Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware, 1630-1707

By Albert Cook Myers | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

THis report, which is addressed to the newly established Swedish Commercial College in whose hands the direction of the affairs of New Sweden, through the chartered company, had recently been placed, was written by Johan Classon Rising, the last governor of the colony, barely two months after his coming to the Delaware. Governor Printz had departed in the fall of 1653. Rising on his arrival, the following May, found the settlements in a discouraged and sadly depleted condition. No word had come from Sweden for nearly six years and the population had dwindled by desertions to Maryland and Virginia, and by other causes, to less than a hundred persons. Rising brought with him an accession of over two hundred settlers, and soon infused new life into the languishing colony. Despite the adverse circumstances he writes in a hopeful constructive spirit, describing the situation; and with an eye trained under the influences of the new Swedish commercial development, he points out the industrial possibilities of the Delaware.

Johan Classon Rising was born in 1617 in Risinge, östergötlandslän, in south central Sweden. After courses at the gymnasium at Linköping in Sweden and at the universities of Upsala and Leyden, he travelled with the aid of the Swedish government and certain patrons among the nobility, through many of the countries of Europe for purposes of culture and for special information with respect to commerce and trade. In these subjects he became a foremost authority, and from 1651 to 1653 held the office of secretary of the Commercial

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