Gateway to the Classics: Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis
Stephen of Philadelphia by  James Otis

The Settlement of Chester

It was to Jethro and me, who were filled with wonder and delight at everything we saw, as if the ship had hardly more than started before she was sailing past that settlement of Chester, or Upland as it was called when our William Penn stopped there, after leaving New Castle on his arrival in this country.

I heard him say to one of the company, as he pointed toward a big house not far from the river bank, that there lived Robert Wade, a Friend, who had provided the governor with a barge that he might come on to us at Philadelphia.

Jethro, who was curious regarding this little settlement which the governor had chosen as the place where the people of Pennsylvania should meet to make the laws, asked many questions of the members of our company, thus learning that the first persons to build houses at this town of Chester, which was then called Upland, were some Friends, who came there six years before we who sailed in the John and Sarah left London.

It was near this place that our ship Factor was frozen in, during the first winter we spent in the country of America, and those who were then on board of her came to believe the settlement would, in time, grow to be larger than the city we were building.

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