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: Early Settlement . . .

In 1638, a small group of people from Sweden landed at a site in Delaware now know as Wilmington. Three years later, Peter Hollander Ridder, the second governor of New Sweden, as the settlement in the Delaware Valley was called, purchased form the Indians the entire eastern side of the Delaware River from Raccoon Creek to Cape May. The first settlement by the Swedes was here on the banks of the Raccoon Creek in 1642, originally named Raccoon and later Swedesboro.

To attend church, the Swedish settlers in Raccoon had to cross the river to Wilmington or Philadelphia. The danger of this crossing, together with their feeling that they were poorly treated by the Swedish authorities on the other side of the Delaware, and the arrival of an energetic new preacher, Lars Tollstadius, led to their decision to build a new church on the banks of Raccoon Creek, near the new bridge for Kings Highway, which led from Burlington to Salem. In 1703 they purchased 100 acres along the Raccoon Creek and on part of it established their own log church in 1703, the first Swedish church in New Jersey.

“We are almost universally farmers, who plow and sow and practice agriculture, and live according to the laudable old Swedish customs in meat and drink. This country is also very rich and fertile land in all kinds of grain, so that, God be praised, it ears richly and abundantly whatever we sow and plant in it . . . so that we have plentifully our support in meet and drink . . . We live in great amity with the Indians, who have not done us any harm for many years.”
~ A Swedish minister in 1693.

The 1703 Deed

“THIS INDENTURE made the first day of September in the year of our Lord, One thousand Seven Hundred and three and in the Second Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lady, Ann, Queen of England, Scottland, France, and Ireland, BETWEEN John Hugg Jun'r of Glocester River in the County of Glocester and province of New Jersey, Gent., of the one part and Woolla Dalbo, William Cobb, Woolla Peterson, and Frederick Hopman, all of Raccoon Creek within the County and province aforesaid, Church Wardens Elected and appointed of the Swedish Church called [blank] and late Erected at Raccoon Creek in the County abovesaid, of the other part. WITTNESSETH That the said John Hugg, for and in consideration of the sum of Twelve pounds, silver money within the said province to him in hand paid by the Woolla Dalbo, William Cobb, Woolla Peterson . . .by these presents DOTH Hereby Clearly and absolutely Grant, Bargain & Sell, Alleyn, Infeoff, and confirm unto them . . . and to their Successors in the said office of Church wardens of the said Church forever, The Jut Number and Quantity of One hundred Acres of Land . . .””