Johan Anderson från Strängnäs
Stålkofta (1646 -Swedish)
Staulcop (1656-Dutch)
Stalcop, Stallcop (1664- Eng)
Stallcup (1838-Am)
Stalcup (1890-Am)
Larry Spencer Stallcup

Group Lineages
Family History

New Sweden Section





Johan Anderson from Strängnäs, our ancestor, was originally hired to be a tobacco farmer at what is now Upland, PA. about 20 miles south of Tinicum. The attempt of the Colony to grow tobacco failed and was finally abandoned in 1646. He was then hired by Governor Printz to be a soldier. He did not gain the name of the “Steel Coat” (Stalcop) until 1648. The dates indicate that he probable was still a farmer working at Upland when this tragedy happened.


A month before Christmas, November 25, 1645, a terrible misfortune befell the little colony of New Sweden where our Stalcop family began.

The Governor had retired for the night into Printzhof (Printz Hall, the Governor’s official residence), the soldiers and settlers at Fort New Gothenborg (on Tinicum Island) had withdrawn to their quarters for the night, the lights in the dwellings were extinguished. All was quite and peaceful. The gunner, Sven Vass, was on duty as watchman.

Sven had worked hard all day and was very tired. He fell asleep with his candle still burning. Sometime between ten and eleven at night an alarm was given. The candle had set the fort on fire.  People rushed out of their dwellings and tried to save what could be saved. The flames rapidly spread. Then worst happened. The gunpowder chest exploded with terrible force. The flames quickly consumed everything in the storehouse. The Church was destroyed. Printzhof caught on fire and the Governor and his family lost everything; home, clothing, jewelry, furniture and most precious, window glass.

There is no record of injuries or loss of life during the fire.

When morning dawned on November 26, 1645, the appearance of the little settlement on Tinicum Island had greatly changed. Nearly everything lay in ashes. Only the barn had escaped the flames. To add to the misery the weather turned very cold and the river froze over. This prevented aid from reaching them, or them leaving, by boat. The unfortunate colonist suffered greatly until March the next spring because they were even cut off from the mainland. The ice too thick for a boat to sail yet too thin to walk upon.

But spring warmth came at last and the ice melted. Communications with the other settlements was re-established. Great efforts were made for the rebuilding of the destroyed houses and the foundations for a new church were laid. The fort was rebuilt. It is not surprising that the Governor declared a day of Thanksgiving prayer and feasting when a supply ship, the Gyllene Haj (the Golden Shark) arrived from Sweden in October, 1646 with fresh supplies.

Sven Vass, the Gunner of New Gothenborg who fell asleep on duty, was tried at a Governor’s court in 1646. In the opinion of Governor Printz and the jury he was guilty. The next year from February 8th to the 11th, 1647 a legal court was held at New Gothenborg, Tinicum, in New Sweden. It is possible that Sven Vass was re-tried during this court. In March, 1647 he was sent in irons to Sweden, likely on the Gyllene Haj, together with all records and minutes in the case. The verdict and sentence was referred “to the pleasure of Her Royal Majesty and the Right Honorable Company.” It is not known exactly what their verdict was or what additional punishment was handed out to poor Sven Vass. By the time he reached Sweden he had already spent nearly two years in chains and irons.

Hans Ling, Uppsala, Sweden
A Stalcop cousin.


Drinking glasses were so expensive that ordinary persons could not afford to have any in old or New Sweden. The more wealthy persons brought their own metal cup with them when they were invited to a party so that they could avoid drinking directly from the can as most guests did. From the Per Kalm´s text we can learn that some families in former New Sweden at his time had a glass from which they could serve all the guests. – I guess that they had bought them from the Dutch or English Traders. The first manufactory for glass production in Sweden was established around the time Kalm was writing. This was about 125 years after the New Sweden Colony was founded. Before that glass were mostly produced for church windows, vases and as different decorations.


About the first of March 1643 Governor Printz began building a new fort on the South River (Delaware) about fifteen miles south of Fort Christina to control ship traffic approaching the New Sweden settlement. Fort Elfsborg soon proved itself to be the most effective of all the military positions in New Sweden. Reaching Elfsborg all vessels were required to cast their anchors, strike their flag, pay a toll and send a small boat to Tinicum Island to get Printz's permission before they could sail higher up the river. The Dutch in particular found this situation irksome.

Peter Stuyvesant came to New Amsterdam in May of 1647, replacing Governor Kielf.  His specific orders when appointed were to gain complete control of the South (now the Delaware) River territory, the New Sweden Colony, but he had to do it in a justifiable manner. He could not simply attack because Sweden and The Netherlands were at peace with each other. Stuyvesant quietly started working on the problem. It took several years but by 1651 Stuyvesant knew he had reached superiority over the Swedes and he was ready to make his move.

Stuyvesant sent a fleet of eleven ships up the South River, all armed and carrying soldiers. Four were warships and were heavily gunned. They forced their way up past Fort Elfsborg, Fort Christina and Tinicum Island to anchor off Fort Nassau. Governor Printz was taken by surprise by the passing Dutch fleet. He recalled the garrisons from Forts Elfsborg, Christina and Korsholm and assembled them at Tinicum.

Stuyvesant traveled overland with another 120 soldiers to meet his ships. About a week after arriving by sailing up the river the Dutch fleet sailed down the river with flags flying, drummers beating and a continuous booming of salutes being fired from the guns of all ships. All accounts say it was a colorful and loud spectacle with several back and forth loops. It was an impressive water circus. Stuyvesant needed a political excuse to justify a military takeover of all of New Sweden and the South River territory. The water circus was part of his plan of provocation.

Vastly outnumbered and outgunned Governor Printz loaded all of his men into his little yacht-rigged vessel and followed the Dutch fleet at a discreet distance. It had been years since the arrival of the last support ship from Sweden. Printz's supplies and force of soldiers had shrunk dramatically. The Dutch force was so large its size was probably a miscalculation. Some claim Stuyvesant was running a bluff but that seems unlikely. An invasion of New Sweden could have been easily done.

Stuyvesant knew the 30 men in Printz’s unarmed yacht was the entire military force of New Sweden. He could have simply destroyed the yacht in mid-river. Had Stuyvesant done so he would have no reason to build Fort Casimir. Why brother to buy land from the Indians and build a fort, especially since he already claimed to own the land? With Governor Printz and the Swedish soldiers disposed of Stuyvesant would have available on the South River (the Delaware) three large, intact, Swedish built forts and the Dutch Fort Nassau.


A model of a 1600-1650 yacht rigged vessel. The hull was approximately 30 feet long. The term 'yacht' referred to the arrangement of mast and sails rather than the use of the vessel. The big teardrop shaped devices are called sideboards and provided directional control to the vessel in place of an extended keel. Being movable they allowed the vessel to operate in very shallow water. Governor Printz employed his yacht mostly for communications and cargo carrying. It was not a recreational or pleasure craft.

Crabtree Collection, Mariners Museum, Newport News, VA

It would have been easier for Stuyvesant to conquered New Sweden in 1651 than in 1655. So why not? The reason was not military. He had overwhelming military superiority on both occasions. He had a greater advantage in men and heavy weapons (four warships) plus a better tactical situation in 1651 than he did in 1655 (one warship). The defenders were all in one small yacht. Had Stuyvesant been intent on an aggressive military conquest he had the massive firepower and more than enough soldiers available to destroy Printz and all of the New Sweden soldiers in one quick battle.

This incident shows just how precarious the existence, or non-existence, of an entire family can be. Riding on the yacht-rigged vessel with Governor Printz was our Johan Anderson Stålkofta.  This was five years before he met and married Christina Carlsdaughter. Certainly at that moment his life hung on Stuyvesant’s decision of exactly what the Dutch forces were going to do.

Stuyvesant ignored Governor Printz’s little yacht-rigged vessel.

Stuyvesant landed his forces and erected a fort, Fort Cassimir, at Sandhucken (Sand Hook), the spot were the town of New Castle, DE now stands. This new Dutch fort was only five miles south of Fort Christina and in a very unlikely location between two Swedish forts. This very location had to be another attempt at provocation for it makes little sense militarily. The new Dutch fort was built between two Swedish forts. If Printz’s had more men and supplies available and had been able to reactivate Fort Elfsborg then the Dutch fort would have quickly become useless to the Dutch.

The Dutch fort at Sand Hook and a newly built Swedish fort, Fort Trinity, in front of it were to play another dramatic role in the life of Johan Anderson Stålkofta in 1655. The Dutch captured him there when the Swedish defenders surrendered under siege.

Again this was about a year before he met and married Christina Carlsdaughter.



According to Swen Skute’s affidavit the Dutch invasion fleet of 1655 consisted of six vessels, four “ships”, one Bojort and one Shallop. He did not count the pilot boat.

Ship” - a Dutch Flute                                                              Bojort                      





Including the capture of
Johan Andersson Stålkofta

Governor Risingh’s plan was to arm Fort Trinity with four odd-sized 14–pound naval cannons captured from the Danes and supplied by the ship Eagle. Risingh intended to install them on the gun deck of Fort Trinity. There were a dozen 12-pound Dutch cannons in Fort Cassimir when Governor Risingh captured it but apparently the Dutch themselves had disabled them even before they were installed.

At least two of the 14-pound Danish cannons were finally put in place, not up on the gun deck but down in a trench between Fort Trinity and the river. According to Lindeström’s drawing Risingh had constructed the second level of Fort Trinity using horizontally stacked logs, log cabin style. This construction method is completely unsuitable to withstand the recoil forces when a heavy weapon is fired. Probably after two of the guns were placed on the gun deck a test firing was conducted. The recoil likely pushed over a section of the back wall and that collapsed a section of the gun deck. Odds are the two cannons were damaged when they plunged more than 20 feet down through the wreckage.

No explanation is given in Risingh’s Journal for the sudden switch in locations except one incorrect claim by Risingh that the trench location allowed a better firing sweep of the river.

The Court Martial record says that Lindeström and Johan Stålkofta stood by in the gun trench ready to apply the match; that is, ready to fire the two undamaged cannons at the Dutch ships as they passed. This is very strange because Lindeström was trained as an engineer, not as a Constable or Gunnery Sergeant. He probably had no knowledge at all about how such heavy weapons were prepared and fired. Other testimony indicates that he was actually standing up on the gun deck when the ships passed. Since Lindeström rewrote the entire Court Martial record on the way back to Sweden he may have substituted his own name in place of one of the other gunnery sergeants to make himself appear to have played a more important roll.

The four Dutch “ships” were likely Flutes, the most numerous type of vessel of the era. Each would have been armed with about twenty-two 12-pound naval cannons plus a number of smaller weapons. This meant that with each run past the fort the four ships had a combined forty-four heavy guns to fire versus the probable two that Skute had available. Fort Trinity was outgunned about 22 to one. Even if all four guns were available to Skute the fort would still be outgunned about eleven to one.

There was an elaborate and colorful ceremony observed with the surrender. The defenders were allowed to march out with their banner [flag] flying, with burning matches [1], bullet in the mouth [2], armored above and below [3], together with every other ammunition [4]. This ceremony implies an honorable surrender to superior forces without being defeated.

As soon as the defenders marched out Stuyvesant stopped them. Swen Skute had not named a specific place where they were to go in the surrender agreement. Stuyvesant arrested all of the defenders to prevent them from returning to Fort Christina as reinforcements for the duration of the siege.

The officers were marched back into Fort Cassimir. All of the others, soldiers and freemen, were placed on a Dutch ship and sent to New Amsterdam. The officers, including our own Johan Andersson Stålkofta, were held at Fort Cassimir until Governor Risingh agreed to the surrender of all of New Sweden about two weeks later. Then they were taken to Fort Christina to witness Governor Risingh’s own similar “march out” surrender ceremony.

Forts Trinity and Cassimir were located at now New Castle, Delaware. After Dutch rule ended both forts were abandoned and allowed to fall into decay. The remains were demolished and removed several years after the English arrived in the area.

Fort Christina was built in 1638. After the invasion it served as home to Stålkofta for a year or more then served the Dutch until 1664. The British moved in and used it for another 91 years. Altogether it served as a fort, home or administrative center under Swedish, Dutch and British rule to 1755, 117 years. It was then dismantled.

Of major interest to the STALCOP family is that the wedding of Johan Andersson Stålkofta and Christina Carlsdaughter took place in the big house located inside Fort Christina. Thus began the Stalcop Family.

(1)  The burning match was the slow burning fuse used to fire the matchlock muskets.
(2)  The musket ball used for the first reload. Others were carried in a leather pouch. Lead being
       highly toxic this was not a healthy practice.
(3)  Term used to classify weapons carried above and below the belt. It was a great dishonor to
       lose “below” weapons.
(4)  The term included edged weapons of all sorts plus musket balls and gunpowder.


The Pilot Boat
A “yacht rigged” vessel about 30 feet long.

Not a pleasure craft in the modern sense.
Governor Printz used his to haul cargo.


Crabtree Collection
Mariners Museum Newport News, Virginia

Page 155 of Peter Lindeström’s book.
Fort Trinity in front with Fort Cassimir, located directly behind but drawn above Fort Trinity on the page.
The two forts were not connected. By the included scale Fort Trinity was 210 feet long, 24 feet high.
The walls of Fort Cassimir were 12 feet high. A Swedish flag is flying over Fort Cassimir.


Watercolor painting of Fort Christina located at THE ROCKS, in now Wilmington, DE.
Size and configuration based upon Lindeström’s 1654 scaled map.
Painting by Roslyn Stallcup 2008

Larry S. Stallcup

When the Swedes built Fort Christina in 1638 the Dutch reactivated their Fort Nassau located higher up the South River on the east side. Governor Printz's instructions were to deny all Dutch claims, including trade, on any part of the west side of the river and if necessary to "repel force by force". One of the two major new forts Printz was ordered to build on the South River was a river traffic control fort. After a long search he found the one place that met all of the requirements at the mouth of Mill Creek. With this fort Printz named Elfsborg the New Sweden Colony controlled all traffic on the South River.

When the Dutch Captain DeVries sailed into the river in 1643 his ship had a shot fired across the bow fired by Governor Printz who was in personal command at Fort Elfsborg. After Elfsborg became active all vessels, including English and Dutch vessels, entering the South River were required to cast their anchors, strike their flag, pay a toll. They then had to send a small boat up the river to Tinicum Island where the Governor had established his official residence, to get Printz's permission before they could sail higher up the river even to their own Fort Nassau.

Almost at the same time Printz busied himself building Fort Korsholm This was an Indian trading fort so was not armed with heavy weapons. The river near Korsholm was too shallow for Dutch ships to get close enough to fire upon it.

For the moment the Swedes possessed the superior military power on the South River. The New Netherlands Governor Kielf was soon replaced with Governor-General Peter Stuyvesant. He came to New Amsterdam in May of 1647. One of his orders when appointed was to gain complete control of all of the territory claimed by the Dutch West India Company. This included all of the South River (the Delaware) territory including the entirety of the New Sweden Colony. Stuyvesant quietly started building up his military forces. At length Stuyvesant felt he had reached overwhelming military superiority over the Swedes and was ready to make his first move.

In a show of force in 1651 Stuyvesant sent a fleet of eleven ships, all armed with cannons but four of the ships were very heavily armed warships. All vessels were carrying soldiers. They sailed down the Atlantic coast and back up the South River forcing their way right past Fort Elfsborg, past Fort Christina and Tinicum Island to Fort Nassau. Stuyvesant travelled overland from New Amsterdam at the head of an additional force of 120 men to meet the ships at Fort Nassau. After arriving the fleet spent about a week loading the additional men and supplies and then set sail down the river with flags, banners and streamers flying, drummers beating at the rails and a continuous booming of salutes roaring from of the big guns of all ships, right past Tinicum and Fort Christina and turned around off Fort Elfsborg. All accounts say it was quite a loud and most colorful spectacle. The ships made several back and forth circuits up and down the river. It is sometimes known as the Dutch Water Circus.

Some historians claim it was all a big bluff by Stuyvesant but it probably was much more than that. It probably was the opening move in Stuyvesant’s plan to gain control over all of the South River. Stuyvesant needed a diplomatic excuse to justify his invasion and military occupation of the South River territory. He was trying to provoke Governor Printz into committing a military clash by firing on the Dutch ships. That would give him the diplomatic excuse he needed.

Governor Printz was taken by surprise when the Dutch fleet sailed northward on its way to Fort Nassau. He immediately recalled all his men to Tinicum including the garrisons of Fort Christina, Fort Korsholm and Fort Elfsborg. As the Dutch fleet sailed back down the river flying all of its colorful flags and making all of the noise Printz loaded his entire military force, about thirty men, onto his little yacht-rigged cargo vessel and followed the Dutch fleet at a discreet distance. On board with him was Johan Anderson from Strangnas, Sweden, who thirty years later became the first Stalcop. Actually Printz was  powerless to interfere. He was vastly outnumbered in ships, heavy weapons and soldiers. The Dutch force was overwhelming in size. Printz would have been foolhardy to try to attack that huge fleet with only his one little 30 foot unarmed cargo vessel and tiny force of men.

When this initial enticement scheme failed to produce the desired result; that is, it failed to provoke an attack by the Swedes, Stuyvesant was forced to proceed with the next step in his plan of provocation. He landed his forces and proceeded to erect a fort at Sandhucken (Sand Hook); the spot were the town of New Castle now stands.

On July 19, 1651 Stuyvesant purchased from a group of Indians, in the name of the Dutch West India Company, all the land between the Minquas Creek (Christina) and Bambo Huck This land was exactly the same land Peter Minuit and the Swedes had purchased from the Indians more than a dozen years before. This purchase is even more puzzling because it was land the Dutch had not purshased earlier but claimed they already owned.

This new Dutch fort was only five miles south of Fort Christina. A force of 200 men, half of Stuyvesant’s soldiers, constructed the fort in just twelve days. The Dutch named it Fort Cassimir. Upon completion of the fort Stuyvesant and nine of the ships and most of the soldiers went back to New Amsterdam. He left two ships to patrol and disrupt Swedish boat traffic on the South River until winter set in. He left nine men to garrison the new fort.

Fort Cassimir, rather than the Dutch fleet, now became the bait in Stuyvesant’s trap.

Fort Casimir and the patrolling Dutch ships appeared to cut direct communications between Fort Christina and Fort Elfsborg, located ten miles farther down river and over on the opposite (east) shore. Because he thought he no longer had free communication and could not re-supply the fort Printz decided to abandon Fort Elfsborg. Printz never gave an 'official' reason for the abandonment but only stated the garrison was withdrawn. The ‘withdrawal’ was affected by simply not sending the garrison back downriver to reactivate the fort.

Printz protested the building of Fort Cassimir to Stuyvesant but he clearly knew that he did not have the military power to force Stuyvesant out. He quickly dispatched agents to Sweden asking for speedy reinforcements but his request went unanswered. Sweden had been involved in European wars for many years and by this time was drained, both of men and of money. Another period of uneasy coexistence between the Dutch and Swedes settled on the area but all was not quite among the Swedes.

Printz was a huge man, reported to have weighed about 400 pounds. The Indians called him 'Big Belly' and the Swedes picked up this nickname. His rule as governor had been quite harsh. Amid all his troubles with the Dutch and a lack of support from the homeland a number of the colonist signed a protest about his harsh rule. Printz took this protest to be mutiny and reacted violently. Printz picked out three men who had signed the protest and accused them of being the ringleaders of the "mutiny". One of these men was a soldier and Printz had him summarily executed by a firing squad. When this happened a number of the people who had signed the protest fled to Maryland in fear of their lives. Needless to say these events caused a great deal more unrest in the colony.

With all the problems within the colony, with the Dutch and the delays in getting supplies and reinforcements from Sweden, things apparently became more than Printz could stand. In September 1653 Printz simply resigned his post as Governor and headed home to Sweden. He was promised to be replaced after three years but he had been governor for ten years.

Back in Sweden the company operating the colony had been reorganized and renamed. It was now known as the American Company.  The new company dispatched a man-of-war, the Örnen (the Eagle), a Danish built ship that had been captured in battle. Onboard the Eagle was Johan Risingh who was sent out as a Commissary and Counselor to aid Governor Printz. Also aboard were military officers and other forces in addition to some new colonist.

On his voyage home Printz fell ill and was confined to a sickbed when his ship docked in the Netherlands. Word was sent on to Sweden and it reached Risingh before the Eagle sailed. Risingh now made the first of a number of his strange and ultimately very bad decisions. He deliberately ordered the Eagle to not dock in the Netherlands for last minute voyage repairs as was normal practice. Risingh deliberately deprived himself of the opportunity to be informed first hand about the situation in New Sweden by Governor Printz. He sailed on south and eventually docked the Eagle in southern England.

After the Eagle entered the South River the ship sailed up to the abandoned Fort Elfsborg and anchored for the night. The Dutch commander of Fort Cassimir had been advised about it’s arrival by Dutch settlers south of Fort Cassimir. He sent four men in a boat downriver to meet the Swedish ship. They stayed aboard ship all night. One of these men was Ariaen van Tienhoven, the Clerk of the local Dutch Court. Ariaen van Tienhoven apparently had been directed to tell Rising certain “military secrets”. He was extremely forthcoming with information about the military condition of Fort Cassimir. Risingh was told that the Dutch fort was staffed by only nine men, the rest having been sent back to New Amsterdam, and after three years the fort was in a very poor, run down, condition. The real plum was that he told Risingh that the fort was out of gunpowder and would be very easy to capture.

The next morning Risingh disregarded all of his orders and in direct violation to those orders he assumed complete military command. This must be considered as a coup. He then ordered the ship captain to sail the Eagle up to the Dutch fort, anchor it directly under the fort’s guns, and fire a salute. The Dutch did not return the salute.

Risingh next ordered Captain Swen Skute ashore to demand the surrender of the fort claiming it was standing on Swedish ground. The Dutch commander delayed longer than Risingh thought necessary so he fired a second salute and landed three files of musketeers, about 30 men, and deployed them in preparation for storming the fort. Seeing Risingh do this the Dutch commander surrendered. The muskets of seven of his nine soldiers were in the gunsmith’s shop being repaired so he only had two armed soldiers available.

The Dutch fort actually had never even been supplied with any gunpowder or any 12-pound cannonballs to fire from its dozen cannons as their records show. All of the heavy weapons were, in fact, inoperable. Stuyvesant had been collecting broken cannons, buying them from visiting ships, and storing them at Fort Nassau for several years. He mounted a dozen of the broken cannons in Fort Cassimir to complete the illusion of it being an armed fort.

After his conquest of the unarmed sham fort Risingh says he renamed Fort Cassimir "Trefalldigheet", meaning Fort Trinity, because it was captured on Trinity Sunday, May 1654. Later, after Risingh built his timber bulwark fort Fort Casimir regained it’s original name and Trinity became the name of Risingh’s  Timber fort.

Risingh had acted in direct violation of several of his orders. By his foolish acts Risingh provided the trigger that sprang the diplomatic trap Stuyvesant had set beginning with his loud and colorful water circus three years earlier. Risingh’s orders specifically directed him not to use military force in any manner whatsoever against the Dutch fort. He was specifically ordered to stay far away unless the Dutch themselves voluntarily abandoned the fort. Risingh was ordered to build an entirely new fort ten miles down river on the west side of the river directly opposite Fort Elfsborg. Instead Risingh built a dangerous all timber fort in the wrong place. Had Risingh followed his orders two Swedish forts on opposite sides of the river supporting each other would have placed a very strong chokehold on all river traffic.

Risingh’s foolish military act gave Stuyvesant the diplomatic excuse he needed to justify the total conquest of New Sweden. About three months after the capture of Fort Cassimir Stuyvesant sent a letter to Risingh informing him that he intended to come to the South River in person and in force to reclaim the entirety of New Sweden for the Dutch. At that moment Risingh knew he had blundered badly exactly as he had been ordered not to do. He also knew he would lose New Sweden entirely. he started looking for someone to blame.

Military activities quickly settled down but it was only the calm before the storm. For several months all was quite except that a Swedish ship, the GYLLENE HAJ (Golden Shark), somehow managed to miss the mouth of Delaware Bay and entered the Raritan River instead. The Dutch promptly captured it. It’s cargo of badly needed Swedish supplies was confiscated and sold off at auction.

In New Sweden the business of building a colony once again started up. When Printz left the colony his son in law, the Vice-Governor Johan Pappegoia, assumed command of the colony. Soon after Risingh's arrival Papegoia also returned to Sweden, leaving his wife, Lady Armegott Printz, daughter of the former governor, and his children on their own in New Sweden. Risingh had been directed to assume the position of Governor of New Sweden if Printz was dead or no longer in the Colony but it was September before his formal commission arrived. Those papers were onboard the GYLLENE HAJ at the time of its capture. Captain Swen Skute was supposed to become the military commander upon landing but Risingh never let that happen.

Probably in response to his realizing how had badly he had blundered Risingh ordered Swen Skute, his deposed military commander, to build a new fortification at Sandhook. This was to be a large bulwark type of log structure located between the Dutch built Fort Cassimir and the riverbank. It appears in a drawing made by the Risingh’s military engineer, Peter Lindeström. Measured by the scale on the drawing it was two hundred and ten feet long. This was about thirty feet greater than Fort Cassimir. When completed it was twenty-four feet high or about twice as tall as Fort Cassimir.  The prudent thing to do would have been to mount the four available Danish cannons in the Dutch fort in place of four of the inoperable Dutch cannons and not build the timber fort at all. Risingh apparently was already thinking that if Skute was killed he could blame all of his own military blunders on Skute. An all timber fort is a death trap.

