Note, Thomas Makin appears to have been one of the most early settlers in the province of Pennsylvania from —for, in the year 1689, he was second master (George Keith being the first) of the Friends' public grammar school, in Philadelphia; which was the first of the kind in the province, and instituted about that time. He was some|times clerk of the Provincial Assembly; which, in early time, was long held in the Friends' meeting house. The English version is made by the transcriber, R. P.
A DESCRIPTION OF PENNSYLVANIA, ANNO 1729.
First, Pennsylvania's memorable name,
From Penn, the Founder of the country, came;
Sprung from a worthy and illustrious race,
But more en••bled by his virtuous ways.
High in esteem among the great he stood;
His wisdom made him lovely, great and good.
Tho' he be said to die, he will survive;
Thro' future time his memory shall live:
This wise Proprietor, in love and praise,
Shall grow and flourish to the end of days.
With just propriety, to future fame,
Fair Pennsylvania shall record his name.
This, Charles the Second did, at first command,
And for his father's merits gave the land:
But his high virtue did its value raise
To future glory, and to lasting praise.
Beneath the temp'rate zone the country lies,
And heat and cold with grateful change supplies.
To fifteen hours extends the longest day,
When sol in cancer points his fervid ray:
Yet here the winter season is severe;
And summer's heat is difficult to bear.
But western winds oft cool the scorching ray,
And southern breezes warm the winter's day.
Yet oft, tho' warm and fair the day begun,
Cold storms arise before the setting sun:
Nay, oft so quick the change, so great its pow'r,
As summer's heat, and winter, in an hour!
So violent the wind, that oft the ground
With rooted trees is cover'd wide and round.
A savage Indian race here first was known;
But milder now, in life and manners, grown.
To friendship's laws they faithfully adhere;
And love the English with a mind sincere.
Of jars and baneful strife they shun the cause;
And practise justice uncompell'd by laws.
A life of ease, and void of care, they chuse;
But labour, and the toilsome arts, refuse.
Thro' woods and forests wide, they hunting stray,
In search of beasts, their much beloved prey.
Their skins, for cloaths, their flesh, for food is sought;
Warm raiment, and delicious food, unbought.
Thro' devious wilds, and woody deserts, they
Oft wander far, but never lose their way.
But more laborious in domestic care,
The female sex their corn and bread prepare;
Long journeys these, in patience, persevere;
And heavy loads upon their bodies bear.
With unremitted labor, too, the same
Their wooden vessels make, and baskets frame.
Wild fruits and strawberries by them are sought;
And fish and fowl by various methods caught,
All stronger drink than water from the lake,
The Indian youth forbidden are to take.
No feather bed, nor easy couch they keep;
Upon the ground, or shaggy skin they sleep.
For cloathing, first warm skins they did possess;
But now coarse linen hides their nakedness.
Where'er they go their heads are always bare;
But skins upon their feet and legs they wear.
Tho' brown, or copper colour, marks them all,
Yet are their bodies proper, strait and tall.
Chaste in their lives, unlawful lusts they fly;
Scarce ever known to break the marriage tie.
With native eloquence their speech abounds,
Untaught, with figures grand, and lofty sounds.
O happy Indians! bless'd with joy and peace;
No future cares of life disturb your ease!
On just and equal terms the land was gain'd,
No force of arms has any right obtain'd:
'Tis here without the use of arms, alone,
The bless'd inhabitant enjoys his own;
Here many, to their wish, in peace enjoy
Their happy lots, and nothing doth annoy.
But sad New England
's diff'rent conduct show'd
What dire effects from injur'd Indians flow'd!
Yet once to arms false rumor called here;
To which the vulgar most inclined were.
'Twas on a certain day the plot began;
Deluded crowds together madly ran:
By artful means the stratagem was laid,
And great commotion thro' the city made;
So wild the tumult and so great the fear,
No law nor order was observed there:
While from th' approaching foe to haste away,
One urg'd, another orders gave, to stay.
