Preservation of Records and Sites
We help preserve records related to the events leading up to and during the American Revolution.
- DESSAR members played major roles in the Delaware legislature's 1995 decision to construct a modern building for the new Delaware Public Archives (completed in 2001).
- Henry Peden (a member of the Maryland Society SAR), compiled and published Revolutionary Patriots of Delaware, 1775-1783, which provides both patriotic service and genealogical information about 5,000 Delawareans who fought for or otherwise supported the cause of liberty.
- DESSAR members participated in transcribing and publishing Delaware 1782 Tax Assessments and Census Lists (Delaware Genealogical Society, Wilmington DE, 1994).
We help preserve sites related to the events leading up to and during the American Revolution.
- DESSAR members are helping the state publish transcriptions of 1,400 Revolutionary War documents discovered since Delaware Archives Military was published in 1910.
Commemoration of Patriots and Historic Events
Each year we commemorate several key events of the Revolution
- We remember the British incursion to Lexington and Concord -- and the resulting bloodshed that escalated the conflict into a revolution -- with our Annual Meeting (usually on the Saturday closest to April 19).
- We celebrate Independence Day (July 4) with speakers at ceremonies in each county in Delaware (New Castle, Kent, and Sussex).
- We commemorate the hardships of the Revolution by participating in Delaware Day at Valley Forge (usually the third Sunday in September)
- We celebrate Delaware's Ratification of the U.S. Constitution with a formal dinner (usually on the Saturday closest to December 7). This tradition goes back over a hundred years to our founding.
We join with other organizations to remember the sacrifices of our troops throughout U.S. history and place wreaths at war memorials. We also place flags on the graves of veterans and march in several Memorial Day parades.
Since 1999 the Delaware Society has promoted research, marking, use, and designation of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R) as a National Historic Trail. This was the part of France's support during our Revolution that had the most widespread impact on the United States.
W3R-US Home Page
One unit of this army -- Lauzun's Legion (about 600 soldiers) -- was assigned to guard the Delaware River area and camped in Wilmington for five months in 1782-3.
Interpretation for the Public
We support research and publications (Web sites, books, articles, and talks) related to the history and people in the U.S. during 1750-1800. We enjoy presentations on topics related to the Revolution as an historic event and as an ongoing movement.
Delaware Leaders and Documents 1775-1783 has information on prominent state patriots and documents of that era.
The only military engagement in Delaware between regular U.S. and British troops was a delaying action by 1,000 Continentals and Delaware militia as 18,000 British troops under Gen. Howe expanded their perimeter near Elkton MD and sought a way to get around 11,000 Continentals under Gen. Washington. This was the Battle of Cooch's Bridge (fought near Newark DE) on 3 September 1777.
Resources on the History of Delaware in 1775-1783
The Philadelawareans, by John Munroe (Univ. of Delaware Press, Newark DE, 2004), covers the late colonial, early federal period of relations between Delaware and Philadelphia. The Delaware Society SAR presented the author with a Good Citizenship Medal for his life of scholarly research on Delaware.
Historical Society of Delaware has a changing series of exhibits, with related information.
Valley Forge National Park describes the park and the significant events that occurred there.