Parents and Teachers: Support Ducksters by following us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter.
Ducksters Educational SiteDucksters Educational Site
History Biography Geography Science Games

History >> US Geography >> US State History

Delaware

State History

Native Americans

People have inhabited the land that is today the state of Delaware for thousands of years. Before the Europeans arrived, there were two main Native American tribes that lived in the area: the Lenni-Lenape (also called the Delaware) and the Nanticoke. These people hunted, fished, and farmed crops such as beans, squash, and corn. For homes they made wigwams from tree branches, grass, and mud.


The Delaware state capitol building
Delaware State Capitol by Joshua Daniel Franklin

Europeans Arrive

In 1609, Henry Hudson explored the Delaware Bay while trying to find a passageway to China. Just a year later, Sir Samuel Argall accidentally found the bay while sailing to Virginia. Argall named the bay De La Warr after the governor of Virginia. This is how the state eventually got the name Delaware.

The first Europeans to settle in Delaware were the Dutch in 1631. However, they soon got into a fight with the local Native Americans and the Dutch settlers were wiped out. A few years later in 1638, some Swedish settlers established the first permanent settlement at Fort Christina. Today this settlement is Wilmington, the largest city in Delaware. The Swedish settlement prospered off of the fur trading business and began to grow.

Changing Hands

Over the next several years, control of the land changed hands between the Dutch and the English. First, the Dutch took over in 1655 and the area became part of New Netherland. Then, in 1664, a British fleet arrived and conquered the region, naming it New York. Delaware became part of the Pennsylvania colony in 1682 and was known as the "Lower Counties on the Delaware." By 1704, Delaware largely had its own government, although it shared a governor with Pennsylvania.

American Revolution

When the American Revolution began in 1775, the people of Delaware were not sure they wanted to split from England. When it came time to vote for the Declaration of Independence in 1776, even the delegates were split with two delegates in favor of independence and one against. The night before the vote, Caesar Rodney, who was for independence, was in the city of Dover. When he learned that the vote was taking place, he rode 70 miles at night through a thunderstorm to Philadelphia in order to vote so that Delaware would join the other colonies in declaring independence.



State quarter of Delaware
from the United States government

Few battles were fought in Delaware during the Revolutionary War, but many of Delaware's men served as soldiers in the Continental Army. They became known for their fierce fighting and earned the nickname the "Blue Hen Chicks" after the blue feathered fighting gamecock. The blue hen later became the Delaware state bird.

Becoming a State

After the Revolutionary War, Delaware was quick to ratify the new U.S. Constitution and join the Union. On December 7, 1787 Delaware became the first state and has since been known by the nickname the "First State."


The blue hen became Delaware's state bird
Blue Hen of Delaware by Stilltim

Timeline More US State History:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


Works Cited

History >> US Geography >> US State History





About Ducksters Privacy Policy   

Follow us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter

This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.