There is no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt. — Machiavelli

Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

The First Baby

It was while we were thus working to the best of our ability, women and girls as well as men and boys, to have matters progressing when William Penn should visit us, that the settlement was excited by news that a baby had come to the family of John Key, who was yet living in one of the caves on the river bank.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

I had never believed the day would dawn when I should go out of my way to see such a thing; but this little fellow was the first to come from Heaven to our half-built city of Brotherly Love, and it seemed as if it was the bounden duty of every one to visit John Key's cave at least once, to look upon Philadelphia's first baby.

He wasn't anything wonderful to see, so far as I could make out; but the girls appeared to think that nothing like him had ever come into this world before, and I dare venture to say John Key's wife was heartily glad when the fever for seeing the baby died away, as it did in the course of two weeks.

Jethro and I were among the very first visitors, and even then I felt somewhat of shame to be running around after a baby, and, two days later, when the excitement was at its height, wild horses couldn't have dragged me there, because of the cave's being filled with women and girls during every minute of the day, until one would have believed that we of Philadelphia had nothing better with which to occupy our time.

I may as well set it down here that when our William Penn arrived, he gave to this first baby a piece of land near that street which was called Crown.


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