Delaware Homeland Security and Emergency Services Resources

Delaware, the land of "Liberty and Independence" holds a title that no other state can claim. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first of the 13 original states of the Union. Delaware is the second smallest state in the entire United States with only 3 counties and 1,954 square miles.

Although, several early explorers reached the coastline of Delaware as early as 1609, the first settlement wasn't established until 1631. However, the following year, the Indian's killed all of the settlers and burned the buildings. And, another attempt at colonization wasn't made until 1638 when a Swedish colony was established near what is now Wilmington.

The Swedish retained control of the colony for almost two decades when it was taken over by the Dutch in 1655. Less than a decade later, the English took control of the colony away from the Dutch. During the American Revolution, Delaware fought as a separate state and although it was a slave state, it did not secede from the Union during the Civil War.

In 1802, a gunpowder mill was established near Wilmington by Eleuthere Irenee du Pont. This mill became the foundation for the huge chemical industry in the state today. Over 40 percent of Delaware's manufacturing output is from high value chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The state is noted for its specialization in the manufacture of chemicals and paper.

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