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Do You Know the Original 13 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. Check out the map of these 13 colonies!

History is a fascinating thing! It helps to identify who we are, what we are, and where we’re headed. When I was in school, America was called the “melting pot” because it was a land where anyone could come and make a home, as long as they were willing to work hard and face the inherent dangers of an unsettled land. People came from every nation in Europe in those early days, but primarily from Britain, France, and Spain. Here is a helpful chronology related to these original 13 colonies that became the first 13 states of the infant United States of America.

Charter to Sir Walter Raleigh: 1584

Everybody remembers Jamestown, Capt. John Smith, Pocahontas and all the rest. But do you remember Roanoke? In 1585, after a small scouting expedition had returned from North America with two Native Americans and many astonishing stories, Sir Walter Raleigh tried to establish a colony called Roanoke in the land which the British named “Virginia”, in honor of Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen. The site was actually an island on North America’s eastern seaboard protected by the outer banks of what is now North Carolina’s coast. Sir Richard Grenville led the fleet that brought them to the New World, the Governor of the colony was Master Ralph Lane and among the colonists was Walter Raleigh’s confidant Thomas Harriot, author of “A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia”, a chronicle of their adventure. Sir Francis Drake, who was seeking Spanish conquests in the New World, rescued this group just as they were losing control of their situation. Another colony was left at Roanoke in 1587 but by 1590, when a long delayed supply ship finally arrived, they had disappeared without a trace. This was the so-called “Lost Colony“. A baby was born in Roanoke at this time. Little Virginia Dare, was the granddaughter of John White, the appointed Governor of the “Lost Colony”, and was probably the first English baby born in the New World. Sir Walter Raleigh sent ships to America to search for the colonists but they were unsuccessful. By the time the next English settlers arrived in North America to colonize Jamestown it was nearly twenty years later and, although several attempts were made to find out what happened to them, the fate of the “Lost Colony” was never fully explained. Continue reading

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

Pilgrims land December 11, 1620

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

Jamestown, Virginia 1607 - First permanent settlement in New World

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 5-23-1788

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

Those first settlers had high hopes for the New World – for America. They saw her as a “City on a hill, a thought shared by many including former President Ronald Reagan when he said, “America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.” Some today attempt to divorce the impact of Christianity on the birth and development of America, but it cannot be done and still retain the integrity of History! “John Winthrop used the phrase “City upon a Hill” to describe the new settlement at Plymouth, with “the eies of all people” upon them. And with those words, he laid a foundation for a new world. These new settlers certainly represented a new destiny for this land.” READ MORE

A destiny America has yet to fulfill, to exemplify a community of free and diverse individuals bound together by a love and respect for the ideals contained in the US Constitution

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness!