Delaware is a small state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States with dune-backed beaches that border the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware River and Delaware Bay. A Georgian-style Old State House is part of First State Heritage Park in Dover, Delaware’s capital. Wilmington’s Riverfront is a riverside district of boutiques, restaurants, and parks.
Wilmington is Delaware’s largest city, while Dover is its capital and second-largest city. This beautiful state had the honor of becoming the 1st state in the United States of America to join the Union on December 7, 1787.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT DELAWARE
- Capital City: Dover
- Largest City: Wilmington
- Nickname: The First State
- Statehood: 1787; 1st state
- Population (as of 2020): 990,837
- Abbreviation: DE
- State bird: blue hen
- State flower: peach blossom
- Total Size Of The State: 1,982 sq mi (5,130 km2)
Delaware was inhabited 11,500 years ago. A land bridge underwater is thought to have brought them from Asia. Native American tribes, including the Lenni Lenape and the Nanticoke, thousands of years later occupied the land.
Henry Hudson, an English explorer who reached the bay and river in 1609, is believed to have been the first European to reach the area. Settlements began in the 1600s with colonists from the Netherlands, England, and Sweden. However, Europeans fought over the land, and the English officially regained control in 1674.
One of the actions that led to the Revolutionary War was Delaware’s declaration of independence from England in 1776. Delaware became a state of the United States in 1787 after the United States won the war.
Delaware was still a slave state when the Civil War began in 1861.
Although most of its soldiers fought for the Union, a group of northern states fought to keep the states united. As a general rule, Union supporters also wanted to abolish slavery, whereas Southerners wanted to keep it. Finally, in 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Declaration of Independence declared that every slave in the United States was now free.
Why Does It Have That Name?
Virginia’s governor, Lord De La Warr, named the bay and river Delaware in 1610.
The state of Delaware was the first to ratify the U.S. Constitution. That is why it is called the First State.
Geographic Features and Landforms
Delmarva is a peninsula on the east coast of Delaware. Pennsylvania borders it in the north; the Delaware River, Delaware Bay, New Jersey, and the Atlantic Ocean in the east; and Maryland in the south and west.
Generally, the state slopes down from the hilly Piedmont region to the south. Three state forests are located in the low Atlantic Coastal Plain: Blackbird, Taber, and Redden. Beaches line the state’s eastern coast, and the southern border is covered in swampland.
The Natural World
White-tailed deer, gray foxes, American beavers, and river otters live in Delaware. Bird watchers saw bald eagles, peregrine falcons, eastern bluebirds, and downy woodpeckers. Amphibians in the state include barking tree frogs, chorus frogs, and tiger salamanders. Here you can also find reptiles like snapping turtles and eastern hognose snakes.
Maples, birch trees, oaks, loblolly pines, and American hollies (the state tree) are common trees. In addition to sweet goldenrod, bulbous buttercups, American tiger lilies, and sulphur cinquefoil (flora with five hearts), numerous wildflowers grow throughout the state.
Mineral-rich soil is one of the state’s most valuable natural resources. Agriculture thrives in this soil. Among Delaware’s top crops are soybeans, corn, potatoes, and peas. There are also magnesium mines in Delaware.
Some Fun Facts About Delaware
- Among Delaware’s famous folks are President Joe Biden and Howard Pyle, author of The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood.
- At Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, the tidal salt marsh supports a variety of migrating birds, including sandpipers, plovers, and black ducks.
- There is no better place to watch NASCAR than the Monster Mile, Dover International Speedway. In front of the track, a 46-foot-tall statue of a monster holds a full-size car in its hand.
- A museum in Johnson City shows early record players, including Victrolas, gramophones, and phonographs with flower-shaped horns.