There is nothing so corrupt as history when it enters the service of the state. — Edgar Quinet

Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

Anchored off New Castle

It was near to sunset before we were come to anchor off New Castle, at which place our William had first stopped when he came over in the ship Welcome, and there took possession, with no little of odd ceremony, of the land he had bought from the Duke of York.

There was not much of interest to be seen, except the fort, for the settlement was as yet hardly more than a halting place in the wilderness, even though it had been called a town for many years. While we lay at anchor, waiting for the boats to be made ready that the governor might go on shore, Thomas Masters, one of William Penn's advisors in the Council, told me that as early as the year 1631, fifty years before we had come to America, the Swedes built a fort here, calling the place Stockholm.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

The Dutch from New Amsterdam, which is now New York, came over and captured the, place, when they named it Sandthock. Two years later other Dutchmen came, and for some reason, Thomas Masters did not know what, the settlement was then called Nieu Amstel, and this, later, was changed to Fort Kasimir.

Many years before we came to Philadelphia, the English took possession of the place, and re-named it Delawaretown; but the Duke of York, who owned all the land hereabout before he sold it to our William Penn, made the name New Castle; and so it was known in 1677, when no less a party than two hundred and thirty, nearly all Friends, came from England with the plan of making a town where they would be safe from persecution by those who claimed to believe that Quakers did not worship God in a seemly manner.

But because of there being already here in New Castle so many people of a different faith, and Thomas Masters declared there were not less than thirty persons in the settlement, the Friends, fearing trouble might arise, went to Chygoe's island, which is further up the river.

I wondered much because of our people of Philadelphia not having sought out this colony, that they might be persuaded to join us; but it seems that William Penn is not eager to have in his country those who cannot buy the land on which they settle; first, because of his needing the money which would thus be paid, and, secondly, because of its being for the benefit of all Pennsylvania that the people who come here have as much of this world's goods as will prevent their being a charge upon others, in case of sickness or accident.


Front Matter

The Name of My City
My Own Name
Why We Went to London
Bound for America
On Board Ship
Unknown Country
The End of the Voyage
Going Ashore
Our First Shelter
A Tedious Task
Our Cave Home Completed
How We Kept House
Savages Come to Town
What the Savages Wore
Game in Plenty
Sea Food
News of the Factor
Arrival of the Amity
Going to Meet the Factor
A Tiresome Journey
Meeting Old Friends
Roasting Turkeys
Turning an Honest Penny
A Place for the City
Building the City
A Bear Hunt
The New Home
Penn's Care for Colonists
The First Baby
How the Indians Live
Indian Utensils and Tools
Canoes of Bark
Making Wampum
The Beehive Huts
Finishing the Cure
Starting a Fire
Cooking Indian Corn
News of Penn's Arrival
Our Humble Preparations
The Welcome to Penn
A Day of Festivities
Penn Joins in the Sports
More Serious Business
What a Bake Oven Is
Baking in the New Oven
Penn Plans to Buy Land
Penn and the Indians
The Price Paid for Land
Gratitude of the Indians
Trapping Wild Turkeys
New Arrivals
Government by the People
The Promise of a School
Dock Creek Bridge
The Nail Business
Buying Iron in New York
No Merrymaking after Dark
Busy Days
Enoch Flower's School
End of Our School Days
Settlement of Germantown
New Laws in Our Own Town
A Division of Opinion
A Matter of History
Boundary Lines
The Governor's Following
A Proud Departure
The Settlement of Chester
Dining in State
Anchored off New Castle
An Uncomfortable Night
A Dull Journey
In Lord Baltimore's City
A Splendid Home
A Question of Duty
Amy of Maryland
The Shops of Maryland
The Result of the Visit
Philadelphia Progresses
Penn Goes Back to London