There are two ways of going from New York to Philadelphia.
One way is by the sea. The other is by land, across the state of New Jersey. As Franklin had but little money, he took the shorter route by land; but he sent his little chest, containing his Sunday clothes, round by sea, in a boat.
He walked all the way from Perth Amboy, on the eastern shore of New Jersey, to Burlington, on the Delaware river. Nowadays you may travel that distance in an hour, for it is only about fifty miles.
But there were no railroads at that time; and Franklin was nearly three days trudging along lonely wagon-tracks, in the midst of a pouring rain.
At Burlington he was lucky enough to be taken on board a small boat that was going down the river.
Burlington is only twenty miles above Philadelphia. But the boat moved very slowly, and as there was no wind, the men took turns at rowing.
Night came on, and they were afraid that they might pass by Philadelphia in the darkness. So they landed, and camped on shore till morning.
Early the next day they reached Philadelphia, and Benjamin Franklin stepped on shore at the foot of Market street, where the Camden ferry-boats now land.
No one who saw him could have guessed that he would one day be the greatest man in the city.
He was a sorry-looking fellow.
He was dressed in his working clothes, and was very dirty from being so long on the road and in the little boat.
His pockets were stuffed out with shirts and stockings, and all the money that he had was not more than a dollar.
He was hungry and tired. He had not a single friend. He did not know of anyplace where he could look for lodging.
It was Sunday morning.
He went a little way up the street, and looked around him.
A boy was coming down, carrying a basket of bread.
"My young friend," said Franklin, "where did you get that bread?"
"At the baker's," said the boy.
"And where is the baker's?"
The boy showed him the little baker shop just around the corner.
Young Franklin was so hungry that he could hardly wait. He hurried into the shop and asked for three-penny worth of bread.
The baker gave him three great, puffy rolls.
Franklin had not expected to get so much, but he took the rolls and walked out.
His pockets were already full, and so, while he ate one roll, he held the others under his arms.
As he went up Market street, eating his roll, a young girl stood in a doorway laughing at him. He was, indeed, a very funny-looking fellow.
The girl's name was Deborah Read. A few years after that, she became the wife of Benjamin Franklin.
Hungry as he was, Franklin found that he could eat but one of the rolls, and so he gave the other two to a poor woman who had come down the river in the same boat with him.
As he was strolling along the street he came to a Quaker meeting-house.
The door was open, and many people were sitting quietly inside. The seats looked inviting, and so Franklin walked in and sat down.
The day was warm; the people in the house were very still; Franklin was tired. In a few minutes he was sound asleep.
And so it was in a Quaker meeting-house that Benjamin Franklin found the first shelter and rest in Philadelphia.
Later in the day, as Franklin was strolling toward the river, he met a young man whose honest face was very pleasing to him.
"My friend," he said, "can you tell me of any house where they lodge strangers?"
"Yes," said the young man, "there is a house on this very street; but it is not a place I can recommend. If thee will come with me I will show thee a better one."
Franklin walked with him to a house on Water street, and there he found lodging for the night.
And so ended his first day in Philadelphia.
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