This strange affair, whatever was design'd,
For loss to many, will be kept in mind.
The ev'ning did the plot's design betray;
The farce was ended with the closing day.
This fruitful land all plenty doth produce;
And never fails to answer human use.
Here yellow Ceres loads the joyful fields;
And golden crops the happy harvest yields.
With beasts the woods, with fish the streams abound;
The bending trees with plenteous fruits are crown'd.
Here flocks and herds in flow'ry pastures stray;
Their num'rous young around them feed and play.
The squirrels, rabbits, and the timid deer
To beasts of prey are yet exposed here:
The bear, the panther, and the wolf devour
Th' innocuous flocks, which seldom are secure.
Here dwells the crafty fox, which, night and day,
Invents his wiles, to catch th' unwary prey.
But now these noxious beasts, which much annoy
The growing grain, and tender flocks destroy,
Are by a law diminish'd, with their breed,
And in the woods more safe the cattle feed.
Amphibious animals here too are found;
Which both in water live, and on the ground;
These for their skins alone are ever priz'd,
And lose their lives; their carcase is despis'd.
'Tis here the mocking bird extends his throat,
And imitates the birds of ev'ry note;
'Tis here the smallest of the feather'd train,
The humming bird, frequents the flow'ry plain.
Its motion quick seems to elude the eye;
It now a bird appears, and now a fly.
The various woodpeckers
here charm the sight;
Of mingled red, of beauteous black and white.
Here's whip-per-will; a bird, whose fanci'd name
From its nocturnal note imagin'd, came.
Here, in the fall, large flocks of pigeons fly,
So num'rous, that they darken all the sky.
Here other birds of ev'ry kind appear,
Whose names would be too long to mention here.
Large sturgeons num'rous crowd the Delaware;
Which, in warm weather, leap into the air;
So high, that (strange to tell!) they often fly
Into the boats, which on the river ply!
That royal fish is little valu'd here;
But where more scarce, 'tis more esteem'd and dear.
Here num'rous mines of many kinds are found,
And precious metals, treasured in the ground.
The verdant woods, roots, herbs, and flow'rs produce,
For many virtues fam'd for human use.
Here insects are, which many much admire,
Whose plumes in summer ev'nings shine like fire.
Here too the magnet's found, whose wond'rous pow'r
Directs the seamen to each distant shore.
Here is the stone-like flax*
of wond'rous fame,
For not consuming in the burning flame!
But the chief produce of this happy land
Is always good, and ever in demand:
And bounteous Ceres' rich redundant stores
Are shipp'd abroad to many distant shores.
Its fame to distant regions far has spread,
And some for peace, and some for profit, led;
Born in remotest climes, to settle here,
They leave their native soil, and all that's dear;
And still will flock from far, here to be free;
Such pow'rful charms has lovely liberty!
Here high unequal taxes have no place;
A just proportion ev'ry person pays.
Th' extensive woods abound with various game,
Where all may freely take, and use the same.
In ev'ry flowing stream, all persons may
Take plenteous fish, and freely use the prey.
Such privilege in Europe is unknown;
Where ev'ry man is bounded with his own.
'Twas hither first the British
cross'd the main;
Thence many others left their native plain:
Hibernia's sons forsake their native home;
And from Germania crowded vessels come.
Not for themselves alone the British care;
Since ev'ry stranger may partake a share.
Hence still more culture shall the soil receive;
And ev'ry year increasing plenty give.
Clear'd from the woods, more fruitful lands they gain;
And yellow Ceres loads the extended plain.
Here bubbling fountains flow thro' ev'ry mead;
Where flocks and herds delight to drink and feed.
The marshy grounds improv'd rich meadows yield;
The wilderness is made a fruitful field.
The Legislators, chosen ev'ry year,
Proceed to act, as shall to them appear.
Here just administration of the laws
Make public good, and private right one cause.
