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In 1890 the congress of the United States passed legislation to honor the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. It invited participation in an international exhibit of “arts, industries, manufacturers, and products of soil, mine, and sea” to be held in Chicago in 1893. As a response to the act, the Delaware General Assembly created a commission, the Board of World’s Fair Managers of Delaware, to coordinate the state’s participation in the Chicago exposition.1

The Board was tasked with the responsibilities of overseeing the design and erection of a Delaware State Building; in Chicago, exhibiting the resources and products of the state in order to highlight the general development of the state; and, at the end of the World’s Fair, directing the sale of the furniture, house, and any other property belonging to the state and turning over the monies to the Treasurer for deposit in the general fund.2 To achieve these ends the nine member Board received twenty thousand dollars in appropriated funds, borrowed twenty-seven hundred dollars from a private citizen, and received specific appropriations for displays of the special work of Delaware women and a colonial exhibit.3 At the end of the fair and at the conclusion of its financial responsibilities, the Board made a report to the governor of its proceedings and included a list of all disbursements. With its responsibilities fulfilled, the Board ceased to exist in 1895.

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1 19 D.L., ch 179.

2 Ibid; 19 D.L., ch. 787.

3 Ibid; 19 D.L., ch. 878; Funds disbursement report, George W. Emory papers.

4 19 D.L., ch. 179.

sle; August 17, 1989