Delaware History - the history of Delaware
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Delaware   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Delaware History


Delaware History

Before the arrival of Europeans, the area that is today the state of Delaware was home to the Unami League (also known as "Delaware") and Nanticoke Native American groups. The Unami League lived in a settled agricultural and hunting society.

The Dutch were the first Europeans to arrive in present day Delaware, and established a trading post near Lewesin 1633. However, all the settlers were wiped out within a year following a dispute with the Native Americans. In 1638, a Swedish colony was established near Wilmington. In 1651, tbe Dutch returned, established a new fort near the site of present day New Castle, and in 1655 absorbed the entire Swedish colony.

In 1664, the Dutch were evicted by the British under James, the Duke of York. William Penn wanted an outlet to the sea for his Pennsylvania province, so leased the " Lower Counties on the Delaware" from the Duke. As a result, from 1682 to 1704, Delaware and Pennsylvania had a combined General Assembly. Even after 1704, Penn and his heirs remained the Proprietors of both Delaware and Pennsylvania, and always appointed the same person as Governor for both colonies.

During the American Revolution (1775 to 1783), Delaware was initially reluctant to break with Britain. Delaware did however provide one of the premier regiments of the Continental Army, known as the "Delaware Blues" and nicknamed the "Blue Hen Chickens". Following the Revolution, Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

Delaware was founded as a slave state. Various local attempts were made to abolish slavery in the state, but all failed even though there were relatively few slaves in Delaware. Nevertheless, despite being a slave site, Delaware remained in the Union during the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), and was the only slave state not to assemble Confederate regiments or militia groups (although some of Delaware's citizens did fight on the Confederate side in Maryland or Virginia regiments).

Slavery was finally abolished in Delaware at the same time it was abolished in the country as a whole: when the 13th Amendment took effect in December 1865. After the abolition of slavery, the state legislature adopted a policy of segregation including poll tax and Jim Crow laws. Only in the mid 1950s did these restrictions begin to disappear, with the integration of the school system.

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A Culinary History of Southern Delaware: Scrapple, Beach Plums and Muskrat (American Palate)

By Denise Clemons

The History Press
Released: 2016-08-01
Paperback (160 pages)

A Culinary History of Southern Delaware: Scrapple, Beach Plums and Muskrat (American Palate)
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Historic farms and waterways crisscross Southern Delaware, connecting its residents to a set of rich culinary traditions. The original Nanticoke inhabitants baked hearty johnnycakes and hunted wild game. Hungry for a taste of home, German settlers developed scrapple from local ingredients. Today's home cooks and chefs draw their bounty from the land and sea for a distinct, seasonal cuisine. Summer strawberries and peaches from local farms and orchards become delectable preserves thanks to treasured family recipes. Come springtime, succulent blue crab reigns supreme. With recipes for regional favorites like beach plum jelly and chicken with slippery dumplings, author Denise Clemons explores the history behind the ingredients and savors the story in every dish.

Revolutionary Delaware: Independence in the First State (Military)

By Kim Rogers Burdick

The History Press
Released: 2016-11-21
Paperback (176 pages)

Revolutionary Delaware: Independence in the First State (Military)
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In 1776, Delaware declared independence from both England and Pennsylvania. Originally known as the Three Lower Counties of Pennsylvania, the First State was instrumental in the fight to form a new republic. The Marquis de Lafayette, Nathanael Greene and George Washington all made trips to the state. Caesar Rodney's ride and the Battle of Cooch's Bridge are legendary, but the state has many unsung heroes. Citizens from every village, town, crossroads and marsh risked their lives to support their beliefs. Author Kim Burdick offers the carefully documented story of ordinary people coping with extraordinary circumstances.

The Delaware Indians: A History

By Professor C. A. Weslager

Rutgers University Press
Paperback (568 pages)

The Delaware Indians: A History
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"One of the best tribal histories . . . the product of decades of study by a layman archeologist-historian. With a rich blend of archeology, anthropology, Indian oral traditions (he gives us one of the best accounts of the Walum Olum, the fascinating hieroglyphics depicting the tribal origins of the Delaware), and documentary research, Weslager writes for the general reader as well as the scholar."--American Historical Review

In the seventeenth century white explorers and settlers encountered a tribe of Indians calling themselves Lenni Lenape along the Delaware River and its tributaries in New Jersey, Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, and southeastern New York. Today communities of their descendants, known as Delawares, are found in Oklahoma, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Ontario, and individuals of Delaware ancestry are mingled with the white populations in many other states. The Delaware Indians is the first comprehensive account of what happened to the main body of the Delaware Nation over the past three centuries.

