In 1643, Johan Printz moved the capital of New Sweden to Tinicum Island, higher up on the Delaware River, where he built his manor house, called Printzhof. Nearby, on a high point facing the river, Fort Nya Gothenborgh was constructed of “hemlock beams, laid one upon the other,” armed with four small brass cannon, and garrisoned with eight soldiers and two gunners. It is presumed that the storehouse was located on the land side of the island A year later, Printz said of ‘Tinnakongh’, as the island was often called, that, like Fort Christina, it was “also in like manner made so strong that those who are therein need not fear for any savages, even if they were several thousands.” But a different enemy took Printz at unawares. According to Printz, a fire was started through the carelessness of one of the gunners, destroying the fortress. He had the fort rebuilt the next year. Few details are available on Fort Nya Gothenborgh after it was rebuilt. When the Dutch conquered New Sweden some plundering took place on the island, but whether this affected the fort is uncertain. The Company directors renamed the island “Cattenburch,” after one of the islands in the recent extension of their city. The name did not stick, and in the documents after 1655 the island Tinicum is mentioned at times, without however any reference to a fort.
Nya Gothenborgh, fort (Essington)
- Jacobs, J., Dutch Colonial Fortifications in North America 1614-1676 (Amsterdam, 2015), 36-37