Thirteen Colonies

American coloniescoloniescolonial
Beginning in 1609, Dutch traders explored and established fur trading posts on the Hudson River, Delaware River, and Connecticut River, seeking to protect their interests in the fur trade. The Dutch West India Company established permanent settlements on the Hudson River, creating the Dutch colony of New Netherland. In 1626, Peter Minuit purchased the island of Manhattan from the Lenape Indians and established the outpost of New Amsterdam. Relatively few Dutch settled in New Netherland, but the colony came to dominate the regional fur trade.


PACommonwealth of PennsylvaniaPa.
Both the Dutch and the English claimed both sides of the Delaware River as part of their colonial lands in America. The Dutch were the first to take possession. By June 3, 1631, the Dutch had begun settling the Delmarva Peninsula by establishing the Zwaanendael Colony on the site of present-day Lewes, Delaware. In 1638, Sweden established the New Sweden Colony, in the region of Fort Christina, on the site of present-day Wilmington, Delaware. New Sweden claimed and, for the most part, controlled the lower Delaware River region (parts of present-day Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) but settled few colonists there.

Province of Maryland

MarylandColony of MarylandMaryland colony
Maryland declared independence from Britain in 1776, with Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, and Charles Carroll of Carrollton signing the Declaration of Independence for the colony. In the 1776–77 debates over the Articles of Confederation, Maryland delegates led the party that insisted that states with western land claims cede them to the Confederation government, and in 1781 Maryland became the last state to ratify the Articles of Confederation. It accepted the United States Constitution more readily, ratifying it on 28 April 1788. Maryland also gave up some territory to create the new District of Columbia after the American Revolution.

New Jersey

NJState of New JerseyJersey
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Delaware River Port Authority (with Pennsylvania), the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (with Pennsylvania), and the Delaware River and Bay Authority (with Delaware) operate most of the major transportation routes in and out of the state. Bridge tolls are collected only from traffic exiting the state, with the exception of the private Dingman's Ferry Bridge over the Delaware River, which charges a toll in both directions. It is unlawful for a customer to serve themselves gasoline in New Jersey.

Chesapeake Bay

ChesapeakeChesapeake Bay WatershedC'''hesapeake
The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary in the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia. The Bay is located in the Mid-Atlantic region and is primarily separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Delmarva Peninsula with its mouth located between Cape Henry and Cape Charles. With its northern portion in Maryland and the southern part in Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay is a very important feature for the ecology and economy of those two states, as well as others. More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the Bay's 64299 sqmi drainage basin, which covers parts of six states (New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia) and all of Washington, D.C.

Native Americans in the United States

Native AmericanNative AmericansAmerican Indian
Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-7425-9969-7. Bierhorst, John. A Cry from the Earth: Music of North American Indians. ISBN: 0-941270-53-X. Deloria, Vine. 1969. Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto. New York: Macmillan. Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne (September 2014). An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, Boston: Beacon Press. Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne (February 2015). "Native Land and African Bodies, the Source of U.S. Capitalism", in Monthly Review, Volume 66, Number 9. Book review of Walter Johnson, River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2013).


Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, PACity of Philadelphia
Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey. The Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina (present-day Wilmington, Delaware) and quickly spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland.

United States

., to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort. The first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the 'United States of America.

U.S. state

StatestatesU. S. state
Its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, stated that the United States "shall be perpetual." The question of whether or not individual states held the unilateral right to secession was a passionately debated feature of the nations's political discourse from early in its history, and remained a difficult and divisive topic until the American Civil War. In 1860 and 1861, 11 southern states each declared secession from the United States, and joined together to form the Confederate States of America (CSA). Following the defeat of Confederate forces by Union armies in 1865, those states were brought back into the Union during the ensuing Reconstruction Era.

Constitution of the United States

United States ConstitutionU.S. ConstitutionConstitution
The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the first constitution of the United States. It was drafted by the Second Continental Congress from mid-1776 through late 1777, and ratification by all 13 states was completed by early 1781. The Articles of Confederation gave little power to the central government. The Confederation Congress could make decisions, but lacked enforcement powers. Implementation of most decisions, including modifications to the Articles, required unanimous approval of all thirteen state legislatures.

