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article number 699
article date 01-11-2018
copyright 2018 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
Our "First State," Delaware, Part 2: Colony & Statehood, 1700 - 1938
by Work Projects Administration

From the 1938 Work Projects Administration book, Delaware, a Guide to the First State.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is randomly decorated with pictures from the many sections of the [same] book.

* * *

Colonial Development

From the year 1704, when the Three Lower Counties, choosing to be a colony of the Crown, set up their own assembly, to 1765, when these same counties defied King and Parliament by ignoring the Stamp Act, they enjoyed a high degree of freedom and self-government. They bore the brunt of the depredations of pirates and privateers on the Delaware, provided the major part of funds and manpower for defense of the shore, and gave more than their share of support to the King in the French and Indian wars.

In this way they earned the favor of the governors, who were sometimes accused by the upper counties of too tender a feeling toward the lower. The lower counties had to maintain an orderly and self-supporting government or be swallowed up politically and economically by the adjoining provinces; this necessity bred the alertness and soundness of mind that produced the Rodneys, Dickinsons, Reads, McKeans, and many other distinguished men of the Revolutionary period.

In spite of the privateer menace from the river, especially during wars in Europe, and threats of sheriffs who claimed that taxes and allegiance were due Lord Baltimore, the inhabitants developed agriculture and fishing, built ships, and tanned leather. For export to Philadelphia and to the West Indies they prepared lumber, ship timber, beef, bread, butter, cheese, and grain.

The assembly provided for internal improvements—clearing and maintaining roads, building bridges, protecting woodlands, “viewing” fences, and otherwise safeguarding life and property. Due attention was given to blue laws (those of 1719 were drastic), the encouragement of mills, destruction of wolves, and the administration of justice. Quakers were permitted to affirm instead of taking oath. Taxes were fairly heavy.

The population in 1704 may have been 2,500; during the Revolution it was estimated at 37,000.

Development of the courts under able justices was one of the significant achievements of the Colonial period. Many of the early judges were laymen, men of integrity and good judgment, chosen for leadership and often for learning.

Riding the circuit of the counties at least twice each year, as members of the Supreme Court for the Three Lower Counties after 1705, were such men as:
○ Henry Brooke of Lewes, whose ability and scholarship were regarded by James Logan, Secretary of Pennsylvania, as too great to be thrown away in an American colony;
○ William Till of Sussex, who became Mayor of Philadelphia;
○ Jehu Curtis of New Castle, whose epitaph, praising his uprightness, was written by Benjamin Franklin; and
○ Col. John French of New Castle, whose influence with the Indians ranked with that of Penn.

Colonel French was made Mayor of the “city of New Castle” in 1724, when Sir William Keith, the Governor of Penn’s Province and of these counties, created a metropolitan area of forty square miles with New Castle as its center.

Old Courthouse (circa 1722), New Castle.

A special form of trial for Negroes was adopted as early as 1727. The first Negro in Delaware territory was Anthony, “an Angoler or Moor,” captured by the skipper of the ’Grip’ in 1638, when Minuit sent him south to trade. Anthony was delivered at Fort Christina in 1639, and in 1648 was a special servant to Governor Printz.

Some of the Dutch in Delaware territory owned slaves as servants and farm workers, and during the early English period English settlers in all three counties used slave labor to an increasing extent.

But only on a few large estates in the two lower counties did any one person own a large number of slaves.

The general feeling was against the increase of slavery and, before 1700, some slaves had been freed.

Sentiment and the continued freeing of slaves did not prevent the sale of other Negroes to the inhabitants during most of the eighteenth century, but led to a declaration against slavery in the first constitution of the State in 1776.

Finally by the law of 1787 any person bringing a slave into the State was subject to a fine of twenty pounds and the slave was declared free.

The separate Assembly enabled the lower counties to defend their population from importation of convicts from English jails and of mentally and physically defective paupers from English poorhouses. No restriction was put upon desirable individuals and families who offered themselves as servants for a term of years to pay their passage money, or who by misfortune after arrival were reduced to this expedient to get a start.

Beginning in 1723, the counties issued paper money secured chiefly by real estate. Because England accepted only coin and a limited number of staple products in exchange for the manufactured goods, hard money was drained from the counties which could export little of the chief staples— tobacco and furs.