All crimes are punish'd, as their natures are;
The laws unwrested no offenders spare.
All civil magistrates have pow'r and trust,
To act, in office, what is right and just.
Tho' first it was th' intention of the laws
To punish vice, and favour virtue's cause;
Yet, by the pow'r of gold how oft is lost
The poor man's cause, and sacred justice crost!
Nay, may it not be said, for cursed gold,
Both law and justice oft are to be sold!
If with the rich, to law a poor man go,
Believe me, he shall have an overthrow!
For Danae fair had still remain'd a maid,
And in the brazen tow'r securely staid,
Had not the pow'r of gold unbarr'd the chain;
What cannot gold and pow'rful love*
What wonder then, if love of gold compel
The minds of men the right of law to sell?
When stormy winter whitens all below,
When woods and plains are clad in ice and snow,
The ships with icy chains are anchor'd fast,
Till the dissolving spring return at last;
Tho' boreas rage, and stormy tempests blow,
The streams are silent, and not seen to flow;
The fish then near the surface cease to play,
And to the bottom safely make their way.
But yet thro' holes, which in the ice are made,
With hook and line goes on the fisher's trade.
Sometimes the ice so strong and firm we know,
That loaded waggons on the rivers go!
But yet so temp'rate are some winters here,
That in the streams no bars of ice appear;
And all the season boats and shipping may,
With oar and sail divide the liquid way;
So various and uncertain is the clime,
For heat and cold extreme, in little time!
Fair Philadelphia next is rising seen,
Between two rivers plac'd, two miles between;
The Delaware and Sculkil, new to fame,
Both ancient streams, yet of a modern name.
The city, form'd upon a beauteous plan,
Has many houses built, tho' late began;
Rectangular the streets, direct and fair;
And rectilinear all the ranges are.
Five houses here for sacred use are known,
Another stands not far without the town.
Of these appears one in a grander style;
But yet unfinish'd is the lofty pile.
Here psalms divine melodious accents raise,
And choral symphony sweet-songs of praise;
To raise the mind, and sooth the pious ear;
But God devoted minds doth always hear.
A lofty tow'r is founded on this ground,
For future bells to make a distant sound.
Here schools, for learning, and for arts, are seen,
In which to many I've a teacher been:
But one, in teaching, doth the rest excel,
To know and speak the Greek and Latin well.
Here too, one spacious building we behold,
Where all provisions brought are daily sold;
From whose high steps too, loudly is proclaim'd
The annual Magistrate, the Mayor nam'd.
Here, in safe harbour, num'rous vessels moor,
At anchor some, and some along the shore.
In commerce many cross the stormy main,
To distant countries, in pursuit of gain.
All necessary trades here get employ,
And useful arts, which large rewards enjoy.
Here signs, thro' all the streets, are hung in view,
Where entertainment may be had, •o •hew.
The merry sailors, while they land their wares,
The praise of Bacchus sing, and ease their cares;
Yet often from the spring the draught is sought,
Which here to all doth freely flow unbought;
But where fair ivy crowns the flowing bowl,
There dwells the large, the hospitable soul.
More things, at present, I forbear to name;
Because too long;—these are enough for fame.
Except the country swains' distinguish'd praise
Demand the notice of my closing lays).
The farmer, provident, amidst his cares,
For winter, like the prudent ant, prepares;
Foreknowing, all that summer doth produce,
Is only for consuming winter's use.
He fills his barns and cellars with good cheer,
Against that dreary season of the year.
He scorns exotic foods, and gaudy dress,
Content to live on homely fare, in peace;
Sweet to his taste his unbought dainties are;
And his own home-spun he delights to wear.
His lowly dwelling views his large domain,
Improv'd in part, where peace and plenty reign.
Plain furniture, but useful, he doth chuse;
And wisely values ev'ry thing for use.
In these blest shades may I delight to be;
Here little is enough, with peace, for me.