the source of all their blessings: For refreshing my memories of Pottsville circa 1950, I am grateful to the Pottsville writer Ione Geier, author of “Energy Pulsed through Downtown Pottsville. ”
dirty business in every sense of the word: Burt, The Perennial Philadelphians, p. 199.
punctuated by long breaks for meals and trips to the tavern: Franklin, The Autobiography, p. 74, also 78-79, discusses the reputation he established for working through the entire day and implies that his pace was the exception in a time when most merchants and craftsmen took long breaks for meals and trips to the tavern. Also see Warner, The Private City, pp. 7-8, on the slow pace of Philadelphia life in the late eighteenth century.
as soon as he was old enough to go off on his own: For Josiah White’s background and early years, see Morton, Josiah White, pp. 18-31.
“but at home—” that is, in New Jersey—“by farming”: Morton, Josiah White, p. 39.
a plow, sheaves of wheat and a ship under full sail—reflected the city’s priorities: Weigley, Philadelphia, p. 208.