Chapter XXVIII

The Township Of Tinicum.


church was built belonged to her father, whose attorney she was, she claimed that structure as part of her possessions. But the edifice was, nevertheless, used for religious services, and although she sold the church to La Grange, with the island, the Swedes still worshiped therein. On May 24, 1673, to show her contempt for the Swedes, she sold the bell after she was put into possession of the estate in the execution in the ejectment suit, to which reference will be made. The receipt given by her on that occasion is interesting, since it relates to the first church-bell we have record of in our country's history, although long years before that date mention is made of a bell used by the courts at New Castle to summon the people together. The following is the receipt given by her:1

1 Acrelius, "History of New Sweden," p. 86.

{copy}"Laus Deo, May 24, 1673.
"I, the undersigned, Armegat Printz, acknowledges to have transferred to the congregation of the adherents of the Augsburg Confession in this place, the bell that has been on Tennakong, that they may do therewith what pleases them, and promise to keep them free from all claims that are made. Before the undersigned witnesses given as above.
"Armegat Printz.
"His mark,
P. K.
"Peter Kock.
"His mark,
"Jonas Nelsson."

The Swedish congregation at Tinicum, Acrelius tells us, purchased the bell back again before Armegat left the Delaware finally for Europe, paying therefor two days' labor in harvest-time. The date of her departure is unknown, but she was at Upland, Chester, on March 3, 1676,2 nearly three years after the bell was sold. We also know that at a court held at New Castle by Governor Andross, May 13 and 14, 1675, it was ordered "That church at Tinicon Island Do serve for Upland &etc; pts adjacent."3 In this little log church, for many years, Pastor Lock preached to the Swedish settlers, and when the English conquered the territory, bringing with them their contempt for the clergy,4 it was evident the change of rulers was not to his benefit. To be sure, as measured by the standard of this day, the reverend gentleman seems to have worn the cloth with little credit to his profession, but: the times were rude, the sports were rude, and if, as stated, his "great infirmity seems to have been an over fondness for intoxicating drinks," it was the general weakness of that age. Finally, as years crept apace, the old dominie grew infirm, became so lame that he could not help himself, and was compelled to suspend active labor in the ministry. Rev. Jacob Fabritius, of the Wiccaco Church, could be of little use to Tinicum congregation, for while the latter's flock grew, Lock's did not; and as Pastor Fabritius was blind, and had to be led when he walked about, the little church on Tinicum languished until, about the beginning of the eighteenth century, it ceased to be used for religious services. In time it fell into ruins, and long before the beginning of the present century had entirely disappeared.

2 Penna. Mag. of History, vol. ii. p. 467.

3 N. Y. Colonial Documents, vol. xii. p. 326; Hazard's Annals, p. 417.

4 Macaulay's "History of England" (Am. Book Exchange, ed.), vol. i. pp. 210, 212.

The graveyard mentioned by Campanius has been eaten away by the washing of the tide. It is related by Aubrey H. Smith, late United States district attorney, of Philadelphia, that his father and the latter's sister, when children, while walking along the rivershore at Tinicum, at the site of the burial-ground, saw coffins projecting from the banks where the earth had been worn away by the water. Printzhof, that noted mansion of the Swedish Governor, stood until the summer of 1822 on the high ground of the island, and "the interior bore evident marks of great antiquity in its structure," but at the date stated the greater part of the ancient building was destroyed by fire.5 Dr. Smith records that "the dilapidated remains of what was said to be the chimney of this mansion were standing within the recollection of the author, and up to this time one of the small foreign-made bricks, of a pale yellow color, of which it was partly constructed, may be occasionally picked up in this vicinity. Its site was a short distance above the present Tinicum Hotel, and on the opposite side of the road.6

5 "Topographical and Medical Sketch of Tinicum Island," by George F. Lehman, M.D., published in Journal of Medical and Physical .Science, Philadelphia, 1833.

6 History of Delaware County, p. 31.

The administration of the affairs of the province under Printz must have been exceedingly gratifying to the crown of Sweden, for in less than nine months after Governor Printz landed on the Delaware, Queen Christina, on Nov. 6, 1642, made a grant, "On account of the long and excellent services which the lieutenant-colonel and Governor of New Sweden, our very dear and beloved John Printz, has rendered to us and to the Crown of Sweden, and also on account of those which he is daily rendering to us in the government of the country and which he is engaged to render us as long as he shall live . . . the place called Teneko or New Gottenberg, in New Sweden, to enjoy it, him and his lawful heirs, as a perpetual possession."7 Governor Printz, when he came to the colony, was accompanied by his wife and daughter, Armgart; the latter was subsequently married to Lieutenant John Pappegoya, who, on Printz's return to Sweden, near the close of the year 1653, was left in charge of the government of the colony, and after the coming of John Rysinge, who superseded him in authority, the latter remained, for in Rysinge's letter to the ministers of Sweden, July 11, 1654, he recommended Pappegoya as a proper person to be appointed schute or sheriff on the Delaware.8 At that time the presumption is Governor Rysinge resided at Tinicum, for on June

7 Penna. Archives, 2d series, vol. v. p. 776.

8 Hazard's Annals, p. 155.


« Previous Page (Page 276)    Next Page (Page 278) »
Ashmead's "History of Delaware County" Homepage
Delaware County History Homepage