The paper currency, accepted by merchants in the adjoining Colonies, met the need for a medium of exchange. Efficiency in the handling of the issues of the bills of credit through county loan offices is one of the evidences of growing administrative ability in the government of the Three Lower Counties. Today specimens of the paper money are interesting for their charm of design and the signatures of citizens of the period.

Coincident with the development of finance and a growing economic independence among farmers was the spread of church and school. Every section had its subscription schools built and supported by farmers, and every hamlet where profit came from trade had one or more teachers or an academy.

So eager were the people for their accustomed religious worship in the beginning of this period, that sometimes they had churches and assembled regularly with a lay reader several years before they secured a minister.

It is reported by a contemporary that in 1756 Dover, which was to become the capital of the State, had 100 houses, Lewes 100, New Castle 250, and Wilmington 260. Trade, including smuggling, was thriving in all the creeks and on the river. Wilmington had her own ships, built chiefly by Quakers, who had taken as their own the little village of Willingtown, laid out between 1730 and 1735 by the Swede, Andrew Justison, and his Quaker son-in-law, Thomas Willing.

In 1755 “the little government of New Castle, Kent and Sussex” had sent to General Braddock a herd of cattle and a consignment of provisions that indicated a high standard of living. The supplies included hams, cheeses, flasks of oil, raisins, spice and currants, pickles, vinegar, mustard; casks of biscuit, kegs of sturgeon and herring, chests of lemons, kegs of spirit, potatoes, and tubs of butter.

Assemblies sitting at New Castle continued to vote money and the people to raise companies of fighting men for the King throughout the French and Indian wars.

Because of the hardships willingly endured for His Majesty’s Service, the Stamp Act was the more resented. But there was no violence. The counties joined the non-importation agreement and waited for repeal.

Jacob Kollock of Sussex, Caesar Rodney of Kent, and Thomas McKean of New Castle County were chosen by the assembly to represent the three counties in the Congress of 1765 at New York. Their instructions said: “If the Congress shall not . . . allow this Government an equal vote with any other Province or Government on this Continent, you are decently but firmly to urge the right of this Government to an equal vote in Congress with the other Colonies.”

When news of the repeal arrived, the Assembly appointed Rodney, McKean, and George Read to draw up an address of appreciation to the King. What they prepared was described in England as “wrote with the most natural, honest simplicity.” The King read it twice.

Mail Stage Coach Passing Conestoga Wagon, by Stanley M. Arthurs.

Rodney, McKean, and Read were chosen the delegates to the Continental Congress of With John Dickinson and many other local leaders they reviewed for the people, in temperate, reasoned statements, the issues involved in the controversy with Great Britain. This spirit was embodied in the ’Letters from a Farmer,’ written by John Dickinson at his home near Dover and published in the ’Pennsylvania Chronicle.’

In 1774 money was raised to aid Boston when her port was closed, and by June 1775 the assembly had heard with approval the report of the representatives in Congress and resolved to bear whatever share for defense should be fixed by that body.

In September the Council of Safety for the counties, of which John McKinly was President, reported “about 5,000 effective men in this government associated and determined to defend their just rights and liberties with their lives and fortunes.”

The following March a local fleet of row-galleys with guns in their bows succeeded in driving two British men-of-war out of the river, and this greatly reduced the fear of the war among the people and increased the confidence of the regiment under the command of Col. John Haslet.

Feeling and conviction against armed rebellion was apparently about to be organized on the side of the King, at the same time that Congress was moving toward the Declaration of Independence at Philadelphia.

A thousand Tories were reported to be assembling in northeastern Sussex (above Lewes) on June 11. The militia of the counties was called to order for marching at short notice but, to prevent unnecessary civil conflict, members of the Council of Safety hastened to the Tory meeting place and talked with the leaders. These were all men who knew each other, and who could well share credit for Delaware’s successful experiment in Colonial self-government.

The talk resulted in the dispersion of the Tories. Individuals already had been arrested and their property confiscated. Many were released upon a declaration of regret and pledge of willingness to cooperate to the extent consistent with their conscience and religious principles.

Though the patriots were dominant in the population, subdued but ardent Tories continued to argue that refusal to use tea would have been enough without making a great issue to disturb the peace and prosperity of these counties.

In Congress, Read believed too many of the people unready to support rebellion and that it was too early to vote for Independence; Rodney had returned to Dover to check the Tory activity and to stimulate recruiting. Since without him the vote of Delaware would be a tie between Read and McKean, the latter sent a messenger posthaste to Dover, and Rodney appeared on July 2, in time to give Delaware’s vote for Independence.

