Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

Bound for America

It was my misfortune that I failed then to see William Penn, most like because of my father's thinking it unseemly to take with him a small lad when he talked about matters of business; but before the day was come to an end, I learned that already were there three ships fitted out for the voyage to America, one to sail from our city of Bristol, and the other two from the port of London.

That which my father heard from the lips of William Penn decided him to have a share in the enterprise, and because of our not having time to travel back to Bristol before the ship due to sail from there would have left port, he had agreed to take passage in the John and Sarah, a fine vessel even then ready for sea.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

At that time my mother was in Greenwich, on a visit, but before another day had come she was with us, busied with her preparations for the voyage.

It caused me great sorrow because I was not to journey with the people of Bristol, whom I knew, and who were to sail in the ship Factor. For the time being it seemed as if my misfortune was very great, simply because of my being among strangers; but I soon came to understand that the Lord's hand is in all things, and, although I had no claim upon His mercy and goodness, it was bestowed upon me even at that time.

The Amity, which was the other ship to leave London at the same time as did the John and Sarah, and the Factor of Bristol, did not arrive in America, owing to tempests, until many months after we had landed, and the passengers on both the ships suffered much of discomfort, if not absolute misery, all of which was spared to us.

My father declared that this was a lesson to us who were about to make our homes in a new country. It showed that we should ever depend upon a strength greater than ours and not of this world, with never a word of repining when matters do not go the way we would choose since we little know what is best.


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