The Original State House, Dover, Delaware: Einstein07

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The “old” or lets call it “original” State House is just down the street from the current one, in Dover, Delaware.  It has a green in front of it which is like a park today.  The bottom of the building has a courtroom, and the top has rooms where the legislature would meet.  You know Delaware was the first State to ratify the constitution (not sign it).  Before the new government moved forward with the Constitution, they sent representatives back to each state to vote on whether to approve it or not.  Those representatives had to gather people from all of their counties to vote, and sign a ratification document.  That document was then taken back to Philadelphia (the Capital at the time) as proof that they were “in”!  Delaware was the first to make it back with their document, possibly because they are close to Philadelphia and Delaware is a little state.  It may also be because they only have 3 counties (and always have).  10 guys from each county in DE, (that’s 30 total!) stood on the corner outside the State House right here and decided they were IN.  They signed the document and rode it back up to Philadelphia.  (they were not the first to actually “sign” the Constitution)  Delaware was one of the few (I think it was 3) Colonial States to have unanimous approval.  Georgia was one of the others! This building was shared by all three counties for a long time, to do court business and state affairs.   There is a very large painting of George Washington upstairs.  The poles in the courtroom section with points on the top have the points painted red on one side and white on the other.  If a defendant was guilty, they would turn the red side toward the door.  That way people outside on the green knew the verdict was guilty.  White meant the verdict was innocent.  They still have those poles in DE courtrooms today, but no one uses them.

Welcome to Dover, Delaware. The first State to Ratify the Constitution!: Einstein07

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Welcome to the Dover State House in Delaware.  This building is built in the colonial style and was completed in 1932 in/around the Great Depression.  The architect that designed it had just completed another building in the same style in Rhode Island and was probably influenced  by the other project.  The Delaware State House has a “cupola” on top instead of a “dome”.  Only 8 State House’s in America don’t have domes.  A cupola is a “…small, dome-like structure on top of a building.  It is often used to provide a lookout or to admit light and air. ”  It was probably put on top of the building because the old State House (across the street) also has a colonial style and a cupola.  The original was built in the 1700’s and we will talk about it on another post.  There are only 3 counties in Delaware, and there always have been.  Delaware used to be part of William Penn’s, Pennsylvania.  William Penn named Dover.  Delaware is broken up in to little sections called “100’s”.  Each section notes a section of the state were 100 men could be gathered to fight in the Revolutionary war.  The 100’s section a land lot is in is still written on each deed.