and fastened
with two small silver buttons, connected by a chain. She was a very
industrious woman, and remarkably systematic in her household affairs;
thus she contrived to find time for everything, though burdened with the
care of a large and increasing family. The apprentices always sat at
table with them, and she maintained a perfect equality between them and
her own children. She said it was her wish to treat them precisely as
she would like to have _her_ boys treated, if _they_ should become
apprentices. On Sunday evenings, which they called First Day evenings,
the whole family assembled to hear Friend Hopper read portions of
scripture, or writings of the early Friends. On such occasions, the
mother often gave religious exhortations to the children and
apprentices, suited to the occurrences of the week, and the temptations
to which they were peculiarly subject. During the last eight years of
her life, she was a recommended minister of the Society of Friends, and
often preached at their meetings. Her manners were affable, and her
conversation peculiarly agreeable to young people. But she knew when
silence was seemly, and always restrained her discourse within the
limits of discretion. When any of her children talked more than was
useful, she was accustomed to administer this concise caution: "My dear,
it is a nice thing to say nothing, when thou hast nothing to say." Her
husband was proud of her, and always manifested great deference for her
opinion. She suffered much anxiety on account of the perils to which he
was often exposed in his contests with slaveholders and kidnappers; and
for many years, the thought was familiar to her mind that she might one
day see him brought home a corpse. While the yellow fever raged in
Philadelphia, she had the same anxiety concerning his fearless devotion
to the victims of that terrible disease, who were dying by hundreds
around them. But she had a large and sympathizing heart, and she never
sought to dissuade him from what he considered the path of duty. When
one of his brothers was stricken with the fever, and the family with
whom he resided were afraid to shelter him, she proposed to have him
brought under their own roof, where he was carefully nursed till he
died. She was more reluctant to listen to his urgent entreaties that she
would retire into the country with the children, and remain with them
beyond the reach of contagion; for her heart was divided between the
husband of her youth and the nurslings of her bosom. But his anxiety
concerning their children was so great, that she finally consented to
pursue the course most conducive to his peace of mind; and he was left
in the city with a colored domestic to superintend his household
affairs. Through this terrible ordeal of pestilence he passed unscathed,
though his ever ready sympathy brought him into frequent contact with
the dying and the dead.

Besides this public calamity, which darkened the whole city for a time,
Friend Hopper shared the common lot of humanity in the sad experiences
of private life. Several of his children died at that attractive age,
when the bud of infancy is blooming into childhood. Relatives and
friends crossed the dark river to the unknown shore. On New Year's day,
1797, his mother departed from this world at fifty-six years old. In
1818, his father died at seventy-five years of age. His physical vigor
was remarkable. When he had weathered seventy winters, he went to visit
his eldest son, and being disappointed in meeting the stage to return,
as he expected, he walked home, a distance of twenty-eight miles. At
that advanced age, he could rest one hand on his cane and the other on a
fence, and leap over as easily as a boy. He had long flowing black hair,
which fell in ringlets on his shoulders; and when he died, it was
merely sprinkled with gray. When his private accounts were examined
after his decease, they revealed the fact that he had secretly expended
hundreds of dollars in paying the debts of poor people, or redeeming
their furniture when it was attached.

But though many dear ones dropped away from his side, as Friend Isaac
moved onward in his pilgrimage, many remained to sustain and cheer him.
Among his wife's brothers, his especial friend was John Tatum, who lived
in the vicinity of his native village. This worthy man had great
sympathy with the colored people, and often sheltered the fugitives whom
his brother-in-law had rescued. He was remarkable for his love of peace;
always preferring to suffer wrong rather than dispute. The influence of
this pacific disposition upon others was strikingly illustrated in the
case of two of his neighbors. They were respectable people, in easy
circumstances, and the families found much pleasure in frequent
intercourse with each other. But after a few years, one of the men
deemed that an intentional affront had been offered him by the other.
Instead of good-natured frankness on the occasion, he behaved in a
sullen manner, which provoked the other, and the result was that
eventually neither of them would speak when they met. Their fields
joined, and when they were on friendly terms, the boundary was marked
by a fence, which they alternately repaired. But when there was feud
between them, neither of them was willing to mend the other's fence. So
each one built a fence for himself, leaving a very narrow strip of land
between, which in process of time came to be generally known by the name
of Devil's Lane, in allusion to the bad temper that produced it. A brook
formed another portion of the boundary between their farms, and was
useful to both of them. But after they became enemies, if a freshet
occurred, each watched an opportunity to turn the water on the other's
land, by which much damage was mutually done. They were so much occupied
with injuring each other in every possible way, that they neglected
their farms and grew poorer and poorer. One of them became intemperate;
and everything about their premises began to wear an aspect of
desolation and decay. At last, one of the farms was sold to pay a
mortgage, and John Tatum, who was then about to be married, concluded to
purchase it. Many people warned him of the trouble he would have with a
quarrelsome and intemperate neighbor. But, after mature reflection, he
concluded to trust to the influence of a peaceful and kind example, and
accordingly purchased the farm.

Soon after he removed thither, he proposed to do away the Devil's Lane
by building a new fence on the boundary, entirely at his own expense.
His neighbor acceded to the proposition in a very surly manner, and for
a considerable time seemed determined to find, or make some occasion for
quarrel. But the young Quaker met all his provocations with forbearance,
and never missed an opportunity to oblige him. Good finally overcame
evil. The turbulent spirit, having nothing to excite it, gradually
subsided into calmness. In process of time, he evinced a disposition to
be kind and obliging also. Habits of temperance and industry returned,
and during the last years of his life he was considered a remarkably
good neighbor.

Friend Hopper's attachment to the religious society he had joined in
early life was quite as strong, perhaps even stronger, than his love of
kindred. The Yearly Meeting of Friends at Philadelphia was a season of
great satisfaction, and he delighted to have his house full of guests,
even to overflowing. On these occasions, he obeyed the impulses of his
generous nature by seeking out the least wealthy and distinguished, who
would be less likely than others to receive many invitations. In
addition to these, who were often personal strangers to him, he had his
own familiar and cherished friends. A day seldom passed without a visit
from Nicholas Wain, who had great respect and affection for him and his
wife, and delighted in their society. He cordially approved of their
consistency in carrying out their conscientious convictions into the
practices of daily life. Some of Isaac's relatives and friends thought
he devoted rather too much time and attention to philanthropic missions,
but Nicholas Wain always stood by him, a warm and faithful friend to the
last. He was a true gentleman, of courtly, pleasing manners, and amusing
conversation. Notwithstanding his weight of character, he was so playful
with the children, that his visits were always hailed by them, as
delightful opportunities for fun and frolic. He looked beneath the
surface of society, and had learned to estimate men and things according
to their real value, not by a conventional standard. His wife did not
regard the pomps and vanities of the world with precisely the same
degree of indifference that he did. She thought it would be suitable to
their wealth and station to have a footman behind her carriage. This
wish being frequently expressed, her husband at last promised to comply
with it. Accordingly, the next time the carriage was ordered, for the
purpose of making a stylish call, she was gratified to see a footman
mounted. When she arrived at her place of destination, the door of her
carriage was opened, and the steps let down in a very obsequious manner,
by the new servant; and great was her surprise and confusion, to
recognize in him her own husband!

Jacob Lindley, of Chester county, was another frequent visitor at Friend
Hopper's house; and many were the lively conversations they had
together. He was a preacher in the Society of Friends, and missed no
opportunity, either in public or private, to protest earnestly against
the sin of slavery. He often cautioned Friends against laying too much
stress on their own peculiar forms, while they professed to abjure
forms. He said he himself had once received a lesson on this subject,
which did him much good. Once, when he was seated in meeting, an
influential Friend walked in, dressed in a coat with large metal
buttons, which he had borrowed in consequence of a drenching rain! He
seated himself opposite to Jacob Lindley, who was so much disturbed by
the glittering buttons, that "his meeting did him no good." When the
congregation rose to depart, he felt constrained to go up to the Friend
who had so much troubled him, and inquire why he had so grievously
departed from the simplicity enjoined upon members of their Society. The
good man looked down upon his garments, and quietly replied, "I borrowed
the coat because my own was wet; and indeed, Jacob, I did not notice
what buttons were on it." Jacob shook his hand warmly, and said, "Thou
art a better Christian than I am, and I will learn of thee."

He often used to inculcate the same moral by relating another incident,
which happened in old times, when Quakers were accustomed to wear cocked
hats turned up at the sides. A Friend bought a hat of this description,
without observing that it was looped up with a button. As he sat in
meeting with his hat on, as usual, he observed many eyes directed toward
him, and some with a very sorrowful expression. He could not conjecture
a reason for this, till he happened to take off his hat and lay it
beside him. As soon as he noticed the button, he rose and said,
"Friends, if religion consists in a button, I wouldn't give a button for
it." Having delivered this short and pithy sermon, he seated himself,
and resumed the offending hat with the utmost composure.

Once, when Jacob Lindley was dining with Friend Hopper, the conversation
turned upon his religious experiences, and he related a circumstance to
which he said he very seldom alluded, and never without feelings of
solemnity and awe. Being seized with sudden and severe illness, his soul
left the body for several hours, during which time he saw visions of
heavenly glory, not to be described. When consciousness began to return,
he felt grieved that he was obliged to come back to this state of being,
and he was never after able to feel the same interest in terrestrial
things, that he had felt before he obtained this glimpse of the
spiritual world.

Arthur Howell was another intimate acquaintance of Friend Hopper. He was
a currier in Philadelphia, a preacher in the Society of Friends,
characterized by kindly feelings, and a very tender conscience. Upon
one occasion, he purchased from the captain of a vessel a quantity of
oil, which he afterward sold at an advanced price. Under these
circumstances, he thought the captain had not received so much as he
ought to have; and he gave him an additional dollar on every barrel.
This man was remarkable for spiritual-mindedness and the gift of
prophecy. It was no uncommon thing for him to relate occurrences which
were happening at the moment many miles distant, and to foretell the
arrival of people, or events, when there appeared to be no external
reasons on which to ground such expectations.

One Sunday morning, he was suddenly impelled to proceed to Germantown in
haste. As he approached the village, he met a funeral procession. He had
no knowledge whatever of the deceased; but it was suddenly revealed to
him that the occupant of the coffin before him was a woman whose life
had been saddened by the suspicion of a crime, which she never
committed. The impression became very strong on his mind that she wished
him to make certain statements at her funeral. Accordingly, he followed
the procession, and when they arrived at the meeting-house, he entered
and listened to the prayer delivered by her pastor. When the customary
services were finished, Arthur Howell rose, and asked permission to
speak. "I did not know the deceased, even by name," said he. "But it is
given me to say, that she suffered much and unjustly. Her neighbors
generally suspected her of a crime, which she did not commit; and in a
few weeks from this time, it will be made clearly manifest to the world
that she was innocent. A few hours before her death, she talked on this
subject with the clergyman who attended upon her, and who is now
present; and it is given me to declare the communication she made to him
upon that occasion."

He then proceeded to relate the particulars of the interview; to which
the clergyman listened with evident astonishment. When the communication
was finished, he said, "I don't know who this man is, or how he has
obtained information on this subject; but certain it is, he has
repeated, word for word, a conversation which I supposed was known only
to myself and the deceased."

The woman in question had gone out in the fields one day, with her
infant in her arms, and she returned without it. She said she had laid
it down on a heap of dry leaves, while she went to pick a few flowers;
and when she returned, the baby was gone. The fields and woods were
searched in vain, and neighbors began to whisper that she had committed
infanticide. Then rumors arose that she was dissatisfied with her
marriage; that her heart remained with a young man to whom she was
previously engaged; and that her brain was affected by this secret
unhappiness. She was never publicly accused; partly because there was no
evidence against her, and partly because it was supposed that if she did
commit the crime, it must have been owing to aberration of mind. But she
became aware of the whisperings against her, and the consciousness of
being an object of suspicion, combined with the mysterious disappearance
of her child, cast a heavy cloud over her life, and made her appear more
and more unlike her former self. This she confided to her clergyman, in
the interview shortly preceding her death; and she likewise told him
that the young man, to whom she had been engaged, had never forgiven her
for not marrying him.

A few weeks after her decease, this young man confessed that he had
stolen the babe. He had followed the mother, unobserved by her, and had
seen her lay the sleeping infant on its bed of leaves. As he gazed upon
it, a mingled feeling of jealousy and revenge took possession of his
soul. In obedience to a sudden impulse, he seized the babe, and carried
it off hastily. He subsequently conveyed it to a distant village, and
placed it out to nurse, under an assumed name and history. The child was
found alive and well, at the place he indicated. Thus the mother's
innocence was made clearly manifest to the world, as the Quaker
preacher had predicted at her funeral.

I often heard Friend Hopper relate this anecdote, and he always said
that he could vouch for the truth of it; and for several other similar
things in connection with the ministry of his friend Arthur.

A singular case of inward perception likewise occurred in the experience
of his own mother. In her Diary, which is still preserved in the family,
she describes a visit to some of her children in Philadelphia, and adds:
"Soon after this, the Lord showed me that I should lose a son. It was
often told me, though without sound of words. Nothing could be more
intelligible than this still, small voice. It said, Thou wilt lose a
son; and he is a pleasant child."

Her son James resided with relatives in Philadelphia, and often went to
bathe in the Delaware. On one of these occasions, soon after his
mother's visit, a friend who went with him sank in the water, and James
lost his own life by efforts to save him. A messenger was sent to inform
his parents, who lived at the distance of eight miles. While he staid in
the house, reluctant to do his mournful errand, the mother was seized
with sudden dread, and heard the inward voice saying, "James is
drowned." She said abruptly to the messenger, "Thou hast come to tell me
that my son James is drowned. Oh, how did it happen?" He was much
surprised, and asked why she thought so. She could give no explanation
of it, except that it had been suddenly revealed to her mind.

I have heard and read many such stories of Quakers, which seem too well
authenticated to admit of doubt. They themselves refer all such cases to
"the inward light;" and that phrase, as they understand it, conveys a
satisfactory explanation to their minds. I leave psychologists to settle
the question as they can.

Those who are well acquainted with Quaker views, are aware that by "the
inward light," they signify something higher and more comprehensive than
conscience. They regard it as the voice of God in the soul, which will
always guard man from evil, and guide him into truth, if reverently
listened to, in stillness of the passions, and obedience of the will.
These strong impressions on individual minds constitute their only call
and consecration to the ministry, and have directed' them in the
application of moral principles to a variety of subjects, such as
intemperance, war, and slavery. Men and women were impelled by the
interior monitor to go about preaching on these topics, until their
individual views became what are called "leading testimonies" in the
Society. The abjuration of slavery was one of their earliest
"testimonies." There was much preaching against it in their public
meetings, and many committees were appointed to expostulate in private
with those who held slaves. At an early period, it became an established
rule of discipline for the Society to disown any member, who refused to
manumit his bondmen.

Friend Hopper used to tell an interesting anecdote in connection with
these committees. In the course of their visits, they concluded to pass
by one of their members, who held only one slave, and he was very old.
He was too infirm to earn his own living, and as he was very kindly
treated, they supposed he would have no wish for freedom. But Isaac
Jackson, one of the committee, a very benevolent and conscientious man,
had a strong impression on his mind that duty required him not to omit
this case. He accordingly went alone to the master, and stated how the
subject appeared to him, in the inward light of his own soul. The Friend
was not easily convinced. He brought forward many reasons for not
emancipating his slave; and one of the strongest was that the man was
too feeble to labor for his own support, and therefore freedom would be
of no value to him. Isaac Jackson replied, "He labored for thee without
wages, while he had strength, and it is thy duty to support him now.
Whether he would value freedom or not, is a question he alone is
competent to decide."

These friendly remonstrances produced such effect, that the master
agreed to manumit his bondman, and give a written obligation that he
should be comfortably supported during the remainder of his life, by him
or his heirs. When the papers were prepared the slave was called into
the parlor, and Isaac Jackson inquired, "Would'st thou like to be free?"
He promptly answered that he should. The Friend suggested that he was
now too feeble to labor much, and inquired how he would manage to obtain
a living. The old man meekly replied, "Providence has been kind to me
thus far; and I am willing to trust him the rest of my life."

Isaac Jackson then held up the papers and said, "Thou art a free man.
Thy master has manumitted thee, and promised to maintain thee as long as
thou mayest live."

This was so unexpected, that the aged bondman was completely overcome.
For a few moments, he remained in profound silence; then, with a sudden
impulse, he fell on his knees, and poured forth a short and fervent
prayer of thanksgiving to his Heavenly Father, for prolonging his life
till he had the happiness to feel himself a free man.

The master and his adviser were both surprised and affected by this
eloquent outburst of grateful feeling. The poor old servant had seemed
so comfortable and contented, that no one supposed freedom was of great
importance to him. But, as honest Isaac Jackson observed, _he_ alone was
competent to decide _that_ question.

Quakers consider "the inward light" as a guide not merely in cases
involving moral principles, but also in the regulation of external
affairs; and in the annals of their Society, are some remarkable
instances of dangers avoided by the help of this internal monitor.

Friend Hopper used to mention a case where a strong impression had been
made on his own mind, without his being able to assign any adequate
reason for it. A young man, descended from a highly respectable Quaker
family in New-Jersey, went to South Carolina and entered into business.
He married there, and as his wife did not belong to the Society of
Friends, he was of course disowned. After some years of commercial
success, he failed, and went to Philadelphia, where Friend Hopper became
acquainted with him, and formed an opinion not unfavorable. When he had
been in that city some time, he mentioned that his wife owned land in
Carolina, which he was very desirous to cultivate, but was prevented by
conscientious scruples concerning slave-labor. He said if he could
induce some colored people from Philadelphia to go there and work for
him as free laborers, it would be an advantage to him, and a benefit to
them. He urged Friend Hopper to exert his influence over them to
convince them that such precautions could be taken, as would prevent any
danger of their being reduced to slavery; saying that if he would
consent to do so, he doubtless could obtain as many laborers as he
wanted. The plan appeared feasible, and Friend Hopper was inclined to
assist him in carrying it into execution. Soon after, two colored men
called upon him, and said they were ready to go, provided he thought
well of the project. Nothing had occurred to change his opinion of the
man, or to excite distrust concerning his agricultural scheme. But an
impression came upon his mind that the laborers had better not go; an
impression so strong, that he thought it right to be influenced by it.
He accordingly told them he had thought well of the plan, but his views
had changed, and he advised them to remain where they were. This greatly
surprised the man who wished to employ them, and he called to
expostulate on the subject; repeating his statement concerning the great
advantage they would derive from entering into his service.

"There is no use in arguing the matter," replied Friend Hopper. "I have
no cause whatever to suspect thee of any dishonest or dishonorable
intentions; but there is on my mind an impression of danger, so powerful
that I cannot conscientiously have any agency in inducing colored
laborers to go with thee."

Not succeeding in his project, the bankrupt merchant went to New-Jersey
for a time, to reside with his father, who was a worthy and influential
member of the Society of Friends. An innocent, good natured old colored
man, a fugitive from Virginia, had for some time been employed to work
on the farm, and the family had become much attached to him. The son who
had returned from Carolina was very friendly with this simple-hearted
old servant, and easily gained his confidence. When he had learned his
story, he offered to write to his master, and enable him to purchase his
freedom for a sum which he could gradually repay by labor. The fugitive
was exceedingly grateful, and put himself completely in his power by a
full statement of all particulars. The false-hearted man did indeed
write to the master; and the poor old slave was soon after arrested and
carried to Philadelphia in irons. Friend Hopper was sent for, and went
to see him in prison. With groans and sobs, the captive told how
wickedly he had been deceived. "I thought he was a Quaker, and so I
trusted him," said he. "But I saw my master's agent pay him fifty
dollars for betraying me."

Friend Hopper assured him that the deceiver was not a Quaker; and that
he did not believe any Quaker on the face of the earth would do such an
unjust and cruel deed. He could devise no means to rescue the sufferer;
and with an aching heart he was compelled to see him carried off into
slavery, without being able to offer any other solace than an
affectionate farewell.

The conduct of this base hypocrite proved that the warning presentiment
against him had not been without foundation. Grieved and indignant at
the wrong he had done to a helpless and unoffending fellow-creature,
Friend Hopper wrote to him as follows: "Yesterday, I visited the poor
old man in prison, whom thou hast so perfidiously betrayed. Gloomy and
hopeless as his case is, I would prefer it to thine. Thou hast received
fifty dollars as the reward of thy treachery; but what good can it do
thee? Canst thou lay down thy head at night, without feeling the sharp
goadings of a guilty conscience? Canst thou ask forgiveness of thy sins
of our Heavenly Father, whom thou hast so grievously insulted by thy
hypocrisy? Judas betrayed his master for thirty pieces of silver, and
afterward hung himself. Thou hast betrayed thy brother for fifty; and if
thy conscience is not seared, as with hot iron, thy compunction must be
great. I feel no disposition to upbraid thee. I have no doubt thy own
heart does that sufficiently; for our beneficent Creator will not suffer
any to be at ease in their sins. Thy friend, I.T.H."

The worthy old Quaker in New-Jersey was not aware of his son's
villainous conduct until some time after. When the circumstances were
made known to the family they were exceedingly mortified and afflicted.

Friend Hopper used to tell another story, which forms a beautiful
contrast to the foregoing painful narrative. I repeat it, because it
illustrates the tenderness of spirit, which has so peculiarly
characterized the Society of Friends, and because I hope it may fall
like dew on hearts parched by vindictive feelings. Charles Carey lived
near Philadelphia, in a comfortable house with a few acres of pasture
adjoining. A young horse, apparently healthy, though lean, was one day
offered him in the market for fifty dollars. The cheapness tempted him
to purchase; for he thought the clover of his pastures would soon put
the animal in good condition, and enable him to sell him at an advanced
price. He was too poor to command the required sum himself, but he
borrowed it of a friend. The horse, being well fed and lightly worked,
soon became a noble looking animal, and was taken to the city for sale.
But scarcely had he entered the market, when a stranger stepped up and
claimed him as his property, recently stolen. Charles Carey's son, who
had charge of the animal, was taken before a magistrate. Isaac T. Hopper
was sent for, and easily proved that the character of the young man and
his father was above all suspicion. But the stranger produced
satisfactory evidence that he was the rightful owner of the horse, which
was accordingly delivered up to him. When Charles Carey heard the
unwelcome news, he quietly remarked, "It is hard for me to lose the
money; but I am glad the man has recovered his property."

About a year afterward, having occasion to go to a tavern in
Philadelphia, he saw a man in the bar-room, whom he at once recognized
as the person who had sold him the horse. He walked up to him, and
inquired whether he remembered the transaction. Being answered in the
affirmative, he said, "I am the man who bought that horse. Didst thou
know he was stolen?" With a stupified manner and a faltering voice, the
stranger answered, "Yes."

"Come along with me, then," said Charles; "and I will put thee where
thou wilt not steal another horse very soon."

The thief resigned himself to his fate with a sort of hopeless
indifference. But before they reached the magistrate's office, the voice
within began to plead gently with the Quaker, and turned him from the
sternness of his purpose. "I am a poor man," said he, "and thou hast
greatly injured me. I cannot afford to lose fifty dollars; but to
prosecute thee will not compensate me for the loss. Go thy way, and
conduct thyself honestly in future."

The man seemed amazed. He stood for a moment, hesitating and confused;
then walked slowly away. But after taking a few steps, he turned back
and said, "Where can I find you, if I should ever be able to make
restitution for the wrong I have done?"

Charles replied, "I trust thou dost not intend to jest with me, after
all the trouble thou hast caused me?"

"No, indeed I do not," answered the stranger. "I hope to repay you, some
time or other."

"Very well," rejoined the Friend, "if thou ever hast anything for me,
thou canst leave it with Isaac T. Hopper, at the corner of Walnut and
Dock-streets." Thus they parted, and never met again.

About a year after, Friend Hopper found a letter on his desk, addressed
to Charles Carey. When it was delivered to him, he was surprised to find
that it came from the man who had stolen the horse, and contained twenty
dollars. A few months later, another letter containing the same sum, was
left in the same way. Not long after, a third letter arrived, enclosing
twenty dollars; the whole forming a sum sufficient to repay both
principal and interest of the money which the kind-hearted Quaker had
lost by his dishonesty.

This last letter stated that the writer had no thoughts of stealing the
horse ten minutes before he did it. After he had sold him, he was so
haunted by remorse and fear of detection, that life became a burthen to
him, and he cared not what became of him. But when he was arrested, and
so unexpectedly set at liberty, the crushing weight was taken from him.
He felt inspired by fresh courage, and sustained by the hope of making
some atonement for what he had done. He made strenuous efforts to
improve his condition, and succeeded. He was then teaching school, was
assessor of the township where he resided, and no one suspected that he
had ever committed a dishonest action.

The good man, to whom this epistle was addressed, read it with moistened
eyes, and felt that the reward of righteousness is peace.

For many years after Isaac T. Hopper joined the Society of Friends, a
spirit of peace and of kindly communion prevailed among them. No sect
has ever arisen which so nearly approached the character of primitive
christianity, in all relations with each other and with their fellow
men. But as soon as the early christians were relieved from persecution,
they began to persecute each other; and so it was with the Quakers.
Having become established and respected by the world, the humble and
self-denying spirit which at the outset renounced and contended with the
world gradually departed. Many of them were rich, and not unfrequently
their fortunes were acquired by trading with slave-holders. Such men
were well satisfied to have the testimonies of their spiritual
forefathers against slavery read over among themselves, at stated
seasons; but they felt little sympathy with those of their
cotemporaries, who considered it a duty to remonstrate publicly and
freely with all who were connected with the iniquitous system.

A strong and earnest preacher, by the name of Elias Hicks, made himself
more offensive than others in this respect. He appears to have been a
very just and conscientious man, with great reverence for God, and
exceedingly little for human authority. Everywhere, in public and in
private, he lifted up his voice against the sin of slavery. He would eat
no sugar that was made by slaves, and wear no garment which he supposed
to have been produced by unpaid labor. In a remarkable manner, he showed
this "ruling passion strong in death." A few hours before he departed
from this world, his friends, seeing him shiver, placed a comfortable
over him. He felt of it with his feeble hands, and made a strong effort
to push it away. When they again drew it up over his shoulders, he
manifested the same symptoms of abhorrence. One of them, who began to
conjecture the cause, inquired, "Dost thou dislike it because it is made
of cotton?" He was too far gone to speak, but he moved his head in token
of assent. When they removed the article of slave produce, and
substituted a woolen blanket, he remained quiet, and passed away in

He was accustomed to say, "It takes _live_ fish to swim _up_ stream;"
and unquestionably he and his friend Isaac T. Hopper were both very much
alive. The quiet boldness of this man was altogether unmanageable. In
Virginia or Carolina, he preached more earnestly and directly against
slavery, than he did in New-York or Pennsylvania; for the simple reason
that it seemed to be more needed there. Upon one of these occasions, a
slaveholder who went to hear him from curiosity, left the meeting in
great wrath, swearing he would blow out that fellow's brains if he
ventured near his plantation. When the preacher heard of this threat, he
put on his hat and proceeded straightway to the forbidden place. In
answer to his inquiries, a slave informed him that his master was then
at dinner, but would see him in a short time. He seated himself and
waited patiently until the planter entered the room. With a calm and
dignified manner, he thus addressed him: "I understand thou hast
threatened to blow out the brains of Elias Hicks, if he comes upon thy
plantation. I am Elias Hicks."

The Virginian acknowledged that he did make such a threat, and said he
considered it perfectly justifiable to do such a deed, when a man came
to preach rebellion to his slaves.

"I came to preach the Gospel, which inculcates forgiveness of injuries
upon slaves as well as upon other men," replied the Quaker. "But tell
me, if thou canst, how this Gospel can be _truly_ preached, without
showing the slaves that they _are_ injured, and thus making a man of thy
sentiments feel as if they were encouraged in rebellion."

This led to a long argument, maintained in the most friendly spirit. At
parting, the slaveholder shook hands with the preacher, and invited him
to come again. His visits were renewed, and six months after, the
Virginian emancipated all his slaves.

When preaching in the free states, he earnestly called upon all to
abstain from slave-produce, and thus in a measure wash their own hands
from participation in a system of abominable wickedness and cruelty. His
zeal on this subject annoyed some of his brethren, but they could not
make him amenable to discipline for it; for these views were in
accordance with the earliest and strongest testimonies of the Society of
Friends; moreover, it would have been discreditable to acknowledge
_such_ a ground of offence. But the secret dissatisfaction showed itself
in a disposition to find fault with him. Charges were brought against
his doctrines. He was accused of denying the authority of Scripture, and
the divinity of Christ.

It was a departure from the original basis of the Society to assume any
standard whatsoever concerning creeds. It is true that the early Quakers
wrote volumes of controversy against many of the prevailing opinions of
their day; such as the doctrine of predestination, and of salvation
depending upon faith, rather than upon works. All the customary external
observances, such as holy days, baptism, and the Lord's Supper, they
considered as belonging to a less spiritual age, and that the time had
come for them to be done away. Concerning the Trinity, there appears to
have been difference of opinion among them from the earliest time. When
George Fox expressed a fear that William Penn had gone too far in
defending "the true unity of God," Penn replied that he had never heard
any one speak more plainly concerning the manhood of Christ, than George
Fox himself. Penn was imprisoned in the Tower for "rejecting the mystery
of the Trinity," in a book called "The Sandy Foundation Shaken." He
afterward wrote "Innocency with her Open Face," regarded by some as a
compromise, which procured his release. But though various popular
doctrines naturally came in their way, and challenged discussion, while
they were endeavoring to introduce a new order of things, the
characteristic feature of their movement was attention to practical
righteousness rather than theological tenets. They did not require their
members to profess faith in any creed. They had but one single bond of
union; and that was the belief that every man ought to be guided in his
actions, and in the interpretation of Scripture, by the light within his
own soul. Their history shows that they mainly used this light to guide
them in the application of moral principles. Upon the priesthood, in
every form, they made unsparing warfare; believing that the gifts of the
Spirit ought never to be paid with money. They appointed committees to
visit the sick, the afflicted, and the destitute, and to superintend
marriages and funerals. The farmer, the shoemaker, the physician, or the
merchant, followed his vocation diligently, and whenever the Spirit
moved him to exhort his brethren, he did so. The "First, and Fifth Day"
of the week, called by other denominations Sunday and Thursday, were set
apart by them for religious meetings. Women were placed on an equality
with men, by being admitted to this free Gospel ministry, and appointed
on committees with men, to regulate the affairs of the Society. They
abjured war under all circumstances, and suffered great persecution
rather than pay military taxes. They early discouraged the distillation
or use of spirituous liquors, and disowned any of their members who
distilled them from grain. Protests against slavery were among their
most earnest testimonies, and it was early made a rule of discipline
that no member of the Society should hold slaves. When the Quakers
first arose, it was a custom in England, as it still is on the continent
of Europe, to say _thou_ to an inferior, or equal, and _you_ to a
superior. They saw in this custom an infringement of the great law of
human brotherhood; and because they would "call no man master," they
said _thou_ to every person, without distinction of rank. To the
conservatives of their day, this spiritual democracy seemed like
deliberate contempt of authority; and as such, deserving of severe
punishment. More strenuously than all other things, they denied the
right of any set of men to prescribe a creed for others. The only
authority they recognized was "the light within;" and for freedom to
follow this, they were always ready to suffer or to die.

On all these subjects, there could be no doubt that Elias Hicks was a
Quaker of the old genuine stamp. But he differed from many others in
some of his theological views. He considered Christ as "the only Son of
the most high God;" but he denied that "the _outward person_," which
suffered on Calvary was properly the Son of God. He attached less
importance to miracles, than did many of his brethren. He said he had
learned more of his own soul, and had clearer revelations of God and
duty, while following his plough, than from all the books he had ever
read. He reverenced the Bible as a record of divine power and goodness,
but did not consider a knowledge of it essential to salvation; for he
supposed that a Hindoo or an African, who never heard of the Scriptures,
or of Christ, might become truly a child of God, if he humbly and
sincerely followed the divine light within, given to every human soul,
according to the measure of its faithfulness.

Many of his brethren, whose views assimilated more with orthodox
opinions, accused him of having departed from the principles of early
Friends. But his predecessors had been guided only by the light within;
and he followed the same guide, without deciding beforehand precisely
how far it might lead him. This principle, if sincerely adopted and
consistently applied, would obviously lead to large and liberal results,
sufficient for the progressive growth of all coming ages. It was so
generally admitted to be the one definite bond of union among early
Friends, that the right of Elias Hicks to utter his own convictions,
whether they were in accordance with others or not, would probably never
have been questioned, if some influential members of the Society had not
assumed more power than was delegated to them; thereby constituting
themselves a kind of ecclesiastical tribunal. It is the nature of such
authority to seek enlargement of its boundaries, by encroaching more and
more on individual freedom.

