New Amsterdam was a 17th-century Dutch settlement established at the southern tip of Manhattan Island that served as the seat of the colonial government in New Netherland. The factorij became a settlement outside Fort Amsterdam; the fort was situated on the strategic southern tip of the island of Manhattan and was meant to defend the fur trade operations of the Dutch West India Company in the North River. In 1624, it became a provincial extension of the Dutch Republic and was designated as the capital of the province in 1625. By 1655, the population of New Netherland had grown to 2,000 people, with 1,500 living in New Amsterdam. By 1664, the population had exploded to 9,000 people in New Netherland, 2,500 of whom lived in New Amsterdam, 1,000 lived near Fort Orange, the remainder in other towns and villages. In 1664 the English renamed it New York after the Duke of York. After the Second Anglo-Dutch War of 1665–1667, England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands agreed to the status quo in the Treaty of Breda.
The English kept the island of Manhattan, the Dutch giving up their claim to the town and the rest of the colony, while the English formally abandoned Surinam in South America, the island of Run in the East Indies to the Dutch, confirming their control of the valuable Spice Islands. Today much of is in New York City. In 1524, nearly a century before the arrival of the Dutch, the site that became New Amsterdam was named New Angoulême by the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, to commemorate his patron King Francis I of France, former Count of Angoulême; the first recorded exploration by the Dutch of the area around what is now called New York Bay was in 1609 with the voyage of the ship Halve Maen, captained by Henry Hudson in the service of the Dutch Republic, as the emissary of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, Holland's stadholder. Hudson named the river the Mauritius River, he was covertly attempting to find the Northwest Passage for the Dutch East India Company. Instead, he brought back news about the possibility of exploitation of beaver by the Dutch who sent commercial, private missions to the area the following years.
At the time, beaver pelts were prized in Europe, because the fur could be felted to make waterproof hats. A by-product of the trade in beaver pelts was castoreum—the secretion of the animals' anal glands—which was used for its medicinal properties and for perfumes; the expeditions by Adriaen Block and Hendrick Christiaensen in 1611, 1612, 1613 and 1614, resulted in the surveying and charting of the region from the 38th parallel to the 45th parallel. On their 1614 map, which gave them a four-year trade monopoly under a patent of the States General, they named the newly discovered and mapped territory New Netherland for the first time, it showed the first year-round trading presence in New Netherland, Fort Nassau, which would be replaced in 1624 by Fort Orange, which grew into the town of Beverwijck, now Albany. Dominican trader Juan Rodriguez, born in Santo Domingo of Portuguese and African descent, arrived on Manhattan Island during the winter of 1613–1614, trapping for pelts and trading with the local population as a representative of the Dutch.
He was the first recorded non-Native American inhabitant of what would become New York City. The territory of New Netherland was a private, profit-making commercial enterprise focused on cementing alliances and conducting trade with the diverse Native American ethnic groups. Surveying and exploration of the region was conducted as a prelude to an anticipated official settlement by the Dutch Republic, which occurred in 1624. In 1620 the Pilgrims attempted to sail to the Hudson River from England. However, the Mayflower reached Cape Cod on November 1620, after a voyage of 64 days. For a variety of reasons a shortage of supplies, the Mayflower could not proceed to the Hudson River, the colonists decided to settle near Cape Cod, establishing the Plymouth Colony; the mouth of the Hudson River was selected as the ideal place for initial settlement as it had easy access to the ocean while securing an ice-free lifeline to the beaver trading post near present-day Albany. Here, Native American hunters supplied them with pelts in exchange for European-made trade goods and wampum, soon being made by the Dutch on Long Island.
