Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BLOMMAERT, Samuel, colonial patron, born about 1590; died about 1670. He was one of the directors of the Amsterdam chamber, and, in company with Samuel Godyn, a fellow-director, bargained with the natives for a tract of land reaching from Cape Henlopen to the mouth of Delaware river. This was in 1629, three years before the charter of Maryland, and is the oldest deed for land in Delaware. Its water-front nearly coincides with the coast of Kent and Sussex cos. The purchase was ratified in 1630 by Peter Minuit and his council at Fort Amsterdam (New York). A company*including, besides the two original proprietors, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, De Laet, the historian, and David Pietersen De Vries*was formed to colonize the tract, and a ship of eighteen guns was fitted out to bring over the colonists and subsequently defend the coast, with incidental whale-fishing to help defray expenses. A colony of more than thirty souls was planted on Lewes creek, a little north of Cape Henlopen, and its governorship was entrusted to Gillis Hosset. This settlement antedated by several years any in Pennsylvania, and the colony at Lewes practically laid the foundation and defined the singularly limited area of the state of Delaware, the major part of which was included in the purchase. A palisaded fort was built, with the "red lion, rampant," of Holland affixed to its gate, and the country was named Swaanendael, while the water was called Godyn's bay. The estate was further extended, on 5 May 1630, by the purchase of a tract twelve miles square on the coast of Cape May opposite, and the transaction was duly attested at Fort Amsterdam. The existence of the little colony was short, for the Indians came down upon it in revenge for an arbitrary act on the part of Hosset, and it was destroyed, not a soul escaping to tell the tale. According to acknowledged precedent, occupancy of the wilderness served to perfect title ; but before the Dutch could reoccupy the desolated site at Lewes, the English were practically in possession.
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