There is a blueprint for the formation of a NEW STATE called Delmarva. I propose a Deity-Free Fifty-first State of Secular beings, founded on the philosophy of Franciscus van den Enden. This state can be populated by Native American Atheists, or, by Atheist Anglos. How about a mixture of all peoples? As long as you are NOT RELIGIOUS, you can own or rent property in Delmarva.
Millions of Americans hate the Christian-right, and Christian-nationalists. They can look to Delmarva for a BLAST of light! ‘The Land of The Swan’ will include EBERYTHING the Supreme Court attacks – or bans! We will have the best healthcare for women who want an abortion. There will be no devious and dark debates coming from The Vicar of Christ. Want to wear a condom? There will be free contraceptives in boxes in our downtowns. The whole State will be – A SHAME FREE ZONE!
Johnny Free State
Franciscus van den Enden had drawn up charter for a utopian society (that included equal education of all classes, joint ownership of property, and a democratically elected government.Pieter Corneliszoon Plockhoy attempted such a settlement near the site of Zwaanendael, but it soon expired under English rule.
In the early 1660s some people thought that Van den Enden was an atheist, while others believed that he was a Roman Catholic. In this period, together with Pieter Corneliszoon Plockhoy, he worked on a project for a utopian settlement in New Netherland, more precisely in the area of the present Delaware. Van den Enden’s views on this ideal society are found in the Kort Verhael van Nieuw-Nederland (Brief Account of New Netherland, 1662). Some years later, in 1665, another political publication appeared, the Vrye Politijke Stellingen (Free Political Proposals), in which democracy is defended and attention is paid to the social and educational tasks of a state. In that same year, when the Second Anglo-Dutch War had just started, he wrote to Johan de Witt offering to sell him a secret weapon for the navy.
Shortly after the marriage of his oldest daughter Clara Maria with Theodor Kerckring (also written as ‘Kerckrinck’) in 1671, Van den Enden moved to Paris, where he opened another Latin school. There he was visited by Antoine Arnauld and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. He also got involved in a plot against Louis XIV, but the conspirators were caught before they could execute their plans, the establishment of a republic in Normandy. Franciscus van den Enden was condemned to death and on 27 November 1674, after the decapitation of the noble conspirators, he was hanged before the Bastille.
Delmarva – The State who’s time has come
Delmarva – the putative state that includes the present state of Delaware, the 9 counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the 2 counties of the Eastern Shore of Virginia is a state who’s time has finally come.
Present day Delaware as a state is the second smallest US state by area, ahead of only Rhode Island (RI), however whereas Rhode Island’s population is (barely) enough to qualify for two United States Congressman in the House of Representatives, the population of Delaware at under 1 million means the state is one of the few states in the Union to qualify for less representation in the House of Representatives (1) than in the Senate (2).
This imbalance clearly isn’t healthy for Delaware, and indeed, not healthy for democracy when such a clear solution to this under-representation exists.
Combining the three counties of Delaware (population 960,000), the two counties of the Eastern Shore of Virginia (population 50,000) and the nine counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland (450,000) would increase the population of this area commonly referred to as ‘Delmarva’ to around 1.5 million – leading to the addition of a second United States Congressman for the communities of Delmarva.
Not only would this be of huge benefit to the residents of the Delmarva Peninsula but the nature of the Peninsula’s population means the state would be divided down the middle politically and as a battle-ground state – instead of a state which has voted solidly Democrat and hasn’t voted for a Republican since the Cold War in the 1980s!
Although such a change may seem to be harmful to the states of Virginia and Maryland which lose counties in this scenario, it is in fact not the problem for these states it might at first appear.
The loss to Virginia of two sparsely populated counties on the Eastern Shore and geographically aligned with the Delmarva Peninsula compatriots already would hardly be felt – less than 50,000 people live in the Eastern Shore of Virginia comprising only around 0.6% of the population of Virginia. Less than 1% of the state’s population!
The benefit to the people of the Eastern Shore of Virginia where they will gain increased importance as a larger part of the smaller state of Delmarva against their relative unimportance in Virginia is clear.
The nine counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland may at first glance appear to present a bigger issue for the state of Maryland, perhaps that is the case, but there are significant arguments to say that Maryland too would benefit from ceding the nine counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the new state of Delmarva.
What are these arguments?
The first point is that although these nine counties comprise a significant area of the state of Maryland, the population of around 450,000 only comprises around 7% of the population of Maryland – and the voting statistics for the Eastern Shore definitively favour Republican candidates as against the solidly Democrat areas of the main part of Maryland.
