Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

The Price Paid for the Land

Then some of our people opened the boxes, and you may be certain that Jethro and I stretched our necks even longer than the Indians did theirs, as a famous lot of stuff was brought forth.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

We saw roll after roll of brown cloth, of the kind we call duffel, guns, cloth shirts, leather belts, shoes and stockings, combs for the hair, axes, knives, red paint, beads, and many other things which I need not here set down.

Verily there was a huge pile of goods when the boxes had been emptied; but, while I could not guess at the value of it all, I knew full well that we were not paying any very great price for our portion of America.

I believe the Indians were more than satisfied to sell their share of Pennsylvania for that which was before them. The older men were seemingly striving not to give any token of pleasure, although I could see their eyes sparkle when they looked at the axes and guns; but the younger men made no effort to hide their joy.

The goods were handled over and over by our people, in order that the savages might see exactly what there was in the lot, and after half an hour of thus showing the wares, William Penn bade the Indian who could speak English, to ask his people if they were willing to sell their land at the price offered, at the same time saying they were at liberty to live wheresoever they chose outside the bounds of the new city.

It was not needed that the chief of the Indians should make reply to this question, for the answer— could be read on the faces of all; but yet he had a good deal to say about being glad we had come into his country, and promised that he and all his people would treat us as brothers. He wound up by giving to our William a grand belt of wampum, which must have been of much value in their eyes.


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