Delaware Colony on American History Central


Delaware was one of the 13 Original Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain in July 1776, establishing the United States of America.

The first European settlement in Delaware was established by the Dutch in 1631 near present-day Lewes, Delaware. However, the settlement was destroyed in a dispute with local Indians. The first permanent European settlement was Fort Christina, which was built by Peter Minuit in 1638 at present-day Wilmington. It was the first settlement of New Sweden. Like the other Middle Colonies, Delaware changed hands from the Dutch to the English. In 1681, William Penn sent agents to explore the land that had been granted to him as Pennsylvania. They found that Pennsylvania’s access to Delaware Bay was under the control of New York on the west bank and New Jersey on the east bank. Penn worked out a deal with the Duke of York to rent the land on the western shore of the Delaware River, which became known as the “Lower Counties on Delaware.”

Essential Facts

  • Year Founded — 1638
  • Founded By — Swedish settlers
  • General Assembly Established — 1704
  • Region Middle Colonies, Chesapeake Colonies

Key People


Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations, including APA Style, Chicago Style, and MLA Style.

  • Article Title Delaware Colony on American History Central
  • Date 1638–1776
  • Author
  • Keywords Delaware Colony Guide
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 22, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update June 23, 2024