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5 Interesting Facts about Delaware

What is Delaware Named For? 

Where did the name for the state come from? The Delaware River, the Delaware Bay, or perhaps for the person who founded the colony? Nope, none of those, but also sort of all of them. Delaware was discovered in 1609 by Henry Hudson, as in the Hudson River, sailing for the Dutch East India Company. One year later in 1610, Capt. Samuel Argall named the area after the first colonial governor of Virginia, Thomas West, 3rd Baron of De La Warre. So, the Delaware River, Delaware Bay and Delaware Colony were all named after the same person. It was first settled by the Dutch, then the Swedish, then the Dutch again before becoming the English Colony of Delaware in 1664. 

Flattest State 

One of Delaware’s many nicknames is ‘The Flattest State’. It was frequently referred to as the ‘Three Lower Counties’, referencing the three counties that make up Delaware. The least amount in any state. Delaware has the lowest average elevation of any other state. Its average altitude is 60 feet above sea level. The lowest point is the Atlantic Ocean. The highest point is Ebright Azimuth near Ebright Road in New Castle County at 442 feet above sea level near the Pennsylvania line. 

More Corporations and Chickens than People

Delaware is the 2nd smallest state in the country. As of 2019, it had less than 1 million people which makes it one of the least populated states. So, with a population like that, what does Delaware have more of than people? Well, for one it has more chickens than people. Just how many chickens are there? Well over 200 million every year. Chickens are a major industry in Delaware. Most of the chicken stays in the U.S. going to the Northeast and Midatlantic states. Some of that delicious Delaware chicken does make it overseas to places like China, the Caribbean and the Middle East. Delaware is a very corporation friendly state. It’s home to more than half of the country’s corporations and about 66% of Fortune-500 companies are incorporated there. It’s just easier and cheaper to become incorporated in Delaware.

The First State 

Not long after the start of the Revolutionary War, the Articles of Confederation, or the first Constitution, was written in 1777. It wasn’t ratified until 1781, due to the delegates and politicians not being able to agree on just about anything. However, it was really more for wartime and the loosely connected Colonies and not for a new nation. So, the delegates and politicians descended upon Philadelphia in May of 1787 for the Constitutional Convention to rework it. Months of heated debate followed and in September it was signed by most of the delegates. On December 7th, 1787 Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution five days before any other, therefore becoming the first state. One perk of being ‘The First State’ is Delaware is given the first position in congressional votes and national events, such as Presidential Inaugurations In 2002, a first-grade class asked for the unofficial nickname to become official.    

First Log Cabin 

Log cabins had been all the rage in Europe for a few thousand years before ever being connected to the small, coastal state of Delaware. They have their historical roots in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe but their origin is unknown. They were considered moveable property. All you needed was some tall, straight trees, a few tools and a family could have a fully erected log cabin in a matter of days. The first log cabins in America were built by Swedish and Finnish settlers in the colony of New Sweden around 1640. Then other European settlers brought the method with them and it was eventually adopted by English settlers. Most of the time they were used as temporary housing while a more permanent home was built. They also became a mainstay of the Frontier and eventually as where Abe Lincoln was born.