[ End of article ]

The Delaware Finns

E. A. Louhi

Chapter I.  The Finnish emigration to Sweden, from where their path led to the American shores.
Chapter II.  Motives and inducements that led Sweden to establish a colony on the Delaware River.
Chapter III.  A colony established on the Delaware River.
Chapter IV.  The second expedition. The Dutch withdraw from the company. Dutch colonists coming to the Delaware.
Chapter V.  The third expedition. Finnish colonists brought to the Delaware River.
Chapter VI.  The fourth and the fifth expeditions. More Finnish colonists brought to America.
Chapter VII.  The sixth, seventh and eighth expeditions. The Finns beseeching the queen to be permitted to go to America.
Chapter VIII.  The ninth and tenth expeditions. The Finns flocking to get passage for America.
Chapter IX.  The Delaware settlements under the Swedish administration.
Chapter X.  The Delaware colony conquered by the Dutch.
Chapter XI.  New expeditions of Finns arriving at the Delaware River.
Chapter XII.  The first period of the Finnish settlements under the Dutch rule.
Chapter XIII.  England replacing Holland as the ruler of the South River.
Chapter XIV.  The first period of the Finnish settlement under the English rule.
Chapter XV.  The second period of the Finnish settlements under the Dutch rule.
Chapter XVI.  The second period of the Finnish settlements under the English rule.
Chapter XVII.  The third period of the Finnish settlements under the English rule.
Chapter XVIII.  The last stages of the Finnish settlements on the Delaware.

Chapter III. A Colony Established on the Delaware River.

In the course of the Thirty Years' War, Sweden had developed to be one of the greatest producers of copper, but the copper market was now flooded and new consumers for copper were sought. As much Swedish copper was lying in the warehouses in Amsterdam, a Dutch merchant Samuel Blommaert interested the Swedish commissioner in Holland, Falkenberg, in the copper trade in the West Indies. Blommaert was a director of the Dutch West India Company and know well the trade conditions in America. The Dutch merchant interested in the matter also another business man of Holland, Peter Minuit, who had been governor of the Dutch West India Company's colony, the New Netherland, in America, but had become in disagreement with the Dutch company and was looking far new employment. Minuit was desirous to establish a company in the pattern of the Dutch enterprise, but could not do it in Holland, as the charter of the Dutch West India Company prevented all competition in that country. Both gentlemen knew well the statutes of the Delaware River, Blommaert having even been interested in some land there. Minuit proposed a trading expedition to the Delaware under the Swedish flag and drew an outline for a colony on the west side of the river, which was to be called "New Sweden." A dozen of soldiers were to be taken there to guard the occupied places and suitable persons to trade with the Indians and to cultivate tobacco. Of the expenses of the expedition the Dutch promoters were to furnish one-half and the Swedes were requested to furnish the other half. Minuit sent his proposition to Oxenstierna at Stralsund, Germany, in June 1636, and in the meeting of the Council to the Island of St. Christopher, where some wines and distilled liquors were exchanged to a cargo of tobacco. While at the island, Minuit with his skipper were invited as guests on board a Dutch ship when a sudden storm arose driving the ships out to the sea. Kalmar Nyckel returned to the harbor after the storm was over and having waited many days for the return of Minuit, she set sail for Sweden and Minuit was never heard again. On her home voyage, the Kalmar Nyckel again met a storm in the North Sea, near the coast of Holland. The main mast had to be cut and the vessel suffered other damages, making it necessary to put into Vlie for repairs. On arrival at Medemblik the ship was put under arrest by the officials of the Dutch West India Company,who claimed the sole right to trade on the Delaware River. She later however was released and arrived happily to Gothenburg in the beginning of the year 1639.

The Grip returned to the Delaware River in the spring of 1639, after having cruised the West Indies about ten months. Her skipper was afterwards accused of having done the pirating all to his own benefit. A Negro slave, that he brought to the colony, was all that he left for the company's profit. The ship left the Delaware at the end of April with a cargo of skins obtained from the Indians and arrived at Gothenburg about the beginning of June. The cost of the expeditions had now reached the sum of 46,000 florins and the undertaking had ended in a loss, but the stockholders hoped that the second voyage would bring larger returns.

Publication: E. A. Louhi: The Delaware Finns or The First Permanent Settlements in Pennsylvania, Delaware, West New Jersey, and Eastern Part of Maryland. New York, The Humanity Press Publishers. 1925, 331 pages.

[ Beginning of article ]