They call it the First State, because Delaware was the first colony to declare itself a state during the American Revolution and the first to ratify the US Constitution. Yet, for such a small and beautiful area, the state had a very tumultuous start. Delaware began as a part of the Virginia colony, but the Dutch claimed it and settled in 1624. When the Dutch Director-General of New Netherland was recalled, he allied with the Swedish to establish New Sweden in 1638. A conflict returned the land to the Dutch, who were then forcibly removed by the British in 1664. William Penn asked to lease the Western shore of Delaware Bay for an outlet to the sea, an area that ultimately became known as the Lower Counties, where the dispute between Pennsylvania and Delaware was not settled until 1921! The du Pont family arrived from France in 1800, to form the largest gunpowder factory in the United States, on the banks of the Brandywine River. It was ultimately transformed into the Du Pont Chemical Company, making the family one of the most successful in the country. Today, Delaware is peaceful, serene and very historic. The great du Pont estates have been preserved, the countryside is pristine, and quaint towns proudly show off their very early roots. You’ll discover heritage from all of the eras, peacefully coexisting with great cuisine, scenic roads, and beautiful beaches. There’s an amazing amount to see and do packed into this very little state, you could spend a week here and not experience it all.