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Delaware

miles, bay, feet, north, south, river, land and castle

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DELAWARE. ((The Diamond State", the smallest but one and the least populous of the 13 original States; southernmost of the Middle States; 96 miles long by 9 to 35 broad; 2,120 square miles in area; 1,960 square miles of land. It is bounded on the east by the Atlantic, ware Bay and Delaware River, the latter separating it from New Jersey; north by sylvania, the boundary being a semi-circle struck 12 miles from New Castle Court-house; west and south by Maryland, arbitrary lines at a right angle. The broadest part is about 25 miles of the extreme south, whence it narrows almost regularly to the north. Capital, Dover, near the centre. Population of State (1916), 235,000.

Topography.— The whole peninsula be tween the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River estuary and bay, divided between Mary land and Delaware, is part of the Atlantic Coastal plain; flat, sandy and with frequent swamps, of which there is one of about 70 square miles in extreme southern Delaware. North of New Castle, where the Pennsylvania uplands sink down to it, there is a handsome rolling country; and behind Wilmington, the divide between Brandywine and Christiana creeks becomes a ridge rising as high as 438 feet, being the most elevated ground in the State. South of this, a loamy ridge, nowhere over 85 feet high, runs through the State north west to southeast, forming the watershed' be tween the bays, but the line of Delaware Bay about a dozen miles inland. In the southwest, the part of the State west of the ridge is extensive enough to form a few fair sized creeks, all feeding the Nanticoke in Mary land. On the east, flowing into the Delaware, are six or eight good-sized creeks navigable for vessels and steamers of small draft a distance of 6 to 11 miles, to four or five of the larger towns; while in the extreme north, the Brandy wine and Christiana flow southeast from Penn sylvania, and uniting about a half-mile from the Delaware form a broad and deep stream (yet further deepened by the United States government), and together afford a commodious harbor, with fine water facilities, for the city of Wilmington, whose limits also extend quite to the Delaware River itself. The only other good harbors on this marshy coast are at New Castle and Lewes, the latter protected by the Dela ware Breakwater at Cape Henlopen, constructed of heavy granite masonry, 2,800 feet in length, exclusive of the "ice breaker,* which is 1,700 feet long. This whole structure cost $2,125,000, and was more than 40 years in building. Con rad, in his (History of Delaware,) says it is one of the most important and wonderful works of internal improvement in the United States.*

On the southeast coast are two large but shallow lagoons called Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay, communicating at their outer edges, and separated from the sea by a sandspit pierced by the Indian River Inlet, through which ves sels under six feet draft can pass to navigate the lagoons within. The Delaware Bay itself has 35 to 75 feet of water in mid-channel.

In November 1913, the government began building a canal, called the Inland Waterway, to connect Rehoboth Bay and Delaware Bay. It will have a depth of 6 feet, 40 feet mini mum bottom width, be 12 miles long and cost $365,000.

A bill is also pending before Congress au thorizing the government to buy the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal and, after enlarging it, make it a part of the nation's great system of inland waterways. The bill has been favorably reported and will no doubt become a law.

Natural Products.— The State has four geological divisions. (1) The Archean, com prising most of the State northwest of the meridian of Wilmington; (2) The Cretaceous, passing across the State as a northeasterly and southwesterly belt about 18 miles wide and 15 to 20 long, consisting of plastic clays and varie ties of marl, extending south to the Appoquini mink Creek; (3) The Tertiary, embracing all the State south of the Cretaceous; (4) The Quaternary, which, as a later formation, covers all the others, the whole State over, with a broad sheet of gravelly deposit, of glacial origin, and known as the eDelaware gravels,* averag ing 25 feet in thickness. When these gravels were laid down, the entire Delaware and Mary land Peninsula was submerged, forming an estu ary like the present Chesapeake Bay into which the swollen Delaware emptied its detritus, cover ing the entire peninsula. The most valuable minerals, found in the north, near Wilmington, are granite quarries; kaolin or porcelain clay beds, among the first worked in the United States, and other clays for brick and terra cotta. There are found also fine white glass sand, feldspar, shell marl, rich in potash in the green sand districts, and bog-iron ore in many of the swamps in New Castle and Sussex counties. The natural woods of the State are valuable but most of them have been cut away (including the white-oak for shipbuilding, once plentiful) except forests of cypress and other evergreens in the swamps. There is some shoot ing of wild ducks and wild geese, more of reed and rail birds, together with some other small game, and now and then a catch of the coveted diamond-backed terrapin.

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