City Name :: Wilmington, DE
Population :: 72,826
Established :: 1638
Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delaware and is located at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine Creek, near where the Christina flows into the Delaware River. It is the county seat of New Castle County and one of the major cities in the Delaware Valley metropolitan area.
The city in the 1980s experienced tremendous job growth and office construction when many national banks and financial institutions relocated to the area after the Financial Center Development Act of 1981 substantially liberalized the laws governing banks operating within the state. In 1986, the state adopted legislation targeted at attracting international finance and insurance companies. Today, many national and international banks, such as Bank of America, Chase, Barclays among others have operations in the city, with these typically being their credit card operations.
Earlier, both World Wars had stimulated the city's industries that were vital to the war effort - shipyards, steel foundries, machinery, and chemical producers - operated on a 24-hour basis.
Wilmington was named by Proprietor Thomas Penn for his friend Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, who was prime minister in the reign of George II of Great Britain.
The area now known as Wilmington was first colonized by settlers from Sweden who in March, 1638, established Fort Christina at the mouth of the Christina River at the area known as "The Rocks", located near the foot of present-day Seventh Street. Fort Christina served as the headquarters for the colony of New Sweden which consisted of, for the most part, the lower Delaware River region (parts of present day Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey), but settled few colonists there.
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