Benjamin Franklin

Ben FranklinFranklinFranklin, Benjamin
In 1754, he headed the Pennsylvania delegation to the Albany Congress. This meeting of several colonies had been requested by the Board of Trade in England to improve relations with the Indians and defense against the French. Franklin proposed a broad Plan of Union for the colonies. While the plan was not adopted, elements of it found their way into the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. In 1756, Franklin received an honorary master of arts degree from the College of William & Mary.

Appalachian Mountains

AppalachiansAppalachianAppalachian Mountain
South of the New River, rivers head into the Blue Ridge, cross the higher Unakas, receive important tributaries from the Great Valley, and traversing the Cumberland Plateau in spreading gorges (water gaps), escape by way of the Cumberland River and the Tennessee River rivers to the Ohio River and the Mississippi River, and thence to the Gulf of Mexico. In the central section, north of the New River, the rivers, rising in or just beyond the Valley Ridges, flow through great gorges to the Great Valley, and then across the Blue Ridge to tidal estuaries penetrating the coastal plain via the Roanoke River, James River, Potomac River, and Susquehanna River.


Iroquois ConfederacyHaudenosauneeSix Nations
An expedition of Jesuits, led by Simon Le Moyne, established Sainte Marie de Ganentaa in 1656 in their territory. They were forced to abandon the mission by 1658 as hostilities resumed, possibly because of the sudden death of 500 native people from an epidemic of smallpox, a European infectious disease to which they had no immunity. From 1658 to 1663, the Iroquois were at war with the Susquehannock and their Lenape and Province of Maryland allies. In 1663, a large Iroquois invasion force was defeated at the Susquehannock main fort. In 1663, the Iroquois were at war with the Sokoki tribe of the upper Connecticut River.

American Revolution

RevolutionRevolutionary WarRevolutionary
Before the Revolution, the Southern Colonies and three of the New England Colonies had officially established churches: Congregational in Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, and Anglican in Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations had no officially established churches.

Twelve-Mile Circle

Twelve Mile CircleThe Twelve-Mile Circle12 mile arc
A small portion of the circle, known as the "Arc Line," also forms part of the Mason-Dixon line, separating Delaware and Maryland. Two other small portions, although not actually demarcated until 1934, form parts of the boundary between the states of Delaware and New Jersey. Although the Twelve-Mile Circle is often claimed to be the only territorial boundary in the United States that is a true arc, many cities in the South (such as Plains, Georgia ) also have circular boundaries. Its existence dates back to 1681, when Charles II granted a deed to William Penn north of the already chartered Maryland.

Chesapeake & Delaware Canal

Chesapeake and Delaware CanalC&D CanalChesapeake & Delaware Canal Company
The work included 14 locks to connect the Christina River in Delaware with the Elk River at Welch Point, Maryland, but the project was halted two years later for lack of funds. The canal company was reorganized in 1822, and new surveys determined that more than $2 million in capital was needed to resume construction. Eventually, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased $100,000 in stock, the State of Maryland, $50,000; and Delaware, $25,000. The federal government invested $450,000, with the remainder subscribed by the public. The U.S.

Province of New York

New Yorkcolony of New YorkNew York Colony
The treaty established a boundary line along the West Branch Delaware River and the Unadilla River, with Iroquois lands to the west and colonial lands to the east. During the middle years of the 18th century, politics in New York revolved around the rivalry of two great families, the Livingstons and the De Lanceys. Both of these families had amassed considerable fortunes. New York City had an inordinate influence on New York politics because several of the assembly members lived in New York City rather than in their district. In the 1752 election, De Lanceys' relatives and close friends controlled 12 of the 27 seats in the assembly.

History of the United States Constitution

ratification of the United States ConstitutionratificationConstitutional Convention
An important milestone in interstate cooperation outside the framework of the Articles of Confederation occurred in March 1785, when delegates representing Maryland and Virginia met in Virginia, to address navigational rights in the states's common waterways. On March 28, 1785, the group drew up a thirteen-point proposal to govern the two states' rights on the Potomac River, Pocomoke River, and Chesapeake Bay. Known as the Mount Vernon Compact (formally titled the "Compact of 1785"), this agreement not only covered tidewater navigation but also extended to issues such as toll duties, commerce regulations, fishing rights, and debt collection.

