Delaware State Geography

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So you want to know about Delaware? Here are some highlights! Also check out the links to other sites about Delaware.

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Key Facts

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Delaware State Facts

Population (1995): 716,000 (46th in size)

State size: 2,044 square miles (49th in size)

State Capital: Dover (named after the city of Dover in England)

Major cities: Dover, Newark and Wilmington

Admission to union: The 1st State to enter the Union

Date entered the union: December 7, 1787

Origin of state name: Named after Lord Delaware, one of the first governors of Virginia.

Nicknames: The First State

Bordering states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland

State bird: Blue Hen Chicken

State flower: Peach Blossom

State tree: American Holly

Motto: Liberty and Independence


Geographic Landmarks

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Delaware is located on the eastern coast touching on the Atlantic Ocean. Delaware is quite flat, from sea level at the ocean beaches to an elevation of 442 feet above sea level in New Castle County.  


Points of Interest

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Beaches and coastal towns are popular attractions. Other points of interest include the Winterthur Museum founded by Henry Francis du Pont. It has a collection of early American decorative art and natural gardens. The Hagley Museum, located at the site of the du Pont black powder works factory, has the original mill and machine shops. Nearby is the original du Pont family home.  


Major Industries

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Primary industries include agriculture such as soybeans, corn, chickens and milk. Local fishing includes crabs and clams. Manufacturing industries include chemicals, synthetic rubber and plastics, food products and paper products. Mining includes sand, gravel and magnesium.  


Historical Highlights

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Delaware was first explored by the Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch in the early 1600's. Henry Hudson explored Delaware in 1609, representing the Dutch. In 1631, Dutch explorers lead by Captain Peter Heyes were the first Europeans settlers in Delaware. In 1632, Captain David Pieterson de Vries arrived in Delaware to find that the settlers had been killed by native Americans. The Dutch abandoned the settlement.

In 1638, a Swedish colony was set up in present day Wilmington, Delaware. Delaware remained a Swedish colony until 1655 when the Dutch once again took control. In 1682, Delaware came under control of the British, and was initially part of Pennsylvania. William Penn of Pennsylvania and Lord Baltimore or Maryland had a long dispute over who controlled Delaware. This dispute wasn't resolved until 1776, at the time of the Declaration of Independence, when Delaware established its own government.

Delaware was one of the original 13 American colonies. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became its own state, and the first state of the new United States of America.



Population and Culture

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Influences of the Swedish and Dutch can still be seen in the Delaware culture.  



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Delaware has a moderate climate with an average monthly temperature ranging from 32 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 75.8 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. The average annual precipitation is about 45 inches.  


Interesting Tidbits

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Delaware was the first of the original 13 states to sign the new constitution making them the "First State" in the United States of America.

Delaware has very favorable tax laws making it a popular state for establishing corporations.



Links to other sites about Delaware

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Delaware State Flag

Delaware State Flag


Delaware State Government home page

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