Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, to the northeast by New Jersey, and to the north by Pennsylvania. The state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia's first colonial governor.
Tradition holds that the new 13-star flag, the Stars and Stripes, was first unfurled in the Battle of Cooch's Bridge, September 3, 1777. (Only Revolutionary battle fought in Delaware.)
Learn about the state that started the nation on the Delaware History Trail! Comprised of 36 significant historic sites, visitors can receive a commemorative book for completing the trail entitled, “Landmarks and Legacies,” a colorful narrative highlighting historic places and fascinating people representing the very fabric of the First State.
The Democrats were firmly entrenched in Delaware for three decades after the Civil War; a subsequent period of Republican dominance lasted until the depression of the 1930s. Since then, the two parties have been relatively evenly matched.
The official state flag of Delaware was adopted on July 4, 1913. The flag has a blue field that features a yellow diamond with the state's seal. On the seal, a soldier (with a rifle) and a farmer (with a hoe) look at each other across scrollwork that encloses an ox, a sheaf of wheat, and an ear of corn. Under this is a white ribbon reading, "LIBERTY AND INDEPENDENCE." Above is a sailing ship (representing commerce). Below the seal is the date December 7, 1787, the date that Delaware ratified the United States Constitution (it was the first colony to do so).
Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States constitution. It did so on December 7, 1787.
During the American Revolution, the black population of Delaware made a great contribution to American victory as toilers of the soil and in general services. Delaware blacks served as express riders, supervisors of horses, and teamsters. Others showed their loyalty by paying taxes in bushels of wheat for the support of the army, just as their white neighbors did.
1655–Peter Stuyvesant, from New Amsterdam, arrives with the Dutch fleet. The Dutch forces overpowered the Swedish forts, and established the authority of the Colony of New Netherlands throughout the area, thus marking the end of Swedish rule in Delaware.
In 1631, 11 years after the landing of the English pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts, the first white settlement was made on Delaware soil.
It is the second smallest state in the country and one of the most densely populated. The state is organized into three counties—from north to south, New Castle, Kent and Sussex—all established by 1682.
Hendricksen is regarded by many to be the first "civilized man" to set foot in what is now Delaware. In his journal, he records that he traded with the Indians for skins of various kinds; sables, otter, mink, bear robes, etc.
Delaware's history is a long and proud one. Early explorations of our coastline were made by the Spaniards and Portuguese in the sixteenth century, by Henry Hudson in 1609 under the auspices of the Dutch, by Samuel Argall in 1610, by Cornelius May in 1613, and by Cornelius Hendricksen in 1614.
Delaware is relatively one of the richest states, with the second largest gross state product per capita in the Union behind Washington DC. Much of this wealth can be attributed to its liberal tax policy.