Fort Nassau (South River)
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Fort Nassau was a factorij in the New Netherlands between 1623-1651 located at the mouth of Big Timber Creek at its confluence with the Delaware River. It was the first known permanent European-built structure in what would become the state of New Jersey. The creek name is a derived from the Dutch language Timmer Kill as recorded by David Pietersen de Vries in his memoirs of his journey of 1630–1633. The Delaware Valley and its bay was called the "South River" (Dutch: Zuyd Rivier); the "North River" of the colony was the Hudson. The factorij built under the direction of Cornelis Jacobsz. May in the 1620s was for trade, mostly in beaver pelts, with the indigenous population of Susquehannock and Lenape. While generally thought to have been located at today's Gloucester City, New Jersey, others believe that the structure was on the south side of the creek's cove, at today's Westville. Still others place it in the town sharing the cove between the others, Brooklawn.
Initially the fort was occupied intermittently, and on occasion use by the seasonally migrational local population. In 1635, colonists from Virginia Colony occupied the fort. The governor of New Netherland at the time, Wouter van Twiller, sent a force to re-take it. Successful in the action, prisoners were returned to the south. This was the first of conflicts between the English and Dutch in the New World. While thereafter continuously manned, the location was disadvantageous since the richest fur-trapping area was on the west side of the river.
From 1638-1655 the Delaware Valley was part of New Sweden, which had been established by Peter Minuit, who had been Director of New Netherland, and was responsible for the famous purchase of the island of Manhattan. In 1651, Petrus Stuyvesant, Director-General of New Netherland, had the structure partially dismantled relocating it armaments and other equipment to a position on the other side of the river, in part to menace the Swedish and re-assert jurisdiction of the region, calling it Fort Casimir.
On Trinity Sunday in 1654, Johan Risingh, Commissary and Councilor to New Sweden Governor Lt. Col. Johan Printz, officially assumed his duties and attempted to expel the Dutch from the Delaware Valley. Fort Casimir surrendered and was renamed Fort Trinity (in Swedish Fort Trefaldighet). The Swedes were now in complete possession of their colony. On June 21, 1654, the Indians met with the Swedes to reaffirm their ownership.
Peter Stuyvesant led a Dutch force which retook the fort on September 11, 1655, renaming it New Amstel (in Dutch Nieuw Amstel). Subsequently, Fort Christina also fell on September 15 and all New Sweden came under the control of the Dutch. John Paul Jacquet was immediately appointed Governor, making New Amstel the capital of the Dutch-controlled colony.
 See also
- Kill (body of water)
- Fort Beversreede
- Fort Wilhelmus
- Fortifications of New Netherland
- New Netherland settlements
- Fort Nassau (North River)
- Pidgen Delaware
- Rink, Oliver (2009). "Seafarers and Businessmen". Dutch New York: The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture. Yonkers, NY: Fordham University Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-8232-3039-6. Unknown parameter
- "New Netherland and Beyond: Delaware River Settlements".
- Cleary, William E. History of Fort Nassau, February 18, 2007. Accessed September 15, 2010.
- Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
- History of Fort Nassau
- "Fort Nassau". Gloucester County, New Jersey History and Genealogy. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- *Family Search.com: Map of Delaware Valley in 17th century showing forts & settlements with date of founding
- Brodhead, John Romeyn (1853). History of the State of New York: First Period 1609-1664. Harper & Brothers. pp. 254–255.
- "Site Of Fort Casimir". Delaware Public Archives. State of Delaware. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
- Site of Fort Casimir http://archives.delaware.gov/markers/ncc/SITE%20OF%20FORT%20CASIMER%20NC-23.shtml
- Siege of Christina Fort, 1655 http://etc.usf.edu/Maps/pages/8100/8116/8116.htm