In September 1776 a convention of delegates from the three counties met at New Castle and framed a constitution for “the Delaware State.”

At last “the little government of New Castle, Kent and Sussex” had a name. No longer would the counties be mentioned in the royal records as “territories otherwise called Delaware.”

Loyalists, as Rodney had feared, were elected to the convention and to the first Legislature which met October 28, but the convention fully accepted the purport of the resolution that created it: that the members “immediately proceed to form a government on the Authority of the People of the State, in such Sort as may be best adapted to their Preservation and Happiness.” There is strong evidence that Thomas McKean wrote the State constitution.

Both convention and Assembly made provision for vigorous promotion of the war.

Col. John Haslet’s first Delaware regiment reported for duty in January 1776; in August 1781 the remnants of the third regiment were still fighting valiantly at Eutaw Springs, South Carolina.

Although often referred to as “The Fighting Delawares,” Haslet’s regiment early won the sobriquet of “The Blue Hen’s Chickens,” which has come down as the proudly accepted nickname for all Delawareans. The name originated from the men of Capt. Jonathan Caldwell’s company, who took with them game chickens celebrated for their fighting qualities, of the brood of a Kent County blue hen.

The regiment fought at Long Island, White Plains, Trenton, and Princeton. In the latter battle, Colonel Haslet was killed while leading the advance.

The second regiment formed part of the Flying Camp; the third, organized in 1777 under Col. David Hall and known as the Delaware Line, won—with the Maryland Line—the reputation of being the crack regulars of the Continental Army.

They fought at the Battle of Brandywine, and in the only engagement of the war on Delaware soil, a sharp skirmish at Cooch’s Bridge on September 3, 1777. Here they were opposed by part of the forces of Gen. William Howe, who had landed at Head of Elk and was advancing toward Philadelphia. Gen. William Maxwell’s light infantry, which included 100 men from each brigade, was forced to retreat after 40 were killed or wounded.

The day after Brandywine, General Howe sent troops to Wilmington, then a town of 1,250, and took possession. John McKinly, President of the Delaware State, was captured, and public and private records and money were confiscated.

Old Powder Mill on the Brandywine.

In April 1780 the Delaware Line fought at Camden, where the regiment was almost annihilated—the 500 men being reduced to less than 175. The remnant became an independent company under Capt. Robert Kirkwood, and fought at Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, Hobkirk’s Hill, Ninety-Six, and Eutaw Springs. Kirkwood and his men were mentioned in almost every dispatch of General Greene, who said they would fight all day and dance all night.

During the war enlistments totaled 3,763 out of a population of 37,000.

Delaware was one of the five States that sent delegates to the Annapolis Convention of September 1786 to consider general commercial regulations. John Dickinson, one of the Delaware delegates, was chosen President of the Convention. In February of the following year he presented in Congress the recommendation agreed upon at Annapolis that a new Convention meet in May to revise the Federal Constitution.

To the Constitutional Convention Delaware reappointed Dickinson and the other Annapolis delegates—George Read, Jacob Broom, Richard Bassett, and Gunning Bedford Jr. Dickinson urged a new instrument rather than patching up the Articles of Confederation.

Led by Dickinson, the Delaware delegates insisted that the States have equal representation in one house of Congress, and that the Representatives be elected by the people and the Senators by the State Legislatures.

It was Dickinson also who effected the compromise in regard to slavery when the disagreement on that subject threatened to create a break. Being opposed to extension of slavery, he insisted that the power to prohibit importation of slaves must be left to the National Government.

Dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation had weakened allegiance in Delaware to the Union of States, and the Delaware leaders in favor of the Constitution feared this influence if delegates to the ratifying convention in their State were elected by the people.

Upon the final motion Delaware was the only State to vote against election of delegates by the people.

The leaders for the Constitution, including the delegates who had voted for it, then conducted a campaign for its support throughout the State, speaking and writing with eloquence and force. The convention elected by the people met at Dover, voted unanimously to ratify the Constitution, but left to a future Congress the adoption of a bill of rights which they believed the Constitution should include.

By the ratification, which took place on December 7, 1787, Delaware led in the adoption of the Constitution and earned her proudest name: "The First State."