The friends of Elias Hicks did not adopt his views or the views of any
other man as a standard of opinion. On the subject of the Trinity, for
instance, there were various shadings of opinion among them. The
probability seems to be that the influence of Unitarian sects, and of
Orthodox sects had, in the course of years, gradually glided in among
the Quakers, and more or less fashioned their theological opinions,
though themselves were unconscious of it; as we all are of the
surrounding air we are constantly inhaling.

But it was not the Unitarianism of Elias Hicks that his adherents fought
for, or considered it necessary to adopt. They simply contended for his
right to express his own convictions, and denied the authority of any
man, or body of men, to judge his preaching by the assumed standard of
any creed. Therefore, the real ground of the struggle seems to have been
resistance to ecclesiastical power; though theological opinions
unavoidably became intertwisted with it. It was a new form of the old
battle, perpetually renewed ever since the world began, between
authority and individual freedom.

The agitation, which had for some time been heaving under the surface,
is said to have been brought into open manifestation by a sermon which
Elias Hicks preached against the use of slave produce, in 1819. A bitter
warfare followed. Those who refused to denounce his opinions were
accused of being infidels and separatists; and they called their
accusers bigoted and intolerant. With regard to disputed doctrines, both
claimed to find sufficient authority in the writings of early Friends;
and each side charged the other with mutilating and misrepresenting
those writings. As usual in theological controversies, the skein became
more and more entangled, till there was no way left but to cut it in
two. In 1827 and 1828, a separation took place in the Yearly Meetings of
Philadelphia, New-York, and several other places. Thenceforth, the
members were divided into two distinct sects. In some places the friends
of Elias Hicks were far the more numerous. In others, his opponents had
a majority. Each party claimed to be the genuine Society of Friends, and
denied the other's right to retain the title. The opponents of Elias
Hicks called themselves "Orthodox Friends," and named his adherents
"Hicksites." The latter repudiated the title, because they did not
acknowledge him as their standard of belief, though they loved and
reverenced his character, and stood by him as the representative of
liberty of conscience. They called themselves "Friends," and the others
"the Orthodox."

The question which was the genuine Society of Friends was more important
than it would seem to a mere looker on; for large pecuniary interests
were involved therein. It is well known that Quakers form a sort of
commonwealth by themselves, within the civil commonwealth by which they
are governed. They pay the public school-tax, and in addition build
their own school-houses, and employ teachers of their own Society. They
support their own poor, while they pay the same pauper tax as other
citizens. They have burying grounds apart from others, because they have
conscientious scruples concerning monuments and epitaphs. Of course, the
question which of the two contending parties was the true Society of
Friends involved the question who owned the meeting-houses, the burying
grounds, and the school funds. The friends of Elias Hicks offered to
divide the property, according to the relative numbers of each party;
but those called Orthodox refused to accept the proposition. Lawsuits
were brought in various parts of the country. What a bitter state of
animosity existed may be conjectured from the fact that the "Orthodox"
in Philadelphia refused to allow "Hicksites" to bury their dead in the
ground belonging to the undivided Society of Friends. On the occasion of
funerals, they refused to deliver up the key; and after their opponents
had remonstrated in vain, they forced the lock.

I believe in almost every instance, where the "Hicksites" were a
majority, and thus had a claim to the larger share of property, they
offered to divide in proportion to the relative numbers of the two
parties. After the separation in New-York, they renewed this offer,
which had once been rejected; and the "Orthodox" finally agreed to
accept a stipulated sum for their interest in the property. The Friends
called "Hicksites" numbered in the whole more than seventy thousand.

Quakers in England generally took part against Elias Hicks and his
friends. Some, who were styled "The Evangelical Party," went much beyond
their brethren in conformity with the prevailing denominations of
Christians called Orthodox. Many of them considered a knowledge of the
letter of Scripture essential to salvation; and some even approved of
baptism by water; a singular departure from the total abrogation of
external rites, which characterized Quakerism from the beginning.
William and Mary Howitt, the well known and highly popular English
writers, were born members of this religious Society. In an article
concerning the Hicksite controversy, written for the London Christian
Advocate, the former says: "My opinion is, that Friends will see cause
to repent the excision of that great portion of their own body, on the
plea of heretical opinions. By sanctioning it, they are bound, if they
act impartially and consistently, to expel others also for heterodox
opinions. This comes of violating the sacred liberty of conscience; of
allowing ourselves to be infected with the leaven of a blind zeal,
instead of the broad philanthropy of Christ. Is there no better
alternative? Yes. To adopt the principle of William Penn; to allow
freedom of opinion; and while we permit the Evangelical party to hold
_their_ favorite notions, so long as they consent to conform to our
system of public worship, to confess that we have acted harshly to the
Hicksites, and open our arms to all who are sincere in their faith, and
orderly in their conduct."

As the adherents of Elias Hicks at that time represented freedom of
conscience, of course Isaac T. Hopper belonged to that party, and
advocated it with characteristic zeal. In fact, he seems to have been
the Napoleon of the battle. It was not in his nature intentionally to
misrepresent any man; and even when the controversy was raging most
furiously, I believe there never was a time when he would not willingly
have acknowledged a mistake the moment he perceived it. But his
temperament was such, that wherever he deemed a principle of truth,
justice, or freedom was at stake, he could never quit an adversary till
he had demolished him completely, and _convinced_ him that he was
demolished; though he often felt great personal kindness toward the
individual thus prostrated, and was always willing to render him any
friendly service. He used to say that his resistance in this controversy
was principally roused by the disposition which he saw manifested "to
crush worthy, innocent Friends, for mere difference of opinion;" and no
one, who knew him well, could doubt that on this subject, as on others,
he was impelled by a sincere love of truth and justice. But neither he
nor any other person ever entered the lists of theological controversy
without paying dearly for the encounter. Perpetual strife grieved and
disturbed his own spirit, while his energy, perseverance, and bluntness
of speech, gained him many enemies. Wherever this unfortunate sectarian
schism was introduced, it divided families, and burst asunder the bonds
of friendship. For a long time, they seemed to be a Society of Enemies,
instead of a Society of Friends. In this respect, no one suffered more
acutely than Isaac T. Hopper. It was his nature to form very strong
friendships; and at this painful juncture, many whom he had long loved
and trusted, parted from him. Among them was his cousin Joseph Whitall,
who had embraced Quakerism at the same period of life, who had been the
friend of his boyhood, and the cherished companion of later years. They
had no personal altercation, but their intimacy gradually cooled off,
and they became as strangers.

He had encountered other difficulties also, at a former period of his
life, the shadows of which still lay across his path. About twelve or
fifteen years after his marriage, his health began to fail. His
vigorous frame pined away to a mere shadow, and he was supposed to be
in a consumption. At the same time, he found himself involved in
pecuniary difficulties, the burden of which weighed very heavily upon
him, for many reasons. His strong sense of justice made it painful for
him to owe debts he could not pay. He had an exceeding love of imparting
to others, and these pecuniary impediments tied down his large soul with
a thousand lilliputian cords. He had an honest pride of independence,
which chafed under any obligation that could be avoided. His strong
attachment to the Society of Friends rendered him sensitive to their
opinion; and at that period their rules were exceedingly strict
concerning any of their members, who contracted debts they were unable
to pay. People are always ready to censure a man who is unprosperous in
worldly affairs; and if his character is such as to render him
prominent, he is all the more likely to be handled harshly. Of these
trials Friend Hopper had a large share, and they disturbed him
exceedingly; but the consciousness of upright intentions kept him from
sinking under the weight that pressed upon him.

He was always a very industrious man, and whatever he did was well done.
But the fact was, the claims upon his time and attention were too
numerous to be met by any one mortal man. He had a large family to
support, and during many years his house was a home for poor Quakers,
and others, from far and near. He had much business to transact in the
Society of Friends, of which he was then an influential and highly
respected member. He was one of the founders and secretary of a society
for the employment of the poor; overseer of the Benezet school for
colored children; teacher, without recompense, in a free school for
colored adults; inspector of the prison, without a salary; member of a
fire-company; guardian of abused apprentices; the lawyer and protector
of slaves and colored people, upon all occasions. When pestilence was
raging, he was devoted to the sick. The poor were continually calling
upon him to plead with importunate landlords and creditors. He was not
unfrequently employed to settle estates involved in difficulties, which
others were afraid to undertake. He had occasional applications to exert
influence over the insane, for which he had peculiar tact. When he heard
of a man beginning to form habits likely to prove injurious to himself
or his family, he would go to him, whether his rank were high or low,
and have private conversations with him. He would tell him some story,
or suppose some case, and finally make him feel, "Thou art the man." He
had a great gift in that way, and the exertion of it sometimes
seasonably recalled those who were sliding into dangerous paths.

When one reflects upon the time that must have been bestowed on all
these avocations, do his pecuniary embarrassments require any further
explanation? A member of his own Society summed up the case very justly
in few words. Hearing him censured by certain individuals, she replied,
"The whole amount of it is this:--the Bible requires us to love our
neighbor as well as ourselves; and Friend Isaac has loved them better."

These straitened circumstances continued during the remainder of his
residence in Philadelphia; and his family stood by him nobly through the
trial. Household expenses were reduced within the smallest possible
limits. His wife opened a tea-store, as an available means of increasing
their income. The simple dignity of her manners, and her pleasing way of
talking, attracted many ladies, even among the fashionable, who liked to
chat with the handsome Quaker matron, while they were purchasing
household stores. The elder daughters taught school, and took upon
themselves double duty in the charge of a large family of younger
children. How much they loved and honored their father, was indicated by
their zealous efforts to assist and sustain him. I have heard him tell,
with much emotion, how one of them slipped some of her earnings into his
pocket, while he slept in his arm-chair. She was anxious to save him
from the pain of being unable to meet necessary expenses, and at the
same time to keep him ignorant of the source whence relief came.

His spirit of independence never bent under the pressure of misfortune.
He was willing to deprive himself of everything, except the simplest
necessaries of life; but he struggled manfully against incurring
obligations. There was a Quaker fund for the gratuitous education of
children; but when he was urged to avail himself of it, he declined,
because he thought such funds ought to be reserved for those whose
necessities were greater than his own.

The government added its exactions to other pecuniary annoyances; but it
had no power to warp the inflexibility of his principles. He had always
refused to pay the militia tax, because, in common with all
conscientious Quakers, he considered it wrong to do anything for the
support of war. It seems no more than just that a sect, who pay a double
school-tax, and a double pauper-tax, and who almost never occasion the
state any expense by their crimes, should be excused for believing
themselves bound to obey the injunction of Jesus, to return good for
evil; but politicians have decided that practical Christianity is not
always consistent with the duty of citizens. Accordingly, when Friend
Hopper refused to pay for guns and swords, to shoot and stab his fellow
men, they seized his goods to pay the tax. The articles chosen were
often of much greater value than their demand, and were sacrificed by a
hurried and careless sale. His wife had received a handsome outfit from
her father, at the time of her marriage; but she was destined to see one
article of furniture after another seized to pay the military fines,
which were alike abhorrent to her heart and her conscience. Among these
articles, was a looking glass, of an unusually large and clear plate,
which was valuable as property, and dear to her as a bridal gift from
her parents. She could not see it carried off by the officer, to meet
the expenses of military reviews, without a sigh--perhaps a tear. But
she was not a woman ever to imply a wish to have her husband compromise
his principles.

Thus bearing up bravely against the pelting storms of life, he went on,
hand in hand with his beloved Sarah. But at last, he was called to part
with the steady friend and pleasant companion of his brightest and his
darkest hours. She passed from him into the spiritual world on the
eighteenth of the Sixth Month, (June,) 1822, in the forty-seventh year
of her age. She suffered much from the wasting pains of severe
dyspepsia; but religious hope and faith enabled her to endure all her
trials with resignation, and to view the approach of death with cheerful
serenity of soul. Toward the close of her life, the freshness of her
complexion was injured by continual suffering; but though pale, she
remained a handsome woman to the last. During her long illness, she
received innumerable marks of respect and affection from friends and
neighbors; for she was beloved by all who knew her. A short time before
her death, she offered the following prayer for the dear ones she was so
soon to leave; "O Lord, permit me to ask thy blessing for this family.
Thy favor is better than all the world can give. For want of keeping
close to thy counsel, my soul has often been pierced with sorrow. Pity
my weakness. Look thou from heaven, and forgive. Enable me, I beseech
thee, to renew my covenant, and so to live under the influence of thy
Holy Spirit, as to keep it. Preserve me in the hour of temptation. Thou
alone knowest how prone I am to err on the right side and on the left.
Bless the children! O Lord, visit and re-visit their tender minds. Lead
them in the paths of uprightness, for thy name's sake. I ask not riches
nor honor for them; but an inheritance in thy ever-blessed truth." She
left nine children, the youngest but six years old, to mourn the loss of
a most tender careful and self-sacrificing mother.

While her bereaved husband was still under the shadow of this great
grief, he was called to part with his son Isaac, who in little more than
a year, followed his mother, at the early age of fifteen. He was a
sedate gentle lad, and had always been a very pleasant child to his
parents. His father cherished his memory with great tenderness, and
seldom spoke of him without expressing his conviction that if he had
lived he would have become a highly acceptable minister in the Society
of Friends; a destiny which would have been more agreeable to his
parental feelings, than having a son President of the United States.

Soon after this melancholy event, Friend Hopper went to Maryland, to
visit two sisters who resided there. He was accompanied in this journey
by his wife's brother, David Tatum. At an inn where they stopped for
refreshment, the following characteristic incident occurred: A colored
girl brought in a pitcher of water. "Art thou a slave?" said Friend
Hopper. When she answered in the affirmative, he started up and
exclaimed, "It is against my principles to be waited upon by a slave."
His more timid brother-in-law inquired, in a low tone of voice, whether
he were aware that the mistress was within hearing. "To be sure I am,"
answered Isaac aloud. "What would be the use of saying it, if she were
_not_ within hearing?" He then emptied the pitcher of water, and went
out to the well to re-fill it for himself. Seeing the landlady stare at
these proceedings, he explained to her that he thought it wrong to avail
himself of unpaid labor. In reply, she complained of the ingratitude of
slaves, and the hard condition of their masters. "It is very
inconvenient to live so near a free state," said she. "I had sixteen
slaves; but ten of them have run away, and I expect the rest will soon

"I hope they will," said Isaac. "I am sure I would run away, if I were a

At first, she was disposed to be offended; but he reasoned the matter
with her, in a quiet and friendly manner, and they parted on very civil
terms. David Tatum often used to tell this anecdote, after they returned
home; and he generally added, "I never again will travel in a Southern
state with brother Isaac; for I am sure it would be at the risk of my

Time soothes all afflictions; and those who have dearly loved their
first companion are sometimes more likely than others to form a second
connexion; for the simple reason that they cannot learn to do without
the happiness to which they have been accustomed. There was an intimate
friend of the family, a member of the same religious Society, named
Hannah Attmore. She was a gentle and quiet person, of an innocent and
very pleasing countenance. Her father, a worthy and tender spirited man,
had been an intimate friend of Isaac T. Hopper, and always sympathized
with his efforts for the oppressed. A strong attachment had likewise
existed between her and Friend Hopper's wife; and during her frequent
visits to the house, it was her pleasure to volunteer assistance in the
numerous household cares. The fact that his Sarah had great esteem for
her, was doubtless a strong attraction to the widower. His suit was
favorably received, and they were married on the fourth of the second
month, (February) 1824. She was considerably younger than her
bridegroom; but vigorous health and elastic spirits had preserved his
youthful appearance, while her sober dress and grave deportment, made
her seem older than she really was. She became the mother of four
children, two of whom died in early childhood. Little Thomas, who ended
his brief career in three years and a half, was always remembered by his
parents, and other members of the family, as a remarkably bright,
precocious child, beautiful as an infant angel.

It has been already stated that the schism in the Society of Friends
introduced much controversy concerning the theological opinions of its
founders. There was consequently an increased demand for their writings,
and the branch called "Hicksites" felt the need of a bookstore. Friend
Hopper's business had never been congenial to his character, and of late
years it had become less profitable. A large number of his wealthiest
customers were "Orthodox;" and when he took part with Elias Hicks, they
ceased to patronize him. He was perfectly aware that such would be the
result; but whenever it was necessary to choose between his principles
and prosperity, he invariably followed what he believed to be the truth.
He was considered a suitable person to superintend the proposed
bookstore, and as the state of his financial affairs rendered a change
desirable, he concluded to accede to the proposition of his friends. For
that purpose, he removed to the city of New-York in 1829.

In the autumn of the following year, some disputed claims, which his
wife had on the estate of her maternal grandfather in Ireland, made it
necessary for him to visit that country. Experience had painfully
convinced him that theological controversy sometimes leads to personal
animosity; and that few people were so open and direct in their mode of
expressing hostility, as he himself was. Therefore, before going abroad,
he took the precaution to ask letters from citizens of various classes
and sects in Philadelphia; and he found no difficulty in obtaining them
from the most respectable and distinguished. Matthew Carey, the well
known philanthropist wrote as follows: "As you are about to visit my
native country, and have applied to me for a testimonial concerning your
character, I cheerfully comply with your request. I have been well
acquainted with you for about thirty-five years, and I can testify that,
during the whole of that time, you have been a perfect pest to our
Southern neighbors. A Southern gentleman could scarcely visit this city,
without having his slave taken from him by your instrumentality; so
that they dread you, as they do the devil." After enjoying a mutual
laugh over this epistle, another was written for the public, certifying
that he had known Isaac T. Hopper for many years as "a useful and
respectable citizen of the fairest character."

When Friend Hopper arrived in Ireland, he found many of the Quakers
prejudiced against him, and many untrue stories in circulation, as he
had expected. Sometimes, when he visited public places, he would
overhear people saying to each other, in a low voice, "That's Isaac T.
Hopper, who has given Friends so much trouble in America." A private
letter from an "Orthodox" Quaker in Philadelphia was copied and
circulated in all directions, greatly to his disadvantage. It
represented him as a man of sanctified appearance, but wholly unworthy
of credit; that business of a pecuniary nature was a mere pretence to
cover artful designs; his real object being to spread heretical
doctrines in Ireland, and thus sow dissension among Friends. In his
journal of this visit to a foreign land, Friend Hopper says: "It is
astonishing what strange ideas some of them have concerning me. They
have been informed that I can find stolen goods, and am often applied to
on such occasions. I think it would be no hard matter to make them
believe me a wizard." This was probably a serious version of his
pleasantry with the Dutchman about finding his goods by calculating the
age of the moon.

Many of the Irish Friends had formed from hearsay the most extravagant
misconceptions concerning the Friends called "Hicksites." They supposed
them to be outright infidels, and that the grossest immoralities were
tolerated among them; that they pointed loaded pistols at the "Orthodox"
brethren, and drove them out of their own meeting-houses by main force.
One of them expressed great surprise when Friend Hopper informed him
that they were in the constant habit of reading the Scriptures in their
families, and maintained among themselves the same discipline that had
always been used in the Society. Sometimes when he attended Quaker
meetings during the early portion of his visit, the ministers preached
at him, by cautioning young people to beware of the adversary, who was
now going about like a cunning serpent, in which form he was far more
dangerous, than when he assumed the appearance of a roaring lion. But
after a while, this tendency was rebuked by other preachers, who
inculcated forbearance in judging others; reminding their hearers that
the spirit of the Gospel always breathed peace and good will toward men.
As for Isaac himself, he behaved with characteristic openness. When a
stranger, in Quaker costume, introduced himself, and invited him to go
home and dine with him, he replied, "I am represented by some people as
a very bad man; and I do not wish to impose myself upon the hospitality
of strangers, without letting them know who I am."

The stranger assured him that he knew very well who he was, and cared
not a straw what opinions they accused him of; that he was going to have
a company of Friends at dinner, who wished to converse with him. He went
accordingly, and was received with true Irish hospitality and kindness.

Upon another occasion, a Quaker lady, who did not know he was a
"Hicksite," observed to him, "I suppose the Society of Friends are very
much thinned in America, since so many have gone off from them." He
replied, "It is always best to be candid. I belong to the party called
Hicksites, deists, and schismatics; and I suppose they are the ones to
whom thou hast alluded as having gone off from the Society. I should
like to talk with thee concerning the separation in America; for we have
been greatly misrepresented. But I came to this country solely on
business, and I have no wish to say or do anything that can unsettle the
mind, or wound the feelings of any Friend." She seemed very much
surprised, and for a minute or two covered her face with her hands. But
when the company broke up, some hours after, she followed him into the
entry, and cordially invited him to visit her. "What! canst thou
tolerate the company of a heretic?" he exclaimed. She replied with a
smile, "Yes, such a one as thou art."

In fact, wherever he had a chance to make himself known, prejudices
melted away under the influence of his frank and kindly manners. Some
people of other sects, as well of his own, took an interest in him for
the very reasons that caused distrust and dislike in others; viz:
because they had heard of him as the champion of perfect liberty of
conscience, who considered it unnecessary to bind men by any creed
whatsoever. Among these, he mentions in his journal, Professor Stokes of
Dublin, who relinquished a salary of two thousand eight hundred pounds a
year, because he could not conscientiously subscribe to the doctrine of
the Trinity. It was proposed to dismiss him from the college altogether;
but he demanded a hearing before the trustees and students. This
privilege could not be denied, without infringing the laws of the
institution; and deeming that such a discussion might prove injurious,
they concluded to retain him, on a salary of eight hundred pounds.
Friend Hopper describes him thus: "He is an intelligent and
liberal-minded man, and has a faculty of exposing the errors and
absurdities of the Athanasian Creed to much purpose. He was of a good
spirit, and I was much gratified with his company. He insisted upon
accompanying me home in the evening, and though I remonstrated against
it, on account of his advanced age, he attended me to the door of my

During this visit to Ireland, Friend Hopper was treated with great
hospitality and respect by many who were wealthy, and many who were not
wealthy; by members of the Society of Friends, and of various other
religious sects. He formed a high estimate of the Irish character, and
to the day of his death, always spoke with warm affection of the friends
he found there. In his journal, he often alludes with pleasure to the
children he met with, in families where he visited; for he was always
extremely partial to the young. Speaking of a visit to a gentleman in
the environs of Dublin, by the name of Wilson, he says: "I rose early
in the morning, and the eldest daughter, about ten or eleven years old,
very politely invited me to walk with her. We rambled about in the
pastures, and through beautiful groves of oak, beech and holly. The
little creature tried her very best to amuse me. She told me about the
birds and the hares, and other inhabitants of the woods. She inquired
whether I did not want very much to see my wife and children; and
exclaimed, 'How I should like to see you meet them! It would give you so
much pleasure!'" He speaks of a little girl in another family, who seemed
very much attracted toward him, and finally whispered to her father, "I
want to go and speak to that Friend." She was introduced accordingly,
and they had much pleasant chat together.

In one of the families where he visited, they told him an instructive
story concerning a Quaker who resided in Dublin, by the name of Joseph
Torrey. One day when he was passing through the streets, he saw a man
leading a horse, which was evidently much diseased. His compassionate
heart was pained by the sight, and he asked the man where he was going.
He replied, "The horse has the staggers, and I am going to sell him to
the carrion-butchers."

"Wilt thou sell him to me for a crown!" inquired Joseph. The man readily
assented, and the poor animal was led to the stable of his new friend,
where he was most kindly tended. Suitable remedies and careful treatment
soon restored him to health and beauty. One day, when Friend Torrey was
riding him in Phoenix Park, a gentleman looked very earnestly at the
horse, and at last inquired whether his owner would be willing to sell
him. "Perhaps I would," replied Joseph, "if I could get a very good
master for him."

"He so strongly resembles a favorite horse I once had, that I should
think he was the same, if I didn't know he was dead," rejoined the

"Did he die in thy stable?" inquired Joseph.

The gentleman replied, "No. He had the staggers very badly, and I sent
him to the carrion-butchers."

"I should be sorry to sell an animal to any man, who would send him to
the carrion-butchers because he was diseased," answered Joseph. "If thou
wert ill, how wouldst thou like to have thy throat cut, instead of being
kindly nursed?"

With some surprise, the gentleman inquired whether he intended to
compare him to a horse. "No," replied Joseph; "but animals have
feelings, as well as human beings; and when they are afflicted with
disease, they ought to be carefully attended. If I consent to sell thee
this horse, I shall exact a promise that thou wilt have him kindly
nursed when he is sick, and not send him to have his throat cut."

The gentleman readily promised all that was required, and said he should
consider himself very fortunate to obtain a horse that so much resembled
his old favorite. When he called the next day, to complete the bargain,
he inquired whether forty guineas would be a satisfactory price. The
conscientious Quaker answered, "I have good reason to believe the horse
was once thine; and I am willing to restore him to thee on the
conditions I have mentioned. I have saved him from the carrion-butchers,
but I will charge thee merely what I have expended for his food and
medicine. Let it be a lesson to thee to treat animals kindly, when they
are diseased. Never again send to the butchers a faithful servant, that
cannot plead for himself, and may, with proper attention, again become
useful to thee."

How little Friend Hopper was inclined to minister to aristocratic
prejudices, may be inferred from the following anecdote. One day, while
he was visiting a wealthy family in Dublin, a note was handed to him,
inviting him to dine the next day. When he read it aloud, his host
remarked, "Those people are very respectable, but not of the first
circles. They belong to our church, but not exactly to our set. Their
father was a mechanic."

"Well I am a mechanic myself," said Isaac. "Perhaps if thou hadst known
that fact, thou wouldst not have invited _me_?"

"Is it possible," exclaimed his host, "that a man of your information
and appearance can be a mechanic!"

"I followed the business of a tailor for many years," rejoined his
guest. "Look at my hands! Dost thou not see marks of the shears? Some of
the mayors of Philadelphia have been tailors. When I lived there, I
often walked the streets with the Chief Justice. It never occurred to me
that it was any honor, and I don't think it did to him."

Upon one occasion, Friend Hopper went into the Court of Chancery in
Dublin, and kept his hat on, according to Quaker custom. While he was
listening to the pleading, he noticed that a person who sat near the
Chancellor fixed his eyes upon him with a very stern expression. This
attracted the attention of lawyers and spectators, who also began to
look at him, Presently an officer tapped him on the shoulder, and said,
"Your hat, sir!"

"What's the matter with my hat?" he inquired.

"Take it off?" rejoined the officer. "You are in his Majesty Court of

"That is an honor I reserve for his Majesty's Master," he replied.
"Perhaps it is my shoes thou meanest?"

The officer seemed embarrassed, but said no more; and when the Friend
had stayed as long as he felt inclined, he quietly withdrew.

One day, when he was walking with a lawyer in Dublin, they passed the
Lord Lieutenant's castle. He expressed a wish to see the Council
Chamber, but was informed that it was not open to strangers. "I have a
mind to go and try," said he to his companion. "Wilt thou go with me?"

"No indeed," he replied; "and I would advise you not to go."

He marched in, however, with his broad beaver on, and found the Lord
Lieutenant surrounded by a number of gentleman. "I am an American," said
he. "I have heard a great deal about the Lord Lieutenant's castle, and
if it will give no offence, I should like very much to see it."

His lordship seemed surprised by this unceremonious introduction, but he
smiled, and said to a servant, "Show this American whatever he wishes to

He was conducted into various apartments, where he saw pictures,
statues, ancient armor, antique coins, and many other curious articles.
At parting, the master of the mansion was extremely polite, and gave him
much interesting information on a variety of topics. When he rejoined
his companion, who had agreed to wait for him at some appointed place,
he was met with the inquiry, "Well, what luck?"

"O, the best luck in the world," he replied, "I was treated with great

"Well certainly, Mr. Hopper, you are an extraordinary man," responded
the lawyer. "I wouldn't have ventured to try such an experiment."

At the expiration of four months, having completed the business which
rendered his presence in Ireland necessary, he made a short visit to
England, on his way home. There also his hat was objected to on several
occasions. While in Bristol, he asked permission to look at the interior
of the Cathedral. He had been walking about some little time, when a
rough-looking man said to him, in a very surly tone, "Take off your hat,

He replied very courteously, "I have asked permission to enter here to
gratify my curiosity as a stranger. I hope it is no offence."

"Take off your hat!" rejoined the rude man. "If you don't, I'll take it
off for you."

Friend Hopper leaned on his cane, looked him full in the face, and
answered very coolly, "If thou dost, I hope thou wilt send it to my
lodgings; for I shall have need of it this afternoon. I lodge at No. 35,
Lower Crescent, Clifton." The place designated was about a mile from the
Cathedral. The man stared at him, as if puzzled to decide whether he
were talking to an insane person, or not. When the imperturbable Quaker
had seen all he cared to see, he deliberately walked away.

At Westminster Abbey he paid the customary fee of two shillings sixpence
for admission. The door-keeper followed him, saying, "You must uncover
yourself, sir."

"Uncover myself!" exclaimed the Friend, with an affectation of ignorant
simplicity. "What dost thou mean? Must I take off my coat?"

"Your coat!" responded the man, smiling. "No indeed. I mean your hat."

"And what should I take off my hat for?" he inquired.

"Because you are in a church, sir," answered the door-keeper.

"I see no church here," rejoined the Quaker. "Perhaps thou meanest the
house where the church assembles. I suppose thou art aware that it is
the _people_, not the _building_, that constitutes a church?"

The idea seemed new to the man, but he merely repeated, "You must take
off your hat, sir."

But the Friend again inquired, "What for? On account of these images?
Thou knowest Scripture commands us not to worship graven images."

The man persisted in saying that no person could be permitted to pass
through the church without uncovering his head. "Well friend," rejoined
Isaac, "I have some conscientious scruples on that subject; so give me
back my money, and I will go out."

The reverential habits of the door-keeper were not quite strong enough
to compel him to that sacrifice; and he walked away, without saying
anything more on the subject.

When Friend Hopper visited the House of Lords, he asked the
sergeant-at-arms if he might sit upon the throne. He replied, "No, sir.
No one but his majesty sits there."

"Wherein does his majesty differ from other men?" inquired he. "If his
head were cut off, wouldn't he die?"

"Certainly he would," replied the officer.

"So would an American," rejoined Friend Hopper. As he spoke, he stepped
up to the gilded railing that surrounded the throne, and tried to open
the gate. The officer told him it was locked. "Well won't the same key
that locked it unlock it?" inquired he. "Is this the key hanging here?"

Being informed that it was, he took it down and unlocked the gate. He
removed the satin covering from the throne, carefully dusted the railing
with his handkerchief, before he hung the satin over it, and then seated
himself in the royal chair. "Well," said he, "do I look anything like
his majesty?"

The man seemed embarrassed, but smiled as he answered, "Why, sir, you
certainly fill the throne very respectably."

There were several noblemen in the room, who seemed to be extremely
amused by these unusual proceedings.

At a place called Jordans, about twenty-two miles from London, he
visited the grave of William Penn.

In his journal, he says: "The ground is surrounded by a neat hedge, and
is kept in good order. I picked some grass and moss from the graves of
William Penn, Thomas Ellwood, and Isaac Pennington; and some ivy and
holly from the hedge; which I intend to take with me to America, as a
memorial of my visit. I entered the meeting-house, and sat on the
benches which had been occupied by George Fox, William Penn, and George
Whitehead, in years long since passed away. It brought those old
Friends so distinctly before the view of my mind, that my heart was
ready to exclaim, 'Surely this is no other than the house of God, and
this is the gate of heaven.' I cannot describe my feelings. The manly
and majestic features of George Fox, and the mournful yet benevolent
countenance of Isaac Pennington, seemed to rise before me. But this is
human weakness. Those men bore the burthen and heat of their own day;
they faithfully used the talents committed to their trust; and I doubt
not they are now reaping the reward given to faithful servants. It is
permitted us to love their memories, but not to idolize them. They could
deliver neither son or daughter by their righteousness; but only their
own souls."

"In the great city of London everything tended to satisfy me that the
state of our religious Society is generally very low. A light was once
kindled there, that illuminated distant lands. As I walked the streets,
I remembered the labors, the sufferings, and the final triumph of those
illustrious sons of the morning, George Fox, George Whitehead, William
Penn, and a host of others; men who loved not their lives in comparison
with the holy cause of truth and righteousness, in which they were
called to labor. These worthies have been succeeded by a generation, who
seem disposed to garnish the sepulchres of their fathers, and live upon
the fruit of their labors, without submitting to the power of that
Cross, which made them what they were. There appears to me to be much
formality and dryness among them; though there are a few who mourn,
almost without hope, over the desolation that has been made by the
world, the flesh, and the devil."

