This article is brought to you by Dr. Mike Francis of Francis Optimal Performance Chiropractic, a Chiropractor in Wilmington, DE. Wilmington has been developing and growing for 350 years and holds the title for Delaware’s largest city as well as Delaware’s financial and commercial center. After years of colonization from the Swedish (1638), the Dutch (1655), and the British (1664), Wilmington started to fully develop by the hands of the British.
The history of Wilmington began with the oldest structure to be created on the Delaware River Valley founded by the Swedes. This structure was known as Fort Christina was captured by Peter Stuyvesant’s Dutch in 1655, but was once again taken over by the English in 1664. For a while, the fort was just a small hamlet, but soon became a bustling and prosperous port and market when the Quakers moved in in the late 1730s.
Name and Increasing Popularity
When the Quakers moved into the promising port, they secured a borough charter from the proprietor of Virginia, Thomas Penn. Wilmington received its namesake from Penn’s friend Spencer Compton, who was the earl of Wilmington. By the American Revolution, Wilmington had become the largest city in Delaware, but shortly after the battle of the Brandywine on September 11th, 1777 the British captured John McKinley and began to once again inhabit Wilmington. The steady growth of Wilmington was usually traced to the port’s accessibility to other ports such as Philadelphia. Other reasons for Wilmington’s growth were the increasing causes for waterpower and the fertility of the farmlands.
In 1802 a French businessman by the name of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont established and founded a gunpowder mill, which served as the forerunner for the highly diverse modern business known as DuPont. Their business started in Wilmington with their first experimental laboratories in the prosperous city in Delaware. The city and their industrial development were driven by the completion of the Penn Central railroad. Early Wilmington was known for manufacturing chemical products, automobiles, leather goods, textiles, vulcanized fibers, rubber hose, as well as processed food products. Services begin to become increasingly important and many big businesses start to launch their headquarters in this rapidly improving city.
The borough of Wilmington soon became an official city in 1837, and continued to power through and evolve even in the midst of the Civil War. During the Civil War Wilmington started to grow and industrialize and attract new corporations. Beginning in 1864, Wilmington began to modernize and began to build suburbs, like America as a whole modernized. Now in modern Wilmington, Delaware more than 70,000 civilians reside there.