In 1621, the Dutch West India Company was founded. Between 1621 and 1623, orders were given to the private, commercial traders to vacate the territory, thus opening up the territory to Dutch settlers and company traders, it allowed the laws and ordinances of the states of Holland to apply. During the private, commercial period, only the law of the ship had applied. In May 1624, the first settlers in New Netherland arrived on Noten Eylandt aboard the ship New Netherland under the command of Cornelius Jacobsen May, who disembarked on the island with thirty families in order to take legal possession of the New Netherland territory; the families were dispersed to Fort Wilhelmus on Verhulsten Island in the South River, to Kievitshoek at the mouth of the Verse River and further north at Fort Nassau on the Mauritius or North River, near what is now Albany. A fort and sawmill were soon erected at Nut Island; the latter was constructed by Franchoys Fezard and was taken apart for iron in 1648. The threat of attack from other European colonial powers prompted the directors of
Greenwich is a town in Fairfield County, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 61,171, it is the 10th largest municipality in Connecticut, the largest that functions as a town. The largest town on Connecticut's Gold Coast, Greenwich is home to many hedge funds and other financial service firms. Greenwich is the southernmost and westernmost municipality in Connecticut as well as in the six-state region of New England, it is 40 to 50 minutes by train from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Greenwich 12th on its list of the "100 Best Places to Live in the United States" in 2005; the town is named after a Royal borough of London in the United Kingdom. The town of Greenwich was settled in 1640. One of the founders was Elizabeth Fones Winthrop, daughter-in-law of John Winthrop and Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. What is now called Greenwich Point was known for much of the area's early history as "Elizabeth's Neck" in recognition of Elizabeth Fones and their 1640 purchase of the Point and much of the area now known as Old Greenwich.
Greenwich was declared a township by the General Assembly in Hartford on May 11, 1665. During the American Revolution, General Israel Putnam made a daring escape from the British on February 26, 1779. Although British forces pillaged the town, Putnam was able to warn Stamford. In 1974, Gulliver's Restaurant and Bar, on the border of Greenwich and Port Chester, killing 24 young people. In 1983, the Mianus River Bridge, which carries traffic on Interstate 95 over an estuary, resulting in the death of three people. For many years, Greenwich Point, was open only to their guests. However, a lawyer sued, saying his rights to freedom of assembly were threatened because he was not allowed to go there; the lower courts disagreed, but the Supreme Court of Connecticut agreed, Greenwich was forced to amend its beach access policy to all four beaches in 2001. These beaches include Greenwich Point Park, Island Beach, Great Captain Island, Byram Park. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 67.2 square miles, of which 47.8 square miles is land and 19.4 square miles, or 28.88%, is water.
In terms of area, Greenwich is twice the size of Manhattan. The town is bordered to the west and north by Westchester County, New York, to the east by the city of Stamford, faces the Village of Bayville to the south across the Long Island Sound. If you travel far enough east from Greenwich, you hit Long Island at its extremity. Therefore, Greenwich is in a geographically exceptional position, being in a sense surrounded by New York; the Census Bureau recognizes seven CDPs within the town: Byram, Cos Cob, Old Greenwich, Riverside, a "Greenwich" CDP covering a portion of town. The USPS lists separate zip codes for Greenwich, Cos Cob, Old Greenwich, Riverside. Additionally, Greenwich is further divided into several smaller, unofficial neighborhoods. Longtime residents have a fierce loyalty and superior opinion of their particular neighborhood; the Hispanic population is concentrated in the southwestern corner of the town. In 2011, numerous neighborhoods were voted by the Business Insider as being the richest neighborhoods in America.
Byram, Cos Cob, Old Greenwich, Riverside each have their own ZIP Codes and with the exception of Byram, each has a Metro North station. American Lane is separated by Interstate 684 from the entire rest of Connecticut and can be reached only from New York State. Round Hill, with an elevation of more than 550 feet, was a lookout point for the Continental Army during the American Revolution; the Manhattan skyline is visible from the top of the hill. Bush-Holley House Putnam Cottage Calf Island, a 29-acre island about 3,000 feet from the Byram shore in Greenwich, is open for visitors, although as of the summer of 2006 it was getting few of them. More than half of the island is a bird sanctuary off-limits to members of the public without permission to visit; the island is available for overnight stays for those with permits, otherwise the east side is open from dawn till dusk. Great Captain Island is off the coast of Greenwich, is the southernmost point in Connecticut. There is a Coast Guard lighthouse on this island, as well as a designated area as a bird sanctuary.