There were many poor emigrants on board the merchant ship, in which
Friend Hopper returned home. He soon established friendly communication
with them, and entered with sympathy into all their troubles. He made
frequent visits to the steerage during the long voyage, and always had
something comforting and cheering to say to the poor souls. There was a
clergyman on board, who also wished to benefit them, but he approached
them in an official way, to which they did not so readily respond. One
day, when he invited the emigrants to join him in prayer, an old Irish
woman replied, "I'd rather play a game o' cards, than hear you prache and
pray." She pointed to Friend Hopper, and added, "_He_ comes and stays
among us, and always spakes a word o' comfort, and does us some good.
But _you_ come and prache and pray, and then you are gone. One look from
that Quaker gintleman is worth all the praching and praying that be in

The vessel encountered a dense fog, and ran on a sand bank as they
approached the Jersey shore. A tremendous sea was rolling, and dashed
against the ship with such force, that she seemed every moment in
danger of being shattered into fragments. If there had been a violent
gale of wind, all must have been inevitably lost. The passengers were
generally in a state of extreme terror. Screams and groans were heard in
every direction. But Friend Hopper's mind was preserved in a state of
great equanimity. He entreated the people to be quiet, and try to keep
possession of their faculties, that they might be ready to do whatever
was best, in case of emergency. Seeing him so calm, they gathered
closely round him, as if they thought he had some power to save them.
There was a naval officer on board, whose frenzied state of feeling
vented itself in blasphemous language. Friend Hopper, who was always
disturbed by irreverent use of the name of Deity, was peculiarly shocked
by it under these solemn circumstances. He walked up to the officer, put
his hand on his shoulder, and looking him in the face, said, "From what
I have heard of thy military exploits, I supposed thou wert a brave man;
but here thou art pouring forth blasphemies, to keep up the appearance
of courage, while thy pale face and quivering lips show that thou art in
mortal fear. I am ashamed of thee. If thou hast no reverence for Deity
thyself, thou shouldst show some regard for the feelings of those who
have." The officer ceased swearing, and treated his adviser with marked
respect. A friendship was formed between them, which continued as long
as the captain lived.

The clergyman on board afterward said to Friend Hopper, "If any other
person had talked to him in that manner, he would have knocked him

In about two hours, the vessel floated off the sandbar and went safely
into the harbor of New-York. At the custom-house, the clergyman was in
some perplexity about a large quantity of books he had brought with him,
on which it was proposed to charge high duties. "Perhaps I can get them
through for thee," said Friend Hopper. "I will try." He went up to the
officer, and said, "Isn't it a rule of the custom-house not to charge a
man for the tools of his trade?" He replied that it was. "Then thou art
bound to let this priest's books pass free," rejoined the Friend.
"Preaching is the trade he gets his living by; and these books are the
tools he must use." The clergyman being aware of Quaker views with
regard to a paid ministry, seemed doubtful whether to be pleased or not,
with _such_ a mode of helping him out of difficulty. However, he took
the joke as good naturedly as it was offered, and the books passed free,
on the assurance that they were all for his own library.

Friend Hopper's bookstore in New-York was a place of great resort for
members of his own sect. His animated style of conversation, his
thousand and one anecdotes of runaway slaves, his descriptions of keen
encounters with the "Orthodox," in the process of separation, attracted
many listeners. His intelligence and well-known conscientiousness
commanded respect, and he was held in high estimation by his own branch
of the Society, though the opposite party naturally entertained a less
favorable opinion of the "Hicksite" champion. Such a character as he was
must necessarily always be a man of mark, with warm friends and bitter

His resemblance to Bonaparte attracted attention in New-York, as it had
done in Philadelphia. Not long after he removed to that city, there was
a dramatic representation at the Park Theatre, in which Placide
personated the French Emperor. While this play was attracting public
attention, the manager happened to meet Friend Hopper in the street. As
soon as he saw him, he exclaimed, "Here is Napoleon himself come back
again!" He remarked to some of his acquaintance that he would gladly
give that Quaker gentleman one hundred dollars a night, if he would
consent to appear on the stage in the costume of Bonaparte.

About this period northern hostility to slavery took a new form, more
bold and uncompromising than the old Abolition Societies. It demanded
the immediate and unconditional emancipation of every slave, in a voice
which has not yet been silenced, and never will be, while the
oppressive system continues to disgrace our country. Of course, Friend
Hopper could not otherwise than sympathize with any movement for the
abolition of slavery, based on pacific principles. Pictures and
pamphlets, published by the Anti-Slavery Society were offered for sale
in his book-store. During the popular excitement on this subject, in
1834, he was told that his store was about to be attacked by an
infuriated rabble, and he had better remove all such publications from
the window. "Dost thou think I am such a coward as to forsake my
principles, or conceal them, at the bidding of a mob?" said he.
Presently, another messenger came to announce that the mob were already
in progress, at the distance of a few streets. He was earnestly advised
at least to put up the shutters, that their attention might not be
attracted by the pictures. "I shall do no such thing," he replied. The
excited throng soon came pouring down the street, with loud and
discordant yells. Friend Hopper walked out and stood on the steps. The
mob stopped in front of his store. He looked calmly and firmly at them,
and they looked irresolutely at him, like a wild animal spell-bound by
the fixed gaze of a human eye. After a brief pause, they renewed their
yells, and some of their leaders called out, "Go on, to Rose-street!"
They obeyed these orders, and in the absent of Lewis Tappan, a
well-known abolitionist, they burst open his house, and destroyed his

In 1835, Judge Chinn, of Mississippi, visited New-York, and brought with
him a slave, said to have cost the large sum of fifteen hundred dollars.
A few days after their arrival in the city, the slave eloped, and a
reward of five hundred dollars was offered for his apprehension. Friend
Hopper knew nothing about him; but some mischievous person wrote a note
to Judge Chinn, stating that the fugitive was concealed at his store, in
Pearl-street. A warrant was procured and put into the hands of a
constable frequently employed in that base business. At that season of
the year, many Southerners were in the city to purchase goods. A number
of them accompanied the judge to Pearl-street, and distributed
themselves at short distances, in order to arrest the slave, in case he
attempted to escape. They preferred to search the store in the absence
of Friend Hopper, and watched nearly an hour for a favorable
opportunity. Meanwhile, he was entirely unconscious of their
proceedings; and having occasion to call at a house a few doors below,
he left the store for a short time in charge of one of his sons. As soon
as he was gone, four or five men rushed in. Not finding the object of
their pursuit, they jumped out of a back window, and began to search
some buildings in the rear. When people complained of such
unceremonious intrusion upon their premises, the constable excused
himself by saying they were trying to apprehend a felon. Friend Hopper's
son called out that it was a slave, not a felon, they were in search of;
for he heard them say so. This made the constable very angry; for, like
most slave-catchers, he was eager for the reward, but rather ashamed of
the services by which he sought to obtain it. He swore roundly, and one
of his party gave the young man a blow on his face.

Friend Hopper, being sent for, returned immediately; and for some time
after, he observed a respectable looking person occasionally peeping
into the store, and skulking out of sight as soon as he thought himself
observed. At last, he went to the door, and said, "My friend, if thou
hast business with me, come in and let me know what it is; but don't be
prying about my premises in that way." He walked off, and joined a group
of people, who seemed to be much excited. Friend Hopper followed, and
found they were the men who had been recently searching his store. He
said to their leader, "Art thou the impertinent fellow who has been
intruding upon my premises, in my absence?" The constable replied that
he had a warrant, and was determined to execute it. Though a stranger to
his countenance, Friend Hopper was well aware that he was noted for
hunting slaves, and being unable to disguise his abhorrence of the
odious business, he said, "Judas betrayed his master for thirty pieces
of silver; and for a like sum, I suppose thou wouldst seize thy brother
by the throat, and send him into interminable bondage. If thy conscience
were as susceptible of conviction as his was, thou wouldst do as he did;
and thus rid the community of an intolerable nuisance."

One of the Southerners repeated the word "Brother!" in a very sneering

"Yes," rejoined Friend Hopper, "I said brother."

He returned to his store, but was soon summoned into the street again,
by a complaint that the constable and his troop of slaveholders were
very roughly handling a colored man, saying he had no business to keep
in their vicinity. When Friend Hopper interfered, to prevent further
abuse, several of the Southerners pointed bowie-knives and pistols at
him. He told the constable it was his duty, as a police-officer, to
arrest those men for carrying deadly weapons and making such a turmoil
in the street; and he threatened to complain of him if he did not do it.
He complied very reluctantly, and of course the culprits escaped before
they reached the police-office.

A few days after, as young Mr. Hopper was walking up Chatham-street, on
his way home in the evening, some unknown person came behind him,
knocked him down, and beat him in a most savage manner, so that he was
unable to leave his room for many days. No doubt was entertained that
this brutal attack was by one of the company who were on the search for
Judge Chinn's slave.

It was afterward rumored that the fugitive had arrived safely in Canada.
I never heard that he returned to the happy condition of slavery; though
his master predicted that he would do so, and said he never would have
been so foolish as to leave it, if it had not been for the false
representations of abolitionists.

In 1836, the hatred which Southerners bore to Friend Hopper's name was
manifested in a cruel and altogether unprovoked outrage on his son,
which caused the young man a great deal of suffering, and well nigh cost
him his life. John Hopper, Esq., now a lawyer in the city of New-York,
had occasion to go to the South on business. He remained in Charleston
about two months, during which time he was treated with courtesy in his
business relations, and received many kind attentions in the intercourse
of social life. One little incident that occurred during his visit
illustrates the tenacious attachment of Friends to their own mode of
worship. When he left home, his father had exhorted him to attend
Friends' meeting while he was in Charleston. He told him that a meeting
had been established there many years ago, but he supposed there were
not half a dozen members remaining, and probably they had no ministry;
for the original settlers had died, or left Carolina on account of their
testimony against slavery. But as Quakers believe that silent worship is
often more blessed to the soul, than the most eloquent preaching, he had
a strong desire that his son should attend the meeting constantly, even
if he found but two or three to unite with him. The young man promised
that he would do so. Accordingly, when he arrived in Charleston, he
inquired for the meeting-house, and was informed that it was well nigh
deserted. On the first day of the week, he went to the place designated,
and found a venerable, kind-looking Friend seated under the preachers'
gallery. In obedience to a signal from him, he took a seat by his side,
and they remained there in silence nearly two hours. Then the old man
turned and shook hands with him, as an indication that the meeting was
concluded, according to the custom of the Society of Friends. When he
found that he was talking to the son of Isaac T. Hopper, and that he had
promised to attend meeting there, during his stay in Charleston, he was
so much affected, that his eyes filled with tears. "Oh, I shall be glad
of thy company," said he; "for most of the time, this winter, I am here
all alone. My old friends and companions have all died, or moved away. I
come here twice on First days, and once on Fifth day, and sit all, all
alone, till I feel it right to leave the house and go home."

This lonely old worshipper once had an intimate friend, who for a long
time was his only companion in the silent meeting. At the close, they
shook hands and walked off together, enjoying a kindly chat on their way
home. Unfortunately, some difficulty afterward occurred between them,
which completely estranged them from each other. Both still clung to
their old place of worship. They took their accustomed seats, and
remained silent for a couple of hours; but they parted without shaking
hands, or speaking a single word. This alienation almost broke the old
man's heart. After awhile, he lost even, this shadow of companionship,
and there remained only "the voice within," and echoes of memory from
the empty benches.

While Mr. Hopper remained in Charleston, he went to the Quaker
meeting-house every Sunday, and rarely found any one there except the
persevering old Friend, who often invited him to go home with him. He
seemed to take great satisfaction in talking with him about his father,
and listening to what he had heard him say concerning the Society of
Friends. When the farewell hour came, he was much affected; for he felt
it not likely they would ever meet again; and the conversation of the
young stranger had formed a link between him and the Quakerism he loved
so well. The old man continued to sit alone under the preacher's gallery
till the house took fire and was burned to the ground. He died soon
after that event, at a very advanced age.

Another incident, which occurred during Mr. Hopper's stay in Charleston,
seemed exceedingly trivial at the time, but came very near producing
fatal consequences. One day, when a clergyman whom he visited was
showing him his library, he mentioned that his father had quite an
antiquarian taste for old documents connected with the Society of
Friends. At parting, the clergyman gave him several pamphlets for his
father, and among them happened to be a tract published by Friends in
Philadelphia, describing the colony at Sierra Leone, and giving an
account of the slave trade on the coast of Africa. He put the pamphlets
in his trunk, and started for Savannah, where he arrived on the
twenty-eighth of January. At the City Hotel, he unfortunately
encountered a marshal of the city of New-York, who was much employed in
catching runaway slaves, and of course sympathized with slaveholders. He
pointed the young stranger out, as a son of Isaac T. Hopper, the
notorious abolitionist. This information kindled a flame immediately,
and they began to discuss plans of vengeance. The traveller, not
dreaming of danger, retired to his room soon after supper. In a few
minutes, his door was forced open by a gang of intoxicated men, escorted
by the New-York marshal. They assailed him with a volley of blasphemous
language, struck him, kicked him, and spit in his face. They broke open
and rifled his trunk, and searched his pockets for abolition documents.
When they found the harmless little Quaker tract about the colony at
Sierra Leone, they screamed with exultation. They shouted, "Here is what
we wanted! Here is proof of abolitionism!" Some of them rushed out and
told the mob, who crowded the bar-room and entries, that they had found
a trunk full of abolition tracts. Others seized Mr. Hopper violently,
telling him to say his last prayers, and go with them. The proprietor of
the City Hotel was very naturally alarmed for the safety of the
building. He was in a great passion, and conjured them to carry their
victim down forthwith; saying he could do nothing with the mob below,
who were getting very impatient waiting for him. Turning to Mr. Hopper,
he said, "Young man, you are in a very unfortunate situation. You ought
never to have left your home. But it is your own doing; and you deserve
your fate." When appealed to for protection, he exclaimed, "Good God!
you must not appeal to me. This is a damned delicate business. I shall
not be able to protect my own property. But I will go for the mayor."

One of the bar-keeper's confidential friends sent him a slip of paper,
on which was written, "His only mode of escape is by the window;" and
the bar-keeper, who had previously shown himself decidedly unfriendly,
urged him again and again to profit by this advice. He occupied the
third story, and the street below his window was thronged with an
infuriated mob, thirsting and clamoring for his blood. In view of these
facts, it seems not very uncharitable to suppose that the advice was
given to make sure of his death, apparently by his own act, and thus
save the city of Savannah from the disgrace of the deed. Of the two
terrible alternatives, he preferred going down-stairs into the midst of
the angry mob, who were getting more and more maddened by liquor, having
taken forcible possession of the bar. He considered his fate inevitable,
and had made up his mind to die. But at the foot of the stairs, he was
met by the mayor and several aldermen, whose timely arrival saved his
life. After asking some questions, and receiving the assurance that he
came to Savannah solely on commercial business, the magistrates
accompanied Mr. Hopper to his room, and briefly examined his books and
papers. The mayor then went down and addressed the mob, assuring them
that he should be kept in custody during the night; that strict
investigation should be made, and if there was the slightest evidence of
his being an abolitionist, he should not be suffered to go at large.
The mayor and a large body of civil officers accompanied the prisoner to
the guard-house, and a number of citizens volunteered their services, to
strengthen the escort; but all their efforts scarcely sufficed to keep
him from the grasp of the infuriated multitude. He was placed in a
noisome cell, to await his trial, and the customary guard was increased
for his protection. Portions of the mob continued howling round the
prison all night, and the mayor was sent for several times to prevent
their bursting in. A gallows was erected, with a barrel of feathers and
a tub of tar in readiness under it, that they might amuse themselves
with their victim before they murdered him.

Next morning, at five o'clock, the prisoner was brought before the mayor
for further examination. Many of the mob followed him to the door of the
office to await the issue. The evidence was satisfactory that he
belonged to no anti-slavery society, and that his business in Savannah
had no connection whatever with that subject. As for the pamphlet about
Sierra Leone, the mayor said he considered that evidence in his favor;
because it was written in support of colonization. Before the
examination closed, there came a driving rain, which dispersed the mob
lying in wait round the building. Aided by this lucky storm their
destined victim passed out without being observed. At parting, the
mayor said to him, "Young man, you may consider it a miracle that you
have escaped with your life."

He took refuge on board the ship Angelique, bound for New-York, and was
received with much kindness and sympathy by Captain Nichols, the
commander. There was likewise a sailor on board, who happened to be one
of the many that owed a debt of gratitude to Friend Hopper; and he swore
he would shoot anybody that attempted to harm his son. In a short time,
a messenger came from the mayor to announce that the populace had
discovered where Mr. Hopper was secreted, and would probably attack the
vessel. In this emergency, the captain behaved nobly toward his hunted
fellow-citizen. He requested him to lie down flat in the bottom of a
boat, which he himself entered and conducted to a brig bound for
Providence. The captain was a New-England man, but having been long
engaged in Southern trade, his principles on the subject of slavery were
adapted to his interest. He gave the persecuted young traveller a most
ungracious reception, and said if he thought he was an abolitionist he
would send him directly back to Savannah. However, the representations
of Captain Nichols induced him to consent that he should be put on
board. They had a tedious passage of thirty-five days, during which
there was a long and violent storm, that seemed likely to wreck the
vessel. The mob had robbed Mr. Hopper of his money and clothing. He had
no comfortable garments to shield him from the severe cold, and his
hands and feet were frozen. At last, he arrived at Providence, and went
on board the steamer Benjamin Franklin, bound for New-York. There he had
the good fortune to meet with a colored waiter, whose father had been
redeemed from slavery by Friend Hopper's exertions. He was assiduously
devoted to the son of his benefactor, and did everything in his power to
alleviate his distressed condition.

When the traveller arrived at his home, he was so haggard and worn down
with danger and fatigue, that his family scarcely recognized him. His
father was much excited and deeply affected, when he heard what perils
he had gone through merely on account of his name. He soon after
addressed the following letter to the mayor of Savannah:

  "New-York, 4th month, 18th, 1836.


  "My object in addressing thee is to express my heartfelt gratitude
  for thy exertions in saving the life of my son, which I have cause
  to believe was in imminent peril, from the violence of unreasonable
  men, while in your city a few weeks ago. I am informed that very
  soon after his arrival in Savannah, the fact became known to a
  marshal of this city, who was then there, and who, by his
  misrepresentations, excited the rabble to a determination to
  perpetrate the most inhuman outrage upon him, and in all
  probability to take his life; and that preparations were made,
  which, if carried into effect, would doubtless have produced that

  "Tar and feathers, as a mode of punishment, I am inclined to think
  is rather of modern invention; and I am doubtful whether they will
  be more efficient than whipping, cutting off ears, the rack, the
  halter, and the stake. Superstition and intolerance have long ago
  called in all these to their aid, in suppressing reformation in
  religion; but they were unable to accomplish the end designed; and
  if I am not greatly mistaken, they would prove entirely
  insufficient to stop the progress of emancipation.

  "If it is the determination of the people of Savannah to deliver up
  to a lawless and blood-thirsty mob every person coming among them
  whose sentiments are opposed to slavery, I apprehend there are very
  few at the North who would not be obnoxious to their hostility. For
  I believe they all view slavery as an evil that must be abolished
  at no very distant day. Would it not be well for the people of the
  South to reflect upon the tendency of their conduct? Where such
  aggressions upon humanity are committed, the slaves will naturally
  inquire into the cause; and when they are informed that it is in
  consequence of their oppressed and degraded condition, and that the
  persons thus persecuted are charged with being their friends, they
  cannot feel indifferent. One such scene as was witnessed in the
  case of my son would tend more to excite a spirit of insurrection
  and insubordination among them, than ten thousand 'incendiary
  pamphlets,' not one word of which any of them could read. My son
  went to Savannah solely on his own private business, without any
  intention of interfering with the slaves, or with the subject of
  slavery in any way. But even supposing the charge to have been
  true, do not your laws award sufficient punishment? How could you
  stand silently by, and witness proceedings that would put to blush
  the Arab, or the untutored inhabitant of the wilderness in our own
  country? The negroes, whom you affect to despise so much, would set
  an example of benevolence and humanity, when on their own soil, if
  a stranger came among them, which you cannot be prepared to
  imitate, till you have made great improvements in civilization.

  "The people of Savannah profess Christianity; but what avails
  profession, where latitude is given to the vilest and most depraved
  passions of the human heart? Suppose the mob had murdered my son; a
  young man who went among you in the ordinary course of his
  business, and who, even according to _your_ understanding of the
  term, had done no evil; a young man of fair reputation, with
  numerous near relatives and friends to mourn over the barbarous
  deed; would you have been guiltless? I think the just witness in
  your consciences would answer No.

  "I have long deplored the evils of slavery, and my sympathy has
  often been much excited for the master, as well as the slave. I am
  aware of the difficulties attending the system, and I should
  rejoice if I could aid in devising some mode of relief, that would
  satisfy the claims of justice and humanity, and at the same time be
  acceptable to the inhabitants of the South.

  "It is certainly cause of deep regret that the Southern people
  suffer their angry passions to become so highly excited on this
  subject, which, of all others, ought to be calmly considered. For
  it remains a truth that 'the wrath of man worketh not the
  righteousness of God,' neither can it open his eyes to see in what
  his best interest consists. O, that your ears may be open to the
  voice of wisdom before it is too late! The language of an eminent
  statesman, who was a slaveholder, often occurs to me: 'I tremble
  for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that his
  justice will not sleep forever.' Surely we have high authority for
  believing that 'For the crying of the poor, and the sighing of the
  needy, God will arise.' I hope I shall not be suspected of
  entertaining hostile or unkind feelings toward the people of the
  South, when I say that I believe slavery must and will be
  abolished. As sure as God is merciful and good, it is an evil that
  cannot endure forever.

  "An inspired apostle says, that our gracious Creator 'hath made of
  one blood all nations of men;' and our Saviour gave this
  commandment: 'As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to
  them likewise.' If we believe these declarations, and I hope none
  doubt their authority, I should think reasoning unnecessary to
  convince us that to oppress and enslave our fellow men cannot be
  pleasing to Him, who is just and equal in all his ways.

  "My concern for the welfare of my fellow men is not confined to
  color, or circumscribed by geographical lines. I can never see
  human suffering without feeling compassion, and I would always
  gladly alleviate it, if I had it in my power. I remember that we
  are all, without distinction of color or locality, children of the
  same Universal Parent, who delights to see the human family dwell
  together in peace and harmony. I am strongly inclined to the
  opinion that the proceedings of that portion of the inhabitants of
  the North who are called abolitionists, would not produce so much
  agitation and excitement at the South, if the people there felt
  entirely satisfied that slavery was justifiable in the sight of
  infinite purity and justice. An eminent minister of the Gospel,
  about the middle of the seventeenth century, often urged upon the
  attention of people this emphatic injunction: 'Mind the light!'
  'All things that are reproved are made manifest by the light; for
  whatsoever doth make manifest is light.' Now, if this light, or
  spirit of truth, 'a manifestation of which is given to every man to
  profit withal,' should be found testifying in your consciences
  against injustice and oppression, regard its admonitions! It will
  let none remain at ease in their sins. It will justify for well
  doing; but to those who rebel against it, and disregard its
  reproofs, it will become the 'worm that dieth not, and the fire
  that is not quenched.'

  "I am aware that complaints are often made, because obstacles are
  thrown in the way of Southerners reclaiming their fugitive slaves.
  But bring the matter home to yourselves. Suppose a white man
  resided among you, who, for a series of years, had conducted with
  sobriety, industry, and probity, and had given frequent evidence of
  the kindness of his heart, by a disposition to oblige whenever
  opportunity offered; suppose he had a wife and children dependent
  upon him, and supported them comfortably and respectably; could you
  see that man dragged from his bed, and from the bosom of his
  family, in the dead time of night, manacled, and hurried away into
  a distant part of the country, where his family could never see him
  again, and where they knew he must linger out a miserable
  existence, more intolerable than death, amid the horrors of
  slavery? I ask whether you could witness all this, without the most
  poignant grief? This is no picture of the fancy. It is a sober
  reality. The only difference is, the men thus treated are black.
  But in my view, this does not diminish the horrors of such cruel
  deeds. Can it be expected then, that the citizens of this state, or
  indeed of any other, would witness all this, without instituting
  the severest scrutiny into the legality of the proceedings? More
  especially, when it is known that the persons employed in this
  nefarious business of hunting up fugitive slaves are men destitute
  of principle, whose hearts are callous as flint, and who would send
  a free man into bondage with as little compunction as they would a
  slave, if they could do it with impunity.

  "Of latter time, we hear much said about a dissolution of the
  Union. Far better, in my view, that this should take place, if it
  can be effected without violence, than to remain as we are; when a
  peaceable citizen cannot enter your territory on his own lawful
  business, without the risk of being murdered by a ruthless mob.

  "With reverent thankfulness to Him, who numbers the hairs of our
  heads, without whose notice not even a sparrow falls to the
  ground, and to whose providence I consider myself indebted for the
  redemption of my beloved son from the hands of barbarians, permit
  me again to say that I feel sincerely grateful to thee and others,
  who kindly lent aid, though late, in rescuing him from the violence
  of unreasonable and wicked men, who sought his life without a
  cause. I may never have it in my power to do either of you
  personally a kindness; but some other member of the great family of
  mankind may need assistance in a way that I can relieve him. If
  this should be the case, I hope I shall not fail to embrace the

  "With fervent desires that the beneficent Creator and Father of the
  Universe may open the eyes of all to see that 'the fast which he
  hath chosen is to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy
  burdens and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every

  "I am thy sincere friend,


Soon after the circumstances above related, the mayor of New-York
revoked the warrant of the marshal, who had been so conspicuous in the
outrage. This step was taken in consequence of his own admissions
concerning his conduct.

In 1837, a little incident occurred, which may be interesting to those
who are curious concerning phrenology. At a small social party in
New-York, a discussion arose on that subject; and, as usual, some were
disposed to believe and others to ridicule. At last the disputants
proposed to test the question by careful experiment. Friend Hopper was
one of the party, and they asked him to have his head examined by the
well-known O.S. Fowler. Having a good-natured willingness to gratify
their curiosity, he consented. It was agreed that he should not speak
during the operation, lest the tones of his voice might serve as an
index of his character. It was further stipulated that no person in the
room should give any indication by which the phrenologist might be
enabled to judge whether he was supposed to be speaking correctly or
not. The next day, Mr. Fowler was introduced blindfolded into a room,
where Isaac T. Hopper was seated with the party of the preceding
evening. Having passed his hands over the strongly developed head, he
made the following statement, which was taken down by a rapid writer, as
the words fell from his lips.

"The first and strongest manifestation of this character is efficiency.
Not one man in a thousand is capable of accomplishing so much. The
strong points are very strong; the weak points are weak; so that he is
an eccentric and peculiar character.

"The pole-star of his character is moral courage.

"He has very little reverence, and stands in no awe of the powers that
be. He pays no regard to forms or ceremonies, or established customs, in
church or state. He renders no homage to great names, such as D.D.;
L.L.D.; or Excellency. He treats his fellow men with kindness and
affection, but not with sufficient respect and courtesy.

"He is emphatically republican in feeling and character. He makes
himself free and familiar with every one. He often lets himself down too
much. This constitutes a radical defect in his character.

"He will assert and maintain human rights and liberty at every hazard.
In this cause, he will stake anything, or suffer anything. This
constitutes the leading feature of his character. Every other element is
blended into this.

"I should consider him a very cautious man in fact, though in appearance
he is very imprudent; especially in remarks on moral subjects.

"He is too apt to denounce those whom he considers in error; to apply
opprobrious epithets and censure in the strongest terms, and the boldest

"I have seldom, if ever, met with a larger organ of conscientiousness.

"Nothing so much delights him as to advocate and propagate moral
principles; no matter how unpopular the principles may be.

"He has very little credulity.

"He is one of the closest observers of men and things anywhere to be
found. He sees, as it were by intuition everything that passes around
him, and understands just when and where to take men and things; just
how and where to say things with effect; and in all he says, he speaks
directly to the point.

"He says and does a great many severe and cutting things. If anybody
else said and did such things, they would at once get into hot water;
but he says and does them in such a manner, that even his enemies, and
those against whom his censures are aimed, cannot be offended with him.
He is always on the verge of difficulty, but never _in_ difficulty.

"He is hated mainly by those not personally acquainted with him. A
personal interview, even with his greatest enemies, generally removes
enmity; because of the smoothness and easiness of his manners.

"He has at command a great amount of well-digested information on almost
every subject, and makes admirable use of his knowledge. He has a great
many facts, and always brings them in their right place. His general
memory of particulars, incidents, places, and words, is really

"But he has a weak memory concerning names, dates, numbers, and colors.
He never recognizes persons by their dress, or by the color of anything
pertaining to them.

"He tells a story admirably, and acts it out to the life. He makes a
great deal of fun, and keeps others in a roar of laughter, while he is
sober himself. For his fun, he is as much indebted to the manner as to
the matter. He makes his jokes mainly by happy comparisons, striking
illustrations, and the imitative power with which he expresses them.

"He possesses a great amount of native talent, but it is so admirably
distributed, that he appears to have more than he actually possesses.

"His attachment to his friends is remarkably strong and ardent. But he
will associate with none except those whose moral characters are

"He expects and anticipates a great deal; enters largely into things;
takes hold of every measure with spirit; and is always overwhelmed with
business. Move where he will, he cannot be otherwise than a
distinguished man."

That this description was remarkably accurate in most particulars will
be obvious to those who have read the preceding anecdotes. It is not
true, however, that he was enthusiastic in character, or that he had the
appearance of being so. He was far too practical and self-possessed, to
have the reputation of being "half crazy," even among those who are
prone to regard everything as insane that is out of the common course.
Neither do I think he was accustomed to "let himself down too much;" for
according to my radical ideas, a man _cannot_ "let himself down," who
"associates only with those whose moral characters are unimpeachable."
It is true that he was pleasant and playful in conversation with all
classes of people; but he was remarkably free from any tinge of
vulgarity. It is true, also, that he was totally and entirely
unconscious of any such thing as distinctions of rank. I have been
acquainted with many theoretical democrats, and with not a few who tried
to be democratic, from kind feelings-and principles of justice; but
Friend Hopper and Francis Jackson of Boston are the only two men I ever
met, who were born democrats; who could not help it, if they tried; and
who would not know _how_ to try; so completely did they, by nature,
ignore all artificial distinctions. Of course, I do not use the word
democrat in its limited party sense, but to express their perfect
unconsciousness that any man was considered to be above them, or any man
beneath them. If Friend Hopper encountered his wood-sawyer, after a
considerable absence, he would shake hands warmly, and give him a
cordial welcome. If the English Prince had called upon him, he would
have met with the same friendly reception, and would probably have been
accosted something after this fashion: "How art thou, friend Albert?
They tell me thou art amiable and kindly disposed toward the people; and
I am glad to see thee." Those who observe the parting advice given by
Isaac's mother, when he went to serve his apprenticeship in
Philadelphia, will easily infer that this peculiarity was hereditary.
Some men, who rise above their original position, either in character or
fortune, endeavor to conceal their early history. Others obtrude it upon
all occasions, in order to magnify themselves by a contrast between what
they have been and what they are. But he did neither the one nor the
other. The subject did not occupy his thoughts. He spoke of having been
a tailor, whenever it came naturally in his way, but never for the sake
of doing so. His having been born in a hen-house was a mere external
accident in his eyes; and in the same light he regarded the fact that
Victoria was born in a palace. What was the spiritual condition of the
two at any given age, was the only thing that seemed to him of real

His steadfastness in maintaining moral principles, "however unpopular
those principles might be," was severely tried in the autumn of 1838. At
a late hour in the night, two colored men came to his house, and one
introduced the other as a stranger in the city, who had need of a
lodging. Friend Hopper of course conjectured that he might be a fugitive
slave; and this conjecture was confirmed the next morning. The stranger
was a mulatto, about twenty-two years old, and called himself Thomas
Hughes. According to his own account, he was the son of a wealthy
planter in Virginia, who sold his mother with himself and his twin
sister when they were eleven months old. His mother and sister were
subsequently sold, but he could never ascertain where they were sent.
When he was about thirteen, he was purchased by the son of his first
master. Being hardly dealt with by this relative, he one day
remonstrated with him for treating his own brother with so much
severity. This was, of course, deemed a great piece of insolence in a
bondman, and he was punished by being sold to a speculator, carried off
hand-cuffed, with his feet tied under the horse's belly, and finally
shipped for Louisiana with a coffle of five hundred slaves. He was
bought by a gambler, who took him to Louisville, Kentucky. When he had
lived there three years, his master, having lost large sums of money,
told him he should be obliged to sell him. Thomas had meanwhile
ascertained that his father had removed to Kentucky, and was still a
very wealthy man. He obtained permission to go and see him, with the
hope that he would purchase him and set him free. Accordingly, he
called upon him, and told him that he was Thomas, the son of his slave
Rachel, who had always assured him that he was his father. The rich
planter did not deny poor Rachel's assertion, but in answer to her son's
inquiries, he plainly manifested that he neither knew nor cared who had
bought her, or to what part of the country she had been sent. Thomas
represented his own miserable condition, in being sold from one to
another, and subject to the will of whoever happened to be his owner. He
intreated his father to purchase him, with a view to manumission; but
himself and his proposition were both treated with supreme contempt.
Thus rejected by his father, and unable to discover any traces of his
mother, he returned disheartened to Louisville, and was soon after sent
to New-Orleans to be sold. Mr. John P. Darg, a speculator in slaves,
bought him; and he soon after married a girl named Mary, who belonged to
his new master. Mr. Darg went to New-York, to visit some relatives, and
took Thomas with him. It was only a few days after their arrival in the
city, that the slave left him, and went to Isaac T. Hopper to ask a
lodging. When he acknowledged that he was a fugitive, intending to take
refuge in Canada, it was deemed imprudent for him to remain under the
roof of a person so widely known as an abolitionist; but a very
benevolent and intelligent Quaker lady, near eighty years old, named
Margaret Shoemaker, gladly gave him shelter.

