|Nickname||The First State|
|Governor||John Carney, D|
|Senator||Thomas R. Carper, D |
|Senator||Chris Coons, D |
|Ratification of Constitution/or statehood||December 7, 1787 (1st)|
|Motto: "Liberty and Independence"|
Delaware was the first state to sign both the Articles of Confederation (on February 5, 1778) and also to sign the Constitution. Its capital is Dover, and largest city is Wilmington.
The state Constitution of Delaware, like all of the other 50 states, acknowledges God or our Creator or the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. It says:
- Through Divine goodness, all men have by nature the rights of worshiping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences, of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring and protecting reputation and property, and in general of obtaining objects suitable to their condition, without injury by one to another; and as these rights are essential to their welfare, for due exercise thereof, power is inherent in them; and therefore all just authority in the institutions of political society is derived from the people, and established with their consent, to advance their happiness; and they may for this end, as circumstances require, from time to time, alter their Constitution of government.
Henry Hudson, under the Dutch flag is credited with Delaware's discovery in 1609. The following year Capt. Samuel Argall of Virginia named Delaware for his colony's governor, Thomas West, Baron De La Warr. An attempted Dutch settlement failed in 1631. Swedish colonization began at Fort Christina (now Wilmington) in 1638, but New Sweden fell to Dutch forces led by New Netherland' governor Peter Stuyvesant in 1655. England took over the area in 1664. Delaware is the 45th most populous state.
Originally founded as the "Three Lower Counties" of Pennsylvania, in 1701 William Penn agreed to allow Delaware to have its own Assembly to meet in New Castle, while Pennsylvania's met in Philadelphia. Delaware was one of the original Thirteen Colonies and is known as the "First State". This motto appears on Delaware's license plates.
Delaware is the second smallest state, with Rhode Island being the smallest. Delaware is bounded by Pennsylvania to the north, Delaware River, New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and Maryland to the west and south.
Delaware's border with Maryland was surveyed by the famous team of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon. Mason and Dixon also established the border between Pennsylvania and Delaware. To do this, they mapped out a circle with a twelve-mile radius from the top of the courthouse in New Castle, DE. The arc extends over to the low-tide mark on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River. This border is unique as most boundaries along watercourses split the water at the midpoint of the main flow channel. The location of this border has been the subject of multiple Supreme Court cases as seen here:
Delaware is world-renowned for its corporate-friendly legislation, which has led to nearly every major corporation using Delaware as its state of incorporation (though nearly all have physical headquarters in other states).
Delaware is also home to the Dover Air Force Base, which is one of the largest Air Force Bases in the United States. Dover AFB is often in the news as it serves as the entry point and mortuary for American military personnel who die overseas.
Delaware also does not assess sales tax on consumers.
- Sen. Thomas Carper (D)
- Sen. Chris Coons (D)
- Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D)
- Governor John Carney (D)
- Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long (D)
- State Auditor Thomas Wagner (R)
- Attorney General Matt Denn (D)
- State Treasurer Ken Simpler (D)
- John J. Williams, conservative and independent-minded Republican senator from 1947 to 1970