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Many people wanted to punish Jim for running away and causing so much trouble. The Doctor comes to Jim's defence. Despite the offensive language, this is actually a white person complimenting Jim,
"I never see a nigger that was a better nuss or faithfuller, and yet he was risking his freedom to do it, and was all tired out, too, and I see plain enough he’d been worked main hard lately. I liked the nigger for that; I tell you, gentlemen, a nigger like that is worth a thousand dollars—and kind treatment, too."