Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

Roasting Turkeys

Father had a plentiful supply of game on hand, and mother roasted two turkeys, which required no little work on my part, for I was forced to tend what we called the spit, though it really was only a rude contrivance which required much labor.

Of course you know that a spit, such as we had in England, is an iron instrument on which whatsoever is to be roasted may he placed and made to turn slowly in front of the fire until all parts of it are cooked brown.

It so happened that no one save Jethro's father had brought with him a spit, and, as a matter of course, Jethro's mother needed it herself, therefore the other housewives were forced to make shift as best they could.

Father had made with great care a long stick of chestnut wood about the thickness of my middle finger, and this we thrust through the turkey from head to tail, after which it was hung by small chains from the top of the fireplace, at such a height over the embers as would best serve the purpose of cooking.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

In order that the bird might not be burned to a cinder on one side while the other portions were left raw, it was my duty to turn this wooden spit, until every part of the meat was roasted properly, and if you think that a simple task, try it some time in front of a blazing fire of huge logs.


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