The Delaware River
The Delaware River was named for "Lord De La Warr" (Thomas West, b. 1577, d. 1618), first colonial governor of Virginia.
Headwaters to the Bay
Henry Hudson, an Englishman in the service of the Dutch East-India company, discovered the Delaware bay the 28th of August, 1609, but he made no attempt to ascend the river. The Delaware had a multiplicity of names. The Indians called it Marisqueton, Mackeriskitton and Makerishkiskon, Lenapa, Wihittuck, or, the stream of the Lenape. It was called Zuydt or South River by the Dutch; also, Nassau, Prince Hendrick's and Charles River. The Swedes called it New Swedeland stream, while to the English it was generally known as the Delaware. The Dutch less frequently called it New River, and some Indians called it Pautaxa.
Captain Cornelius Jacobson May ascended the river some distance in 1614, and two years afterwards Captain Hendrickson discovered the Schuylkill. For a number of years the history of the country of watered by the Delaware is a relation of the feeble struggles of Holland, Sweden and England for empire on its banks. It was about this period that Bucks County was first traveled by Europeans. In 1616 three Dutch traders set out from Fort Nassua, now Albany, to explore the interior; they struck across the headwaters of the Delaware, down which they traveled to the Schuylkill.
There is only a brief record of Hollanders planting settlements along the Delaware. They and the French carried on a profitable trade with the Indians as early as 1621, and no doubt now and then one of them pushed his way further from the shores to trap and trade. In 1623 the Dutch West-India company erected a fort where Gloucester New Jersey now stands; but affairs were so unpromising on the Delaware that it was abandoned in 1630.
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