The State of Delaware

By | Jul 2, 2008

Delaware is named after the Delaware Bay and River, which were named for Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, who lived from 1577 to 1618 and was the second Royal Governor of Virginia. The Delaware Bay and River was first explored by Henry Hudson.

At one time Delaware was part of the claim of the Maryland colony of Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. However the Dutch first settled in Southern Delaware near Lewes in 1631. All members of that colony were killed by the natives. Calvert’s 1632 charter only gave him land that were not settled by Europeans.

James, the Duke York, removed a Swedish colony near present day Wilmington in 1663, even though they had been there since 1638. After winning the claim over the protest of Calvert, James sold his claim to William Penn in 1682 making the area part of Pennsylvania. By 1705, the land now known as Delaware had its own separate assembly from Pennsylvania, even though they had a common Royal Governor. It wasn’t until 1776 that the colony took the name Delaware.

The surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon as a resolution of border dispute of British colony between 1763 and 1767 charted the borders of the Province of Pennsylvania, the Province of Maryland, Delaware Colony and parts of Colony and Old Dominion of Virginia.

With the population center of the state being near the town of Townsend, which is only around ten miles south of the C&D Canal, only a little over half of the 843.5 thousand people of Delaware live in Delmarva, the peninsula south of the C&D canal. Delaware south of the canal has a more rural way of life with an agricultural output of poultry, nursery stock, soybeans, dairy products and corn. Southern Delaware is where the residents take life slow and easy with no worries. Many call it Slower Lower.

Although Delaware doesn’t have any national parks, national seashores, national historic sites, national battlefields or national monuments it is loaded with places of interest. There are museum, wildlife refuges, parks, historic houses, lighthouses and a national history. Delaware was the first state to adopt the Constitution of the United States earning it the nickname ‘The First State’.


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