Boats on the Delaware River

Whitall Family

The Whitall family lived on a 400-acre farm that faced the Delaware River. James Whitall was a farmer and a merchant. Merchants sold things like cups, plates, and spices to other people. James used his boat to go to Philadelphia to sell these items.

In the 1700s there were a lot of boats on the river! The Whitall family loved to fish on the river. Jame's sons James and Job spent Sundays fishing for shad. The Delaware River was full of shad and the family sold it to neighbors and friends.

Explosion of Augusta

During the Revolutionary War the Delaware River was filled with British and American ships. In 1777 the British ship Augusta ran aground, caught fire, and exploded. The explosion was loud people could hear it 50 miles away!

Liberty Kids Video

Watch an episode of the Public Broadcasting Service's children's program "Liberty's Kids". This episode focuses on "The Turtle," the submarine of the American Revolution. Watching the episode before the craft will provide some context for your tot in a fun and engaging way.

Activity - Egg Carton Ships

What You Need

  • Egg Carton (Cut in Half)
  • Glue
  • Markers and Crayons
  • Paper
  • Popsicle Sticks (straws or pencils work just as well)
  • Scissors


  1. Take your egg carton and decorate it however you like. Color all over it if you have paint or crayons to add even more color.
  2. Next take your paper and cut out a triangle. This will be your sail.
  3. Glue the sail to the end of the popsicle stick.
  4. Now put a small hole in the middle of your egg carton.
  5. Put glue on the other end of your popsicle stick and hold it there for a few moments to make sure it sticks.
  6. After it's all finished you'll have a mini ship you can float anywhere there's water!