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

Philadelphia Progresses

But there was plenty of this waiting to be done, for Samuel Carpenter was about to build a coffee-house on the river bank at the foot of Walnut Street, for the better serving of strangers, and not only asked Jethro and me to make the nails, but promised, in case he put up a bakehouse, as was in his mind, we should have other work at the forge that would bring in more wages.

I had already said to myself that I would go to the people in Germantown to learn the art of weaving, father having declared that one might build up a good trade in such work; but there was no reason why I should not do what Samuel Carpenter desired, if for no other purpose than to get more money with which to embark in the new business.

Until this time all our boards had been sawn by hand, one man standing above the timber, and another below. Now, however, we were to have a mill for such purpose, which would not only tend to make possible quicker work in the way of building; but serve to prevent the Germans from pluming themselves on having the only mill in the country.

In fact, our city grew as I had never believed it could, until, instead of being a settlement in the wilderness, it was as fair a town as one could ask to look upon; and I had come to believe, because of my own affairs' prospering so finely, that our Philadelphia would soon stand equal to any of the cities I had seen in England, save, perhaps, London, when came that blow which brought deepest sorrow to our hearts.

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