The state of Delaware is located in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bounded to the north by Pennsylvania, to the east by New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by Maryland. It is the second smallest state in the union (96 miles long and from 9 to 35 miles across). The population of Delaware is 850,000; though only the forty-fifth most populous state, it is the seventh most densely populated. It is a prosperous and thriving state. It enjoys an excellent location, within easy driving distance of Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. Many of America’s largest corporations locate their headquarters in Delaware; like Ireland, the state offers the attraction of a very favourable corporate tax regime. The state’s per capita personal income ranks ninth in the nation; the average weekly wage ranks seventh. The state’s economy generally outperforms the national economy of the United States.
Delaware has a history of dynamism and innovation: it was the first of the thirteen states to ratify the constitution in 1787 (hence the state’s nickname, “The first state”); though a slave state it supported the executive decision to abolish slavery and voted against secession in 1861; and it was in the van of the industrial and commercial development of the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries that saw the United States become the wealthiest nation in the world.
American College Delaware is located in the town of Lewes, which is situated on the eastern shore of Sussex County, the southernmost county in the state. Lewes was the site of the first European settlement in Delaware, founded on 3 June 1631 by Dutch settlers and named Zwaanendael (Swan Valley). The initial settlement faltered in the years following; there were subsequent efforts at reestablishing the colony, but English seizure of New Netherland in 1664 led the Dutch to abandon Zwaanendael. In 1682, the Delaware colonies were given to William Penn by King Charles II; Penn arrived in the New World later that year, renaming the southern part of the Delaware lands Sussex County and the abandoned settlement of Zwaanendael as Lewes, after the town located in the county of Sussex on England's south coast. Thereafter, Lewes grew and developed as a small fishing and trading town. Though life in Lewes was reasonably secure and sedate, there were interruptions, most notably on 5-6 April 1813, during the War of 1812, when British naval vessels led by HMS Poictiers under the command of Captain Sir John Beresford bombarded the town. Though the attack had little effect, a cannonball from the bombardment lodged and remains in the foundation of Cannonball House, which now serves as the town's maritime museum.
Today, Lewes is a thriving artistic, recreational and retirement community in the heart of the Delaware beaches area, home to approximately 3,000 permanent residents, a population that expands significantly in the warm months of the long summer period that runs from April to October.
As Lewes was the earliest settlement in the state, and Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, the town refers to itself as "The First Town in the First State." Lewes shares the same seal of the southern town in Sussex, England, after which it and the county in which it resides were originally named by William Penn.