Risingh’s blockhouse structure completely masked the old fort from any command of the river. The location, size and the choice of construction material of this new fortification were to play a significant role in coming events. Building this new structure at Sandhook was in direct violation of Risingh’s orders. Had Risingh followed his orders he would have also avoided the trap Stuyvesant had set three years earlier. In addition he would have achieved several other positive things.

First, he would have regained complete control over all shipping on the South River for the Swedes. Second, the Dutch settlement and Fort Cassimir at Sandhook would have become untenable and probably would have been quickly abandoned by the Dutch without the Swedes having to do anything.

Peter Stuyvesant set about, very quietly trying not to alarm Risingh, to assemble a large military force. In good time he felt they were ready to return and take control of the South River for good. A number of the Swedish settlers had business from time to time in New Amsterdam plus there were diplomatic contacts. These people had observed the vast military preparations underway in New Amsterdam. They told Governor Risingh about what they had seen and heard upon returning to New Sweden.

The Indians, who always got along well with the Swedes, had a better information and communications network than did the Swedes. They warned Governor Risingh of Stuyvasent’s intent. This information reached Risingh quite some time before the Dutch fleet sailed. Risingh sent his own people to New Amsterdam to confirm the story. Risingh apparently did not believe what Stuyvesant had told him, in writing, in his letter of over a year earlier. Nor did he believe his own people and the Indians

In August 1655 Stuyvesant set sail from Manhattan with about 317 soldiers, organized in six companies of 52 men each, plus about an equal number of sailors in seven heavily armed ships. This force was smaller than the 1651 Water Circus but was still on the order of ten times the total of all the military forces available to Governor Risingh and the Swedes.

The Indians informed Risingh about the departure of the Dutch expedition as soon as it sailed. Acting on this information Risingh made another of his strange decisions. He split his forces and sent Lt. Swen Skute with men and some supplies to activate Fort Trinity. It appears that Risingh selected those men he considered most dangerous to him to send to man the dangerous Fort Trinity. Maybe he was counting on their deaths at the hands of the Dutch.

In May, after he had received Stuyvasant’s letter, Risingh sent a letter to Stuyvesant about the upcoming invasion. He told Syuyvesant it was acceptable to him if the Dutch killed everyone they found south of the Christina River if Stuyvesant would halt the invasion at the Christina River and preserve Risingh’s “Estate”. He had the idea that with the killing of everyone south of the river and the Dutch overrunning  of the southern area, Stuyvesant would be satisfied and leave Risingh and his “estate” alone. Risingh was offering the lives of his own people to the Dutch save himself and his “estate”.

The men of Fort Trinity, including the commander, Captain Swen Skute, had no idea of the overwhelming size of the Dutch force being hurled at them. Risingh did not tell them. Nor did he tell them about being offered up to be killed. Stuyvesant did not reply to Risingh’s letter so it appears that Rising wrongly assumed Stuyvesant had agreed with his death proposal.

Governor Risingh provided Commandant Swen Skute with a set of written instructions concerning the actions he was to take. Risingh later claimed these “instructions” were direct orders. Risingh's instructions to Skute read that he was to defend the fort in case of attack, but that when the Dutch squadron should approach he should, if possible, send an officer onboard to demand the nature of the 'visit'. Skute was to warn the Dutch by no means to pass the fort upon pain of being fired upon. In effect Risingh was ordering Skute to fire the first shot and provoke return fire. Risingh's instructions went on to direct that if the Dutch came as friends then Skute was to honor them with a Swedish national salute and to assure them that the Swedes would be amenable to a peaceful adjustment to their conflicting territorial claims.

The really strange thing here is that Risingh seemed to completely ignore the fact that he himself had inflicted a military and diplomatic defeat on the Dutch in the capture of Fort Cassimir/Trinity. It also seems strange that Risingh should have any doubts at all about to the nature of the Dutch 'visit' since he had clearly been informed about it any number of times. He had been informed in writing by Stuyvesant himself, by the Indians and by his own people and he had just ordered a military reinforcement of Fort Trinity. Why would he instruct Skute to fire on the Dutch if they tried to pass the fort if he did not already know the nature of their 'visit' ? The answer is simple. He wanted Swen Skute and all the people at or near Fort Trinity to be killed to fulfill his death proposal. Risingh seems to have ignored what Stuyvesant had told him in his May letter about taking over the entirety of New Sweden.

The Dutch fleet arrived in Delaware Bay and sailed up to the abandoned Fort Elfsborg and anchored there for the night. Risingh made the assertion during the Court Martial that the Dutch ships "must have been distinctly seen from Fort Cassimir" but it is highly doubtful that the ships anchored off Elfsborg in Mill Creek could be seen from Fort Trinity at all. Based on Lindeström's contemporary Map B and Israel Acrelius' map of about 1758, which itself was probably based on Lindeström's map, it appears that the forts could be within sight of each other but these maps are not scaled accurately. Fort Trinity is shown located much farther south than it really is. It was ten miles and there are two sharp bends in the river with two tree-covered points of land in the direct line of sight between the two forts. Plus the Dutch ships were anchored behind Verkins Island. It is simply not possible to stand on the shore of the Delaware River at the site of Fort Trinity and see the site of Fort Elfsborg, see the mouth of Mill Creek or the even see the island in front of the ships. We are informed that the Dutch ships came up to Fort Elfsborg and anchored for the night. Visibility would be rapidly deteriorating with the setting sun. We are not informed as to the state of the weather but a heavy cloud cover or an afternoon shower, common in the area at that time of year, would have greatly cut the distance anything would be visible.

It is highly doubtful that Swen Skute could have seen the Dutch ships but he may have known they were near. It would have been a prudent act for Skute to set a watch for the Dutch fleet. Risingh sent a boat from Fort Christina down river three times to look for the Dutch fleet. Risingh’s boat sighted the Dutch fleet as it was entering Delaware Bay but it went right on by Fort Trinity without informing Skute of the sighting. It is most probable that the fleet was not actually sighted from Fort Trinity until it rounded the last bend in the river early in the morning of August 31, 1655. Given a favorable wind the speed of these ships was about five to six knots. With an inbound tide flowing to add to this speed only about twenty minutes would pass before the ships began passing the fort. Skute did not have time to send an officer onboard to inquire as to the Dutch intentions before the ships were passing in front of him. The Dutch ships sailed by with drums beating and men standing above board, that is shoulder to shoulder along the length of each ship. They loosened their sails and let them flap in the breeze as they passed and let the tidal current carry them on past the fort. They then anchored upstream, out of the range of fire from the forts cannons.

This loosening of sails, beating of drums and standing of soldiers in plain sight by the Dutch apparently confused the Swedes for it signified peaceful intentions to them. At this time Skute had no idea that the Dutch were planning on the capture of the entire Colony but Skute was fully aware that Governor Risingh was prepared to offer up Fort Trinity, and all the men who manned it, as a sacrifice to appease Stuyvesant if he just left the rest of the Colony alone. Risingh’s orders to him had made that clear.

Immediately upon anchoring Stuyvesant landed his troops and began throwing up breastworks around Fort Trinity. One very detailed Dutch source says 317 soldiers and officers were landed. Commandant Swen Skute then came out and met Stuyvesant, probably trying his best to follow Risingh's instructions to inquire as to the nature of the Dutch intentions. Stuyvesant told Skute that he intended to reclaim all of the South River, that is, the entirety of the New Sweden Colony, for the Dutch and not just Forts Cassimir and Trinity. Swen Skute was a trained military officer. Skute could see for himself the tremendous size of the forces he now faced. He was outmanned about 10 to 1 without counting the sailors on the ships. He faced one heavily armed warship, plus five other armed ships, any one of which outgunned his entire fort.

There were only about 37 men, including Skute, a mixture of soldiers and civilians, and likely only two, usable cannons under his command. Four unusual size fourteen-pound cannons, Danish in origin, had been supplied by the ship Eagle, and at Risingh’s orders, these two guns were mounted in trenches in front of Fort Trinity after a test firing accident destroyed two of the cannons when part of the fort collapsed.

Skute requested permission to confer with Governor Risingh but Stuyvesant denied this. After much discussion Stuyvesant agreed to an overnight delay. Upon returning to the Fort Skute discovered there was a mutiny erupting among his men. Half of the men did not like their odds of survival.

During the night Skute covertly sent two messengers, Anders Daalboo (Dalbo) and Carl Julius, in a canoe to Governor Risingh advising him of the situation at Fort Trinity; advising him both as to the Dutch stated intentions, the mutiny and to the large array of Dutch forces. Risingh sent back instructions to Skute that he was to subdue those that had mutinied and attempt to maintain the fort as long as possible but;

"If Skute was at last unable to hold the Fort any longer, he sh [ould] not submit to anything that was prejudicial to our Ruler, or any disadvantage to our settlers."

Clearly this was an order from Governor Risingh to surrender the fort if the situation was hopeless, which it clearly was. In the morning Skute went out and met with Stuyvesant and they agreed to surrender. He went aboard the warship WAGH (the Scales or the Balance) with Stuyvesant where the surrender agreement was signed.

The surrender ceremonies described in the agreement signified an honorable capitulation rather than defeat. After the Swedes marched out of the Fort they were stopped by Stuyvesant and asked where they intended to go. When Skute replied that he and his men intended to go to Fort Christina. Stuyvesant said that such an destination was not stipulated in the surrender accord and would not be allowed. Commandant Swen Skute and his officers were then placed under arrest and held in Fort Casimir to prevent them from returning to Fort Christina. The rest of the men were placed on a Dutch ship and sent to New Amsterdam to make sure they could not aid Risingh at Fort Christina.

Commandant Swen Skute and the other officers actually spent the next two weeks dining with Peter Stuyvesant in Fort Cassimer.

Later, on the day that Skute surrendered  The covert messengers had informed Risingh during the pervious night that Fort Trinity was completely surrounded by Dutch forces. Governor Risingh now made another of his puzzling decision. He started a group of nine men across the Christina River toward Fort Trinity.

He clearly knew that Stuyvesant was denying open communications. Dutch troops had, by this time, occupied all of the area on the south side of the Christina River right up to the bank of the river just opposite Fort Christina. As the little group of men landed their boats they were attacked by a full Company of Dutch soldiers and seven were captured. The other two escaped back across the river in their boat under a hail of gunfire. Risingh fired a cannon shot over the heads of the Dutch soldiers who immediately retreated into the woods out of sight amid much cursing.

The shots exchanged in this minor skirmish apparently were the only shots fired between the Dutch and Swedes in actual combat although there were a few, over the head, demonstration shots fired by both sides a few days later. Stuyvesant now sent his ships and troops to besiege Fort Christina. They landed on the Brandwine Creek side and eventually completely surrounded the fort with entrenchments and batteries of heavy guns without a single shot being fired at them by Risingh. The encirclement was completed when several ships were brought up and anchored in the mouth of Brandywine Creek.

Risingh knew for more than a year that he could never hope to prevail over the Dutch by military force. Risingh had about the same number of soldiers that Skute had at Fort Trinity, twice as many after the munity, so was outnumbered slightly less than Swen Skute, Some of the Dutch soldiers were left behind to garrison Fort Cassimir.

Governor Risingh spent some of this time before the Dutch arrived concealing cannonballs, hand granadoes, gunpowder and all sorts of ammunition inside the walls and under the floors of Fort Christina. This hidden material was discovered a century later when Fort Christina was being dismantled. Governor Risingh told the men doing the work of concealment he did it so that the material would be immediately available when the fort was regained. He told the Court Martial hearing that he had sent nearly all of the ammunition to aid the men at Fort Trinity. He knew from the 9 man boat incident that this was impossible. In other words he told two completely different lies about his reasons for the concealment.

Risingh surrendered Fort Christina and the whole of the Colony of New Sweden to Peter Stuyvesant on September 15, 1655. Risingh apparently never reentered Fort Christina for any reason. This is significant because it means the gunpower and ammunition concealment had to have been conceived of, and carried out in its entirety, before the surrender of Fort Christina. 

Risingh’s surrender formally ended the colony of New Sweden in America. It did not end the colony as a coherent and identifiable Swedish community. Six moths later the arrival of the last ship sent from Sweden cause quite an incidence. The Dutch/Swedish conference to end the disturbance created the semi-independent self-governed Swedish Nation, When the English defeated the Dutch in America nine years later in 1664 they allowed the Swedish Nation to continue.


© 2012   All rights Reserved  -   Larry Spencer Stallcup

From the moment the ship Eagle arrived and anchored off Fort Elfsborg in New Sweden Captain Sven Skute and Governor Risingh were at loggerheads. Skute was designated to be the military commander but Risingh immediately usurped all military command authority from him. To make the situation worse Risingh ignored all advice from both Sven Skute and the Eagle’s Captain from that moment onward. He seemed determined to do the opposite of what Skute recommended. Risingh immediately leaped into a Dutch trap from which there was no escape. Risingh’s big leap caused the loss of the entire New Sweden Colony to the Dutch his first day in the Colony.

Stuyvesant soon sent a letter to Risingh telling him the Dutch were coming to take over all of New Sweden in response to his, Governor Risingh’s, military attack and capture of the Dutch Fort Cassimir. Rising sent a letter back to Stuyvesant saying that it was agreeable to him if the Dutch killed everyone south of the Christina River if he, Stuyvesant, would stop the invasion at that point and leave him and his "estate", Timber Island, alone. Stuyvesant did not reply to this letter. From his silence Risingh apparently assumed that Stuyvesant agreed with his death proposal. Risingh apparently had the idea that if everyone at Trinity died then no one would be left alive who knew how badly he had blundered by disobeying his orders. Swen Skute and everyone south of the Christina River stayed alive was the reason Risingh was so upset about Skute not firing on the Dutch ships.

Skute and the Fort Trinity officers were brought to Fort Christina to witness Risingh surrendering of the Colony. That was probably embarrassing for Risingh but worst was to come.  Three days after the surrender Stuyvesant made everyone in New Sweden a Freeman and started handing out land patents. He offered to let Risingh stay on as Vice-Governor reporting to him. That offer destroyed Risingh’s entire plan for his own future. Risingh had all sort of perks in his contract including that he be furnish with an estate free of charge, he had selected Timber Island, and that a number of servants be provided for him free of charge to operate his estate. Risingh’s special free privileges suddenly vanished.

Risingh was furious at Skute. In his mind Sven Skute staying alive was the cause of the loss of his “estate”, his job as an independent governor and for the loss of all of his special privileges. Even if Risingh stayed on in New Sweden as Stuyvesant’s Vice-Governor he would have to pay the cost of running his estate and his servants out of his own income. The New Sweden Colony operated on the “books” as a “Company Store” non-cash type of system. That system had suddenly ended and the Dutch cash system had replaced it. Like everyone else Risingh had no cash income in New Sweden.

Sven Skute destroyed Risingh’s grand plans at every turn without even knowing it.



The Chinese first cultivated apples. In fact they cultivated them to the point where they could no longer grow true from seeds. There are several technical reasons for that. Ever since then all true apple trees have had to be grafted to a root stock using scions cut from growing apple trees. This means apple orchards are not grown by planting apple seeds. That means the Johnny Appleseed myth is simply that, a complete myth.

Eventually apples and the grafting methods found their way into Europe from China. There were no apple trees in North America when the New Sweden Colonist arrived so scions had to be brought from Sweden. They likely used the North American Crab Apple tree for the root stock. Crab Apples trees grew abundantly in the New Sweden Colony area and are still used as a root stock.

The only proven apple orchard in the 17-year history of New Sweden Colony is the STALCOP Apple Orchard located just outside the north entrance to Fort Christina. It is depicted on the 1654 map by Peter Lindeström.

The STALCOP Apple is a late maturing cooking and cider apple. The  VanderVeer family of innkeepers (Dutch) eventually spread the STALCOP Apple all up and down the east coast of America. They established orchards of them wherever they opened an Inn to provide the cider they served. Farmers wanted them because they are both a good cooking apple and a very good cider apple.

The North Carolina State Memorial Orchard in an NC State Park northwest of Winston Salem, NC has  all apple tree varieties grown in the state. They have a number of STALCOP Apple trees growing in their orchard. If you visit in the late summer or early fall of year they probably will be happy to show you the trees and give you a STALCOP Apple from one of the trees.


Commentary on the Four Documents
Larry S. Stallcup

In 1988 for the 350th anniversary of the beginning of New Sweden in America C. A. Weslager, Professor Emeritus of Brandywine College of Widener University contributed an article to Volume 23 of the DELAWARE HISTORY Series. The article was entitled A RUSE DE GUERRE – AND THE FALL OF NEW SWEDEN. It presented translations and his commentary on four documents relating to the Dutch invasion and the inquest or Court Martial hearing held by Governor Risingh.

The article does not appear to be an objective look at the four documents from arms length but rather appears to be highly slanted as if Dr. Weslager were trying to provide proof of Risingh’s story. He flatly states that it was Swen Skute’s surrender of Fort Trinity in the face of overwhelming forces arrayed against him during the Dutch invasion led by Peter Stuyvesant that was the sole cause of the loss of the Colony. This is a repeat of Risingh’s accusation. To reach this goal he seems to be deliberately ignoring a great deal of evidence that leads to another conclusion altogether. One must wonder what would change about the loss of the colony if Swen Skute had fired on the Dutch ships and the entire garrison was annihilated in return. The only change would be that the entire garrison would have been killed but the colony would have been lost just the same. Swen Skute saved to life of everyone in the garrison.

Weslager totally ignores all the acts and bad judgment that Risingh exhibited that were specific violations of his orders. That body of evidence began before Risingh reached New Sweden and spans his entire tenure. Those acts led directly to the Dutch invasion.

Weslager presents the documents out of chronological order. He seems to be trying to make it appear that the two affidavits detailing what happened were written after the hearing and in reaction to the Court Martial hearing. They were, in fact, written and signed about three weeks before the hearing and before it was even known there was going to be a hearing. The forwarding letter sending the affidavits to the Chancellor was written about five days after the hearing.

Weslager’s speculation that Governor Risingh himself took the affidavits and forwarding letter to Sweden cannot be correct. If Risingh did not let the original transcript of the hearing survive the voyage, which he did not, then the affidavits and Skute’s letter to the Chancellor certainly would not have survived the voyage either. Unknown to Risingh someone else took the letter and affidavits and delivered them to the Chancellor.


A - Affidavit No. One

All we the undersigned upper and lower officers witness with the Commandant [. . . .] and manly Swen Skute, that he on the 31st of August when Trefaldighet Fort was captured by General Stuyvesant, behaved in a manly way, conducting himself faithfully and well with his upper and lower officers. Also some few soldiers at Fort Trefaldighet were inclined to stand, fight and defend. He behaved as an upright, loyal, and vigorous man and held them under his command and for the Fatherland, likewise admonished all the soldiers together in the highest way. However, at the end they all became rebellious and called upon themselves all the 100 devils that live in Hell that they should not stand, though they would part them into a thousand pieces.

Therefore, we the undersigned officers who were willing to fight call upon each other as witness that the above named Commandant was willing to stand against the enemy as a loyal, upright and manly soldier, had not the rebellion of the soldiers caused a mutiny; and was compelled therefore to surrender the Fort because we were besieged by enemies both inside and outside the Fort. That this is so we the undersigned witness by our own hands.

Subscribed in part at Fort Trefaldighet in New Sweden on the 31st of August 1655(1)

Lieut.-Elias Gyllengren                         Petter Lindeström-Engr.(2)
Constable-Johan Andersson Stahlkoffta
Preacher-Peder Larsson Hjort

                                                        Lars And. Collins-Muster Clerk
                                                        And. Olsson-Corporal
                                                        [his mark]

This is an exact duplicate, word for word, of the original itself,
I the undersigned witness.
                                                               Jacob Jungh

(1) This document must have been written, or at least began, immediately after the mutiny so it was the first. The Dutch fleet arrived, and the mutiny happened, on August 31st. The surrender took place on September 1, 1655.

(2) Petter Lindeström later completely changed sides. He signed the two affidavits supporting Skute. Several weeks later during the Court martial hearings he started out being one of the defendants. Then he suddenly switched sides and began supporting Governor Risingh. He even became what appears to be a prosecutor and Court Reporter for Risingh. Today that would raise all sorts of red flags and questions about what Risingh did to get him to change sides.


A - Affidavit No. Two

A few days after the Court Martial hearing ended Swen Skute wrote a letter to Chancellor Eric Oxenstierna. This was a prudent step because Governor Risingh had declared he was going to have Swen Skute and all of the officers at Fort Trinity, one of which is our Johan Andersson Stålkofta, held responsible for loss of the entire colony. During his negotiations for the surrender of Fort Christina and the whole of the New Sweden Colony Governor Risingh had Article 10 added in to the surrender document. This article gave him the authority to hold Court Martial hearings. The purpose of the hearings was to point the spotlight of blame away from Risingh and at someone else. There were two affidavit enclosures to Skute’s letter. Below is the second.

In the year 1655, the 31st of August, came General Stuyvesant, Governor of the Hollanders at Manhattan, sailing past Fort Trefaldighet (1), in the South River(2) in New Sweden, with four ships, one shallop and one bojort(3), allowing no hostility to show, not a shot fired nor anything else, whereupon we could not decide whether they had all lowered their sails before Trefaldighet Fort. However all of them cast anchor up at the Sand Hook, and sent to us of the forts, on the same date, a veritable command; namely, one Captain-Lieutenant with a sign of truce and one drummer, whom Lieutenant Gyllengren met with two musketeers(4) at the creek XB(5).

Thus, the Captain-Lieutenant [Dirck Smith] demanded according to the order of his Governor [Stuyvesant] that the Commandant [Skute] agrees to surrender the fort with contents because he had gotten a Resolution(6) thereupon from the Crown in Sweden that it had been occupied without the knowledge of the Crown and the Company. Thereupon the Lieutenant [Gyllengren] answered: the Commandant [Skute] has no order to do so. Then he [Dirck Smith] demanded to come into the fort and speak in person with the Commandant, which was allowed after his eyes were bandaged over twice(7). Then I [Skute] sent Anders Kiempe (with all of our consent) with one Drummer and demanded that I might send word about it to Governor Johan Rising. To which he [Stuyvesant] said an absolutely short no [-----] he had us besieged all around. He there demanded that the Commandant [Skute] should meet him halfway with four musketeers. The Commandant immediately thereafter came, requesting more particulars of the above mentioned person [Rising]. To this he [Stuyvesant] replied that could not possibly happen, and repeated for the Commandant what has been touched upon above(8).

Now when the Commandant saw he had nothing to gain he excused himself, and said he hoped he [Stuyvesant] would not think ill of him; that if the outsider caused any hostility, he would answer for it. Stuyvesant replied, yes, that might well happen. So Anders Kiempe went on a second trip to him demanding a few days delay that I might hold a council about it with my upper and lower Officers. To which he altogether shortly said no; however, at last permitted a delay until eight o’clock the next morning, which would be the absolute deadline(9). When I now looked around me and began loudly to exhort the people(10) and the soldiers, the greatest part were rebellious, and said they did not want to stand.(11) Some jumped over the wall and got away, and some were brought back, and one shot to death. At the last, however, I had not more than about eight men there about me whom I could forgive, which made it next to impossible for me to hold out. They will bear me witness with their own hands hereto subscribed. With what heart I with them and they with me would have fought like men, and loyally defended if we had had more help, oppressed as we were by the superior enemy force, as well within as without the fort. Thereupon all we the undersigned take God and our consciences to witness that this is the complete truth.
             Was passed on the above date.(12)

The Lieutenant Elias Gallengren                 The Engineer Peter Lindeström
The Chaplain Petrus Laurenty Hiort             The Barber M. Tim. Stidem
The Constable[s] Johan Giostaphs              Johan Ståålkåffta
The Armorer Anders Kempe                        The Scribe Carl Julius
Jacob Junge       Hans Prÿdtz          Anders Dalbo       Erich Bengtss
Manss Stacke     Class Anderss       Pouvell Quist       Swen Trummeslagare
Larss Jonss        Larss Anderss       Larss Olufss        Anders Clementss    Nilss Matss        Peter Håckan Ackerman                  Johan Hinderss Frÿman

This copy agrees word for word with the original itself, which original shall be delivered safely, I the undersigned testify.
                                                                  Swen Schute(13)

(1)   Swedish for “Trinity”
(2)   Now called the Delaware River.
(3)   The terms SHIP, SHALLOP AND BOJORT refers to the arrangement of the sails and masts.
(4)   Soldiers armed with matchlock muskets.
(5)   It is speculated that a sketch or map originally accompanied this affidavit but has been lost.
(6)   A diplomatic communication between the Governments of Sweden and Holland.
(7)   Writing 40 or so years after the event Lindeström says arm scarves were used to blindfold Smith and he was then let
        to Skute's quarters. Geographia, page 269.
(8)   Skute not allowed to communicate with Risingh and repeated the 'Resolution' statement.
(9)   Stuyvesant probably granted this time because Stuyvesant's preparation for attacking the forts were not complete.
        He himself needed the time.
(10) The word “people” refers to what would today be called civilian volunteers.
(11) Fight the Dutch. They could easily see that they were outnumbered about 20 to 1. The fort was out gunned perhaps
        more than that.
(12)  No date is given but it was signed before the Dutch sent the soldiers to New Amsterdam.
(13)  Counting Skute 24 men signed the document. He says he could trust eight of them. It is believed Skute began with a
         total of 37 men.


C- Court Martial Hearing Record

The only known copy of the transcript of Governor Risingh’s Court Martial Hearing held in his house on his “estate” on Timber Island September 24th, nine days after he surrendered Fort Christina and all of the New Sweden Colony to Peter Stuyvesant. It is a copy made during the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Peter Lindeström signs it as being a copy he himself had made. This begs the question of what happened to the original transcript written during the hearing. Because Risingh and Lindeström were traveling on the same ship and the original was used to make the copy and the copy survived the journey safely then what happened to the original document? Why did only Lindeström’s copy survive the voyage?