List of capitals in the United States

state capitalcapitalcapital city
The original purpose of the Conference was to coordinate relations with the Indians and common defensive measures against the French threat from Canada (see French and Indian War#Albany Conference). However, the major topic of discussion at that meeting was the Albany Plan, presented by Benjamin Franklin, delegate from Pennsylvania, setting up a unified (though not independent) government for the colonies. Although the delegates approved the plan (after modifications) unanimously, it was not approved by any of the territorial governments, or by the British government. It was used later in the drafting of the Articles of Confederation.

History of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvaniachartercharter for Pennsylvania
The Kingdom of England had established the Colony of Virginia in 1607 and the adjacent Colony of Maryland in 1632. England also claimed the Delaware River watershed based on the explorations of John Cabot, John Smith, and Francis Drake. The English named the Delaware River for Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, the Governor of Virginia from 1610 until 1618. During the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–1667), the English took control of the Dutch (and former Swedish) holdings in North America. At the end of the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the 1674 Treaty of Westminster permanently confirmed England's control of the region.

William Penn

PennPenn familyPenns
This land included the present-day states of Pennsylvania and Delaware. Penn immediately set sail and took his first step on American soil in New Castle (now in Delaware) in 1682. On this occasion, the colonists pledged allegiance to Penn as their new proprietor, and the first Pennsylvania General Assembly was held. Afterward, Penn journeyed up the Delaware River and founded Philadelphia. However, Penn's Quaker government was not viewed favorably by the Dutch, Swedish, and English settlers in what is now Delaware. They had no historical allegiance to Pennsylvania, so they almost immediately began petitioning for their own assembly.

New Castle, Delaware

New CastleNew Castle, DENewcastle, Delaware
Route 40 pass northwest of New Castle along Dupont Highway, with access to the city via DE 141 and DE 273. Interstate 295 passes north of New Castle and crosses the Delaware River on the Delaware Memorial Bridge to New Jersey, with DE 9 providing access to New Castle from I-295. The Wilmington Airport (formerly New Castle Airport) is located northwest of New Castle along US 13/US 40. The airport offers general aviation and formerly had commercial air service. The nearest airport to New Castle with commercial air service is the Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia. A freight line operated by the Norfolk Southern Railway passes through New Castle.

Timeline of the American Revolution

Timeline of the American Revolution (1760–1789)Timeline of United States revolutionary history (1760–1789)American Revolution
March 1 – Articles of Confederation ratified. March 15 – Battle of Guilford Court House. September 5 – Battle of the Chesapeake. September 6 – Battle of Groton Heights. September 8 – Battle of Eutaw Springs. October 19 – The British surrender at Yorktown. December 31 – Bank of North America chartered. December – Continental Army returns to Hudson Highlands and Morristown New Jersey for its seventh winter encampment. February 27 – The British House of Commons votes against further war, informally recognizing American independence. August 27 – Battle of the Combahee River. September 11–13 – Siege of Fort Henry (1782).

Province of Pennsylvania

PennsylvaniaPennsylvania ColonyPennsylvania Provincial Assembly
George Ross was born in New Castle, Delaware and moved to Philadelphia to practice law. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress and a signatory to the Continental Association and the United States Declaration of Independence. Arthur St. Clair moved to Ligonier Valley, Pennsylvania in 1764. He served as a judge in colonial Pennsylvania, a general in the Continental Army, and a President under the Articles of Confederation. James Wilson moved to Philadelphia in 1765 and became a lawyer. He signed the Declaration of Independence and wrote or worked on many of the most difficult compromises in the U.S.

George Washington

WashingtonGeneral WashingtonGeneral George Washington
The army was to cross the Delaware River to Trenton in three divisions: one led by Washington (2,400 troops), another by General James Ewing (700), and the third by Colonel John Cadwalader (1,500). The force was to then split, with Washington taking the Pennington Road and General Sullivan traveling south on the river's edge. Washington first ordered a 60-mile search for Durham boats, to transport his army, and he ordered the destruction of vessels that could be used by the British. He crossed the Delaware River at sunset on Christmas Day, December 25, 1776, and risked capture staking out the Jersey shoreline.