From that point of view, the Eastern Shore of Maryland already stands out as not particularly like the rest of Maryland and more like its counterparts in Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
There is also a further consideration to take into account.
Washington DC is currently looking at the opportunity to become a State in its own right. Whether or not that will happen or not probably depends to a large extent on what happens to the surrounding areas of Maryland and Virginia.
As outlined here (Swamp Counties VA) the northernmost Counties and Cities of Virginia are solidly part of the Washington DC urban area and in a just world would follow the lead of West Virginia and leave the Commonwealth of Virginia and join either Maryland, or Washington DC.
This opens up the possibility for a WIN (Delaware)-WIN (Maryland)-WIN (Virginia).
The Eastern Shore of Maryland leaves Maryland to join Delmarva. A WIN for Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
The Six Washington DC ‘Swamp Counties’ of Northern Virginia comprising of Fairfax County, Loudon County, Arlington County, Alexandria City, Fairfax City and Falls Church City and home to around 2 million Washington DC denizens, leave Virginia and join Maryland. In effect Maryland has a net gain of around 1.5 million population. Swapping out the Eastern Shore and gaining the Northern Virginia counties that really bear no resemblance to the rest of Virginia – a definite WIN for Maryland.
Maryland will then entirely surround Washington DC and they can determine the exact boundaries Washington DC should occupy within Maryland – or perhaps they should combine into one State/District? I’ll leave that up to the legislators of Maryland and Washington DC.
So if Delaware/Delmarva and Maryland are both winning out of this, how does Virginia WIN?
Well, as all scholars of history will well know, Virginia once upon a time lost a large chunk of its territory, now known as the state of West Virginia.
Can anyone seriously argue that this decision during the Civil War in the 1860s has diminished the standing of the Commonwealth of Virginia?
I seriously doubt it – because it hasn’t.
The same circumstance now exists for Virginia in terms of the six northernmost ‘Swamp Counties’ of VA that have little in common with the rest of Virginia as they are based in the Washington DC suburbs and relate fully to Washington DC, rather than Richmond.
Given the facts on the ground about the 2 million residents of ‘Swamp Counties VA’ I’m sure a clear majority of legislators in Richmond would see the immense benefit for the vast majority of Virginians if these six counties could be ‘excised’ from the Commonwealth and in some senses returned to DC, or Maryland – it matters little.
Yes – returned, parts of these Swamp Counties VA were in fact once a part of Washington DC in the 19th Century, so it would be no great loss – in fact it would be a huge benefit – if these counties were to depart the Commonwealth.
This move would truly restore Virginia to Virginians. It doesn’t hurt to bear in mind that a close look at the voting habits of Virginians, true Virginians not raised in the DC Swamp, do not align with the voting habits of the 2 million residents of Swamp Counties VA.
In fact, had the 2017 Virginia Gubernatorial Election been conducted without the influence of the six Washington DC Swamp Counties VA Republican Ed Gillespie would now be the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia rather than the diabolical Ralph Northam and Clinton consigliere Terry McAullife would have been a footnote in history rather than a former Governor of the state.
Given these realities, the WIN-WIN-WIN nature of the establishment of the state of Delmarva should be plain to see for all residents and legislators of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
All three states will win via this reform, and residents of all three states will consider these reforms a necessary advancement of the well-being of the residents of the three states.
In fact, given the WIN-WIN-WIN nature of these geographical realignments there is a strong argument for a bi-partisan campaign to promote these changes across the three states.
The 14 Counties of Delmarva
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Nautical chart of Zwaanendael, 1639
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The coastline claimed by New Netherland and Swanendael in the south
Zwaanendael or Swaanendael /ˈzwɑːnəndɛl/ was a short-lived Dutch colonial settlement in Delaware. It was built in 1631. The name is archaic Dutch for “swan valley.” The site of the settlement later became the town of Lewes, Delaware.
Two directors of the Amsterdam chamber of the Dutch West India Company, Samuel Blommaert and Samuel Godyn, bargained with the natives for a tract of land reaching from Cape Henlopen to the mouth of Delaware River. This was in 1629, three years before the charter of Maryland, and is the oldest deed for land in Delaware. Its water-front nearly coincides with the coast of Kent and Sussex counties. The purchase was ratified in 1630 by Peter Minuit and his council at Fort Amsterdam. The estate was further extended, on May 5, 1630, by the purchase of a tract twelve miles square (31 km²) on the coast of Cape May opposite, and the transaction was duly attested at Fort Amsterdam.