Permission to hold the hearings was contained in Article 10 of the Surrender Agreement. Lindeström began the Hearing as one of the accused because he was one of the officers at Fort Trinity. He suddenly switched sides and became the court reporter and apparently a prosecutor for Risingh. Lindeström was removed from the pool of defendants and is the only Fort Trinity officer to return to Sweden. He traveled on the same Dutch ship with Governor Risingh as far as England where Risingh and his bookkeeper, Hendrick von Elswick, were put ashore. There is no way to tell what and how the wording was changed during his rewrite of the transcript.

In many places the copy appears to be more of a biased commentary on the testimony rather than a simple recording of the questions and answers. Considering that it seems clear that the copy is heavily slanted in favor of Risingh it seem that the copy is only intended to place all blame for the loss of New Sweden on Swen Skute rather than on Governor Risingh.

Words in brackets were supplied by C.A. Weslager’s transcription, A RUSE DE GUERRE – AND THE FALL OF NEW SWEDEN appearing in Volume 23 (1988) of The Delaware History series. The Swedish translations were by Dr. Richard H. Hulan. The footnotes appearing below are those of Larry S. Stallcup.


Inquest into how Schute [1] had conducted himself in turning over Treefalligheetz Fort
The 30th and 31st of Aug. and 1st of Sept.:
And on the 24th of September, Anno 1655
Examined On Timber Island

Inquest concerning the Commandant Swen Schu[te] [: how] he had conducted himself with his officers, the 31st of August and the 1st of September in the year 1655. At that time [Tr]eefallidigheetz Fort had been turned over through Accord [2]. Examined in the presence of the following persons:

The Lord Governor: Johan Risingh [3]
The Factor Hindrig von Elsswig[4]
Vice Commiss: Jacob Swenson
Lieut. Swen Höök [4]
Ensign Peter Wendel
Freeman Per Romboo [6]
Freeman Matz Hanson

And then the following things are reported there;
     That on the 30th of August, Stuyvesandh lay in the cove back of Verkens Island with his ships and by means of the ship’s shallop let several Companies go ashore in Tamakonckz cove. [7] On the 31st ditto he came sailing by the Fort with his people on seven merchant vessels and ships [8], and had all the people standing on the foredeck. They went so near the Fort that one could have hit them from the Fort with a musket, and passed by there with a drum line and beating drums. [9]
     Skute said that one little yacht, Sanders Lennarson’s,[10] was the foremost: and when he came in front of the Fort he struck sail. But when the Governor asked whether the said yacht struck sail completely; then it was found that none of the officers or soldiers who had been on the scene could be sure of it. Jacob Junge [one of the soldiers] said, “I don’t know whether he struck, but the gaff was hanging loose.”
     The Engineer Peter Lindeström professed that the little yacht that was leading did not strike. Johan Stålkoffta [the constable] witnessed likewise, and that Peter Lindeström kept asking Skute, from the first to the last vessel, whether he should shoot or not. But Skute replied, “Don’t you see that they are striking sail?” [11]
     Thereupon Rising said, “You have preformed expressly against your orders; and if you had the heart to shoot at him, He would have been unable to carry his artillery as close to the Fort as he did.” [12]
Skute [re]plied that when the first yacht ran by, he asked Lieut. Gyllengren, “What do you think, should we fire on them?” Gyllengren had [said, “Let] it go,” being of the opinion that she would bring along some emissary (because she [was] some distance ahead of the other ships) to speak with him. Therefore he [allowed] her past.
     Then Skute was asked whether he had with the counsel of his Officers permitted the ships to pass by the Fort? Or [had he] let them see the Resolution [Rising’s written orders] he and the undersigned [Rising] had that he should fire on the ships and not let them slip past? And had the 4 points thereof then with [word obliterated] been read? And the Governor sharply expostulated with him, that he had thereby given the enemy a quadruple advantage, and was the cause of the forfeit of all of New Sweden [13].
     But he replied, “since they struck sail, what should I shoot?”
     The Governor said, “That would not excuse you at all, even if he had struck; because if your adversary who presents a rapier also takes off his hat with the other hand, are you willing to lower your rapier and lose your life? But I heard the Dutch officers say afterward that they did not strike until they were just past the fort where they intended to stop [soo meenigen duycker gestrocken], and that the large ships also had to drop their sails so they could heave to there.” [14]
     But Skute held to his previous statement which could not give him any help in his error. [15] The officers (namely Gyllengreen, Lindeström and the Constapel Johan Stålkoffta) professed that they had not seen Skute’s orders, but were inclined on the basis of the Governor’s express commands, to shoot, and only held off for Skute’s command. If he had ordered it they all testified to what is stated above. [16]
Then Jacob Junge was called forward and related that when the ships came by, he stood on the highest point, namely, the southeast point, where Skute. Lieut. Gyllengreen, and Engineer Petter Lindheström stood; that one little yacht came sailing past with a mizzen sail and the gaff hung loose; that they didn’t know whether he struck or not.
     The Engineer Lindheström asked Skute, “Shall I shoot?[17] But Skute asked for Constapel Ståhlkoffta, who then stood between the pole works [the outer palisades?] and the Fort among the fourteen-pounders; and Stålkofta stepped forth and said, “You have the orders, do as you are ordered.” [And in the] meantime the ships came in a line, one after another. And all the officers affirm this, with one voice; that they had requested Skute for orders, to shoot or not. To this they all now here testify.
     The same day when Stuyvesandh sat at anchor [before] Sander Boyes house where he had the people set up, he immediately sent the Ca[pt Lie]ut. Smidt with a drummer and had him demand the Fort. Then Skute [sent] Lieut. Gallengreen towards him, to the little creek where his [word partly missing] was standing with a high flag [of truce]. And Gyllengreen answered him [i,e, Captain Smidt], his orders were not to surrender the Fort but to fight to the last man. Then he asked permission to come into the Fort and speak in person with [Skute]. This was granted and he was led into the fort with blindfolded eyes. When he came into Skute’s dwelling the blindfold was untied, and then for the second time he demanded the Fort, but Skute answered, “I have no other orders than to fight.” Then he went with bound eyes, back again with the answer. Half an hour later he returned, with a high banner and a drummer. Lieut Gyllengreen met him the second time with two musketeers, his request was again that the Fort be turned over to him; but Gyllengreen answered him the same as formerly, and that he should not come again on that subject because it was His Royal Majesty’s Land and privilege [Charles X of Sweden], and they would defend it to the last man. Then he requested for a second time to speak with Skute. As previously, he was now allowed there [at Skute’s quarters]. And received the response from Skute that he wished to send the Sergeant to speak with the General [Stuyvesant]; that he should press this case with the Governor, because he had no orders to turn over the Fort. When Sergeant Kiämpe came to Stuyvesant, he got the reply that Skute should meet Stuyvesant half way. And that he did.
     Swen the Drummer’s relation about Kiämpe:
     That he was sent into Stuyvesant’s camp by Skute, and should request that Stuyvesant might send to ask the Governor [about it]. Then Kiämpe got the answer, that he (Stuyvesant) had received no message from Johan Rising, when he took Fort Casimir; he (Stuyvesant) had no desire to wait upon the Governor’s resolution. [18]
     When Kiämpe returned with that answer, Stuyvesand requested that Skute should meet him in the clearing halfway [i.e. half way between the fort and Stuyvesant’s camp], with 4 musketeers and a drummer.
     Skute now came to Stuyvesand; then Stuyvesand asked him if he had decided whether he would turn over the Fort. Then Skute answered, “If I can get an order from my Governor that he is willing to give you the Fort, I am prepared; but otherwise I shall [not] give up the Fort.”
     Then Stuyvesand answered, “inasmuch as you are separated, I s[ . . .] have him just as if he hung in chains.” Skute requested a hal[f] hour’s respite, which was allowed.
     After h[aft] an hour, Skute again sent Kiämpe to Stuyvesandt and requested [. . . . a delay?] until the next morning, which he got on the condition that Skute [s]hould himself meet the General the next day at 8 o’clock and speak with h[im]. [19]
      Now in the meantime while Skute was outside, the people had begun to mutiny. And most of them [ . . . . ] Anders Kiämpe had said to them, when he came back into the Fort, “Ah, fellows, we could never stand against them, they are as numerous as the straw in the clearing.”
      Now when Skute came back into the Fort he went to the high point: then Stålkoffta went up to him and said, “The people are rebellious.” Then Skute went down to the perimeter wall and asked them, “ Soldiers, how is it with you? Do you intend to get rebellious, now that we have the enemy outside the fort? Or how is it with you?”
     Then the biggest part of them answered, “We don’t want to resist. We wouldn’t be able to stand [i.e. withstand the attack from the Dutch who greatly outnumbered them].”
     Then Skute shouted very loudly through the Fort, “Whoever wants to be a loyal fellow, and serve his Ruler like an honest man, step forth from this rebellious lot and come with me.”
     Then the greatest part came back to Skute, except for 15 or 16 men, who stayed behind in the courtyard, and they were released from their oaths by the Corporal. Skute will hand over a list of these. During this same disturbance one jumped over the wall, named Oluff Isgråå, who then reported all the circumstances to Stuyvesandt. Yet another freeman, named Hindrich Johanson, sneaked outside the gate at another place during the nighttime. The third, named Gabriel Forsman, jumped over the wall. Gyllengren shot the leg off this one, and pulled him into the Fort, where he subsequently died. [20]
     On the same Friday night [August 31] Skute sent Anders Daalboo and Carl Julius to the Governor in a canoe, who related that the people [21] mutinied, and now he was besieged, likewise how many stringent demands Stuyvesandh had made; and Skute requested that the Governor should send him assistance because he could not hold the Fort with so few people.
     The Governor replied that Skute should subdue those who mutinied, every one, as this could not be allowed to happen; that Skute should then attempt to maintain the Fort with the people who were willing to stand (because many fortresses had been held by a few people) [22]; until he had finally come to a [.. word obliterated . .] and that the Governor was then awaiting the Factor with freemen from [u]p the River, whom he would send [down] there with the first and greatest haste. [23] If Skute was at last unable to hold the Fort any longer, he sh[ould] not submit to anything that was prejudicial to our Ruler, or any disadvantage to our settlers. Andhers Daalboo (Anders Dalbo} and Carl Julius professed [corroborated] this, [tha]t the Governor had given them this answer, and they had [deliv]ered the same to Skute. [24] Early in the morning at 8 o’clock on Saturday, September 1st, Skute sent Andress Kiämpe with a drummer to Stuyvesandhz camp. Then the drummer was sent away for as long as Kiämpe was speaking with Stuyvesandh so that he could not hear what was said. Gyllengreen, Stålkoffta, and the others say they had no knowledge of what orders Kiämpe had [from Skute].
     Now Swen the Drummer relates that [when he and Kiämpe returned to the fort] Stuyvesandh sent a Lieutenant with a drummer with Kiämpe, who requested that Skute himself should come and talk with Stuyvesandh, and they were standing by the little creek.
     Now Skute was asked whether he had, in all this as it is aforesaid, taken the counsel of his officers. Skute answered “Yes,” but the other officers absolutely denied it. But about the accord [peace terms with Stuyvesant] they all jointly gave their advice, that he should see that it was good for the Ruler and for them; and that they would rather die in there than that they should lose so much as a button off the uniforms, [25] much less the territory. Gyllengren and Stållkofta testify to this.
     On the same date early in the morning Skute went with the said Lieutenant and Tambour [drummer] with two musketeers, and then they met Stuyvesandh in the middle of the clearing, between the Fort and his camp. Then Stuyvesandh asked Skute if he would turn over the Fort, and Skute answered, I don’t know what I should reply to you, I have never considered it, because I have not thought that you would come and attack his Royal Majesty’s Fort.”
     Then Stuyvesandh answered, “That is not His Royal Majesty’s Fort, but the States General’s and the West India Company’s Fort and Land,” and that he intended to let the soldiers go up there without firing a shot.
     Skute replied, “Then they wouldn’t all come back again healthy.”
     To that Stuyvesanvsh answered, “If I lose one man, then not a man, dog or rooster of you will be spared.”
     Skute then requested that he be permitted to see Stuyvesandtz orders. To this Stuyvesandh replied, “I have orders [from the Gener]al States and the West India Company, which have had messages to Swe[den] to His Royal Majesty. He [Charles X] says he knows nothing of the order that [you] should capture Fort Cassimir.” [26]
      And Captain [K . . . ]ings [Frederick de Coningh, commander of the Wagh [27] said he himself had been in Sweden about that; whereupon Stufv[esa]ndh walked away, and let Skute stand among the others. Finally he returned and said, “[. . .] you to come aboard with me, as I am willing to show you my orders.”
     [There] with Skute accompanied Stuyfesandh on board [the Wagh]. Then when he came there he [Stuyvesant] showed him a letter [and] he read it to him, in which it was stated that he should occupy Fort Cassimir, And this he said himself, before and afterward, that he had nothing to do with Fort Christina, but only wished that he could become such good friends with the Governor that they could walk arm in arm with each other.
     His officers, Lieutenant Gyllengreen, Johan Stålkoffta and the others profess that they had admonished Skute when he went out, that he should negotiate in the best way that was possible; that they should get to march out, with the banner flying, burning matches, bullet in the mouth, armored above and below, together with every other ammunition, or they would not go out of the Fort alive, nor forfeit so much as a button’s worth. Nils Utter testified likewise.[28] But Skute and the Corporal say that they had not spoken about flying banners, burning matches, or any other ammunition that morning. But they do not deny that the following day it had been so discussed. [29] In the meantime, Skute had made an accord with Stuyfvesandh on the ship [Wagh] and signed it, of which the original in High German [which both men understood] is [now] in the possession of the Governor. In which the second point states that he [Skute] should march out with the people, but no room or place, to Christina, or elsewhere, is stipulated, and nothing at all about the time when they should march. And then when he came home he brought the enemy with him to the Fort. [30]
     The people who were there in the Fort were assembled, and were asked how things were. Then they all reported with one voice when Skute to the Fort with Captain Konings, A Dutch troop of 78 men followed on his heels all the way to the little creek. Then Skute sent Swen the drummer to the Fort and ordered the gate opened, and the Dutch troop filed across the creek, man after man, and then stationed themselves under the embankment. Gyllengreen then shouted from the northeast perch to Skute, “How now? How now? What kind of accord?”
     Skute [answ]ered with a gesture of decision, “Everything we requested has been [al]lowed. We could’nt ask for a better accord.” The Engineer [Lindest]röm also testifies that he heard the same thing from Skute. The [ . . .sol]diers testified likewise that they heard the same thing thereafter in [ . . .] the Fort.


     On this same day, the 24th of September, after all this above [inquest] had been conducted The Governor asked Skute whether he had now preformed a service for the Dutch? Skute replied, “That would [ . . .] from my orders. I have not done that.” Again the Governor asked Skute, “Why then have you sought to debauch the Crown’s people who wanted to go with him to the Fatherland, “to stay here with you in this country? I am not halfway convinced that you can hereafter be trusted here on the Crown’s behalf”
     Then Skute swore that he had never thought, much less behaved that way.
     Then the Governor had Nils Utter and Nils Räff to come in; and Nils Utter professed that Skute had at first talked with him in a friendly manner, That he should become his guard. But afterwards Utter still refused and said he would not stay behind [remain on the Delaware] no matter how much he would give him. Then Skute said that those who had formerly stood under his comman[d sh]ould also continue to do so hereafter. Then Utter had answered, “Before I would now stay here on the River, I should rather go to Virginia and wait there until spring, and set out for home with the ships.” Then Skute had said he would be damned if anybody would go out from the River without his signature. To all of this Nils Räff and the said Utter testify. [32] Then the Governor continued to interrogate: “Schute, to what end did you send me the message that I should not slaughter any oxen here because you wanted them for breaking [i.e. e. plowing] your fields. [33] Furthermore, you promised Räff a half share of my tobacco if he would stay with you.”
     Utter and Nils Räff confirmed this in full view of Skute, but he swore against it so badly it was a sin to hear it; and the people wondered at it greatly, since the greater part of them knew that all this was the truth.
     Then the Governor asked Skute if he had not said that the Governor would not come away from here with any more strength than his own six [servants?] excepting the Factor [von Elswick] with his servant. This Skute completely denied, now as before and swore s[. . .] that none of this was the truth that indeed 2[person?], Nils Utter and Nils raff had wanted to be clear about his rank whether that [obliterated] of all this, only that it is the truth.
     On the boat be[tween] the Island [Timber Island] and the Fort, Skute asked the Governor for advice what he should do. [34] He had thought about moving here to live in Fort Christina with some others who are staying here in the country, [na]ming Jöns Smeedh, Petter Semskemakare, and others who are staying here.
     Thereupon the Governor answered him [that] it is squarely against every resolution [of himself [35] and his officers]. We have [for] one [thing] turned over the Fort to the Hollanders after a complete accord, and the one who now stays as a resident here cannot be held as his Royal Majesty’s faithful man. But for another, until this our most gracious King and the principals redress all this, do as you please.
     Then after they exchanged words in the Fort, the Governor said to Skute, “I hear that you and my [servant] boy Christopher have been enticed by our former Drummer Schalbrichson, to demand permission that he should cast his lot with you, and have said that you can go as far away from home in Sweden as I.” Skute denied this with great and solemn oaths, but nevertheless that had truly happened, as the said Christopher attests, and others had heard.


     That this was done as stated, and nothing was recorded here that had not been proven with evidence or witnesses, we the undersigned testify, Actum ut Supra, on Timber Island near Christina Fort, the 24th of September, Anno 1655.

Johan Rysingh                                                          Hindrich von Elsswick
Swen Höök                                                              Jacob Swenson
Per Hanson Wendel Mat Hanson                               Per Ramboos bomarcke [his mark]

I the undersigned witness that this copy corresponds exactly to the original itself. [36]
Petter Lindheström

1   The spelling of names often takes many forms. Where possible it is rendered as “Skute”.
2   An agreement between the two sides.
3   Rising had been ennobled by Queen Christina before leaving Sweden and he added an “h” to his
     name.  He is generally called “the Lord Governor”. Has been rendered mostly as “Governor”.
4   Hendrick von Elswick was the Factor (bookkeeper) at Fort Christina. Born in Germany he became a
     merchant in Stockholm. He came to America in command of the Gyllene Haj (Golden Shark) He
     missed Delaware Bay and sailed into New Netherlands territory where the Dutch seized the ship.
     Elswick then traveled overland to reach Fort Christina.
5   Second in Command at Fort Christina. Came with von Elswick on the Gyllene Haj.
6   The two Freemen, Peter Rambo and Mat Hanson, were among 9 or 10 upriver freemen who
     volunteered. Most were captured after they rowed their boats across the Christina River. Peter
     Rambo and Mat Hanson arrived a day late so was not captured by the Dutch.
7   C.A. Weslager says on Wednesday, August 29th, the Dutch fleet anchored nears the ruins of Fort
     Elfsborg south of the mouth of Verkins Kill. He went on to say that Verkins Island does not appear
     on any contemporary maps. Weslager miss-identified Verkins Kill as the Salem River. Verkins Kill is
     now known as Mill Creek and the island appears on contemporary maps. It is just not identified by
     the name of Verkins Island. Tamakonckz cove is at the mouth of Tamakonckz Kill, the first stream
     south of New Castle. The Dutch took a number of Swedes prisoners during the night. In effect
     Stuyvesant had “flanked” Fort Trinity and was in a position to attack on three sides, by troops on
     both the north and south sides and by ships to the east. Apparently Skute was never aware of the
     Dutch troops on the south side of the fort.
8   Skute identified six ships in the Dutch fleet. Apparently he did not include the pilot boat as part of the
     invasion fleet. The pilot boat was a yacht-rigged vessel owned by a local Scot.
9   Both the Dutch and Swedes associated drum beating with peaceful intensions.
10 Sander Lennarson (Alexander Lindsay) was a pro-Dutch Scot who apparently leased himself and his
     “yacht” to pilot the Dutch ships up the narrow channel near the shore past the fort and on to an
     anchorage north of the fort. Two weeks later he took Rising’s surrender document to Stuyvesant’s
     Council in New Amsterdam.
11 Apparently it would have been a great breech of conduct to fire on a ship that had both drummers
     beating and loose sails.
12 Risingh here displays his lack of military knowledge. The ships alone carried far more firepower than
     what Stuyvesant offloaded and moved into a siege position north of the fort. Indeed, the land artillery
     was not needed at all to reduce the fort and the garrison.
13 Risingh had received Stuyvesant’s letter plainly stating he was going to invade and take over New
     Sweden. He also likely had received the Resolution from the Swedish Crown that he, Risingh, had
     attacked and captured Fort Cassimir without the Crown’s or the Company’s knowledge or consent.
     In effect Risingh was deliberately ordering Skute to fire on the Dutch ships and to sacrifice not only
     Skute’s life but also the lives of all the other defenders, all against his express orders from the Crown
     and the Company.
14 Dr. Charles T. Gehring of the New York State Library translated the four Dutch words as “then many
     struck [their] rigging or sail rigging.” It seems clear that the Dutch did strike their sails but not at the
     place where Risingh thought they should have done so. They struck upstream of the Swedish guns,
     which could fire only straight out into the river, rather than downstream of them. This is an example of
     commentary written into the hearing record.
15 This is an example of commentary written into the hearing record.
16 This has to be an example of slanting the record in favor of Risingh. If the officers had not read the
     Governor’s orders and knew nothing of them until the Court Martial Hearing they could not be
     inclined to shoot on the basis of the Governor’s express orders.
17 The question is how could Lindeström be up on the high point trying to decide if the Dutch ships
     struck sail and be down in the gun trench at the same moment to ask, “Shall I shoot? Three people
     saw him up on the High Point so it seems very clear that he LIED about asking, “Shall I shoot? If he
     was lying about that then what else did he falsify in this document?
18 Weslager was mistaken about which message Stuyvesant was referring. Stuyvesant said that Rising
     had not sent him a message when he attacked Fort Cassimir so he was not going to wait for Risingh to
     send a message now. He was referring to the day that Risingh captured Fort Cassimir. There was a
     later exchange of letters between the two Governors several months after Risingh’s attack that is the
     exchange to which Weslager was referring.
19 Stuyvesant granted this delay because he had not completed all of his preparations to attack. This
     delay was crucial as it allowed Skute to send a message to Risingh and to receive an answer back
     from Risingh.
20 This was the only casualty during the entire invasion, both at Fort Trinity and Fort Christina.
21 Weslager say that the word people refer principally to the soldiers although there were also civilians
     among the defenders.
22 It is not clear if this is Weslager’s insertion or if it is Risingh’s parenthetical comment.
23 See Footnote 6 above.
24 This is very clear instructions from Risingh giving Skute permission to surrender if the situation was
     hopeless. It was. The two messengers confirmed the message from Risingh and no doubt that Skute
     guarded the written copy very carefully as evidence of who had made the decision.
24 Probably a mis-translated word because the Swedes did not have uniforms. Probably “clothing” or
25 This means that Risingh had attacked and captured Fort Cassimir both against his orders and without
     the Crown’s knowledge. It seems very unlikely that the Crown had had such a discussion with the
     Dutch Government and had not communicated with Risingh on the subject. It is also clear that Risingh
     had withheld all such information from Skute and his officers.
26 This means that Risingh had attacked and captured Fort Cassimir both against his orders and without
     the Crown’s knowledge. It seems very unlikely that the Crown had had such a discussion with the
     Dutch Government and had not communicated with Risingh on the subject. It is also clear that Risingh
     had withheld all such information from Skute and his officers.
27 The Balance or Scales. This ship was a full-fledged warship.
28 This testimony shows that all the officers knew Skute’s intent to surrender the Fort when he went out.
     They must have discussed it during the night, especially after the arrival back of the messengers from
     Risingh with his order to surrender.
29 The dates are in agreement. Both the officers and Skute testified that the surrender formalities
     discussion happened on the same morning as the surrender itself. The formalities described indicate an
     honorable capitulation to superior forces.
30 This must be referring to Dutch soldiers entering Fort Cassimir. At Fort Christina it was the other way
     around. Skute and the officers were held in Fort Cassimir and the soldiers placed on a ship and sent
     to New Amsterdam. After Risingh surrendered Skute and the officers were taken to Fort Christina to
     be witnesses to Governor Risingh’s own march out ceremony.
31 This exchange took place sometime after the “Inquest” which was six days after the Dutch began
     handing out land patents. This entire exchange and what follows may or may not have happened and
     in any event it should not have be included as part of the Inquest record. It was not a part of the
     Hearing. There is a noticeable change in writing style indicating it may have been added at a later date.
     By this date Risingh knew that not many settlers wanted to return to Sweden with him. Only one
     freeman appears on the list of those returning but since the list includes only 20 names and not all 37
     there may have been other freemen returning.
32 Nils Utter was called to testify during the hearing but not about this subject. Since it is known
     Lindeström falsified other parts of the record when he made the copy it is impossible to now know
     what is true and what is false.
33 At this time Skute was living in a house on a small lot near Fort Trinity. Risingh had refused to honor
     the Queen’s grant of land to Skute.
34 It seems highly improbable that Skute would ask for any advice from Risingh.
35 Risingh wanted Skute to go to Sweden with him so he could complete his finger-pointing scheme. He
     desperately needed to divert attention away from himself so that his sale of the Forts cannons, and
     theft of the money, would not be discovered. He also needed to divert attention away from his many
     violations of his own orders.
36 The entire certification appears to have been moved probably to allow for the addition of the hearsay
     against Skute and in support of the Governor. In the body of the additional material it states some of
     the exchanges took place inside the Fort and some took place on a boat between the Fort and
     Timber Island yet the certification and signatures state all testimony took place on Timber Island, ie at
     Risingh’s residence. The very Certification proves that parts of the document had been falsified.

