{ subscribe_url: '/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/law.php' }

Dover, Delaware – Pic of the Week

Delaware may be one of the smallest states, but it has a big claim to fame as the first state to ratify the Constitution in 1787. Delaware’s capital, Dover, is a historic city that “grew as many such colonial communities did… around a nucleus of taverns and a courthouse.” Dover is located in Kent County, the county seat of Delaware. Luckily for us, many historic buildings in Dover still exist today and offer a glimpse into the making of the American experiment.

Sign outside of the original location of The Golden Fleece Tavern. Photograph by Kelly Goles.

One tavern, in particular, was especially important in the shaping of our nation: The Golden Fleece Tavern. Before the State House was built, the Legislative Council used the tavern as their meeting place. On December 3, 1787, 30 delegates met at the tavern to review the Constitution and unanimously decided on ratification. The Golden Fleece was demolished in around 1830, but a sign marks the original location, along with a placard describing the historic significance. The tavern originally sat on a corner of The Green, and from the original location, you can see the old statehouse and the original county courthouse.

Exterior picture of the old state house in Dover, Delaware

The Old State House, located at 25 The Green, Dover, Delaware. Photograph by Kelly Goles.

The construction of what is now known as The Old State House began in 1787 and was completed in 1791. It also served as the Kent County courthouse until 1873. While the Old State House no longer serves as the seat for state government, the building has been restored and is now operated as a museum by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

Have you visited Dover, Delaware? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

Which Signatory of the Declaration of Independence is Buried in Washington, DC?

There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, but only one signer is buried in the Congressional Cemetery. In fact, he’s the only signer buried in the District of Columbia. In honor of Independence Day, we’re highlighting the final resting place of Elbridge Gerry. Gerry was born in Massachusetts in 1744. He attended Harvard […]

Talbot County Courthouse – Pic of the Week

I recently visited the town of Easton, Maryland, on a day trip. Here, situated on a quintessential main street, the Talbot County courthouse offers visitors a place to sit and take in the beautiful courtyard, as well as some rich history. Today, the courthouse, originally built in 1794, not only houses the chambers and courtrooms […]

The Home of George Watterston, the Third Librarian of Congress – Pic of the Week

I have walked by this building many times, but did not realize until recently that it has a special connection to the Library of Congress. This was the home of the third Librarian of Congress, George Watterston. Watterston presided over the Library during a significant period in its history. Appointed by President Madison in 1815 […]

Memorial Hall – Pic of the Week

This pic of the week features the Madison Building, which is part of the of the Washington, D.C., campus of the Library of Congress. The Jefferson Building is known for its palatial design, but the Madison Building has its charms, too. You can learn more about each of these buildings by taking an online tour. […]