Early Dutch & Swedish Settlements

Burlington, New Jersey 1765

From what has been said, it is evident that the colonies New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, and maryland, were included in the great patent, last mentioned; but that becoming void, the crown was at libery to regrant the same to others; but it does not appear that any part of those provinces was settled by virtue thereof; nor indeed was any disctinct discovery of them made, until many years afterwards. New-jersey, Pennsylvania, and other lands adjacent, notwithstanding the ancient right of the crown of England, deduced as aforesaid, had two pretenders to them; the Dutch and the Swedes: The claim of the former set up, was under colour of a discovery made in the year 1609, by Henry Hudson, an Englishman, commander of a ship called the Half-Moon, fitted our from Holland by the East-India company, to discover by a north-west passage, a nearer way to China: In this voyage he sailed up to the place now New-York, and up the river, from him called Hudson's River; and returning sometime after to Amsterdam, the Dutch pretended to have purchased the chart he made of the American coast; and having obtained a patent from the states, in the year 1614, to trade to New-England, they settled in New-York, which they called New-Netherland; and kept possession until sir Samuel Argole, governor of Virginia, disputed their title; alledging that the country having been discovered by an Englishman, in right of his master, he could not suffer it to be alienated from the crown, without the king's consent: he therefore compelled the Dutch colony to submit to him, and to hold it under English: But sometime after a new governor coming from Amsterdam, they not only neglected to pay their usual acknowledgement to the governor of Virginia, but in the year 1623, fortified their colony, by building several forts: Once on the Delaware, (by them called South River) near Gloucester, in New-Jersey, which they named Nassau; a second on Hudson's, (the North River) in the provine of New-York, which they named Fort Orange; and a third on Connecticut river, (by them called the Fresh-River) which they named the Hirsse of Good Hope. Hudson's River lying near the sea, and the navigation esteemed less difficult than the other, their settlements were chiefly on both sides of that river; at the entrance of which, the town by them also called New Amsterdam, was build; so that by the time the Swedes came into America, which was a few years after, they had wholly quitted the land adjacent to the river Delaware. The proceedings of the Dutch in building the forts, and in a manner taking possession of the country, having been represented to king Charles the first, his ambassadors at the Hague made such pressing instances to the states, that they disowned having given any commission for what the Dutch had done, and laid the blame on their East-India company. Upon this king Charles gave a commission to sir George Calvert, lately made lord Baltimore; to possess and plant that part of America, now called Maryland; and to sir Edmond Loeyden, or Ployden, to plant the northern parts, towards New-England. The Dutch afraid of the power of the English, were willing to compound matters a second time; offering to leave their plantations, in consideration of 2500 to be paid them for the charges they had been at: But soon after, king Charles being involved in his troubles, was hindred from supporting his colonies; they therefore not only fell from their first proposals, but as was reported, furnished the natives with arms, and taught them the use of them, that by their assistance they might dispossess the English all around them. Matters thus circumstanced, we shall leave them, in order to trace their neighbours, the Swedes into America; the fist settlement of whom, according to their own accound, was thus occasioned [Hist. of Swedeland in America, by Thomas Companius Holm printed at Stockholm anno 1702] In the reign of Gustaphus Adolphus, and in the year 1626, an eminent merchant named William Useling, gave a great character of this country, applauding it for fruitful fertile land, abounding with all necessaries of life; and used many arguments to persuade the Swedes to settle a colony here: These were so prevalent, that Gustavus issued a proclamation at Stockholm, exhorting his subjects to contribute to a company associated to the purpose aforesaid, which was called the West-India company, confirmed by that prince: In a general assembly the year following, sums of money were raised to carry on the intended settlement, to which the king, the lords of the council, the chief of his barons, knights, coronets, principal officers in his militia, bishops, clergy, and diverse of the common people of Swedeland, Finnland and Lissland, contributed; and responsible persons were chosen to see what was propos'd put in execution, consisting of an admiral, a vice-admiral, merchants, factors, commissaries, &c. and it was concluded to get as many as they though fit, of those who would voluntarily ship themselves to America, to settle and cultivate a colony. In 1627, the Swedes and Finns accordingly came over hither: Their first landing was at Cape Inlopen; the sight created a pleasure, and they named it Paradise Point: Some time after they purchased of some Indians (but whether of such as had the proper right to convey is not said) the land from Cape Inlopen to the Falls of Delaware, on both sides of the river, which they called New-Swedeland Stream; and made presents to the Indian chiefs, to obtain peacable possession of the land so purchas'd: But the Butch continuing their pretensions, in 1630 one David Pietersz de vries, their countryman, built a fort within the capes of Delaware, on the west, about two leagues from Cape Cornelius, at the place now Lewis-Town, then and at present often called by the name of Hoarkill. In 1631, the Swedes also built a fort on the west of Delaware, to which they gave the name the ruins of it yet bears, Christeen. [Near Wilmington, it gives name to a noted creek there.] here a small town was laid out by Peter Lindstrom, their engineer, and here they first settled; but this settlement was afterwards demolished by the Dutch. On an island called Tennecum, sixteen miles above this town, the Swedes erected another fort, which they named New Gottemburgh; and John Printz, their governor, built a fine house, and other suitable accommodations; planted an orchard, and called his settlement Printz's Hall: The principal freement had also their plantations on this island. About this time the Swedes also built forts at Chest, and other places. In the same year Chancellor Oxestiern, embassador from Sweden, made application to king Charles the first, to have the right the English claimed by their being the first discoverers yielded up: it was, (as they say,) the proof of uncertainty given up accordingly: They also said they had purchased the pretence the Dutch claim'd by virtue of the prior settlement, and buildings here; most of which were destroy'd before their arrival. If this be true, the Dutch it seems did not think proper long to abide by their contract; but gave the Swedes distrubances, by encroaching on their new settlment; and both of them join'd to dispossess the English, who also attempted to settle the eastern side of Delaware: one Kieft, a director under the states of Holland, assisted by the Swedes, drove the English away, and hired the Swedes to keep them out: The Dutch complained, that the Swedish governor judging this a fair opportunity, built fort Elsinburgh on the place from whence the English had been driven, and from thence used great greedom with their vessels, and all others bound up the river, making them strike to the fort; from which they also sent men on board to know whence the vessels came: This the Dutch deem's exercising an authority in a country not their own. [The account here is from a manuscript copy, said to be printed in Holland, anno 1662, the original in the late sir Hans Sloane's collection, entitled, A brief account of New Netherland. -- In 1683 the Dutch had a meeting place for religions worship at New Castle; and the Swedes three, one at Christeen, one at Tenecum, and one a Wicoco.] But the Musketoes were so numerous, the Swedes were unable to live here, and therefore removing, named the place Musketoeburgh. The Dutch seem to have had a very great opinion of the land near the Delaware, and were under great apprehensions of being dispossessed by the English, who they complained had diverse times attempted to settle about that river and judged if they once got footing, they would soon secure every part, so that neither Hollander nor Swede would have any thing to say here; in particular they mention sir Edmond Ploeyden, as claiming property in the country, under a grant from king James the first, who they alledge declined any dispute with them, but threatned to give the Swedes a visit, in order to dispossess them.
First Grant & Settlement-Smith
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