Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

Trouble over the Boundary Lines

Now, as you also know, when King James I died, Charles I became king of England, and in 1632 he gave to Lord Baltimore a large tract of land in that portion of America where the London Company already had possession, setting down exactly, as he believed, the bounds of the country; but, because of the English people's not knowing very much about this world of America, the lines were considerably mixed.

As I have already told you, Charles II owed the father of our William Penn a large amount of money, near to sixteen thousand pounds, as I have heard it said, and to pay that debt, he gave to the son all the country which was afterward named Pennsylvania.

Therefore, as you can see, our William owned the land between that part of the country the king gave to Lord Baltimore and the Dutch settlement which had been captured from the West India Company; but exactly where the property of one left off and the other began, nobody seemed able to make out.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

You know, from what I have set down, that our William went over to New York shortly after he came to this country. At the time he did so, Jethro and I believed the journey was made simply because of his desire to see the city; but, later, we came to know it was on business concerning the claims which Lord Baltimore had already set up to the ownership of a goodly part of Pennsylvania.

When one stops to think how large this country of America is, and how much more land it contains than could be used even if half the people of England should come here to-morrow, it seems childish to quarrel over a few acres of forest more or less; and yet the settlers of Virginia were claiming that those of Maryland were crowding too far toward the sea, while, in turn, Lord Baltimore insisted that our William Penn had laid claim to a portion of the country which had been given to him.

And thus it was with the desire to settle in a friendly way the bounds of Pennsylvania that our governor would again have speech with Lord Baltimore.


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