18 Nisan 2013 Perşembe

Delaware: A Historical Timeline

Delaware: A Historical Timeline


The Lenape, culturally organized bands of Native Americans, settle along the Delaware River circa 1400. In 1600, the Minquas (named after the Lenape word for "treacherous") from the Susquehanna River Valley attack their villages. Two groups of Native Americans are present in the Delaware region by the turn of the 16th century: the Lenape and the Nanticoke.
Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, discovers Delaware Bay and River.
Captain Samuel Argall of England names the bay and river after Lord De La Warr, the appointed "governor for life" of Virginia.
Thirty-two Dutch colonists settle at present-day Lewes, taking advantage of the large whale population to produce oil. Lewes eventually refers to itself as "the first town in the first state."
The Dutch settlement is destroyed. After a member of the Lenape steals a Dutch coat of arms, the tribe kills the man and presents his head to the Dutch. Members of the tribe are so incensed by the decapitation they massacre the Dutch settlement, killing all inhabitants.
After a falling out with the Dutch West India Company, Peter Minuet leads a group of Swedes to the Delaware River and establishes Fort Christina (named after Queen Christina of Sweden), the first permanent settlement on the Delaware and the beginning of the New Sweden Colony.
The first African is brought to Delaware from the Caribbean to Fort Christina. He is most likely a servant, rather than a slave, at the time.
The first Lutheran minister in America, the Reverend Reorus Torkillus, arrives at Fort Christina from Sweden. Sweden continues to send ministers to the colonists on the Delaware until after the American Revolution.
Under the leadership of Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch build Fort Casimir (now New Castle), in an attempt to re-establish their presence in the region.
Johan Rising, the Swedish governor, captures Fort Casimir from the Dutch.
The Dutch, again led by Stuyvesant, attack all the Swedish communities and defeat the Swedes on the Delaware River, ending the New Sweden colony and incorporating all the colonies into Dutch territory.
Sir Richard Nicolls is appointed by Great Britain to carry out military acquisition of the Dutch territories in the U.S. Nicholls chooses Sir Robert Carr to conquer the Dutch on the Delaware River and Carr drives the Dutch out and Delaware becomes an English colony.
The Dutch regain control of Delaware and restore their pre-British invasion status.
Once again, the English gain control of Delaware in the Treaty of Westminster, requiring the Dutch to turn over all of New Sweden.
Britain grants English Quaker William Penn land, which includes Delaware, to establish the colony of Pennsylvania.
The Duke of York transfers control of the Delaware Colony to William Penn.
Oliver Canby builds a flour mill on the Brandywine River, beginning a large flour-milling industry in Delaware.
Irishman James Adams sets up the first printing press in Delaware, which is located in Wilmington.
Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon begin surveying the region. The result is the Mason-Dixon line, which resolves western border disputes among the colonies and forms the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia. The Mason-Dixon line still symbolizes a cultural boundary between the northern and the southern U.S. today.
Caesar Rodney, Thomas McKean, and George Read represent Delaware at the First Continental Congress
The Revolutionary War begins.
(July 1-2) Caesar Rodney makes his heroic overnight ride to cast the Colonial Assembly vote that puts Delaware on the side in favor of independence.

