Dover Day

Trip Start Feb 15, 2010
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Trip End Feb 14, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Delaware
Thursday, April 1, 2010

I didn't accomplish a ton today, but I made my way into Dover to see the capitol.  I visited the capitol building and got a few photos of the outside.  It turned out that the outside of the building was much more attractive than the interior, so I didn't stay long.

I walked across the grass-covered square behind the capitol to the old capitol building.  Once inside, an older man asked me if I was there for the tour.  I said that if he was offering a tour then indeed I was.  He took me around to the various rooms of the building where the original state congress met and where they approved and signed the .  The building had been restored to include period furniture.  I also noticed a very strong aroma of cedar, and asked him how such an old building could still smell so fresh.  He said the floors were actually just replaced with wood from another building from the same time period.  Once installed, someone noticed the boards were varnished and stated that the floors in that time period would have been bare wood, so the floorboards were stripped back to the wood again, releasing the strong cedar scent.  The guide also told me an interesting story and showed me some recreations of documents that were drafted in the capitol building.  The documents were found by an archives employee and they were papers drafted for a man who wanted to release two of his slaves.  Those two slaves also happened to be his own children.  The archives had also found the document listing the property of the released son at the time of his death, nearly sixty years later.  The freed son had managed to go from a slave with less than nothing to a wealthy and prosperous man during his lifetime.  The guide also showed me a large photograph with sixty or more people who are all the direct descendants of that one freed slave.

I walked around the historic buildings surrounding the capitol and came upon a sign and marker for the former location of the Golden Fleece Tavern.  It was in that tavern on Dec. 7, 1787 that Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.

After strolling around the neighborhood a little more, I took off for a Flying J just across the state line in Penns Grove, NJ.
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