One day judge Theodore Sedgwick's black servant Mumbet -- who had reared the children when their mother lost her mind -- heard the Declaration of Independence being read out at a town meeting.

Soon thereafter, she visited Sedgwick in his office. "Sir," she began, "I heard that we are all born equal, and every one of us has the right to be free..."

Was Sedgwick upset? Not at all. He promptly filed a suit on Mumbet's behalf -- a suit which ultimately won Mumbet her freedom. So grateful was Mumbet to the Sedgewicks that she remained with them for the rest of her life.

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