All of this begs the question about what happened to the original document? If the copy survived and both the original and the copy were together on the ship for Lindeström to make the copy, then what happened to the original document?



September 29, 1655
Forwarding two affidavits.

Most noble Count, gracious Lord, and very powerful sire, besides long-patient ---Lifelong health! In the course of service, humbly and diligently wishing happiness, I thank your Countly Excellency together with your Countly Excellency’s noble family, in the most humble servility for the favor of all good and high promotion. On this account I am duty bound, so long as I live, to stay firm to my utmost ability, and shall faithfully serve.

I must make your Countly Excellency aware of those events, how the Hollandish General Peter Stuyvesant came about the 31st day of August in the year 1655 before Fort Trefaldighet [Trinity] with 4 ships and 3 sloops(2) full of people, namely 800 men(3), and plundered us; whereas we Swedes were no more than a handful of folk against them, and the biggest part thereof were rebellious. Thus, I had no more than a squad of ten including myself; so the people escaped over the Fort, and one was shot in the road when he jumped over the wall [Gabriel Forsman], and the Hollanders got a complete reconnaissance of everything; so because it was an impossibility for me to garrison such a thoroughly surrounded fort, much less defend it; therefore it was not half ready (such
a fort can only be well staffed with 200 men at the least). Considering this, your Countly Excellency may judge. Therefore I was compelled to give up the fort by Accord, for I had enemies both within and without the fortification. God knows this cannot be blamed on me, as may be seen by the enclosed copy, that is the affidavit of the upper and lower officers as well as rank and file. I should indeed travel back to Sweden now, as the others do, but on account of the unreadiness of my affairs I shall have to await a convenient time here. By and by when ships and people will arrive here I shall look forward to setting up the fort for the Crown, as also the Most Praiseworthy Company, on the same Conditions.

Awaiting Your Countly Excellency’s favorable Resolution hereupon in the hope that your Countly Excellency will not think ill of me out here; Wishing hereby Your Excellency and all your Countly Excellency’s family to be under God’s benevolent protection, and pledging myself

                                              Your Countly Excellency’s most humble and
                                               faithful servant while I live,
                                               Swen Schute

Dated the Sandhook [New Castle] 29 Sept. in the year 1655(4).

(1)  Skute first arrived in New Sweden in New Sweden1643 with Governor Printz. He was second in command. He supervised
       the construction of Fort Elfsborg and commanded it during its busy service years. Printz sent him back to Sweden in the fall
       of 1650 as an emissary with messages for the government (see Swedish Settlements 1:338). He helped recruit colonists for
       Rishingh's expedition on the Orn (Eagle) and was promoted to a captaincy. He sailed as the Military Commander designate
       and with a land grant from the Queen. Once in New Sweden Risingh did not honor either the position of Military
       Commander or the Queen's land grant. Chancellor Eric Oxenstierna was the son of the legendary Axel Oxenstierna and
       followed his father into office.
(2)  Here Skute includes the pilot boat as part of the Dutch fleet.
(3)  One detail account says the Dutch force consisted of 317 soldier but there is no reliable count of the sailors. The sailors
      would probably outnumber the soldiers and were expected to fight whenever there was a need.
(4)  Weslager speculated that Risingh himself took this letter and the two enclosed affidavits to Sweden when he returned. It is
      this writers opinion that neither Skute's letter nor the two affidavits would have survived the voyage if Risingh had known
      they were on the same ship.


A Quick Change Of Flags

Governor Risingh had a terrible problem. His 1654 attack on the Dutch fort in direct violation of his orders had triggered the fall of the entire New Sweden Colony. He had to think clearly and come up with a plan to keep his head on his shoulders. He decided on a simple plan that had been used many times with success. He would point a finger of blame at someone else. He pointed his finger for the loss of the entire Colony at Captain Swen Skute and all of his officers at Fort Trinity/Cassimir. That included Johan Andersson Stålkofta.

In addition to ignoring his orders to stay away from the Dutch fort Risingh was guilty of doing exactly the same thing he was accusing Skute of doing; that is, he never opened fire on the Dutch forces from Fort Christina. All the time the Dutch were anchoring their ships, building their trenches and placing their gun batteries they were within easy range of Risingh's guns in the Fort. That was when the Dutch were most vulnerable to attack because they were not yet prepared to shoot back. Risingh's own failure to fire on the Dutch when it would be the most effective guaranteed the Dutch would prevail.

If he were successful in his finger-pointing scheme no one would look hard at his actions. No one would realize that at Fort Christina he had started with at least the same number of defenders and more than four times as many heavy weapons as did Skute at Fort Trinity. After the mutiny Risingh had twice as many effective men as did Skute. He had more supplies, more usable heavy weapons and more ammunition and he had a much better defensive position than did Skute. Fort Christina had an earthen embankment to protect against flying wood splinters. Fort Trinity, built specifically to Risingh’s design, was all timber and had no such splinter protection.

Risingh knew he could not prevail any more than could Skute. Both were greatly outnumbered. If he were successful in his scheme no one would ask him why he ordered Skute to surrender Fort Trinity. No one would ask him why he himself surrendered without firing a shot. After all, by the time the Dutch forces arrived off Fort Christina Risingh could have no doubts whatsoever about their intentions. Actually he had known Dutch intentions for many months. Stuyvesant told him clearly in a letter he was going to invade New Sweden.

Risingh had planned out his scheme to place blame for the loss of the colony on someone other than himself well before he surrendered. We know this because he had a special article written into the accord during his negotiations when he surrendered Fort Christina and the whole of New Sweden to Stuyvesant.

"10. Governor Risingh has perfect liberty to inform himself about the conduct of the Commandant Swen Skute, with that of the officers and men in surrendering Fort Cassimir" (1)

This article gave Risingh permission to conduct a court-martial hearing. This definitely placed the future of Johan Andersson Stålkofta, as well as Swen Skute and all the officers at Fort Trinity/Cassimir, in life or death jeopardy. Risingh did not have the authority, however, to pass judgments and carry out any sentence. That had to await the return to Sweden. That probably saved a number of future families including the Stalcop Family.

Dr. Amandus Johnson, in talking of Risingh's attitude, had this to say about the court martial proceedings held by Governor Risingh.

"He (Swen Skute) was blamed for not giving orders to fire on the Dutch ships as they passed, although Linstestrom and Stålkofta stood by the guns ready to apply the match. He was also accused of not taking council with his officers about what was to be done.”(2)


"It seems that Skute had expected to be held accountable for giving up the fort, for he prepared a statement, which being signed by Lieutenant Elias Gyllengren, Rev. Peter Hjort, Constaple Johan Andersson (our Stålkofta) and others, exonerated him from all blame.”(3)

Three days after Risingh’s surrender Peter Stuyvesant and the Dutch made a brilliant move that completely undid all of Governor Risingh’s careful planning for blame shifting.

The Dutch needed the colonist to stay in the colony, but under their control, to protect their territorial interest from encroachment from the English in New England and, to a lesser extent, from Maryland. Stuyvesant also had an urgent need to return his soldiers to New Amsterdam. The Indians around New Amsterdam had come to hate the Dutch and had seized the opportunity of Stuyvesant's forces sailing for New Sweden. They began to attack the unprotected Dutch settlements. With this urgent need to return to New Amsterdam in mind immediately after the surrender of Fort Christina Stuyvesant made a surprising offer to Governor Risingh. He offered to let the Governor march back into the fort and continue to rule the colony but as a Dutch colony. Governor Rising refused(4) this offer. Stuyvesant then directly presented the colonist with a choice. Each individual could choose between:

     Leaving with Governor Risingh and returning to Sweden at Dutch expense.
     They could sign an oath to New Netherlands and stay right where they
     were and become 'freemen'.

They had a year to make up their minds to accept or reject the offer.

It has been estimated that the New Sweden colony consisted of 368 people at the time of the surrender. About half of this number was women and children. They were scattered over an area of about 300 square miles extending from about the present cities of New Castle, Delaware to the north side of Philadelphia. A number of them were 'involuntary colonist'. They were in the colony because they had been sent there as punishment. All had left almost everything they possessed when they left Sweden and so they had nothing to go back to. For at least half of the soldiers, and all of the officers at Fort Trinity, except one(5), the idea of returning to Sweden was not very appealing.

Risingh had clearly stated that he intended to have them held responsible for the loss of the colony. They could be executed if found guilty. They also realized that with Governor Risingh, a nobleman, pointing his finger at them it would be an uphill battle to get anyone in Sweden to even listen to their side of the story.

Risingh further stacked the deck against them. He totally rewrote his Journal and the Courts Martial records during the voyage back across the Atlantic. Peter Lindeström helped him with this task. No trace of the original journal, documents or the separate secret article selling all of the weapons of Fort Christina to the Dutch has ever been found in Sweden. Only the rewritten Journal and Court Martial hearing papers are in the Swedish Archives.

Risingh claimed in his rewritten journal that he did not fire on the Dutch because he had sent all of the Fort Christina gunpowder and cannonballs to Captain Skute at Fort Trinity. This claim is untrue for several reasons. First, no gunpowder or cannonballs appear on the list of supplies sent to Fort Trinity before the Dutch arrived. Second, after they arrived the Dutch did not allow free communications with Fort Trinity. Third, a century later when Fort Christina was being dismantled a great store of gunpowder; 12-pound cannonballs and many other weapons were found hidden inside the walls. No doubt Risingh had it hidden in the walls to support his claim that he had sent all of the gunpowder and cannonballs to Fort Trinity. Governor Risingh had no military training. If he had he would have known that Fort Trinity was armed with captured 14-pound Danish cannons and not with 12-pound Swedish built cannons. The Swedish cannonballs he hid in the walls were the wrong size.

One overriding factor was involved in the choice the settlers faced. Under Swedish rule all the land and property, including buildings, tools and animals, were the property of the Company. In theory the colonist could purchase land from the Indians or from the Company. In reality there was no such thing as private ownership of land in the colony. All of the people in the colony were simply employees of the Company. They did not own the land they worked. Even the few individual land grants, such as the two that had been awarded Captain Swen Skute(6) and Lt. Elias Gyllengren by the Queen, were valid only so long as they remained in the service of the Company and remained in the colony. They could not pass title on to their heirs. Risingh, however, refused to honor the Queen’s land grants and refused to issue patents to the two officers.

The Dutch held an entirely different view. They did not care who owned the land. It was plentiful and they were interested only in the profits to be made from the land; the value of furs and crops and the taxes, to be made from the land. With Stuyvesant's offer all of the New Sweden colonists were presented with an opportunity to personally own their own land and property. Three days after the surrender, September 18, 1655, the Dutch began issuing land patents to the New Sweden colonists. The settlers’ occupation of land suddenly equated to ownership. Under Dutch rule they could keep all of the fruits of their own labors for themselves and for the future benefit of their families. To the colonist this must have seemed like a reward sent to them straight from Heaven. The chance to become free land and property owners convinced all of the settlers it was time to switch flags.

For the most part the settlers claimed the same land they had been assigned to work when under Swedish rule. Possession suddenly equated to ownership. All of the Company owned animals and tools now became the property of the new landowners. Stålkofta was the only officer remaining at Fort Christina so he was granted a patent for nearly all of the South Company reserve land around Fort Christina(7). All of the remaining Company owned supplies and tools and equipment also seems to have come into his possession. He was the highest-ranking person remaining at Fort Christina after Governor Risingh departed. Under Risingh’s rule he had only been assigned the use of a small lot and house and a small garden plot called Bee Island near Fort Christina. His house and garden was reported destroyed during the Dutch siege.

Governor Risingh and 37 others, all soldiers or officials under Risingh’s direct command with no property interest in the Colony, turned down this fantastic reward and sailed for Sweden. All the rest, approximately 331 people, including all of the officers Risingh was pointing his finger at in his blame-shifting scheme, accepted the reward and stayed in New Sweden. There was a quick change of flags. Johan Andersson Stålkofta was part of the group that decided to stay. In one simple act Stuyvesant had completely undercut Risingh’s careful plan. Risingh had no choice but to continue with his finger-pointing scheme even though his intended victims were suddenly out of his reach. The scheme included the rewriting of his Journal, and the court martial hearing record, to support only his version of the story and secret selling of the nine cannons to Stuyvesant. All of the settlers deciding to stay in New Sweden helped Risingh in this because there was no one returning to Sweden who could, or would, counter his version of the story. The drawback was that Risingh had to pretend he was poor for the rest of his life.

The secret agreement(8) selling the weapons of Fort Christina appears only in the Dutch records. No trace of it has been found in Swedish records. Within was a provision that Governor Risingh and his bookkeeper were to be put ashore in England or France during the voyage home. They landed in England. Once ashore the two traveled overland to London where Risingh converted the draft Stuyvesant had given him into cash. They next traveled to Amsterdam where they parted company. The bookkeeper went to Sweden. Risingh traveled to Germany to make his report to the King on the lost of the Colony before going to Sweden. Like the secret document no record has ever been found in Sweden of the 300 Flemish Pounds Risingh was paid for the Fort Christina weapons. Since everyone, including Risingh, were traveling at Dutch expense, Risingh did not need to make the sale to pay the return party’s expenses. It is difficult to determine the amount in terms of an equivalent in today’s money but several estimates place it at about nine hundred thousand US Dollars.

A number of smaller weapons were also included, especially the five large and one small shotgun like weapons. After the English invasion of 1664 all of the New Amsterdam weapons were taken over by the English and they were removed from America at the end of the Revolutionary War. These weapons, displayed in Warwick Castle today, are nearly identical in number and type to the large Swedish shotguns
known to be in New Sweden.

Risingh neither reported the sale nor did he turn over the money once he arrived in Sweden with it. It is probable that the Bookkeeper received part of the money to keep silent and it also probable Peter Lindeström was paid to switch to Risingh’s side. Even with all that money in his pocket for the rest of his life Risingh appeared to be living in poverty. At death his body was not buried right away for lack of money. He likely still had lots of the cannon money hidden away somewhere but no one knew where to find it.

(1)  Amandus Johnson, Swedish Settlements, 2:613
(2)  Ibid. 2:609 Other testimony says Lindeström was up on the gun deck when the ships passed.
(3)  Ibid. 2:614 This writer's opinion is that Skute was simply recording the events because the two affidavits were signed
       weeks before Risingh inserted Article 10 and held his hearings. Skute did not sign the exoneation affidavit, Only his officers
       [upper(?)] officers signed it.
(4)  Risingh probably refused because his sale of the Fort's cannons would have been cancelled. He would not have collected all
       that money from the sale in London.
(5)  The Engineer Peter Lindeström appears to have switched sides. He was at Fort Trinity so at  first he supported Swen Skute
       and the Fort Trinity officer’s position. Soon after the start of the court martial hearing he suddenly and completely switched
      over to support the finger pointing of Governor Risingh. He even became the court reporter for Risingh. He returned to
      Sweden but was never charged with anything as Risingh had stated would be the fate of all at Fort Trinity.
(6)  Craig, Swedish Colonial News, 1993
(7)  The Barber-Surgeon, Tymon Stiddem, received a patent for a lot and house near Fort Trinity. He livered there with his
       family until the Colony was split into two parts. He apparently purchased a strip of land from Johan at Fort Christina and
       received a deed for it. This was about eighteen months after the Dutch invasion.
(8)  New York Historical Manuscripts, 18:19 To be fair it calls the transaction a six-month loan but with travel times by ship
       across the Atlantic an average of five months this was window dressing. Risingh did not report the “loan” so the Company
       made no attempt to repay the “loan”.  This made it a disguised “sale”. Two copies were made and signed by Risingh and
      Stuyvesant. Risingh's copy apparently did not survive the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.



Hans Ling
Uppsala, Sweden
American English is one of several “second languages” Hans is able to use.
This is from Larry’s correspondence with Hans.


I perhaps should tell you what I know about the Swedish flag.

As far as I have got it there are two explanations of the yellow cross against the blue background. One is that the Swedish army carried a golden cross in front once when they invaded Finland to make it Christian. The flag should have been composed to remember of that cross against the blue sky. Another explanation is that the Swedish national arm shield consists of four blue fields separated by a yellow cross. The fields contain different symbols - lions and crowns. The flag should according to that theory be a simplified variety of that shield, with the symbols taken away. A known fact is that one of the most important Royal families during the medieval time had blue as their colour and that Uppsala at a national meeting in the middle of the 13th century was decorated with blue cloths. Another fact is that the king during the 1560s decided that ships belonging to the Swedish navy should have blue flags with a yellow cross to separate them from hostile ships at see. Those flags became very popular also among owners of private ships. They started to use the same flag to avoid attacks from pirates. By the time it was decided that the warships should have flags with three thongs and civil ships flags without thongs. The infantry used other flags. Each regiment had its own flag. The king as high commander had a flag with three thongs and the national weapon shield at the centre of the cross. There was also a national flag. It was white with the national shield in the centre. During the early 1800s it was decided that the national flag should be the one we still have. After that time the other flags more or less disappeared except those at naval ships and the personal flag of the king.

Beside those flags the stripers developed, first for smaller naval ships. But they by time became very popular also among private people. A flag shall be taken down at sunset and raised again in the morning. But the striper may be up day and night and is more convenient. The upper half of the striper (vimpels) is blue and the lower yellow. During the last years also stripers with a cross have become popular. In Denmark they have long had such stripers (red with white cross.

The national weapon shield shows a lion passing three streams in the upper right and lower left blue fields. That is the symbol of the Royal family I mentioned which had blue as their colour. No one today knows what the symbol means. But the lion has become a symbol for Sweden. You can often see lions at old buildings and monuments. In the upper left and lower right blue field there a three golden crowns. That symbol can be interpreted in many ways - and that is perhaps the very idea. It first appeared when the three kingdoms Sweden, Denmark and Norway were in a union. To that comes that until the present king the kings called themselves King of the Swedes, the Goths and the Vandals. Sweden was originally only the present central Sweden. Götaland (the land of the Goths) is the southern part of present Sweden. Venden is a part of Poland which earlier had belonged to Sweden. It was considered to have got its name from the Vandals who had emigrated from Vendel north of Uppsala. As it was the Goths and the Vandals who conquered the Roman Empire those titles was a sort of excuse for the Swedish kings to intervene in European politics. The three crowns also can symbolize Christianity (Holy Trinity or Maria as Queen of Heaven, or the three kings who came to Bethlehem) and also good luck - all good things are three. In the centre of the yellow cross at the shield is the shield of the Royal family.


This is the general pattern, but perhaps in slightly different proportions, of the flags that flew over the New Sweden Colony. They were three thong (tail) Naval flags supplied by the ships that brought the settlers to the Colony.

Reproductions of this flag are flown over the Stalcop Family Gatherings in North Carolina.



The first of September 1655 was a dramatic and significant turning point in the life of the Stalcop family even though there was not yet a Stalcop family. It was the beginning of the Dutch siege of the Colony of New Sweden. Johan Andersson Stålkofta, the future founder of the Stalcop family, was a gunnery sergeant manning one of the cannon positions at Fort Trinity Three days later he and the entire Swedish garrison were prisoners of Director-General Peter Stuyvesant commanding the Dutch invasion force. The accounts of this event, and its aftermath, led me into lots of confusion about what really happened to Johan Andersson during the invasion. I set about trying to figure it all out.

For the 350 year anniversary of the founding of the New Sweden Colony Professor Emeritus C. A. Weslager of Widener University wrote a book about the Swedes and Dutch at New Castle. This book provided lots of information but it also added to my confusion. Some things still did not make any sense.

Approximately sixteen months earlier, the very day Governor Risingh arrived in the New Sweden Colony, he anchored his ship in front of the Dutch fort, landed troop and sent Capt Swen Skute to demand the surrender of the Dutch Fort Cassimir. He immediately renamed it Fort Trinity because he captured it on Trinity Sunday. The problem I had was that the descriptions of the fort in later records did not seem to match the physical structure of the fort. Governor Risingh’s appointed military engineer, Peter Lindeström, made a drawing in 1655 shortly before the Dutch invasion that he later published in his book. This drawing clearly defines both the older Dutch fort as well as a newer, Swedish built structure in front of it.

Peter Lindeström’s drawing has generated a lot of confusion. The main problem is that it was drawn using 17th century drafting standards. Applying 17th century standards the drawing shows two completely separate structures with the Dutch Fort located directly behind the Swedish Fort. On the paper the drawing the Dutch fort is placed above the newer Swedish structure. Applying modern standards most people erroneous conclude the structures are connected and the drawing shows one very large, very tall, structure with the Dutch fort sitting completely on top of the Swedish fort.

Weslager included a 1905 sketch that shows the older Dutch fort sitting on top of a soil filled square shaped timber structure that scales out to be some 210 feet on each side.  Using the same scale the top of the soil fill supporting the Dutch fort is 42 feet above ground level. Approximately one million cubic feet of soil was involved. According to Governor Risingh’s Journal a work force of only 20 men, including the commander, Captain Swen Skute, was available at Sand Hook. These few men had to somehow elevate the entire Dutch fort,      intact, 42 feet into the air and then to build and fill the lower structure. Clearly this was an impossibility considering that only hand tools were available and all the work had to be accomplished manually. Considering the soil filling task alone the entire available Swedish workforce of 19 men would have to labor ten hours per day, six days per week, for over four years each just to move all of the soil. They only had a matter of months. The method they could have used to elevate the Dutch fort, intact, to a height of 42 feet is unknown.

Weslager included a small part of Lindeström’s Map B showing the area of Sand Hook, now the town of New Castle, DE, in the vicinity of the fort. Lindeström’s map clearly shows two separate structures, one located in front of the other, exactly as Lindeström’s drawing in his book shows.  Weslager does not address the implications of that. Weslager also talks a great deal about Sand Hook itself. He describes it a large point of land jutting out into the river which has since been washed away by the river. The problem with this description is that the same map, Lindeström’s Map B, drawn when both

The above are my sketches of what I think the double fort complex at Sand Hook looked
like just before the Dutch invasion.

structures were located there, does not indicate any sort of point of land jutting out into the river. Lindeström’s Map B essentially indicates the same river banks as river banks of today.

Approximate cross–section of Governor Risingh’s “Bulwark”, Fort Trinity.
It was 210 feet long and 24 feet high on the riverside.

To add more to the confusion the renamed Dutch fort now regained its name and the new Swedish built fort in front of it assumed the name of Fort Trinity.

Although never mentioned Risingh’s rewritten Journal makes it appear that the large blockhouse shaped structure apparently was never completed and the heavy weapons intended for the gun Deck were never installed. A much more likely sequence of events is that the timber portion of the fort was completed and one or more of the four 14 pound guns obtained from the ship Örnen (Eagle) was installed on the gun deck. A major structural design flaw made itself known as soon as one of the weapons was test fired. Stacked log wall are about the poorest choice of a structural method that can be used to absorb the recoil force of firing a heavy weapon. It is likely that a section of the back wall was pushed over and that, it turn, collapsed a part of the gun deck. The heavy gun probably crashed down and lodged in the wreckage some 20 feet below.

Governor Risingh ordered a sudden change of direction without giving any reason for his decision. He suddenly ordered that the guns were to be mounted in trenches in front of the large blockhouse. Neither does he say that all four of the guns were installed in the trenches. There were four Gunners available to fire the weapons but only two of them stood by to fire the guns as the Dutch ships sailed by. Our Johan Andersson Stålkofta was one of the Gunners standing in the trenches ready to fire on the Dutch ships.

Our ancestor was standing inside the gun level trench in front of Risingh’s timber
blockhouse so he would have been in the lethal flying splinter zone.

During the siege’s first night Captain Skute covertly sent two messengers, Anders Daalboo (Dalbo) and Carl Julius, in a canoe to Governor Risingh advising him of the situation at Fort Trinity, of the Dutch intentions, and the array of Dutch forces. Risingh sent back instructions to Skute that he was to attempt to maintain the fort as long as possible but;

“If Skute was at last unable to hold the Fort any longer, he sh[ould] not submit to anything that was prejudicial to our Ruler, or any disadvantage to our settlers.”

Clearly this was an order from Governor Risingh to surrender the fort if the situation was hopeless, which it was. Near the end of the siege the Swedish forces were out manned about 20 to one. Worst still was Risingh’s timber blockhouse structure. As any military man of that era knew, and Captain Skute was a trained military officer, when hit by high-speed projectiles timber tends to shatter into long, sharply pointed, splinters and to fly away from the impact point in all directions. Just one or two cannon ball hits from Dutch ships on that timber blockhouse likely would have killed or wounded everyone on or near it from flying splinters. Governor Risingh had no military training at all.

Captain Swen Skute delayed for as long as he could, three days, and then surrendered to fort. Johan Andersson Stålkofta found himself a prisoner of Peter Stuyvesant and the Dutch forces. He and all of the other officers were placed under arrest and held in the Dutch fort. The ordinary soldiers were placed on a Dutch ship and sent to New Amsterdam (New York) to ensure they could not join Governor Risingh’s forces at Fort Christina.

Only the cool head of Captain Swen Skute in the face of overwhelming odds saved the life of every man defending Fort Trinity including Johan Andersson Stålkofta’s life and the entire Stalcop family yet to be.


Artist sketch of Forts Trinity and Cassimir in 1655 at Sand Hook (New Castle, DE) Based upon Lindeström’s scale drawing of 1654 and 1655. View is from upstream out in the river and is approximately what the Dutch forces would have seen a few
moments before they anchored their ships.

Gunnery Sergeant Johan Anderson Stålkofta was commanding a cannon mounted in a trench dug into the soil in front of the blockhouse and most likely in the one located on the south side of the pier. According to testimony in the Court Martial hearing as the Dutch ships approached from the south Captain Swen Skute, the engineer Peter Lindeström and another officer were standing on the southern lookout platform at the top of the blockhouse. Skute and Stålkofta were talking with each other. Stålkofta must have been standing in the gun trench just below him.

