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Slave vs Master - National Anti-Slavery Standard - September 1, 1842

History » Historical Documents » Slave vs Master - National Anti-Slavery Standard - September 1, 1842


A good deal of excitement existed among our citizens last Sunday and Monday, and especially among the colored population, in consequence of the arrest, detention, and examination of a negro slave, brought to this place by his master, last Saturday evening, from the Falls. It appears, from what we can ascertain of the facts, that a gentleman from the South, by the name of Thompson, had been tarrying some days at the Falls, with his sisters, and the negro main in question. The slave kept the keys of his master’s room and trunks, and, on a convenient opportunity, as is reported, pocketed some five hundred dollars of his master’s cash, and escaped into Canada. The master offered a large reward for the recovery of his slave and money, whereupon a number of constables from this side, went in pursuit, and succeeded in arresting his near Waterloo, in Canada. Partly by persuasion, and partly by intimidation, they prevailed upon him to return to his master – got him into a boat, hurried him across the river, and gave him up to his owner. It is said the money was also restored. Mr. Thompson immediately started with his slave, in an extra train of cars, for this place, intending, as has been supposed, to return with him to the South. On his arrival here, it was discovered by some of the abolitionists, that he had a black man in keeping, who wished to have his freedom, and efforts were at once taken to set him at liberty. He was, accordingly, at a late hour on Saturday night, taken, by habeas corpus, from his master’s quarters, at the Eagle tavern, where he was found closely locked up, and carried before Joseph Center, Esq. Supreme Court Commissioner, by whom, after due examination, and the declaration of the slave that he desired his liberty, he was declared a free man. Upon this, he was arrested for the theft of his master’s money, upon the complaint of one of the persons who accompanied his master to this place. He was taken before Justice Leonard, early Sunday morning, and, after a short investigation, was committed for further examination on Monday. When the prisoner was brought into court on Monday, his master, and the persons who assisted in bringing him here, had left the place, and there was no one to appear against him. The magistrate, however, after the examination of one or two witnesses, decided to commit him for trial. Upon this, he was again taken before Commissioner Center, by habeas corpus, by whom, after a short hearing, at the request of the district attorney, he was committed for further examination on Saturday next, at 2 o’clock, in the afternoon.