[Page] A LETTER FROM Doctor More, WITH Passages out of several Letters from Persons of good Credit.

Relating to the State and Improvement of the Province of PENNSILVANIA.

Published to prevent false Reports.

Printed in the Year 1687.


DIvers false Reports going about Town and Country, to the Injury of the Pro­vince of PENNSILVANIA, I was prevailed with by some concerned in that Province, and others that desire the truth of things, to Publish such of the last Let­ters as made mention of the State of the Country; to serve for answer to the Idle and Unjust Stories that the Malice of some invent, and the Credulity of others prepare them to receive against it; which is all the part I take in this present Publication.

William Penn.

A Letter from Dr More.

Honored Governour,

I Have seen a Letter from your hand, directed to me, among many in this Province, which came by Cap­tain Richard Dimond: It was in all respect welcome to me, and more particularly, for that you make men­tion of your coming to us again, with your Family; a thing so much desired by all in these parts, and more particularly by my self. But I fear that Madam Penn should give too much credit to the evil Reports that I do un­derstand are given out by many Enemies to this new Colony, As if we were ready to Famish, and that the Land is so barren, the Climet so hot, that English Grain, Roots and Herbs do not come to Maturity; and what grows, to be little worth. How untrue all these things are you well know; but we that have seen our handy Work, accompanied with Gods blessing upon it, since your departure from us, are able to say something more to in­courage you to return to us again. You know, that when you went for England, there was an indifferent plenty of most things, and that many hundred Families were clearing of Land to Sow and Plant, as I was also doing; since that, our Lands have been grateful to us, and have begun to reward our Labours by abounding Crops of Corn this Year. But to give you to understand the full of our Condition, with re­spect to Provision in this Province; we had last Fall, and the Winter, abundance of good fresh Pork in our Market at two Pence half-penny per Pound, of this Country Money, which is an English two Pence; Beef at the same rate; the like is this Year; and Butter for six Pence per Pound; Wheat for four Shillings per Bushel; Rye three Shillings; and now all this [Page 5] Summer Wheat is at three Shillings, & three Shillings 6 Pence; Rye at eight Groats, and half a Crown; Indian-Corn seven Groats, and two Shillings this Country Money still; so that there is now some Corn Transported from this River. Doctor Butler has bought two hundred Bushels of Wheat at three Shillings six Pence, to Transport, & several others, so that some Thousands of Bushels are Transported this Season, and when this Crop that now is gathered is Threshed, it is supposed that it will be abundantly cheaper then now it is, for there has been abundance of Corn this Year in every Plantation.

The last Year I did plant about twelve Acres of Indian Corn, and when it came off the Ground, I did only cause the Ground to be Harrowed, and upon that I did sow both Wheat and Rye, at which many Laughed, saying, That I could not expect any Corn from what I had sowed, the Land wanting more Labour: yet I had this Year as good Wheat and Rye upon it, as was to be found in any other place, and that very bright Corn. I have had a good Crop of Barley and Oats; and whereas my People did not use my Barley well, so that much was shed upon the Ground, I caused it immediately to be Plowed in, and is now growing, keeping a good Colour, and I am in hope of another Crop of Barley, having good Ears tho the Straw be shorter. I did plant an Hopp-Garden this Spring, which is now exceeding full of Hopps, at which all English People admire. Richard Colles and Samuel Carpenter, &c. having had some Fields of Rye the last Summer, and plowed the Stuble in order to sow other Corn, by some Casualty could not sow their Fields, yet have they had considerable Crops of Rye, in the said Fields, by what had been shed on the Ground in Harvest time. I have had seventy Ears of Rye upon one single Root, proceeding from one single Corn; forty five of Wheat; eighty of Oats; [...], twelve and fourteen of Barly out of one Corn: I took the [Page 6] Curiosity to tell one of the twelve Ears from one Grain, and there was in it forty five Grains on that Ear; above three Thousand of Oats from one single Corn, and some I had, that had much more, but it would seem a Romance rather then a Truth, if I should speak what I have seen in these things.

Arnoldus de la Grange hath above a Thousand Bushels of English Grain this Year, there is indeed a great encrease every where. I had the last Year as good Turnops, Carrots and Parsnops as could be expected, and in no wise inferior to those in London, the Parsnops better, and of a great bigness; my Children have sound out a way of Rosting them in the Em­bers, and are as good as Barbadoes Potatoes, insomuch that it is now become a Dish with us. We have had admirable English Pease this Summer; every one here is now perswaded of the fertility of the Ground, and goodness of the Climate, here being nothing wanting, with industry, that grows in England, and many delicious things, not attainable there; and we have this common advantage above England, that all things grow better, and with less Labour. I have planted this Spring a Quickset, of above sixscore Foot long, which grows to admi­ration; we find as good Thorns as any in the World.