When Friend Hopper went to his place of business, after parting with the
colored stranger, he saw an advertisement in a newspaper called the Sun,
offering one thousand dollars reward for the apprehension and return of
a mulatto man, who had stolen seven or eight thousand dollars from a
house in Varick-street. A proportionate reward was offered for the
recovery of any part of the money. Though no names were mentioned, he
had reason to conjecture that Thomas Hughes might be the mulatto in
question. He accordingly sought him out, read the advertisement to him,
and inquired whether he had stolen anything from his master. He denied
having committed any theft, and said the pretence that he had done so
was a mere trick, often resorted to by slaveholders, when they wanted to
catch a runaway slave. That this remark was true, Friend Hopper knew
very well by his own experience; he therefore concluded it was likely
that Thomas was not guilty. He expressed this conviction in conversation
on the subject with Barney Corse, a benevolent member of the Society of
Friends, who was kindly disposed toward the colored people. In
compliance with Friend Hopper's request, that gentleman waited upon the
editor of the Sun, accompanied by a lawyer, and was assured that a large
amount of money really had been stolen from Mr. Darg, and that if he
could recover it, he was willing to give a pledge for the manumission of
the slave, beside paying the promised reward to whoever would enable him
to get possession of the money. Barney Corse called upon Mr. Darg, who
promptly confirmed the statement made by the editor in his name. The
Friend then promised that he, and others who were interested for the
slave, would do their utmost to obtain tidings of the money, and see it
safely restored, on those conditions; but he expressly stipulated that
he could not do it otherwise, because he had conscientious scruples,
which would prevent him, in all cases, from helping to return a fugitive
slave to his master.

It is to be observed that the promise of manumission was given as the
highest bribe that could be offered to induce the slave to refund the
money he had taken; for though in argument slaveholders generally
maintain that their slaves have no desire for freedom, they are never
known to _act_ upon that supposition. In this case, the offer served a
double purpose; for it stimulated the benevolent zeal of Friend Hopper
and Barney Corse, and induced the fugitive to confess what he had done.
He still denied that he had any intention of stealing, but declared that
he took the money merely to obtain power over his master, hoping that
the promise to restore it would secure his manumission. It is
impossible to tell whether he spoke truth or not; for poor Thomas had
been educated in a bad school of morals. Sold by his father, abused by
his brother, and for years compelled to do the bidding of gamblers and
slave-speculators, how could he be expected to have very clear
perceptions of right and wrong? The circumstances of the case, however,
seem to render it rather probable that he really was impelled by the
motive which he assigned for his conduct. Mr. Darg declared that he had
previously considered him an honest and faithful servant; that he was in
the habit of trusting him with the key of his trunk, and frequently sent
him to it for money. The bank-bills he had purloined were placed in the
hands of two colored men in New-York, because, as he said, he could not
return them himself, but must necessarily employ somebody to do it for
him, in the intended process of negotiating for his freedom.

Friend Hopper, his son-in-law James S. Gibbons, and Barney Corse, were
very earnest to recover the money, for the best of reasons. In the first
place, they greatly desired to secure the manumission of the slave. In
the second place, the honesty of their characters led them to wish that
the master should recover what was his own. In both instances, they
wished to restore stolen property to the rightful owner; to Thomas
Hughes the free use of his own faculties and limbs, which had been
stolen from him, and to Mr. Darg the money that had been purloined from
him. It is not likely that the Southerner would have ever regained any
portion of the amount stolen, had it not been for their exertions. But,
by careful and judicious management, they soon recovered nearly six
thousand dollars, which was immediately placed in one of the principal
banks of the city, with a full statement of the circumstances of the
case to the cashier. Over one thousand more was heard of as having been
deposited with a colored man in Albany. Friend Hopper proposed that
Barney Corse should go in pursuit of it, accompanied by the colored man
who sent it there. He agreed to do so; but he deemed it prudent to have
a previous interview with Mr. Darg, to obtain his written promise to
manumit Thomas, to pay the necessary expenses of the journey, and to
exonerate from criminal prosecution any person or persons connected with
the robbery, provided that assurance proved necessary in order to get
possession of the money. All this being satisfactorily accomplished, he
went to Albany and brought back the sum said to have been deposited
there. Ten or fourteen hundred dollars were still wanting to complete
the amount, which Mr. Darg said he had lost; but they had hopes of
obtaining that also, by confronting various individuals, who had become
involved with this complicated affair. Meanwhile, Barney Corse and
James S. Gibbons called upon Mr. Darg to inform him of the amount
recovered and safely deposited in the bank, and to pay him the sum
brought from Albany. Instead of giving the deed of manumission, which
had been his own voluntary offer at the outset, and which he knew had
been the impelling motive to exertion, Mr. Darg had two police-officers
in an adjoining room to arrest Barney Corse for having stolen money in
his possession. He was of course astonished at such an ungrateful return
for his services, but at once expressed his readiness to go before any
magistrate that might be named.

It would not be easy to give an adequate idea of the storm of
persecution that followed. Popular prejudice against abolitionists was
then raging with uncommon fury; and police-officers and editors availed
themselves of it to the utmost to excite hostility against individuals,
who had been actuated by a kind motive, and who had proceeded with
perfect openness throughout the whole affair. The newspapers of the city
were pro-slavery, almost without exception. The idea of sending
abolitionists to the State Prison was a glorious prospect, over which
they exulted mightily. They represented that Thomas had been enticed
from his master by these pretended philanthropists, who had advised him
to steal the money, as a cunning mode of obtaining manumission. As for
the accused, all they asked was a speedy and thorough investigation of
their conduct. The case was however postponed from week to week, and
offers were made meanwhile to compromise the matter, if Barney Corse
would pay the balance of the lost money. He had wealthy connexions, and
perhaps the prosecutors hoped to extort money from them, to avoid the
disgrace of a trial. But Barney Corse was far from wishing to avoid a

At this juncture of affairs, Friend Hopper took a step, which raised a
great clamor among his enemies, and puzzled some of his friends at the
time, because they did not understand his motives. He sued Mr. Darg for
the promised reward of one thousand dollars. He had several reasons for
this proceeding. In the first place, the newspapers continually pointed
him out as a man over whose head a criminal prosecution was pending;
while he had at the same time had good reason to believe that his
accusers would never venture to meet him before a court of justice; and
a proper regard for his own character made him resolved to obtain a
legal investigation of his conduct by some process. In the second place,
Mr. Darg had subjected Barney Corse to a great deal of trouble and
expense; and Friend Hopper thought it no more than fair that expenses
caused by his own treachery should be paid from his own pocket. In the
third place, David Ruggles, a worthy colored man, no way implicated in
the transaction, had been arrested, and was likely to be involved in
expense. In the fourth place, the police officers, who advised the
arrest of Barney Corse, made themselves very conspicuous in the
persecution. He believed they had been actuated by a desire to obtain
the reward for themselves; and as they had no just claim to it, he
determined to defeat them in this attempt. He therefore sued for the
reward himself, though he never intended to use a dollar of it. This was
manifested at the time, by a declaration in the newspapers, that if he
recovered the reward, he would give all over the expenses to some
benevolent society. It was frequently intimated to him that there should
be no further proceedings against him, if he would withdraw this suit;
but he constantly replied that a trial was what he wanted. Finding all
overtures rejected, a complaint was laid before the Grand Jury; and such
was the state of popular prejudice, that twelve out of nineteen of that
body concurred in finding a bill against men of excellent moral
character, without any real evidence to sustain the charge. Barney Corse
had never taken measures to prevent the arrest of Thomas Hughes. He
simply declined to render any assistance. He believed that he was under
no legal obligation to do otherwise; and he knew for a certainty that he
was under no moral obligation; because conscience would not allow him
to aid in returning a runaway slave to his master. Nevertheless, he and
Isaac T. Hopper, and James S. Gibbons, were indicted for "feloniously
receiving, harboring, aiding and maintaining said Thomas, in order that
he might escape from arrest, and avoid conviction and punishment."
Friend Hopper was advised that he might avail himself of some technical
defects in the indictment; but he declined doing it; always insisting
that a public investigation was what he wanted.

The trial was carried on in the same spirit that characterized the
previous proceedings. A colored man, known to have had dishonest
possession of a portion of the lost money, was admitted to testify, on
two successive trials, against Barney Corse, who had always sustained a
fair character. The District Attorney talked to the jury of "the
necessity of appeasing the South." As if convicting an honest and
kind-hearted Quaker of being accomplice in a felony could do anything
toward settling the questions that divided North and South on the
subject of slavery! One of the jury declared that he never would acquit
an abolitionist. Mr. Darg testified of himself during the trial, that he
never intended to manumit Thomas, and had made the promise merely as a
means of obtaining his money. The newspapers spoke as if the guilt of
the accused was not to be doubted, and informed the jury that the
public expected them to convict these men.

In fact, the storm lowered so darkly, that some friends of the
persecuted individuals began to feel uneasy. But Friend Hopper's mind
was perfectly undisturbed. Highly respectable lawyers offered to conduct
the cause for him; but he gratefully declined, saying he preferred to
manage it for himself. He informed the court that he presumed they
understood the law, and he was quite sure that he understood the facts;
therefore, he saw no need of a lawyer between them. The Court of
Sessions was held every month, and he appeared before it at almost every
term, to demand a trial. At last, in January 1840, when the hearing had
been delayed fifteen months, he gave notice that unless he was tried
during that term, he should appear on the last day of it, and request
that a _nolle prosequi_ should be ordered. The trial not coming on, he
appeared accordingly, and made a very animated speech, in which he dwelt
with deserved severity on the evils of the police system, and on the
efforts of a corrupt press to pervert the public mind. He said he did
not make these remarks to excite sympathy. He was not there to ask for
mercy, but to demand justice. "And I would have you all to understand
distinctly," continued the brave old man, "that I have no wish to evade
the charge against me for being an abolitionist. I _am_ an
abolitionist. In that, I am charged truly. I have been an abolitionist
from my early years, and I always expect to remain so. For this, I am
prosecuted and persecuted. I most sincerely believe that slavery is the
greatest sin the Lord Almighty ever suffered to exist upon this earth.
As sure as God is good and just, he will put an end to it; and all
opposition will be in vain. As regards myself, I can only say, that
having lived three-score and nearly ten years, with a character that
placed me above suspicion in such matters as have been urged against me,
I cannot now forego the principles which have always influenced my
conduct in relation to slavery. Neither force on the one hand, nor
persuasion on the other, will ever alter my course of action."

One of the New-York papers, commenting on this speech, at the time,
states that "the old gentleman was listened to very attentively. He was
composed, dignified, and clear in his manner, and evidently had much
effect on the court and a large number of spectators. He certainly
needed no counsel to aid him."

The court ordered a _nolle prosequi_ to be entered, and the defendants
were all discharged. The suit for the reward proceeded no further. David
Ruggles had been early discharged, and the whole case had been
completely before the public in pamphlet form; 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 Hopper and others his determination to
remain at the North; but after an interview with Mr. Darg, he consented
to return to the South with him. Although he was thus wavering in
character, he could never be persuaded to say that any abolitionist
advised him to take his master's money. He always declared that no white
man knew anything about it, until after he had placed it out of his own
hands; and that the friends who were willing to aid him in procuring his
manumission had always expressed their regret that he had committed such
a wrong action. He deserved praise for his consistency on this point;
for he had the offer of being exempted from prosecution himself, and
used as a witness, if he would say they advised him to steal the money.

When Thomas Hughes consented to return to the South with Mr. Darg, it
was with the full understanding that he went as a free man, consenting
to be his servant. This he expressed during his last interview with
Friend Hopper, in Mr. Darg's presence. But the newspapers represented
that he had voluntarily gone back into slavery; and such was their
exultation over his supposed choice, that a person unacquainted with the
history of our republic might have inferred that the heroes of the
revolution fought and died mainly for the purpose of convincing their
posterity of the superior advantages of slavery over freedom. However,
it was not long before Thomas returned to New-York, and told the
following story: "A short time before my release from prison, Mr. Darg
brought my wife to see me, and told me we should both be free and enjoy
each other's society as long as we lived, if I would go with him. He
said I should suffer here at the North; for the abolitionists would do
nothing for me. I went with him solely with the hope of living with
Mary. I thought if he attempted to hold me as a slave, we would both run
away, the first opportunity. He told me we should meet Mary in
Washington; but when we arrived in Baltimore, he shut me up in jail, and
told me Mary was sold, and carried off South. I cannot describe how I
felt. I never expect to see her again. He asked me if I consented to
come with him on Mary's account, or on his own account. I thought it
would make it better for me to say on his account; and I said so. I hope
the Lord will forgive me for telling a falsehood. When I had been in
jail some time, he called to see me, and said that as I did not come
with him on account of my wife, he would not sell me; that I should be
free, and he would try to buy Mary for me."

Thomas said he was informed that certain people in New-York wrote to Mr.
Darg, advising him not to sell him, because the abolitionists predicted
that he would do so; and he thought that was the reason why he was not
sold. If this supposition was correct, it is a great pity that his
master was not induced by some better motive to avoid an evil action.
Thomas uniformly spoke of Mrs. Darg with respect and gratitude. He said,
"She was always very kind to me and Mary. I know she did not want to
have me sold, or to have Mary sold; for I believe she loved her. I feel
very sorry that I could not live with her and be free; but I had rather
live in the State Prison all my life than to be a slave."

I never heard what became of Thomas. Friend Shoemaker used to tell me,
years afterward, how she secreted him, and rejoiced in the deed. I heard
the good lady, when more than ninety years old, just before her death,
talk the matter over; and her kindly, intelligent countenance smiled all
over, as she recounted how she had contrived to dodge the police, and
avoid being a witness in the case. The Fugitive Slave Law would be of no
avail to tyrants, if all the women at the North had as much moral
courage, and were as benevolent and quick-witted as she was.

Those who were most active in persecuting Friend Hopper and Barney Corse
convinced the public, by their subsequent disreputable career, that they
were not men whose word could be relied upon.

Dr. R.W. Moore, of Philadelphia, in a letter to Friend Hopper concerning
this troublesome case, says: "I am aware thou hast passed through many
trials in the prosecution of this matter. Condemned by the world,
censured by some of thy friends, and discouraged by the weak, thou hast
had much to bear. But thou hast been able to foil thy enemies, and to
pass through the flames without the smell of fire on thy garments. Thy
Christian firmness is an example to us all. It reminds one of those
ancient Quakers, who, knowing themselves in the right, suffered wrongs
rather than compromise their principles. For the sake of mankind, I am
sorry there are not more such characters among us. They would do more to
exalt our principles, than a host of the professors of the present day."

A year or two later, another incident occurred, which excited similar
exultation among New-York editors, that a human being had been so wise
as to prefer slavery to freedom; and there was about as much cause for
such exultation as there had been in the case of Thomas Hughes.

Mrs. Burke of New-Orleans went to New-York to visit a relative by the
name of Morgan. She brought a slave to attend upon her, and took great
care to prevent her becoming acquainted with the colored people. I don't
know how city editors would account for this extreme caution,
consistently with their ideas of the blessedness of slavery. They might
argue that there was danger free colored people would be so attracted by
her charming pictures of bondage, that they would emigrate to the South
in larger numbers than would supply the slave-markets, and thus occasion
some depression in an honorable branch of trade in this republic.
However they might please to explain it, the simple fact was, Mrs. Burke
did not allow her slave to go into the street. Of course, she must have
had some other motive than the idea that _freedom_ could be attractive
to her. The colored people became aware of the careful constraint
imposed upon the woman, and they informed the abolitionists. Thinking it
right that slaves should be made aware of their legal claim to freedom,
when brought or sent into the free states, with knowledge and consent of
their masters, they applied to Judge Oakley for a writ of _habeas
corpus,_ by virtue of which the girl was brought before him. While she
was in waiting, Friend Hopper heard of the circumstance, and immediately
proceeded to the court-room. There he found Mr. Morgan and one of his
southern friends talking busily with the slave. The woman appeared
frightened and undecided, as is often the case, under such
circumstances. Those who wished her to return to the South plied her
with fair promises. They represented abolitionists as a set of
kidnappers, who seized colored strangers under friendly pretences, and
nobody could tell what became of them afterward. It was urged that her
condition would be most miserable with the "free niggers" of the North,
even if the abolitionists did not sell her, or spirit her away to some
unknown region.

On the other hand, the colored people, who had assembled about the
court-room, were very eager to rescue her from slavery. She did not
understand their motives, or those of the abolitionists; for they had
been diligently misrepresented to her. "What do they want to do it
_for_?" she asked, with a perplexed air. "What will they do with me?"
She was afraid there was some selfish motive concealed. She dared not
trust the professions of strangers, whose characters had been so
unfavorably represented. Friend Hopper found her in this confused state
of mind. The Southerner was very willing to speak _for_ her. He gave
assurance that she did not want her freedom; that she desired to return
to the South; and that she had been in no respect distrained of her
liberty in the city of New-York.

"Thou art a very respectable looking man," said Friend Hopper; "but I
have known slaveholders, of even more genteel appearance than thou art,
tell gross falsehoods where a slave was in question. I tell thee
plainly, that I have no confidence in slaveholders, in any such case. I
have had too much acquaintance with them. I know their game too well."

The Southerner said something about its being both mean and wrong to
come between master and servant.

"Such may be thy opinion," replied Friend Hopper; "but my views of duty
differ from thine in this matter." Then turning to the woman, he said,
"By the laws here, thou art free. No man has a right to make thee a
slave again. Thou mayest stay at the North, or go back to New-Orleans,
just as thou choosest."

The Southerner here interposed to say, "Mind what that old gentleman
says. You can go back to New-Orleans, to your husband, if you prefer to

"But let me tell thee," said Friend Hopper to the woman, "that if thou
stayest here, thou wilt be free; but if they carry thee back, they may
sell thee away from thy husband. Dost thou wish to be free?"

The tears gushed from her eyes in full flood, and she replied earnestly,
"I do want to be free. To be _sure I_ do want to be free; but then I
want to go to my husband."

Mr. Morgan and his Southern friend grew excited. With an angry glance at
the old gentleman, the latter exclaimed, "I only wish we had you in
New-Orleans! We'd hang you up in twenty-four hours."

"Then you are a set of savages," replied Friend Hopper.

"_You_ are a set of thieves," retorted he.

"Well, savages may be thieves also," rejoined the abolitionist, with a
significant smile.

"You are no gentleman," responded the other, in an irritated tone.

"I don't profess to be a gentleman," answered the impassive Quaker. "But
I am an honest old man; and perhaps that will do as well."

This remark occasioned a general smile. Indeed it was pleasant to
observe, throughout this scene in the court-room, that popular sympathy
was altogether on the side of freedom. It was a strange blind instinct
on the part of the people, considering how diligently they had been
instructed otherwise by pulpit and press; but so it was.

When the slave was summoned into the judge's room, Friend Hopper
followed; being extremely desirous to have her understand her position
clearly. He found Mr. Morgan and his Southern friend in close and
earnest conversation with her. When he attempted to approach her, he was
unceremoniously shoved aside, with the remark, "Don't push me away!"

"I did not push thee," said Friend Hopper; "and see that thou dost not
push _me_!" He then inquired of the woman if he had rightly understood
that her husband was free. She replied in the affirmative. "Then let me
tell thee," said the kind-hearted old gentleman, "that we will send for
him, and obtain employment for him here, if it is thy choice to

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 circumstances, _one_ poor
bewildered wretch goes back to slavery; but of the _hundreds_, who every
month take their freedom, through fire and flood, and all manner of
deadly perils, they are as silent as the grave.

In the spring of 1841, I went to New-York to edit the Anti-Slavery
Standard, and took up my abode with the family of Isaac T. Hopper. The
zealous theological controversy among Friends naturally subsided after
the separation between the opposing parties had become an old and
settled fact. Consequently the demand for Quaker books diminished more
and more. The Anti-Slavery Society, at that time, needed a Treasurer and
Book-Agent; and Friend Hopper was proposed as a suitable person for that
office. As only a small portion of his time was occupied with the sale
of books he had on hand, he concluded to accept the proposition. He was
then nearly seventy years old; but he appeared at least twenty years
younger, in person and manners. His firm, elastic step seemed like a
vigorous man of fifty. He would spring from the Bowery cars, while they
were in motion, with as much agility as a lad of fourteen. His hair was
not even sprinkled with gray. It looked so black and glossy, that a
young lady, who was introduced to him, said she thought he wore a wig
unnaturally dark for his age. It was a favorite joke of his to make
strangers believe he wore a wig; and they were not easily satisfied
that he spoke in jest, until they examined his head.

The roguery of his boyhood had subsided into a love of little
mischievous tricks; and the playful tone of humor, that rippled through
his conversation, frequently reminded me of the Cheeryble Brothers, so
admirably described by Dickens. If some one rang at the door, and
inquired for Mr. Hopper, he always answered, "There is no such person
lives here." If the stranger urged that he had been directed by a man
who said he knew Mr. Hopper, he would persevere in saying, "There must
be some mistake. No such person lives here." At last, when the
disappointed visitor turned to go away, he would call out, "Perhaps thou
means Isaac T. Hopper? That is _my_ name."

Being called upon to give a receipt to a Catholic priest for some money
deposited in his hands, he simply wrote "Received of John Smith." When
the priest had read it, he handed it back and said, "I am disbursing
other people's money, and shall be obliged to show this receipt;
therefore, I should like to have you write my name, the Reverend John
Smith." "I have conscientious scruples about using titles," replied
Friend Hopper. "However, I will try to oblige thee." He took another
slip of paper, and wrote, "Received of John Smith, who _calls_ himself
the Reverend." The priest smiled, and accepted the compromise; being
well aware that the pleasantry originated in no personal or sectarian

He always had something facetious to say to the people with whom he
traded. The oyster-men, the coal-men, and the women at the fruit-stalls
in his neighborhood, all knew him as a pleasant old gentleman, always
ready for a joke. One day, when he was buying some peaches, he said to
the woman, "A serious accident happened at our house last night. I
killed two robbers." "Dear me!" she exclaimed. "Were they young men, or
old convicts? Had they ever been in Sing Sing?" "I don't know about
that," replied he. "I should think they might have been by the noise
they made. But I despatched them before they had stolen much. The walls
are quite bloody." "Has a Coroner's inquest been called?" inquired the
woman. When he answered, "No," she lifted her hands in astonishment, and
exclaimed, "Well now, I do declare! If anybody else had done it, there
would have been a great fuss made about it; but you are a privileged
man, Mr. Hopper." When he was about to walk away, he turned round and
said, "I did not mention to thee that the robbers I killed were two
mosquitoes." The woman had a good laugh, and he came home as pleased as
a boy, to think how completely his serious manner had deceived her.

One day he went to a hosiery store, and said to the man, "I bought a
pair of stockings here yesterday. They looked very nice; but when I got
home, I found two large holes in them; and I have come for another pair.
The man summoned his wife, and informed her of what the gentleman had

"Bless me! Is it possible, sir?" she exclaimed.

"Yes," replied Friend Hopper, I found they had holes as large as my

"It is very strange," rejoined she; "for I am sure they were new. But if
you have brought them back, of course we will change them."

"O," said he, "upon examination, I concluded that the big holes were
made to put the feet in; and I liked the stockings so well, that I have
come to buy another pair."

At another time, he entered a crockery shop, where a young girl was
tending. He made up a very sorrowful face, and in whining tones, told
her that he was in trouble and needed help. She asked him to wait till
the gentleman came; but he continued to beseech that she would take
compassion on him. The girl began to be frightened by his importunity,
and looked anxiously toward the door. At last, the man of the shop came
in; and Friend Hopper said, "This young woman thinks she cannot help me
out of my trouble; but I think she can. The fact is, we are going to
have company, and so many of our tumblers are broken, that I came to
ask if she would sell me a few."

One day, when he was walking quickly up the Bowery, his foot slipped on
a piece of orange-peel, and he fell prostrate on the sidewalk. He
started up instantly, and turning to a young man behind him, he said,
"Couldst thou have done that any better?"

He very often mingled with affairs in the street, as he passed along.
One day, when he saw a man beating his horse brutally, he stepped up to
him and said, very seriously, "Dost thou know that some people think men
change into animals when they die?"

The stranger's attention was arrested by such an unexpected question,
and he answered that he never was acquainted with anybody who had that

"But some people do believe it," rejoined Friend Hopper; "and they also
believe that animals may become men. Now I am thinking if thou shouldst
ever be a horse, and that horse should ever be a man, with such a temper
as thine, the chance is thou wilt get some cruel beatings." Having thus
changed the current of his angry mood, he proceeded to expostulate with
him in a friendly way; and the poor beast was reprieved, for that time,
at least.

He could imitate the Irish brogue very perfectly; and it was a standing
jest with him to make every Irish stranger believe he was a countryman.
During his visit to Ireland, he had become so well acquainted with
various localities, that I believe he never in any instance failed to
deceive them, when he said, "Och! and sure I came from old Ireland
meself." After amusing himself in this way for a while, he would tell
them, "It is true I did come from Ireland; but, to confess the truth, I
went there first."

Once, when he saw two Irishmen fighting, he seized one of them by the
arm, and said, "I'm from ould Ireland. If thou _must_ fight, I'm the man
for thee. Thou hadst better let that poor fellow alone. I'm a dale
stouter than he is; and sure it would be braver to fight me." The man
thus accosted looked at him with surprise, for an instant, then burst
out laughing, threw his coat across his arm, and walked off.

Another time, when he found two Irishmen quarrelling, he stepped up and
inquired what was the matter. "He's got my prayer-book," exclaimed one
of them; "and I'll give him a bating for it; by St. Patrick, I will."
"Let me give thee a piece of advice," said Friend Hopper. "It's a very
hot day, and bating is warm work. I'm thinking thou had'st better put it
off till the cool o' the morning." The men, of course, became cooler
before they had done listening to this playful remonstrance.

Once, when he was travelling in the stage, they passed a number of
Irishmen with cart-loads of stones, to mend the road. Friend Hopper
suggested to the driver that he had better ask them to remove a very
large stone, which lay directly in the way and seemed dangerous. "It
will be of no use if I do," replied the driver. "They'll only curse me,
and tell me to go round the old road, over the hill; for the fact is,
this road is not fairly opened to the public yet." Friend Hopper jumped
out, and asked if they would turn that big stone aside. "And sure ye've
no business here at all," they replied. "Ye may jist go round by the
ould road." "Och!" said Friend Hopper, "and is this the way I'm trated
by my coontryman? I'm from Ireland meself; and sure I did'nt expect to
be trated so by my coontrymen in a strange coontry."

"And are ye from ould Ireland?" inquired they.

"Indade I am," he replied.

"And what part may ye be from?" said they.

"From Mount Mellick, Queen's County," rejoined he; and he began to talk
familiarly about the priest and the doctor there, till he got the
laborers into a real good humor, and they removed the stone with the
utmost alacrity. The passengers in the stage listened to this
conversation, and supposed that he was in reality an Irish Quaker. When
he returned to them and explained the joke, they had a hearty laugh over
his powers of mimicry.

His tricks with children were innumerable. They would often be lying in
wait for him in the street; and if he passed without noticing them, they
would sometimes pull at the skirts of his coat, to obtain the customary
attention. Occasionally, he would observe a little troop staring at him,
attracted by the singularity of his costume. Then, he would stop, face
about, stretch out his leg, and say, "Come now, boys! Come, and take a
good look!" It was his delight to steal up behind them, and tickle their
necks, while he made a loud squealing noise. The children, supposing
some animal had set upon them, would jump as if they had been shot. And
how he would laugh! When he met a boy with dirty face or hands, he would
stop him, and inquire if he ever studied chemistry. The boy, with a
wondering stare, would answer, "No." "Well then, I will teach thee how
to perform a curious chemical experiment," said Friend Hopper. "Go home,
take a piece of soap, put it in water, and rub it briskly on thy hands
and face. Thou hast no idea what a beautiful froth it will make, and how
much whiter thy skin will be. That's a chemical experiment. I advise
thee to try it."

The character of his wife was extremely modest and reserved; and he took
mischievous pleasure in telling strangers the story of their courtship
in a way that made her blush. "Dost thou know what Hannah answered, when
I asked if she would marry me?" said he. "I will tell thee how it was.
I was walking home with her one evening, soon after the death of her
mother, and I mentioned to her that as she was alone now, I supposed she
intended to make some change in her mode of living. When she said yes, I
told her I had been thinking it would be very pleasant to have her come
and live with me. 'That would suit me exactly,' said she. This prompt
reply made me suppose she might not have understood my meaning; and I
explained that I wanted to have her become a member of my family; but
she replied again, 'There is nothing I should like better.'"

The real fact was, the quiet and timid Hannah Attmore was not dreaming
of such a thing as a proposal of marriage. She supposed he spoke of
receiving her as a boarder in his family. When she at last perceived his
meaning, she slipped her arm out of his very quickly, and was too much
confused to utter a word. But it amused him to represent that she seized
the opportunity the moment it was offered.

There was one of the anti-slavery agents who did everything in a
dashing, wholesale style, and was very apt to give peremptory orders.
One day he wrote a letter on business, to which the following postscript
was appended: "Give the hands at your office a tremendous blowing up.
They need it." Friend Hopper briefly replied: "According to thy orders,
I have given the hands at our office a tremendous blowing up. They want
to know what it is for. Please inform me by return of mail."

When the Prison Association of New-York petitioned to be incorporated,
he went to Albany on business therewith connected. He was then a
stranger at the seat of government, though they afterward came to know
him well. When he was seated in the senate-chamber, a man came to him
and told him to take off his hat. He replied, "I had rather not. I am
accustomed to keep it on."

"But it is contrary to the rules," rejoined the officer. "I am ordered
to turn out any man who refuses to uncover his head."

The Quaker quietly responded, "Very well, friend, obey thy orders."

"Then, will you please to walk out, sir?" said the officer.

"No," replied Friend Hopper. "Didst thou not tell me thou wert ordered
to turn me out? Dost thou suppose I am going to do thy duty for thee?"

The officer looked embarrassed, and said, half smiling, "But how am I to
get you out?"

"Carry me out, to be sure," rejoined Friend Hopper. "I see no other

The officer went and whispered to the Speaker, who glanced at the
noble-looking old gentleman, and advised that he should be let alone.

Sometimes his jests conveyed cutting sarcasms. One day, when he was
riding in an omnibus, he opened a port-monnaie lined with red. A man
with very flaming visage, who was somewhat intoxicated, and therefore
very much inclined to be talkative, said, "Ah, that is a very gay
pocket-book for a Quaker to carry."

"Yes, it is very red," replied Friend Hopper; "but is not so red as thy
nose." The passengers all smiled, and the man seized the first
opportunity to make his escape.

A poor woman once entered an omnibus, which was nearly full, and stood
waiting for some one to make room. A proud-looking lady sat near Friend
Hopper, and he asked her to move a little, to accommodate the new comer.
But she looked very glum, and remained motionless. After examining her
countenance for an instant, he said, "If thy face often looks so, I
shouldn't like to have thee for a neighbor." The passengers exchanged
smiles at this rebuke, and the lady frowned still more deeply.

