Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

Going Ashore

Captain Smith, master of the John and Sarah, was only too well pleased to be rid of his passengers, that he might return to England, and within an hour after the people had agreed to go on shore, there to set up such shelters as would serve as houses until the remainder of the company should arrive, he had the ship warped well in toward the land to take out our belongings.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

There was a promise of frost in the air, although the sun shone warm after the day was well begun, and we knew that it stood us in hand to put up that which would serve to shield us from the wet and cold of the winter.

It would have pleased me right well to wander around in the noble forest, for the trees came close to the water's edge, and the whirring of wings, when one but stepped within the screen of foliage, told that we need not suffer for food while we had the wherewith to charge a gun.

It was my duty, however, to do that which might be of service to my parents, for a great hulking lad of twelve years has no right to stand with his hands in his pockets when there is work to be done.

At first father believed that he might make such a but of logs as we had been told were set up by those settlers in Plymouth and Boston; but he was not skilled in the use of an axe, and before the first tree had been felled, it was plain to be seen that the task was far beyond his endurance, unless it might be that we had four or five months in which to perform it.

Then again, it really seemed useless to put so much labor into a dwelling which we might not use more than two or three months, for the land my father had bought of William Penn was to be in the new city, and when the location for that had been decided upon, we might find ourselves many miles away from it.


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