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The factions were not just social — smaller landholders and the landless resented families who held bigger estates — but geographic and religious as well, says Russ McCabe, director of the Delaware Public Archives. The Archives, near the Green on Duke of York Street, has Delaware’s copy of the Bill of Rights on loan from the U.S. National Archives and is exhibiting it through July 4.

“New Castle County and Wilmington in the north were close in spirit to Philadelphia — more industrial, less rural, and for independence,” Mr. McCabe says.

Sussex, Delaware’s southernmost county, by contrast, “had ties with Tidewater and plantation Virginia and had Tory sympathies,” he explains. The in-between county, Kent, had ties to both north and south.

But the divisions were also religious, with immigrant Presbyterians from Ireland in favor of the break with the mother country, and Anglicans, who tended to conservatism — “especially those in Sussex County and, to a lesser extent, in Kent,” Mr. McCabe says — lukewarm on independence if not outright against it.

An exception was Caesar Rodney, who was Anglican and pro-independence.

To complicate matters, Delaware also had Quakers who were pacifist and a rapidly rising number of Methodists, Mr. McCabe notes. In England, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, urged fealty to King George, which made the loyalty of Methodists in Delaware suspect.

Yet only one Delawarean was executed for treason committed during that war, Mr. Davidson notes during his walking tour: the much despised Cheney Clow, a Methodist convert and ardent British loyalist throughout the Revolution. The tour guide points to the spot where the jail stood that held Clow more than 200 years ago.

Honoring the heroes

Caesar Rodney succumbed to his illnesses in 1784. Where he is buried is a subject of debate. It’s certain that he isn’t at the Christ Church gravesite where his tombstone sits. Most likely he’s in the Rodney family plot at Byfield, south of Dover.

Mr. McCabe hopes that archaeologists some day will solve the problem of “this extraordinary man’s” burial site. Meanwhile, a monument to Delaware’s Revolutionary soldiers will be put in place in 2008 on the east side of Legislative Hall.

Its three soldiers, 18 feet high, will be a striking memorial to Delaware’s contribution to the American Revolution, “a contribution that’s not so nearly well known as it should be,” he says.