Jonah on the Run

 

In Robert Morgan’s novel, “Chasing the North Star” Jonah is an aptly named runaway slave.  Jonah does a lot of thinking about his situation in life.

“It was so strange to think that he had to go all the way to Canada to be safe and free.  How strange that he was Jonah and not someone else…He could have been born in another time and place.  He could have been born white and free…He could have been born  rich and in the North.  Instead he’d been born Jonah Williams, a slave on the Williams Place, which Mr. Williams called Snowdown.  And he’d been whipped for stealing a book that was already his.  And he’d had no choice but to steal himself from Mr. Williams and run away into the Night.”

Later he discovers his value.  He is worth $100 to be returned to Mr. Williams to be whipped and branded.  He had been whipped when Mr. Williams discovered he had a Bible which Mrs. Williams had given him to read to her.  He had not stolen the Bible, but in order to be free he had to steal himself from his owner.

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