Delaware was initially founded by Peter Minuit and the New Swedish Company in 1638 because of its rich soil and agricultural prospects, such as wheat, which led to highly prosperous trading. Delaware became one of the original 13 English colonies of the New World, and it was specifically part of the Middle Colonies, nestled between the New England colonies and the Southern Colonies. Delaware officially became a state 2 months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence and joined the other 12 English colonies in their quest for independence from Great Britain.
Delaware derived its name from the Delaware River, which was the namesake of Sir Thomas West, who was also known as Lord de la Warr. West was the first governor of the Virginia Company. The colony was simply known as Delaware Colony before the Revolution and independence from Great Britain, after which the state was simply called Delaware.
Delaware was a valuable colony due to the fact that it quickly became a productive farming area, much like the rest of the colonies in the Middle Colonial region. Delaware farmers grew large amounts of much-needed crops like wheat. In fact, Delaware produced so much wheat for shipment to England and other countries that it was known as the breadbasket colony. Delaware was the first of the 13 colonies to become a state after signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776.