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Stephen of Philadelphia by  James Otis


 

 

MORE SERIOUS BUSINESS

[92] WHEN we lads went to our beds that night, and you may be certain we were not allowed abroad very long after sunset, it was said that a great gathering of the savages was ordered to be held as soon as the Indians from far and near could be summoned, when the land which had been given to William Penn by the king in payment of a debt due Admiral Penn, would be bought regularly from the brown men.

It did not seem to me necessary that anything of the kind should be done, for surely William Penn owned the land already, having paid a very large price for it when he wiped out the debt due by the king; but, as father afterward explained, it was not the purpose of our governor to deprive any man of that to which he had reasonable shadow of claim, and because of the Indians' having always lived here in this country of Pennsylvania, the governor counted on making a regular bargain with them, as if he had no right whatsoever to it.

After so much merrymaking, it was hard to get down to ordinary work on the next day. It seemed to me as if we lads might be permitted to follow the governor as he made careful inspection of the bounds of the new city; but our fathers thought otherwise, [93] and I was forced to spend the time when much of importance was being done by my elders, in helping make a huge oven at the back of our home.


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