Jacqueline Searles 
Kalmar Nyckel Foundation 
302 429 7447 


Sunday February 24, 2013 from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM EST

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Reception from 4 to 5 PM

Lecture from 5 to 6:30 PM


Chase Center on the Riverfront 
815 Justison Street
Dravo Auditorium
Wilmington, DE 19801

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"375 Years On The Delaware: New Sweden Past and Present"

 Lecture 2: "Delaware's First Corporate Takeover:

The Dutch and the Swedes in a 17th-Century Battle for Business"

Dutch FlagWilmington, Delaware – The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation announces its Lecture Series for 2013, entitled “375 Years On The Delaware: New Sweden Past and Present.”   The Foundation's annual lecture series brings world class scholars and speakers to the greater Delaware community and supports our mission “to preserve and promote Delaware’s cultural and maritime heritage for the education and enrichment of all.”   This year we are honored to celebrate the 375th anniversary of the original Kalmar Nyckel's first voyage to North America and the founding of New Sweden on the Delaware.

The second lecture, entitled "Delaware's First Corporate Takeover: The Dutch and the Swedes in a 17th-Century Battle for Business," features Dr. Charles Gehring, renowned scholar, historian, and translator of the Dutch Archives housed in the New York State Library in  Albany, NYDr. Gehring's lecture focuses on Delaware's first corporate conflict, a “battle for business” between what amounted to two multinational corporate conglomerates, one under Swedish sovereignty, the other Dutch.   Capitalism came in the first European ships, and Delaware was on the cutting edge of the modern world, a world that we’ve inherited for better and worse.

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It seems fitting that Delaware – known today as the corporate capital of American and the registered home to over 60% of the world’s Fortune 500 companies – should have been founded by two competing corporate entities, the Dutch West India Company and the New Sweden Company.  Two of the Fortune 500 Companies of their day, they were joint stock enterprises chartered explicitly to engage in commerce across the Atlantic and to make money.  And like “hedges funds” and other vehicles for financial investment today, they were high-risk ventures that could bring even higher rewards – or utter ruin.  Delaware in the first half of the 17th century was still something of a “new frontier,” a fertile land rich with possibilities, an as yet “undefined” place for entrepreneurs to stake their claims, a gateway to the American interior and to the future.

Here to tell us about this very modern story is Dr. Charles Gehring, the Director of the New Netherland Research Center.  Dr. Gehring is the translator extraordinaire of the Dutch Archives and has been working away tirelessly since 1974 on the collection of some 12,000 pages of documents.  For over 38 years now, scholars and students have looked to Dr. Gehring when investigating the early history of New York and the larger Dutch colony of New Netherland.  In 2004, Dr. Gehring and his work received international acclaim thanks to the New York Times bestselling book by Russell Shorto, entitled The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America, credit that was long overdue and richly deserved.   

A long-time supporter of the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation and present for the launch of the ship in 1997, Charles Gehring has been a wise and generous friend.  We are honored to be able to present Dr. Gehring to a greater Delaware Valley audience during this 375th anniversary year.

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This Program is Partially Funded By A Grant From The Delaware Humanties Forum, A State Program Of The National Endowment For The Humanties.

 The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation’s 2013 Lecture Series is sponsored in part by the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware. 


More Information

To register for the third lecture, use the link below.