dency of tolerating Slavery, or even of admitting the least
claim io private property in thepersons of men, in England."
The arguments contained in it, were irresistible, and by its
success, he amply fulfilled his promise to his antagonist.
After about two years suspense, the prosecution was
abandoned, and the plaintiff was compelled to pay treble
costs for not bringing forward the action.
But the slaveholders, though once defeated, were not
humbled. Tyrants do not readily repent or easily relax
their grasp. The battle was but begun.
In 1770, an African named Thomas Lewis had left his
master Mr. Stapylton, then residing in Chelsea (London.)
Stapylton with the aid of two watermen whom he hired for
the purpose, taking advantage of a dark night, seized
Lewis, and after a struggle, dragged him off, gagging him
as well as they could in the hurry. But his cries were
providentially heard, and the ship to which he had been
conveyed, being detained in the Downs by adverse weather,
Lewis was brought back to London by writ of habeas
corpus obtained and forwarded by the diligence of Gran.
ville Sharp, supported by Mrs. Banks, the mother of the
celebrated traveler and naturalist Sir Joseph Banks. This
rescue is described in the following words by Thomas
Clarkson in his History of the Abolition of the African
Slave Trade : " The vessel had reached the Downs and
had actually got under way for the West Indies. In a
few hours, it would have been out of sight. Just at this
critieal moment, the writ of habeas corpus was carried on
board. The officer who served it saw the miserable cap¬
tive chained to the mainmast, bathed in tears, and casting
a last mournful look on the land of freedom. The Captain
on receiving the writ became outrageous—but knowing
the serious consequences of resisting the law of the land
he gave up his prisoner, whom the officer carried safe, but
now weeping for joy to the shore." On the 12th July a
bill was preferred and found by the Grand Jury of Mid¬
dlesex against Stapylton, and the two watermen, Malony
and Armstrong, in behalf of Lewis, " without the least