After the Dutch ships passed the pier his view of the ships was obstructed and his cannon could no longer bear on the Dutch ships.



Swedish built all timber bulwark style fort 210 feet long by approximately 16 feet wide and 24 feet high. Gun deck was located at approximately 20-feet above ground level.

The lower half of the fort had vertical log walls 12 feet high. The upper half had stacked log walls another 12 feet high. Fort was centered in front of Fort Casimir. No splinter protection at all was protecting the timber structure.

A force of 20 men built it over a one-year period of 1654-1655.

During the invasion no cannons were mounted on the Gun Deck.  Apparently the only operable weapons were four odd-sized 14# naval cannons supplied from the ship “Örn” (Eagle). The cannons were captured Danish cannons mounted in one, possibly two, trenches dug between Fort Trinity and the bank of the river.


Dutch built fort at approximately 180 feet square point to point of the ramparts. It was a vertical log and earth style fort with walls 12 feet high. Soil piled up outside the log walls served as splinter protection.

The fort was built in 1652 by a work force of 200 men over a twelve-day period.

Soil filled gun mount ramparts in all four corners with three 12# Naval cannons in each, a total of twelve cannons. The Dutch cannons likely were all non-operable. They were never used by either the Dutch or the Swedish forces. There were no 12# cannonballs furnished to the fort by either the Dutch or Swedes and the Dutch commander reported that he had no gunpowder available.


The Dutch Vice-director, Willem Beeckman, wrote to Peter Stuyvesant and the Council on November 24, 1662 and conveyed to the Dutch authorities in Manhattan the following news:

“.....My Lords, an hour before evening on the 17th of this month the Indians murdered a young man about 400 paces from the fort here. He was Jan Staelcop's servant whose parents lived in the colony and died there. His master had just left him. I have not been able to find out what nation was responsible but I believe they belonged to the River Indians, because they are around here hunting. They exonerated themselves, saying that Minckes or Sinnecus were responsible. We have summoned the chief from Passajongh under whose command those who are hunting here fall. We shall do our best to find out as much as possible.......”
(See New York Historical Manuscripts, 19:67)

The murder of this unidentified servant of “John Staelcop” triggered a full-scale war between two Indian tribes, the Minquas and the Sinnecus. It seems that Beeckman was mistaken about  which tribe was responsible. A Sinnecus who had been a captive (slave) of the Minquas apparently committed the murder. The Minquas felt themselves shamed by this murder and determined on punishing the Sinnecus. The war lasted about two years and cost many lives on both sides.  Eventually both Dutch troops and English forces from Maryland were dragged into the conflict.

This murder must have been in the immediate vicinity of Johan Anderson Stålkofta’s new home. He and his family had been living in the fort itself since his assigned house had been destroyed during the Dutch siege. The Meyer house he purchased in 1660 was much closer to the fort, probably within 75 paces. From this we know that probably by 1657/1658, he had completed his new home farther from the fort and his family had moved into it. This new house likely was up on the hill overlooking Fort Christina near the small stream called Stalcop’s Gut maybe in the area of the current 5th and Walnut Streets.

The statement that “His master had just left him” illustrates just how much luck or random chance seems to play in the survival of a family. Had Johan Anderson remained just a few minutes longer he might have been murdered along with his servant. Johan Anderson's son, Pietter, that was to become the direct ancestor to probably one-half of all of the living members of the Stalcop families, was yet to be born.

This story goes back to the beginning of the Stalcop Family. Things have not changed much in our sense of right and wrong. Long on patience’s until a breaking point is reached when enough becomes quite enough.


In 1659 Johan Anderson ‘Staelcop’

      “bought a certain piece of land - lot and house - near the fort here”

adjoining his own land from a man named Peter Meyer. Meyer claimed he had lost his Dutch patent for the land so could not convey a clear title to Johan Anderson. To solve this problem the Vice-Director of the South River, Willem Beeckman, wrote a letter to Director-General Peter Stuyvesant in an attempt to solve the problem. This letter is dated September 4, 1660 at Altena (Fort Christina as renamed by the Dutch). Stuyvesant signed a replacement patent to Meyer on September 18, 1660 for the land.

Meyer’s lot was part of the town of Christianhamm that Governor Risingh had started constructing. Four completed houses are shown on the 1654 map drawn by Peter Lindeströme. Meyer’s and Stålkofta’s houses may have been the only two houses to be assigned before the Dutch siege and Meyer’s lot and house is he only one that apparently was patented by the Dutch.

Peter Meyer was a Swede who first appears on the colony roll in 1644 as a soldier. He seemed to be a person always in the middle of a conflict. Within the body of the same paragraph of Beeckman's letter he goes on to say of Peter Meyer 

......”I wish that I were rid of this disruptive character (Meyer) once and for all. Yesterday (September 3, 1660) he had another quarrel with his adversary (our Johan Anderson Stålkofta) and they went at each other with drawn swords......”

It seems as if our Johan Anderson Stålkofta had a temper and was willing to fight for his rights. For some time he had been after Meyer to make him a clear title to the land but Meyer claimed he had lost his Dutch patent. Johan Anderson was afraid he would lose his investment in the land if he could not get Meyer to make him a clear title.

Meyer then changed his tactics. He denied that he had promised Johan Anderson a patent for the land and requested the Court to make a ruling on the matter. Probably much to his surprise the Court found in favor of Johan Anderson Stålkofta because he had 

          “... immediately taken possession of the land by plowing, sowing,
            and mowing it....”

Meyer was ordered by the Court to make Johan Anderson a patent for the land within three   months. As Meyer claimed he had lost his original patent Beeckman was writing to Stuyvesant for a replacement patent to finally settle the problem of the land patents.

There is no firm indication of the size of the Meyer lot or precisely where it was located but it is described as being adjacent to land owned by Johan Anderson Stålkofta. In all likelihood it was completely surrounded by Stålkofta’s land and was located just outside of Fort Christina. It probably was one of the three houses shown on the eastern street leading into the fort.

Stålkofta likely purchased this lot from Meyer simply to consolidate his complete control of all the former New Sweden reserved land holdings. He appears not to have moved his family into the Meyer house because the court record indicates he took possession by “plowing, sowing and       mowing” and not by taking up residence. Meyers was known to be a disagreeable sort of person. Buying him out may have been Stålkofta’s way of removing the aggravation.

These passages make it clear that the Dutch had started issuing land patents to the Swedish settlers within three days of the surrender.

Johan Stålkofta suddenly found himself in command by being the only “officer” of the New Sweden Company living in the area of Fort Christina. The fort itself was eventually taken over by the Dutch administration of the Colony of the Company. This happened about eighteen months after the surrender when two separate Dutch colonies were formed out of the former New Sweden area. Meanwhile Stålkofta and his new family had the fort all to themselves.

The New Sweden Colony administration had reserved for itself all of the land between Brandywine Creek and the Christina River from where the Brandywine joins the Christina westward to the vicinity of Union and Scott Streets in the now City of Wilmington. Because he was the only “officer” remaining in the Fort Christina area all of this land was now under the direct control of Johan Stålkofta. So, when the Dutch began issuing patents Johan Stålkofta suddenly found himself the owner of all of the “reserved” or Company land and all of the equipment of the colony remaining in the fort. This included Fort Christina itself. It consisted of about one thousand acres mostly of what is now the city of Wilmington, Delaware.

Although none of the original Dutch patents for land in the vicinity of Fort Christina have survived apparently at least two of them were issued. One went to Meyer for his house and lot that he later sold to Stålkofta. Johan Stålkofta held the patent for all of the rest of the New Sweden reserve land including the land where the fort stood.

Timen Stidden held a deed, not a patent, for a large strip of land running parallel to Brandywine Creek from about the current Church Street to the western limit of the New Sweden reserve land. How Timen Stidden and Johan Stålkofta decided upon this division of this land is not known. It is known that Timen Stidden received a Dutch patent for a house and lot near Fort Trinity/Fort Casimir (now New Castle, DL) and he continued to reside with his family there until the colony was split into two parts. He then moved north to Fort Christina. This is a strong indication that Timen Stidden purchased the tract running along the Brandywine Creek from Johan Andersson Stålkofta, hence the deed rather than a patent.

Of significance is the fact Fort Christina itself was now sitting on land patented to Johan Anderson Stålkofta. Inside of the fort was the large house originally built for Lady Armegot Printz. Governor Risingh had commandeered this house after his arrival. This forced Lady Armegot Printz and her children to move north to her father’s old estate. Stålkofta undoubtedly took up residence in the big red house after the surrender because his own company assigned house was reported destroyed during the Dutch siege. He used the big red house for his residence for the next year and a half until the colony was split into two parts.

The style of this house is somewhat typical of country houses found in Sweden. It spans about half the width of the courtyard inside the fort. It is shown painted red with white trim. Red was, and remains, a very popular Swedish color. This house was described as having a large basement, which apparently was only partially below ground level because of the underlying bedrock was so close to the surface. This increased the overall height of the house and elevated the main floor level. There was a large porch with a sheltering roof and a set of white painted steps leading up to the main entrance.

The house had a second floor level extending into the roof/attic space. This forced the second floor windows to be restricted in height. Again this is typical of Swedish houses of the period. The upper floor was eventually divided into rooms and used for the temporary housing of some of the colonist that arrived with Governor Risingh.

One of the newly arrived families onboard the last ship from Sweden, The Mercurius, and possibly temporarily living on that second floor, was the family of Carl Jönssön, later known as Charles Johnson. His family consisted of his wife, three daughters, and a maid. One of Carl Jönssön’s daughters, Christina, very soon after arrival, became the bride of Stålkofta. Christina’s and Stålkofta’s wedding, in all likelihood, was conducted inside the big red house.

The 1654 map shows an apple orchard and garden area located just outside the fort main gate. The orchard had a fence, complete with a climb over gate, to prevent damage from free roaming cattle and hogs. After the young trees started producing apples they became known as the “Stalcop” Apple. The three completed houses are shown on the left outside of the fort.

The apple orchard and the garden plots are shown fenced off on the east side. It has been over 350 years
but fences constructed like those shown on this map can still be seen in Sweden today.



A portion of page 3 of former Governor Johan Risingh’s 1667 list of property destroyed by Dutch Forces during the 1655 invasion. He is reported to have made out several such lists, all apparently in an attempt to portray an image that he was a victim when he himself was the direct cause of the invasion and loss of the Colony.

Number 6 on this list is Gunnery Sergeant Johan “Stålkoftta” and reports the destruction of his garden at Bee Island and his house near Fort Christina. Actually none of this was Stålkofta’s property at the time it was destroyed because at that time it all belonged to the Company. The property was simply assigned for his use.

Larry S. Stallcup

The first known water powered gristmill in the Stalcop family was a Swedish mill that, in a roundabout way, was a gift from Peter Stuyvesant and the Dutch.

The disassembled parts for a water-powered mill were shipped to New Sweden aboard the ship Örn (Eagle) when Governor Risingh arrived in 1654. Two large saw blades; one log saw and one small saw blade were shipped along with the mill parts. Governor Risingh made several trips up the streams of New Sweden near Fort Christina. He reported in his Journal that he found a suitable waterfall in Naaman’s Kill (Creek) to erect a sawmill. Naaman’s Creek is about ten miles north of the Christina River and empties into the South (Delaware) River.

Governor Risingh wanted the sawmill to both supply the needs of the colony for lumber and to produce wood products to be sold for income. The sawmill was never built. The project was postponed due to the expected Dutch invasion. After the surrender the parts for the mill, the water powering mechanism and the saw blades,
were all still inside Fort Christina when the Fort and all of the Company reserved land was patented to, and turned over to, Johan Anderson Stålkofta by Peter Stuyvesant and the Dutch. It took several years but the mill parts were eventually put to use.

The “large” saw blades in the Eagle’s cargo are believed to be circular saw blades. Tub mills turn at relatively high speed suitable to power a large saw blade. The “log saw” is thought to be a long flat blade used in a reciprocating type of operation. The small blade mentioned was probably a handsaw.

The mill mechanism sent on the Örn is believed to be a Swedish or Norse “Tub” mill, a small mill with a horizontally mounted cup type water wheel powered by a stream of water falling from a considerable height and funneled directly into the cups of the wheel. The need for height probably was why Governor Risingh was looking for a suitable waterfall as a location for a sawmill.

The water wheel was made of several large and thick slabs of wood. The slabs are pinned together and then cut into a round disk shape, or thick wheel. Then they are locked together by two steel rings in the same manner as a wooden wagon wheel. The steel rings are heated to red hot and then hammered down over the edge of the wooden disk. A heated steel ring is forced over both sides of the solid wooden wheel. When the steel is heated it expands. Upon cooling it will shrink thereby binding the wooden slabs tightly together. Next a series of buckets or tubs are carved out of the wood. The bottom of each tub is formed into a tapered airfoil shape to change the direction of the water as it exits the wheel and provide a rotational force.

Tub mills were small and compact. They do not require a large building. A carpenter and blacksmith with hand tools can build them. Tub mills were being built and used in America until about the middle of the 20th century, particularly in the vicinity of western North Carolina and northern Georgia and the surrounding territory where a number of the descendants of the early New Sweden colonist migrated after the grand exodus of about 1768-1770. Disassembled Tub mills could easily be stowed aboard ship and transported to a mill site near a waterfall. The waterwheel is about the same diameter as the grinding stones. The grindstones used for this mill were probably manufactured in New Sweden since none are listed in the cargo of the Örn.

Apparently the first Stalcop water powered mill used the parts brought by the ship Örn in 1654. Johan Anderson Stalcop, in partnership with Hans Block and Lucas Peterson, built a mill on Shellpot Creek located at the waterfall about “30 minutes”, or about one mile, from the fort. This mill construction project is mentioned in the letter from Willem Beeckman to Peter Stuyvesant of May 10, 1662. It was a gristmill rather than a sawmill as Governor Risingh had originally intended. A petition from the three men was included in Beeckman’s letter asking for a patent (deed). The three owners promised that the mill would provide free milling for the Dutch garrison. They farther agreed that the mill would not be sold unless Stuyvesant or his representatives agreed to the sale. Included in with the patent for the mill itself was some additional land for
cultivation to be used for the support by the miller so he could live at the mill. Stuyvesant granted the three partners a patent for the mill and the mill support land.

There was a second patent granted later to the same three partners for some 70+ acres of land nearby for a larger farm. The widows of the partners eventually sold this parcel of land. Sometime in the intervening years one of the partners disposed of his one-third share of this second parcel so the widow of the new buyer plus the widows of the two original partners were selling it. One of the three widows was Christina Carlsdaughter. The original pledge of not selling the Shellpot Creek mill itself apparently held for at least three generations and past a change in governments. A grandson of Johan Anderson Stalcop and Christina Carlsdaughter served as the miller in residence for several years.

One son of Johan Anderson Stalcop, Pietter Stallcop, owned about 1400 acres of land along Red Clay Creek. Pietter also owned and operated an estimated nine waterpowered mills along Red Clay Creek. These were a mixture of gristmills and sawmills. Pietter’s large landholdings supplied grain and timber processed by the mills. Pietter supplied lumber for the building of Holy Trinity Church including the American Black Walnut wood used to build the pulpit that is still in use. He also supplied the wood lath for the plastering work done inside the church. It is a very good bet that the saw blades brought over on the ship Örn in 1654 were used somewhere along Red Clay Creek by Pietter Stallcop.

Sketches made from a Tub Mill that operated until about the mid-twenth century.



Sketch made to build a reproduction waterwheel for the mill using dimensions taken from the original waterwheel.



 Stone for Feathers Testimony

The following two documents are part of an August, 1679 New Castle court session concerning an incident that began in 1678 and first came to court in March 1679. Jacob Van der Veer sold a very big bag of feathers, supposed weighing 21-pounds, to the English trader, Thomas Harwood. Feathers were highly prized for bedding and pillows. Jacob Van der Veer apparently decided to increase his profit on the sale. A four-pound stone was discovered inside the bag after it had been weighted at least twice. The second weighing event took place at Johan Anderson Stålkofta’s (John Anderson Stalcop) house near the Christina River in what is now Wilmington, Delaware, which is how the Stalcops became involved in the case. These two statements were made at “Christina”, that is, in John Stalcops house or in the nearby Fort Christina and not at the court in now New Castle.

The documents are in 17th Century English and show that while the language has changed greatly it is still understandable more than three centuries later.

The case provided quite a lot of entertainment for the community and was stretched out for as long as possible. These two depositions took place about six months after the case began.

Of great interest to us is that John Anderson signed the documents. This testimony happened soon after his eldest daughter was married and he had written his Will. It is also interesting that he was using his patronymic name. This was several years before the arrival of William Penn and everyone was forced to choose a surname.

Jacob Van der Veer was a Dutch soldier who first came to New Sweden as part of the invasion force of 1655. Later, after his discharge at New Amsterdam, he returned to New Sweden and received a patent for former Governor Risingh’s estate on Timber Island. This was not really an island but bordered on Brandywine Creek and was located east and west between two small streams. It was directly across Brandywine Creek from the land of Stålkofta and Timen Stidham. Jacob Van der Veer had a large family. Several of his sons and grandsons married Stalcop daughters.

An Ell was a measure of length used mostly to measure cloth. A “Schepell” [sp?] was a measure of volume used mostly for foodstuffs.

Document 21:49 NYHM- Dutch


Because Jacob van Derweer have Dessiret testimony Concerning som trockencloatt(1), Mr. Harworet(2) resewed(3) fro heem, and wy Kan nott Denay him the Same and the truth So Faare wy and Cnow theraff, that Mr. Harwooreet hath Come to our hous and brogt tw(4) peases of trockenclott ine read and one blow(5), and wy Deseyread him to measure the Same, and hee Dead(6) allsoo, and wy ascke him iff itt was richt(7), he answert y.(8) and littell teim thereafter hee Comming From Peter Coocks Tolld that he have loockt ower his Aconnt and he wanted tree Ells, and Farther having nooe Knoulegh, that this is the truth are wy ready to Confirme with our oaths and testeffy it whitt our hand.

Datum Christina the 16 Agusty Anno 1679

[Signed] John Anderson Christina carrllsdotter(9)

[Endorsed:] Jacob Van der Veere(10)

1 – Possibly a term used by the Swedes for “duffel.” Cf., 21:50 where Anderson writes dyffels. Duffel is a heavy canvas-like cloth similar to denim much desired by the natives as a trade item.
2 – Thomas Harwood (An English Trader who traded extensively with the Swedes and the Dutch.)
3 – ie. received.
4 – ie. two.
5 – ie. blue.
6 – ie. did.
7 – ie. right.
8 – ie. aye. (Yes)
9 – The Swedish patronymic for: Christina the daughter of Carl.
10 – Written in the hand of Matthias Nicolls.


Document 21:50 NYHM- Dutch


All the dealings that wy have haede, have y Declared For the Corret at the Sandhoeck(2), that Mr. Harwordt have solld me Fiyff Ells penneston For one bever and tree Ells dyffels For one beaver, that this is the truth testeffey y whitt my one(3) hand heer under ritten.

Datum Christina the 16 Agusty Anno 1679

[Signed] John Anderson

Further Doe y testiffey that
y have boegt For twenty Schepell
Wheat one peas off Linnen.

1 - A few lines have been lost at the top of this document due to trimming.
2 – Zand Hoek (Sand Hook) was the Dutch name for the land upon which Fort Casimir/Fort Trinity stood. It is now New Castle, Delaware. The reference here is to the court at New Castle. The spot is often called a “neck” of land and is sometimes described as projecting out into the river. That description appears to be a modern day mistake as contemporary maps show nearly the same riverbanks as exist today.)
3 – ie. own




The next court case does not specifically involve Johan Andersson Stalcop as a direct party, merely as a witness. It is presented in direct time sequence from the court records so that the full story can be judged in its political, legal and entertainment context. Jacob VanderVeer was eventually to become associated with the Stalcop family by having descendants that married Stalcop daughters and by having taken over the growing of Stalcop apples. The Stalcop apple later became widely known as the Vanderver apple. It is said to be a very good cider apple and numerous members of the Vanderver family operated taverns and inns.

Thomas Harwood was an English trader. Jacob VanderVeer was a former Dutch soldier who came to Christina and made it his residence. He had a large family consisting mostly of sons.

Att a Court held In the Towne of New Castle in Delowar by the Authority of or Soueraigne Lord King Charles the Second of England Scottland france and Ireland King Defender of the Faith, The 7th day of Jannuary and in ye 30th yeare of his said Mayties Raigne Annoq Dom : 1678/9 [1]

Thomas Harwood Plt
Jacob Vander Veer Deft

Jacob Vander Veer was this day by the Court bound in a bond of ten pounds To appeare att the next Court to bee held in this Towne of New Castle on the fist Teusday of the month of February now next ensuing, to answer to what shall then & there be alledged against him for a Certaine stone fraudulently by him putt into a bagg of feathers sould and delivered unto Thomas Harwood the laest Jeare, wch sd stone was now produced in Court etc.

Thomas harwood sworne in Court decleared that Laest Jeare hee Receiuing a bagg of feathers of Jacob Vander Veer weighing 21 lb. English wtt In wch Bagg the desponant coming therewith to New Castle found a stone of About 4 or 5 lb weight wch sd stone was waiged and delivered to him for fethers.

Mary the wife of John Kan sworne in Court sayeth that shee was prsent the Laest yeare when Thomas harwood came wth the bagg of feathers from Jacob Vander Veers and when the sd Bagg was Emtyed there was found in itt a Stone, wch the deponant believes to bee the same or the Lyke stone now produced in Court.

Jacob VanderVer was in court often. During this same court session he was being sue by Thomas Harwood for another debt and by Timen Stidham over a sale of land. The next Court date is when Johan Andersson Stalcop is called as a witness in the case. Jacob VanderVer was always pleading poverty but he managed to acquire lots of land, ever the former Governor Johan Risingh’s “estate”, plus lots of merchandise. He seemed to be very good at not paying for things he purchased. If he could sell a four-pound stone for the price of feathers he seems have been a fair to middling con man.


Att a Cort held in the Towne of New Castle in delowar, by this Mayties authority February the 4th & 5th annoq Dom : 1678/9 [2]

Jacob Vander Veer being examined about ye stone wch was in ye feathers by him sould and delivered unto Thomas harwood ; Did deny to haue put the sd stone in ye feathers. Jan Staalcop sworne in Court decleared that Jacob Vander Veers son, bringing Laest Jeare a bagg of feathers to this desponants house, for Tho : harwood the sd Bagg was weiged by the desponant the weight thereof then did agree wth what the sd boy did say that the feathers had weiged att his fathers house, and as soon as the feathers wer weiged the servant of Thomas harwood did bring them in the Cano : but whether the stone was in the feathers or noe the deponant Cannot tell. [3] The court upon Examination of all the Buisnesse, Greatly suspecting that Jacob Vander Veer is Guilty of the fact, and not being willing to proceed to Judgemt before that all evidences were brought in, Doe therefore order, that Jacob Vander Veer appeare at the next Court and that then alsoe appeare, the prson that was Tho : hardwoods servant Laest Jeare and that found the stone first in ye bagg wth feathers.

Att a Court held in the Towne of New Castle By the authority of or Soueraigne Lord Charles the 2nd King of England etc: the 4th & 5th dayes of March in ye 31th yeare of his sd mayties Raigne Annoq Dom: 167 .

March 4th 1678/9 [4]

Jacob Vander veer being ordered the laest Court to appeare att this Court for to answer to ye action of the stone wch was Put into ye feathers By him sould and delivered unto Thomas harwood and being three tymes Called and not appearing, Reynier Petersen sworne in Court declared that Laest Jeare hee being servant to Thomas Harwood was wth the sd harwood att John Staalcops house in Christina, where att that same tyme was brought by Jacob Vander Veers sons some Corne and a bagg of feathers and the deponant being att the Canoe wth Jacob Vander Veers sons takeing ye bagg of feathers out of Jacobs Canoe & putting ye same in Thom : hardwoods Canoe did feele a stone in ye bagg of feathers & afterward Telling his master, when they came to New Castle, opening ye bagg did find ye same stone in itt.

All Circumstances & Evidences being taken in Consideracon, The Cort are of opinion & doe find that ye stone was fraudulently by Jacob Vander Veer or his order put into ye bagg of feathers & wth ye same weighed and sould for feathers, and hee the said Jacob peremptorily Refusing the laest Court day to appeare att this Court day, all wch & other uncivill carriadges doe merritt a seuere punishment, Yet the Cort Considering the Poverty of him ye sd Jacob Doe therefore only Condemne him to pay a fine of Twoo hundrered gilders, for ye use & Repairing of the forte, to be Levyed upon his goods & Chattles Lands and tenements Together wth all Cost & Charges.

From this finding it appears that Thomas Harwood still had to pay for a stone at the going rate for feathers. The Court makes no mention that Jacob Vander Veer had to give a refund to Thomas Harwood.

[1] Records of the Court at New Castle, Vol. I, pages 273-274.
[2] Records of the Court at New Castle, Vol. I, page 290.
[3] Restated in more modern English this passage says: John Stalcop was sworn in as a witness in court. He testified that the son of Jacob VanderVeer last year brought a bag of feathers to his house for Thomas Harwood. He, Stalcop, weighed the bag and the weigh agreed with what the boy said it weighed at VanderVeer’s house located north of Brandywine Creek. Just after it was weighed Thomas Harwood’ servant took the bag and put the bag into a canoe for the trip on to New Castle. John Stalcop said he could not tell if the stone was in the bag of feather at that time. In this era feathers were a highly valued commodity. They were used for bedding and pillows and sometimes for winter clothing.
[4] Records of the Court at New Castle, Vol. I, pages 300-302.