Few loyalists left Delaware during the Revolution and those who remained became a strong and conservative element, controlling many elections For a time their influence acted as a brake upon legislative response to the impetus toward internal improvements that followed the ratification of the Constitution.

Conservatives as well as progressives favored a strong central government, however, and Delaware remained Federalist in politics longer than any other State. The party won its last victory in 1828 as the “Adams Party.”

Occasionally a Democrat had been elected to Congress, notably Caesar A. Rodney (nephew of the Revolutionary statesman) in 1802. He served as Attorney General of the United States in 1807. Twenty years later Louis McLane, the Bayards, Ridgelys, Coopers, Paynters, and some of the Rodneys became Jackson Democrats.

When President John McKinly was imprisoned by the British, Thomas McKean and George Read succeeded him in office. Caesar Rodney, the fourth President, was followed by John Dickinson, who resigned as chief executive of Delaware in 1783, when he was elected President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania.

Both McKean and Dickinson held high office from Delaware and Pennsylvania throughout the Revolutionary and Constitution periods and had homes in both States. McKean, in fact, held several offices in both States at once.

Joshua Clayton, the last President under the State constitution of 1776, became the first Governor under the new constitution of 1792. The constitutional convention in this year, which included among its members John Dickinson, Robert Coram, Richard Bassett, James Booth, Nicholas Ridgely, and Kensey Johns, called for the establishment of free public schools by legislative act.

State House, Dover, built between 1787-1791.

The State school fund was established in 1796, and after 1817 State aid was available for the education of “poor” children. In 1829 the first general free school act was passed.

From the early 1780’s through the first decades of the nineteenth century, both the economic and cultural life in the State showed marked development. In and about Wilmington in 1791, manufacturing of flour, paper, carriages, furniture, iron, cotton and woolen cloth, and clothing employed 552 men and women. The previous year more than 300,000 bushels of grain were ground at the Brandywine mills. Total exports including lumber and agricultural products reached a value of $199,840.

The first Federal census (1790) showed a population of 59,096 people, of whom 46,310 were white, 3,899 were free Negroes, and 8,887 were Negro slaves. The population was fairly evenly distributed, Sussex having 800 more inhabitants than New Castle County and 1,500 more than Kent.

Delaware, close to the center of Federal Government at Philadelphia and later at Washington, had outstanding citizens in the forefront of national life. Wilmington and Dover became forums for public discussion, attracting men of all shades of opinion. Distinguished European as well as native scholars and thinkers taught in their own schools or in the many excellent academies.

In 1791 a native Delaware teacher, Robert Coram, published the outstanding pamphlet of the period upon the issues of Democracy, with the proposal for a general system of free public schools for the Nation. His ideas, expressed with clarity and force, are pertinent today.

A public library was established in the little village of Dagsborough in Sussex County, and Outerbridge Horsey, writing at Georgetown in 1799, mentions libraries planned for other Sussex towns, but urges that all efforts be united to provide one good library at the county seat, “where everyone comes at least once in two weeks.”

Scientific groups, including James Madison, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, and Benjamin Latrobe, met in Wilmington at various times to promote means of communication and progress in manufacture.

A map that would show the best routes for canals between the Chesapeake and Delaware was advertised for and prepared in several editions between 1797 and 1801. In the latter year definite steps were taken toward the construction of the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal, which was completed in 1829.

The New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad across the narrow neck of the peninsula was “open for transportation of persons and goods” in 1832.

The War of 1812 and the commercial embargo preceding it delayed both economic and educational progress and discouraged for a time the era of craftsmanship that had flowered in fine buildings, furniture, and silver during the 1790’s and early 1800’s. But along the creeks of upper New Castle County many small cotton and woolen mills were established.

Following the attack of the British warship ’Leopard’ upon the American frigate ’Chesapeake’ in 1807, protest meetings against “English aggression and outrage” were held in Delaware from Wilmington to Lewes. The Federalist leaders in the State restrained the war spirit in the interest of preparedness, and Senator James A. Bayard in Congress urged vigorous
organization of Army and Navy before war should be declared.

After the engagement in October 1812 in which the sloop of war ’Wasp,’ commanded by Captain Jacob Jones of Delaware, captured the British ’Frolic,’ the Delaware River was blockaded by part of the British fleet under Commodore Sir John Beresford. At Lewes, Col. Samuel B. Davis refused the demands of the British for ship supplies, and withstood a bombardment with no loss of life and little property damage.