(August 2) Rodney signs the Declaration of Independence. He goes on to be major-general of the Delaware militia.
The three lower counties of Pennsylvania break away and adopt their own constitution, officially becoming Delaware State. It is the first former colonial region to declare itself a state.
Dover replaces New Castle as state capital.
The Battle of Cooch's Bridge, fought between American militia and British-backed German troops, is waged. It is the only battle of the Revolutionary War fought in Delaware.
British troops invade Delaware. They partially occupy it until June 1778.
The Delaware Assembly ratifies the Articles of the Confederation.
Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury meet in Frederica and establish the Methodist Church as a separate denomination in the U.S.
Delaware is the first state to ratify the Constitution. Along with its first declaration of statehood, this gives the state its nickname of  "the First State."
The U.S. Constitutional Convention gives states the right to set voting qualifications. As a result, women lose the right to vote in Delaware.
(January 28) Delaware becomes the sixth state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
Delaware adopts the second state constitution and changes its name to the State of Delaware.
DuPont founds the first gunpowder mill, the Eleutherian Mills, along the Brandywine River near Wilmington. The company will supply as much as half the Union gunpowder used during the Civil War, and goes on to become the second largest chemical company in the world. This earns Wilmington the nickname "Chemical Capital of the World." The site is declared a national historic landmark in 1966.
Former slave Peter Spencer founds the "Union Church of Africans," now known as the African Union Methodist Protestant Church. The AUMPC is the first religious denomination in the U.S. founded entirely by African-Americans.
A British frigate bombards Lewes during the War of 1812, resulting in little damage.
Construction begins on the mile-long Delaware Breakwater to form Lewes Harbor, completed in 1835. The breakwaters are among the first of their kind in the western hemisphere.
The Delaware Free School Act passes, creating the first free public schools in the state.
The New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad, one of the first in the United States, opens.
Delaware adopts its third state constitution.
The first peach orchard in Delaware is planted. The state eventually becomes a major commercial producer of peaches.
The Delaware Senate considers an act to abolish slavery. The act is defeated by one vote.
A statewide prohibition law is enacted, and most of Delaware becomes "dry." Deputy Director of the state's Department of Prohibition, Harold "Three Gun" Wilson, goes so far as to raid a state party honoring the governor. Despite his efforts, bootlegging and speakeasies flourish. The state still has a Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement to this day.
The Civil War begins. More than 12,000 troops from Delaware will fight for the North. A few hundred residents fight for the South.
(January 3) Delaware rejects an invitation to join the Confederacy when voters choose not to secede. According to the governor, Delaware is "the first state to embrace the Union and will be the last state to leave it."
Delaware legislature rejects President Lincoln's offer to buy its slaves, and the legislature votes against the abolition of slavery (the 13th Amendment).
Howard High School, Delaware's first African-American high school, opens.
Delaware votes against the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection for all races under the law.
The Delaware legislature votes against the 15th Amendment to guarantee African-Americans the right to vote.
The First ocean resort opens at Rehoboth Beach. Rehoboth would become such a popular summer resort area, particularly for well-to-do Washingtonians, it begins to call itself the "nation's summer capitol."
State legislature creates separate school funding for white children and African-American children.
The DuPont Company begins manufacturing dynamite and nitroglycerin. DuPont dynamite will be used in the construction of the Panama Canal.
The first organized Jewish religious service is held in Delaware.
A law passes to prohibit the punishment of women at whipping posts.
(March) Delmar is nearly destroyed by fire, which destroys many of town buildings.
A new state constitution is adopted, which is still in effect today.
Property-owning requirements for voting are abolished.
The Delaware Corporation Act is passed, making it easier for businesses to incorporate in Delaware than in any other state. Today, more than 50 percent of U.S. publicly traded companies and 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware.
The Delaware legislature finally ratifies the 13th, 14th, and 15th civil rights amendments.
Delaware becomes the last state to abolish use of the pillory, or whipping post.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and social activist Upton Sinclair and ten others are arrested in Arden for playing tennis and baseball on a Sunday in violation of the state's "blue" laws, or moral codes. Another blue law, barring the purchase of alcohol on a Sunday, is not repealed until 2003.
The Child Labor Law passes, keeping children under 14 from working, outside of farm and domestic duties. The Labor Commission of Delaware is formed out of the defunct Delaware Child Labor Commission. Its jurisdiction involves enforcing "any laws relating to the conditions, regulation or inspection of labor of minor children, or the condition, regulation or inspection of labor of females."
U.S. involvement in WWI begins. Approximately 10,000 Delawareans will eventually serve.
Delaware rejects the 19th Amendment, refusing to grant women suffrage.
Delaware finally wins land rights to "the Wedge," a small tract of land disputed over with Maryland and Pennsylvania for nearly a century. Its border features the only true-arc boundary in the country.
Delaware finally ratifies the 19th Amendment on March 6, becoming the 39th state to do so.
After being in service for 150 years, Cape Henlopen Lighthouse collapses due to movement of the Great Dune on which it is built (the dune moves three to five feet each year).
Delaware Court orders the University of Delaware to desegregate.
The Delaware Memorial Bridge opens, linking Delaware to New Jersey.
The Delaware General Assembly outlaws racial segregation in public accommodations.
President John F. Kennedy opens the Delaware Turnpike, which completes a nonstop highway between Boston and Washington, D.C. It is one of his last public appearances.
Herman Holloway, Sr., becomes the first African-American elected to the Delaware State Senate.
Riots break out in Wilmington following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. This leads to a ten-month occupation of the city by the National Guard, the longest occupation of an American city by state forces in U.S. history.
The Delaware Coastal Zone Act, one of the earliest significant pieces of environmental legislation in U.S. history, passes, prohibiting the construction of industrial plants along coastal areas.
The Financial Center Development Act passes, encouraging out-of-state banks to move headquarters to Delaware.
S.B. Woo is elected lieutenant governor, becoming the highest-ranking Asian-American elected official in the country.
Delaware elects its first female governor, Ruth Ann Minner.
The Clean Indoor Air Act passes, banning smoking in almost all public places. At the time, it is considered the most stringent anti-smoking law in the country.
Hurricane Isabel strikes the coast of Delaware on the heels of Tropical Storm Henri. Damages were estimated to be US$40 million and there were no casualties, but the storm was declared a presidential disaster.


Click to enlarge an image

Circa 1600: Lapowinsa, Chief of the Lenape

1609: Henry Hudson

1682: Benjamin West's Painting of William Penn's Treaty with the Lenape

1631: Second Street in Downtown Lewes in 2006

1638: Peter Minuit, 3rd Director-General of the Colony of New Netherland

1640: The Luther Rose, originally the emblem of Martin Luther a century earlier

1651: Peter Stuyvesant, last Dutch Director-General of the Colony of New Netherland

1674: Map of New Sweden by Amandus Johnson

1682: William Penn, English founder and "Absolute Proprietor" of the Province of Pennsylvania

1742: Millrace on the Brandywine

1774: Caesar Rodney. The image is from the 19th century; no contemporary portrait exists, probably because his face was scarred from cancer.

1774: Thomas McKean, lawyer and politician from New Castle

1774: George Read, Signer of the Declaration of Independence

1779: Page I of the Articles of Confederation

1784: Bishop Francis Asbury, one of the first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States

1784: Thomas Coke, the "Father of Methodist Missions"

1785: Oliver Evans. Engraving by W.G. Jackman

1802: Powder Mills on Brandywine Creek, photo taken 1905. The handwritten note reads, "These blow up occasionally, and then?"

1905: Whipping Post, New Castle County Jail

1911: Upton Sinclair Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning Author

1917: Images from World War I

1920: The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, rejected by Delaware

1926: Cape Henlopen

1963: Logo of the Delaware Turnpike, also known as the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway

2000: Governor Ruth Ann Minner

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