The lighthouse is a Skeletal Tower. Island Beach or "Little Captain Island" once was the venue for the town's annual Island Beach Day. Ventriloquist Paul Winchell and his dummy, Jerry Mahoney, once came for a show, on another occasion the National Guard let adults and children fire machine guns into the water, according to an article in the Greenwich Time. Island Beach has changed over the decades; the bathhouse once on the island's eastern shore is gone, erosion is eating away at the beaches themselves. Greenwich experiences a humid continental climate. During winter storms, it is common for the area north of the Merritt Parkway to receive heavier snowfall than the area closer to the coast, due to the moderating influence of Long Island Sound; as of the census of 2000, there were 61,101 people, 23,230 households, 16,237 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,277.6 people per square mile. There were 24,511 housing units at an average density of 512.5 per square mile. As of the census of 2013, the racial makeup of the town was 80.90%
Rondout, New York
Rondout, is situated on the Hudson River, at the mouth of Rondout Creek. A maritime village serving the nearby city of Kingston, New York, Rondout merged with Kingston in 1872, it now includes the Rondout-West Strand Historic District. Rondout borders the Rondout Creek; the creek empties into the Hudson through a protected tidal area. Rondout was established by the Dutch in the seventeenth century as an Indian trading post; the name derives from the fort, or redoubt, erected near the mouth of the creek. The Dutch equivalent of the English word redoubt, is reduyt. In the Dutch records of Wildwyck, the spelling used to designate this same fort is invariably Ronduyt during the earliest period, with the present form rondout appearing as early as November 22, 1666; as late as the 1820s, Rondout was a small hamlet. As the Philadelphia coal market was saturated with Lehigh coal, bringing the price down and Maurice Wurts developed the Delaware and Hudson Canal as a way to deliver their anthracite from Carbondale, Pennsylvania to New York City.
After the opening of the canal in 1828, the area of Rondout transformed from farmland into a thriving maritime village. The last several miles of the canal, which linked coal mines in northeastern Pennsylvania to the Hudson River and markets beyond, followed Rondout Creek to reach the Hudson River. Irish laborers came to dig the canal and many of them stayed to work on it after its completion. Businessmen established stores to serve the workers. Steamboats, sloops and barges loaded with passengers and cargo left the port bound for New York City. New industries developed such as brick and cement manufacturing, bluestone shipping, ice-making; as canal traffic increased and commercial businesses were built along the slope upward from the Rondout Creek. By 1840, the village had a population of fifteen hundred, two hundred residences, two churches, six hotels and taverns, twenty-five stores, three freighting establishments, a tobacco factory, a gristmill, four boat yards, two dry docks, the office and dock of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company.
Rondout Creek was the home of the Cornell Steamboat Company tugboat fleet, the dominant towing company on the Hudson from 1880 to the 1930s. The company was started in 1847. At one time it had a fleet of as many as sixty-two tugboats towing barges of coal and many other materials on the Hudson River to New York and other ports. Cornell had a virtual monopoly of towing on the Hudson River and employed hundreds of workers on their boats and in their workshops along the Rondout Creek. By 1872 more than thirty steamboats were based in Rondout, many of which, as well as a large number of barges and sailing vessels, were engaged in the transportation of stone, cement and ice. Steamboats such as the sidewheel "Queen of the River", Kingston's Mary Powell plied between Rondout, New York, points on the river; the little sidewheeler Norwich, was built in New York in 1836 by Lawrence & Sneeden of New York for the New York and Norwich Steamboat Co. Named for the City of Norwich, she was not big enough to compete with the large steamboats coming into service on the sound, was sold to the New York & Rondout Line for passenger and freight service on the Hudson.
Converted to towboat service, in which she from 1850 to 1923, the Norwich was known as "the Ice King". She was unexcelled as an ice-breaker; the Erie Railroad paid her to clear a passage through the ice for its barge and steamboat traffic from the rail terminal at Piermont to New York. Verplanck and Collyer, in Sloops on the Hudson, write that Capt. Jacob Dubois required one week to work the Norwich 20 miles through heavy ice to New York City from Piermont. One of the longest-lived steamboats, the Norwich worked the Hudson until 1917 and survived until 1924. Prior to its incorporation, Rondout was known variously as "The Strand", "Kingston Landing" and "Bolton". "The Strand" is a Dutch derived reference to the beach once located on the north shore of the Rondout Creek. "Bolton" was used in honor a president of the Hudson Canal Company. Incorporated on April 4, 1849, Rondout served as a Hudson River port for the city of Kingston located about a mile distant. In 1851, German-born Jewish businessman Israel Sampson arrived in Rondout and built the Sampson Opera House at 1 Broadway.