One of the jury in the Darg case was "a son of Abraham," rather
conspicuous for his prejudice against colored people. Some time after
the proceedings were dropped, Friend Hopper happened to meet him, and
entered into conversation on the subject. The Jew was very bitter
against "that rascally thief, Tom Hughes." "It does not become _thee_ to
be so very severe," said Friend Hopper; "for thy ancestors were slaves
in Egypt, and went off with the gold and silver jewels they borrowed of
their masters."

One day he met several of the Society of Friends, whom he had not seen
for some time. Among them was an Orthodox Friend, who was rather stiff
in his manners. The others shook hands with Isaac; but when he
approached "the Orthodox," he merely held out his finger.

"Why dost thou offer me thy finger?" said he.

"I don't allow people of certain principles to get very deep hold of
_me_," was the cold reply.

"Thou needest have no uneasiness on that score," rejoined Friend Hopper;
"for there never was anything deep in thee to get hold of."

The sense of justice, so conspicuous in boyhood, always remained a
distinguishing trait in his character. Once, after riding half a mile,
he perceived that he had got into the wrong omnibus. When he jumped out,
the driver called for pay; but he answered, "I don't owe thee anything.
I've been carried the wrong way." This troubled him afterward, when he
considered that he had used the carriage and horses, and that the
mistake was his own fault. He kept on the look-out for the driver, but
did not happen to see him again, until several weeks afterward. He
called to him to stop, and paid the sixpence.

"Why, you refused to pay me, when I asked you," said the driver.

"I know I did," he replied; "but I repented of it afterward. I was in a
hurry then, and I did not reflect that the mistake was my fault, not
thine; and that I ought to pay for riding half a mile with thy horses,
though they did carry me the wrong way." The man laughed, and said he
didn't often meet with such conscientious passengers.

The tenacity of the old gentleman's memory was truly remarkable. He
often repeated letters, which he had written or received twenty years
before on some memorable occasion; and if opportunity occurred to
compare them with the originals, it would be found that he had scarcely
varied a word. He always maintained that he could distinctly remember
some things, which happened before he was two years old. One day, when
his parents were absent, and Polly was busy about her work, he sat
bolstered up in his cradle, when a sudden gust of wind blew a large
piece of paper through the entry. To his uneducated senses, it seemed to
be a living creature, and he screamed violently. It was several hours
before he recovered from his extreme terror. When his parents returned,
he tried to make them understand how a strange thing had come into the
house, and run, and jumped, and made a noise. But his lisping language
was so very imperfect, that they were unable to conjecture what had so
frightened him. For a long time after, he would break out into sudden
screams, whenever the remembrance came over him. At seventy-five years
old, he told me he remembered exactly how the paper then appeared to
him, and what sensations of terror it excited in his infant breast.

He had a large old-fashioned cow-bell, which was always rung to summon
the family to their meals. He resisted having one of more modern
construction, because he said that pleasantly reminded him of the time
when he was a boy, and used to drive the cows to pasture. Sometimes, he
rang it much longer than was necessary to summon the household. On such
occasions, I often observed him smiling while he stood shaking the bell;
and he would say, "I am thinking how Polly looked, when the cow kicked
her over; milk-pail and all. I can see it just as if it happened
yesterday. O, what fun it was!"

He often spoke of the first slave whose escape he managed, in the days
of his apprenticeship. He was wont to exclaim, "How well I remember the
anxious, imploring, look that poor fellow gave me, when I told him I
would be his friend! It rises up before me now. If I were a painter, I
could show it to thee."

But clearly above all other things, did he remember every look and tone
of his beloved Sarah; even in the days when they trudged to school
together, hand in hand. The recollection of this first love, closely
intertwined with his first religious impressions, was the only flowery
spot of romance in the old gentleman's very practical character. When he
was seventy years of age, he showed me a piece of writing she had copied
for him, when she was a girl of fourteen. It was preserved in the
self-same envelope, in which she sent it, and pinned with the same pin,
long since blackened by age. I said, "Be careful not to lose that pin."

"Lose it!" he exclaimed. "No money could tempt me to part with it. I
loved the very ground she trod upon."

He was never weary of eulogizing her comely looks, beautiful manners,
sound principles, and sensible conversation. The worthy companion of his
later life never seemed troubled by such remarks. She not only "listened
to a sister's praises with unwounded ear," but often added a heartfelt
tribute to the virtues of her departed friend.

It is very common for old people to grow careless about their personal
appearance, and their style of conversation; but Friend Hopper was
remarkably free from such faults. He was exceedingly pure in his mind,
and in his personal habits. He never alluded to any subject that was
unclean, never made any indelicate remark, or used any unseemly
expression. There was never the slightest occasion for young people to
feel uneasy concerning what he might say. However lively his mood might
be, his fun was always sure to be restrained by the nicest sense of
natural propriety. He shaved, and took a cold plunge-bath every day. Not
a particle of mud or dust was allowed to remain upon his garments. He
always insisted on blacking his own shoes; for it was one of his
principles not to be waited upon, while he was well enough to wait upon
himself. They were always as polished as japan; and every Saturday
night, his silver buckles were made as bright as a new dollar, in
readiness to go to meeting the next day. His dress was precisely like
that worn by William Penn. At the time I knew him, I believe he was the
only Quaker in the country, who had not departed from that model in the
slightest degree. It was in fact the dress of all English gentlemen, in
King Charles's time; and the only peculiarity of William Penn was, that
he wore it without embroidery or ornament of any kind, for the purpose
of protesting against the extravagance of the fashionable world.
Therefore, the _spirit_ of his intention and that of other early
Friends, would be preserved by wearing dress cut according to the
prevailing mode, but of plain materials, and entirely unornamented.
However, Friend Hopper was attached to the ancient costume from early
association, and he could not quite banish the idea that any change in
it would be a degree of conformity to the fashions of the world. The
long stockings, and small clothes buckled at the knee, were well adapted
to his finely formed limbs; and certainly he and his lady-like Hannah,
in their quaint garb of the olden time, formed a very agreeable picture.

He had no peculiarities with regard to eating or drinking. He always
followed the old-fashioned substantial mode of living, to which he had
been accustomed in youth, and of which moderation in all things was the
rule. For luxuries he had no taste. He thought very little about his
food; but when it was before him, he ate with the vigorous appetite
natural to strong health and very active habits. When his health failed
for a time in Philadelphia, and he seemed wasting away to a shadow, his
physician recommended tobacco. He found great benefit from it, and in
consequence of the habit then formed he became an inveterate smoker, and
continued so till he was past seventy years old.

Being out of health for a short time, at that period, the doctor told
him he thought smoking was not good for his complaint. He accordingly
discontinued the practice, and formed a resolution not to renew it. When
he recovered, it cost him a good deal of physical annoyance to conquer
the long-settled habit; but he had sufficient strength of mind to
persevere in the difficult task, and he never again used tobacco in any
form. Speaking of this to his son Edward, he said, "The fact is, whoever
cures himself of any selfish indulgence, becomes a better man. It may
seem strange that I should set out to improve at my age; but better late
than never."

He was eminently domestic in his character. Perhaps no man ever lived,
who better enjoyed staying at home. He loved to invite his
grand-children, and write them pleasant little notes about the
squirrel-pie, or some other rarity, which he had in preparation for
them. He seldom went out of his own family circle, except on urgent
business, or to attend to some call of humanity. He was always very
attentive in waiting upon his wife to meeting, or elsewhere, and spent a
large portion of his evenings in reading to her from the newspapers, or
some book of Travels, or the writings of early Friends. No man in the
country had such a complete Quaker library. He contrived to pick up
every rare old volume connected with the history of his sect. He had a
wonderful fondness and reverence for many of those books. They seemed to
stand to him in the place of old religious friends, who had parted from
his side in the journey of life. There, at least, he found Quakerism
that had not degenerated; that breathed the same spirit as of yore.

I presume that his religious opinions resembled those of Elias Hicks.
But I judged so mainly from incidental remarks; for he regarded
doctrines as of small importance, and considered theology an
unprofitable topic of conversation. Practical righteousness, manifested
in the daily affairs of life, was in his view the sum and substance of
religion. The doctrine of the Atonement never commended itself to his
reason, and his sense of justice was disturbed by the idea of the
innocent suffering for the guilty. He moreover thought it had a
pernicious tendency for men to rely on an abstract article of faith, to
save them from their sins. With the stern and gloomy sects, who are
peculiarly attracted by the character of Deity as delineated in the Old
Testament, he had no sympathy. The Infinite One was ever present to his
mind, as a loving Father to all his children, whether they happened to
call him by the name of Brama, Jehovah, God, or Allah.

He was strongly attached to the forms of Quakerism, as well as to the
principles. It troubled him, when some of his children changed their
mode of dress, and ceased to say _thee_ and _thou_. He groaned when one
of his daughters appeared before him with a black velvet bonnet, though
it was exceedingly simple in construction, and unornamented by feather
or ribbon. She was prepared for this reception, and tried to reconcile
him to the innovation by representing that a white or drab-colored silk
bonnet showed every stain, and was therefore very uneconomical for a
person of active habits. "Thy good mother was a very energetic woman,"
he replied; "but she found no difficulty in keeping her white bonnet as
nice as a new pin." His daughter urged that it required a great deal of
trouble to keep it so; and that she did not think dress was worth so
much trouble. But his groan was only softened into a sigh. The fashion
of the bonnet his Sarah had worn, in that beloved old meeting-house at
Woodbury, was consecrated in his memory; and to his mind, the outward
type also stood for an inward principle. I used to tell him that I found
something truly grand in the original motive for saying _thee_ and
_thou_; but it seemed to me that it had degenerated into a mere
hereditary habit, since the custom of applying _you_ exclusively to
superiors had vanished from the English language. He admitted the force
of this argument; but he deprecated a departure from their old forms,
because he considered it useful, especially to the young, to carry the
cross of being marked and set apart from the world. But though he was
thus strict in what he required of those who had been educated as
Quakers, he placed no barrier between himself and people of other sects.
He loved a righteous man, and sympathized with an unfortunate one,
without reference to his denomination. In fact, many of his warmest and
dearest friends were not members of his own religious society.

Early in life he formed an unfavorable opinion of the effect of capital
punishment. His uncle Tatum considered it a useful moral lesson to take
all his apprentices to hear the tragedy of George Barnwell, and to
witness public executions. On one of these occasions, he saw five men
hung at once. His habits of shrewd observation soon led him to conclude
that such spectacles generally had a very hardening and bad influence on
those who witnessed them, or heard them much talked about. In riper
years, his mind was deeply interested in the subject, and he read and
reflected upon it a great deal. The result of his investigations was a
settled conviction that executions did not tend to diminish crime, but
rather to increase it, by their demoralizing effect on the community. He
regarded them with abhorrence, as a barbarous custom, entirely out of
place in a civilized country and a Christian age.

Concerning the rights of women, he scarcely needed any new light from
modern theories; for, as a Quaker, he had been early accustomed to
practical equality between men and women in all the affairs of the
Society. He had always been in the habit of listening to them as
preachers, and of meeting them on committees with men, for education,
for the care of the poor, for missions to the Indians, and for financial
regulations. Therefore, it never occurred to him that there was anything
unseemly in a woman's using any gift with which God had endowed her, or
transacting any business, which she had the ability to do well.

After his removal to New-York, incidents now and then occurred, which
formed pleasant links with his previous life in Philadelphia. Sometimes
slaves, whom he had rescued many years before, or convicts, whom he had
encouraged to lead a better life, called to see him and express their
gratitude. Sometimes their children came to bless him. There was one old
colored woman, who never could meet him without embracing him. Although
these demonstrations were not always convenient, and did not partake of
the quiet character of Quaker discipline, he would never say anything to
repress the overflowings of her warm old heart. As one of his sons
passed through Bond-street, he saw an old colored man rubbing his
knees, and making the most lively gesticulations of delight. Being asked
what was the matter, he pointed across the street, and exclaimed, "O, if
I was only sure that was Friend Hopper of Philadelphia! If I was only
_sure_!" When told that he was not mistaken, he rushed up to the old
gentleman, threw his arms about his neck, and hugged him.

When I told him of Julia Pell, a colored Methodist preacher, whose
fervid untutored eloquence had produced an exciting effect on my mind,
he invited her to come and take tea with him. In the course of
conversation, he discovered that she was the daughter of Zeke, the slave
who outwitted his purchaser; as described in the preceding narratives.
It was quite an interesting event in her life to meet with the man who
had written her father's manumission papers, while she was in her
infancy. When the parting hour came, she said she felt moved to pray;
and dropping on her knees, she poured forth a brief but very earnest
prayer, at the close of which she said: "O Lord, I beseech thee to
shower down blessings on that good old man, whom thou hast raised up to
do such a blessed work for my down-trodden people."

Friend Hopper's fund of anecdotes, especially with regard to colored
people, was almost inexhaustible. He related them with so much
animation, that he was constantly called upon to repeat them, both at
public meetings and in private conversation; and they never failed to
excite lively interest. Every stranger, who was introduced to him, tried
to draw him out; and it was an easy matter; for he loved to oblige
people, and it is always pleasant for an old soldier to fight his
battles over again. In this readiness to recount his own exploits, there
was nothing that seemed like silly or obtrusive vanity. It often
reminded me of the following just remark in the Westminster Review,
applied to Jeremy Bentham: "The very egotism in which he occasionally
indulged was a manifestation of a _want_ of self-thought. This unpopular
failing is, after all, one of the characteristics of a natural and
simple mind. It requires much _thought_ about one's self to _avoid_
speaking of one's self."

It has been already mentioned that Friend Hopper passed through a fiery
trial in his own religious society, during the progress of the schism
produced by the preaching of Elias Hicks. Fourteen years had elapsed
since the separation. The "Hicksite" branch had become an established
and respectable sect. In cities, many of them were largely engaged in
Southern trade. I have heard it stated that millions of money were thus
invested. They retained sympathy with the theological opinions of Elias
Hicks, but his rousing remonstrances against slavery would have been
generally very unwelcome to their ears. They cherished the names of
Anthony Benezet, John Woolman, and a host of other departed worthies,
whose labors in behalf of the colored people reflected honor on their
Society. But where was the need of being so active in the cause, as
Isaac T. Hopper was, and always had been? "The way did not open" for
_them_ to be so active; and why should _his_ zeal rebuke _their_
listlessness? Was it friendly, was it respectful in him, to do more than
his religious Society thought it necessary to do? It is astonishing how
troublesome a living soul proves to be, when they try to shut it up
within the narrow limits of a drowsy sect!

I had a friend in Boston, whose wealthy and aristocratic parents brought
him up according to the most approved model of genteel religion. He
learned the story of the Good Samaritan, and was early accustomed to
hear eulogies pronounced on the holy Jesus, who loved the poor, and
associated with the despised. When the boy became a man he joined the
Anti-Slavery Society, and openly avowed that he regarded Africans as
brethren of the great human family. His relatives were grieved to see
him pursuing such an injudicious and disrespectable course. Whereupon, a
witty reformer remarked, "They took most commendable pains to present
Jesus and the Good Samaritan as models of character, but they were
surprised to find that he had taken them at their word."

The case was somewhat similar with Isaac T. Hopper. He had imbibed
anti-slavery principles in full flood at the fountain of Quakerism.
Their best and greatest men were conspicuous as advocates of those
principles. Children were taught to revere those men, and their
testimonies were laid up in honorable preservation, to be quoted with
solemn formality on safe occasions. Friend Hopper acted as if these
professions were in good earnest; and thereby he disturbed his sect, as
my Boston friend troubled his family, when he made practical use of
their religious teaching.

That many of the modern Quakers should be blinded by bales of cotton,
heaped up between their souls and the divine light, is not remarkable;
for cotton is an impervious material. But it is a strange anomaly in
their history that any one among them should have considered himself
guided by the Spirit to undertake the especial mission of discouraging
sympathy with the enslaved. A minister belonging to that branch of the
Society called "Hicksites," who usually preached in Rose-street Meeting,
New-York, had imbibed very strong prejudices against all modern reforms:
and he manifested his aversion with a degree of excitement, in language,
tone, and gesture, very unusual in that quiet sect. Those who labored
in the cause of temperance, anti-slavery, or non-resistance, he was wont
to stigmatize as "hireling lecturers," "hireling book-agents," and
"emissaries of Satan." Soon after Thomas Hughes consented to return to
the South, in consequence of the fair professions of Mr. Darg, this
preacher chimed in with the exulting tones of the pro-slavery press, by
alluding to it in one of his public discourses as follows. After
speaking of the tendency of affliction to produce humility, he went on
to say, "As a slave, who had suffered the effects of his criminal
conduct, and been thus led to calm reflection, recently chose to go back
with this master into slavery, and endure all the evils of that
condition, notwithstanding his former experience of them, rather than
stay with those hypocritical workers of popular righteousness who had
interfered in his behalf. For my own part, I commend his choice. I had a
thousand times rather be a slave, and spend my days with slaveholders,
than to dwell in companionship with abolitionists."

The state of things among Quakers in the city of New-York may be
inferred from the fact that this minister was exceedingly popular, and
his style of preaching cordially approved by a majority of them. One of
the editors of the Anti-Slavery Standard, at that time, wrote a severe,
though by no means abusive article on the subject, headed "Rare
Specimen of a Quaker Preacher." This gave great offence, and Isaac T.
Hopper was very much blamed for it. He, and his son-in-law James S.
Gibbons, and his friend Charles Marriott, then belonged to the Executive
Committee of the Anti-Slavery Society; and it was assumed to be their
duty to have prevented the publication of the sarcastic article. Charles
Harriot was absent from the city when it was published, and Friend
Hopper did not see it till after it was in print. When they urged these
facts, and stated, moreover, that they had no right to dictate to the
editor what he should say, or what he should not say, they were told
that they ought to exculpate themselves by a public expression of their
disapprobation. But as they did not believe the editorial article
contained any mis-statement of facts, they could not conscientiously say
any thing that would satisfy the friends of the preacher. It would be
tedious to relate the difficulties that followed. There were visits from
overseers, and prolonged sessions of committees; a great deal of talking
_with_ the accused, and still more talking _about_ them. A strong
disposition was manifested to make capital against them out of the Darg
Case. Robert H. Morris, who was presiding Judge while that case was
pending, and afterward Mayor of New-York, had long known Friend Hopper,
and held him in much respect. When he was told that some sought to cast
imputations on his character, he was greatly surprised, and offered to
give favorable testimony in any form that might be desired. J.R.
Whiting, the District Attorney, expressed the same readiness; and
private misrepresentations were silenced by a published certificate from
them, testifying that throughout the affair Friend Hopper had merely
"exhibited a desire to procure the money for the master, and the
manumission of the slave."

The principal argument brought by Friends, against their members uniting
with Anti-Slavery Societies, was that they were thus led to mix
indiscriminately with people of other denominations, and brought into
contact with hireling clergymen. There seemed some inconsistency in this
objection, coming from the mouths of men who belonged to Rail Road
Corporations, and Bank Stock Companies, and who mingled constantly with
slaveholders in Southern trade; for the early testimonies of the Society
were quite as explicit against slavery, as against a paid ministry.
However, those of their members who were abolitionists were willing to
obviate this objection, if possible. They accordingly formed an
association among themselves, "for the relief of those held in slavery,
and the improvement of the free people of color." But when this
benevolent association asked for the use of Rose-street Meeting-house,
their request was not only refused, but condemned as disorderly.
Affairs were certainly in a very singular position. Both branches of the
Society of Friends were entirely inert on the subject of slavery. Both
expressed pity for the slave, but both agreed that "the way did not
open" for them to _do_ anything. If individual members were thus driven
to unite in action with other sects upon a subject which seemed to them
very important, they were called disorganizers. When they tried to
conciliate by forming an association composed of Quakers only, they were
told that "as the Society of Friends saw no way to move forward in this
concern, such associations appeared to reflect upon _them_;" implying
that they failed in discharging their duty as a religious body. What
could an earnest, direct character, like Isaac T. Hopper, do in the
midst of a sect thus situated? He proceeded as he always did. He walked
straight forward in what seemed to him the path of duty, and snapped all
the lilliputian cords with which they tried to bind him.

Being unable to obtain any apology from their offending members, the
Society proceeded to administer its discipline. A complaint was laid
before the Monthly Meeting of New-York, in which Isaac T. Hopper, James
S. Gibbons, and Charles Marriott, were accused of "being concerned in
the publication and support of a paper calculated to excite discord and
disunity among Friends." Friend Hopper published a statement,
characterised by his usual boldness, and disturbed his mind very little
about the result of their proceedings. April, 1842, he wrote thus, to
his daughter, Sarah H. Palmer, of Philadelphia: "During my late
indisposition, I was induced to enter into a close examination of my own
heart; and I could not find that I stood condemned there for the part I
have taken in the anti-slavery cause, which has brought upon me so much
censure from those 'who know not God, nor his son Jesus Christ. They
profess that they know God, but in works they deny him.' I have not yet
given up our Society as lost. I still live in the faith that it will see
better days. I often remember the testimony borne by that devoted and
dignified servant of the Lord, Mary Ridgeway; which was to this import:
'The Lord, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, has gathered this Society
to be a people, and has placed his name among them; and He has given
them noble testimonies to hold up to the nations; but if they prove
unfaithful, those testimonies will be given unto others, who may be
compared to the stones of the street; and _they_ will wear the crowns
that were intended for this people, who will be cast out, as salt that
has lost its savor.' We may plume ourselves upon being the _children_ of
Abraham, but in the days of solemn inquisition, which surely will come,
it will only add to our condemnation, because we have not done the
_works_ of Abraham."

"The Yearly Meeting will soon be upon us, when we shall have a final
decision in our cases. I feel perfectly resigned to the result, be it
what it may. Indeed, I have sometimes thought I should be happier _out_
of the Society than _in_ it. I should feel more at liberty to 'cry aloud
and spare not, to lift up my voice like a trumpet, and show the people
their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins.' I believe no
greater benefit could be conferred on the Society. There are yet many in
it who see and deplore its departure from primitive uprightness, but who
are afraid to come out as they ought against the evils that prevail in

An aged and very worthy Friend in Philadelphia, named Robert Moore, who
deeply sympathized with the wrongs of colored people, wrote to Friend
Hopper as follows: "From 1822 to 1827, we had many interesting
conversations in thy little front room, respecting the distracted state
of our Society, and the efforts made to sustain our much beloved brother
Elias Hicks, against those who were anxious for his downfall and
excommunication. This great excitement grew hotter till the separation
in 1827; we not being able to endure any longer the intolerance of the
party in power. Well, it appears that the persecuted have now, in their
turn, become persecutors; and those who went through the fire aforetime
are devoted to pass through it again. But, my dear friend, I hope thou
and all who are doomed to suffer for conscience sake, will stand firm,
and not deviate one inch from what you believe to be your duty. They may
cast you out of the synagogue, which I fear has become so corrupt that a
seat among them has ceased to be an honor, or in any way desirable; but
you will pass through the furnace unscathed. Not a hair of your heads
will be singed."

The ecclesiastical proceedings in this case were kept pending more than
a year, I think; being carried from the Monthly Meeting to the
Quarterly, and thence to the Yearly Meeting. Thirty-six Friends were
appointed a committee in the Yearly Meeting. They had six sessions, and
finally reported that, after patient deliberation, they found eighteen
of their number in favor of confirming the decision of the Quarterly
Meeting; fifteen for reversing it; and three who declined giving any
judgment in the case. Upon this report, the Yearly Meeting confirmed the
decision of the inferior tribunals; and Isaac T. Hopper, James S.
Gibbons, and Charles Marriott were excommunicated; in Quaker phrase,

I thus expressed myself at the time; and the lapse of ten years has not
changed my view of the case: Excommunication for _such_ causes will cut
off from the Society their truest, purest, and tenderest spirits. There
is Isaac T. Hopper, whose life has been one long chapter of benevolence,
an unblotted record of fair integrity. A man so exclusive in his
religious attachments that the principles of his Society are to his mind
identical with Christianity, and its minutest forms sacred from
innovation. A man whose name is first mentioned wherever Quakerism is
praised, or benevolence to the slave approved.

There is Charles Marriott, likewise widely known, and of high standing
in the Society; mild as a lamb, and tender-hearted as a child; one to
whom conflict with others is peculiarly painful, but who nevertheless,
when principles are at stake, can say, with the bold-hearted Luther,
"God help me! I cannot otherwise."

There is James S. Gibbons, a young man, and therefore less known; but
wherever known, prized for his extreme kindness of heart, his steadfast
honesty of purpose, his undisguised sincerity, and his unflinching
adherence to his own convictions of duty. A Society has need to be very
rich in moral excellence, that can afford to throw away three such

Protests and disclaimers against the disownment of these worthy men came
from several parts of the country, signed by Friends of high character;
and many private letters were addressed to them, expressive of sympathy
and approbation. Friend Hopper was always grateful for such marks of
respect and friendship; but his own conscience would have sustained him
without such aid. He had long felt a deep sadness whenever he was
reminded of the _spiritual_ separation between him and the religious
Society, whose preachers had exerted such salutary influence on his
youthful character; but the _external_ separation was of no consequence.
He attended meeting constantly, as he had ever done, and took his seat
on the bench under the preachers' gallery, facing the audience, where he
had always been accustomed to sit, when he was an honored member of the
Society. Charles Marriott, who was by temperament a much meeker man,
said to him one day, "The overseers have called upon me, to represent
the propriety of my taking another seat, under existing circumstances. I
expect they will call upon thee, to give the same advice."

"I expect they _won't_," was Isaac's laconic reply; and they never did.

His daughter, Abby H. Gibbons, soon after resigned membership in the
Monthly Meeting of New-York for herself and her children; and his sons
Josiah and John did the same. The grounds stated were that "the meeting
had manifestly departed from the original principles and testimonies of
the Society of Friends; that the plainest principles of civil and
religious freedom had been violated in the whole proceedings in relation
to their father; and that the overseers had prepared an official
document calculated to produce false impressions with regard to him;
accusing him of 'grossly reproachful conduct' in the well known Darg
Case; whereas there was abundant evidence before the public that his
proceedings in that case were influenced by the purest and most
disinterested motives."

The Philadelphia Ledger, after stating that the Society of Friends in
New-York had disowned some of their prominent members for being
connected, directly or indirectly, with an Abolition Journal, added the
following remark: "This seems rather singular; for we had supposed that
Friends were favorably inclined toward the abolition of slavery. But
many of their members are highly respectable merchants, extensively
engaged in Southern trade. We are informed that they are determined to
discountenance all pragmatic interference with the legal and
constitutional rights of their brethren at the South. The Quakers have
always been distinguished for minding their own business, and permitting
others to attend to theirs. They would be the last people to meddle with
the rights of _property_."

The Boston Times quoted the paragraph from the Philadelphia Ledger, with
the additional remark, "There is no logician like money."

Whether Friends in New-York felt flattered by these eulogiums, I know
not; but they appear to have been well deserved.

In 1842 and the year following, Friend Hopper travelled more than usual.
In August '42, he visited his native place, after an absence of twenty
years. He and his wife were accompanied from Philadelphia by his son
Edward and his daughter Sarah H. Palmer. Of course, the haunts of his
boyhood had undergone many changes. Panther's Bridge had disappeared,
and Rabbit Swamp and Turkey Causeway no longer looked like the same
places. He visited his father's house, then occupied by strangers, and
found the ruins of his great-grandfather's dwelling. Down by the
pleasant old creek, shaded with large walnut trees and cedars, stood the
tombs of many of his relatives; and at Woodbury were the graves of his
father and mother, and the parents of his wife. Every spot had something
interesting to say of the past. His eyes brightened, and his tongue
became voluble with a thousand memories. Had I been present to listen to
him then, I should doubtless have been enabled to add considerably to my
stock of early anecdotes. He seemed to have brought away from this visit
a peculiarly vivid recollection of "poor crazy Joe Gibson." This
demented being was sometimes easily controlled, and willing to be
useful; at other times, he was perfectly furious and ungovernable. Few
people knew how to manage him; but Isaac's parents acquired great
influence over him by their uniform system of forbearance and
tenderness; their own good sense and benevolence having suggested the
ideas which regulate the treatment of insanity at the present period.
The day spent in Woodbury and its vicinity was a bright spot in Friend
Hopper's life, to which he always reverted with a kind of saddened
pleasure. The heat of the season had been tempered by floating clouds,
and when they returned to Philadelphia, there was a faint rainbow in the
east. He looked lovingly upon it, and said, "These clouds seem to have
followed us all day, on purpose to make everything more pleasant."

In the course of the same month he accepted an invitation to attend the
Anti-Slavery Convention at Norristown, Pennsylvania. His appearance
there was quite an event. Many friends of the cause, who were strangers
to him, were curious to obtain a sight of him, and to hear him address
the meeting. Charles C. Burleigh, in an eloquent letter to the
Convention, says: "I am glad to hear that Isaac T. Hopper is to be
present. That tried old veteran, with his eye undimmed, his natural
strength unabated, his resolute look, and calm determined manner, before
which the blustering kidnapper, and the self-important oppressor have so
often quailed! With the scars of a hundred battles, and the wreaths of
an hundred victories in this glorious warfare. With his example of half
a century's active service in this holy cause, and his still faithful
adherence to it, through evil as well as good report, and in the face of
opposition as bitter as sectarian bigotry can stir up. Persecution
cannot bow the head, which seventy winters could not blanch, nor the
terrors of excommunication chill the heart, in which age could not
freeze the kindly flow of warm philanthropy."

I think it was not long after this excursion that his sister Sarah came
from Maryland to visit him. She was a pleasant, sensible matron, much
respected by all who knew her. I noted down at the time several
anecdotes of childhood and youth, which bubbled up in the course of
conversations between her and her brother. In her character the
hereditary trait of benevolence was manifested in a form somewhat
different from his. She had no children of her own, but she brought up,
on her husband's farm, nineteen poor boys and girls, and gave most of
them a trade. Nearly all of them turned out well.

In the winters of 1842 and '43, Friend Hopper complied with urgent
invitations to visit the Anti-Slavery Fair, in Boston; and seldom has a
warmer welcome been given to any man. As soon as he appeared in Amory
Hall, he was always surrounded by a circle of lively girls attracted by
his frank manners, his thousand little pleasantries, and his keen
enjoyment of young society. A friend of mine used to say that when she
saw them clustering round him, in furs and feathered bonnets, listening
to his words so attentively, she often thought it would make as fine a
picture as William Penn explaining his treaty to the Indians.

Ellis Gray Loring in a letter to me, says: "We greatly enjoyed Friend
Hopper's visit. You cannot conceive how everybody was delighted with
him; particularly all our gay young set; James Russell Lowell, William
W. Story, and the like. The old gentleman seemed very happy; receiving
from all hands evidence of the true respect in which he is held." Mrs.
Loring, writing to his son John, says: "We have had a most delightful
visit from your father. Our respect, wonder, and love for him increased
daily. I am sure he must have received some pleasure, he bestowed so
much. We feel his friendship to be a great acquisition."

Samuel J. May wrote to me: "I cannot tell you how much I was charmed by
my interview with Friend Hopper. To me, it was worth more than all the
Fair beside. Give my most affectionate respects to him. He very kindly
invited me to make his house my home when I next come to New-York; and I
am impatient for the time to arrive, that I may accept his invitation."

Edmund Quincy, writing to Friend Hopper's daughter, Mrs. Gibbons, says:
"You cannot think how glad we were to see the dear old man. He spent a
night with me, to my great contentment, and that of my wife; and to the
no small edification of our little boy, to whom breeches and buckles
were a great curiosity. My Irish gardener looked at them with reverence;
having probably seen nothing so aristocratic, since he left the old
country. I love those relics of past time. The Quakers were not so much
out, when they censured their members for turning _sans culottes_. Think
of Isaac T. Hopper in a pair of pantaloons strapped under his feet!
There is heresy in the very idea. But, costume apart, we were as glad to
see Father Hopper, as if he had been our real father in the flesh. I
hope he had a right good time. If he had not, I am sure it was not for
want of being made much of. I trust his visits to Boston will grow into
one of our domestic institutions."

