Posted: Nov. 20, 2018
Revised: Nov. 6, 2020

Note: In keeping with Gov. Carney’s guidance for reopening the state in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the New Castle Court House Museum is open for tours via reservation only. Go to the following for additional information.

The New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St., in New Castle, Del., is currently featuring the exhibit “The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware.” Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-323-4453.

Image from “The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware”
Image from “The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware”

The exhibit explores Delaware’s role in the clandestine network that transported American slaves to freedom, including the true journey of the Hawkins family, from bondage in Maryland, through Delaware, to freedom in Pennsylvania. Part II of the exhibit explores some of the challenges faced by Black Delawareans after the Civil War, and showcases Delaware trailblazers—including Jane Mitchell, “Judy” Johnson, Louis Redding and Lisa Blunt Rochester, among many others—who helped break racial and gender barriers.

“The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware” was created by the staff of the New Castle Court House Museum working together with the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team. The exhibit opened on Nov. 17, 2018 and will be on display for an undetermined period of time.

In keeping with Gov. Carney’s guidance for reopening the state in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the museum is open for 45-minute tours by advance registration only on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Call 302-323-4453 for reservations and additional information.

Constructed in 1732, the New Castle Court House is one of the oldest active court buildings in the United States and was Delaware’s first state capitol. Here, the Colonial Assembly passed the 1776 Separation Resolution creating the Delaware State. During its nearly 300 years of history, this National Historic Landmark has played pivotal roles in the political, social and commercial life of both New Castle and Delaware. The museum is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and is a partner site in the First State National Historical Park.

New Castle Court House Museum
New Castle Court House Museum

Photo of the American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo

Go to the following for a full listing of exhibits and displays at the museums of the State of Delaware.

Go to the following for a long-term calendar of events sponsored by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.