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Friday, February 23, 2007

Arrival in Philadelphia -- Journey to New Castle

Today, my story will not be long. When the ship stopped in Philadelphia, we planted our feet on dry land and bowed down to give thanks to God Almighty for bringing us here safely. Others who traveled with us were not so fortunate. Their lives were not in vain, but I offer a prayer for their families who will learn of their deaths weeks or months from now.

Philadelphia reminded me a lot of home, with its cobblestone streets, carriages, women and men dressed in fashion and the children running to and fro, carefree. Although we were not among those in the poorer parts of the ship, our health still suffered greatly. We could not tarry long, however, as we had to make our way to New Castle, where our new life awaited. After securing horses and a carriage for our belongings, we began our journey into the Three Lower Counties.

We mostly walked. To carry our gear—tools, tents, and food—we had a large, heavy wagon pulled by a team of strong horses. The road through the woods was sometimes just a path that we had to clear of trees. We helped the horses by pushing the wagon as they strained up long, steep hills and by guiding the team across streams and rivers. It was very important that everyone worked together, and we traveled with a small assembly of 9 others. At night, the we found a comfortable camping place near a spring or clear creek. Everyone had jobs, and Mar cooked meals over a campfire—the chicken was especially delicious.

We slept in blankets on the ground under the stars, sometimes putting up a tent. One of our group slept in a hammock that he strung between two trees. After breakfast, the journey continued. We met interesting people along the way: innkeepers, millers, or farmers from whom we bought grains, hay for our horses, and food. Most of the people we encountered spoke English or German, so we had no difficulty communicating. As we got closer to our destination, we saw more and more people and the area became more populated nearer New Castle.

I look forward to our new home and feel the excitement of beginning life anew here. I only pray it will bring Papa the great success he seeks.

1 comment:

Jennifer Y. said...

I agree with Cherie! Thanks for sharing!