Yates tells the story of At-mun, an African prince of 15, who is captured by slave traders with many of his tribesmen in 1725. When Caleb Copeland, a Quaker, sees At-mun on the auction block in Massachusetts, he buys the young African, (whose name he changes to Amos). Despite his opposition to slavery, Copeland does this in order to prevent the young man from falling into the hands of a cruel owner. Although offered his freedom several times, Amos decides to wait until he can establish his own business to accept that freedom. After he does, Amos spends the rest of his life buying freedom for other slaves and earning the respect of all members of his community, regardless of their race.
This book provides a great lesson in perseverance and magnanimity. Amos never allows resentment to influence his behavior or disposition. Instead, he turns every gift and obstacle in his life into an opportunity to do good. Young readers should find his story edifying and engaging.