It has been often said, very truly, that religion is the thing that makes the ordinary man feel extraordinary; it is an equally important truth that religion is the thing that makes the extraordinary man feel ordinary. — G. K. Chesterton

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.


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