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Delaware CountiesDelaware has three counties: New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, the fewest Counties of any U.S. state. The origin of the county boundaries go back to former court districts. The powers of the counties' legislative bodies are limited to issues such as zoning and development.
New Castle County, Delaware
New Castle County History, Geography, Demographics, Cities and Towns, and Education
Etymology - Origin of County Name
New Castle was named in 1673 by Dutch Governor Anthony Colve for the town of New Castle, Delaware.
County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts
The first permanent settlement on Delaware soil was Fort Christina, resulting from Peter Minuit's 1638 expedition
in the Kalmar Nyckel. The town was laid out where Wilmington presently exists, and the land contracted with the
Indians consisted of Old Cape Henlopen north to Sankikans (Trenton Falls), and inland as far as they desired.
However, a dispute ensued between the Swedes and the Dutch, who stated they had prior claim to that land.
When during Dutch rule, Governor Colve, set up three district courts of Upland (Chester, Pennsylvania), New Castle, and Hoornkill (Kent and Sussex Counties).
On September 12, 1673, the Dutch established New Amstel in present-day Delaware, fairly coterminous with today's
New Castle County. The establishment was not stable, however, and it was transferred to the British under the Treaty
of Westminster on February 9, 1674.
The General Assembly in 1681, under William Penn, officially named the counties New Castle, Kent and Sussex. Today the biggest cities in the county are Wilmington and Newark.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 494 square miles (1,278 kmē).426 square miles (1,104 kmē) of it is land, and 67 square miles (174 kmē) of it (13.62%) is water.
Cities and Towns:
Enter County Resources and Information Here
The history of our nation was a prolonged struggle to define the relative roles and powers of our governments: federal, state, and local. And the names given the counties, our most locally based jurisdictions, reflects the "characteristic features of this country!"
But age, size and colorful names of our counties isn't the only reason to explore counties' role in American history, or the history of county government itself. In fact, the story of county government reflects the larger meanings of American history.
Today's counties are the most flexible, locally responsive and creative governments in the US. They are the most diverse, varying in size, population, geography, and governmental structure. In their politics and policies, they express a 1990's political slogan "Think globally, act locally."