August 28 in Swedish history, 1649:
The ship 'Kattan' (The Cat), on its way to the New Sweden colony on North America's east coast, is shipwrecked at Puerto Rico. “Kattan” was a smaller warship built in Stockholm around 1641. It was the ship’s ninth expedition to the New Sweden colony.
Little is known about “Kattan” more than that it was a sailing-vessel with a crew of around 30 men, 70 colonizers and carried 20 canons. The New Sweden colony was in need of reinforcement, both in material as well as settlers, the last contact they had had with Sweden was through the ship “Svanen” (the Swan), which had arrived in January of 1648.

Kalmar Nyckel too old
At first the ship “Kalmar Nyckel” was supposed to once again sail to the colony, but that ship was deemed too old, and thus “Kattan” went instead. It sailed off on July 3, 1649 from Göteborg’s harbor under commander Hans Amundsson Besk and captain Cornelis Lucifer. On board was the crew of about 30 men and the 70 colonizers, and the cargo consisted of necessities and weapons for the colony. “Kattan” followed a route via the North Sea and the English Channel to the island of Antigua in the Caribbean and onwards to the St. Christopher Island, where it arrived on August 21st.
It continued on towards New Sweden on August 26. During the night to August 28 “Kattan” hit ground at a small uninhabited island outside of Puerto Rico and sank on September 1st. The crew and passengers manage to escape but are taken prisoners by Spanish pirates who bring them to Puerto Rico. Most of the survivors die during imprisonment and only a handful later return to Sweden.

ADVERTISEMENT

In 1994, the book “Kattan och Nordstiernan: sjörövarroman” (“Kattan” and “Nordstiernan”: a pirate novel) by Björn Holm is published; it depicts how “Kattan” sinks and continues to describe – fictively, of course – the adventures of those who survived.
ISBN: 9146165215

Read more about the replica of the historic Kalmar Nyckel and, more about Sweden's brief history as a super power: New Sweden 1638-1655