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History?

Okay, posting this for a friend... >.>

Does anyone know any random things that happened in US history? Pre-1776, year/name of fact...

If you know any history nerds, link them?

*okay, it can be after 1776, but that stuff's more, like, important atm.

*is lame*

Comments

cloudmyjudgment
Sep. 6th, 2006 04:12 am (UTC)
The Delaware River watershed was claimed by the British based on the explorations of John Cabot in 1497, Captain John Smith and others, and was given the name held as a title by Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, the Governor of Virginia from 1610 until 1618. At that time the area was considered to be part of the Virginia colony.

However, the Dutch thought they also had a claim, based on the 1609 explorations of Henry Hudson, and under the auspices of the Dutch West India Company were the first Europeans to actually occupy the land. They established trading posts in 1624 at "Hooghe Eyland" (High Island), now Burlington Island, opposite Burlington, New Jersey, in 1626 at Fort Nassau, now Gloucester City, New Jersey, and at Swanendael, now Lewes, Delaware in 1631. Peter Minuit was the Dutch Director-General of the New Netherlands during this period and probably spent some time at the Burlington Island post, thereby familiarizing himself with the region.

In any case, Minuit had a falling out with the directors of the Dutch West India Company, was recalled from the New Netherlands, and promptly made his services available to his many friends in Sweden, then a major power in European politics. They established a New Sweden Company and, following much negotiation, he led a group under the flag of Sweden to the Delaware River in 1638. They established a trading post at Fort Christina, now in Wilmington, Delaware. Minuit claimed possession of the western side of the Delaware River, saying he had found no European settlement there. Unlike the Dutch West India Company, the Swedes intended to actually bring settlers to their outpost and begin a colony.

Minuit drowned in a hurricane on the way home that same year, but the Swedish colony continued to grow gradually. By 1644 Swedish and Finnish settlers were living along both sides of the Delaware River from Fort Christina to the Schuylkill River. New Sweden's best known governor, Johan Björnsson Printz, moved his residence to what is now Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania, where he intended to concentrate the settlements.

While the Dutch settlement at Swanendael, or Lewes, was soon destroyed in a war with native Americans, the Dutch never gave up their claim to the area, and in 1651 under the leadership of Peter Stuyvesant, built Fort Casimir, now New Castle, Delaware. Three years later, in 1654, Johan Rising, the Swedish governor captured Fort Casimir from Dutch. For the Swedes, this was a catastrophic miscalculation as the next summer, 1655, an enraged Stuyvesant led another Dutch expedition to the Delaware River, attacked all the Swedish communities and forcibly ended the New Sweden colony, incorporating the whole area back into the New Netherland colony.