English explorer Henry Hudson discovered Delaware Bay
in 1609. It is named after the first Governor Virginia, the Baron of Warr. The
region is then populated by Amerindians Lenapes (or Delawares). In 1638, Swedish
settlers melted the first permanent establishment, Fort Christina (now
Wilmington), and a colony that is called News-Sweden.
The Dutch of Netherlands News seized in 1655 but immediately entered into a
fight with the British Virginia. The region is taken over by the latter in 1664.
Attributed in 1682 to William Penn, it integrates Pennsylvania and then has an
independent legislative body in 1704. After having adopted a constitution that
turns it into a State, it is one of the thirteen English colonies to proclaim
its independence in 1776. The new state takes an active part in the War of
Independence in the course of which the British occupy Wilmington (Battle of
Brandywine, 1777) then block Delaware Bay. December 7, 1787, Delaware becomes
the first state to ratify the United States federal constitution. In 1802,
French chemist Eleutério Ireneu DuPont de Nemours melts a cannon powder factory
It develops rapidly during the nineteenth century. Diversifying its
activities, it quickly becomes a company of national scope. Although a slave,
the State of Delaware refused, in 1861, to make a secession despite its southern
sympathies. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Delaware became one of
the main centers of the chemical industry in the United States. The new
transport infrastructures favored, in the 1920s, the development of new economic
sectors (synthetic textiles, mass poultry production). These attract new
immigrants (Italians, Poles, Russian Jews).