Sampson ran a successful clothing business out of the first floor, the top floor housed the Opera House. In 1885, fire gutted the building, destroying the Opera House, never rebuilt. In the 20th century, a Kingston newspaper, The Daily Freeman, occupied the building until 1974. In 1854 George F. VonBeck built the Mansion House Hotel, hoping to capitalize on Rondout's location as a stopping-off place for steamboat and stagecoach passengers On lower Broadway, it was opposite the Samspon Opera House, provided a place for touring performers to stay. Dr. Abraham Crispell, who treated patients during the cholera epidemic of 1849, had an office in the Mansion House Hotel. According to Hamilton Child, the most important manufacturing establishment was The Newark Lime and Cement Manufacturing Company, which began operation in spring 1851; the company owned 250 acres including waterfront on the channel of the Rondout Creek. The Rondout Manufactory alone produced 227,516 barrels; the works consisted of twenty-one kilns for burning the stone, two mill buildings, four storehouses, capable of storing upwards of 20,000 barrels, a cooperage establishment, mil
The Flushing Remonstrance was a 1657 petition to Director-General of New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant, in which some thirty residents of the small settlement at Flushing requested an exemption to his ban on Quaker worship. It is considered a precursor to the United States Constitution's provision on freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights, its 350th anniversary was celebrated in 2007 in ceremonies throughout New York. According to Kenneth T. Jackson, the Flushing Remonstrance was remarkable for four reasons: it articulated a fundamental right, as basic to American freedom as any other, the authors backed up their words with actions by sending it to an official not known for tolerance, they stood up for others in articulating a principle, of little discernible benefit to themselves, the language of the remonstrance was as beautiful as the sentiments they expressed; the village named as Vlissingen Vlishing, now Flushing, New York, had been part of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. It was settled by English people operating under a patent, issued by Governor Willem Kieft in 1645, granting them the same state of religious freedom existing in Holland the most tolerant of European countries.
Stuyvesant, with his 1656 ordinance against illegal religious meetings, had formally banned the practice of all religions outside of the Dutch Reformed Church, the established church of the Netherlands, in the colony. His often-derided decision flew against the approximate hundred-year evolution of religious tolerance in the Netherlands. During this time the country was revolting against Spanish rule, rebelling against an imposed Inquisition, attempting to form a national identity, trying to unify Calvinist and Catholic provinces; the Dutch toleration debates were lengthy, bumpy and full of political intrigue and assassination. The writer Thomas Broderick states, "I believe the true Dutch legacy is not one of toleration but of discussion. New Amsterdam and the Republic show us that a robust, open public discourse is the surest way to eventual social improvement. Toleration and acceptance are political and moral imperatives, the Flushing remonstrance and great Dutch toleration debates in Europe and North America teach us that social change takes time, open dialogue and failure before progress is to be made."Stuyvesant's policy was not much different from the one evolving in the Netherlands: an official recognition of the Dutch Reformed Church bundled with broad tolerance within the church and a policy of connivance, turning a blind eye to non-conformist religious practices.
On another front, the Stuyvesant family was broadly tolerant. Judith, Stuyvesant's wife, was a fierce advocate for New York's slaves, promoting the practice of baptism as a first step toward freedom, his policy met with resistance from some English settlers in the towns of Vlissingen, and's-Gravesend, places where Quaker missions were sent. Stuyvesant's actions, however met with the support of other English settlers and magistrates who informed on those embracing unorthodox teachings and meeting in small and unsanctioned religious meetings of lay people called conventicles. Thus, Stuyvesant found himself drawn into the religious debates and bickering of the English community in the Atlantic colonies and debates in England which culminated in the Conventicle Act 1664; this policy resulted in numerous acts of religious harassment. In 1656 William Wickenden, a Baptist minister from Rhode Island, was arrested by Dutch colonial authorities, jailed and exiled for baptizing Christians in Flushing. In the same year Robert Hodgson was arrested and sentenced to two years of manual labor with slaves for his preaching of Quakerism.
