Sometimes small incidents, rather than glorious exploits, give us the best evidence of character. So, as portrait painters are more exact in doing the face, I must give particular attention to the marks of the souls of men. — Plutarch

Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

Baking in the New Oven

When one needs to use the oven, a fire is built inside, and kept roaring until the whole oven is heated as hot as possible. Then the embers and ashes are raked out with a sort of wooden hoe, having a long handle, so that he who uses it may, not be burned, and afterward swept clean with a broom of twigs.

When the housewife counts to bake bread, oak leaves are thrown into the oven to the depth of half an inch. The peel is then sprinkled with meal, and on this is put the dough. Now one has only to thrust the peel inside the oven to where the oak leaves are spread, give it a quick twist, and, because of the meal, the dough will slip off directly where one desires to have it.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

Then the pots or pans in which are meats, can be shoved in wherever is the greatest space, and the door of the oven not only closed, but banked up with the embers that have just been taken from the inside.

After that has been done, whatever is within must of a necessity be cooked, if you leave the oven closed long enough. It is a great convenience in any house, and I can but smile as I think of how mother puttered about trying to cook first this and then that in the Dutch oven, when now she can have everything under way at one time with little or no trouble.

After the oven had been built, I was given the task of making the shed to cover it, and this at a time when all was excitement in our town because of the governor's being with us.

It gives me no little pleasure to say that I kept about my work despite the merrymaking on every hand, until I had built for mother what she was pleased to say was the neatest and most convenient room for making ready the food, that could be found either in England or America.

It was fortunate for me that I had kept sharp at my tasks, otherwise they would not have been finished on the day when William Penn had a meeting with all the savages who could be summoned from far and near.


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