In 1655 the Dutch took over New Sweden, which had been partially settled as early as 1638, and renamed those Swedish settlements New Amstel. Nearly ten years later, in 1664, Holland would surrender control of the entire region of the Delaware to England. This volume comprises translations of all records pertaining to the Delaware region while it was under the control of the Dutch, as well as translations of certain other documents pertaining to the region while it was in the hands of the Swedes. Constituting Volumes XVIII and XIX of the Colonial Manuscripts in the New York State Archives, these “Delaware Papers” consist of the following: papers relating to problems with the Swedes, including a report on Swedish activities prior to Stuyvesant’s arrival in New Netherland; extracts from Stuyvesant’s letterbook pertaining to the Delaware from 1648 to 1650, and papers concerning the takeover of New Sweden in 1655; the council minutes of Jean Paul Jacquet, vice-director of the South River until 1657; a series of letters from the director of New Amstel, Jacob Alrichs, to Stuyvesant from 1657 until Alrichs’ death in 1659; and the letters of Willem Beeckman, vice-director of the territory of the South River from 1659 to 1664.
With this volume, which contains the only reliable translation of the “Delaware Papers” published to date, we at last have an established text for the early Dutch records pertaining to the administration of the Delaware region.