Saturday, April 17, 2010

Delaware 145 Years Ago

Description: A Voice From Delaware: How the State of Delaware Appeared in 1865:

Date: September 21 1865

Newspaper published in: Boston, Mass.

Source: newspaper

Page/Column: Letter To The Editor

My communication to your worthy paper a few weeks ago seems to have been well read in the Eastern States since I have received numerous letters of inquires. I hope to address these inquiries through your paper, with your kind permission.

First, It is my belief 'slavery' existing in the Southern States has forced emigration into the Northern ones.

Then, for Delaware, we have the mildness of climate, acres of level and fertile soil, light and free of rocks and stone, where one horse can do the labor of two, and less the wear and tear of farm implements. It is said the horses or oxen are not even shod for farm work.

The production of nature abounds in rich profusion, peaches, apples, pears, grapes, plums, all kinds of fruits and berries grow to perfection. In fact, all the small cereals, corn, potatoes, both round and sweet, are produced here equal to any other place. Growers in the North have felt that grapes will not grow well here, and this is a mistake.

Clover, Timothy, hard and orchard, as well as Hungarian flourish here.

The people are kind and hospitable and are pleased to have industrious, enterprising men come along to help develop and improve the resources of this land.

There is a system of common schools here, inaugurated some thirty years age by the venerable Judge Willard Hall of Connecticut, who migrated in early life to Delaware, and is now Judge of the United States District Court of Delaware.

There be an attempt to build up a Congregational Church at Canterbury, but owing to the few members and their limited means, they have not yet erected a house of worship. They call on the wealthy Congregationalist of the East to help and ask for contributions be sent to Deacon A. H. Bryan, formerly of Buffalo, who is at Canterbury. So let it be.

The facilities for market are the Delaware Bay and her tributaries, as well as the Chesapeake, and the Delaware Railroad which runs through the whole state, north to south, now to Salisbury, Maryland, head of the Wicomico River to the Chesapeake. This railroad soon with extend to Norfolk, Virginia it is said to connect to all southern cities.

The price of Delaware land varies with location and improvements. Along the railroad the best farm land can be bought for $75 to $100 per acre. The older, worn out farms,with poor buildings,a good distance from the rivers and railroad sell for $10 to $20 per acre. All farms have plenty of timber, but old houses and barns.

The above, I believe, is a birds eye view of things in the lower counties, where there is room for enterprise and industry.

Written from Canterbury, Delaware, September 13, 1865 by A. P. Osmond, a produce broker, originally from Mercer county Pennsylvania. He died at age 84, April 1870

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