July 6, 2022

The Old State House opened in 1792 and housed Delaware’s legislature until 1933.
Kent County court met downstairs until 1873. The triangles on staff were used to show whether a defendant was guilty or not-guilty.
Jury box
A large room on the first floor of the historic state house contains the courtroom and stairs leading to the legislative chambers.
Window behind the staircase leading to legislative chambers
Staircase leading to the first floor
House of Representatives
Senate chambers
A new building to house the legislature was built in 1933.
Staircase to offices and legislative galleries
Staircase
House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is made up of 41 members. Terms are for two years.
Speaker’s podium in the House of Representatives
The chair for the Seargent-at-Arms in the House is just inside the door. The public may sit on the floor or in the gallery in either chamber.
Senate chamber
The 21 members of the Senate serve staggered 4-year terms.
Tally sheets for recording votes in the Senate
The Delaware state seal contains an item representing each of Delaware’s three counties. The wheat shaft from Sussex County symbolizes the agricultural vitality of Delaware. The ship suggested by Newcastle County pays homage to Delaware’s ship building and coastal commerce. The corn was suggested by Kent County and shows the agricultural basis of Delaware’s economy.
There’s more! The farmer represents that farming plays a central role in the state’s well-being. The militiaman was included on the seal to show that it’s citizen-soldiers who maintain American liberties. The ox represents animal cultivation; the water the Delaware River. The motto “Liberty and Independence” was approved in 1847. Finally, 1776 was included at the bottom because that’s when independence was declared from Great Britain and 1787 was the date the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution.
So far Delaware is the only capitol (and we’ve visited 39) that has needed to state this rule.
Categories: Travel

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