In 1661, in the town of Rustdorp, Henry Townsend and Samuel Spicer were fined for holding Quaker conventicles and Townsend was banished as well. Stuyvesant sent three new magistrates, all Englishmen, a half dozen soldiers to gather information on dissidents; the soldiers were billeted in the homes of the dissidents. In 1662, in's-Gravesande, Samuel Spicer and his mother, along with John and Mary Tilton were imprisoned and banished, they moved to Oyster Bay outside of the authority of New Netherland, returned to their town after 1664 when the British took control of the colony. The Flushing Remonstrance was signed on December 27, 1657, by a group of Dutch citizens who were affronted by persecution of Quakers and the religious policies of Stuyvesant. None of them were Quakers; the Remonstrance ends with: The law of love and liberty in the states extending to Jews and Egyptians, as they are considered sonnes of Adam, the glory of the outward state of Holland, soe love and liberty, extending to all in Christ Jesus, condemns hatred and bondage.
And because our Saviour sayeth it is impossible but that offences will come, but woe unto him by whom they cometh, our desire is not to offend one of his little ones, in whatsoever form, name or title hee appears in, whether Presbyterian, Baptist or Quaker, but shall be glad to see anything of God in any of them, desiring to doe unto all men as we desire all men should doe unto us, the true law both of Church and State. Therefore if any of these said persons come in love unto us, we cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon them, but give them free egresse and regresse unto our Town, houses, as God shall persuade our consciences, for we are bounde by the law of God and man to doe good unto all men and evil to noe man, and this is according to the
Flushing is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens in the United States. While much of the neighborhood is residential, Downtown Flushing, centered on the northern end of Main Street in Queens, is a large commercial and retail area and is the fourth largest central business district in New York City. Flushing's diversity is reflected by the numerous ethnic groups that reside there, including people of Asian, Middle Eastern and African-American ancestry, it is part of New York's Sixth Congressional District, located within Queens County. Flushing is served by five railroad stations on the Long Island Rail Road Port Washington Branch, as well as the New York City Subway's IRT Flushing Line, which has its terminus at Main Street; the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue is the third busiest intersection in New York City, behind Times and Herald Squares. The neighborhood of Flushing is part of Queens Community Board 7 and the broader district of Flushing in Queens County.
The broader area is bounded by Flushing Meadows–Corona Park to the west, Kissena Boulevard to the east, the Long Island Expressway to the south, Willets Point Boulevard to the north. Flushing was inhabited by the Matinecoc Indians prior to colonialization and European settlement. On October 10, 1645, Flushing was established on the eastern bank of Flushing Creek under charter of the Dutch West India Company and was part of the New Netherland colony; the settlement was named after the city of Vlissingen, in the southwestern Netherlands, the main port of the company. However, by 1657, the residents called the place "Vlishing." "Flushing", the British name for Vlissingen, was used. Despite being a Dutch colony, many of the early inhabitants were British; the original name is derived from the Dutch word "fles" which means "bottle". Unlike all other towns in the region, the charter of Flushing allowed residents freedom of religion as practiced in Holland "without the disturbance of any magistrate or ecclesiastical minister."
However, in 1656, New Amsterdam Director-General Peter Stuyvesant issued an edict prohibiting the harboring of Quakers. On December 27, 1657, the inhabitants of Flushing approved a protest known as The Flushing Remonstrance; this petition contained religious arguments mentioning freedom for "Jews and Egyptians," but ended with a forceful declaration that any infringement of the town charter would not be tolerated. Subsequently, a farmer named John Bowne held Quaker meetings in his home and was arrested for this and deported to Holland, he persuaded the Dutch West India Company to allow Quakers and others to worship freely. As such, Flushing is claimed to be a birthplace of religious freedom in the New World. Landmarks remaining from the Dutch period in Flushing include the John Bowne House on Bowne Street and the Old Quaker Meeting House on Northern Boulevard; the Remonstrance was signed at a house on the site of the former State Armory, now a police facility, on the south side Northern Boulevard between Linden Place and Union Street.
In 1664, the English took control of New Amsterdam, ending Dutch control of the colony, renamed it the Province of New York. When Queens County was established in 1683, the "Town of Flushing" was one of the original five towns which the county comprised. Many historical references to Flushing are to this town, bounded from Newtown on the west by Flushing Creek, from Jamaica on the south by the watershed, from Hempstead on the east by what became the Nassau County line; the town was dissolved in 1898 when Queens became a borough of New York City, the term "Flushing" today refers to a much smaller area, for example the former Village of Flushing. Flushing was a seat of power as the Province of New York up to the American Revolution was led by Governor Cadwallader Colden, based at his Spring Hill estate. Flushing was the site of the first commercial tree nurseries in North America, the most prominent being the Prince and Parsons nurseries. A 14-acre tract of Parsons's exotic specimens was preserved on the north side of Kissena Park.
