Aviva Blog Directory » Local & Global » North America » United States » Delaware

Delaware was the first of the original 13 states to ratify the United States Constitution in 1787, which is why one of its nicknames is The Constitution State. Its motto is Liberty and Independence, and the capital is Dover. It is named in honor of its first governor, Thomas West, the third Baron De La Warr. It has only three counties: New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, all of which were established in 1682. Although the Delaware River Valley had been explored and claimed by John Cabot in 1497 and considered part of the Virginia Colony, the first colonists were the Swedes and Dutch who believed it to belong to their country based on the explorations of Henry Hudson of the Dutch West India Company and settled there in 1638. In the last couple of years in the 17th century, their descendants built Old Swedes Church, which is also called Holy Trinity Church. It is one of the oldest churches still in use in the United States. In 1664, the British routed the Dutch from the area, and in 1776, Delaware adopted the Delaware constitution, declared itself “the Delaware State,” and gave its governors the title of President. Caesar Rodney, who represented Delaware in the Continental Congress along with George Read and Thomas McKean. He was in Dover on July 1, 1776, when he got word that Read and McKean were deadlocked on the vote for independence. Rodney rode through the night more than 70 miles through a vicious electrical storm in order to break the deadlock. He got to Philadelphia on July 2, just in time for the vote. He cast his vote with McKean, in favor of the resolution, and two days later, the wording was set and the Declaration of Independence was approved. His vote made the Declaration unanimous. Delaware was a slave state and in 1865, they voted against ratifying the Thirteenth Amendment, which was the abolition of slavery. In fact, they did not ratify that amendment until 1901.

Regular Blogs