The Dutch West India Company was formed to colonize the tract that included Blommaert, Godyn, Kiliaen van Rensselaer (Patroon of Rensselaerswyck), Joannes de Laet (the geographer), David Pietersen de Vries and Mathijs Jansen Van Keulen. A ship of eighteen guns, The Walvis was fitted out to bring over the colonists and subsequently defend the coast, with incidental whaling to help defray expenses. A colony of twenty-eight people was planted on Blommaert’s Kill (now Lewes creek), a little north of Cape Henlopen, and its governorship was entrusted to Gillis Hosset. This settlement antedated by several years any in Pennsylvania, and the colony at Lewes practically laid the foundation and defined the singularly limited area of the state of Delaware, the major part of which was included in the purchase. A palisaded fort was built, with the “red lion, rampant,” of Holland affixed to its gate, and the country was named Swaanendael or Zwaanendael Colony, while the water was called Godyn’s Bay (now Delaware Bay).
The existence of the little colony was short, for the Indians came down upon it as the result of a misunderstanding and it was destroyed, with only two boys, Pierre and Hendrick Wiltsee, surviving to tell the tale. The details of the attack were later recounted to de Vries by Nanticoke Indians when he arrived with the second wave of an additional 50 colonists:
Unus Americanus ex Virginia by Wenceslaus Hollar (1645), engraving from the Rijksmuseum
He then showed us the place where our people had set up a column to which was fastened a piece of tin, whereon the arms of Holland were painted. One of their chiefs took this off, for the purpose of making tobacco-pipes, not knowing that he was doing amiss. Those in command at the house made such an ado about it that the Indians, not knowing how it was, went away and slew the chief who had done it, and brought a token of the dead to the house to those in command, who told them that they wished that they had not done it; that they should have brought him to them, as they wished to have forbidden him not to do the like again. They went away, and the friends of the murdered chief incited their friends, as they are a people like the Indians, who are very revengeful, to set about the work of vengeance. Observing our people out of the house, each one at his work, that there was not more than one inside, who was lying sick, and a large mastiff, who was chained, – had he been loose they would not have dared to approach the house, – and the man who had command standing near the house, three of the stoutest Indians, who were to do the deed, bringing a lot of bear-skins with them to exchange, sought to enter the house. The man in charge went in with them to make the barter, which being done, he went to the loft where the stores lay, and in descending the stairs one of the Indians seized an axe and cleft his head so that he fell down dead. They also relieved the sick man of life, and shot into the dog, who was chained fast, and whom they most feared, twenty-five arrows before they could dispatch him. They then proceeded towards the rest of the men, who were at work, and, going amongst them with pretensions of friendship, struck them down. Thus was our young colony destroyed, causing us serious loss.
Arriving December 5, 1632, at the charred remains of the settlement, de Vries (who had received reports of the slaughter before leaving Europe) negotiated a treaty with the Indians and sailed up the Delaware River, attempting to trade for beans and corn. Failing his objective there, de Vries sailed to Virginia, where was successful in obtaining provisions for the new colonists in Zwaanendael, to which he returned. The massacre convinced the Dutch to retrench their settlements and de Vries shortly thereafter removed the new colonists to New Amsterdam (New York City). The Zwaanendael claims were then resold to the Dutch West India Company.
Later Blommaert assisted with the fitting out of the first Swedish expedition to New Sweden in 1637 and engaged Peter Minuit (by then no longer Governor of New Netherland) to command it.
Franciscus van den Enden had drawn up charter for a utopian society (that included equal education of all classes, joint ownership of property, and a democratically elected government. Pieter Corneliszoon Plockhoy attempted such a settlement near the site of Zwaanendael, but it soon expired under English rule.
A monument commemorating the colony named De Vries Palisade was dedicated on September 22, 1909 on the site of the former settlement. The Zwaanendael Museum was opened in 1931.
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Delmarva Peninsula map. The southern yellow area is the Eastern Shore of Virginia; the orange area is the Eastern Shore of Maryland; and the northern yellow area is part of Delaware.
The Delmarva Peninsula, or simply Delmarva, is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by the vast majority of the state of Delaware and parts of the Eastern Shore regions of Maryland and Virginia. The peninsula is 170 miles (274 km) long. In width, it ranges from 70 miles (113 km) near its center, to 12 miles (19 km) at the isthmus on its northern edge, to less near its southern tip of Cape Charles. It is bordered by the Chesapeake Bay on the west, Pocomoke Sound on the southwest, and the Delaware River, Delaware Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east.
