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

Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

Our First Shelter

The banks of the river, near where the goods were being set ashore from the John arid Sarah, were high and of a sandy soil, which bespoke easy digging; therefore when I saw Edmund Lovett attacking it with a spade and mattock, it was easy to guess what he would do.

My father, seeing the same sight, looked up at me as he nodded his head, which was, to my mind, much as if he had said we would do the same, for verily it seemed like the quickest way to get shelter for mother and our goods.

Before sunset we had chosen a place on the river bank where but few rocks could be seen, and were working like bees at what promised to be a cave of some considerable size, if so be our courage held out long enough.

That night, however, we slept under a screen of bushes in the forest, within a dozen yards of where our underground house was to be, and the sun did not come up any too soon to please me, for the night air was so chill that my teeth were chattering with the cold a long while before it was possible to see any signs of the coming day.

Father built a small fire, so that mother might make shift to prepare something for a morning meal; but she, poor soul, had little idea how anything in the way of cooking could be done when there was nothing more than a fire on the ground and one small kettle; therefore I, watching my chance when some of the sailors were going out to the ship, took passage with them.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

From the cook of the vessel I got as much in the way of boiled beef and bread as would serve us three for food during two days or more, and, returning to the shore with this, we soon broke our fast.