With the victory at Lake Champlain in September 1814, won by Captain Thomas Macdonough of Delaware, State pride became overwhelming. General and vigorous efforts were made to revive the halted progress of manufacturing and commerce, and more scientific methods were introduced to promote agriculture.

James A. Bayard of Delaware (1767-1815) was appointed a member of the Commission which negotiated the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war.

Fort Delaware, Pea Patch Island.

Lafayette on a visit to the State in 1824 wrote in a young girl’s album:

“After having seen nearly half a century ago, the banks of the Brandywine a scene of bloody fighting, I am happy now to find upon them the seat of industry, beauty and mutual friendship.”

During the years between Lafayette’s visit and the middle of the century, a growing division of opinion and party allegiance in the State between the supporters of nationalist policies and the advocates of States’ rights coincided with the division of interest between the agricultural area of most of the State and the small manufacturing area of New Castle County. Outside the latter area, except for tanneries, saw and bark mills, and the making of bar iron from bog ore, there was no manufacturing for more than immediate local consumption.

By 1850 the State had 91,532 inhabitants: 42,780 in New Castle County, 22,816 in Kent, and 25,093 in Sussex. Included in the total were 18,073 free Negroes and 2,290 slaves.

For more than a century the freeing of slaves had been retarded by the legal requirement of an indemnity to be paid the county if the Negro should become a public charge. A succession of drastic laws to prevent the kidnaping of free Negroes did not stop the practice in Delaware, and in 1851 entrance of non-resident free Negroes into the State was prohibited.

Active Abolitionists in Delaware were comparatively few, but a group, chiefly Quakers, of whom Thomas Garrett was outstanding because of his impressive personality and moral conviction, conducted a link in the Underground Railroad by which thousands of fugitive slaves escaped to the North.

The general antislavery sentiment existing from Colonial days contemplated the gradual freeing of the slaves by their owners or by State law and by the action of Congress to prevent further extension of slave territory.

In the national election of 1860, the State vote for President, divided among four candidates, resulted in victory for the pro-slavery electors for Breckenridge, who polled 7,337. (The combined Lincoln-Douglas-Bell vote was 8,776.)

But when a decision had to be made between Secession and the Union, the State supported the Union.

A serious disruption of life in this border State began when news of Fort Sumter was received. Families, life-long friends, associates in political and professional work, were separated in grief, bitterness, disappointment, and even hatred as the war progressed. Governor William Burton, a Democrat, conducted the government in the interest of the Union, as did his successor William Cannon, a former Democrat elected in 1862 on the Union ticket.

Southern sentiment, which gained strength during the war, sent many sons of Delaware into the Confederate Army. The majority, following the State’s tradition, contributed a large number of men in defense of the Union. Three-year service men totaled 10,303. More than 3,000 others served for part of the war.

Delaware troops at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and elsewhere upheld the reputation of the State for valor. General Thomas A. Smyth (last general officer killed in the war), Rear Admiral Samuel F. du Pont, General A. T. A. Torbert, and Colonel Henry A. du Pont were among the Delawareans who achieved renown.

Through Representative George P. Fisher, President Lincoln offered Delaware an emancipation proposal in 1861 by which the Federal Government would pay slave owners $500 for each emancipated slave. If Delaware accepted, other border States were expected to follow and thus lead to a peaceful settlement of the slavery issue.

Delaware’s refusal, together with the policing of polling places by Federal troops, became a weapon in the growing proslavery campaign in favor of the Confederacy.

Except for the election of a Republican congressman at the Special Election of 1863, the election of William Cannon as war Governor in 1862 was the last Republican success in the State until 1895.

The local Democratic disapproval of Horace Greeley’s attitude toward slavery caused many Democrats to cut the head of their ticket in 1872 and gave the Grant electors a substantial majority.

After 1870 the Democrats campaigned as the White Man’s Party. In 1878 and again in 1886 the Republicans failed to form a ticket. In the latter year the Temperance Reform Party, which polled a very small vote, offered the only opposition to the Democratic Party.

Saturday Afternoon, Harrington.

A split in the Democratic Party in 1888, combined with new energy among Republicans, gave the latter a majority of one in the General Assembly.

At this strategic moment a new resident in the State, J. Edward Addicks, gas company promoter in several States, offered himself as candidate for the Senate. He met the consistent coldness of the Delaware electorate and politicians toward candidates not born in the State. Undaunted, he came back year after year, finally winning friends and splitting the Republican Party into the Union and Regular factions.

