New Sweden

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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 MinuitMinuit, Peter
, c.1580–1638, first director-general of New Netherland, b. Wesel (then the duchy of Cleves). Sent by the Dutch West India Company to take charge of its holdings in America, Minuit purchased (1626) Manhattan from the Native Americans for trade goods costing
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 (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 StuyvesantStuyvesant, Peter
, c.1610–1672, Dutch director-general of New Netherland. He served as governor of Curaçao and lost a leg in an expedition against St. Martin before succeeding Willem Kieft in New Netherland.
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, with a Dutch force larger than the population of New Sweden, took the little colony in 1655.
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