Colonial Delaware Facts, History, Timeline

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Delaware Colony Timeline

Henry Hudson discovered the Delaware Bay and River for the Dutch in 1609.

In 1610, Captain Samual Argall of Virginia named the bay for Lord De la Warr, the governor of Virginia colony.

1615-16 - territory was explored by Cornelis Hendricksen

1621 - territory was incorporated by the Dutch West India Company.

1631 - first Dutch Settlement near Lewes Delaware.


Colonial Delaware first permanent settlement was at Fort Christina near present day Wilmington by the Swedes in 1638 and was named New Sweden.

1638 - Peter Minuit established a settlement at Fort Christina. He bought the area from the Minquas Indians and named it New Sweden.

1642 - a charter and a governor was appointed to the Delaware territory. His name was Johan Printz. He remained governor for ten years. His mansion, fort and church was on Tinicum Island.

1651 - Peter Stuyvesart the governor of New Netherland, built Fort Casimir near present day New Castle.

New Castle was settled by Dutch settlers in 1651.

In 1651, the Dutch West India Company sold the region to the city of Amsterdam.

In 1654, Johan Rising who was Printz's successor run the Dutch out of Fort Casimer

In 1655, Stuyvesant recaptured Fort Casimer and captured Fort Christina. New Sweden was now under Dutch control

In 1655, the Delaware colony  was taken by the Dutch after a short war and became apart of New Amsterdam.

In 1657, the settlement of Amstel at Fort Casimer (New Castle) was established.

In 1663, all Delaware country came under control of New Netherland

In 1664, the English seized control held by the Duke of York who was later King James II. The formal grant by Charles II was received after March 1683.

In 1664, the English took over the Colony. At this time, Delaware became apart of the New York colony.

In 1682, the Delaware colony became apart of Colonial Pennsylvania under William Penn. Because of religious differences, Penn appointed a special deputy governor in 1691.

Holy Trinity Church (Old Swedes) built in Wilmington in 1698.

In 1704, the Colonial Delaware was given its own assembly.

On December 7 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the US constitution.

Early settlers besides the Swedes included Finns, African slaves, English, Welsh, Scots and Irish.

Colonial Delaware was apart of the Middle Colonies

In the American Revolution, Delaware supplied 2 regiments. One regiment carried with them game cocks that were said to be the brood of a blue hen. There nicknamed became Blue Hen Chickens.

for more info read this book on Colonial America

 old swedes church wilmington delaware

Old Swedes Church Wilmington Delaware built early 1698

Colonial America

Delaware Indians History

Delaware Tourism

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Declaration of Independence