In 1888 the Republican State Committee had a campaign fund of $5,000, and the total Republican vote was about 12,000. By 1903 the Republican vote had reached between 18,000 and 20,000, and the total funds expended were estimated in hundreds of thousands.

Addicks was still a candidate for the Senate. Some of his Delaware-born friends won office, but Addicks finally lost after a twenty-year struggle (1905), during which his faction had caused a deadlock in the State Senate on several occasions, thus preventing the election of United States Senators.

The Republican ascendancy, gained during the Addicks period, continued but with gradually smaller margins, to replace the long dominance of the Democratic Party, until the 1936 election.

In the era of general prosperity following the Civil War, industry developed rapidly and transportation expanded in the northern part of the State. The central and southern sections of Delaware for a time had both railroad and steamboat service in addition to the sailing sloops that continued to ply between town wharves and Philadelphia.

By the 1880s, however, inadequate transportation facilities, high freight rates, and the competition of southern and western growers brought a decline in Delaware agriculture. Many of the large farms of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century had been divided among the inheriting generations, or broken up for sale in small holdings.

Activities of agricultural societies and of several State agencies were beginning to spread improved methods among the more successful farmers, but the general low state of farm income made for backwardness in both economic and social welfare.

Public education suffered as did public health, and the population declined in the more isolated districts. Comfortable circumstances in the northern part of the State led to a similar inaction and lack of social advance.

But throughout this period the State did not lack citizens of insight and civic spirit who continuously sought reforms and advantages for the people. Notable among these was Francis Vincent (1822-1884), who awakened and directed public sentiment, both as editor and publisher of ’The Blue Hen’s Chicken,’ a weekly newspaper, and as historian of the State and leader of many progressive causes. One of his achievements (recorded by the ’Breakwater Light,’ published at Lewes) was the establishment of lifesaving stations on the Delaware coast.

After the turn of the century, the Legislature finally ratified the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments to the Constitution of the United States. With this milestone passed, measures for the public welfare and advancement in education were gradually adopted, and by the beginning of the World War period provision for modern roads and schools was well under way.

In the World War, Delaware soldiers were attached to many commands and their movements are difficult to trace. Of the 10,000 men mustered into service, the 59th Delaware Pioneer Infantry was the largest single group of Delaware men.

Highway development was inaugurated by the building of the first stretch of the Coleman du Pont Road, a State-long concrete highway, gift of the Delaware citizen for whom it is named. The legislature of 1917 created a State highway commission, and provided for mothers’ pensions, workmen’s compensation, a State income tax, and a commission to study educational conditions and evolve an improved public school system.

Many reforms followed, and new modern school buildings throughout the State were the gift of another Delawarean, Pierre S. du Pont.

An Americanization program, initiated by civic associations before the World War and later largely taken over by the State department of education, has brought to foreign-born residents unusual opportunities for becoming citizens and participating in community life.

Among the State’s foreign-born population, centered in Wilmington, few adults have failed to apply for citizenship papers. According to the United States census (1930), 7.1 percent of the total population, or 16,885 out of 238,380, were foreign-born whites, while 14.2 percent, or 33,785, were native-born whites of foreign or mixed parentage. Italians, Poles, and Irish predominate among the foreign born.

Less than two-fifths of the 32,602 Negroes of Delaware live in urban areas. Leaders of the race have endeavored to obtain for them more cultural and economic opportunities, and Delaware Negroes have risen to distinction in public office, in the legal profession, in the church, and in the arts. Edward Loper, artist of the Federal Art Project, won honorable mention for his painting, ’After a Shower,’ at a recent exhibition of the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts, and the painting was bought by the Society for its permanent collection.

Dagworthy Burton’s Store, Angola.

Delaware, in common with the rest of the country, suffered from the depression of the 1930’s, and the people met the challenge of hard times with courage.

Farmers have been resourceful in taking advantage of modern methods and of opportunities for diversifying their products. In this they have been aided by the State’s modern highway system, which has fostered a recovery of markets.

Industrial Wilmington has suffered more intensely than rural sections of the State from unemployment.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the depression (and of the vocational education provided by relief activities), both rural and industrial Delaware has shown a growing interest in cultural recreation—art, music, and the theater—and in the conservation and development of natural resources.

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