'Rebellion' of the Long Finn

During the year 1669 a very strange event disturbed the New Sweden community. It played on the fears of the English authorities to such an extent that they took some very harsh measures. These measures slapped at Johan Andersson Stalcop and rippled through the Stalcop family for a number of years. It could even be said it took Johan Andersson Stalcop's death sixteen years later to finally close the matter. The event is known to history as the Long Finn Rebellion.

Within the New Sweden community there was a man named Marcus Jacobson of Finnish ancestry. Jacobson started making drunken speeches, mostly boasting, in the inns or 'taverns' of the area claiming that he was the "son of Coningsmark(1)" and that a Swedish fleet would soon appear off the coast to "deliver them". It was never clear why a Finn wanted to be known as the son of a Swedish hero. And it was never clear what it was the colonists were to be delivered from.

Jacobson came to be known as the Long Finn or sometimes as the Long Sweed. Several people joined in on the drunken rabble rousing, most notably Armegot Printz, Madam Papegoja, the daughter for the former Swedish Governor Printz and the widow of former Vice-Governor Johan Papegoja. From the available records it seems as if Madam Papegoja actually did most of the speech making. Another who must have joined in was a man by the name of Hendrick Coleman. Johan Andersson Stalcop was right in the middle of things as well for he was later accused as being one of the "chief fomenters".

The English authorities had, at best, an ambivalent attitude toward the Swedes. During the five years since the English invasion the colonists had conducted themselves with such propriety that they should have earned the respect of the English. Yet, when the English heard the drunken 'rabble rousing' they viewed the event with such alarm that they branded it a 'rebellion'. Perhaps it was the fact they controlled the Delaware area by virtue of a military occupation that they allowed their paranoia to dictate their actions.

On August 2, 1669, Governor Lovelace issued a proclamation for the arrest of all persons involved(2). This net apparently included people who just happen to hear the Long Finn's or Madam Papegoja's drunken boasting. No treasonable acts were ever formally charged against anyone except against Jacobson. Madam Papegoja’s involvement appears to have been completely ignored. Jacobson was charged with "raising speeches, very seditious and false, tending to the disturbance of his Majesty's peace and the laws of the government(3)." The wording of these charges make it seem they were grounded in fear. No one knew what laws had been broken because they had never been spelled out.

A considerable number of the colonists were charged and Marcus Jacobson was imprisoned. There is a letter from Governor Lovelace in New York to Captain John Carr at New Castle concerning the Governor’s personal perception from New York of Johan Andersson Stalcop’s involvement.

There had never been a formal criminal trial held on the Delaware before. Instructions as to how to conduct such a trial were sent from New York. Only Marcus Jacobson was treated to a formal 'criminal' trial and the instructions gave several alias' for him. In the instructions he is named John Binckson, alias Coningsmarke, alias Coningsmarcus, alias Matheus Hencks, alias XX(4).

Jacobson was found guilty and sentenced to be whipped, 'stigmatized'; that is, branded on the face with the letter R, and then 'transported'. This last means that he was shipped to Barbados where he was sold into slavery. A severe penalty for being drunk.

Authorities on the spot apparently did not share Governor Lovelace’s long distance perceptions about Johan Andersson Stalcop. He was not treated to the same form of criminal trial as Jacobson. Nor was he sentenced to the same form of punishment. It is even unsure if he was confined before the trial. At least there is record of only Jacobson being confined.

It is difficult today to know exactly what form the trial and sentences to all the others actually took. There are indications that the fines for those who owned land, were set at one-half of the value of their land. Some of the smaller fines seemed to have been paid in tobacco or grain. There are at least four surviving lists of those fined. These lists span some six years. Three of the lists give fines in terms of "Guilders" but one of the earliest list, that of December 13, 1669, seems to be a list of persons paying their fines in wheat(5). No two of the lists are alike either in the persons listed or in the amounts of the fines.

Johan Andersson Stalcop's name appears at the top of one of the lists(6) with a fine of 1500 Guilders. He also appears farther down on another list with the same fine amount. At least one other person paid a much larger fine than did Johan Andersson. Olle Fransen is shown on one list with a fine of 2000 Guilders. Hendrick Coleman, a man called a ringleader of the "rebellion" and a large landowner, was fined 930 Guilders. Fransen’s and Coleman’s fines could be an indication that at least some of the fines were indeed set at one-half of the presumed value of the defendant’s land. Coleman did not own as much land as did Johan Andersson Stalcop.

Johan Andersson Stalcop certainly made a most unusual sale of the land he owned at the time. On April 16, 1673, some three years after the trial, and two years after Governor Lovelace had reconfirmed his title to the land; Johan Andersson Stalcop sold an undivided one-half of his land to two different people. After his death, a dozen years later, this undivided half was finally carved out of the center of the original 800 (actually 994) acre tract leaving equal sized tracts on either side.

One portion of the land went to Samuel Peterson and the other portion went to Lars Cornelison. These two strips of land were carved right out of the middle of the whole track with Cornelison taking the northern strip and Samuel Peterson the southern. Now an interesting series of sales occurred. Cornelison sold his tract to Justa Andries; Andries sold it to Mathias De Foss (the Fox) who in turn sold it to Charles Pickering. Pickering then purchased a second track of about equal size extending beyond the west boundary. Pickering then sold both of his tracks to Johan Andersson Stalcop's widow, Christina Carlsdotter, and to her son, John Stalcop. Title to Cornelison’s portion of the land had made a considerable journey but like a boomerang it came directly back into the Stalcop family.

It was this final division of land after Johan Andersson Stalcop’s death some sixteen years after the event that finally brought to a close the Long Finn affair for the Stalcop family.

(1)  Coningsmark was a former general to the King of Sweden. Why a Finn would want to claim to be
       the son of a Swedish general is not clear but apparently some sort of mystical power was associated
       with the name.
(2)  It is interesting that Foppe Johnson, the owner/operator of the most popular tavern in the area was
       not arrested. He had to be in the middle of everything. Perhaps he was not arrested because he was
       Dutch rather than Swedish.
(3)  Council Book, Secretary of State's Office, Albany, New York. iii13.
(4)  New York Historical Manuscripts Dutch, Vol XX-XXI, Delaware Papers, Gehring, 1977,
       20:4, page 5. The “XX” apparently was to be filled with any other alias' that happened to come up.
       It is interesting to note the name of Marcus Jacobson does not appear.
(5)  New York Historical Manuscripts Dutch, Vol XX-XXI, Delaware Papers, Gehring, 1977,
      20:5, 20:6, 20:7, and 20:8.
(6)  Ibid; 20:5

The Long Finn Affair - 1669


I do not think it would be amiss if for punishmt to the Simpler Sort of those who have been drawn in to this Comotion you injoin them to labour sometimes in ye Reparation of the Works about Ye Fort, But for John Stalcop be sure he be secured in the like maner as ye Long Sweede he having been I perceive a chief Formentor as well as an Actor, in this by them intended Tragety, ye Mischeif whereof is like to fall upon their Own heads.

c/f Pennsylvania Archives Series 2

This letter is about Johan Andersson Stålkofta (alias Stalcop) It was written before the trial was held but the British Governor had already convicted everyone and was recommending punishments.

The Governor’s long distance perceptions apparently proved to be wrong about John Andersson Stalcop for he was not secured (incarcerated) and he was not punished the same as the Long Swede. He did lose half of his original land but was granted more land than he lost a few years later (1677) by the same Court that imposed his fine. He did not lose the land during his lifetime. It was divided after his death during the settlement of his estate.

The loss of land in England would have been horrendous but in America at that moment in time it was hardly a slap on the wrist.


The Long Finn Affair - 1669


October 8TH, 1669

At a Council then held & c

Present – The Governor,                                                          Mr. Ralph Whitfield,
Mr. Thos Delavall,                                                                       Mr. Thor Willett,
                                                      The Secretary

The matters under Consideration was, the Insurrection at Delaware occasioned by the Long Finne and the rape committed by an Indian there.

     Upon serious and due consideration had of the Insurrection began by the Long Finne at Dela Ware who gave himself out to be the son of Connigsmarke a Swedish General, & the dangerous consequence thereof
     It is adjudged that the said Long Finne deserves to dye for the same, yet in regard that many others being concerned with him in that insurrection might be involved in the premmire if the rigor of the law should be extended, & among them divers simple & ignorant people: It is thought fitt & Ordered that the said Long Finne shall be publickly and severely whipt & Stigmatiz’d or branded in the face with the Letter (R) with an Inscription written in great Letters and put upon his Breast That he received that punishmt for attempting Rebellion, after which that he be Secured until he can be Sent & Sold to the Barbadoes or some other of those remote plantations.
      That the Chelfest of his Complices & those concerned with him most do forfeit to his Maty ye one-half of their Goods and Chattels, and that a smaller Mulet or Fine be imposed on the rest that were drawn in & followed him. The which shall be left to the discretion of ye Comissionners who shall be appointed to make enquiry into and Examine the same.
      That the Indian who committed the rape upon the Body of a Christian Woman be put to Death (if he can be found) for that foul fact according to the Sentence already past upon him, and that the Sachems under whom he is, be sent to that they deliver him up that Justice may be executed upon him accordingly.
      By order & c.

c/f Pennsylvania Archives Series 2

This is political doublespeak. The Governor and Council had managed to get all of the Swedish Settlers and the Indians very mad at the British at the same time. It says we screwed this up big time so now we are handing it off to you, Captain Carr, so you can take the blame.


The following is based upon a documented event in the very first Stalcop family. It has been adapted and retold in somewhat current language from New Castle County (Delaware) Court records.


It was a nice warm summer day perhaps in mid-June of 1679. It was planned to be a glorious day. It was the wedding day of the oldest Stalcop daughter, indeed the very first Stalcop daughter ever to marry. Sadly the given name of this Stalcop daughter has been lost in the mist of time. She was being wed to Lylof Stidham, the son of the next-door neighbor, the barber-surgeon Timen Stidham. If custom was followed the wedding was held in the Stalcop home, the home of the bride’s parents.

Shortly after the wedding, Johan Andersson Stalcop, father of the bride, prepared his Will. In it he mentions that he had given Lylof Stidham certain gifts, really gifts for his daughter, on the occasion of their wedding day. He signed his Will on August 24, 1679. From this we know the Stalcop daughter/Lylof Stidham wedding occurred sometime before August 24, 1679.

After the wedding, Christina Stalcop, mother of the bride, spoke to one of the guests, Christina, wife of Walraven Jansen. She told Christina that Aetlie, wife of Justa Anderson, was a thief who had stolen her bonnet. Worst still, Aetlie had the nerve to wear the stolen bonnet to the Stalcop/Stidham wedding. Sara, wife of Mathias Mathiasson, was present a few moments later when Christina Stalcop confronted Aetlie herself, telling her that she should give the bonnet back. The argument that day ended at that point. It simmered below the surface for at least the next six months.

The argument exploded the following year. Ironically it was at another wedding. Neighbor Timen Stidham married for the third time on February 23, 1679/80. This wedding was in the Stidham home. Both Christina and Johan Andersson Stalcop made accusations at this wedding and this time it landed them in a lawsuit. Almost immediately Justa Anderson and his wife Aetlie filed suit in the New Castle County Court for slander and defamation.

The case came up in Court just seven days after the wedding on March 2, 1679/80. It was deferred because none of the witnesses, nor Justa Anderson, were present. It came before the Court again the next month, April 6, 1680.

Several witnesses were called to testify including Sara, wife of Mathias Mathiasson, and Christina, wife of Walraven Jansen. Ann, the wife of William Sanford, testified that she heard Christina Stalcop challenge the bonnet and say that it was her property.

Robert White testified that he was in Timen Stidhams house where he heard John Stalcop say to Justa Anderson his wife had stolen a bonnet from Stalcop’s wife. He further testified that Justa Anderson said, “Will you prove that?” and heard Johan Stalcop answered that he would.

William Cob gave a sworn deposition before the Upland Court that was read into the records of the New Castle Court. In it he said that at the wedding held Timen Stidham's house he heard John Stalcop call Justa Anderson’s wife a thief but said he did not know what she had stolen.

The case was continued to the next month when John Stalcop was to appear in Court.

When the case came before the Court again on May 4, 1680 the justices decided to have a jury decide on a verdict even though most of the witnesses had already been heard. Hendrick Lemmens was called as a defense witness and testified that he heard John Stalcop say to Justa  Anderson “Why do you go by my house [on his way to Timen Stidham's house] and not come in?” Lemmens said that Justa answered “Because you have accused my wife as a thief.” John Stalcop said: “So, if our wives have trouble together let us be friends and drink for we have come here to be merry.” He also testified that he did not hear John Stalcop call Justa, or his wife, a thief.

The jury found in favor of Justa Anderson and Aetlie. The Court set the damages at twelve Pence plus the cost of the suit.

The records of this event are found in Records of the Court of New Castle, Volume 1, pages 390, 403-404, and 410-411.

This case has led to lots of confusion and the mythical creation of a Stalcop Daughter. While there were two weddings there was only one Stalcop wedding and one Stalcop daughter involved. The second wedding was Timen Stidham’s wedding.

Twelve pence was one Shilling or one ‘bob’. There were 20 pence in a British pound. Difficult to say what the equivalent would be in today’s money.




This court appearance for the Stalcop family, besides being funny, has been the center of much misunderstanding and has led to several questionable conclusions.

Att a Court held in the Towne of New Castle by his mayties  Authority March the 2d & 3d  1679/80. [1]

Justa Andries & his wife Aeltie
Jan Andriess Staalcop              

In an action of Defamation

The Case is by the
Cort  referred till next Court day, as when all ye witnesses are personally to appeare, and also Justa Andries.
Att a Court held by his mayties Authority in the Towne of New Castle Aprile ye 6th 1680. [2]

Justa Andries and Plts
Aeltie his wife                       In an action of
                                            Slaunder & defamation

Jan Andriese Staalcop Deft
& Christina his wyfe

The defts both absent: upon the Plts request the following witnesses were Examined & sworne in Cort.

Sara the wife of Mathias Mathiasse sworne declares that being upon ye wedding of Staalcops daughter, shee ye deponant see & heard Staalcops wife Challenge the Capp upon ye head of ye daughter of walraeven Jansen: & sd Staalcops wife sayed further that shee could sweare that it was hur Caoo & afterwards the deponant heard sd Staalcops wife say that Justa’s aeltie should Restore hur ye Cap or quoif againe & that itt was hurs.

Christina the wife of walraeven Janss sworne in Cort declares upon oath that Staalcops wife tould hur that shee had not don well to give ye quoife bake to Jasta’s wife, for that a theefe would bee found out by itt.

Ann the wife of Will: Sanford sworne declares that shee heard Jan Staalcops wife Challenge ye quoife & say that itt was hurs.

Robberd Whyte sworne in Court declares that upon ye 23d day of February being in Company in mr Tymens house in Christina hee ye deponant did heare Jan Staalcop say to Justa Andries that his wife had stole a mutch or Capp from his wife, the sd Justa sayed wil you prove that, Jan Staalcop answered hee would do it.

William Cob was sworne before Justice Otto Ernest in upland County his declaration is as followeth vizt: That upon ye 23d day of February being in Company att Mr Tymens house in Christina did heare John Staalcop call Justa Anderson his wife a theef to his face but for what ye deponant could not tell.

The Cort did Continue this action until next Court day & then Jan Staalcop to appeare.

This was the first case to be heard during the next session of court.

Att a Court held in the Towne of New Castle by
 his may
ties Authority the 4th of May 1680 [3]

AELTIE his wife                     In an action
                                             slaunder & defamation

& CHRISTINA his wyfe

The case of difference being about some Slaunderous words that this deft & his wyfe should have Called this Plts wife a theef. The Cort did thinke fitt to referre ye Case to a Jury, whoe being Returned brought in a vertict for ye Plt as followeth vizt wee find for ye plt agst the deft 12 pence damadge wth ye Cost of suite. The Cort passé Judgemt according to verdict: Hendrik Lemmens a witnesse for ye deft was sworne in Cort before ye Jury went out declared that being att ye wedding of Mr Tymens hee heard ye Jan Staalcop sayed to Justa Andries why doe you goe by my house & doe not come in. Justa answered that because you haue accused my wife for a theef. Jan Staalcop sayed So if or wyves haue trouble together Let us be frinds & drinke for wee are Come heither to bee merry, and ye deponant sayes that hee did not hear Jan Andriess caal Justa or his wife a theef.

As mentioned above this case has been the source of much confusion and has led to much speculation. The confusion stems from the belief that the various court sessions were all discussing one event or confrontation. Close examination of the court testimony makes it abundantly clear that there were actually two such confrontations. Both occurred at weddings..

The first confrontation was between Christina Carlsdotter and Aeltie, the wife of Justa Andersson. It occurred at the wedding of the Stalcop daughter of unknown name when she married Lulof Stiddam sometime prior to August 24, 1679. We know this occurred at the Stalcop’s daughter’s wedding because of the testimony of Sara, the wife of Mathias Mathiasson. We know the date was before August 24, 1679 because that is when Johan Andersson Stalcop wrote out his Will wherein he mentions that the wedding of his daughter to Lulof Stidham had already taken place.

It was the custom that weddings took place in the bride’s home. This places the first confrontation over the stolen bonnet in the Stalcop home, not in the Stidham home.

The second confrontation was in two parts. The first part was between Johan Andersson Stalcop and Justa Andersson. The event of Justa Andersson passing by without speaking while on his way to the wedding of Timen Stidham to his third wife, Christina Ollesdotter, occurred in front of Johan Andersson Stalcop’s home. The statement made by Johan Andersson Stalcop about it were made later in Timan Stedham’s home. We know this from the testimony of Hendrick Lemmens. The second part of the confrontation also took place at or in Timan Stedham’s home. It was a virual repeat of the first confrontation between Christina Carlsdotter and Aeltie, the wife of Justa Andersson. We know from the testimony of Robert White (Robberd Whyte) and William Cobb that the date it happened was February 23, 1680 (1679/80). This was more than six months after the wedding of the Stalcop daughter and approximately six months after Johan Andersson Stalcop made out his will. Clearly, these two weddings and the several confrontations involving the stolen bonnet were separated in time by over six months.

It has been speculated that, contrary to Hendrick Lemmens testimony, the wedding on February 23, 1680 at Timon Stidham’s house was between a second unknown name Stalcop daughter and an Englishman. This wedding supposedly took place in Timen Stidham’s home and not in the Stalcop house because her parents had disowned their daughter for marrying an Englishman not of the Swedish Lutheran faith. If there was any truth to this wild bit of speculation it seems highly unlikely that the parents, Johan Andersson Stalcop and Christina Carlsdotter, would have attended a disowned daughters wedding in their neighbor’s home. The reasons why this speculation cannot be true, however, are two fold. One reason is that Hendrick Lemmens clearly testified otherwise in court. No one contradicted his testimony. The second reason is that there simply are not enough birth slots in the Stalcop family to allow for this second speculative Stalcop daughter of unknown name to even exist.

The saga of the stolen bonnet provided entertainment for the community for the better part of a year.

[2] RECORDS OF THE COURT AT NEW CASTLE, Vol. I, pages 403-404.
[3] RECORDS OF THE COURT AT NEW CASTLE, Vol. I, pages 410-411.



It may be difficult for us today to imagine our grandparents’ daily routine during their efforts to establish a life and livelihood in a new world. Diversions from such a demanding life were few. There was no formal entertainment available, such as television, movies, radio or theaters. There were not even restaurants available so that an occasional meal out could be enjoyed. Indeed, there were not even stores to purchase food. It had to all be provided on their own.

Resourceful people will find ways to make do with whatever is available. So it was with the problem of entertainment. As it happens there was one “show” that made regular appearances in the community. This was the court sessions. These sessions always attracted sizable crowds for, buried within all of the routine cases, there nearly always was several cases that proved to be highly entertaining.

Keep in mind that in New Sweden there were very few written laws. Existing laws almost never covered the disputes that arose. Disputes were presented to the court justices for a decision. The number of times a particular person found him or herself a party to a court case was far greater than we would expect today. This was quite true for Johan Andersson Stalcop and Christina Carlsdotter. Not all of their court records will be cited. We will ignore those records where one or the other is mentioned but did not actually make a court appearance, such as being named as an adjoining property owner in a deed.

We have available court records from some of the cases Johan Andersson Stalcop and Christina Carlsdotter were involved in. Being just minutes or condensed extracts these court records do not tell us everything about what was going on but they do give us an indication of events. You can decide for yourself if any of these cases would provide entertainment for the community.


At a Court held att New Castle the 5th day of decembr ao 1676.

Uppon the Peticon of Walraeven Janss, Marten Gerretsen, Jan Staal Kopp, John Ogle, Andries Andriess, Jan Andriess Andries, Simecus Sophy, Andries Jurianss widow, Jan Gerritz & Peter Je,gou : -- desiering that this Court would give them Leave, when they fetch in their old outlying hoghs to Marke the Joung ones that shall be wth them, in the prsence of their Neigbours in Chistina Creek etc : The Court Referr the Peticonrs to the former orders Provyded In such Lyke Cases. [1]

Notice the spelling of John Stalcop (Jan Staal Kopp). The court clerk taking these minutes was probably Dutch, hence the Dutch flavor to the spelling of all of the names. At least two of the six justices hearing this request were Dutch. The requestors were asking for permission to hold a pig roundup. Their hogs that had been living more or less wild out in the woods and needed to be rounded up all so that the piglets could be marked for ownership the same as the mother pigs. The marking was to be a public event so that there would be no later disputes over ownership of the piglets.

Anyone who has ever tried to catch a free running piglet will have no trouble at all imagining the amount of entertainment this event would provide to the community.

[1] Records of the Court of New Castle on Delaware (RCNC), Vol. I. 1676-1681, 1904 Reprint 2000, page 84. Commas added to ease names separation


The next court action illustrates the many changes that have happened to the countryside during the past three and a half centuries. There have indeed been considerable environmental changes.

Janu ye 3d Cort sate. [2] (1677)
An order for y
e making of Woolfepitts.

The Court taking into Conciederation the dayly & Continuall spoyle & damadge w
ch ye Woolves Committ upon the stockes of the Inhabitants, and that the said wolves (notwithstanding the former order of the Laest high Court allowing 40 gilders for each Woolfe head) are in no wayes more destroyed than heretofore: Itt was therefore this day Resolved and ordered by the Court for the good of the Country in generall that att or about the places, neighbourhoods & plantations hereafter mentioned by the Inhabitants thereof bee made and erected fitting woolfe pitts or houses wherein the said varmin may bee catched & destroyed, the same to bee made by the first of the month of May next upon ye forfeiture and penalty of seventy and five gilders each partee neglecting the same: The severall Constables from tyme to tyme are to see that this order bee fulfilled and observed, and alsoe that the said pitts or houses bee in good order well bayted & tended; They to Inforrme agst the neglectors, and to haue halfe of the forfeiture for their paynes.

Some 53 wolf pits or trap houses were ordered to be built covering the entire territory of the court jurisdiction. One pit was ordered to be built by “Jan Andriesse Stalcop & Tymen Stidham”, the next door neighbor. Their wolf pit was successful because a son of Tyman Stidham was later paid a bounty on one wolf head.

[2] RECORDS OF THE COURT AT NEW CASTLE, Vol. I, pages 176-178.


Att a Court held in New Castle November the fifth 1678. [3]

Samuel Pietersen of Christina Creeke prooveing in Court by the oaths of Mr Tymen Stidham Jan Staalcop & Lasse Wayman, that Juns Anderson smith Late of Christina deceased by a nun
cuppative will before his deceased hath willed & bequeathed all his Estate to him the s
d Samuel Peterson & hath made him his heir.

John Anderson, the blacksmith, was the father-in-law of Samuel Peterson. The granddaughter of this John Anderson was later to become the wife of Pietter Stalcop. This nun capative will was accepted by the Court because they judged the estate to be small and that Samuel Peterson had probably paid out more money in funeral expenses than the estate was worth. Samuel Peterson was ordered by the Court to serve as the administrator of the estate and to file all of the necessary papers with the Court.

[3] RECORDS OF THE COURT AT NEW CASTLE, Vol. I, pages 244-345.


The next court order represents a marked difference from the present methods of creating the infrastructure of the community.

Jann : 9th 1678/9 The Cort sate. [4]

It being Repesented to the Court yt there is need of a highway to come from Jan Staalcops Round Christina to this Towne of New Castle, The Court therefore ordered, that all the Inhabitants dwelling on the North side of Christina, from brandywyn Creeke to the place or plantation of John Ogle, Including him the sd John Ogle, Doe wth all Convenient speede made and clear a good and passable Highway from ye sd Staalcops house Round Christina Creeke to this Town of New Castle, and doe appoint for overseer thereof Mr Abram Man : whoe is desiered to see the worke Effectually done.

This order for a highway says the road is to come around Christina Creek yet Johan Stalcop’s house and New Castle were on opposite sides of the creek. It is also interesting that only those persons living on the north side of the creek, including John Ogle in New Castle, were ordered to build the road. Not just pay for the road but to actually perform the labor of building it. At the time this road would be of little benefit to people living either in New Castle or near Fort Christina. It is clear this road was wanted by one particular individual and not by the majority of the inhabitants. A number of protests and court cases followed but politics being what they have always been the road was eventually built. Most of its route probably can be traveled today as Route 4 to Newport and Route 141 from Newport to New Castle.





Johan Björnsson Printz (born July 20, 1592, – died May 3, 1663) was governor from 1643 until 1653 of the Swedish colony of New Sweden on the Delaware River in North America.


