From the August 21, 2015, Coastal Point "Civil War Profiles: Shipbuilding in Delaware during the Civil War" by Thomas J. Ryan.
From 1740-1775, Wilmington, Delaware, launched over 300 vessels. Legend has it that the Wilmington-built ship Nancy was the first to raise a quickly-sewn together American flag in St. Croix, Virgin islands, when it learned of the Declaration of Independence.
In the decades before the Civil War, Delaware led the nation in shipbuilding.
In the 1850s, two firms: Harlan & Hollingsworth and Pusey & Jones, both located along the WEilmington waterfront, began to perform ship repairs and engine installation. Pusey & Jones also contracted to build the first iron steamship, the Flora McDonald. Harlan & Hollinsworth soon followed with the iron steamers Ashland and Ocean. The two shipyards fostered the beginning of many supporting industries in the Wilmington area.