Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Philadelphia, A Running Commentary
A series of observations in and around Philadelphia by notables over the last three and one-half centuries.

Philadelphia People
New topic 2017-02-06 20:33:59 description

Philadelphia in 1658

Annals of Philadelphia

Of all the settlers prior to Penn, I feel most interested to notice the name of Jurian Hartsfield, because he took up all of Campington, 350 acres, as early as March 1676, nearly six years before Penn's colony came. He settled under a patent from Governor Andros. What a pioneer, to push on to such a frontier post! But how melancholy to think, that a man, possessing the freehold of what is now cut up into thousands of Northern Liberty lots, should have left no fame, nor any wealth, to any posterity of his name. But the chief pioneer must have been Warner, who, as early as the year 1658, had the hardihood to locate and settle the place, now Warner's Willow Grove, on the north side of the Lancaster Road, two miles from the city bridge. What an isolated existence in the midst of savage beasts and men must such a family have then experienced! What a difference between the relative comforts and household conveniences of that day and this! Yea, what changes did he witness, even in the long interval of a quarter of a century before the arrival of Penn's colony! To such a place let the antiquary now go to contemplate the localities so peculiarly unique!"

--John F. Watson, Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in the Olden Time

Originally published: Thursday, September 12, 1991; most-recently modified: Friday, May 31, 2019

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I often think what life must have been for the early settlers. Mentioned here are some places that are now thickly settled.

There are places, in Upper Bucks for instance, that are remote are isolated even now. Any yet, they were settled in the 17th century when there were no roads or towns.

What must their life have been like! Intrepid is not too strong a word. Lonely and Difficult, neither.
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