Fourth of July: 13 Things to Know About the Original Colonies

PHOTO: 1776 Colonial Flag with 13 stars.
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Independence Day is not all barbecue and fireworks. So we pause here for a bit of history, with the 13 original colonies in mind (in the order of their founding).

13 Original Colonies

Virginia

Founded by the London Co., Virginia established the first permanent English settlement, in Jamestown, but also ended up with the first African slaves in North America.

13 Original Colonies

Massachusetts

Founded by Puritans, Massachusetts counted the second permanent English settlement, in Plymouth, after the Mayflower-sailing Pilgrims landed from the Humber region of England.

13 Original Colonies

New Hampshire

Founded by John Wheelwright, New Hampshire is the most northern of the 13 original colonies and the first independent state to have a written constitution.

13 Original Colonies

Maryland

Founded by Lord Baltimore, Maryland has had at least seven nicknames, including the "Old Line State," a possible reference to its being the "dividing line between the land grants given to William Penn and Lord Baltimore," according to a state website.

13 Original Colonies

Connecticut

Founded by Thomas Hooker, Connecticut attracted the Puritan colonial leader's attention after he abandoned Massachusetts in search of land to establish a colony more suitable to his egalitarian spirit, according to History of the USA.

13 Original Colonies

Rhode Island

Founded by Roger Williams, Rhode Island was the last of the 13 original colonies to ratify the U.S. Constitution after fighting no major battles in the Revolutionary War.

13 Original Colonies

Delaware

Founded by Peter Minuit and the New Sweden Co., Delaware saw the first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley after the Swedes established their colony near present-day Wilmington. The result: "The cultural, social, and religious influence of these Swedish settlers has had a lasting effect upon the cultural life of the people in this area," according to a state website.

13 Original Colonies

North Carolina

Founded by Virginians, North Carolina became the first state to vote in favor of independence.

13 Original Colonies

South Carolina

Founded by eight nobles with a Royal Charter from Charles II, slavery-dependent South Carolina grew with people of African descent making up two-thirds of the colony's population by 1730, according to History.com.

13 Original Colonies

New Jersey

Founded by Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, New Jersey was such a strategic location that it hosted about 90 Revolutionary War engagements, with Gen. George Washington moving his army across it four times, according to Infoplease.com.

13 Original Colonies

New York

Founded by the Duke of York, New York also was pivotal in the war, with one-third of the "skirmishes and engagements ... fought on New York soil. The Battle of Saratoga ... was the turning point of the Revolution," according to a state website.

13 Original Colonies

Pennsylvania

Founded by William Penn, Pennsylvania, thanks to Penn's less-inclusive heirs, eventually triggered so much resentment among Native Americans that they allied themselves with the French.

13 Original Colonies

Georgia

Founded by James Edward Oglethorpe, Georgia was not founded as a penal colony, despite the persistent misconception.

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