C. A. Weslager puts into perspective the important events in United States history in which the Delawares participated and he adds new information about the Delawares. He bridges the gap between history and ethnology by analyzing the reasons why the Delawares were repeatedly victimized by the white man.

Shipwrecks, Sea Stories and Legends of the Delaware Coast

By David J. Seibold

Exeter House Books
Paperback (140 pages)

Shipwrecks, Sea Stories and Legends of the Delaware Coast
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Famous shipwreck stories.

Washington's Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History)

By David Hackett Fischer

Fischer, David Hackett
Released: 2006-02-01
Paperback (576 pages)

Washington s Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History)
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  • ISBN13: 9780195181593
Product Description:
Six months after the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was all but lost. A powerful British force had routed the Americans at New York, occupied three colonies, and advanced within sight of Philadelphia.

Yet, as David Hackett Fischer recounts in this riveting history, George Washington--and many other Americans--refused to let the Revolution die. On Christmas night, as a howling nor'easter struck the Delaware Valley, he led his men across the river and attacked the exhausted Hessian garrison at Trenton, killing or capturing nearly a thousand men. A second battle of Trenton followed within days. The Americans held off a counterattack by Lord Cornwallis's best troops, then were almost trapped by the British force. Under cover of night, Washington's men stole behind the enemy and struck them again, defeating a brigade at Princeton. The British were badly shaken. In twelve weeks of winter fighting, their army suffered severe damage, their hold on New Jersey was broken, and their strategy was ruined.

Fischer's richly textured narrative reveals the crucial role of contingency in these events. We see how the campaign unfolded in a sequence of difficult choices by many actors, from generals to civilians, on both sides. While British and German forces remained rigid and hierarchical, Americans evolved an open and flexible system that was fundamental to their success. The startling success of Washington and his compatriots not only saved the faltering American Revolution, but helped to give it new meaning.

Delaware: A Bicentennial History

By Carol E. Hoffecker

W. W. Norton & Company
Paperback (258 pages)

Delaware: A Bicentennial History
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History of the State of Delaware Volume 1

HardPress Publishing
Paperback (478 pages)

History of the State of Delaware Volume 1
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Unlike some other reproductions of classic texts (1) We have not used OCR(Optical Character Recognition), as this leads to bad quality books with introduced typos. (2) In books where there are images such as portraits, maps, sketches etc We have endeavoured to keep the quality of these images, so they represent accurately the original artefact. Although occasionally there may be certain imperfections with these old texts, we feel they deserve to be made available for future generations to enjoy.


By Kevin Fleming

Brand: Portfolio Books
Hardcover (221 pages)

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Book by Fleming, Kevin

Delaware State History - In A Nutshell

By Cyndi Kinney

Knowledge Box Central
Released: 2015-06-08
Kindle Edition

Delaware State History - In A Nutshell
Product Description:
Do you want to study YOUR state's history in a concise, easy to understand format? This product includes a State History Study Guide and 15 Review Questions. There are no journal pages or lapbook booklets. Everything you need to know for studying your state's history is included in a format that will meet the needs of the public, private, or home school.

Delaware Chair Company: Manufacturer of All Kinds of Double Cane, Ratan, and Splint Seat Chairs, Delaware, Ohio

By Ohio Delaware Chair Company

Leopold Classic Library
Released: 2017-01-12
Paperback (40 pages)

Delaware Chair Company: Manufacturer of All Kinds of Double Cane, Ratan, and Splint Seat Chairs, Delaware, Ohio
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Leopold is delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive Classic Library collection. Many of the books in our collection have been out of print for decades, and therefore have not been accessible to the general public. The aim of our publishing program is to facilitate rapid access to this vast reservoir of literature, and our view is that this is a significant literary work, which deserves to be brought back into print after many decades. The contents of the vast majority of titles in the Classic Library have been scanned from the original works. To ensure a high quality product, each title has been meticulously hand curated by our staff. This means that we have checked every single page in every title, making it highly unlikely that any material imperfections – such as poor picture quality, blurred or missing text - remain. When our staff observed such imperfections in the original work, these have either been repaired, or the title has been excluded from the Leopold Classic Library catalogue. As part of our on-going commitment to delivering value to the reader, within the book we have also provided you with a link to a website, where you may download a digital version of this work for free. Our philosophy has been guided by a desire to provide the reader with a book that is as close as possible to ownership of the original work. We hope that you will enjoy this wonderful classic work, and that for you it becomes an enriching experience. If you would like to learn more about the Leopold Classic Library collection please visit our website at

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