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In older sources, the peninsula between Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay was referred to variously as the Delaware and Chesapeake Peninsula or simply the Chesapeake Peninsula.
The toponym Delmarva is a clipped compound of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia (official abbreviation VA), which in turn was modeled after Delmar, a border town named after two of those states. While Delmar was founded and named in 1859, the earliest uses of the name Delmarva occurred several decades later (for example on February 10, 1877, in The Middletown Transcript newspaper in Middletown, Delaware) and appear to have been commercial; for example, the Delmarva Heat, Light, and Refrigerating Corp. of Chincoteague, Virginia, was in existence by 1913—but general use of the term did not occur until the 1920s.
Topography of Delmarva Peninsula
At the northern point of the peninsula there is a geographic fall line that separates the crystalline rocks of the Piedmont from the unconsolidated sediments of the Coastal Plain. This line passes through Newark, Delaware, and Wilmington, Delaware, and Elkton, Maryland. The northern isthmus of the peninsula is transected by the sea-level Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. Several bridges cross the canal, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel join the peninsula to mainland Maryland and Virginia, respectively. Another point of access is Lewes, Delaware, reachable by the Cape May–Lewes Ferry from Cape May, New Jersey.
Dover, Delaware, is the peninsula’s largest city by population. The main commercial areas are Dover in the north and Salisbury, Maryland, near its center. Including all offshore islands (the largest of which is Kent Island in Maryland), the total land area south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is 5,454 sq mi (14,130 km2). At the 2000 census the total population was 681,030, giving an average population density of 124.86 inhabitants per square mile (48.21/km2).
Cape Charles forms the southern tip of the peninsula in Virginia.
The entire Delmarva Peninsula falls within the Atlantic Coastal Plain, a flat and sandy area with very few or no hills; the highest point in the peninsula is only 102 ft (31 m) above sea level. The fall line, found in the region southwest of Wilmington, Delaware, and just north of the northern edge of the Delmarva Peninsula, is a geographic borderland where the Piedmont region transitions into the coastal plain. Its Atlantic Ocean coast is formed by the Virginia Barrier Islands in the south and Cape Henlopen in the north, encompassing Ocean City, Maryland, and the Delaware Beaches from Fenwick Island to Lewes. The peninsula has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) according to the Köppen climate classification. According to the Trewartha climate classification, the northern half has a temperate or oceanic climate (Do.)
The culture of Delmarva is starkly different from the rest of the Mid-Atlantic region and is much like that of the Southern United States. While the northern portion of Delmarva, such as the Wilmington metro area, is similar to the urban regions of Philadelphia, the Maryland and Virginia Delmarva counties (as well as the southern two counties in Delaware) are more conservative than their “mainland” counties. It has been suggested that Delmarva residents have a variation of Southern American English which is particularly prevalent in rural areas.
Delmarva is driven by agriculture and commercial fishing. Most of the land is rural, with a few large population centers, though tourism has been an important part of the region.
Delmarva has longstanding Catholic roots, but now Protestants are more numerous, with Methodism being particularly strongly represented. Numerous Catholic churches dating from the 17th and 17th centuries are still extant, such as Old Bohemia Church, which is dedicated to Saint Francis Xavier in Wicomico County, Maryland. There are also many historically significant Episcopalian churches, such as Old Trinity Church in southern Dorchester County and Christ Church in Cambridge, Maryland.
Sediment in motion at Ocean City
The border between Maryland and Delaware, which resulted from the 80-year-long Penn–Calvert Boundary Dispute, consists of the east–west Transpeninsular Line and the perpendicular north–south portion of the Mason–Dixon line extending north to just beyond its tangential intersection with the Twelve-Mile Circle which forms Delaware’s border with Pennsylvania. The border between Maryland and Virginia on the peninsula follows the Pocomoke River from the Chesapeake to a series of straight surveyed lines connecting the Pocomoke to the Atlantic Ocean.
All three counties in Delaware—New Castle (partially), Kent, and Sussex—are located on the peninsula. Of the 23 counties in Maryland, nine are on the Eastern Shore: Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester, as well as a portion of Cecil County. Two Virginia counties are on the peninsula: Accomack and Northampton.
The following is a list of some of the notable cities and towns on the peninsula.