In the old gentleman's account of his visit to the Fair, he says: "I was
struck with the extreme propriety with which everything was conducted,
and with the universal harmony and good-will that prevailed among the
numerous friends of the cause, who had collected from all parts of the
old Commonwealth, on this interesting occasion. Many of the most
distinguished citizens were purchasers, and appeared highly gratified,
though not connected with the anti-slavery cause. Lord Morpeth, late
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, attended frequently, made some presents to
the Fair, and purchased several articles. I would call him by his
Christian name, if I knew it; for it is plain enough that he was not
baptized, 'Lord'. His manners were extremely friendly and agreeable, and
he expressed himself highly pleased with the exhibition. I had an
interesting conversation with him on the subject of slavery;
particularly in relation to the Amistad captives, and the case of the

"I had an opportunity to make a valuable addition to my collection of
the works of ancient Friends. On the book-table, I found that rare old
volume, 'The Way Cast Up,' written by George Keith, while in unity with
the Society. I took it home with me to my chamber; and as I glanced over
it, my mind was moved to a painful retrospect of the Society of Friends
in its original state, when its members were at liberty to follow the
light, as manifested to them in the silence and secrecy of their own
souls. I seemed to see them entering places appointed for worship by
various professors, and there testifying against idolatry, superstition,
and a mercenary priesthood. I saw them entering the courts, calling upon
judges and lawyers to do justice. I saw them receive contumely and
abuse, as a reward for these acts of dedication. My imagination
followed them to loathsome dungeons, where many of them died a lingering
death. I saw the blood trickling from the lacerated backs of innocent
men and women. I saw William Robinson, Marmaduke Stevenson, Mary Dyer,
and William Leddra, pass through the streets of Boston, pinioned, and
with halters about their necks, on the way to execution; yet rejoicing
that they were found worthy to suffer, even unto death, for their
fidelity to Christ; sustained through those last bitter moments by an
approving conscience and the favor of God.

"I now see the inhabitants of that same city surpassed by none on the
globe, for liberality, candor, and benevolence. I see them taking the
lead of very many of the descendants of the martyrs referred to, in many
things, and at an immeasurable distance. I compared the state of the
Society of Friends in the olden time with what it now is. In some
sections of the country, they, in their turn, have become persecutors.
Not with dungeons, halter, and fire; for those modes of punishment have
gone by; but by ejecting their members from religious fellowship, and
defaming their characters for doing that which they conscientiously
believe is required at their hands; casting out their names as
evil-doers for honestly endeavoring to support one of the most dignified
testimonies ever given to the Society of Friends to hold up before a
sinful world. These reflections pained me deeply; for all the
convictions of my soul, and all my early religious recollections, bind
me fast to the principles of Friends; and I cannot but mourn to see how
the world has shorn them of their strength. I spent nearly a sleepless
night, and was baptized with my tears."

"In the morning, my mind was in some degree reassured with the hope that
there are yet left, throughout the land, 'seven thousand in Israel, all
the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which has not
kissed him;' and that among these shall yet 'arise judges, as at the
first, and counsellors, and lawgivers, as in the beginning.' My soul
longeth for the coming of that day, more than for the increase of corn,
and wine, and oil."

In the Spring of 1843, Friend Hopper visited Rhode Island, and Bucks
County, in Pennsylvania, to address the people in behalf of the
enslaved. He was accompanied by Lucinda Wilmarth, a very intelligent and
kind-hearted young person, who sometimes spoke on the same subject.
After she returned to her home in Massachusetts, she wrote as follows,
to the venerable companion of her mission; "Dear Father Hopper, I see by
the papers that Samuel Johnson has gone home. I well remember our call
upon him, on the second Sunday morning of our sojourn in that land of
roses. I also remember his radiant and peaceful countenance, which told
of a life well spent, and of calm and hopeful anticipations of the
future. I love to dwell upon my visit to Pennsylvania. I never saw
happier or more lovely homes. Never visited dwellings where those little
household divinities, goodness, order, and cheerfulness, held more
universal sway. I was enabled to view men and things from an entirely
new point of view. I had previously seen nothing of Quakerism, except in
a narrow orthodox form, with which I had no sympathy. I was much pleased
with the apparent freedom and philanthropy of the Friends I met there. I
know not whether it was their peculiar _ism_, that made them so
comparatively free and liberal. Perhaps I unconsciously assigned to
their Quakerism what merely belonged to their manhood. But the fact is,
they came nearer to realizing the ideal of Quakerism, associated in my
mind with Fox and Penn, than any people I have ever seen.

"I stopped at Providence on my way home. As soon as I entered Isaac
Hale's door, little Alice began to skip with joy, as she did that day
when we returned so unexpectedly to dine; but the next moment, she
looked down the stair-case, and exclaimed in a most anxious tone, 'Why
_did'nt_ Grandfather Hopper come? What _did_ you come alone for? What
_shall_ I do?' On my arrival home, the first noisy greetings of my
little brothers and sisters had scarcely subsided, before they began to
inquire, 'Why did'nt your _other_ father come, too?' They complained
that you had not written a single 'Tale of Oppression' for the Standard
since you were here. But a week after, my little sister came running
with an open newspaper in her hand, exclaiming, 'Father Hopper has made
another story!' She has named her doll for your little grand-daughter,
Lucy Gibbons, because you used to talk about her; and every day she
reads the book you gave her."

Friend Hopper found great satisfaction in the perusal of the above
letter, not only on account of his great regard for the writer, but
because many of the Friends in Bucks County were the delight of his
heart. He was always telling me that if I wanted to see the best farms,
the best Quakers, and the most comfortable homes in the world, I must go
to Bucks County. In his descriptions, it was a blooming land of peace
and plenty, approaching as near to an earthly paradise, as could be
reasonably expected.

At the commencement of 1845, the American Anti-Slavery Society made some
changes in their office at New-York, by which the duties of editor and
treasurer, were performed by the same person; consequently Friend
Hopper's services were no longer needed. When he retired from the office
he had held during four years, the Society unanimously voted him thanks
for the fidelity with which he had discharged the duties entrusted to

At that time, several intelligent and benevolent gentlemen in the city
of New-York were much interested in the condition of criminals
discharged from prisons, without money, without friends, and with a
character so blasted, that it was exceedingly difficult to procure
employment. However sincerely desirous such persons might be to lead a
better life, it seemed almost impossible for them to carry their good
resolutions into practice. The inconsiderate harshness of society forced
them back into dishonest courses, even when it was contrary to their own
inclinations. That this was a fruitful source of crime, and consequently
a great increase of expense to the state, no one could doubt who
candidly examined the subject. To meet the wants of this class of
sufferers, it was proposed to form a Prison Association, whose business
it should be to inquire into individual cases, and extend such sympathy
and assistance as circumstances required. This subject had occupied
Friend Hopper's mind almost as early as the wrongs of the slave. He
attended the meetings, and felt a lively interest in the discussions, in
which he often took part. The editor of the New-York Evening Mirror,
alluding to one of these occasions, says: "When Mr. Hopper rose to offer
some remarks, we thought the burst of applause which greeted the quaint
old man, (in the very costume of Franklin) was a spontaneous homage to
goodness; and we thanked God and took courage for poor human nature."

His well-known benevolence, his peculiar tact in managing wayward
characters, his undoubted integrity, and his long experience in such
matters, naturally suggested the idea that he was more suitable than any
other person to be Agent of the Association. It was a situation
extremely well-adapted to his character, and if his limited
circumstances would have permitted, he would have been right glad to
have discharged its duties gratuitously. He named three hundred dollars
a year, as sufficient addition to his income, and the duties were
performed with as much diligence and zeal, as if the recompence had been
thousands. Although he was then seventy-four years old, his hand-writing
was firm and even, and very legible. He kept a Diary of every day's
transactions, and a Register of all the discharged convicts who applied
for assistance; with a monthly record of such information as could be
obtained of their character and condition, from time to time. The neat
and accurate manner in which these books were kept was really surprising
in so old a man. The amount of walking he did, to attend to the business
of the Association, was likewise remarkable. Not one in ten thousand,
who had lived so many years, could have endured so much fatigue.

In his labors in behalf of this class of unfortunate people he was
essentially aided by Abby H. Gibbons, who resided nearer to him than his
other daughters, and who had the same affectionate zeal to sustain him,
that she had manifested by secretly slipping a portion of her earnings
into his pocket, in the days of her girlhood. She was as vigilant and
active in behalf of the women discharged from prison, as her father was
in behalf of the men. Through the exertions of herself and other
benevolent women, an asylum for these poor outcasts, called THE HOME,
was established and sustained. Friend Hopper took a deep interest in
that institution, and frequently went there on Sunday evening, with his
wife and daughters, to talk with the inmates in a manner most likely to
soothe and encourage them. They were accustomed to call him "Father
Hopper," and always came to him for advice when they were in trouble.

When the Prison Association petitioned to be incorporated, it
encountered a great deal of opposition, on the ground that it would be
likely to interfere with the authority of the State over prisons. During
two winters, Friend Hopper went to Albany frequently to sustain the
measure. He commanded respect and attention, by the good sense of his
remarks, his dignified manner, and readiness of utterance. The
Legislature were more inclined to have confidence in him, because he was
known to be a benevolent, conscientious Quaker, entirely unconnected
with party politics. In fact, the measure was carried mainly by the
exertion of his personal influence. He sustained the petition of the
Association in a speech before the Legislature, which excited much
attention, and made a deep impression on those who heard it. Judge
Edmonds, who was one of the speakers on the same occasion, often alluded
to it as a remarkable address. He said, "It elicited more applause, and
did more to carry the end in view, than anything that was said by more
practised public speakers. His eloquence was simple and direct, but most
effective. If he was humorous, his audience were full of laughter; if
solemn, a deathlike stillness reigned; if pathetic, tears flowed all
around him. He seemed unconscious of his power in this respect, but I
have heard him many times before large assemblies at our Anniversaries,
and in the chapel of the State Prison, and I have been struck, over and
over again, with the remarkable sway he had over the minds of those whom
he addressed."

The business of the Association made it necessary for Friend Hopper to
visit that city many times afterward. He came to be so well known there,
and was held in such high respect, that whenever he made his appearance
in the halls of legislation, the Speaker sent a messenger to invite him
to take a seat near his own.

He often applied to the Governor to exert his pardoning power, where he
thought there were mitigating circumstances attending the commission of
a crime; or where the mind and health of a prisoner seemed breaking
down; or where a long course of good conduct seemed deserving of reward.
When Governor Young had become sufficiently acquainted with him to form
a just estimate of his character, he said to him, "Friend Hopper, I will
pardon any convict, whom you say you conscientiously believe I ought to
pardon. If I err at all, I prefer that it should be on the side of
mercy. But so many cases press upon my attention, and it is so difficult
to examine them all thoroughly, that it is a great relief to find a man
in whose judgment and integrity I have such perfect confidence, as I
have in yours." On the occasion of one of these applications for mercy,
the following quaint correspondence passed between him and the Governor:

  "Esteemed Friend,

  "John Young:

  "You mayst think this mode of address rather too familiar; but as it
  is the spontaneous effusion of my heart, and entirely congenial
  with my feelings, I hope thou wilt hold me excused. Permit me to
  embrace this opportunity to congratulate thee upon thy accession
  to the office of Chief Magistrate of the State. I have confidence
  its duties will be faithfully performed. I rejoice that thou hast
  had independence enough to restore to liberty, and to their
  families, those infatuated men called Anti-Renters. Some, who live
  under the old dispensation, that demanded 'an eye for an eye, and a
  tooth for a tooth,' will doubtless censure this act of justice and
  mercy. But another class will be glad; those who have embraced the
  Christian faith, and live under the benign influence of its spirit,
  which enjoins forgiveness of injuries. The approbation of such,
  accompanied with an approving conscience, will, I trust, more than
  counterbalance any censure that may arise on the occasion.

  "The object I particularly have in view in addressing thee now, is,
  to call thy attention to the case of Allen Lee, who was sentenced
  to twelve years' imprisonment for horse-stealing, in Westchester
  County. He has served for eleven years and two months of that time.
  It is his first offence, and he has conducted well during his
  confinement. His health is much impaired, and he has several times
  had a slight haemorrhage of the lungs. Allen's father was a regular
  teamster in the army during all the revolutionary war. Though poor,
  he has always sustained a fair reputation. He is now ninety years
  old, and he is extremely anxious to behold the face of his son.
  Permit me, most respectfully, but earnestly, to ask thy early
  attention to this case. The old man is confined to his bed, and so
  low, that he cannot continue many weeks. Unless Allen is very soon
  released, there is no probability that he will ever see him. I have
  no self-interested motives in this matter, but am influenced solely
  by considerations of humanity. With sincere desires for thy health
  and happiness, I am very respectfully thy friend,


Governor Young promptly replied as follows.

  "My worthy friend, Isaac T. Hopper,

  "I have often thought of thee since we last met. I have received
  thy letter; and because thou hast written to me, and because I know
  that what thou writest is always truth, and that the old man,
  before he lays him down to die, may behold the face of his son, I
  will restore Allen to his kindred. When thou comest to Albany, I
  pray thee to come and see me. Very respectfully thy friend, JOHN

The monitor within frequently impelled Friend Hopper to address the
assembled convicts at Sing Sing, on Sunday. The officers of the
establishment were very willing to open the way for him; for according
to the testimony of Mr. Harman Eldridge, the warden, "With all his
kindness, and the encouragement he was always ready to give, he was
guarded and cautious in the extreme, that nothing should be said to
conflict with the discipline of the prison." His exhortations rendered
the prisoners more docile, and stimulated them to exertion by keeping
hope alive in their hearts. On such occasions, I have been told that a
large portion of his unhappy audience were frequently moved to tears;
and the warmth of their grateful feelings was often manifested by
eagerly pressing forward to shake hands with him, whenever they received
permission to do so. The friendly counsel he gave on such occasions
sometimes produced a permanent effect on their characters. In a letter
to his daughter Susan, he says: "One of these poor fellows attacked the
life of the keeper, and I soon after had a private interview with him.
He received what I said kindly, but declared that he could not govern
his temper. He said he had no ill-will toward the keeper; that what he
did was done in a gust of passion, and he could not help it. I tried to
convince him that he had power to control his temper, if he would only
exercise it. A year and a half afterward, on First Day, after meeting,
he asked permission to speak to me. He then told me he was convinced
that what I had said to him was true; for he had not given way to anger
since I talked to him on the subject. He showed me many certificates
from the keepers, all testifying to his good conduct. I hardly ever saw
a man more changed than he is."

I often heard my good old friend describe these scenes in the Prison
Chapel, with much emotion. He used to say, the feeling of confidence and
safety which prevailed, was sometimes presented to his mind in forcible
contrast with the state of things in Philadelphia, in 1787, as related
by his worthy friend, Dr. William Rogers, who was on the committee of
the first Society formed in this country "for relieving the miseries of
public prisons." That kind-hearted and conscientious clergyman proposed
to address some religious exhortation to the prisoners, on Sunday. But
the keeper was so unfriendly to the exertion of such influence, that he
assured him his life would be in peril, and the prisoners would
doubtless escape, to rob and murder the citizens. When an order was
granted by the sheriff for the performance of religious services, he
obeyed it very reluctantly; and he actually had a loaded cannon mounted
near the clergyman, and a man standing ready with a lighted match all
the time he was preaching. His audience were arranged in a solid column,
directly in front of the cannon's mouth. This is supposed to have been
the first sermon addressed to the assembled inmates of a State Prison in
this country.

Notwithstanding Friend Hopper's extreme benevolence, he was rarely
imposed upon. He made it a rule to give very little money to discharged
convicts. He paid their board till employment could be obtained, and
when they wished to go to their families, in distant places, he procured
free passage for them in steamboats or cars; which his influence with
captains and conductors enabled him to do very easily. If they wanted to
work at a trade, he purchased tools, and hired a shop, when
circumstances seemed to warrant such expenditure. After they became well
established in business, they were expected to repay these loans, for
the benefit of others in the same unfortunate condition they had been.
Of course, some who expected to receive money whenever they told a
pitiful story, were disappointed and vexed by these prudential
regulations. Among the old gentleman's letters, I find one containing
these expressions: "When I heard you talk in the Prison Chapel, I
thought there was something for the man that had once left the path of
honesty to hope for from his fellow-men; but I find that I was greatly
mistaken. You are men of words. You can do the wind-work first rate. But
when a man wants a little assistance to get work, and get an honest
living, you are not there. Now I wish to know where your philanthropy

But such instances were exceptions. As a general rule, gratitude was
manifested for the assistance rendered in time of need; though it was
always limited to the urgent necessities of the case. One day, the
following letter, enclosing a dollar bill for the Association, was
addressed to Isaac T. Hopper: "Should the humble mite here enclosed be
the means of doing one-sixteenth part the good to any poor convict that
the sixteenth of a dollar has done for me, which I received through your
hands more than once, when I was destitute of money or friends, then I
shall have my heart's desire. With the blessing of God, I remain your
most humble debtor."

From the numerous cases under Friend Hopper's care, while Agent of the
Prison Association, I will select a few; but I shall disguise the names,
because the individuals are living, and I should be sorry to wound their
feelings by any unnecessary exposure of past delinquences.

C.R. about twenty-nine years old, called at the office, and said he had
been lately released from Moyamensing prison; having been sentenced for
two years, on account of selling stolen goods. When Friend Hopper
inquired whether it was his first offence, he frankly answered, "No. I
have been in Sing Sing prison twice for grand larceny. I served five
years each time."

"Thou art still very young," rejoined Friend Hopper; "and it seems a
large portion of thy life has been spent in prison. I am afraid thou art
a bad man. But I hope thou seest the error of thy ways, and art now
determined to do better. Hast thou any friends?"

He replied, "I have a mother; a poor hard-working woman, who sells fruit
and candies in the streets. If you will give me a start, I will try to
lead an honest life henceforth; for I want to be a comfort and support
to her. I have no other friend in the world, and nobody to help me. When
I left prison, I was advised to come to you. I am a shoemaker; and if I
had money to buy a set of tools, I would work at my trade, and take care
of my mother."

Necessary tools were procured for him, and he seemed very grateful;
saying it was the first time in his life that he had found any one
willing to help him to be honest, when he came out of prison. Great
doubts were entertained of the success of this case; because the man had
been so many times convicted. But he occasionally called at the office,
and always appeared sober and respectable. A few months after his first
introduction, he sent Friend Hopper a letter from Oswego, enclosing
seven dollars for his mother. He immediately delivered it, and returned
with a cheerful heart to enter it on his Record; adding, "The poor old
woman was much pleased that her son remembered her, and said she
believed he was now going to do well."

After that, C.R. frequently sent five or ten dollars to his mother,
through the same channel, and paid her rent punctually. He refunded all
the money the Association had lent him, and made some small donations,
in token of gratitude. Having behaved in a very exemplary manner during
four years and a half, Friend Hopper, at his earnest request, applied to
the Governor to have all the rights of citizenship restored to him. This
was readily obtained by a full and candid statement of the case. It is
entered on the Record, with this remark: "C.R. has experienced a
wonderful change for the better since he first called upon us. He said
he should always remember the kindness that had been extended to him,
and hoped he should never do anything to make us regret it."

He afterward opened a store, with a partner, and up to this present
time, is doing well, both in a moral and worldly point of view. Five
years and a half after he began to reform, Dr. Russ, of New-York, sent a
discharged prisoner to him, in search of work. He wrote in reply, as
follows: "I have obtained good employment for the bearer of your note;
and it gives me much pleasure at my heart to do something for him that
wishes to do well. So leave him to me; and I trust you will be gratified
to know the end of charity from a discharged convict." A week elapsed
before the man could enter on his new employment; and C.R. paid his
board during that time.

A person, whom I will call Michael Stanley, was sentenced to Sing Sing
for two years; being convicted of grand larceny when he was about
twenty-two years old. When his term expired, he called upon the Prison
Association, and obtained assistance in procuring employment. He
endeavored to establish a good character, and was so fortunate as to
gain the affections of a very orderly, industrious young woman, whom he
soon after married. In his Register, Friend Hopper thus describes a
visit to them, little more than a year after he was discharged from
prison: "I called yesterday to visit M.S. He lives in the upper part of
a brick house, nearly new. His wife is a neat, likely-looking woman, and
appears to be a nice housekeeper. Everything about the premises
indicates frugality, industry, and comfort. They have plain, substantial
furniture, and a good carpet on the floor. Before their door is a
grass-plot, and the margin of the fence is lined with a variety of
plants in bloom. He and his wife, and her mother, manifested much
gratification at my visit."

In little more than two years after he began to retrieve the early
mistakes of his life, M.S. established a provision shop on his own
account, in the city of New-York, and was successful. He and his tidy
little wife called on Friend Hopper, from time to time, and always
cheered his heart by their respectable appearance, and the sincere
gratitude they manifested. The following record stands in the Register:
"M.S. called at my house, and spent an hour with me. He is a member of
the Society of Methodists, and I really believe he is a reformed man. It
is now more than four years and a half since he was released from Sing
Sing; and his conduct has ever since been unexceptionable."

Another young man, whom I will call Hans Overton, was the son of very
respectable parents, but unfortunately he formed acquaintance with
unprincipled men when he was too young and inexperienced to be a judge
of character. Being corrupted by their influence, he forged a check on a
bank in Albany. He was detected, and sentenced to the State Prison for
two years. When he was released, at twenty-two years of age, he did the
best he could to efface the blot on his reputation. But after having
obtained respectable employment, he was discharged because his employer
was told he had been in prison. He procured another situation, and the
same thing again occurred. He began to think there was no use in trying
to redeem his lost character. In this discouraged state of mind, he
applied to the Prison Association for assistance. Inquiries were made of
the two gentlemen in whose employ he had been more than a year. They
said they had found him capable, industrious, and faithful; and their
distrust of him was founded solely on the fact of his being a
discharged convict. For some time, he obtained only temporary
employment, now and then; and the Association lent him small sums of
money whenever his necessities required. At one time, he was charged
with being an accomplice in a larceny; but upon investigation, it was
ascertained that he had become mixed up with an affair, which made him
appear to disadvantage, though he had no dishonest intentions in
relation to it. Finally, through the influence of the Association he
obtained a situation, in a drug store. His employer was fully informed
concerning his previous history, but was willing to take him on trial.
He remained there five years, and conducted in the most exemplary
manner. Having married meanwhile, he was desirous to avail himself of an
opportunity to obtain a higher salary; and the druggist very willingly
testified that his conduct had been entirely satisfactory during the
time he had been with him. But in about eight months, his new employer
discovered that he had been in prison, and he immediately told him he
had better procure some other situation; though he acknowledged that he
had no fault to find with him. Friend Hopper sought an interview with
this gentleman and represented the youthfulness of H.O. at the time he
committed the misdemeanor, which had so much injured the prospects of
his life. He urged his subsequent good conduct, and the apparent
sincerity of his efforts to build up a reputation for honesty. He
finally put the case home to him, by asking how he would like to have
others conduct toward a son of his own, under similar circumstances. It
was a point of view from which the gentleman had never before considered
the question, and his mind was somewhat impressed by it; but his
prejudices were not easily overcome. Meanwhile, the druggist was very
willing to receive the young man back again; and he returned. It seems
as if it would have been almost impossible for him to have avoided
sinking into the depths of discouragement and desperation, if he had not
received timely assistance from the Prison Association. How highly he
appreciated their aid may be inferred from the following letter to Isaac
T. Hopper:

"My dear friend, as business prevents me from seeing you in the
day-time, I take this method to express my thanks for the noble and
generous mention made of me in your remarks before the Association;
which remarks were as pleasant and exciting to me, as they were
unexpected. I need scarcely assure you, my kind and generous friend,
(generous not only to so humble an individual as myself, but to all your
fellow creatures,) that it is out of my power to find words to thank you
adequately, or to express my feelings on that occasion. I was the more
gratified because my dear wife was present with me, and also my
brother-in-law. Oh, what a noble work the Society is engaged in. My most
fervent prayer is that your name may remain on its list for many years
to come. Then indeed should I have no fears for those poor unfortunates,
whose first unthinking error places them unconditionally within the
miasma of vice and crime. That you may enjoy a very merry Christmas, and
many happy New-Years, is the sincere desire of my wife and myself."

T.B., who has been for several years in the employ of the Association,
was raised by their aid from the lowest depths of intemperance, and has
become a highly respectable and useful citizen.

J.M., who was in Sing Sing Prison four years, for grand larceny, was
aided by the Association at various times, and always repaid the money
precisely at the appointed day. His industry and skilful management
excited envy and jealousy in some, who had less faculty for business.
They taunted him with having been a convict, and threw all manner of
obstacles in the way of his making an honest living.

Among other persecutions, a suit at law was instituted against him,
which cost him seventy-five dollars. The charge was entirely without
foundation, and when brought before the court, was promptly dismissed.
It is now about six years since J.M. resolved to retrieve his
character, and he still perseveres in the right course.

Ann W. was an illegitimate child, and early left an orphan. She went to
live with an aunt, who kept a boarding-house in Albany. According to her
own account, she was harshly treated, and frequently taunted with the
circumstances of her birth. At the early age of fourteen, one of the
boarders offered to marry her, and induced her to leave the house with
him. She lived with him some time, always urging the fulfilment of his
promise; and at last he pacified her by going to a person, who performed
the marriage-ceremony. She was strongly attached to him, and being a
capable, industrious girl, she kept everything nice and bright about
their lodgings. He pretended to have a great deal of business in
New-York; but in fact his frequent visits to that city were for purposes
of gambling. On one of those occasions, when he had been absent much
longer than usual, she followed him, and found him living with another
woman. He very coolly informed her that the marriage-ceremony between
them was a mere sham; the person who performed it not having been
invested with any legal authority. Thus betrayed, deserted, and
friendless, the poor young creature became almost frantic. In that
desperate state of mind, she was decoyed by a woman, who kept a
disreputable house. A short career of reckless frivolity and vice
ended, as usual, in the hospital on Blackwell's Island. When she was
discharged, she tried to drown her sorrow and remorse in intemperance,
and went on ever from bad to worse, till she became a denizen of Five
Points. In her brief intervals of sobriety, she was thoroughly disgusted
with herself, and earnestly desired to lead a better life. Being turned
into the street one night, in a state of intoxication, she went to the
prison called The Tombs, because its architecture is in imitation of the
ancient sepulchral halls of Egypt. She humbly asked permission to enter
this gloomy abode, in hopes that some of the ladies connected with the
Prison Association would visit her, and find some decent employment for
her. Her case being represented to Friend Hopper, he induced his wife to
take her into the family, as a domestic. As soon as she entered the
house, she said, "I don't want to deceive you. I will tell you
everything." And she told all the particulars of her history, without
attempting to veil any of its deformity. She was very industrious, and
remarkably tidy in her habits. She kept the kitchen extremely neat, and
loved to decorate it with little ornaments, especially with flowers.
Poor shattered soul! Who can tell into what blossom of poetry that
little germ might have expanded, if it had been kindly nurtured under
gentle and refining influences? She behaved very well for several
months, and often expressed gratitude that she could now feel as if she
had a home. Friend Hopper took great interest in her, and had strong
hopes that she would become a respectable woman. Before a year expired,
she relapsed into intemperate habits for a time; but he overlooked it,
and encouraged her to forget it. As she often expressed a great desire
to see her cousins in Albany, he called upon them, and told the story of
her reformation. They sent some little presents, accompanied with
friendly messages, and after a while invited her to visit them. For a
time, it seemed as if the excursion had done her good, both physically
and mentally; but the sight of respectable relatives, with husbands and
children, made her realize more fully the utter loneliness of her own
position. She used opium in large quantities, and had dreadful fits in
consequence. Sometimes, she stole out of the house in the evening, and
was taken up by the police in a state of intoxication. When she
recovered her senses, she would be very humble, and during an interval
of weeks, or months, would make an effort to behave extremely well. I
forget how often Friend Hopper received her back, after she had spent
the night in the Station House; but it was many, many times. His
patience held out long after everybody else was completely weary. She
finally became so violent and ungovernable, and endangered the household
so much in her frantic fits, that even he felt the necessity of placing
her under the restraining influences of some public institution. The
Magdalen Asylum at Philadelphia consented to receive her, and after much
exhortation, she was persuaded to go. While she was there, his daughters
in that city called on her occasionally, at his request, and he and his
wife made her a visit. He wrote to her frequently, in the kindest and
most encouraging manner. In one of these epistles, he says: "I make
frequent inquiries concerning thee, and am generally told thou art
getting along _pretty_ well. Now I want to hear a different tale from
that. I want thy friends at the Asylum to be able to say, 'She is doing
_exceedingly_ well. Her health is good, she is satisfied with her
condition, and we are all much gratified to find that she submits to the
advice of her friends.' When they can speak thus of thee, I shall begin
to think about changing thy situation. The woman who fills thy place in
my family does very well. Every day, she puts on the table the mug thou
gavest me, and she keeps it as bright as silver. Our little garden looks
beautiful. The Morning Glories, thou used to take so much pleasure in,
have grown finely. All the family desire kind remembrances. Farewell.
May peace and comfort be with thee."

In another letter, he says: "Thy Heavenly Father has been kind, and
waited long for thee; and He has now provided a way for thy redemption
from the bondage under which thou hast suffered so much. I hope thou
wilt not think of leaving the Asylum for some time to come. Thou canst
not be so firmly established yet, as not to be under great temptation
elsewhere. What a sorrowful circumstance it would be, if thou shouldst
again return to the filthy and wicked habit of stupifying thyself with
that pernicious drug! I am glad thou hast determined to take my advice.
If thou wilt do so, I will never forsake thee. I will do all I can for
thee; and thou shalt never be without a home."

Again he writes: "Thy letter occasioned joy and sorrow. Sorrow to find
thou hast not always treated the matron as thou oughtest to have done. I
am sure that excellent person is every way worthy of thy regard; and I
hope my ears will never again be pained by hearing that thou hast
treated her unkindly or disrespectfully. I did hope that after a year's
discipline, thou hadst learned to control thy temper. Until thou canst
do so, thou must be aware that thou art not qualified to render thyself
useful or agreeable in any family. But after all, I am glad to find that
thou art sensible of thy error, and hast a disposition to improve. When
thou liest down at night, I want thee to examine the deeds of the past
day. If thou hast made a hasty reply, or spoken impertinently, or done
wrong in any other way, be careful to acknowledge thy fault. Ask thy
Heavenly Father to forgive thee, and be careful to do so no more. I feel
a great regard for thee; and I trust thou wilt never give me cause to
regret thy relapse into vice. I hope better things for thee, and I
always shall."

But his hopefulness and patience proved of no avail in this instance.
The wreck was too complete to admit of repair. The poor creature
occasionally struggled hard to do better; but her constitution was
destroyed by vice and hardship; her feelings were blunted by suffering,
and her naturally bright faculties were stupified by opium. After she
left the Asylum, she lived with a family in the country for awhile; but
the old habits returned, and destroyed what little strength she had
left. The last I knew of her she was on Blackwell's Island; and she will
probably never leave it, till she goes where the weary are at rest.

An uncommon degree of interest was excited in Friend Hopper's mind by
the sufferings of another individual, whom I will call Julia Peters. She
was born of respectable parents, and was carefully tended in her early
years. Her mother was a prudent, religious-minded woman; but she died
when Julia was twelve years old. The father soon after took to drinking
and gambling, and spent all the property he possessed. His daughter was
thus brought into the midst of profligate associates, at an age when
impulses are strong, and the principles unformed. She led a vicious life
for several years, and during a fit of intoxication married a worthless,
dissipated fellow. When she was eighteen years old, she was imprisoned
for perjury. The case appeared doubtful at the time, and from
circumstances, which afterward came to light, it is supposed that she
was not guilty of the alleged crime. The jury could not agree on the
first trial, and she remained in jail two years, awaiting a decision of
her case. She was at last pronounced guilty; and feeling that injustice
was done her, she made use of violent and disrespectful language to the
court. This probably increased the prejudice against her; for she was
sentenced to Sing Sing prison for the long term of fourteen years. She
was naturally intelligent, active and energetic; and the limitations of
a prison had a worse effect upon her, than they would have had on a more
stolid temperament. In the course of a year or two, her mind began to
sink under the pressure, and finally exhibited signs of melancholy
insanity. Friend Hopper had an interview with her soon after she was
conveyed to Sing Sing, and found her in a state of deep dejection. She
afterward became completely deranged, and was removed to the Lunatic
Asylum at Bloomingdale. He and his wife visited her there, and found her
in a state of temporary rationality. Her manners were quiet and
pleasing, and she appeared exceedingly gratified to see them. The
superintendent granted permission to take her with them in a walk
through the grounds, and she enjoyed this little excursion very highly.
But when one of the company remarked that it was a very pleasant place,
she sighed deeply, and replied, "Yes, it is a pleasant place to those
who can leave it. But chains are chains, though they are made of gold;
and mine grow heavier every day."

