Isaac T. Hopper
L. Maria Child

Part 6 out of 6

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:




"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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