The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise. — Tacitus

Stephen of Philadelphia - James Otis

The Welcome to Penn

We of Philadelphia had broken our fast some time before the sun gave any sign of rising, and when we had waited with more or less patience a full two hours, three Indians were sent down river in a canoe to learn if the ship was on her way.

The messengers were hardly more than out of sight before a large boat came within view, in which were a dozen or more men, and surely William Penn must have been pleased by the warmth of the welcome we were able to give him.

[Illustration] from Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis

All who had firearms discharged them in the air, Indians as well as white men, and those who could not make a noise in such manner shouted at the full strength of their lungs, until the uproar was so great that I can well fancy the animals in the forest were alarmed.

We knew it was our governor approaching, because of the number in the boat, and, besides, many of our people, including my father, had met him face to face. He must have known we were waiting to give him greeting, for he came to shore near where we were standing, but more than this about his coming for the first time into his own city I cannot say, because of the chief men of our new town, my father among others, straightway entering the half-finished tavern in company with the governor.

We lads were not allowed to go into the presence of the owner of the city with our elders, but perforce remained outside, and I am not certain but we enjoyed ourselves to a much greater extent than if we had been listening to conversation of which we could not understand overly much.


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