Benjamin Franklin did not have a very happy life with his brother James.
His brother was a hard master, and was always finding fault with his workmen. Sometimes he would beat young Benjamin and abuse him without cause.
When Benjamin was nearly seventeen years old he made up his mind that he would not endure this treatment any longer.
He told his brother that he would leave him and find work with some one else.
When his brother learned that he really meant to do this, he went round to all the other printers in Boston and persuaded them not to give Benjamin any work.
The father took James's part, and scolded Benjamin for being so saucy and so hard to please. But Benjamin would not go back to James's printing house.
He made up his mind that since he could not find work in Boston he would run away from his home. He would go to New York and look for work there.
He sold his books to raise a little money. Then, without saying good-bye to his father or mother or any of his brothers or sisters, he went on board a ship that was just ready to sail from the harbor.
It is not likely that he was very happy while doing this. Long afterwards he said: "I reckon this as one of the first errata of my life."
What did he mean by errata?
Errata are mistakes—mistakes that cannot easily be corrected.
Three days after leaving Boston, young Franklin found himself in New York. It was then October, in the year 1723. The lad had but very little money in his pocket. There was no one in New York that he knew. He was three hundred miles from home and friends. As soon as he landed he went about the streets looking for work.
New York was only a little town then, and there was not a newspaper in it. There were but a few printing houses there, and these had not much work to do. The boy from Boston called at every place, but he found that nobody wanted to employ any more help.
At one of the little printing houses Franklin was told that perhaps he could find work in Philadelphia, which was at that time a much more important place than New York.
Philadelphia was one hundred miles farther from home. One hundred miles was a long distance in those days.
But Franklin made up his mind to go there without delay. It would be easier to do this than to give up and try to return to Boston.