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STATES AND TERRITORIES. —DELAWARE. 39
people having framed and established a constitution, Delaware became a distinct independent
state, taking for its name that of its bay and river, which had been derived at an early date
from Lord De La War, one of the first settlers of Virginia.
Boundaries and Extent. — The state is bounded north by Pennsylvania; east by the Atlantic
Ocean and by the waters of Delaware Bay, which separate it from New Jersey; and south
and west by Maryland. It lies between 38° 27' and 39° 5O' north latitude, and extends from
74° 50' to 75° 40' west longitude ; being 92 miles in length by about 23 in width, and having
an area of 2120 square miles.
Government. — The existing constitution underwent material alteration and revision in
1831. By its provisions the governor is elected quadrennially, and can serve but one term.
The senate is composed of nine members, (three for each county,) chosen for four years; and
the representatives, consisting of seven for each county, are elected every two years. The
sessions of the legislature commence at Dover, the seat of government, on the first Tuesday
of January in each alternate year. The executive and legislative elections are by popular
vote; and the qualifications of voters are similar to those in the New England States.
Judiciary.—The judicial power is vested in four judges (one of whom is chief justice ; the
others associate law judges, residents of separate counties) and a chancellor, all appointed by
the governor during good behavior. The chief justice and two associates constitute the
Superior Court. No associate judge can sit within his own county. Inferior courts may be
established by the legislature when requisite. The whole bench, including the chancellor,
form a Court of Appeals; and the powers of a Court of Chancery are vested in the latter
magistrate, together with the resident judge of the county.
Education. — The state has provided, from various sources, a school fund, which yields an
annual income of $20,000, applicable to the support of free schools ; provision being made
for the erection and maintenance of at least one of these seminaries within every three square
miles. An equal or greater amount is furthermore raised for educational purposes, by taxes
and contributions in the several districts. Delaware College, at Newark, founded in 1833, is
the only institution of this grade in the state.
Finances. — Delaware owes nothing as a state, but possesses ample funds for all civil
purposes, exclusive of those appropriated for schools.
Surface and Soil. — For the most part the face of the country is quite level. The only
important elevations are certain ranges of table lands, in which the waters which flow from
either side into the Chesapeake and Delaware, respectively, take their rise. These extend
from the northern boundary, in a southern direction, gradually declining in height as they
approach the central part of the state. In the southern and western quarters, as well as
among the high lands above mentioned, there are extensive swamps. At the north, the soil
consists of a strong clay, not very productive ; in other parts, it is light and sandy ; but there
are large tracts of rich clayey loam, of great fertility. The agricultural products, besides
excellent wheat and Indian corn, are rye and other grains, potatoes, and the usual abundance
and variety of vegetable esculents peculiar to the Middle States. Fine grazing lands alford
pasturage to multitudes of neat cattle, horses, and mules ; and the swampy tracts yield large
quantities of timber, much of which is exported.
Rivers.—The principal navigable stream is the Delaware River, flowing into the bay of
that name. There are also several large creeks and mill streams, running east and west from
the central table lands, and emptying into the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays.
Internal Improvements. — Among these are the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, fourteen
miles in length, connecting Elk River, by way of Back Creek, with the Delaware. This was
finished in 1829, at a cost of $2,750,000. Between Newcastle and Frenchtown, a railroad of
sixteen miles forms the line of connection between the steamboat travel on the Chesapeake
and Delaware Bays. It was completed in 1832, and cost $400,000. The great breakwater,
erected by the general government, within Cape Henlopen, should, perhaps, be here alluded
to. This is a work of vast magnitude, the expense of its construction having fallen little
short of two and a quarter millions of dollars.
A Gazetteer of the United States of America by John Hayward.
Hartford, CT: Case, Tiffany and Company. 1853. Public domaiA ima<