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Penn founder of the adjoining Pennsylvania colony


Founding new sweden Delaware
Founding new sweden Delaware

In 1682 William Penn, the founder of the adjoining Pennsylvania colony, petitioned for a direct outlet to the ocean. The duke of York deeded to Penn all the land within a radius of 19 km (12 mi) of New Castle and south to Cape Henlopen. The area included most of what is now Delaware. The transfer was bitterly contested by Charles Calvert, Lord Baltimore, who also claimed the land along the Delaware River for his Maryland colony. An English court denied Lord Baltimore’s claim, but the dispute over the Maryland-Delaware boundary was not finally settled until 1769.

In December 1682 the three Delaware counties, which Penn called the Lower Counties, were formally united with Pennsylvania. They were governed by a general assembly. Delaware and Pennsylvania each had the same number of representatives to the assembly.

Penn concluded a peace treaty that year with the Delaware nation. There were no further clashes between the Delaware and the whites until the French and Indian War (1754-1763), when some of the Delaware sided with France, some sided with Great Britain (a union of three countries headed by England), and some stayed neutral. By that time, however, the Delaware were moving west ahead of white settlement, and most of them lived in Ohio. Today they live in widely scattered groups in Oklahoma and Ontario, Canada. A small remnant of the Nanticoke still lives in Warwick, Sussex County, where they maintain a community center.

Separation from Pennsylvania


The people of Delaware resented being controlled by the Society of Friends, or Quakers, the religious body that dominated Philadelphia, and they feared the rapid economic growth of Pennsylvania. They also resented Penn’s failure to provide sufficient protection against raids by Lord Baltimore’s agents and by pirates who terrorized the settlements along the shore. Finally, quarrels over representation of the lower counties led to the establishment of a separate assembly for Delaware. It held its first meeting in New Castle in 1704. From that time the Delaware assembly made the laws for the three counties, which became in effect a separate colony under the governor of Pennsylvania. Through their own assembly the people of Delaware provided for the development of their colony. "Delaware" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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