New Sweden is in America, but where is America?
Chances are that a young man will be dead within a year if he is
drafted into King Gustavus Adolphus’s army to fight for the Protestant
cause in the Thirty Years’ War against the Catholics. For Ben Vogel,
it’s the beginning of a long, perilous journey to a new land that some
still call India. First he must collect war tributes in the midst of
misery, starvation, and destruction in Europe.
The king falls in battle, and Chancellor Oxenstierna assigns Ben’s
company to escort the royal body and the distraught queen home to
Stockholm. They battle snowstorms as wolves howl
at their heels. They’re attacked by Catholic martyrs, and all the while
Queen Maria Eleonora is becoming increasingly deranged. The solemn
funeral procession turns into a bizarre carnival.
Dutch merchants, unhappy with New
Netherland, propose a new venture to Oxenstierna,
and Peter Minuit becomes the director. On his first expedition he buys
land from the Indians and establishes New
on the Delaware River.
In Stockholm Ben falls in love, but treachery and tragedy intervene. To
save him from powerful enemies, his commander finds him a place in the
New Sweden Company. Seven hazardous months after Calmare Nyckel weighed
anchor, Ben steps ashore in the new world. He struggles along with other
settlers to build the new colony. The land is rich, but the colony is
small and support from Sweden sporadic. The colonists get along well
with the Indians, but European diseases wipe out whole native villages.
Ben scouts the new land, finds love again, and builds a new life as a
trader and pioneer.
Note: New Sweden (1638-1655) spanned parts of
Jersey. The first settlement was at
(Minquas Kill) in
Book design by Johan Lundquist
Published by COMRECO AB, 2009
Källvik, 185 91 Vaxholm, Sweden
Ph. +46 8 541 754 05
© Leif Lundquist