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The Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony.
In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina (present-day Wilmington, Delaware) and quickly spread out in the valley.
Clockwise from top: Philadelphia skyline (2015); City Hall; Elfreth's Alley; paifang in Chinatown; Ben Franklin Bridge; SS United States at Port of Philadelphia; College Hall at UPenn; Museum of Art; Liberty Bell and Independence Hall Philadelphia is the economic and cultural anchor of the Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within both the Mid-Atlantic region and the Northeast megalopolis.
The English conquered the New Netherland colony in 1664, though the situation did not change substantially until 1682 when the area was included in William Penn's charter for Pennsylvania.
Before Penn left Philadelphia for the last time, he issued the Charter of 1701 establishing it as a city.
Though poor at first, the city became an important trading center with tolerable living conditions by the 1750s.
In 1681, in partial repayment of a debt, Charles II of England granted Penn a charter for what would become the Pennsylvania colony.
Despite the royal charter, Penn bought the land from the local Lenape to be on good terms with the Native Americans and ensure peace for his colony.