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Write the blurb for the book jacket of the book you’d write, if only you had the time and inclination.

All was normally quiet and ordered in the Ben Franklin household and he sat down to dinner, when a dull thumping on the back door dissolved the peace.

Franklin’s maid Marietta was visibly frightened and hesitated, so Franklin put down his spoon, and got up to answer the door himself. There huddled on the doorstep was a young black boy, obviously cold and malnourished, barely conscious.

They led him into the house, sat him near the fire, and Marietta brought him a bowl of her lentil soup. Slurping it down before it was barely cool enough to eat, the boy became more responsive. He said he’d set out with a group of slaves to escape to the north, Canada was what the place was called. But some bounty hunters had spotted them as they were coming out of the bushes at dusk and the others in his little group had been beaten and dragged away. He’d been lucky, but alone. He had to find his way north on his own. He hoped one day to see his mother again, but how could he know if she would able to break away?

“Don’t send me back,” he cried. “Am I free here? Have I made it to freedom?” asked the boy.

“Don’t worry,” said Ben. “We don’t have slaves in Pennsylvania. Marietta here is as free as I am. I pay her to work for me. “You’ll be fine after a wash and a good night’s sleep. We’ll talk in the morning.”

Well that had been 3 months ago, and Isaiah was still with Ben and Marietta, cleaning up the print shop, organizing the type slugs, cleaning the press, and keeping a good fire going in the stove Franklin had designed.

Life was so much better here. Mr. Ben was even teaching him to read so he could sort the letters better. But he knew slave hunters came into the town from time to time searching for runaways and the money they would get if the slaves were returned to their owners, and he still bore the brand of his master from Virginia. Would he be found, or would he grow to be a free man here in Philadelphia?

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