Dover: The Charming Capital of Delaware

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Dover is the capital of Delaware. And has always been. People think it’s Wilmington, one of her biggest cities and home to many financial companies since the Delaware Court of Chancery is located here.

The Delaware Court of Chancery is widely recognized as the United States’ preeminent forum for resolving disputes involving corporations and other business entities. The Court has jurisdiction over matters arising in equity as well as statutory jurisdiction in a variety of other matters.

Delaware seems to be the red headed stepchild of the thirteen original colonies. For fifty-nine years I knew only three facts about Delaware. 1. It is the first state to ratify the Constitution. 2. It is a haven for incorporating a business. 3. The song: “What Did Delaware Boys?” Today I hoped to increase my paltry body of knowledge. You never know what Alex Trebek will ask. A map of Delaware will show that driving, north to south, the entire length of the state will take about 3 hours.

Our drive took us past Dover Air Force Base, the Morgue of the Armed forces. When one of our service personnel die overseas, the first stop back in the USA is at Dover Air Force Base. The base is closed for touring due to the level of awareness we are experiencing.

We found the Welcome Center in Dover and were pointed to the major attractions. First we were given a tour of the original State House, which served as the legislature, court system (County, State, and Federal), and county offices until the 1900s. When everyone was in session the place was like a zoo, people going in and out of the main doors either to appear in court or go upstairs to view the legislative process.

The county had a special office called the levitor of the peace a.k.a. in all other places as the justice of the peace, whose job was to keep real estate deeds and file wills, levy taxes, etc. Everyone else, including the two other counties of Delaware have registrars or justices who do the same job.

The Colony was founded by the Dutch in 1609, settled by the Swedes in 1638, and then fell under British rule in 1664. The state has the only known perfect arc for a boundary at the Northern end. This was to keep William Penn’s influence in Philadelphia at least twelve miles from the Colonial Capital of New Castle.

Therefore, the arc appears on the maps. William Penn got his way, however. He did not like traveling the Delaware River through supposedly hostile territories to reach his claim at Philadelphia. He went back to Britain and had the Crown give him the lands that bordered the Delaware River.

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