#Ben Franklin was the tenth son of a Boston soap maker that had seventeen children. Unable to send Ben to more than one year of school, his father apprenticed the boy to his older brother, James, a printer. Ben's duties included helping compose articles, set type and print pamphlets. After that, the twelve year old would then be sent out on the streets to sell the pamphlets. When Ben was fifteen, his brother started THE NEW ENGLAND COURANT, the first newspaper that printed local news in Boston. Ben, an avid reader, wrote letters at night and signed them by the name Silence Dogood, a supposed widow that was very critical of the world and the way women were treated. The letters were an instant hit with the public. After sixteen letters were printed in the paper, Benjamin confessed he had written them. While other lavished praise upon the young boy, his brother was furious. James would beat Benjamin, so Ben broke the law and ran away. He caught a boat to New York, but failed to find work there so he walked across New Jersey and ended up in Philadelphia. Using the last of his meager money, the wet – homeless, disheveled boy bought some rolls to eat. Ironically, it was at that moment on October 6, 1723 - that his future wife, Deborah Read, saw him for the first time. Neither would have dreamt that seven years later they would marry.