13 Original Colonies
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The Thirteen Original Colonies

The original thirteen colonies were Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.  Please click here to see when the colonies were founded. 

Facts of the Thirteen Colonies

Connecticut: 5th to become a state 1788; settled by Puritans from Massachusetts; state laws were model for US Constitution; nickname is Constitution State

Delaware: 1st state 12-7-1787; Delaware's Blue Hen army (named for their leader's pet fighting Blue Hen rooster) turned away advancing British in initial skirmish with great speed and bravery; the 13-star flag was flown in battle here first

Georgia: Last colony settled but was 4th to ratify Constitution and become state; named after King George II

Maryland: Named for Queen Henrietta Maria of England; Known for its valiant army; statehood 4-28-1788; part of state became Washington D C

Massachusetts: Plymouth Rock home; became a state 2-6-1788; once had a carved wooden codfish on the wall of the State House because codfish were a big state industry

New Hampshire: named for Hampshire County in England; became state 6-21-1788; was heavily explored by both French and English

New Jersey: Land was given to the Governor of the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel for this colony; it would be the site of over 100 battles and skirmishes before the Revolution ended

New York: Named for the Duke of York (brother of King Charles II); statehood 7-26-1788; US Congress met here after Revolution

North Carolina: Home of Roanoke Island's Lost Colony; first child born in America was John White's granddaughter Virginia on 8-18-1587; statehood 11-21-1789

Pennsylvania: means Penn's Woods, named for William Penn; nickname Keystone State because it is the center of the arch of thirteen colonies; 2nd state 12-12-1787; settled by various religious groups who greatly enhanced colonial life with inventions such as the Conestoga wagon

Rhode Island: smallest colony and state; not an island, was maybe named for Isle of Rhodes in Aegean Sea; 1st declare independence from England but last of thirteen to become a state because of concerns over being fairly represented in spite of size

South Carolina: once part of "Carolana" with NC; nickname Palmetto State because fortress of palms kept British warship away from Charleston harbor in 1776 battle; statehood 5-23-1778

Virginia: home to four of the first five US presidents, and eventually home to four more; site of 1st permanent settlement in Jamestown 1607

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