The nurseries are commemorated in the names of west-east avenues that intersect Kissena Boulevard. Flushing supplied trees to the Greensward Project, now known as Central Park in Manhattan. Well into the 20th century, Flushing contained many horticultural greenhouses. During the American Revolution, along with most settlements in present-day Queens County, favored the British and quartered British troops, though one battalion of Scottish Highlanders is known to have been stationed at Flushing during the war. Following the Battle of Long Island, Nathan Hale, an officer in the Continental Army, was apprehended near Flushing Bay while on what was an intelligence gathering mission and was hanged; the 1785 Kingsland Homestead the residence of a wealthy Quaker merchant, now serves as the home of the Queens Historical Society. During the 19th century, as New York City continued to grow in population and economic vitality, so did Flushing, its proximity to Manhattan was critical in its transformation into a fashionable residential area.
On April 15, 1837, the Village of Flushing was incorporated within the Town of Flushing. The official seal was the words, "Village of Flushing", surrounded by nondescript flowers. No other emblem or flag is known to have been used; the Village of Flushing included the neighborhoods of Flushing Highlands, Bowne Park, Murray Hill and Flushing Park. By the mid-1860s, Queens County had 30,429 residents; the Village of Co
Fort Nassau (South River)
Fort Nassau was a factorij in New Netherland between 1627–1651 located at the mouth of Big Timber Creek at its confluence with the Delaware River. It was the first known permanent European-built structure in what would become the state of New Jersey; the creek name is a derived from the Dutch language Timmer Kill as recorded by David Pietersen de Vries in his memoirs of his journey of 1630–1633. The Delaware Valley and its bay was called the "South River"; the factorij was established for the fur trade in beaver pelts, with the indigenous populations of Susquehannock, who spoke an Iroquoian language, the Lenape, whose language was of the Algonquian family. They wanted to retain a physical claim to the territory. While the fort is described as being at today's Gloucester City, New Jersey. Or on the south side of the creek's cove, at today's Westville; the fort was occupied intermittently, on occasion used by the local population in seasonal migrations. In 1635, colonists from Virginia Colony occupied the fort.
The governor of New Netherland at the time, Wouter van Twiller, sent a force and was successful in retaking the fort. This was the first of conflicts between the Dutch in the New World. While thereafter the fort was continuously manned, the location was ill-suited to trade, as the richest fur-trapping areas were on the west side of the Delaware River. From 1638–1655 the Delaware Valley was part of New Sweden, it was established by Peter Minuit, former Director of New Netherland who had purchased the island of Manhattan. In 1651, Petrus Stuyvesant, Director-General of New Netherland, had the fort dismantled, relocating its armaments and other equipment to a position on the other side of the river, he wanted to menace the re-assert jurisdiction of the region. On Trinity Sunday in 1654, Johan Risingh and Councilor to New Sweden Governor Lt. Col. Johan Printz assumed his duties, he sent forces against Fort Casimir. He renamed it as Fort Trinity; the Swedes now controlled their colony. On June 21, 1654, local bands of the Lenape met with the Swedes to reaffirm their ownership.
Peter Stuyvesant led a Dutch force which retook the fort on September 11, 1655. He renamed it as New Amstel. Subsequently, Fort Christina fell to the Dutch on September 15 and all New Sweden came under their control; the Dutch appointed John Paul Jacquet as governor, made New Amstel the capital of the Dutch-controlled colony. Kill Fort Beversreede Fort Wilhelmus Fortifications of New Netherland New Netherland settlements Zwaanendael Fort Nassau Pidgen Delaware New River Notes Delaware Historical Timeline History of Fort Nassau
Fort Christina was the first Swedish settlement in North America and the principal settlement of the New Sweden colony. Built in 1638 and named after Queen Christina of Sweden, it was located 1 mi east of the present downtown Wilmington, Delaware, at the confluence of the Brandywine River and the Christina River 2 mi upstream from the mouth of the Christina on the Delaware River. Following plans by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden to establish a Swedish colony in North America, the Swedes arrived in Delaware Bay on March 29, 1638, aboard the ships Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip under the command of Peter Minuit, the former director of the New Netherland colony, they landed at a spot along the Christina River at a stone outcropping which formed a natural wharf, known as "The Rocks." Minuit selected the site on the Christina River near the Delaware as being optimal for trade in beaver pelts with the local Lenape. He considered the site defensible, he ordered the construction of an earthwork fort around the Rocks.
