In 1897, a book called "The Boy John" was published by a Kentucky lodge of the Order of Odd Fellows (a mutual benefit society with history going back to England), detailing the efforts of the lodge's members to track down and liberate the titular character, who was sold into slavery. After his liberation, the boy's whereabouts and identity is kept secret. Is the book based on real events, and if so - what was John's new identity?

If you want to read the book, you can find a copy here.

You can find the detailed summary of the book, along with all of my research here.

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    I haven't read the book, but I know the Autobiography of Fredrick Douglass, which we have 0 legit reason to doubt in much of any way, was often similarly attacked for seeming fictional. We have ample evidence from the events of the last few years that truth is often much more outlandish than fiction could get away with, but I think inherently people just really really want to believe that slaves somehow on some level deserved it.
    – T.E.D.
    May 29 at 3:22
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    Also, I don't really have the patience to read all 42 paragraphs of this (I'm supposed to be on vacation), but it seems like the text here (what I skimmed) is asking a very different question than the title. If its even asking a question at all, that is (not sure it is).
    – T.E.D.
    May 29 at 3:27
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    @T.E.D. What on Earth are you talking about? "I think inherently people just really really want to believe that slaves somehow on some level deserved it." This is a reprehensible thing to say, and I have NEVER met anyone with such ideas. How on earth did this idea pop into your head reading this? I think you're projecting here.
    – Jimmy G.
    May 29 at 3:49
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    @JimmyG. "I know this is long, and it used to be longer [...] However, I left the full question on this Google Doc" Thank you. However, this approach could be used to even more effect - you can condense the question to the basic theses for easier understanding, and leave the actual research linked and accessible for interested users. Your work is very impressive, but as-is - the sheer amount of text makes it easy to become confused about the actual question when looking over it, and that makes it harder to attract users who would be interested in the research. May 30 at 4:30
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    @JimmyG. Your latest edit removed some important context (for instance, the name of the book you refer to). I added the information I saw as relevant back in, feel free to roll back or further edit as needed. May 30 at 6:23


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