We have had so great abundance of Pigeons this Summer, that we have fed all our Servants with them. A Gentlewo­man near the City, which is come into this Province since you went for England, (Mrs Jeffs from Ireland) Cured Sturgion the last Year, and I have eaten some this Summer at her House, as good as you can get in London: some Barba­does Merchants are treating with her for several Barrels for the Barbadoes, and will give her any thing for them. We are wanting of some more good Neighbours to fill up the Country. There is a French Gentleman who made the last Year some Wine of the wild Grapes, which proved admirable good, and far above the best Maderas that you ever tasted, a lit­tle higher colour'd. And one thing I must take notice of, [Page 7] that we strove to make Vinegar of it, but it is so full of Spirit that it will not easily turn to Vinegar; a certain evidence of its long keeping. Your Vigneron had made a Barrel of the same Wine, resolving to keep it for your Entertainment: I being one day there, and speaking of what I had tasted at Monsieur Pelison's, he shewed me a Barrel, which he said was of the same sort that he had taken a great deal of care to secure from being meddled with, he tauhing the head, it sounded empty, at which the man was so amazed, that he was ready to Faint; afterwards looking about, it had leaked underneath, to about two Quarts; I tasted it, and it was yet very good Wine, so I left the poor man much afflicted for his loss. But I must acquaint you with one thing, that he having planted some French Vines, the twenty fourth of March, the last Year, the same Vines have brought forth some Grapes this Year, and some of them were presented to Presi­dent Lloyd the 28th of July, fully Black and Ripe, which is a thing unheard of, or very extraordinary. I thought that this short account of our present State and Condition, and Im­provement would not be ill News to you, considering that you know me not forward to put my hand to Paper slight­ly; wherefore I hope that your Lady will not dispise what I do here report, as being the very truth of things; and if I could contribute thereby to her full Satisfaction, I should have my end, as being willing to see you and her in this place, where I shall not fear being rebuked for mis-representing things, I shall conclude,

Your truly affectionate Friend and Servant. Nicholas More.
[Page 8]

Madam Farmer has found out as good Lime-Stone, on the School-kill, as any in the World, and is building with it; she offers to sell ten Thousand Bushels at six Pence the Bushel, upon her Plantation, where there is several considerable Hills, and near to your manner of Springfield.

N. M.

In a Letter from the Governors Steward, Octob. 3. 1686.

THe Gardiner is brisk at Work. The Peach-Trees are much broken down with the weight of Fruit this Year. All or most of the Plants that came from England grow, (being about four Thousand.) Cherries are sprung four and five Foot. Pears, Codlings and Plumbs three or four Foot. Pears and Apple Grafts, in Country Stocks, and in Thorns, are sprung three and four Foot. Rasberries, Goosberries, Currans, Quinces, Roses, Walnuts and Figs grow well. Apricocks from the Stone fourteen or sixteen Inches sprung, since the Month called April. Our Barn, Porch and Shed, are full of Corn this Year.

In a Letter from the Governers Gardiner, dated the 14th of the Month call'dMay 1686.

AS for those things I brought with me, it is much for People in England to believe me of the growth of them; some of the Trees and Bushes are shot in five weeks time, some one Inch, some two, three, four, five, six, seven, yea some a eleven Inches; some of them not ten days set in the Ground before they put out Buds. [Page 9] And Seeds do come on apace; for those Seeds that in England take fourteen days to rise, are up here in six or seven days. Pray make agreement with the Bishop of London's Gardiner, or any other that will furnish us with Trees, Shrubs, Flowers and Seeds, and we will furnish them from these places; for we have excellent Trees, Shurbs and Flowers, & Herbs here, which I do not know I ever saw in any Gardens in England—

In a Letter from Robert Turner a Merchant in Philadelphia, and one of the Councel, the 5th of October 1686.

I Also advise, that, blessed be God, Corn is very cheap this Season; English Wheat sold here, to carry for New-England, at three Shillings six Pence per Bushel, and much Wheat-Flower and Bisket for Barbadoes. Things prosper very well, and the Earth brings forth its encrease; God grant we may walk worthy of his Mercies. Of other Grains, plenty. As to the Town, Building goeth on. John Readman is building one Brick House for Richard Whitpain, of sixty Foot long, and fifty six Foot wide. For the Widow Farmer, another Brick House. For Thomas Barker and Samuel Jobson two Brick Cellers, and Chimnies for back Kitchings. Thomas Ducket is Building a Brick House at the Skulkil, forty eight Foot long and three Stories high; there are two other Brick Houses to be built this Summer—

In a Letter, of the 2d of October, from David Lloyd, Clerk of the Peace, of the County of Philadelphia.

I Shall only add, that five Ships are come in since our arri­val, one from Bristol, with 100 Passengers; one from Hull, [Page 10] with 160 Passengers; one from New-England for Corn, and two from Barbadoes; all of them, and ours (of above 300 Tun) had their loading here, ours for New-England, and the rest for Barbadoes; and for all this, Wheat (as good, I think, as any in England) is sold at three Shillings six pence per Bushel, this Country Money, and for three Shillings ready Money (which makes two Shillings five pence English Star­ling) and if God continues his blessing to us, this Province will certainly be the Grainary of America. The Governours Vineyard goes on very well, the Grapes I have tasted of; which in fifteen Months are come to maturity—

In a Letter, of October last, from Thomas Holmes Surveyor General.

VVE have made three Purchases of the Indians, which, added unto the six former Sales they made us, will, I believe, be Land enough for Planters for this Age; they were at first High, and upon their Distances; but when we told them of the Kindness our Governour had always shown them; that the Price we offer'd far exceeded former Rates, and that they offered us the Land before we sought them, they agreed to our last Offer, which is something under three hundred Pounds sterling. The Kings salute our Governour; they hardly ever see any of us, but they ask, with much affection, when he will come to them again; we are upon very good terms with them. I intend to send the Draughts for a Map by the first—

In a Letter from James Claypole Merchant in Philadelphia, and one of the Councel.

I Have never seen brighter and better Corn then in these parts, especially in the County of Chester. Provisions very cheap; Pork at two Pence, and good fat fresh Beef at three half-pence the Pound, in our Market. Fish is plentiful; Corn cheap; Wheat three and six pence a Bushel; Rye half a Crown; Indian Corn two Shillings, of this Money: And it is without doubt that we shall have as good Wine as any France produces. Here is great appearance of a Trade, and if we had small Money for Exchange, we should not want Returns The Whale-Fishery is considerable; several Companies out to ketch them: There is one caught, that its thought will make several hundred Barrels of Oyle. This, besides Tobacco and Skins, and Furs, we have for Com­merce—


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