He was born in Bottnaryd, Jönköping County, in the province of Småland. He was the son of a Lutheran pastor, Björn Hansson, and Gunilla Svensdotter. Printz received his early education in Sweden followed by theological studies at German universities. While on a journey in about 1620, he was pressed into military service. His involuntary change in occupation turned out to suit him.

During the Thirty Years’ War, he became a mercenary for Archduke Leopold of Austria, Duke Christian of Brunswick, and King Christian IV of Denmark. Printz entered the Swedish army in 1625 rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel under King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. He was dismissed from service for surrendering the Saxon town of Chemnitz. 

By 1642, he was restored to royal favor, ennobled and appointed to be the third governor of New Sweden. He arrived at Fort Christina in the colony on 15 February 1643 with two ships, Fama (Fawn) and Svanen (The Swan). His appointment was of limited duration intended to last only about two years. Instead, he was more or less abandoned to his own resources and he served as Governor for ten years.

Johan Anderson från Strängnäs was one of the people meeting him as he arrived at Fort Christina having arrived in New Sweden himself two years before.

Under Printz’s rule the Swedish colony initially prospered. He built Fort Nya Elfsborg, A military river control fort on the east bank of the Delaware, and Fort Korshom, an Indian trading fort, on Cock’s Island near the mouth of the Schuylkill River. Fort Korshom allowed him to intercept the trade of natives coming up the Indian Great Trading Path before they had to cross the South (later Delaware) River to reach the Dutch at Fort Nassau or Staten Island.

He secured a near monopoly of trade with the Indians that inhabited both sides of the bay and river as far north as Trenton and to the south and west of the coast.

He built New Gothenburg on Tinicum Island as his administration center, his capital, if you will, It was known as Printzhof. The first building burned and a second built to replace it. It was two stories high, made of hewn logs and had fire places of brick imported from Sweden. It was a fortified house built to withstand an attack by the natives but it was probably never meant to withstand an attack from a ship firing from out in the river. It is said to have glass in the windows and lavish draperies. He built his own manor house and farm at Upland between Tinicum and Ft Christina that he named Printztorp.

Printz was an energetic and conscientious governor. He established harmony with the local Indians once even helping them in a war with their enemy, the Seneca Indians. He was a very large man, reputably over 400 pounds, which earned him the nickname "Big Belly," from the native people, the Lenni Lenape tribe. The influx of Swedish settlers was made up of mostly farmers who interacted fairly with the Indians and established a precedent of kindliness and justice. William Penn and
his followers later became indirect beneficiaries of this treatment when the Indians received them in a friendly manner.

Printz arranged amicable relations with English settlers, initiated trade connections with both the English and the Dutch and directed several commercial enterprises within New Sweden.

In time, problems with the surrounding Dutch and English colonies and lack of support from Sweden became increasingly severe. Short of supplies from Sweden, Printz was unable to prevent the Dutch and the English from practically monopolizing the beaver fur trade in the area.  His main adversary was Peter Stuyvesant, Director General of New Netherlands.

Printz was an autocratic administrator and his growing quarrels with the settlers led some of them to sign a protest. Printz branded it as munity and had one of the signers, a soldier, Anders Jönsson,
executed. This caused tensions to grow even worse. In the end Printz found his position impossible, and in 1654 he returned to Sweden to in an attempt to secure aid for the colony himself. His son-in-law Johan Papegoja was appointed vice-governor of New Sweden.

During his return to Sweden Printz became ill and was confined to a sickbed in Amsterdam. His relief, Johan Risingh, sailed by without stopping. When Printz arrived back in Sweden he was made a general.
Several years later, in 1658, he was appointed governor of Jönköping.  At his death May 3, 1663 five daughters and his second wife, Maria von Linnestau, who he had married in 1642, survived him. His son predeceased him.

Sometimes it is nice to know something about the friends and neighbors living around your ancestors. Here are a few of the folks living around the very first Stalcop, Johan Andersson Stålkofta.

Captain Sven Skute
 Savior of the Family


There is no doubt that Captain Sven Skute’s expertise as a military officer and his skill at following the letter of his orders saved the life of Johan Andersson Stålkofta. He also saved the life of everyone at Fort Trinity during the 1655 Dutch invasion. He did this by very carefully following exactly what his orders told him to do. Peter Stuyvesant later told him that had the Dutch forces been fired upon the Dutch forces had orders not leave even a rooster alive. The Dutch invasion happened about six months prior to Christina Carlsdotter’s arrival in New Sweden and before the Stalcop family came into being.

The following is adapted from the research of Dr. Peter Craig, Hans Ling and Larry Stallcup.

Sven Svensson Skute, born of Swedish parents came from Kronoby in Finland and was married to Anna Johansdotter in Sweden. He was a veteran of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). He had served as a lieutenant with the Åbo and Björneborg County cavalry.

On his first trip to New Sweden Skute left his bride behind. She resided at Sven Skute’s farm at Näsby in Dingtuna parish, Västmanland, and, with his brother Jacob Svensson, is reported to have collected money from his wages while he was in America. Lt. Sven Skute's salary was substantial by contemporary standards. He earned about four times the wage of common soldiers and company workers.

The area of Sven Skute’s farm in Näsby, Dingtuna parish, Västmanland, Sweden
as it looks today.


After arriving in New Sweden, Lt. Sven Skute was assigned to supervising the construction of Fort Elfsborg on the New Jersey side of the river. He was still there in 1644 when he fired on, and boarded, Governor Winthrop's ship from New England. In 1648, he led the Swedish soldiers who barred Dutch settlement near Fort Beversreede on the Schuylkill River. In the summer of 1650 Governor Printz ordered Sven Skute to return to Sweden with letters to plea for more assistance for the colony. He arrived in Stockholm in early November 1650.

In March 1651 he secured an audience with Queen Christina and reported that there were only 70 men remaining in New Sweden and that more settlers and supplies were desperately needed. Queen Christina was very slow in responding to this plea. Two and a half years later, in August 1653, instructions were issued to Sven Skute to find 250 new settlers for the colony. Skute was also well rewarded for his past services. The Queen promoted him to captain and on August 20, 1653 she issued him a Royal patent for extensive lands in present South and West Philadelphia.

Skute immediately began an extensive recruiting trip through Våsterås, Värmland and Dalsland. He recruited more settlers than the next ship, the Eagle, could carry. The ship, with the new Governor, Johan Rising, aboard left Gothenberg Feb. 2, 1654 and arrived at St. Christopher in the West Indies on April 16, 1654 where Skute went ashore to obtain fresh fruit and water. On May 20, 1654 the ship reached Fort Elfsborg, which was found ruined and deserted.

During the night a party of Dutchmen from Fort Cassimir were sent to the Eagle to confer with the Governor, Johan Risingh. Their visit lasted all night. The next morning Governor Risingh ordered the ship to sail the ten miles up the river and to anchor directly in front of Fort Casimir (present New Castle). Rising had no military training. He clearly over-road very strong objections from both of his military commander, Sven Skute, and Captain Buckhorn of the ship Eagle, in ordering such a foolish action. This probably was the beginning of a very prickly relationship between Governor Risingh and Captain Sven Skute that continued until Risingh departed the Colony after he surrendered it to the Dutch.

After Risingh fired a Swedish National salute from the Eagle Sven Skute was ordered ashore with three squads of musketeers, about 30 men, to demand the surrender of the Dutch fort. After Risingh fired a second Swedish National salute from the ship the Dutch garrison surrendered without resistance.

It is believed the Dutch party that spent the night aboard the Eagle was sent to deliberately informed Risingh that the fort had no gunpowder or cannonballs. There is a note in the Minutes of the Dutch Council dated soon after the completion of Fort Cassimir that there was 17 tons of gunpowder available in reserve. The Dutch clearly were not short of gunpowder. A number of Dutch re-supply ships had arrive at Fort Cassimir during the three years between when the fort was built in 1651 and when Risingh arrived in 1654. All of them could have brought a supply of gunpowder and cannonballs. None did.

After its capture Sven Skute and his wife, Anna Johansdotter, made their home near the former Dutch Fort, Cassimir, which had been renamed Fort Trinity. Skute initially was ordered to begin the difficult task of rebuilding the Dutch fort. Due to his rank Skute served on Governor Rising's Council that governed the colony and heard court cases. Soon he was ordered by Risingh to build a huge, all timber, bulwark like, fort between Fort Cassimir and the river. The timber bulwark now assumed the name of Fort Trinity and the Dutch fort regained its original name of Fort Cassimir. Finally, just days before the Dutch invasion Skute was ordered by Risingh to dig trenches with raised soil ramparts out in front of the timber bulwark to mount the guns.

In June 1654 Skute presented Queen Christina's land patent to Governor Rising for confirmation. Rising, however, refused to allow Skute to occupy the land given to him by the Queen’s Royal Patent. He ruled that granting it was dependent on his confirmation, which he refused to give. He did the same in the case of Lt. Elias Gyllengren’s Royal Patent. The only Royal patent he recognized was for his own “estate” of Timber Island.

On August 30, 1655, Governor Peter Stuyvesant of New Netherlands appeared in the South (Delaware) River with six armed ships and a pilot boat. The fleet had 317 soldiers aboard plus several hundred sailors. Sven Skute long had recognized that fighting was useless. Governor Risingh had split his forces of about 50 soldiers and about two-dozen New Sweden Freemen volunteers between the two forts. Risingh ordered Captain Sven Skute to fire on the Dutch ships if they tried to sail past but not to fire if they came in peace. The Dutch ships had drummers beating at the rail and they loosened their sails as they passed by. Both acts signaled peaceful intent. Sven Skute did not order that the ships were to be fired upon in strict adherence to Risingh’s orders. The Dutch ships road the inbound tidal current passed the fort and anchored just north of it. During that night by covert canoe messenger, Risingh ordered Skute to hold out a long as he could, with his 37 men, over half of whom had mutinied, and were placed under arrest, but then to surrendered Fort Trinity if the situation was hopeless.

The situation had been hopeless from the moment Governor Rising attacked Fort Cassimir the very day he arrived in direct violation of his orders. Skute surrendered to Stuyvesant on September 1, 1655. Governor Rising surrendered Fort Christina and all of New Sweden two weeks later. Not only was the Swedish forces under Sven Skute overwhelmingly outnumbered and outgunned the real problem was the big timber structure Governor Risingh had ordered him to built. It was a death trap. Being a trained military officer Skute was no doubt well aware of that fact. Under high-speed impacts from cannonball hits wood tends to shatter into long and very sharply pointed splinters that fly off in a cloud in all directions. The splinter clouds are lethal and greatly multiply the effects of the cannonball hits. Just a few impacts on that timber fort from the first 44-gun broadside from the ships likely would have killed everyone near it in a few moments. Stålkofta was standing in a gun trench immediately in front of the timber structure as the Dutch ships sailed past. He was, in effect, the aiming point of the Dutch ships.

It seems clear that all twelve of the Dutch heavy guns captured in Fort Cassimir had been disabled and were incapable of firing. They probably had been un-useable from the beginning when they were installed by the Dutch. The Dutch guns were not used to fire at the anchored Eagle, or to even to return a salute, nor were the guns available to Sven Skute and the defenders in September 1655.

Risingh was pointing his finger as hard as he could at Skute and the officers at Fort Trinity, Stålkofta being one of them, as being responsible for the loss of the Colony. In fact it was Risingh’s attack and capture of Fort Cassimir in direct violation of his orders his first day on the job that caused the loss of the Colony. After he lost the Colony Governor Risingh was trying hard to divert attention away from his own acts.

After the surrender of the entirety of New Sweden, Governor Stuyvesant agreed to allow the Swedes to retain their lands north of the Christina River and to establish their own government. The Dutch issued them patents for their land and made them all “freemen”. This new "Swedish Nation," later known as the Upland Court, was established in 1656. It was a great reward for losing the war.

Remaining at Fort Casimir (now New Castle) under Dutch rule was not possible for the Skute family. They sold their lots and grain in the spring of 1656 and moved to the west bank of the Schuylkill River, on the northeast side of Kvarn Kill (Mill Creek), in the vicinity of present Woodlands Cemetery. There is a 1658 Dutch reference to "Sven the miller," which is probably a reference to Sven Skute's occupation in his forced retirement. He also, however, was captain of the militia for the new "Swedish Nation."

It is crystal clear that it was only Sven Skute’s calm thinking and strict adherence to exactly what his orders said and his not foolishly firing on the Dutch ships that saved the life of every one of the defenders at Fort Trinity that morning. That included the life of Johan Andersson Stålkofta and the Stalcop Family yet to be.

Captain Sven Skute died at his Schuylkill plantation about 1665. Four known children survived him: Johan Skute, born Sept. 4, 1654 at Fort Trinity (New Castle). Johan married Armegot, daughter of Mårten Garretson and Christina Lom. The surname continued under the spelling of Schooten. Christina married William Warner, Jr. They moved to Woodbury Creek, Gloucester County, NJ, by 1681. Five children; William, Sven, Isaac, Hannah and Jacob. Magdalena, born March 25, 1660, married Peter Rambo, Jr., Nov. 12,1676. They made their home on Pennypack Creek in Lower Dublin Township. 7 children; Swan, Brigitta, Peter, Andrew, Elias, Jacob and John. Gertrude, born c. 1664.

TIMEN STIDDEM of Gothenburg, Sweden, a barber-surgeon for the New Sweden Colony, apparently crossed the ocean seven times before he finally settled in America. Based on a 1651 letter that he wrote to Axel Oxenstierna, the regent of Sweden for the child queen, Christina, he was one of two barber-surgeons on the Kalmar Nyckel on its first voyage in 1637-38. He remained with the ship and, after its second voyage to the new world; Timen became the resident barber-surgeon in New Sweden from 1640 to 1644. Returning to Sweden, Stiddem married and departed again for New Sweden on the Kattan in 1649 with his wife and two small children. A third child was born at sea.

Unfortunately, the Kattan ran aground at Puerto Rico and the survivors were taken prisoner by the Spanish. Timen's wife and three children perished while prisoners of the Spanish. See the Fate of the Cat story. Timen Stiddem miraculously escaped and made his way back to Sweden by 1651. Marrying again, he sailed on his seventh Atlantic crossing, to New Sweden with Governor Rising in 1654. This time he stayed.

Initially Timen Stiddem settled at Fort Trinity (New Castle), but some while after the surrender of New Sweden to the Dutch in 1655, he moved to Christina (Wilmington) where he led an active life until his death in 1686. This change in residence may have been in response to the division of the colony into two parts by the Dutch.

Being the only Swedish doctor in America, he periodically had to travel by canoe as far as Upland (now Chester, PA) to serve his patients.

Timen Stiddem's second wife (name unknown) died before 1679 when he married his third wife, Christina Ollesdotter, the widow of Walraven Jansen DeVos. This wedding is when the argument over the stolen bonnet began.

In his will Timen Stiddem wrote that he had been born in "Hammell" which may be a reference to Hammel in Denmark. Timen's father, Lulof Stiddem, formerly of Copenhagen, became a prominent burgher in Gothenburg and was buried there at the Kristina Kyrka, 3 July 1639. Nine children survived Timen, all born to his second wife. His male descendants eventually adopted "Stidham" as the preferred spelling of the family surname. The nine surviving children, in the order of their birth, were:

Lulof, born c. 1654, and named for his grandfather, married twice, first c. 1679, to the eldest daughter of Johan Andersson Stalcop. His second wife was the widow of Andrew Stalcop. Lulof died in 1704, survived by six children.

Lucas, born c. 1656, married twice. The name of his first wife, mother of all his eight surviving children, is unknown. Lucas died in 1726.

Erasmus, (also called Asmund), born c. 1658, married Margaret, the daughter of Samuel Peterson. He died in 1712, survived by seven children.

Adam, born c. 1660, married Catharina (parents unknown) and had six children before his death in 1695.

Benedict, born c. 1662, married Anna, daughter of Olle Ollesson Thorsson, and had five children before his death in 1699.

Ingeborg, born c. 1664, married Peter Jaquet, son of the former Dutch governor, Jean Paul Jaquet, by 1686. She died before 1713 and was survived by six known children.

Elisabeth, born c. 1666, apparently never married.

Maria, born c. 1668, married Mårten Knutsson, son of Knut Mårtensson from Vasa, Finland, and had at least three sons before she died at Marcus Hook after 1732.

Magdalena, born c. 1671, married Peter Andersson, son of Anders Jöransson, and she died after 1721, probably at Red Lyon Creek; number of children unknown.

Because Johan Andersson Stalcop and Timen Stiddem owned all of the land between the Christina River and Brandywine Creek they and their families were indeed close neighbors.

FOPPEN JANSEN OUTHOUT was a Hollander who first came to the Delaware as a member of Peter Stuyvesant’s invasion force in 1655. He later was called Fop Johnson. He may have first become aquatinted with Johan Anderson Stalcop early on as he may have been one of the guards set to watch JAS and the other officers following the siege and surrender of Fort Trinity. There is no proof of this.

Fop went back to New Amsterdam after the invasion ended and was discharged but he soon returned to New Amstel (later renamed New Castle, Delaware). He opened up a tavern there by 1660. He apparently became a very good friend of Johan Anderson Stålkofta/Stalcop. He became a justice of the New Castle Court and served in this position until 1680. He moved his home across the river to Penns Neck, NJ where he died by 1693 leaving a widow and two daughters.

Fop could read and write in both Dutch and English. The English required that all court documents be written in English so his writing skills were often in demand. He wrote out Johan Anderson’s Will in 1679 and he signed it as a witness. He also added another sworn statement to it on July 20, 1685 after Johan Andersson Stålkofta/Stalcop died. Because he was a Hollander he used Dutch (i.e.: Jan Anderisson) rather than English or Swedish spellings for the names mentioned in the Will. This has lead to lots of confusion and wrong conclusions.

Samuel Petersson of Christina
by Dr. Peter S. Craig Adapted by Larry Stallcup


When the ship Örnen (the Eagle) arrived in New Sweden in 1654, it brought two new freemen to the country named Samuel Petersson, both of them Finns. They were distinguished by their place of origin and their marks. Both appeared at Tinicum Island on 9 June 1654 to sign the loyalty oath to the new Governor of New Sweden, Johan Risingh. One was recorded as Samuel Petersson of Fryksände Parish in Värmland, Sweden; the other as Samuel Petersson of Bogen, Gunnarskog Parish in Värmland. The latter purchased goods from the company store on July 8, 1654 and soon disappeared from history.

Samuel Petersson of Fryksände bought goods from the company store on August 2, 1654. He was residing in the Fort Trinity area (near present New Castle) when that fort was surrendered to the Dutch in September 1655. He then signed an oath of allegiance to the Dutch, signing by his mark. In 1657, the Dutch paid Samuel and his co-worker, Måns Larsson, 18 guilders for services rendered.

The English census of May 1671, found Samuel Petersson and his family residing at Crane Hook on the Delaware River, south of the Christina River. He was among the Finns moving to this location in 1663 at the invitation of the Dutch Governor d’Hinoyossa. In 1669, after the English captured the Delaware from the Dutch, Samuel played a minor role in the “Long Finn Rebellion” for which he was fined 50 guilders. A ringleader in this rebellion was Johan Andersson Stalcop, who owned extensive lands north of the Christina River adjacent to old Fort Christina. To pay for his fine, Stalcop was forced to sell part of his lands. By deeds dated September 2, 1674 and April 16,1675, Samuel Petersson purchased the lower quarter of the Stalcop plantation, fronting on Christina Creek. This land at Christina became Samuel Petersson’s home until his death in 1689. He also added land to his holdings. This included a patent dated July 30, 1684 from William Penn for “Mill Point,” 300 acres, bounded by land belonging to John & Andrew Stalcop, the “old land” of Samuel Petersson and land of Lucas Stedham.

Samuel Petersson was very active in the Swedish church. He gave a 30-foot strip of his former land at Crane Hook for the church at that location. Further, in the dispute between Pastor Lars Carlsson Lock and Pastor Jacobus Fabritius for the right to the pulpit. Samuel Peterson, a warden of the church, supported Lock and by a letter to the English government of August 14,1675 joined other leaders of his congregation to urge that Fabritius, who could not speak Swedish, be rejected as their pastor. Samuel signed the letter with the same mark used when signing the oaths of allegiance to Governor Risingh in 1654 and to Governor Stuyvesant in 1655.

Samuel Petersson’s wife was Brita, daughter of Jöns Andersson the blacksmith at Christina. Jöns’ will, proved November 5, 1678, left his entire estate to Samuel Petersson. Jöns Andersson and his wife Maria had also arrived on the Eagle in 1654. He lived near Fort Christina and made several purchases from the company store from June 17, 1654 to August 8, 1655. After the surrender of New Sweden to the Dutch in September 1655, he informed Captain Sven Skute that he intended to remain at Fort Christina. He and his wife Maria submitted an affidavit on March 7, 1660 to the Dutch authorities regarding the illegal sale of liquor to the Indians by Hans Juriansen Becker, a Dutch soldier.

The will of Samuel Petersson, dated November 20, 1689, has been lost. However, we know from later deeds that the will included a bequest that “he of my sons whom is longest with my loving wife he shall have my now dwelling plantation.” His wife Brita and at least nine children, three sons and six daughters, survived him.

His widow Brita Petersson was listed on the 1693 census as head of a household that included seven others persons. Soon thereafter she married Joshua Jones, an Englishman. On June 24, 1697 she was granted administration of his estate. In August 1697, “Mrs. Brita” subscribed £ 2 towards construction of Holy Trinity Church; her daughter Brita added 12 shillings. During construction of the church, “Mistress Brita” boarded workmen at her house “on the old land” for five weeks. An audit of quitrents (property taxes) in 1701 reported that “Bridget Peterson alias Jones” was current on her taxes. She died in the following year.

The 1701 audit showed the existence of two plantations. The one occupied by widow Brita Jones was on the “old land,” originally acquired from Stalcop. Peter Peterson, the youngest son, who had lived the longest with his mother, would inherit this. Matthias Peterson then occupied the “new land”. It was north of Christina and supposed to contain 300 acres when granted by William Penn, but on resurvey was shown to contain 618 acres. Matthias was unwilling to pay the money required to keep the “overplus,” so he kept only the 300 acres of his choosing. To fulfill his father’s directions in his will, Matthias Peterson executed a deed in December 1702 confirming the “old land” to his brother Peter Peterson.

Margareta Petersson, born c. 1663, was first married about 1686 to Erasmus Stedham, son of Dr. Timen Stiddem. He was father of all of her children. Erasmus, often called "Asmund," was born c. 1658. On 20 October 1686 he acquired from Adam and Benedict Stedham their l/8th shares in the Timen Stiddem plantation, which he apparently shared with his brother Lulof. He served as a churchwarden of Holy Trinity, 1704-1707. Widow Margaret married Thomas Jones on Sept. 7, 1714 and was buried in 1739.

Catharina Peterson, born c. 1665, was married by 1685 to Peter Stalcop, born c. 1664, the son of Johan Andersson Stalcop and Christina Carlsdotter. Peter Stalcop owned extensive lands on Red Clay Creek. He pledged £7 for construction of Holy Trinity Church, helped in its construction for 14 days, furnished horses for two days and lathe for the plastering. On 24 June 1699 he and Catharine were assigned pews. Peter’s will, dated September 3, 1709 and proved May 16, 1710, named Catharina and his son-in-law pastor Ericus Björk co-executors, to be joined by his son John when he came of age. Soon after September 26, 1711, his widow Catharina became the second wife of Lucas Stedham, Sr.. There were no children by her second marriage. Karin (Catharina) last took communion on 6 June 1731. By her first marriage, Catharina had six Stalcop children who grew to adulthood.

Christina Peterson, born c. 1667, married in the late 1680s to Gisbert (Jesper) Walraven, son of Walraven Jansen DeVos and Christina Ollesdotter. She was buried December 20, 1725. Gisbert Walraven, also known as Jesper Walraven, was born about 1660. They lived at Middlle Borough, Christiana Hundred, where he divided his father's plantation with his younger brother Jonas Walraven, April 19, 1708. His will of the same date, proved 4 June 1708, named five children.

Samuel Peterson, Jr., born in 1668, died without making a will (intestate) and unmarried before March 10, 1691/2, when an inventory was made listing his property (six cattle, four pigs, a gun, axe, frying pan, iron pot, chest, anchor and his clothing) as worth £19.

Matthias Peterson, born c. 1671, was married c. 1695 to Elisabeth Justis, daughter of John Giöstason of Kingsessing. He pledged £1.1.0 in 1697 for the building of Holy Trinity Church, worked 9 days helping to build the church and provided lathe for the plastering. He and his wife were assigned pews in 1699. He became a warden of the church and served for several years on the church council. Matthias Peterson was buried September 27, 1719. His widow Elisabeth married Edward Robinson October 18, 1720.

Sarah Peterson, born c. 1673, married Jonas Walraven, youngest son of Walraven Jansen de Vos ( the fox) in 1693. She died c. 1708. Sarah Peterson Walraven had five children by her husband, Jonas.

Peter Peterson, born c. 1675, married Helena Peterson (daughter of Hans Peterson of Brandywine Hundred) c. 1697. He subscribed £2 for the building of Holy Trinity Church and worked 35½ days on the actual construction of the church. He also served as a churchwarden and was a member of the church council when he was buried February 6, 1715. He was frequently called Peter Peterson Caupany to distinguish him from Peter Peterson Smith (son of Hans Peterson of Brandywine hundred). Caupany was derived from the Swedish word “kåpa” meaning a short cloak. By his will of January 29, 1715, Peter bequeathed his 211 acres (the “old ground”), after his wife’s death, to his two surviving sons, Peter, Jr. and Hans.

