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

A Tedious Task

Before having dug very far into the bank of the river, we came to understand that something in the way of timbers would be necessary to hold up the earth at the top, otherwise we should have it tumbling about our cars, and father took upon himself the work of hewing logs, while mother and I dug and dug, throwing the loose sand directly at the mouth of the opening to make there a roadway to the river below.

Before we had made what might be called a good beginning of the task, I came to believe that it could not have been much harder work to build a house of logs; but we had already expended so much strength, that it would have been foolish to drop the plan then in favor of something else.

Besides, nearly all those who had come over in the ship with us were making the same kind of dwellings, having been led to do so by the example set by Edmund Lovett and father; therefore we were seemingly bound to finish the task, or give our fellow passengers good reason for calling us simples.

It grieved me to see my mother doing such work; but how might it be otherwise, since there were none who could be hired to perform the labor, because of all who had come ashore digging caves in which to shelter themselves?

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

When we were so far inside the bank that it was no longer possible to throw the sand out with a spade, mother carried it in a huge piece of bark as I scraped it away, and we were nearly ready for the timbers that were to support the roof, when father appeared with such as he had cut.