Truth is uniform and narrow, but error is endlessly diversified . . . In this field the soul has room enough to expand herself, to display all her boundless faculties . . . — Benjamin Franklin

Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

Buying Iron in New York City

But for the fact that it was not easy to get iron, we would have believed ourselves in a fair way to become rich. Before we had been running our nail factory a month, the supply of raw material gave out entirely, and for a time it looked as if we would be forced to remain idle until more metal could be brought from England.

Strange as it may seem, it was through William Penn that we were able to keep our factory running. He had let it be known that it was his purpose to visit New York city with the intention of conferring with the governor of that colony, and the ship Ranger was made ready to convey him.

Now it so happened that one of the seamen belonging to the ship was an old friend of ours, he having been on board the John and Sarah when we came over from England. One day, just before the Ranger sailed, he heard us bewailing our ill fortune in not having a plentiful supply of iron, and proposed that he buy for us in New York as much as we could pay for in gold or silver coin.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

And he kept his word, for when our governor returned from his visiting, we had iron bars enough to keep us busy at the forge a good three months, and you may be certain we did not spend any idle time, for it stood us in hand to work to the utmost of our strength while there was a possibility of selling all we could make.

I am not trying to make it appear that Jethro and I were so in love with hard work that it pleased us to stand at the forge, in stormy weather as well as pleasant, instead of going here or there with other lads in search of sport; but it seemed to us that we could better take our pleasure after the town was built, and in the meantime be making a little money.


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