Brita Peterson, born c. 1680, married by 1704 Anders Justis, son of Johan Giöstason of Kingsessing. The couple lived on the land (300 acres) that Matthias Peterson had inherited from his father. After Matthias Peterson declined to buy the overplus for such land, Anders Justis made repeated requests to the Board of Property in Philadelphia to buy that overplus. He finally succeeded and on May 8, 1727 he traded the 150 acres thus acquired to his brother-in-law Peter Peterson Caupany for 105 acres of the “old ground” (former Stalcop land) situated on the north side of Christina Creek. Soon thereafter, “Andrew and Bridget Justison” began subdividing the land, an endeavor in which their son-in-law Thomas Willing later joined. The result was the creation of “Willings Town,” now known as Wilmington. Brita was buried June 27, 1737.

Elisabeth Peterson, born c. 1684, married Christiern Jöranson (generally called Christian Urinson) c. 1710. A carpenter by trade, Christiern pledged 1½ pounds in 1697 toward construction of Holy Trinity Church in Christina. He was employed in the fall of 1698 to work on the church roof. He worked at this task and other carpentry jobs at the church for 33½ days. About 1712, at the age of 48, Christiern married Elisabeth Petersson. They had three children (Sophia, Christiern and Margareta), born between 1713 and 1716, all of whom died in childhood. Elisabeth next married Valentine Cock of Boon's Island, Kingsessing, on April 23, 1720. She moved to Boon's Island to live on her new husband's plantation. Elisabeth had no children by this marriage. After the death of Valentine Cock in 1725, Elisabeth renounced her right to administer his estate and returned to New Castle County where she became housekeeper for the widower Conrad Constantine. On May 14,1730 she married John Garretson of Newport, son of Paul Garretson. At the time she was pregnant. Their son Thomas Garretson, "some weeks old," was baptized at Holy Trinity Church on December 13,1730. The last discovered reference to Elisabeth Peterson Jöransson Cock Garretson was on May 18, 1734 when John Garretson of White Clay Creek Hundred and Elisabeth his wife sold her 15 acres at Fish Point, New Castle hundred.


In 1684 a Hollander, Garrit van Sweringen, gave a deposition in support of Lord Baltimore’s boundary dispute with William Penn. For the period before his arrival in America, 1657, the deposition is based mostly on hearsay and it is very inaccurate. Nevertheless the deposition does contain some useful information.

Garrit states that he arrived in America aboard the ship ‘Prince Maurits.’ The ship sailed from Texel, in Holland, on December 25, 1656. and was wrecked on Long Island March 9, 1657. Garrit had been the supercargo (similar to a modern day Purser) on the ship and probably was about 21 years old when he sailed for America.

Garrit was in the employ of the Dutch West Indies Company. After his survival of the shipwreck he requested and was granted a discharge from the Company’s service. He then headed south to New Amstel, now the city of New Castle, Delaware. Once there Peter Alrichs appointed him commissary in May 1657. Under Alrichs, and under d’Hinoyossa after Alrichs death, Garrit quickly assumed other positions. He was schout or sheriff, councilor, and justice. He rose to be second in command of the City of Amsterdam’s “Colony of the City.”

The former New Sweden Colony had been divided into two parts. Peter Stuyvesant had borrowed heavily to finance the invasion of New Sweden so in order to pay off the debt he ceded the southern portion to the Burgers of the City of Amsterdam. That portion became known as the “Colony of the City.” The northern portion was retained by Stuyvesant and became known as the “Colony of the Company,” that is, the Dutch West Indies Company. Stuyvesant was nominally in charge of both colonies.

Garrit van Sweringen got into serious trouble with Peter Stuyvesant in 1660 over the treatment of Jan Gerritsen van Marcken, a New Amsterdam merchant who had gone to New Amstel to collect some debts. He was thrown into prison for saying some words that displeased d’Hinoyossa and van Sweringen. As sheriff van Sweringen brought criminal charges against van Marcken. Trials were held in February and March 1660. Jan Gerritsen van Marcken was convicted of about everything in the book.

On June 7, 1660 Stuyvesant reversed the judgment as arbitrary and required Garrit van Sweringen to pay the cost of the suit and to indemnify Jan Gerritsen van Marcken for his wrongful arrest.

On August 30, 1660 Garrit van Sweringen and his wife sailed for Amsterdam without obtaining a passport from Stuyvesant. He took with him 31 skins, which he declared, and another 100 skins that he did not declare. He had bribed the supercargo of the ship. In Amsterdam he used the extra 100 skins to bribe the Directors of the West Indies Company.

On December 24, 1660, the directors of the Dutch West Indies Company sent Stuyvesant a letter chastising him for overruling Garrit van Sweringen’s case against Jan Gerritsen van Marcken, saying it was politically unwise for him to interfere with the affairs of the City of Amsterdam’s colony at New Amstel.

By coincidence van Sweringen met Jan Gerritsen van Marcken at an inn in Amsterdam in April of 1661. It is said that some very harsh words were exchanged.

The van Sweringens stayed in Holland until November 1661, when they sailed again for New Amstel. Garrit van Sweringen and his wife, with a servant and a maid, arrived at New Amstel February 3, 1662 aboard the ship ‘Purmerlander Kerck’. The rift between New Amstel and New Amsterdam widened very rapidly after that.

On the evening of June 20, 1662 three of Stuyvesant’s soldiers were in New Amstel enjoying drinks at Fop Johnson Outhout’s inn. They went out for a stroll and were having a great time singing. Their path took them near Garrit van Sweringen’s home. He took exception to their singing and after a few shouts fired on the soldiers. His shot killed Hermen Hendricksen van Deventer.

Stuyvesant’s South River (the Delaware River) deputy, Willem Beeckman, was furious and collected affidavits and interrogatories from witnesses that he forwarded to Stuyvesant. The affidavits and interrogatories were taken in the home of Johan Andersson Stalcop. Perhaps it was considered as the nearest neutral site.

The Governor of the Colony of the City, d’Hinoyossa, did nothing about it other than temporarily suspending van Sweringen as schout. Stuyvesant felt helpless to do anything about it. He wrote to Amsterdam that he thought the burgomasters of the City of Amsterdam should hear the case.

Van Sweringen was never tried. Instead his superiors in Amsterdam decided the killing had been done in “self-defense.“ The soldiers were completely unarmed. Garrit van Sweringen was officially pardoned.

A little over a year later the English stormed New Amsterdam and Stuyvesant was forced to surrender in much the same way that he had forced the surrender of New Sweden nine years earlier. He surrendered the Colony of the Company on the South River but told the English that he had no authority to surrender the Colony of the City.

A ship under the command of Captain John Carr was dispatched to the South River. It is said that as soon as the English ship came into view Garrit van Sweringen abandoned his post, jumped over the fort wall and fled with his wife and family to St. Mary’s, Maryland. He had been sending bribes to the Governor of Maryland for some time in anticipation of just such an event. All of his lands, houses and estate remaining in the Colony of the City after he fled were confiscated and awarded to Captain John Carr.

In Maryland Garrit van Sweringen was never able to gain the political power and authority his position in the Colony of the City had afforded him. He must have passed on his great dislike of the British to his children and grandchildren. An unusually high percentage of them served in the American Revolutionary War fighting against the British.

Garrit van Sweringen opened up a tavern in St. Mary’s Maryland and operated it until his death. His tavern was the subject of an archeological dig in recent years.

His sixth generation granddaughter, Mary (Polly) Swearingen married Jeremiah Stillwell in Haywood County, NC. Their daughter, Neccessa (later attempted to be “corrected” to Narcissus) Stillwell, married Jesse Benjamin Hall. They became the parents of Maude Almarine Hall, the wife of Lucius Harvey Stallcup.

It took two centuries and a movement of nearly 700 miles but descendants of two men that certainly knew about each other and lived within five miles of each other on the Delaware River between 1657 and 1664 had finally met. Neither Garrit van Sweringen’s nor Johan Andersson Stalcop’s descendants had retained any traces of the knowledge that their respective ancestors had ever known each other. All memory of the two men themselves and the events that happened in New Sweden had long since vanished from the collective memories of both families.


by Hans Ling

Christina Stalcop was buried in Christine Church in Falun, Sweden, the 12 of April 1720.

After the funeral the texts from the sermon where publish in two books. They are of different size and also have a few other small differences. They begin with 2 title pages. Then come 53 pages about the sermon followed by a biography on 14 pages.

I have made this translation of the first part of the biography:

So that the well-deserved eulogy and Christian remembrance of those who have expired in The Lord not may be covered together with the body, but live with all proper honor in constant glory with all those devoted and honest until late succeeding generations; therefore is since long times ago the Christ-praising custom established and used at the Christians travel to earth, that one use to mention the origin, beginning, growth and walk and finally death and departure of those who have expired in The Lord; to be to some consolation and comfort to them in sorrow and grief and as example and encouragement to a Christian and honorable conduct of life and unfeigned piety for those who are left alive. Therefore may this honorable congregation of God in due follow of the same old and lawful use with patience listen to what one may in short have to tell at this sad funeral act.

The year after Christ's birth 1686 the 19 of April is this formerly honor-born, godly and honorable, now at God for ever blessed, matron and noble provosts-wife Christina Stalcop - before this the lovely friend and wife of the reverend and most learned Sir parson and provost here in the congregation Mister Eric Biörck - born to this world by honest parents in Christine congregation in Pennsylvania and America, that is the western part of the world. The father was the formerly honor-born and honest farmer and merchant at that place Mister Pettier Stalcop; the mother the honor-born and godly matron Catharina Samuelsdaughter. These parents have in due attention taken the Christian care of this their loved and first child so that she early might be accepted in her Gods and Jesus alliance of favor throe the baptism and the bath of the new birth. Afterwards may her younger years gradually advance in all proper and Christian instruction while the greatest and first concern and care of her loved parents were how their loved daughter may well learn and understand her Christianism-texts and from them solidly get the right knowledge of her God, the way to her blessing and how to follow it. As there, during this exercise was a notable, natural witty in her to learn and understand, the parents have used all un-spared pains, diligence and expenses for that purpose. And as they found this thing to be of such importance that it ought to be trusted to the attention of good teachers; therefore were several praiseworthy teachers provided and selected for her. But among others was specially mister Carl Springer - now later being senator there on that place - given this important matter. Under his earnest instruction she may in a little while grow so that she could read, write and count as well in English as in Swedish and thereby gave both her teacher as well as her parents desired pleasure. Moreover they also have spared no less of what else that could be needed for her to gather knowledge of other nice professions that were becoming to her and her sex; because she always gave the good hope about her that they from such an expense with delight and joy should be able to harvest a rich fruit in the future; which also did not fail them. In this aspect there was a mutual competition between them; on the parents side in daily demonstration of goodness, love and beneficence; on her side always to assist, honor and serve her loved parents throe compliance, obedience and all daughterly respect; so that she grew in age and grace before God and humans.

Therefore when she thus had spent her younger years in all virtue, decency and unfeigned piety and now had reached tolerable maturity and thus had made herself suitable and prepared to enter into another position according to Gods graceful pleasure; so might The Lord in his divine providence destine and send her a good and honest man and husband from such a long distance; which happened in the following way. According to the graceful providence and sending of the most highest God and the most praise-worth care of king Carl XI - of glorious memory - for our distressed Christian brothers and sisters down there in the West-Indies; who at that time almost were placed in blind darkness without God's words; there to preach God's holy word and lead the poor distressed sheep on the way to salvation; and among others also the honor-worthy and high-learned sir mister Eric Biörck to be the teacher of God's holy word in the Swedish congregations. Who after a few years-circulation and more close acquaintance to his Swedes living there, throe the providence and inspiration of God, finally got such a special affection and love to this for her warmth in The Lord blessed matron, her decent life, virtue and skillfulness that he wanted and considered it as a special gift from God and The Lords blessing if he one day could win the happiness to be bound to such a decent and virtuous wife. Which wish also became fulfilled; so that this mutual sweet band of love after serious consideration on both sides and with the parents good yes and acceptance first with betrothment and then a little more than a year thereafter - that is year 1702 the 6 October when she had reached her 16:th years age - sanctioned and completed in Christine church with Christian and customary ceremonies by the then just there arrived - and also now just from there to Hedemora congregation arrived - provost and parson Sir Master of Art Andreas Sandel (Sandel and Björk were both honored with the title Master of Art by a decision of King Fredric I the 8 April 1721. (My comment)). By this true band a not small joy was caused among the Swedes who were there, and especially in the congregation called Christina, where they lived; so that everyone were glad of the good pleasure which they noticed that their teacher in this way had found among them and therefore they loved him back with all their harts, above all because he had came from their very old native country and wanted to join and unite so closely with them. As this dear true band now was started in God; so might also gladness, joy and pleasure live there with all sweetness. But as The Lord always uses to keep his children here in the world under a cross and grief and a visible prove that no joy and happiness is constant under the sun; so may The Lord God disturb them with the sorrow that her lovely father after the circulation of seven years, that is 1709 the 5 September, went away throe the death, when the mother as well as the children must miss their earthly joy so that their gladness-sun now seemed to have gone down for them; but however all were glad about the sufficient support and honor that The Lord God also had given their house. And as the same now was their only consolation and delight in their sorrow and sadness; so might it so much more hurt their harts when short thereafter her loved man the honorworthy sir provost was called home to his native country throe the all-wise disposal of the same The Highest and of gracious command by king Carl XII - of high-praised memory - with a gracious assurance of a sure and good piece of bred at the return; so that when finally Sir Master of Art (He was given that title at the same occasion as Björk and Sandel. (My comment)) Andreas Hesselius and Mister Abraham Lidenius, who were sent down there as exchange, happily arrived; then the journey back to Sweden and the native country must at length be decided. Which journey, not without reason, not only all the members of the congregation bewailed and regretted as follow of mutual love caused by such a long friendship and acquaintance; but also in particular the loved mother, brothers and sisters and relatives of this blessed matron so that their material joy and pleasure now seemed to be taken away and completely disappeared throe this divorce. Also it could not seem to this blessed matron else than strange and difficult that she in this way should leave her place of birth and native country and must so far separate from her nearest persons without hope ever to see them again in the world, especially also as she should be the first of all women who was to make such a long and difficult journey. But after all, considering the more important reasons, specially the gracious will and call of The Lord to leave her native country and the advises of her loved man and friends, she became well content and easy, specially also because His Royal Majesty's letter of attorney to this honest parish of Falun - dated Timurtasch in the year 1713 the 28 May - arrived in the hands of the honorworthy sir provost before the departure. So that she during such a dangerous and adventurous journey should have some peace and pleasure also from her own persons; therefore she instantly finds her loved brother in law and loved sister willing to make with her an agreeable and sweet company so that she might have much delight from their dear intercourse. Who well intended to go back again after some time; but as Gods wonderful disposal and human plans are of quite different constitution; so might also The Lord God in his merciful grace make the change here-in that the loved sister of this blessed matron not without sorrow and tears must follow to the grave first her blessed loved man and husband and one little child of hers and now finally her well-beloved sister.

In the year 1714 the 29 of June this journey at last was undertaken in The Lord, which run off so well and happily that this blessed matron by the gracious assistance of God and conduct by His angels together with her loved man and quite tender children and kinsmen in good health and wholesomeness arrived to this place Falun at Christmas-time the same year.

The biography continues with a description of Christina Stalcops life in Falun. It is told that she in the beginning had difficulties to get used to Falun, it's inhabitants and their customs and especially so because Sweden was in war and great danger. She longed for the more calm and safe America. But as time passed she became loved by the people and got as many friends in Falun as she had had in America. Her husband did all what he could to comfort her. In their marriage, that "last 6:th of October" had lasted "in on the eighteenth year" they got 10 children, of which 6 were born in Pennsylvania and 4 in Falun. Of them were 4 boys, of which one died "down there in the West-Indies" and 2 in Falun. One of the daughters, born in Pennsylvania, died in Falun. Therefore only one son and 5 daughters were present at the funeral. In her daily life Christina Stalcop was a religious woman. She often went to church and at home she use to read and sing Christian texts and songs together with her children and servants. Every morning and evening she and her husband used to pray together at the bed. She found it difficult to understand that so many persons in her time did not care about God in spite of so much information about him was available. In her opinion it was a great sin to hear Gods word without listening to it.

About Christina Stalcops death it is said that it was caused by "an unexpected child-birth". She had been forced to go to bed the 26 February, but gave good hope to be well again until the 11 March, when her strength left her in the morning. She had high fever and fought with it until the night between the 14 and 15 March, when she fell in a calm sleep. When she woke up at 7 o'clock in the morning she realized that the death was near and took good-by of her husband and children and wished them happiness. At 9 o'clock she fell asleep again and rested calmly until 2 o'clock in the morning the 16 March, when she stopped breathing. Her age was then 34 years except one month and 3 days.

After the biography follows a thanksgiving and 3 pages with prayers and hymns. Among them I have tried to translate Christina Stalcops evening-pray:

God be praised for this good and calm day. God give me a good night, especially to sleep in calm and wake up with health and joy. Save, o God, all my gracious authorities as well here in Sweden as in England; give peaceful deliberations between all kings, sovereigns and regents, especially between Sweden and England so that they may live in peace and calm with each other in the future as in the past; be a protection, my God, to us unprotected and let peace stay in all our days. Save and bless your church and congregation in Sweden as in America and everywhere else where the church is; give strength throe your word and help us so that we may keep your word and sacrament in its right use and order for us and our descendants until the end of the world. Save my parents, sisters and brothers, relatives, friends, enemies, known, unknown, all one with another, care graciously for each and one according to their conditions and circumstances. Think of the poor heathens (I have never seen the word Indians used in the texts from that time. They are called "the heathens", "the wild-men" or at some occasion "the Americans". (My comment.) ) in your grace and mercy; strengthen us all who have converted; help all those who are misguided to the right way again, also me if I may be on the wrong way. Bless me, my loved God, together with the child ("So we called each other." (Note by Erik Björk) you have given me so that we may stay in piety, always live in a pleasant and calm company and at last meet in the eternal peace and joy. Let the children You has given us always be recommended to the best for You; let us educate them in piety to You, to Your honor, their blessedness, our and others joy and use; let them grow in wisdom, age and grace both for You and humans.

What else, my God, that You want to concede us of earthly good, let it thrive under Your blessing, for Your honor and our needy livelihood and subsistence. Amen.

But last, my God; as I do not know when or in which way I may be separated from this miserable world, I pray and ask for a gracious and blessed departure from life."

The next part of the books is a memorial by Gustav Rudbeck. He was provost of the cathedral in Uppsala and married to Erik Björks sister Margareta Björk. His grandfather Olov Rudbeck (Olov Rudbeck was rector of the University of Uppsala and is still the greatest name in it's history. He had an idea that the climate was more important for the character of a person than heritage. May-be that can have had some influence on Erik Björks view upon the Indians.) was a brother of Erik Björks grandmother’s sister Cecila Rudbeckia. Gustav Rudbeck had given the first two tinkling-bags to Holy Trinity Church in Wilmington. Among other he says:

I will tell you to whom this grave is opened. There is said to be a land some hundreds of miles (An old Swedish mile is a little more than 10 kilometers.) from here, situated in the west, about which I have much heard, and which name is America. One may especially love it for it's fertility, because, if it is true what I have heard, one can there find a superfluity of everything so that nothing is missing of all that worldly is necessary for the peace of mind and joy and the body's food and needs.

In this land she is born who now goes into the chamber of death to rest her legs. I know quite well that you in your heart is surprised over such a change, that she has begun her life in such a wonderful land and wanted to end it in this hard place of copper (Rudbeck is referring to the copper-mine of Falun.). But I know the reason well. She had never accepted to do such a long and adventurous journey if she not had brought with her what she appreciated more than all worldly pleasures. A treasure which she not wanted to exchange against all the Mogul empire or all the gold in Peru; a loved and sweet man, Sir Provost Erik Björk.

Further Rudbeck says that she was a religious person and that he often repined that a person grown up among heathens should make the Swedes ashamed. She was honest and never said anything that she did not believe and not believed anything that she did not say. She was helpful to everyone and had mercy for all the poor. She gave to all who asked for help, thou she never before in her land had seen a beggar. She put an honor in obeying her husband and was an effective leader of her household without using hard words. She never gossiped and never asked for news as she knew that nothing new happens under the sun. "She died daily while she lived and therefore she lives now when she is dead. And as she had Jesus with her here on earth Jesus now has taken her to him in Heaven." A last Rudbeck says some words to comfort Erik Björk and then ends his speech: "From America, an earthly paradise, she has come. She has now changed it for the paradise in Heaven."

After Rudbecks memorial follows 21 pages of poems. One of the poems is said to have been read at the grave by her children. It is written by the son Tobias Björk who at that time was only 16 years old.

Hans Ling of Uppsala, Sweden, is a descendant of Rev Eric Björk and Christina Stalcop. That makes Hans a Swedish cousin to all Stalcop descendants in the Pietter Stallcop line. He translated the above in 2001 at the request of Larry Spencer Stallcup.


The world we live in, once so vast it took New Sweden settlers an average of five and a half months to make the journey from Sweden, appears to be getting very small. Today communication between any two places on earth seemingly is instant. The Internet is the marvel that makes this possible. In early March 2001 a gentleman in Sweden was doing some exploring and discovered the web site for The Swedish Colonial Society. Having a strong family curiosity he sent off an inquiry to the Society in an attempt to learn the answers to several questions.

The curious gentleman, Hans Ling of Uppsala, Sweden, is a descendant of Reverend Ericus Björk, the founder and first minister of the Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church in Wilmington, DL. He wanted to know if two portraits were still in the Church. One was of Reverend Björk and the other of Christina Stalcop, the wife of Reverend Björk. The portraits were given to the Church in 1714 as a remembrance when Reverend Björk was recalled to Sweden. Hans also mentioned that he was the owner of a small silver bowl, or cup, made to honor Christina Stalcop after her 1720 death.

Hans sent his inquiry via the Internet to Ronald Hendrickson, at that time the Senior Deputy Governor and Webmaster for the Society. The message was forwarded to Dr. Peter Craig, Historian for the Society, who was kind enough to forward a copy on to me.  I was included because Christina Stalcop is the daughter of one of my direct ancestors, Pietter Stalcop, and the granddaughter of Johan Andersson, alias Stålkofta/Stalcop, the primogenitor of the entire Stalcop family. Dr. Craig immediately recognized the portraits and the cup as being important artifacts of New Sweden and of early American history.

They are also important artifacts in the Stalcop family. The portraits are the oldest items to be associated with the family known to still exist.  The portrait of Christina, later found by Hans Ling in the attic of a museum in Sweden, is the oldest known visual image of any member of the Stalcop family. It may also be among the earliest of portraits of any woman painted in America.

The Swedish Stalcop silver cup has been passed down by direct inheritance. Hans inherited it in 1998 from his mother. There is a continuous documented record of all of its owners. The cup started life as a coin, an English Silver Crown, minted in 1677. It was transformed into a cup in Falun, Sweden after Christina Stalcop's death in 1720. The cup bares the silversmith's mark. The mint date and a Latin motto can still be read on the lip of the cup. The cup is inscribed: “Christina Pet: Stalkop Född I Pennsilvanien och America 1685. Ther Gift til Probst: Er: Biörck  1702 Kom med honom Swerige 1714 dödde I Fahlum 1720”.  Christina was born April 16, 1686 so there is an inexplicable error of one year in her date of birth.

How an English coin came to be available in Sweden is not so certain but it is possible that Christina acquired it in England during a stop on their trip to Sweden. Another possibility is that it was among the gifts exchanged with the Holy Trinity Congregation as the family departed from New Sweden in 1714.  A third possibility, suggested by Hans Ling, is that some member of her family gave the coin to Christina, perhaps as a keepsake passed on from her father or grandfather, when she left America.  It was clear she would never see any of her family in America ever again. In any event it seems sure that the coin held some great or personal value to Christina to warrant having it transformed into a lasting memorial to her memory. 

During my first e-mail message to Hans Ling I identified myself as being a descendant, not of Christina Stalcop, but of her parents, Pietter Stalcop and Catherine Samuel’s daughter and of her brother John. I pointed out that this meant that since he and I shared the same grandparents we are cousins even if it is very distant cousins. In his reply Hans said “Never in my life [have] I thought that I should find a relative in Virginia.”  He could not have been any more astonished than I at finding a Stalcop relative in Sweden.

Because I am descended from at least twenty-two other New Sweden immigrant settlers I have always believed that I may have distant cousins yet living in Sweden that are descended from some of them. But that was not true for the Stalcop family. The Stalcop family has never resided in Sweden. Christina Stalcop is the only member of the family to permanently live in Sweden and is the only one known to leave descendants there. None of her descendants carry the Stalcop name. All Stalcops are descended from one lad, or boy, who traveled to New Sweden, alone, at about the age of 13. Five years after his arrival he acquired a nickname that eventually an English phonetic equivalent became the American surname for his children and all other descendants.

Hans and his wife Meta visited the former New Sweden Colony in 2003 for the dedication, by Crown Princess Victoria, of the restored portraits. My wife Roslyn and I had a wonderful return visit with Hans and Meta in Sweden in 2004. Between those visits a silversmith in the same city, Falum, where the 1720 Stalcop cup was made had fashioned a second cup from an American silver dollar coin. Roslyn and I brought the new cup back with us. It was dedicated and started on its journey through time during the 2007 Family Gathering.

Hans and I have maintained contact with each other via the Internet.  He is the rarest of relatives. He has both a deep interest in the history of his family and the curiosity to discover new facts about them. Best of all he is willing to share what he has found. He has discovered historical documents, provided translations and improved translations for documents that otherwise would never be available in America.

It has truly been a rewarding experience for me to get to know my Swedish cousin. I hope the experience has been rewarding to him.

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