Colonial Delaware provided a variety of jobs, including agriculture, trading of fur and material goods, shipbuilding, fishing, working in grist mills and producing paper products. Colonial Delaware provided a temperate climate, making agriculture the primary economic activity. Delaware's coastal location and key ports necessitated maritime commerce, including shipbuilding and repairing.
Farmers in colonial Delaware supported the local populations with food and revenue. Crops during the colonial era included wheat, rye, oat, corn, flaxseed, hay and produce. Corn and wheat served as staple crops for Delaware residents, while farmers exported the rest. Wheat from the northern region of Delaware proved superior to wheat crops from the southern region, while the economy of southern Delaware drew support primarily from fishing and shell-fishing. Although a lucrative business, agriculture did not produce revenue year-round.
During the winter months, Delaware citizens served as traders, exchanging products such as clothing and food for fur pelts from Native Americans. Women participated too, crafting and selling woven woolen and cloth items; these products equated with currency, helping families purchase winter essentials. Paper mills and grist mills employed citizens in urbanized areas, as did port-side shipbuilding factories. Citizens constructed canoes, trading vessels, yachts and barges. In addition to trading with Native Americans, native Delaware citizens participated in sales and exchanges with other colonial territories, swapping goods and services for economic growth.