Quakers and the American Family: British Settlement in the Delaware Valley

By Barry Levy | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR

Quaker Domesticity with the Grain

The first party of forty Welsh Quakers set sail to Pennsylvania in May 1682 from Liverpool aboard the Lyon. During their eleven week voyage, the passengers drank three pints of beer daily, ate cheese, and held silent meetings. Edward Jones, a barber-surgeon and their leader from Bala, oversaw the passengers spiritual and physical health. On August 13, 1682, the Lyon sailed onto the Delaware River and the passengers disembarked at Upland, the center of a small Swedish settlement. Jones counted noses and happily reported, "the passengers are all living, save one child yt died of a surfeit; let no Friends tell that they are either too old, or too young [to come over], for the Lord is sufficient to preserve both to the uttermost. Here is an old man about 80 years; he is rather better yn when he sett out. Likewise here are young babes doing very well, considering the sea diet." Jones now turned, with the aid of Providence and the new land, to help his passengers cure their child and community destroying poverty.

Inspection of the old residents, about 200 Swedish and Finnish farmers around Upland, discouraged Jones. Their log houses, mean dress, and untidy farms reminded him of the rural poverty his Welsh settlers had abandoned. He tried to convince himself that the land would yield better by observing that the old settlers "plow but bungerly." Jones waited impatiently at Upland for four or five days while their land, Merion township in the Welsh Tract, was

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