Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

Penn Plans to Buy Land from the Savages

As I have already said, he counted to buy from them the land which had been paid to him by the king, and the savages were not only ready, but willing, to sell, as could be seen when they were come together. There were no scowls on the brown faces, and from the chiefs to the youngest squaw, every one appeared to be pleased at thus having opportunity to bargain away a small portion of the country when they could, without much labor, find equally as good places for their villages but a short distance off.

That which puzzled me was, whether William Penn counted to pay them in wampum, or if he believed they would take gold and silver money; but I soon came to understand that neither metal nor beads would play any very great part in this bargaining.

Early in the morning on the day appointed for the meeting, huge boxes, which had been brought on shore from the Welcome, were carried with much labor to a big elm tree that stood in a cleared space nearby where Thomas Fairman's house had already been built, and where others were being put together.

Here it was that the Indians assembled, according to the word which had been sent to their villages the night before, and when Jethro and I arrived the whole feathered crowd was seated in a half circle on the ground, the men in the front rows, the older boys next, and beyond, the children and the squaws.

The big boxes stood near at hand in readiness to be opened when the proper time should come, and I noted that every brown man, woman, and boy had his or her eyes fixed intently upon them, most like wondering, as did Jethro and I, what could be inside.


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