By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise. — Adolf Hitler

Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

A Proud Departure

The carts and the saddle horses were sent ahead, as I have said, and you may be certain Jethro and I had a hand in stowing the goods, not only that the people might see we had become members of the governor's following, but to make certain our fine clothes were where they would not come to harm.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

An hundred or more curious ones stood around with mouths agape when the carts set off, and I was almost inclined to feel sad for those who were not so fortunate as Jethro and myself.

But next morning, when we gathered at the Blue Anchor tavern to take ship, you should have seen the throngs of people! It was as if the king himself were starting on his travels, and Jethro and I were among those to be gazed at, rather than with the gazers.

The ship Good Will was lying at anchor in the stream, and hauled upon the shore, with the seamen standing near at hand awaiting our movements, were the small boats in which we were to be taken on board.

It may seem like boasting, but it is nevertheless true, that when William Penn came out of the tavern to take boat, he gave me good morning, calling me Stephen of Philadelphia, as if the words had a merry sound in his ears, and I know full well my cheeks were as red as any girl's, because of the pleasure such familiar greeting gave me.

Certain it is that I held my head high when I stepped into one of the boats just as the cannon on the Good Will belched forth fire and smoke with a mighty roar, and so puffed up with pride was I, it really seemed necessary to remind Jethro that nail-makers were surely to be envied, since they could go abroad in such state that a cannon must needs be shot off when they embarked.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

He reminded me that we might have grown gray-headed stepping on and off a ship's boat, without ever hearing the smallest cannon speak, if only nail-makers were abroad, and asked if I remembered the fable of the jackdaw with the peacock's feathers.

While we were being rowed from the shore to the ship, the people shouted themselves hoarse, and our governor bowed again and again, after which, evidently thinking there had been enough of such nonsense, he held his neck stiff, never looking back again until on the deck of the ship.

We had hardly more than embarked, when the anchor was weighed and the sails hoisted, every seaman working as smartly as if on board one of the king's ships, and then came a great rattle of small arms from the shore in our honor, which was replied to by the cannon of the Good Will.

Then my mother waved her kerchief as if I were bound for the wars, and Jethro whispered sportively that it was a sad loss to our city of Philadelphia for its two nail-makers to leave it, even for so short a time as would likely be spent on the journey.

The ship began to move away from the city, which as yet was hardly more than an opening in the wilderness, slowly at first, and gathering speed as she caught the force of the wind and current, until we could no longer see the throng at the Blue Anchor.

It was a glorious morning, and we two lads were as happy as the birds appeared to be, watching curiously this river of ours which seemed quite as strange as when we sailed up it the first time, so intent on watching for some signs of our new city, and so eager to be on the solid earth once more after many weary days at sea, that we hardly realized how beautiful it all was.


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