Isaac Berry, living in Palymyra, Missouri, was a slave belonging to Juliann Berry Pratt, who may have been his half-sister. While he was hired out to break sod, he met a young white woman, a Mormon, named Lucy Millard who brought him water and read to him from the Bible. Juliann's husband, Jim Pratt, was a compulsive gambler, and she warned Isaac that he was about to be sold, gave him a gold piece, loaned him a horse for the first leg of the journey, and urged him to run. He made it to Windsor, Canada where he reunited with Lucy. They married and eventually moved to Michigan in 1877.