Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Printz, Johan
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|Edition of 1900. See also Johan Björnsson Printz on Wikipedia, and our Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography disclaimer.|
PRINTZ, Johan, colonial governor, b. in Bottneryd, Sweden, about 1600; d. in 1663. He was the third governor of the Swedish colony on Delaware river that had been projected by Gustavus Adolphus and established by his daughter, Christina, in 1638. (See Minuit, Peter.) Printz had been a lieutenant-colonel of artillery in the Swedish army in Germany, and was deprived of his rank for surrendering the Saxon town of Chemnitz, but was afterward restored to favor. He was governor from 1641 to 1654. During these thirteen years he maintained, with little assistance from home, the supremacy of the Swedish crown on the Delaware against the Dutch, against the New Haven emigrants under Lamberton, and against the followers of Sir Edmund Plowden, the so-called lord of New Albion. He established forts at New Castle, at Wilmington, at Tinicum (a short distance above the present town of Chester, where he resided), at the mouth of the Schuylkill, and on the eastern shore of the Delaware. He thus secured a monopoly of trade with the Indians that inhabited both sides of the bay and river as far north as Trenton. During his tenure of office seven expeditions, containing more than 300 emigrants, sailed from Sweden. They were excellent farmers, devoted to the Lutheran church, and extremely just in their dealings with the Indians, whom they prepared, by their kind treatment, to receive William Penn and his followers in a friendly manner. In 1654 Printz, dissatisfied with the condition and prospects of the colony, returned. In the next year the Dutch captured Fort Christina, and the Swedish domination was soon at an end. Little is known of Printz after his return to Sweden, but it is recorded that he was made a general and became governor of Jönköping in 1658. — His daughter, Armagot, accompanied her father to this country, and in 1644 married Lieut. John Pappegoya, who was in temporary charge of the province after Printz's departure till the arrival of the new governor. Pappegoya returned to Sweden in 1654, but his wife remained in the province, where she lived secluded in the mansion built by her father on Tinicum island. The royal government made large grants of land to father and daughter, but none of their descendants became inhabitants of the colony. See “Songs of New Sweden,” by Arthur Peterson (Philadelphia, 1887).