Fort Nya Elfsborg

Fort Nya Elfsborg

Fort Nya Elfsborg

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Fort Nya Elfsborg was a fortification and settlement established as a part of New Sweden. Built in 1643 and named after the Älvsborg Fortress off Gothenburg, Fort Nya Elfsborg was located on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River, between present day Salem and Alloway Creek.


Fort Nya Elfsborg was built shortly after Johan Printz, governor of New Sweden, arrived in the colony on 15 February 1643. He also built Fort Nya Gothenborg on Tinicum Island (to the immediate SW of today's Philadelphia), where he built his own manor house which he called The Printzhof. Fort Nya Elfsborg had iron and brass 12pd cannons mounted on earth and wooden palisades. It was a Swedish style three-cornered earthen redoubt with eight guns. Log farmsteads similar to those found in Sweden went up around the fort further downriver, so that Dutch West India Company ships coming up from the bay would have to get by them first.

At that time, this area of the river was mostly swamp and the soldiers garrisoned there were inundated by mosquitos. Fort Mosquito( Fort Myggenborgh), as it was commonly nicknamed, was eventually abandoned, the soldiers succumbing not to enemy cannon fire but bites. New Sweden burned down the fort after the Dutch built Fort Casimir across the river in 1655. The actual site is now under water at Elsinboro Point. There is a black stone monument of the fort outside the Elsinboro Township School. The stone block came from...
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