Delaware and the Ratification of the Constitution

Constitution Day is September 17

depository library
We the People

There are many resources, both electronic and print, for the study of the United States Constitution. This guide presents selected resources relating to the Constitution and to Delaware's role in the ratification. Delaware was the first of the thirteen original colonies to ratify the Constitution, making it "the First State."

Delaware ratified the Constitution on December 7, 1787. This date appears on the state flag. December 7th is known as "Delaware Day."

Delaware state flag


The Documents

Title: Constitution of the United States.
Series: America's Historical Documents.
Published: National Archives.
Description: This National Archives page offers a wealth of resources: facsimiles of the original constitution, transcription, and information about the constitution. Additionally, the National Archives and Records Administration building in Washington has a display copy and information about visiting the exhibit.

Title: Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (CONAN).
Published: Washington: U.S. G.P.O.
Description: Coverage of court cases on constitional law. The "base edition" covers court cases through 2002. Kept up to date by supplements. Note: the base edition is a huge PDF file; the document is more than 2000 pages.

Title: The Constitution of the United States of America As Amended: Unratified Amendments, Analytical Index.
Series: House document (U. S. Congress. House); 110-50.
Published: Washington: U.S. G.P.O.: U.S. G.P.O., 2007.


Encyclopedias and Handbooks

Title: Encyclopedia of the American Constitution.
Published: New York: Macmillan Reference USA, c2000.
Location: Morris Library - Reference KF4548 .E53 2000

Title: The Oxford Guide to the United States Government.
Published: Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Location: Morris Library - Reference JK 9 .P384 2001


The Constitution and Delaware

Author: Currie, David P.
Title: The Constitution of the United States: A Primer For The People. 2nd ed.
Published: Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
Location: Morris Library KF4550 .Z9 C88 2000

Title: The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution.
Published: Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1976-.
Location: Morris Library KF4502 .D63


Title: Center for the Study of the American Constitution.
Published: University of Wisconsin.

Title: Delaware's Ratification of the Constitution: Transcription.
Published: National Archives.

Title: The Golden Fleece Tavern: Birthplace of the First State.
Series: Delaware's Historic Markers Program.
Published: Delaware Public Archives.

Author: Kaminski, John P.
Title: "Documenting the Constitution: The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison."
Published: Wisconsin Academy Review 42, no. 2 (Spring 1996)

Author: Munroe, John A.,1914-
Title: The Philadelawareans, and Other Essays Relating to Delaware.
Series: Cultural studies of Delaware and the Eastern Shore.
Published: Newark: University of Delaware Press, c2004.
Description: View table of contents
Location: Morris Library - F164.5.M86 2004

Title: Our American Government.
Series: House document (U. S. Congress. House); 108-94.
Published: Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 2003.
Library Annex - U.S. Documents Y 1.1/7:108-94

Author: Tunnell, James Miller, 1879-
Title: Ratification of the Federal Constitution by the State of Delaware.
Published: Dover, DE: Public Archives Commission, 1944.
Location: Morris Library KF4512.D3 T86x 1944
Morris Library - Special Collections Delaware KF4512.D3 T86x 1944

Author: University of Delaware. Library.
Title: "Creature of Their Own Will": The Formative Years of the U.S. Constitution.
Published: Newark, DE: University of Delaware Library, 1987.
Location: Morris Library - Special Collections Delaware Z881.N5 U7x 1987b

Author: Wolfe, Christopher.
Title: How to Read the Constitution: Originalism, Constitutional Interpretation, and Judicial Power.
Published: Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, c1996.
Location: Morris Library KF4552 .W63 1996


Celebrating the Constitution

Author: Connell, John,Citizen of Delaware.
Title: A Letter To The People of The United States, Upon The Propriety of Establishing An Annual National Jubilee, To Commemorate The Adoption of The Constitution of The United States.
Published: Wilmington, DE: Printed by H. Eckel & Co., 1854.
Location: Morris Library - Special Collections Delaware JK1759 .C7 1854

Title: Delaware Celebrates the 200th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights: January 28, 1790, December 7 and 15, 1991.
Series: Document (Delaware); no. 98-50-00/92/07/01.
Published: Wilmington, DE: Delaware Heritage Commission, [1992].
Location: Morris Library - F168. D453x 1992
Morris Library - Special Collections Delaware F168.D453x 1992

Author: Delaware Constitution Sesqui-Centennial Commission.
Title: Marking the 150th Anniversary of The Constitution of The United States And Honoring The Patriotic Delawareans Who Helped To Make It: Richard Bassett, Gunning Bedford, Jr., Jacob Broom, John Dickinson, George Reed.
Published: Wilmington, DE: Star Publishing, 1937.
Location: Morris Library - Special Collections Delaware JK165 .D43

Author: Delaware.State Board of Education.
Title: Teaching the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Delaware.
Published: [Dover], DE: State Board of Education, 1924.
Location: Morris Library JK3725 1924 .D45

Author: Garvin, Peggy.
Title: Back to School for Constitution Day.
Published: LLRX (Law Library Resource Xchange, LLC.)

Title: Schools Ordered To Observe ‘Constitution Day’.
Published: Associated Press; MSNBC.


Delaware's Signers Richard Bassett
Gunning Bedford, Jr.
Jacob Broom
John Dickinson
George Read
Delaware's Ratification The Delaware convention met in Dover on Monday, December 3, 1787. On Friday, December 7, the convention ratified the constitution by a unanimous vote.
December 7, 1787 The date of the ratification of the constitution is now known as "Delaware Day." Delaware Population Profile (1790)
Total population 59,096
New Castle County 19,688
Kent County 18,920
Sussex County 20,488
This page is maintained by Rebecca Knight, Reference Department.
Created for Constitution Day 2005. Last modified: 06/20/13