Her temperament peculiarly required freedom, and chafed and fretted
under restraint. Insanity returned upon her with redoubled force, soon
after. She used blasphemous and indecent language, and cut up her
blankets to make pantaloons. She picked the lock of her room, and tried
various plans of escape. When Friend Hopper went to see her again, some
weeks later, he found her in the masculine attire, which she had
manufactured. She tried to hide herself, but when he called her back in
a gentle, but firm tone, she came immediately. He took her kindly by the
hand, and said, "Julia, what does all this mean?"

"It is military costume," she replied. "I am an officer of state."

"I am sorry thou art not more decently clad," said he. "I intended to
have thee take a walk with me; but I should be ashamed to go with thee
in that condition." She earnestly entreated to go, and promised to
change her dress immediately. He accordingly waited till she was ready,
and then spent more than an hour walking round the grounds with her. She
told him the history of her life, and wept bitterly over the retrospect
of her erroneous course. It seemed a great relief to have some one to
whom she could open her over-burdened heart. She was occasionally
incoherent, but the fresh air invigorated her, and the quiet talk
soothed her perturbed feelings. At parting, she said, "I thank you. I
thought I hadn't a friend in the world. I was afraid everybody had
forgotten me."

"I am thy sincere friend," he replied; "and I promise that I will never
forget thee."

I make the following extract from a letter, which he wrote to her soon
after: "Now, Julia, listen to me, and mind what I say; for thou knowest
I am thy friend. I want thee, at all times, and upon all occasions, to
be very careful of thy conduct. Never suffer thyself to use vulgar or
profane language. It would grieve me, and I am sure thou dost not wish
to do that. Besides, it is very degrading, and very wicked. Be discreet,
sober, and modest. Be kind, courteous, and obliging to all. Thou wilt
make many friends by so doing, and wilt feel more cheerful and happy
thyself. Do be a lady. I know thou canst, if thou wilt. More than all, I
want thee to be a Christian. I sympathize with thee, and intend to come
and see thee soon."

Dr. Earle, physician of the Asylum, said the letter had a salutary
effect upon her. Friend Hopper went out to see her frequently, and was
often accompanied by his wife, or daughters. Her bodily and mental
health continued to improve; and in the course of five or six months,
the doctor allowed her to accompany her kind old friend to the city, and
spend a day and night at his house. This change of scene was found so
beneficial, that the visit was repeated a few weeks after. Before winter
set in, she was so far restored that she spent several days in his
family, and conducted with the greatest propriety. He soon after applied
to the Governor for a pardon, which was promptly granted. His next step
was to procure a suitable home for her; and a worthy Quaker family in
Pennsylvania, who were acquainted with all the circumstances, agreed to
employ her as chambermaid and seamstress. When it was all arranged,
Friend Hopper went out to the Asylum to carry the news. But fearful of
exciting her too much, he talked upon indifferent subjects for a few
minutes, and then asked if she would like to go into the city again to
spend a fortnight with his family. She replied, "Indeed I would." He
promised to take her with him, and added, "Perhaps thou wilt stay longer
than two weeks." At last, he said, "It may be that thou wilt not have
to return here again." She sprang up instantly, and looking in his face
with intense anxiety, exclaimed, "Am I pardoned? _Am_ I pardoned?"

"Yes, thou art pardoned," he replied; "and I have come to take thee
home." She fell back into her seat, covered her face with her hands, and
wept aloud. Friend Hopper, describing this interview in a letter to a
friend, says: "It was the most affecting scene I ever witnessed. Nothing
could exceed the joy I felt at seeing this child of sorrow relieved from
her sufferings, and restored to liberty. I had seen this young and
comely looking woman, who was endowed with more than common good sense,
driven to the depths of despair by the intensity of her sufferings. I
had seen her a raving maniac. Now, I saw her 'sitting and clothed in her
right mind.' I was a thousand times more than compensated for all the
pains I had taken. I had sympathized deeply with her sufferings, and I
now partook largely of her joy."

As her nerves were in a very excitable state, it was thought best that
she should remain a few weeks under the superintendence of his daughter,
Mrs. Gibbons, before she went to the home provided for her. She was
slightly unsettled at times, but was disposed to be industrious and
cheerful. Having earned a little money by her needle, the first use she
made of it, was to buy a pair of vases for Friend Hopper; and proud and
pleased she was, when she brought them home and presented them! He
always kept them on the parlor mantel-piece, and often told their
history to people who called upon him.

When she had become perfectly calm and settled, he and his wife
accompanied her to Pennsylvania, and saw her established among her new
friends, who received her in the kindest manner. A week after his
return, he wrote to assure her that his interest in her had not abated.
In the course of the letter, he says: "I need not tell thee how anxious
I am that thou shouldst conduct so as to be a credit to thyself, and to
those who have interested themselves in thy behalf. I felt keenly at
parting with thee, but I was comforted by the reflection that I had left
thee with kind friends. Confide in them upon all occasions, and do
nothing without their advice. Thy future happiness will depend very much
upon thyself. Never suffer thy mind to become excited. Remember that
kind friends were raised up for thee in the midst of all thy sorrows,
and that they will always continue to be thy friends, if thou wilt be
guided by their counsels. Thou wert with us so long, that we feel toward
thee like one of the family. All join me in love to thee."

In her reply, she says: "Your letter was to me what a glass of cold
water would be when fainting. I have pored over it so much, that I have
got it by heart. Friend Hopper, you first saw me in prison and visited
me. You followed me to the Asylum. You did not forsake me. You have
changed a bed of straw to a bed of down. May Heaven bless and reward you
for it. No tongue can express the gratitude I feel. Many are the hearts
you have made glad. Suppose all you have dragged out of one place and
another were to stand before you at once! I think you would have more
than you could shake hands with in a month; and I know you would shake
hands with them all."

For a few months, she behaved in a very satisfactory manner, though
occasionally unsettled and depressed. She wrote that the worthy woman
with whom she lived was 'both mother and friend to her.' But the country
was gloomy in the winter, and the spirit of unrest took possession of
her. She went to Philadelphia and plunged into scenes of vice for a week
or two; but she quickly repented, and was rescued by her friends. I have
seldom seen Friend Hopper so deeply pained as he was by this retrograde
step in one whom he had rejoiced over, "as a brand plucked from the
burning." After awhile, he addressed a letter to her, in which he says:
"I should have written to thee before, but I have been at a loss what to
say. I have cared for thee, as if thou hadst been my own child. Little
did I think thou wouldst ever disgrace thyself, and distress me, by
associating with the most vile. Thou wert wonderfully snatched from a
sink of pollution. I hoped thou wouldst appreciate the favor, and take a
fresh start in life, determined to do well. Better, far better, for thee
to have lingered out a wretched existence in Bloomingdale Asylum, than
to continue in such a course as that thou entered upon in Philadelphia.
My heart is pained while I write. Indeed, thou art seldom out of my
mind. Most earnestly, and affectionately, I beseech thee to change thy
course. Restrain evil thoughts and banish them from thee. Try to keep
thy mind quiet, and stayed upon thy Heavenly Father. He has done much
for thee. He has followed thee in all thy wanderings. Ask him to forgive
thy iniquity, and he will have mercy on thee. Thou mayest yet be happy
thyself, and make those happy who have taken a deep interest in thy
welfare. But if thou art determined to pursue evil courses, after all
that has been done for thee, let me tell thee thy days will be brief and
full of trouble; and I doubt not thou wilt end them within the walls of
a prison. I hope better things of thee. If thou doest well, it will
afford encouragement to assist others; but if thy conduct is bad, it may
be the means of prolonging the sufferings of many others. I am still thy
friend, and disposed to do all I can for thee."

In her answer, she says: "Oh, frail woman! No steps can be recalled. It
is all in the future to make amends for the past. After all the good
counsel some receive, they return to habits of vice. They repent when it
is too late. How true it is that virtue has its reward, and vice its
punishment. I know that the way of transgressors is hard. If I only had
a few years of my life to live over again, how different would I live!
For the many blessings Providence has bestowed on me, may I be grateful.
In all my troubles, He has raised me up a friend. I believe He never
forsakes me; so there is hope for me. Don't be discouraged that you
befriended me; for, with God's blessing, you shall have no reason to
repent of it."

He wrote thus to her, a short time after: "I very often think of thee,
and I yet hope that I shall one day see thee a happy and respectable
woman. I have lately had a good deal of conversation with the Governor
concerning 'my friends,' as he calls those whom he has pardoned at my
request. I did not tell him thou hadst behaved incorrectly. I hope I
shall never be obliged to do so. I have had pleasant accounts concerning
thee lately, and I do not wish to remember that thou hast ever grieved
me. As I passed down the river yesterday, from Albany, I saw
Bloomingdale Asylum. I remembered how I used to walk with thee about the
grounds; and my mind was for a time depressed with melancholy
reflections. I had deeply sympathized in thy sufferings; and I had
rarely, if ever, experienced greater pleasure than when I was the happy
messenger of thy redemption from the grievous thraldom, under which thou
wert suffering. Thou art blessed with more than common good sense, and
thou knowest how to make thyself agreeable. I earnestly advise thee to
guard well thy thoughts. Never allow thyself to use an immodest word, or
to be guilty of an unbecoming action. On all occasions, show thyself
worthy of the regard of those who feel an interest in thy welfare.
'There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over
ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance.' With ardent
solicitude for thy welfare, I remain thy sincere friend."

About two years afterward, Friend Hopper made the following record in
his Register: "J.P. continues to conduct very satisfactorily. She makes
a very respectable appearance, is modest and discreet in her deportment,
and industrious in her habits. As a mark of gratitude for the
attentions, which at different times I have extended to her, she has
sent me a pair of handsome gloves, and a bandana handkerchief. Taking
into consideration all the circumstances attending this case, this small
present affords me much more gratification than ten times the value from
any other person." Six months later, he made this record: "The Friend,
with whom J.P. lives, called upon me to say that she sent a world of
love to Isaac T. Hopper, whose kindness she holds in grateful
remembrance." The same Friend afterward wrote, "She is all that I could
wish her to be."

Many more instances might be quoted; but enough has been told to
illustrate his patience and forbearance, and his judicious mode of
dealing with such characters. Dr. Russ, one of the most active and
benevolent members of the Prison Association, thinks it is a fair
statement to say that at least three-fourths of those for whom he
interested himself eventually turned out well; though in several cases,
it was after a few backslidings. The fullness of his sympathy was
probably one great reason why he obtained such influence over them, and
made them so willing to open their hearts to him. He naturally, and
without effort, put _his_ soul in _their_ soul's stead. This rendered it
easy for him to disregard his own interests, and set aside his own
opinions, for the benefit of others. In several instances, he procured
another place for a healthy, good-looking domestic, with whose services
he was well satisfied, merely because some poor creature applied for
work, who was too lame, or ill-favored, to obtain employment elsewhere.
When an insane girl, from Sing Sing, was brought to his house to wait
for an opportunity to return to her parents in Canada, he sent for the
Catholic Bishop to come and minister to her spiritual wants, because he
found she was very unhappy without religious consolation in the form to
which she had been accustomed in childhood.

The peculiar adaptation of his character to this mission of humanity was
not only felt by his fellow laborers in the New-York Association, but
was acknowledged wherever he was known. Dr. Walter Channing, brother of
the late Dr. William Ellery Charming wrote to him as follows, when the
Boston Prison Association was about being formed; "I was rejoiced to
learn that you would stay to help at our meetings in behalf of
criminals. The demand which this class of brothers has upon us is felt
by every man, who examines his own heart, and his own life. How great is
every man's need of the kindness and love of his brethren! Here is the
deep-laid cause of sympathy. Here is the secret spring of that wide
effort, which the whole world is now making for the happiness and good
of the race. I thank you for what you have done in this noble work. I
had heard with the sincerest pleasure, of your labors for the
down-trodden and the poor. God bless you for these labors of love! Truly
shall I thank you for the light you can so abundantly give, and which
will make the path of duty plain before me."

Incessant demands were made upon his time and attention. A great many
people, if they happened to have their feelings touched by some scene
of distress, seemed to think they had fulfilled their whole duty by
sending the sufferer to Isaac T. Hopper. Few can imagine what an arduous
task it is to be such a thorough philanthropist as he was. Whoever
wishes for a crown like his, must earn it by carrying the martyr's cross
through life. They must make up their minds to relinquish their whole
time to such pursuits; they must be prepared to encounter envy and
dislike; to be misrepresented and blamed, where their intentions have
been most praiseworthy; to be often disheartened by the delinquencies,
or ingratitude, of those they have expended their time and strength to
serve; above all, they must be willing to live and die poor.

Though attention to prisoners was the mission to which Friend Hopper
peculiarly devoted the last years of his life, his sympathy for the
slaves never abated. And though his own early efforts had been made in
co-operation with the gradual Emancipation Society, established by
Franklin, Rush, and others, he rejoiced in the bolder movement, known as
modern anti-slavery. Of course, he did not endorse everything that was
said and done by all sorts of temperaments engaged in that cause, or in
any other cause. But no man understood better than he did the fallacy of
the argument that modern abolitionists had put back the cause of
emancipation in the South. He often used to speak of the spirit
manifested toward William Savery, when he went to the South to preach,
as early as 1791. Writing from Augusta, Georgia, that tender-hearted
minister of Christ says: "They can scarcely tolerate us, on account of
our abhorrence of slavery. This was truly a trying place to lodge in
another night." At Savannah the landlord of a tavern where they lodged,
ordered a cruel flogging to be administered to one of his slaves, who
had fallen asleep through weariness, before his daily task was
accomplished. William Savery says: "When we went to supper, this
unfeeling wretch craved a blessing; which I considered equally abhorrent
to the Divine Being, as his curses." In the morning, when the humane
preacher heard sounds of the lash, accompanied by piteous cries for
mercy, he had the boldness to step in between the driver and the slave;
and he stopped any further infliction of punishment, for that time. He
says: "This landlord was the most abominably wicked man that I ever met
with; full of horrid execrations, and threatenings of all Northern
people. But I did not spare him; which occasioned a bystander to
express, with an oath, that I should be 'popped over.' We left them
distressed in mind; and having a lonesome wood of twelve miles to pass
through, we were in full expectation of their waylaying, or coming after
us, to put their wicked threats in execution."

As early as 1806, James Lindley, of Pennsylvania, had a large piece of
iron hurled at him, as he was passing through the streets, at Havre de
Grace, Maryland. Three of his ribs were broken, and several teeth
knocked out, and he was beaten till he was supposed to be dead. All this
was done merely because they mistook him for Jacob Lindley, the Quaker
preacher, who was well known as a friend to fugitives from slavery.

In view of these, and other similar facts, Friend Hopper was never
disposed to blame abolitionists for excitements at the South, as many of
the Quakers were inclined to do. He had a sincere respect for the
integrity and conscientious boldness of William Lloyd Garrison; as all
have, who know him well enough to appreciate his character. For many
years, he was always an invited and welcome guest on the occasion of the
annual meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society in New-York. Mr. Garrison's
feelings toward him are manifested in the following answer to one of his
letters: "As there is no one in the world for whom I entertain more
veneration and esteem than for yourself, and as there is no place in
New-York, that is so much like home to me, as your own hospitable
dwelling, be assured it will give me the utmost pleasure to accept your
friendly invitation to remain under your roof during the approaching
anniversary week." It was on one of these occasions, that Garrison
addressed to him the following sonnet:

    "Thou kind and venerable friend of man,
    In heart and spirit young, though old in years!
    The tyrant trembles when thy name he hears,
  And the slave joys thy honest face to scan.
  A friend more true and brave, since time began,
    Humanity has never found: her fears
    By thee have been dispelled, and wiped the tears
  Adown her sorrow-stricken cheeks that ran.
  If like Napoleon's appears thy face,
    Thy soul to his bears no similitude.
  He came to curse, but thou to bless our race.
    Thy hands are pure; in blood were his imbrued.
  His memory shall be covered with disgrace,
    But thine embalmed among the truly great and good."

Until the last few years of his life, Friend Hopper usually walked to
and from his office twice a day, making about five miles in the whole;
to which he sometimes added a walk in the evening, to visit children or
friends, or transact some necessary business. When the weather was very
unpleasant, he availed himself of the Harlem cars. Upon one of these
occasions, it chanced that the long, ponderous vehicle was nearly empty.
They had not proceeded far, when a very respectable-looking young woman
beckoned for the car to stop. It did so; but when she set her foot on
the step, the conductor, somewhat rudely pushed her back; and she
turned away, evidently much mortified. Friend Hopper started up and
inquired, "Why didst thou push that woman away?"

"She's colored," was the laconic reply.

"Art thou instructed by the managers of the rail-road to proceed in this
manner on such occasions?" inquired Friend Hopper.

The man answered, "Yes."

"Then let me get out," rejoined the genuine republican. "It disturbs my
conscience to ride in a public conveyance, where any decently behaved
person is refused admittance." And though it was raining very fast, and
his home was a mile off, the old veteran of seventy-five years marched
through mud and wet, at a pace somewhat brisker than his usual energetic
step; for indignation warmed his honest and kindly heart, and set the
blood in motion. The next day, he called at the rail-road office, and
very civilly inquired of one of the managers whether conductors were
instructed to exclude passengers merely on account of complexion.

"Certainly not," was the prompt reply. "They have discretionary power to
reject any person who is drunk, or offensively unclean, or indecent, or

Friend Hopper then related how a young woman of modest appearance, and
respectable dress, was pushed from the step, though the car was nearly
empty, and she was seeking shelter from a violent rain.

"That was wrong," replied the manager. "We have no reason to complain of
colored people as passengers. They obtrude upon no one, and always have
sixpences in readiness to pay; whereas fashionably dressed white people
frequently offer a ten dollar bill, which they know we cannot change,
and thus cheat us out of our rightful dues. Who was the conductor, that
behaved in the manner you have described? We will turn him away, if he
doesn't know better how to use the discretionary power with which he is

Friend Hopper replied, "I had rather thou wouldst not turn him out of
thy employ, unless he repeats the offence, after being properly
instructed. I have no wish to injure the man. He has become infected
with the unjust prejudices of the community without duly reflecting upon
the subject. Friendly conversation with him may suggest wiser thoughts.
All I ask of thee is to instruct him that the rights of the meanest
citizen are to be respected. I thank thee for having listened to my
complaint in such a candid and courteous manner."

"And I thank you for having come to inform us of the circumstance,"
replied the manager. They parted mutually well pleased; and a few days
after, the same conductor admitted a colored woman into the cars
without making any objection. This improved state of things continued
several weeks. But the old tyrannical system was restored, owing to
counteracting influence from some unknown quarter. I often met colored
people coming from the country in the Harlem cars; but I never afterward
knew one to enter from the streets of the city.

Many colored people die every year, and vast numbers have their health
permanently impaired, on account of inclement weather, to which they are
exposed by exclusion from public conveyances. And this merely on account
of complexion! What a tornado of popular eloquence would come from our
public halls, if Austria or Russia were guilty of any despotism half as
mean! Yet the great heart of the people is moved by kind and sincere
feelings in its outbursts against foreign tyranny. But in addition to
this honorable sympathy for the oppressed in other countries, it would
be well for them to look at home, and consider whether it is just that
any well-behaved people should be excluded from the common privileges of
public conveyances. If a hundred citizens in New-York would act as
Friend Hopper did, the evil would soon be remedied. It is the almost
universal failure in individual duty, which so accumulates errors and
iniquities in society, that the ultra-theories, and extra efforts of
reformers become absolutely necessary to prevent the balance of things
from being destroyed; as thunder and lightning are required to purify a
polluted atmosphere. Godwin, in some of his writings, asks, "What is it
that enables a thousand errors to keep their station in the world? It is
cowardice. It is because the majority of men, who see that things are
not altogether right, yet see in so frigid a way, and have so little
courage to express their views. If every man to-day would tell all the
truth he knows, three years hence, there would scarcely be a falsehood
of any magnitude remaining in the civilized world."

In the summer of 1844, Friend Hopper met with a Methodist preacher from
Mississippi, who came with his family to New-York, to attend a General
Conference. Being introduced as a zealous abolitionist, the conversation
immediately turned upon slavery. One of the preacher's daughters said,
"I could'nt possibly get along without slaves, Mr. Hopper. Why I never
dressed or undressed myself, till I came to the North. I wanted very
much to bring a slave with me."

"I wish thou hadst," rejoined Friend Hopper.

"And what would you have done, if you had seen her?" she inquired.

He replied, "I would have told her that she was a free woman while she
remained here; but if she went back to the South, she would be liable
to be sold, like a pig or a sheep."

They laughed at this frank avowal, and when he invited them to come to
his house with their father, to take tea, they gladly accepted the
invitation. Again the conversation turned toward that subject, which is
never forgotten when North and South meet. In answer to some remark from
Friend Hopper, the preacher said, "Do you think I am not a Christian?"

"I certainly do not regard thee as one," he replied.

"And I suppose you think I cannot get to heaven?" rejoined the

"I will not say that," replied the Friend. "To thy own Master thou must
stand or fall. But slavery is a great abomination, and no one who is
guilty of it can be a Christian, or Christ-like. I would not exclude
thee from the kingdom of heaven; but if thou dost enter there, it must
be because thou art ignorant of the fact that thou art living in sin."

After a prolonged conversation, mostly on the same topic, the guests
rose to depart. The Methodist said, "Well, Mr. Hopper, I have never been
treated better by any man, than I have been by you. I should be very
glad to have you visit us."

"Ah! and thou wouldst lynch me; or at least, thy friends would," he
replied, smiling.

"Oh no, we would treat you very well," rejoined the Southerner. "But
how would you talk about slavery if you were there?"

"Just as I do here, to be sure," answered the Quaker. "I would advise
the slaves to be honest, industrious, and obedient, and never try to run
away from a good master, unless they were pretty sure of escaping;
because if they were caught, they would fare worse than before. But if
they had a safe opportunity, I should advise them to be off as soon as
possible." In a more serious tone, he added, "And to thee, who claimest
to be a minister of Christ, I would say that thy Master requires thee to
give deliverance to the captive, and let the oppressed go free. My
friend, hast thou a conscience void of offence? When thou liest down at
night, is thy mind always at ease on this subject? After pouring out thy
soul in prayer to thy Heavenly Father, dost thou not feel the outraged
sense of right, like a perpetual motion, restless within thy breast?
Dost thou not hear a voice telling thee it is wrong to hold thy fellow
men in slavery, with their wives and their little ones?"

The preacher manifested some emotion at this earnest appeal, and
confessed that he sometimes had doubts on the subject; though, on the
whole, he had concluded that it was right to hold slaves. One of his
daughters, who was a widow, seemed to be more deeply touched. She took
Friend Hopper's hand, at parting, and said, "I am thankful for the
privilege of having seen you. I never talked with an abolitionist
before. You have convinced me that slave-holding is sinful in the sight
of God. My husband left me several slaves, and I have held them for five
years; but when I return, I am resolved to hold a slave no longer."

Friend Hopper cherished some hope that this preaching and praying
slaveholder would eventually manumit his bondmen; but I had listened to
his conversation, and I thought otherwise. His conscience seemed to me
to be asleep under a seven-fold shield of self-satisfied piety; and I
have observed that such consciences rarely waken.

At the time of the Christians riots, in 1851, when the slave-power
seemed to overshadow everything, and none but the boldest ventured to
speak against it, Friend Hopper wrote an article for the Tribune, and
signed it with his name, in which he maintained that the colored people,
"who defended themselves and their firesides against the lawless
assaults of an armed party of negro-hunters from Maryland," ought not to
be regarded as traitors or murderers "by men who set a just value on
liberty, and who had no conscientious scruples with regard to war."

The first runaway, who was endangered by the passage of the Fugitive
Slave Law in 1850, happened to be placed under his protection. A very
good-looking colored man, who escaped from bondage, resided some years
in Worcester, Massachusetts, and acquired several thousand dollars by
hair-dressing. He went to New-York to be married, and it chanced that
his master arrived in Worcester in search of him, the very day that he
started for that city. Some person friendly to the colored man sent
information to New-York by telegraph; but the gentleman to whom it was
addressed was out of the city. One of the operators at the telegraph
office said, "Isaac T. Hopper ought to know of this message;" and he
carried it himself. Friend Hopper was then eighty years old, but he
sprang out of bed at midnight, and went off with all speed to hunt up
the fugitive. He found him, warned him of his danger, and offered to
secrete him. The colored man hesitated. He feared it might be a trick to
decoy him into his master's power. But the young wife gazed very
earnestly at Friend Hopper, and said, "I would trust the countenance of
that Quaker gentleman anywhere. Let us go with him." They spent the
remainder of the night at his house, and after being concealed elsewhere
for a few days, they went to Canada. This slave was the son of his
master, who estimated his market-value at two thousand five hundred
dollars. Six months imprisonment, and a fine of one thousand dollars was
the legal penalty for aiding him. But Friend Hopper always said, "I
have never sought to make any slave discontented with his situation,
because I do not consider it either wise or kind to do so; but so long
as my life is spared, I will always assist any one, who is trying to
escape from slavery, be the laws what they may."

A black man, who had fled from bondage, married a mulatto woman in
Philadelphia, and became the father of six children. He owned a small
house in the neighborhood of that city, and had lived there comfortably
several years, when that abominable law was passed, by which the
Northern States rendered their free soil a great hunting-ground for the
rich and powerful to run down the poor and weak. In rushed the
slaveholders from all quarters, to seize their helpless prey! At dead of
night, the black man, sleeping quietly in the humble home he had earned
by unremitting industry, was roused up to receive information that his
master was in pursuit of him. His eldest daughter was out at service in
the neighborhood, and there was no time to give her notice. They hastily
packed such articles as they could take, caught the little ones from
their beds, and escaped before the morning dawned. A gentleman, who saw
them next day on board a steamboat, observed their uneasiness, and
suspected they were "fugitives from injustice." When he remarked this to
a companion, he replied, "They have too much luggage to be slaves."
Nevertheless, he thought it could do no harm to inform them that Isaac
T. Hopper of New-York was the best adviser of fugitives. Accordingly, a
few hours afterward, the whole colored colony was established in his
house; where the genteel-looking mother, and her bright, pretty little
children excited a very lively interest in all hearts. They made their
way to Canada as soon as possible, and the daughter who was left in
Philadelphia, was soon after sent to them.

Friend Hopper's resolute resistance to oppression, in every form, never
produced any harshness in his manners, or diminished his love of quiet
domestic life. He habitually surrendered himself to pleasant influences,
even from events that troubled him at the time, he generally extracted
some agreeable incident and soon forgot those of opposite character. It
was quite observable how little he thought of the instances of
ingratitude he had met with. He seldom, if ever, alluded to them, unless
reminded by some direct question; but the unfortunate beings who had
persevered in reformation, and manifested gratitude, were always
uppermost in his thoughts.

Though always pleased to hear that his children were free from pecuniary
anxiety, he never desired wealth for them. The idea of money never
seemed to occur to him in connection with their marriages. It was a
cherished wish of his heart to have them united to members of the
Society of Friends; yet he easily yielded, even on that point, as soon
as he saw their happiness was at stake. When one of his sons married
into a family educated under influences totally foreign to Quaker
principles, he was somewhat disturbed. But he at once adopted the bride
as a beloved daughter of his heart; and she ever after proved a lovely
and thornless Rose in the pathway of his life. Great was his
satisfaction when he discovered that she was grandchild of Dr. William
Rogers, Professor of English and Oratory in the University of
Pennsylvania, who, sixty years before, had preached the first sermon to
inmates of the State Prison, in Philadelphia. That good and gifted
clergyman was associated with his earliest recollections; for when he
was on one of his pleasant visits to his uncle Tatem, at six years old,
he went to meeting with him for the first time, and was seated on a
stool between his knees. The proceedings were a great novelty to him;
for Dr. Rogers was the first minister he ever saw in a pulpit. He never
forgot the text of that sermon. I often heard him repeat it, during the
last years of his life. The remembrance of these incidents, and the
great respect he had for the character of the prison missionary, at once
established in his mind a claim of old relationship between him and the
new inmate of his household.

He had the custom of sitting with his wife on the front-door-step during
the summer twilight, to catch the breeze, that always refreshes the
city of New-York, after a sultry day. On such occasions, the children of
the neighborhood soon began to gather round him. One of the most
intelligent and interesting pupils of the Deaf and Dumb Institution had
married Mr. Gallaudet, Professor in that Institution, and resided in the
next house. She had a bright lively little daughter, who very early
learned to imitate her rapid and graceful way of conversing by signs.
This child was greatly attracted toward Friend Hopper. The moment she
saw him, she would clap her tiny hands with delight, and toddle toward
him, exclaiming, "Opper! Opper!" When he talked to her, she would make
her little fingers fly, in the prettiest fashion, interpreting by signs
to her mute mother all that "Opper" had been saying. Her quick
intelligence and animated gestures were a perpetual source of amusement
to him. When he went down to his office in the morning, all the nurses
in the neighborhood were accustomed to stop in his path, that he might
have some playful conversation with the little ones in their charge. He
had a pleasant nick-name for them all; such as "Blue-bird," or
"Yellow-bird," according to their dress. They would run up to him as he
approached home, calling out, "Here's your little Blue-bird!"

His garden was another source of great satisfaction to him. It was not
bigger than a very small bed-room, and only half of it received the
sunshine. But he called the minnikin grass-plot his meadow, and talked
very largely about mowing his hay. He covered the walls and fences with
flowering vines, and suspended them between the pillars of his little
piazza. Even in this employment he revealed the tendencies of his
character. One day, when I was helping him train a woodbine, he said,
"Fasten it in that direction, Maria; for I want it to go over into our
neighbor's yard, that it may make their wall look pleasant."

In the summer of 1848, when I was staying in the country, not far from
New-York, I received the following letter from him: "Dear Friend, the
days have not yet come, in which I can say I have no pleasure in them.
Notwithstanding the stubs against which I hit my toes, the briars and
thorns that sometimes annoy me, and the muddy sloughs I am sometimes
obliged to wade through, yet, after all, the days have _not_ come in
which I have no enjoyment. In the course of my journey, I find here and
there a green spot, by which I can sit down and rest, and pleasant
streams, where I sometimes drink, mostly in secret, and am refreshed. I
often remember the saying of a beloved friend, long since translated
from this scene of mutation to a state of eternal beatitude: 'I wear my
sackcloth on my loins; I don't wish to afflict others by carrying a
sorrowful countenance.' A wise conclusion. I love to diffuse happiness
over all with whom I come in contact. But all this is a kind of
accident. I took up my pen to tell thee about our garden. I never saw it
half so handsome as it is now. Morning Glories are on both sides of the
yard, extending nearly to the second story windows; and they exhibit
their glories every morning, in beautiful style. There are Cypress
vines, twelve feet high, running up on the pillar before the kitchen
window, and spreading out each way. They blossom most profusely. The
wooden wall is entirely covered with Madeira vines, and the stone wall
with Woodbine. The grass-plot is very thrifty, and our borders are
beautified with a variety of flowers. How thou wouldst like to look at

I replied as follows: "My dear and honored friend: Your kind, cheerful
epistle came into my room as pleasantly as would the vines and flowers
you describe. I am very glad the spirit moved you to write; for, to use
the words of the apostle, I thank my God for every remembrance of you.'
I do not make many professions of friendship, because neither you nor I
are much given to professions; but there is no one in the world for whom
I have a higher respect than yourself, and very few for whom I cherish a
more cordial affection. You say the time has not _yet_ come when you
have no pleasure. I think, my friend, that it will _never_ come. To an
evergreen heart, like yours, so full of kindly sympathies, the little
children will always prattle, the birds will always sing, and the
flowers will always offer incense. _This_ reward of the honest and
kindly heart is one of those, which 'the world can neither give nor take

"I should love to see your garden now. There is a peculiar satisfaction
in having a very _little_ patch all blooming into beauty. I had such an
one in my humble home in Boston, some years ago. It used to make me
think of Mary Howitt's very pleasant poetry:

  "'Yes, in the poor man's garden grow
    Far more than herbs and flowers;
  Kind thoughts, contentment, peace of mind,
    And joy for weary hours.'

"I have one enjoyment this summer, which you cannot have in your city
premises. The birds! not only their sweet songs, but all their little
cunning manoeuvres in courting, building their nests, and rearing their
young. I watched for hours a little Phoebe-bird, who brought out her
brood to teach them to fly. They used to stop to rest themselves on the
naked branch of a dead pear-tree. There they sat so quietly, all in a
row, in their sober russet suit of feathers, just as if they were
Quakers at meeting. The birds are very tame here; thanks to Friend
Joseph's tender heart. The Bob-o-links pick seed from the dandelions,
at my very feet. May you sleep like a child when his friends are with
him, as the Orientals say. And so farewell."