At the time, the Dutch had claimed the area south to the Delaware. The Swedes claimed an area for the Realm of Sweden on the south side of the Delaware that encompassed much of the present-day U. S. state of Delaware including parts of present-day southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey on the north side of the river. The fort's earthworks were strengthened in 1640 by Governor Peter Hollander Ridder to help defend against the possibility of Dutch or Native American attacks; as additional colonists arrived from Sweden in the years following the landing and farms began to be built outside of the confines of the fort. The fort was rebuilt in 1647; the colony of New Sweden remained in constant friction with the Dutch. In 1651, the Dutch under Peter Stuyvesant established Fort Casimir at present-day New Castle, only 7 mi south of Fort Christina, in order to menace the Swedish settlement. In 1654, the Swedes captured Fort Casimir under the orders of Governor Johan Risingh. Risingh, fearing reprisals, strengthened the defenses of Fort Christina by adding a wooden palisade around the earthworks.
In 1655, the Dutch under Stuyvesant laid siege to Fort Christina. The fort's surrender after ten days ended the official Swedish colonial presence in North America, though most of the colonists remained and were allowed to continue their linguistic and religious practices by the Dutch. Stuyvesant renamed Fort Christina as Fort Altena; the land remained as part of New Netherland until it became part of the English possessions when an English fleet invaded the area in 1664. Under English rule, the original Swedish fortifications around the Rocks fell into disrepair and vanished entirely. New fortifications were built by the Americans on the same site during the Revolutionary period, they established Fort Union here during the War of 1812. Men involved in the defense of the fort included Caesar Augustus Rodney and James A. Bayard, Sr.. In 1938, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Swedish colonization of the area, the state of Delaware created a park which contained the Rocks and the site of the former forts.
The dedication was attended by U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Crown Prince Gustav Adolf, Crown Princess Louise, Prince Bertil; the Prince presented a gift from their homeland: a monument, topped by a replica of the Kalmar Nyckel, designed by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles. During the ceremony, the Prince spoke of the site's significance to both countries: The monument to be unveiled today is a gift from the people of Sweden to the people of the United States; the funds were raised through public subscription, wherein several hundred thousands of our citizens took part. I believe that amongst these subscribers, many had across the Atlantic brothers and sisters and children. In contributing, they must have felt the links, which connect them and all of us with your great country, where so many of the citizens are either of Swedish birth or purely or of Swedish descent. Near this spot, the Fort Christina State Park, was the first permanent settlement in the Delaware Valley; the Swedes, who landed here 300 years ago, were few of poor means.
Yet thus began the relations between our two Nations. Indeed, it is fitting that, together, we should commemorate that event, the inauguration of an unbroken period of international friendship. We shall be reminded of these facts by the monument, cut by our famous sculptor, Carl Milles, in the black granite of Sweden. What memories are summoned forth at a moment like this, it is with pride we recall the memory of those legendary pioneers who braved the Atlantic in their little vessel, the Kalmar Nyckel, who came to found the colony of New Sweden. That little band of gallant men and women have inscribed their names on the pages of history, their deeds have been considered important enough for the President and Congress of the United States to extend an official invitation to Sweden to take part in the commemorative celebration of this historic event. We of Sweden are moved by this mark of your esteem, it meets with our high appreciation and we offer you our most sincere thanks. In our common acclaim of a historic event of 300 years ago, we stand united, as in our admiration of those early settlers from Sweden who were such worthy and resourceful people.
Their love of freedom and their integrity they carried with them as a heritage from the land of their birth. We are happy to feel that in some measure they, as well as their successors during the intervening three centuries, were able to contribute to the development into greatness of your country, the country of their adoption. We are proud to thi