At 10:00 A.M. on May 21, 1845, ‘the tall, straight figure and pale, grave face of the slave's friend, Alvan Stewart’, turned toward the justices of the New Jersey Supreme Court as he commenced his opening argument in the companion cases, State v. Post and State v. Van Beuren. In the ensuing hours, Stewart argued for the immediate abolition of slavery and black apprenticeship in New Jersey. Although Stewart relied upon many authorities, the justices and the attorneys for the defendants believed that his most promising argument was based upon the state constitution of 1844, the first of the state's fundamental laws to declare that ‘all men are by nature free and independent’. On the following day, the defense counsel—A.O. Zabriskie, a Hackensack attorney, and Joseph P. Bradley, the future U.S. Supreme Court Justice—spoke with ‘much energy and ingenuity’ until five o'clock. The reply of the ‘Abolition Ajax’ lasted until 10:30 and closed with an impassioned appeal to the justices. ‘Such was the impressiveness with which the closing appeal of the advocate for freedom was delivered’, a newspaperman reported, that none of the large audience wished to ‘break the spell his eloquence had cast upon the assembly’. At length, the bench arose, and Chief Justice Joseph Hornblower adjourned the court.