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The Swedish Church on the Delaware

  • Conrad J. I. Bergendoff (a1)


In his equally delightful and informative book, The Dutch and Swedes on the Delaware, Christopher Ward suggests that American history might have turned out differently if stormy weather had not driven the Mayflower off its course and thus landed the Pilgrims north of Cape Cod instead of in Delaware Bay. “Speculations,” Ward writes, “as to the effect of a kindlier climate, a more generous soil, upon the character of the English immigrants, of the Puritans, who followed them, and of their descendants—could lead to divers conclusions. One thing is certain however; if the Pilgrim Fathers had spent that first winter in Delaware Bay, they would have had a better time.”



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1 Ward, Christopher, The Dutch and the Swedes on the Delaware (Philadelphia. 1930), 32.

2 Ward, , op. cit., 378.

3 Reynolds, incorrectly, has “that.”

4 Acrelius, Israel, A History of New Sweden or, The Settlements on the River Delaware (Stockholm, 1759). Trans, by W. M. Reynolds. Published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1874. pp. 186–189.

5 Johnson, Amandus, The Swedish Settlements on the Delaware, 1638–1664, 2 vols. (Univ. of Penna., 1911), I, 344; cf. II, Appendix B.

6 Aerelins, , A History, 176. Johnson, , op. cit., I, 206, believes a small ehureh was erected near the fort even before 1643.

7 Aerelius, , A History, 43.

8 Ibid., 176–7.

9 Johnson, , The Swedish Settlements, I, 127, Note 2.

10 Ibid., I, 372.

11 Ibid., I, 367.

12 Thos. Campanula Holm, A Description of the Province of New Sweden, tr. Dr. Ponceau, 75–6.

13 Aerelius, , A History, 181.

14 Svedberg is the author of a Ms. work, Svecia Nova seu America Illuminata, 1727, which contains material from Holm, letters from and to Sweden in re the Delaware colony and original reflections of the author. An abridgment of this work was printed as America Illuminata (Skara, 1732).

15 Tiffany, C. C., A History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (American Church History Series), 220221.

16 Norberg, O., Svenska Kyrkans Mission vid Delaware, 21.

17 Thos. Campanius Holm quotes from a letter by Pastor Rudman, in 1697, to the effect that there were then 1200 people who spoke Swedish, and that in this region one could hear it “as pure as anywhere in Sweden.” Description of The Province of New Sweden, 102.

18 Pastor at Wicaco, 1737–1741.

19 Acrelius, , A History, 237. The only sour note was the complaint of the Anglican clergy that the greatest number of marriage fees went to Wicaco.

20 Norberg, , Svenska Mission, 49.

21 Ibid., 36.

22 Ibid., 149.

23 Acrelius, , A History, 312313.

24 Ibid., 346–348.

25 Norberg, , Svenska Mission, 202.

26 Ibid., 194 ff.

27 Clay, J. C., Annals of the Swedes on the Delaware, 3rd ed., 108109

28 Ibid., 143.

29 Letter in Collin's “A Brief Account of the Swedish Mission,” (The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 16), 355356.

30 Johnson, Amandus, The Journal and Biography of Nicholas Collin (Philadelphia, 1936). Published by the New Jersey Society of Pennsylvania.

31 W. M. Reynolds, in Introduction, XIX, to his translation of A History of New Sweden, by Israel Acrelius.

32 Spriuehorn, C., “Kolonien Nya Sveriges Historia” (Historisk Bibliotek), 243.

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Church History
  • ISSN: 0009-6407
  • EISSN: 1755-2613
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