The New International Encyclopædia/Printz, Johan

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PRINTZ, Johan (c.1600-63). A Governor of New Sweden. He was born in Bottneryd, Sweden, about the year 1600. He served as a cavalry officer in the Thirty Years' War, and for having surrendered the Saxon town of Chemnitz was dismissed from the service, but in 1641 was restored to royal favor, was ennobled, and was appointed Governor of New Sweden. He reached Fort Christina in 1643, and desiring to control the trade of the river and be as close as possible to the Dutch at Fort Masson, he established a settlement on the island of Tinicum, a few miles below the site of Philadelphia, and built a fort and also a mansion called ‘Printz Hall.’ His administration was a vigorous one, and during it the colony increased in numbers and in prosperity. He caused other forts to be built at various places for the protection of the colony, carried on a large trade with the Indians, and successfully maintained himself against the English and the Dutch. He quitted the colony in 1653, and two years later it was conquered by the Dutch under Stuyvesant. When Printz reached Sweden he was made a general, and a few years later became Governor of Jönköping. Consult: Winsor, Narrative and Critical History of America (8 vols., Boston and New York, 1889); and Brodhead, History of the State of New York (2 vols., New York, 1853-71).