Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas. — Joseph Stalin

Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

Our Humble Preparations

There was little we could do toward adorning the settlement. Houses were half built, with a great litter of logs lying around them, and the roads, not having been cleared of stumps, could be found only after much hunting for the marks on the trees that had been cut by Thomas Holme, when he measured the land so it should be in accord with the plan William Penn himself had made.

There were already up, in fairly good condition, fourteen or fifteen houses, including my father's, and the timbers of the dwelling to be made for William Penn himself were already in place; but there was no building which, to our minds, would lodge him properly.

However, as father said, he was coming to his own, knowing full well we had followed his instructions to the best of our ability, and if things were not fine enough, we could not be blamed.

The one matter which we did settle, was as to where he should first come ashore, for there we wanted to gather in order to give him such welcome as was within our power.

William Guest was building a tavern on the shore at the foot of the street which we counted to call Valley, because of its running through the lowest portion of the land. It was needed that we should have such a building in our town, for there were many men coming who had no wives and therefore could not well set up housekeeping alone, and some place had to be provided where they might have food and beds for a fair price.

Because of this tavern's being, so far as built, the largest house in the city, and because of its standing close by the water our people decided that we would gather at that point, and the half-finished building was covered with all the gay cloths and high colored blankets we could muster.

There is no need to say that the Indians soon understood that something unusual was afoot, and by sunrise next morning they came in from the villages until I question if there was left a single person to look after the huts.

At first Jethro and I believed the savages ought to be sent to their homes, for our governor should be welcomed only by his own people; but before many minutes had passed, we decided it was well for them to be there, because of their swelling the number waiting to receive him, and of giving to the throng a coloring which it otherwise would have lacked.

The headdresses of feathers worn by the savages could be seen here and there, making quite as brave a display as did our gay cloths, and I dare venture to say that never had this river of ours flowed past quite so important looking an assemblage.


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