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Our History

History Committee at Gloria Dei

Early Swedish colonists came to the New World in eleven voyages between 1638 and 1656, to bring settlers and supplies.

The New Sweden colony was founded in 1638 at Wilmington, DE (Ft. Christina). The ships, Fogel Grip and Kalmar Nyckel, came with the first voyage carrying Peter Minuit (the Dutchman who bought Manhattan from the Native Americans) as guide and leader. The ship models that hang in Gloria Dei were given to the church in 1938 to remember 1638.

All together, the Kalmar Nyckel made four voyages from Gothenburg, Sweden to New Sweden. In 1643, Governor Johan Printz, a man weighing some 300 pounds (which must have impressed the natives) came on the ships Swan and Fama.

His was an official governmental venture of Sweden. He established New Sweden, which extended from the falls of the Delaware River at Trenton to the mouth of the Delaware Bay, and constructed his capital at New Gottenberg (now Tinicum Island, near the present Essington, Pennsylvania). There the first church in the area was constructed, and inhabitants of various Swedish settlements along the Delaware River boarded boats to attend services there.

To view or download history articles found individually and within the archived copies of the Riverside click here.

 


 


Gloria Dei (Old Swedes) Church

 

D. Joy Segal, Rector

Columbus Blvd. & Christian Sts.

Philadelphia, PA 19147

(215) 389-1513