Wednesday, February 8, 2017


1737 LEWES

In 1738 Lewes was a small port of several dozen houses on two streets which were parallel the Lewes Creek. Saint Peters Episcopal Church sat on four acres between Market and Mulberry streets, fronting on Second Street. Adjacent to the church was the 1681 Court House, constructed of logs at least eight inches thick and topped by a good strong roof, tight and well covered. Next to the courthouse stood Phillip Russell's tavern known to be a place that “persons play at cards” and illegal. Ryves Holt eventually owned the tavern.

Early 18th century English colonies allowed slavery and ships carrying slaves called at Lewes' colonial port which was in a area called “Three Lower Counties” on the western shore of Delaware Bay from Cape Henlopen to the boarder of Pennsylvania, and had a degree of independent autonomy. Here the Pennsylvania tariff on slaves was ignored and slaves were here off loaded. They then, as any other cargo, could be transported by land to Philadelphia without paying the tariff.

Jacob Kollack's father in law, a Philadelphia merchant, arranged for a ship with part of its cargo as slaves, to stop at Lewes and while it rode at anchor near Lewes, Jacob Kollack, inspected the cargo and ordered the sixteen slaves of the cargo be taken ashore.

Source: Michael Morgans Delaware Diary, Delaware Coast Press, 8 February, 2017,

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