Capitulation of Fort Christina

Scanned Document:

First: all cannon, ammunition, materials, provisions and other effects belonging to the most revered Crown of Sweden and the South Company presently in and around Fort Christina shall be and remain the property of the most revered Crown and South Company and be at the disposal of the lord governor to remove the same or to be turned over to the aforementioned Lord General Petrus Stuyvesant on the condition that the same shall be returned immediately upon demand.


The lord governor, Johan Risingh, together with all commissioned and non-commissioned officers, officials and soldiers shall march out with drums beating, pipes playing, flags flying, slow-matches burning, musketballs in their mouths, carrying hand and side arms; and they shall be safely conveyed, after withdrawing from the fort, to Timmers Island where, for the present, they shall be lodged in the houses there until the time the lord governor's departure on the ship, De Waech, which shall safely and securely transport the aforesaid lord governor and his accompanying soldiers and goods to Sant Punt,[1] located five miles outside of Manhattan, within the time of fourteen days at the longest. Meanwhile, the lord governor, Risingh, and the factor, Elswyck, are permitted to remain in their lodgings at the fort with four or five servants in order to attend to their affairs.


All communications, letters, documents and papers found in Fort Christina belonging to the most revered Crown of Sweden, the South Company or private persons, shall remain untouched, unimpeded and uninspected in the possession of the lord governor and his associates for removal whenever they please.


None of the most revered Crown's or South Company's officers, soldiers, officials and freemen shall be detained against their will but shall be allowed to depart freely and unimpeded, with the lord governor, as they please.


That all the Crown's and South Company's high and low officials, officers, soldiers and freemen shall keep their own chattels unimpeded and undamaged.


If some officials or freemen should desire to depart with the lord governor and his accompanying soldiers but are now unprepared to do so, they shall be granted the period of one year and six weeks to dispose of their movable and immovable property, provided that they take the obligatory oath of allegiance for the time that they remain at this river.


If there should be any Swedish or Finnish people who do not wish to depart, the lord governor, Risingh, shall be free to admonish them to leave; and if as a result of this they are inclined to leave, they shall not be detained or impeded by the lord general; and those who then intend to remain of their own free will, and earn a livelihood, shall enjoy the freedom of the Augsburg Confession and be allowed a person to instruct them therein.


Lord Governor Johan Risingh, Factor Elswyck, together with other high and low officers, soldiers and freemen who desire to depart now with their own chattels, shall be furnished a suitable ship by the lord general. After arriving at the Sant Punt, the ship shall transport them to Texel, and from there directly by lighter, galiot or another suitable ship to Gottenburch without expense to them; and this galiot or ship shall not be detained ] at Gottenburch, for which Lord Governor Risingh is responsible ].


If Lord Governor Risingh, Factor Elswyck or any of the officials of the most revered Crown or South Company should have contracted any debts on behalf of the aforesaid Crown or Company, they shall not be detained because of them within the territory governed by the aforementioned lord general.


Lord Governor Risingh is to have full liberty to investigate the conduct of the former commandant, Schute, his officers and other soldiers regarding the surrender of the fortress at the Sant Houk.[2]


Provided, that the lord governor undertakes to have the soldiers under his command leave Fort Christina on this day, being the 15/25 of this month, and to deliver the same into the hands of the lord general.

Done and signed on the 15/25 aforementioned in the year 1655 at the meeting ground between Fort Christina and the director-general's camp.

Signed ] Johan Risingh, P. Stuyvesant

Director over New Sweden

On covers ] Capitulation of Fort Christina


Sant Punt was the area south of Manhattan on N.J. shore where ships assembled for Atlantic crossing.

Sant Houk or Sant Hoek was the name of the area where Fort Casamier was built.


Translation: Gehring, C. trans./ed., New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vols. 18-19, Delaware Papers: Dutch Period, 1648-1664 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1981).A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.