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

Why We Went to London

I was just turned twelve, in the year of grace 1681, when my father took me to London. It may be that I cannot set it down exactly as my father would, why we made the long, wearisome journey; but yet I shall be able to put forth all the facts, even though they are not given in due order.

First, it was known in Bristol that William Penn had been given a large tract of land in America by King Charles II, in settlement of a debt owed by the king to his father, the admiral, with the agreement that two beaver skins should be paid each year for the same, which, of course, was a most ridiculous price; but, as I understood it, this served simply to show that the king claimed, even after using it with which to pay a debt, the right to rule over the country.

All this would have concerned my father but little had it not been for the fact that William Penn had become a Friend, or Quaker, and my father was also of the same faith.

It had been made known by Penn that those Englishmen who wanted to make homes for themselves in America, where no man should be able to wrong them because of being Friends, could have land at the rate of forty shillings for an hundred acres, or five thousand acres for the sum of one hundred pounds.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

There were many of our neighbors in Bristol who counted to journey overseas to where a man might believe or preach whatsoever seemed to him right in the sight of God, and many parcels of land had already been taken up by them in the new town, wheresoever it might be located.

My father was a cautious man, however, unwilling to embark in any enterprise, however trifling, until he had first a clear idea of what would be expected, and to that end he went up to London that he might have speech with William Penn.