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

Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

Choosing the Place for the City

When warm weather came again, we no longer had time for spoon-making, for shipload after shipload of people came over from England until, so my father believed, we had no fewer than nine hundred, counting men, women, and children, living as best they might along the river at whatsoever point seemed to them the most likely place for the building of the city.

Thomas Holme, who was to decide the matter, acting upon advice from William Penn, had already come among us, and went here and there, in the company of the chief men, until he was convinced that he had found the one place of all others for our city of Philadelphia.

We who had come over in the John and Sarah were more than satisfied with his choice, for, if you please, he had hit upon the very spot where we had dug our caves, and thus, by merest chance, had we come to that section of the country of Pennsylvania where we had most wanted to be.

William Penn had already made a plan of what the city should be, and Thomas Holme so marked it out that the location would stretch from river to river, as may be seen in the map which I have copied down here, with a plot in the very center where was to be left a space of ten acres to be used as a playground.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

It can well be understood that within an hour after Thomas Holme had laid out the city amid the wilder- ness, those who, like my father, had bought land within the limits of the town, were eager to settle upon such places as were to be theirs, and after these matters had been arranged there was no more spoon-making for Jethro and me, because of our fathers' being bent on building houses without delay, when, as a matter of course, we lads were to do our full share of the work.

The people began to name the streets as soon as Thomas Holme had them marked out, and father believes it has been done properly, since, instead of calling them for great people in England, they are named for whatsoever comes nearest to describing them.

Because of its being on the highest land, that road which runs through the middle of the new town is called High Street, and you may be certain there has been a good, sensible reason for all that has been done in the way of bestowing names, which is far more than can be said for some of the cities in England.