New Sweden

New Sweden, Swedish colony (1638–55), on the Delaware River; included parts of what are now Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. With the support of Swedish statesman Axel Oxenstierna, Admiral Klas Fleming (a Finn), and Peter Minuit (a Dutchman), the New Sweden Company was organized in Sweden in 1633. Two ships (the Kalmar Nyckel and the Fogel Grip ), commanded by Minuit, reached the Delaware River in Mar., 1638. Minuit immediately bought land from the Native Americans and founded Fort Christina, where Wilmington, Del., stands. In 1643, Tinicum Island (at Philadelphia) became the colony's capital. About half of the colonists were Finns. Peter Stuyvesant, with a Dutch force larger than the population of New Sweden, took the little colony in 1655.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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