All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth. — Aristotle

Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

A Government by the People

There is below Philadelphia, on the river, a settlement which was called by the Swedes, Upland. It is neither as large nor as promising as our town; but nevertheless it was to that place William Penn called the people together, after he had been here three or four weeks, to give us a regular government, such as is the rule in other countries.

You can guess that neither Jethro nor I were allowed to go to Upland, although we would willingly have walked there had our fathers given permission. It would have pleased me wonderfully to see this first meeting of law-makers in our country of Pennsylvania; but father said the people were to meet there on gravest business, and not to make a show of themselves, therefore it was no place for idle, curious boys.

I do not mean that all the men of the different settlements had a hand in this law-making, for the number would have been too great; but the people in each village chose one or more from among them, to take part in what was called the General Assembly.

They made many laws, so I have been told, and one of them was that all these laws should be set forth in fair script of the quill, to be used as a reading book in our school, when we have one.


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