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

Turning an Honest Penny

It would not be well if I should leave you to believe that during all this first winter in America I did nothing save bather fuel and hunt for game.

It is true that there was but little to be done in the way of useful labor, because of every one's waiting until it should be known where the city was to be built, yet Jethro and I hit upon a plan for turning an honest penny, even in a land where no trading was done, save the buying of furs from the savages.

We had come to know some of the Indians right well, as you may suppose, and often went into that one of their villages which stood not above a mile from father's cave. There we saw beautifully fashioned spoons made of handsome white wood, which the savages said was spoon-wood; but father told us it should be called laurel.

Now, you must know that many of the savages used seashells, sharpened to a keen edge, in the stead of knives, and with these hits of shell one could hollow out the bowl of a spoon more neatly than with a pocket- knife, besides which, it was to me interesting to use such odd tools.

To make a long story short, Jethro and I set about making these wooden spoons, and soon learned to do the work so deftly that we could turn out even better wares than did the savages.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

At first we had given our time to such labor because of its being pleasing to us; but we soon found that it was possible to sell as many as could be made, for it was slow work, and from that day on we drove a brisk business, being so taken up with it as to give over roaming in the forest with the other lads.