THE JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM
As dawn was breaking for the short winter day of Thursday, December 18, 1755, there was a press of horsemen and buzz of preparation about the dwelling of Benjamin Franklin, on the north side of High Street in the city of Penn. The house stood opposite the Jersey Market whose brick arches occupied the middle of the street, and in the narrow lane between the market and the curb were deployed fifty provincial cavalrymen escorting three canvas-topped Conestoga wagons. Their horses were picketed around the corner on Second Street as far as Pewter Platter Alley, which ran back of the Franklin house. Some of the soldiers stood on the steps of Christ Church, clapping their chilled hands against the biting cold.
The unpaved street was encumbered with snow and mud and with filth thrown out from the windows. Mr. Franklin had striven valiantly for a cobbled street so that the market