Well Dover, Delaware is the 49th Capitol we have toured as a family. Delaware became our first state on December 7, 1787. It was the first of the original 13 states to ratify the U. S. Constitution. It is known as the diamond state because Thomas Jefferson descrided Delaware as a jewel among states because of its location. Delaware is 49th in the nation in size at 1,982 square miles and has only three counties.
We had an excellent tour guide who started our tour in the House of Representatives. There are 41 members of the House who are elected to two year terms. The floors in this and the Senate are marble and the desks can be moved and grouped by party. This is the first time we have encountered this. The Delaware artist Jack Lewis painted the ten scenes of Delaware history that are found in the House and Senate chambers.
Marcus and Caroline tried out the Speaker of the House seat and we learned about the state seal. Each of the three counties are represented. The wheat from Sussex county and the corn from Kent county signifies agriculture. The ship of New Castle county represents Delaware’s extensive coastal commerce.
In the Senate 21 members are elected every four years. The Governors cerimonal office is also in the Capitol. The Senate and the Representatives meet each year from January until June 30th. Usually sessions are held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This Georgian Revival structure was constructed in 1932 of handmade brick. The interior reflects the 18th century style. This Capitol is not showy, but feels rather homey.
Adjacent to the building is the Old State Capitol. For 141 years Delaware’s legislative affairs were held here. It is a small brick building which we toured with a very knowledgeable guide. We learned how this building played a part in the underground railroad.