Aleasa Hogate, a hardworking volunteer-vice president of the New Sweden Centre, recently traveled to Detroit to receive a well-deserved Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History on September 16 at the Cobo Center. The award was for her work in educating students and the general public about the rich history of the New Sweden Colony in the Wilmington, Philadelphia and South Jersey areas.
New Sweden’s Swedish and Finnish colonists settled here more than 40 years before William Penn’s arrival, paving the way for his ability to communicate with the Lenni-Lenape and other Native American tribes in the area, and giving America its log cabins.
Hogate, whose full title is Vice President and Education Director, is a resident of Pennsville, New Jersey, near the area where the early Swedes carved out their homesteads in this part of the state. She is descended from the original settlers, a fact which provides much of her motivation. While she works extremely hard, she is quick to make sure people know her work is part of a team effort consisting of significant contributions from many others. She was accompanied to the event by fellow board member Donna Draper.
Hogate was presented the award by AASLH Council Chairman Julie Rose and John Dichtl, the organization’s president and CEO, “for excellence in history programs, projects, and the motivation of volunteers when compared with similar activities nationwide.”
The nomination was prepared by fellow board member Abdullah Muhammad. It reads, in part: “This award results from Aleasa’s dedicated and committed service to the collection, preservation and interpretation of the 17th century New Sweden Colony in the Delaware Valley. For more than 30 years, Mrs. Hogate had spearheaded, encouraged, or assisted in nearly every monument or historic marker dedicated to Swedish colonial history in the Delaware River Valley. Supported by a dedicated group of New Sweden volunteers, she also shares the colony’s story widely through tours and re-enactments and encourages diverse organizations to commemorate and tell the New Sweden Story. This includes the contribution of its African-American and Lenni-Lenape Native American inhabitants.”
The New Sweden Centre is very grateful for Aleasa Hogate’s significant contributions to our work and proud of what she has accomplished.