Sunday, May 15, 2016


In 1770 the Sussex on Delaware Court House was located at Lewes, as had it been for near one hundred years, and people of Lewes were accustomed to being the center of government activities. However, during the past hundred years the interior of Sussex County expanded and caused difficult travel for it's citizens to conduct government business. Petitions had been presented to the House of Assembly to have the Court House fixed at the Cross Roads, near what is now Milton.

Lewes resident, John Rodney, a cousin of Caesar Rodney, was one against this move. He argued Lewes was a town of merchants, sailors, pilots, ship carpenters and other watermen, a thriving town, and the other county residents were farmers, seldom served in public business and were few of them fit for it. The proposal to move the court from Lewes to Cross Roads was defeated.

Then was the Revolution, Lewes and the interior area of the county continued to grow as did the animosity between coastal residents and interior residents of Sussex for a more central location of the county seat. 1791 elections found more poling places outside of Lewes and the Court House was moved a dozen miles or so to fifty acres of James Pettijohns farm, a more central location. A new court house was built, and a town soon developed around it and it was named Georgetown.

Abstract of Michael Morgan's, Delaware Diary.

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