Interesting strangers occasionally called to see Friend Hopper,
attracted by his reputation. Frederika Bremer was peculiarly delighted
by her interviews with him, and made a fine sketch of him in her
collection of American likenesses. William Page, the well-known artist,
made for me an admirable drawing of him, when he was a little past
seventy years old. Eight years after, Salathiel Ellis, of New-York, at
the suggestion of some friends, executed an uncommonly fine medallion
likeness. A reduced copy of this was made in bronze at the request of
some members of the Prison Association. The reverse side represents him
raising a prisoner from the ground, and bears the appropriate
inscription, "To seek and to save that which was lost."

Young people often sent him pretty little testimonials of the interest
he had excited in their minds. Intelligent Irish girls, with whom he had
formed acquaintance in their native land, never during his life ceased
to write to him, and occasionally sent some tasteful souvenir of their
friendship. The fashionable custom of New-Year's and Christmas offerings
was not in his line. But though he always dined on humble fare at
Christmas, as a testimony against the observance of holy days, he
secretly sent turkeys to poor families, who viewed the subject in a
different light; and it was only by accidental circumstances that they
at last discovered to whom they owed the annual gift.


Members of the Society of Friends often came to see him; and for many of
them he cherished high respect, and a very warm friendship. But his
character grew larger, and his views more liberal, after the bonds which
bound him to a sect were cut asunder. Friends occasionally said to him,
"We miss thy services in the Society, Isaac. Hadst thou not better ask
to be re-admitted? The way is open for thee, whenever thou hast an
inclination to return." He replied, "I thank thee. But in the present
state of the Society, I don't think I could be of any service to them,
or they to me." But he could never relinquish the hope that the
primitive character of Quakerism would be restored, and that the Society
would again hold up the standard of righteousness to the nations, as it
had in days gone by. Nearly every man, who forms strong religious
attachments in early life, cherishes similar anticipations for his sect,
whose glory declines, in the natural order of things. But such hopes are
never realized. The spirit has a resurrection, but not the form. "Soul
never dies. Matter dies off it, and it lives elsewhere." Thus it is with
truth. The noble principles maintained by Quakers, through suffering
and peril, have taken root in other sects, and been an incalculable help
to individual seekers after light, throughout the Christian world. Like
winged seed scattered in far-off soils, they will produce a
forest-growth in the future, long after the original stock is dead, and
its dust dispersed to the winds.

In Friend Hopper's last years, memory, as usual with the old, was busily
employed in reproducing the past; and in his mind the pictures she
presented were uncommonly vivid. In a letter to his daughter, Sarah
Palmer, he writes: "I was deeply affected on being informed of the death
of Joseph Whitall. We loved one another when we were children; and I
never lost my love for him. I think it will not be extravagant if I say
that my soul was knit with his soul, as Jonathan's was to David's. I
have a letter, which I received from him in 1795. I have not language to
express my feelings. Oh, that separation! that cruel separation! How it
divided very friends!"

In a letter to his daughter Susan, we again find him looking fondly
backward. He says: "I often, very often remember the example of thy dear
mother, with feelings that no language can portray. She was neat and
tasteful in her appearance. Her dress was elegant, but plain, as became
her Christian profession. She loved sincere Friends, faithfully
maintained all their testimonies, and was a diligent attender of
meetings. She was kind and affectionate to all. In short, she was a
bright example in her family, and to all about her, and finally laid
down her head in peace. May her children imitate her virtues."

Writing to his daughter Sarah in 1845, he thus returns to the same
beloved theme: "I lately happened to open the Memoirs of Sarah Harrison.
It seemed to place me among my old friends, with whom I walked in sweet
unity and Christian fellowship, in days that are gone forever. I there
saw the names, and read the letters, of William Savery, Thomas
Scattergood, and a host of others, who have long since gone to their
everlasting rest. I hope, however unworthy, to join them at some day,
not very distant."

"Next day after to-morrow, it will be fifty years since I was married to
thy dear mother. How fresh many of the scenes of that day are brought
before me! It almost seems as if they transpired yesterday. These
reminiscences afford me a melancholy pleasure, and I love to indulge in
them. No man has experienced more exquisite pleasure, or deeper sorrows
than I have."

Perhaps the reader will say that I have spoken little of his sorrows;
and it is true. But who does not know that all the sternest conflicts of
life can never be recorded! Every human soul must walk alone through
the darkest and most dangerous paths of its spiritual pilgrimage;
absolutely alone with God! Much, from which we suffer most acutely,
could never be revealed to others; still more could never be understood,
if it were revealed; and still more ought never to be repeated, if it
could be understood. Therefore, the frankest and fullest biography must
necessarily be superficial.

The old gentleman was not prone to talk of his troubles. They never made
him irritable, but rather increased his tenderness and thoughtfulness
toward others. His naturally violent temper was brought under almost
complete subjection. During the nine years that I lived with him, I
never saw him lose his balance but twice; and then it was only for a
moment, and under very provoking circumstances.

The much-quoted line, "None knew him but to love him, none named him but
to praise," was probably never true of any man; certainly not of any one
with a strong character. Many were hostile to Friend Hopper, and some
were bitter in their enmity. Of course, it could not be otherwise with a
man who battled with oppression, selfishness, and bigotry, wherever he
encountered them, and whose rebukes were too direct and explicit to be
evaded. Moreover, no person in this world is allowed to be peculiar and
independent with impunity. There are always men who wish to compel such
characters to submit, by the pressure of circumstances. This kind of
spiritual thumb-screw was often, and in various ways, tried upon Friend
Hopper; but though it sometimes occasioned temporary inconvenience, it
never induced him to change his course.

Though few old men enjoyed life so much as he did, he always thought and
spoke of death with cheerful serenity. On the third of December, 1851,
he wrote thus to his youngest daughter, Mary: "This day completes my
eightieth year. 'My eye is not dim, nor my natural force abated.' My
head is well covered with hair, which still retains its usual glossy
dark color, with but few gray hairs sprinkled about, hardly noticed by a
casual observer. My life has been prolonged beyond most, and has been
truly 'a chequered scene.' I often take a retrospect of it, and it fills
me with awe. It is marvellous how many dangers and hair-breadth escapes
I have experienced. If I may say it without presumption, I desire not to
live until I am unable to take care of myself, and become a burden to
those about me. If I had my life to live over again, the experience I
have had might caution me to avoid many mistakes, and perhaps I might
make a more useful citizen; but I don't know that I should greatly
improve it. Mercy and kindness have followed me thus far, and I have
faith that they will continue with me to the end."

But the bravest and strongest pilgrim, when he is travelling toward the
sunset, cannot but perceive that the shadows are lengthening around him.
He did not, like most old people, watch the gathering gloom; but during
the last two or three years of his life, he seemed to have an increasing
feeling of spiritual loneliness. He had survived all his cotemporaries;
he had outlived the Society of Friends, as it was when it took
possession of his youthful soul; and though he sympathized with the
present generation remarkably for so old a man, still he was _among_
them, and not _of_ them. He quieted this feeling by the best of all
methods. He worked continually, and he worked for others. In this way,
he brought upon himself his last illness. A shop had been built very far
up in the city, for a discharged convict, and the Association had
incurred considerable expense on his account. He was remarkably skilful
at his trade, but after awhile he manifested slight symptoms of
derangement. Friend Hopper became extremely anxious about him, and
frequently travelled back and forth to examine into the state of his
affairs. This was in the severe winter of 1852, and he was past eighty
years old. He took heavy colds, which produced inflammation of the
lungs, and the inflammation subsequently extended to his stomach. In
February of that year, declining health made it necessary to resign his
office in the Prison Association. His letter to that effect was
answered by the following Resolutions, unanimously passed at a meeting
of the Executive Committee:

"This Association has received, with undissembled sorrow, the
resignation of Isaac T. Hopper, as their agent for the relief of
discharged convicts.

"He was actively engaged in the organization of the Society, and has
ever since been its most active member.

"His kindness of heart, and his active zeal in behalf of the fallen and
erring, whom he has so often befriended, have given to this Society a
lofty character for goodness, which, being a reflection of his own, will
endure with the remembrance of him.

"His forbearance and patience, combined with his great energy of mind,
have given to its action an impetus and a direction, which, it is to be
earnestly hoped, will continue long after it shall have ceased to enjoy
his participation in its active business.

"His gentleness and propriety of deportment toward us, his associates,
have given him a hold upon our affections, which adds poignancy to our
grief at parting with him.

"And while we mourn his loss to us, our recollection of the cause of it
awakens within us the belief that the good he has done will smooth his
departure from among us, and gives strength to the cheering hope that
the recollection of a life well spent may add even to the happiness
that is in store for him hereafter."

He sent the following reply, which I believe was the last letter he ever

  "Dear Friends:--I received through your committee, accompanied by
  Dr. Russ, your resolutions of the 13th of February, 1852,
  commendatory of my course while agent for Discharged Convicts. My
  bodily indisposition has prevented an earlier acknowledgment.

  "The kind, friendly, and affectionate manner in which you have been
  pleased to express yourselves on this occasion, excited emotions
  which I found it difficult to repress. The approbation of those
  with whom I have long labored in a deeply interesting and arduous
  concern, I value next to the testimony of a good conscience.
  Multiplied years and debility of body admonish me to retire from
  active life as much as may be, but my interest in the work has not
  abated. Much has been done, and much remains to be done.

  "In taking a retrospect of my intercourse with you, I am rejoiced to
  see that the great principles of humanity and Christian benevolence
  have risen above and overspread sectarian prejudice, that bane of
  Christianity, and while each has been allowed to enjoy his own
  religious opinions without interference from his fellows, we have
  labored harmoniously together for the promotion of the great object
  of our Association.

  "May He who clothes the lilies, feeds the ravens, and provides for
  the sparrows, and without whose Providential regard, all our
  endeavors must be vain, bless your labors, and stimulate and
  encourage you to persevere, so that having, through His aid,
  fulfilled all your relative and social duties, you may in the end
  receive the welcome, 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the
  kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I
  was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me
  drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed
  me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came
  unto me.'

  "That this may be our happy experience, is the fervent desire of
  your sincere and affectionate friend,


  "NEW-YORK, 4th mo. 15, 1852."

Early in the Spring, he was conveyed to the house of his daughter, Mrs.
Gibbons, in the upper part of the city; it being supposed that change of
air and scene might prove beneficial. It was afterward deemed imprudent
to remove him. His illness was attended with a good deal of physical
suffering; but he was uniformly patient and cheerful. He often observed,
"There is no cloud. There is nothing in my way. Nothing troubles me."
His daughters left all other duties, and devoted themselves exclusively
to him. Never were the declining hours of an old man watched over with
more devoted affection. Writing to his daughter Mary, he says: "I have
the best nurses in New-York, thy mother and sisters. I have every
comfort that industry and ingenuity can supply."

Among the Quakers who manifested kindness and sympathy, several belonged
to the branch called Orthodox; for a sincere respect and friendship had
grown up between him and individuals of that Society, in New-York, after
the dust of controversy had subsided. He was always glad to see them;
for his heart warmed toward the plain dress and the plain language. But
I think nothing during his illness gave him more unalloyed satisfaction
than a visit from William and Deborah Wharton, Friends from
Philadelphia. He loved this worthy couple for their truly Christian
character; and they were, moreover, endeared to him by many tender and
pleasant associations. They stood by him generously during his severe
pecuniary struggles; they had been devoted to his beloved Sarah, whose
long illness was cheered by their unremitting attentions, and she, for
many years, had received from Hannah Fisher, Deborah's mother, the most
uniform kindness. William's father, a wealthy merchant, had been to him
an early and constant friend; and his uncle, the excellent mayor of
Philadelphia, had sustained him by his influence and hearty
co-operation, in many a fugitive slave case, that occurred in years long
past. It was, therefore, altogether pleasant to clasp hands with these
tried and trusty friends, before life and all its reminiscences faded

His physician, Dr. John C. Beales, was very assiduous in his attentions,
and his visits were always interesting to the invalid, who generally
made them an occasion for pleasant and animated conversation; often
leading the doctor off the professional track, by some playful account
of his symptoms, however painful they might be. He had been his medical
adviser for many years, and as a mark of respect for his disinterested
services to his fellow-men, he uniformly declined to receive any

Neighbors and acquaintances of recent date, likewise manifested their
respect for the invalid by all manner of attentions. Gentlemen sent
choice wines, and ladies offered fruit and flowers. Market people, who
knew him in the way of business, brought delicacies of various kinds for
his acceptance. He was gratified by such tokens of regard, and
manifested it in many pleasant little ways. One of his sons had
presented him a silver goblet, with the word "Father" inscribed upon it;
and whenever he was about to take nourishment, he would say, "Give it to
me in John's cup." When his little grand-daughter brought flowers from
the garden, he was careful to have them placed by the bedside, where he
could see them continually. After he was unable to rise to take his
meals, he asked to have two cups and plates brought to him, if it were
not too much trouble; for he said it would seem pleasant, and like old
times, to have Hannah's company. So his wife ate with him, as long as he
was able to partake of food. A china bird, which a ransomed slave had
given to his daughter, when she was a little girl, was placed on the
mantel-piece, because he liked to look at it. A visitor, to whom he made
this remark one day, replied, "It must be very pleasant to you now to
remember how many unfortunate beings you have helped." He looked up, and
answered with frank simplicity, "Yes, it _is_ pleasant."

He made continual efforts to conceal that he was in pain. When they
asked why he was so often singing to himself, he replied, "If I didn't
sing, I should groan." Even as late as the day before he died, he
indulged in some little "Cheeryble" pleasantries, evidently intended to
enliven those who were nearly exhausted by their long attendance on him.
At this period, his son-in-law, James S. Gibbons, wrote to me thus:
"Considering his long bodily weakness, now ten weeks, he is in an
extraordinary state of mental strength and clearness. Reminiscences are
continually falling from his lips, like leaves in autumn from an old
forest tree; not indeed green, but rich in the colors that are of the
tree, and characteristic. Thou hast known him in the extraordinary vigor
and freshness of his old age; cheating time even out of turning his
hair gray. But thou shouldst see him now; when, to use his own words, he
feels that 'the messenger has come.' All his thoughts have tended to,
and reached this point. The only question with him now is of a few more
days. Though prostrate in body, his mind is like a sturdy old oak, that
don't care which way the wind blows. As I sat by his bedside, last
evening, I thought I never had seen so beautiful a close to a good man's

He had no need to make a will; for he died, as he had lived, without
property. But he disposed of his little keepsakes with as much
cheerfulness as if he had been making New-Year's presents. He seemed to
remember everybody in the distribution. His Quaker library was left in
the care of his children, with directions that it should be kept where
members of the Society of Friends or others interested could have ready
access to it. To his daughter Sarah he entrusted the paper written by
her mother, at fourteen years of age; still fastened by the pin she had
placed in it, which her dear hand had invested with more value than a
diamond, in his eyes. He earnestly recommended his wife to the
affectionate care of his children; reminding them that she had been a
kind and faithful companion to him during many years. He also gave
general directions concerning his funeral. "Don't take the trouble to
make a shroud," said he. "One of my night-shirts will do as well. I
should prefer to be buried in a white pine coffin; but that might be
painful to my family; and I should not like to afflict them in _any_
way. It may, therefore, be of dark wood; but be sure to have it entirely
plain, without varnish or inscription. Have it made by some poor
neighbor, and pay him the usual price of a handsome one; for I merely
wish to leave a testimony against vain show on such occasions." He
appeared to be rather indifferent where he was buried; but when he was
informed that his son and daughter had purchased a lot at Greenwood
Cemetery, it seemed pleasant to him to think of having them and their
families gathered round him, and he consented to be laid there.

I was summoned to his death-bed, and arrived two days before his
departure. I found his mind perfectly bright and clear. He told over
again some of his old reminiscences, and indulged in a few of his
customary pleasantries. He spoke of rejoining his beloved Sarah, and his
ancient friends William Savery, Nicholas Waln, Thomas Scattergood, and
others, with as much certainty and pleasure as if he had been
anticipating a visit to Pennsylvania. Sometimes, when he was much
exhausted with physical pain, he would sigh forth, "Oh, for rest in the
kingdom of heaven!" But nothing that approached nearer to complaint or
impatience escaped his lips. On the last day, he repeated to me, what
he had previously said to others, that he sometimes seemed to hear
voices singing, "We have come to take thee home." Once, when no one else
happened to be near him, he said to me in a low, confidential tone,
"Maria, is there anything peculiar in this room?" I replied, "No. Why do
you ask that question?" "Because," said he, "you all look so beautiful;
and the covering on the bed has such glorious colors, as I never saw.
But perhaps I had better not have said anything about it." The natural
world was transfigured to his dying senses; perhaps by an influx of
light from the spiritual; and I suppose he thought I should understand
it as a sign that the time of his departure drew nigh. It was a scene to
remind one of Jeremy Taylor's eloquent words: "When a good man dies, one
that hath lived innocently, then the joys break forth through the clouds
of sickness, and the conscience stands upright, and confesses the
glories of God: and owns so much integrity, that it can hope for pardon,
and obtain it too. Then the sorrows of sickness do but untie the soul
from its chain, and let it go forth, first into liberty, and then into

A few hours before he breathed his last, he rallied from a state of
drowsiness, and asked for a box containing his private papers. He washed
to find one, which he thought ought to be destroyed, lest it should do
some injury. He put on his spectacles, and looked at the papers which
were handed him; but the old man's eyes were dimmed with death, and he
could not see the writing. After two or three feeble and ineffectual
attempts, he took off his spectacles, with a trembling hand, and gave
them to his beloved daughter, Sarah, saying, "Take them, my child, and
keep them. They were thy dear mother's. I can never use them more." The
scene was inexpressibly affecting; and we all wept to see this untiring
friend of mankind compelled at last to acknowledge that he could work no

Of his sixteen children, ten were living; and all but two of them were
able to be with him in these last days. He addressed affectionate
exhortations to them at various times; and a few hours before he died,
he called them, one by one, to his bedside, to receive his farewell
benediction. At last, he whispered my name; and as I knelt to kiss his
hand, he said in broken accents, and at long intervals, "Maria, tell
them I loved them--though I felt called to resist--some who claimed to
be rulers in Israel--I never meant--." His strength was nearly
exhausted; but after a pause, he pressed my hand, and added, "Tell them
I love them _all_." I had previously asked and obtained permission to
write his biography; and from these broken sentences, I understood that
he wished me to convey in it a message to the Society of Friends;
including the "Orthodox" branch, with whom he had been brought into
painful collision, in years gone by.

After several hours of restlessness and suffering, he fell into a
tranquil slumber, which lasted a long time. The serene expression of his
countenance remained unchanged, and there was no motion of limb or
muscle, when the spirit passed away. This was between eight and nine
o'clock in the evening, on the seventh of May, 1852. After a long
interval of silent weeping, his widow laid her head on the shoulder of
one of his sons, and said, "Forty-seven years ago this very day, my good
father died; and from that day to this, he has been the best friend I
ever had."

No public buildings were hung with crape, when news went forth that the
Good Samaritan had gone. But prisoners, and poor creatures in dark and
desolate corners, wept when they heard the tidings. Ann W. with whose
waywardness he had borne so patiently, escaped from confinement, several
miles distant, and with sobs implored "to see that good old man once
more." Michael Stanley sent the following letter to the Committee of the
Prison Association: "When I read the account of the venerable Friend
Hopper's death, I could not help weeping. It touched a tender chord in
my heart, when I came to the account of his being the prisoner's friend.
My soul responded to that; for I had realized it. About six years ago,
I was one of those who got good advice from 'the old man.' I carried it
out, and met with great success. I was fatherless, motherless, and
friendless, with no home, nobody to take me by the hand. I felt, as the
poet has it,

  "'A pilgrim stranger here I roam,
  From place to place I'm driven;
  My friends are gone, and I'm in gloom;
  This earth is all a lonely tomb;
  I have no home but heaven.'

"Go on in the work of humanity and love, till the Good Master shall say,
'It is enough. Come up higher.'"

Nearly all the domestics in Friend Hopper's neighborhood attended the
funeral solemnities. One of these said with tears, "I am an orphan; but
while he lived, I always felt as if I had a father. He always had
something pleasant to say to me, but now everything seems gone." A very
poor man, who had been an object of his charity, and whom he had
employed in many little services, could not rest till he had earned
enough to buy a small Arbor-vitae, (Tree of Life,) to plant upon his

The Executive Committee of the Prison Association met, and passed the
following Resolutions:

  "_Resolved:_--That the combination of virtues which distinguished
  and adorned the character of our lamented friend, eminently
  qualified him for the accomplishment of those benevolent and
  philanthropic objects to which he unremittingly devoted _a life_
  far more extended than ordinarily falls to man's inheritance.

  "That in our intimate associations with him for many years, he has
  uniformly displayed a character remarkable for its
  disinterestedness, energy, fearlessness, and Christian principle,
  in every good word and work.

  "That we tender to the family and friends of the deceased our
  sincere condolence and sympathy in their sore bereavement, but
  whilst sensible that words, however truly uttered, cannot
  compensate for the loss of such a husband, father, and guide, we do
  find both for ourselves and for them, consolation in the belief
  that his peaceful end was but the prelude to the bliss of Heaven.

  "That in the death of Isaac T. Hopper, the community is called to
  part with a citizen of transcendent worth and excellence; the
  prisoner, with an unwearied and well-tried friend; the poor and the
  homeless, with a father and a protector; the church of Christ, with
  a brother whose works ever bore unfailing testimony to his faith;
  and the world at large, with a philanthropist of the purest and
  most uncompromising integrity, whose good deeds were circumscribed
  by no sect, party, condition or clime."

The American Anti-Slavery Society received the tidings while they were
in session at Rochester. Mr. Garrison, after a brief but eloquent
tribute to the memory of the deceased, offered the following Resolution:

  "_Resolved:_--That it is with emotions too profound for utterance,
  that this Society receives the intelligence of the decease of the
  venerable Isaac T. Hopper, on Tuesday evening last, in the city of
  New-York; the friend of the friendless--boundless in his
  compassion--exhaustless in his benevolence--untiring in his
  labors--the most intrepid of philanthropists, who never feared the
  face of man, nor omitted to bear a faithful testimony against
  injustice and oppression--the early, steadfast, heroic advocate and
  protector of the hunted fugitive slave, to whose sleepless
  vigilance and timely aid multitudes have been indebted for their
  deliverance from the Southern House of Bondage;--in whom were
  equally blended the gentleness of the lamb with the strength of the
  lion--the wisdom of the serpent with the harmlessness of the dove;
  and who, when the ear heard him, then it blessed him, when the eye
  saw him, it gave witness to him, because he delivered the poor that
  cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The
  blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon him, and he
  caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. He put on righteousness,
  and it clothed him; his judgment was as a robe and a diadem. He was
  eyes to the blind, and feet was he to the lame. The cause which he
  knew not he searched out, and he broke the jaws of the wicked, and
  plucked the spoil out of its teeth."

He moved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded in an official
form to the estimable partner of his life, and the children of his
love, accompanied by an assurance of our deepest sympathy, in view
of their great bereavement.

Several spoke in support of the Resolution, which was unanimously and
cordially adopted.

The Committee of the Prison Association desired to have public funeral
solemnities, and the family complied with their wishes. Churches of
various denominations were immediately offered for the purpose,
including the meeting-houses of both branches of the Society of Friends.
The Tabernacle was accepted. Judge Edmonds, who had been an efficient
co-laborer, and for whom Friend Hopper had a strong personal affection,
offered a feeling tribute to the virtues and abilities of his departed
friend. He was followed by Lucretia Mott, a widely known and highly
respected minister among Friends. In her appropriate and interesting
communication, she dwelt principally upon his efforts in behalf of the
colored people; for whose sake she also had encountered obloquy.

The Society of Friends in Hester-street, to which he had formerly
belonged, offered the use of their burying-ground. It was kindly meant;
but his children deeply felt the injustice of their father's expulsion
from that Society, for no other offence than following the dictates of
his own conscience. As his soul had been too much alive for them, when
it was in the body, their unity with the lifeless form was felt to
avail but little.

The body was conveyed to Greenwood Cemetery, followed only by the
family, and a very few intimate friends. Thomas McClintock, a minister
in the Society of Friends, addressed some words of consolation to the
bereaved family, as they stood around the open grave. Lucretia Mott
affectionately commended the widow to the care of the children. In the
course of her remarks, she said, "I have no unity with these costly
monuments around me, by which the pride and vanity of man strive to
extend themselves beyond the grave. But I like the idea of burial
grounds where people of all creeds repose together. It is pleasant to
leave the body of our friend here, amid the verdant beauty of nature,
and the sweet singing of birds. As he was a fruitful bough, that
overhung the wall, it is fitting that he should not be buried within the
walls of any sectarian enclosure."

Three poor little motherless German boys stood hand in hand beside the
grave. Before the earth was thrown in, the eldest stepped forward and
dropped a small bouquet on the coffin of his benefactor. He had gathered
a few early spring flowers from the little garden plot, which his kind
old friend used to cultivate with so much care, and with childish love
and reverence he dropped them in his grave.

Soon after the funeral Lucretia Mott called a meeting of the colored
people in Philadelphia, and delivered an address upon the life and
services of their friend and protector. There was a very large audience;
and among them were several old people, who well remembered him during
his residence in that city. At the Yearly Meeting also she paid a
tribute to his virtues; it being the custom of Friends, on such
occasions, to make tender allusion to the worthies who have passed from
among them in the course of the year.

The family received many letters of sympathy and condolence, from which
I will make a few brief extracts. Mrs. Marianne C.D. Silsbee, of Salem,
Massachusetts, thus speaks of him, in a letter to his son John: "I have
thought much of you all, since your great loss. How you must miss his
grand, constant example of cheerful trust, untiring energy, and love to
all! What a joy to have had such a father! To be the son of such a man
is ground for honest pride. The pleasure of having known him, the honor
of having been in social relations with him, will always give a charm to
my life. I cherish among my most precious recollections the pleasant
words he has so often spoken to me. I can see him while I write, as
vividly as though he were with me now; and never can his benign and
beautiful countenance lose its brightness in my memory. Dear old
friend! We cannot emulate your ceaseless good works; but we can follow,
and we can love and remember."

Mrs. Mary E. Stearns, of Medford, Massachusetts, wrote as follows to
Rosalie Hopper: "The Telegraph has announced that the precious life you
were all so anxiously watching has 'passed on,' and that mysterious
change we call death has taken it from your midst forever. It is such a
beautiful day! The air is so soft, the grass so green, and the birds
singing so joyously! The day and the event have become so interwoven
with each other, that I cannot separate them. I think of his placid
face, sleeping its last still sleep; and through the open window, I see
the springing grass and the bursting buds. My ears are filled with
bird-music, and all other sounds are hushed in this Sabbath stillness.
All I see and hear seems to be hallowed by his departed spirit. Ah, it
is good to think of his death in the Spring time! It is good that his
soul, so fresh, so young and hopeful, should burst into a higher and
more glorious life, as if in sympathy with the ever beautiful, ever
wonderful resurrection of nature. Dear, blessed old man! I shall never
see his face again; but his memory will be as green as this springing
grass, and we shall always think and talk of our little experience with
him, as one of the golden things that can never pass away."

Dr. Russ, his beloved co-laborer in the Prison Association, wrote thus
in a note to Mrs. Gibbons: "I have found it for my comfort to change the
furniture of the office, that it might not appear so lonely without your
dear, venerable father. I felt for him the warmest and most enduring
friendship. I esteemed him for his thousand virtues, and delighted in
his social intercourse. I am sure no one out of his own immediate
family, felt his loss more keenly than myself."

James H. Titus, of New-York, thus expresses himself in a letter to James
S. Gibbons: "I have ever considered it one of the happiest and most
fortunate events of my life, to have had the privilege of an
acquaintance with Friend Hopper. I shall always recur to his memory with
pleasure, and I trust with that moral advantage, which the recollection
of his Christian virtues is so eminently calculated to produce. How
insignificant the reputation of riches, how unsatisfactory the renown of
victory in war, how transient political fame, when compared with the
history of a long life spent in services rendered to the afflicted and
the unfortunate!"

Ellis Gray Loring, of Boston, in a letter to John Hopper, says: "We
heard of your father's death while we were in Rome. I could not restrain
a few tears, and yet God knows there is no room for tears about the life
or death of such a man. In both, he was a blessing and encouragement to
all of us. He really lived out all the life that was given him; filling
it up to such an age with the beauty of goodness, and consecrating to
the divinest purposes that wonderful energy of intellect and character.
In a society full of selfishness and pretension, it is a great thing to
have practical proof that a life and character like his are possible."

Edmund L. Benzon, of Boston, writing to the same, says; "You will
imagine, better than I can write, with what deep sympathy I learned the
death of your good father, whom I have always esteemed one of the best
of men. I cannot say I am sorry for his death. My only regret is that
more of us cannot live and die as he has done. I feel with regard to all
good men departed, whom I have personally known, that there is now
another witness in the spirit, before whose searching eyes my inmost
soul lies open. I shall never forget him; not even if such a green old
age as his should be my own portion. If in the future life I can only be
as near him as I was on this earth, I shall deem myself blest."

From the numerous notices in papers of all parties and sects, I will
merely quote the following: The New-York Observer thus announces his

  "The venerable Isaac T. Hopper, whose placid benevolent face has so
  long irradiated almost every public meeting for doing good, and
  whose name, influence, and labors have been devoted with an
  apostolic simplicity and constancy to humanity, died on Friday
  last, at an advanced age. He was a Quaker of that early sort
  illustrated by such philanthropists as Anthony Benezet, Thomas
  Clarkson, Mrs. Fry, and the like.

  "He was a most self-denying, patient, loving friend of the poor, and
  the suffering of every kind; and his life was an unbroken history
  of beneficence. Thousands of hearts will feel a touch of grief at
  the news of his death; for few men have so large a wealth in the
  blessings of the poor, and the grateful remembrance of kindness and
  benevolence, as he."

The New-York Sunday Times contained the following:

  "Most of our readers will call to mind in connection with the name
  of Isaac T. Hopper, the compact, well-knit figure of a Quaker
  gentleman, apparently about sixty years of age, dressed in drab or
  brown clothes of the plainest cut, and bearing on his handsome,
  manly face the impress of that benevolence with which his whole
  heart was filled.

  "He was twenty years older than he seemed. The fountain of
  benevolence within, freshened his old age with its continuous flow.
  The step of the octogenarian, was elastic as that of a boy, his
  form erect as the mountain pine.

  "His whole _physique_ was a splendid sample of nature's handiwork.
  We see him now with our 'mind's eye'--but with the eye of flesh we
  shall see him no more. Void of intentional offence to God or man,
  his spirit has joined its happy kindred in a world where there is
  neither sorrow nor perplexity."

I sent the following communication to the New-York Tribune:

  "In this world of shadows, few things strengthen the soul like
  seeing the calm and cheerful exit of a truly good man; and this has
  been my privilege by the bedside of Isaac T. Hopper.

  "He was a man of remarkable endowments, both of head and heart. His
  clear discrimination, his unconquerable will, his total
  unconsciousness of fear, his extraordinary tact in circumventing
  plans he wished to frustrate, would have made him illustrious as
  the general of an army; and these qualities might have become
  faults, if they had not been balanced by an unusual degree of
  conscientiousness and benevolence. He battled courageously, not
  from ambition, but from an inborn love of truth. He circumvented as
  adroitly as the most practised politician; but it was always to
  defeat the plans of those who oppressed God's poor; never to
  advance his own self-interest.

  "Few men have been more strongly attached to any religious society
  than he was to the Society of Friends, which he joined in the days
  of its purity, impelled by his own religious convictions. But when
  the time came that he must either be faithless to duty in the cause
  of his enslaved brethren, or part company with the Society to which
  he was bound by the strong and sacred ties of early religious
  feeling, this sacrifice he also calmly laid on the altar of

  "During nine years that I lived in his household, my respect and
  affection for him continually increased. Never have I seen a man
  who so completely fulfilled the Scripture injunction, to forgive an
  erring brother 'not only seven times, but seventy times seven.' I
  have witnessed relapse after relapse into vice, under circumstances
  which seemed like the most heartless ingratitude to him; but he
  joyfully hailed the first symptom of repentance, and was always
  ready to grant a new probation.

  "Farewell, thou brave and kind old Friend! The prayers of ransomed
  ones ascended to Heaven for thee, and a glorious company have
  welcomed thee to the Eternal City."

On a plain block of granite at Greenwood Cemetery, is inscribed:


  BORN, DECEMBER 3D, 1771,


  "Thou henceforth shalt have a good man's calm,
  A great man's happiness; thy zeal shall find
  Repose at length, firm Friend of human kind."

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