The essence of government is power, and power, lodged as it is in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. — James Madison

Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

A Long and Tiresome Journey

During a full day, which is to say from the time it was sufficiently light to see one's way through the forest, until the shadows of night had fully come, we walked on snowshoes, oftentimes amid the underbrush where even the most experienced got ugly falls, owing to the awkward length of the shoes, with but two halts of perhaps half an hour each.

Long before word was given by the savage guides that we might make camp for the night, did I believe it would be impossible for me to take another step because of weariness.

Then a handful of Indian corn, roasted in the ashes, was given to each member of the party, and it seemed like a pitiful amount after the plenty to which we had been accustomed; but I found it right hearty. On such small rations one felt much as if having partaken of a full meal; but on this night I gave little heed to the value of the food, because of my eyes being closed in slumber almost before my hunger had been satisfied.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

When another day dawned, we were astir, but only to find that two of the savages had disappeared, and while we were breaking our fast on cold roasted turkey, which we had brought with us from the settlement, there was much tongue-wagging regarding the absence of the Indians.

He who had been left behind did not know enough words in English to explain why his comrades had thus left us, and when, two hours later, the seeming mystery was solved, Jethro and I could have kicked each other, in our vexation, because of the useless labor we had performed.

It appeared that the savages who guided us had no very clear idea of where the "white man's canoe" might be found; but believed that by following what they called "a trail," it would be possible to come upon the ship.

As a matter of fact, however, we had gone down the river many miles more than was necessary; for our camping place had been chosen near the stream, which at this point was free from ice, and therefore did it seem certain we had come too far.

It surely was vexing; but, as Jethro said with a grin, we had come to know by experience what it was to sleep in the snow when the frost in the air was most nipping, and I am free to confess that I have lain on many a worse bed than we had while burrowed in a drift of snow like partridges.


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