Johan Björnsson Printz was Governor of New Sweden from 1643 to 1653. He was the son of a Lutheran Pastor, and received his early education in Sweden, and his theological education in German Universities. In 1620, he was pressed into military service, and went on to serve as a mercenary in for the Austrians, Germans  … Read more

Johan Bjornsson Printz was appointed third Governor of New Sweden in 1643, where he ruled until 1653. He arrived in February of that year at Fort Cristina with two ships: the Fama and the Svanen. He then ordered the construction of  Fort Nya Elfsborg on the East bank of the Delaware River near present day Salem, NJ,  … Read more

The Swedes were the first Europeans to successfully colonize the Delaware Valley. As mentioned in earlier posts Peter Minuit, the Dutch explorer, was the first to establish a settlement at Fort Christina, which is present day Wilmington. Swedes were active colonists from 1638 to 1713, although the “formal” colony of New Sweden ended in 1655  … Read more

Most American’s are more familiar with English, Spanish and French colonialism in America. So, many are not familiar with the fact that for more than 20 years in the early 17th century, the Swedes participated in Colony building in North America. At the height of “New Sweden”, several hundred colonists inhabited territory across modern Pennsylvania,  … Read more

As noted in other posts, the first Swedish settlement in North America was called Fort Christina after the young Queen of Sweden.  It was located about 1 mile east of present day, downtown Wilmington, Delaware. As also noted in previous posts, the Swedes landed in Delaware Bay on March 29, 1638, on the Kalmar Nyckel and  … Read more

It didn’t take long for the Virginia Colony to move from a (mostly) struggling fort in Jamestown, to an established body politic with an elected general assembly. According to the Jamestown Rediscovery Website, the first General Assembly met in the “quire” (choir) on June 30, 1619 in the newly-built wooden church at Jamestown. As chartered  … Read more

Fort Nassau – South River – was built by the Dutch West India Company on the Delaware River at the mouth of Big Timber Creek, near present Gloucester, NJ. It was described by settlers as a “factorij” which was basically an early form of free-trade zone, set up to trade fur with the Native Americans.  … Read more

The first settlers in New Netherlands arrived on Noten Eylandt (Nut or Nutten Island, now Governors Island) aboard the ship New Netherlands in May, 1624 following Henry Hudson’s 1609 voyage that discovered the eponymous river.  The settlement was under the purview of the Dutch West India Company that had been formed in 1621 by the  … Read more

As noted in other posts, Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson river in 1609 looking for the Northeast Passage, and Peter Minuit Established the New Amsterdam Colony after that. But, Dutch colonists established other colonies father up the river from New Amsterdam including Fort Orange in 1624, which is the present day Albany.  By 1629,  … Read more

This post will briefly cover the roots of the founding of Plymouth Colony, the first English settlement in New England. The Virginia Company (of London), who had sponsored the Jamestown settlement, signed a contract with the Pilgrims, a group of English religious separatists, to settle in the mouth of the Delaware or Hudson Rivers.  So,  … Read more