Original Document
Original Document
Thomas Budd on the Land and Climate of the Pennsylvania Colony, 1685.

From six miles above New Castle to the falls of Delaware (which is about sixty miles) and so to the head of the said river, the water is clear, fresh, and fit for brewing, or any other use.

The air is clear and good, it being supposed to be as heathful as any part of England.

The land is in veins, some good, and some bad, but the greatest part will bare good corn, as wheat, rye, barely, oats, Indian corn, buckwheat, peas, and Indian beans, etc.

Fruits that grow in the countries are strawberries, cranberries, huckleberries, blackberries, medlers, grapes, plums, hickory nuts, walnuts, mulberries, chestnuts, hazelnuts, etc.

Garden fruits groweth well, as cabbage, colworts, colliflower, sparagrass, carrots, parsnips, turnips, onyons, cow cumbers, pumpkins, water-mellons, musk-mellons, squashes, potatoes, currants, gooseberries, roses, carnations, tulips, garden-herbs, flowers, seeds, fruits, etc. for such as grow in England, certainly will grow here.

Orchards of apples, pears, quinces, peaches, aprecacts, plums, cherries, and other sorts of the usual fruits of England may soon be raised to good advantage, the trees growing faster than in England, wherof great quantities of cider may be made. And where glass houses erected to furnish us with bottles, we might have a profitable trade, by sending cider to Jamaica and Barbados, etc. ready bottled which is commonly so sent from Herefordshire to London.

It is supposed that we may make as good wines as in France, (if vineyards were planted on the sides of hills or banks, which are defended from the cold north west winds) with such vines as the Frenchmen commonly make those wines of; for the climate is as proper as any part of France, therefore it is rational to believe, that the wines will be as rich and good as in France. There are some vineyards already planted in Pennsylvania, and more intended to be planted by some French Protestants, and others, that are gone to settle there.

Several other commodities may be raised here, as rice, which is known to have been sown for a trial, and it grew very well, and yielded good increase.

Also annis seeds, I have been informed groweth well, and might be a profitable commodity, there being great quantities used in England by distillers.

Liquorish doubtless would grow very well. And question not but that Mather, woad, and other plants and roots for dyers use might be raised. Shumack groweth naturally. Also several useful drugs grow naturally. As sassafrass, sassaperella, callamus aromaticus, snake root, jallappa, etc....

The trees grow but thin in most places, and very little under wood. In the woods groweth plentifully a coarse sort of grass, which is so proving, that it soon make the cattle and horses fat in the summer, but the hay being coarse, which is chiefly gotten on the fresh marshes, the cattle looseth their flesh in the winter, and become very poor, except we give them corn: But this may be remedied in time, by draining of low rich land, and by plowing of it, and sowing it with English grass seed, which thrives here very well.

The hogs are fat in the woods, when it is a good mast year.

The woods are furnished with store of wild foul, as turkeys, pheasants, heath cocks, partridges, pidgeons, blackbirds, etc. And people will take the pains to raise the various sorts of tame foul. May do it with as little trouble, and less charge, then they can in England, by reason of whatever they find in the woods.

Bees are found by the experience of several that keep them, to thrive very well.

I do not question but that we might make good strong sound beer, ale and mum, athat would keep well to Barbados, the water being good, and wheat and barley in a few years, like to be very plentiful: Great quantities of beer, ale and mum is sent yearly from London, and other places, to Barbados Jamaica and other islands in America, where it sells to good advantage; and if beer, ale and mum, hold good from England to those places, which tis said is above 1000 leagues; I question not but if it be well brewed in a seasonable time of the year, and put in good casks, but it will keep good, to be transported form the Delaware River to those islands of foresaid, which by computation, is not above half so far. If merchants can gain by sending beer, ale and mum from England, where corn is dear, and freight is dear, by reason of the length of the voyage, we in all probability must get much more, that by are corn cheap, and payless freight.

Flour and bisket may be made in great quantities in a few years, the wheat being very good, which seldom fails of finding a good market at Barbados, Jamaica, and the Carib Islands: great quantities are sent yearly from London, and other places, which if they can make profit of it, we much more for the reasons already given.

Pork is about half the price as in England. Therefore the inhabitants will seldom have their market spoiled by any that come from England, of which commodity the inhabitants in a few years will have great quantities to sell to the merchant, which is salted, and packed in barrels, and so transported to Jamaica, Barbados, Nevis, and other islands. Hams of bacon are also made, much after the same manner as in West Falia, and the bacon eats much like it.

Our beef in the fall is very fat and good, and we are likely in a few years to have great plenty, which will serve our families and furnish shipping.

Our mutton is also fat, sound and good, being only fed with natural grass; but if we sprinkle but a little English hay seed on the land without plowing, and then feed sheep on it, in a little time it will increase that it will cover the land with English grass, like unto our pastures in England, provided the land be good. We find the profits of sheep are considerable.

Our butter is very good, and our cheese is indifferent good, but when we have pastures of English grass, (which many are getting into), then I suppose our cheese will as good as that of England.

Credit: Thomas Budd, Good Order Established in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in America, 1685.
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