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The 16-mile (26 km) portage between the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay saved a 400-mile (640 km) trip around the Delmarva Peninsula, so this brought passengers, goods, and business to New Castle's port.
In the years following the Revolution, a turnpike was built to facilitate travel between the two major waterways.
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The Dutch originally named the settlement Fort Casimir, but this was changed to Fort Trinity (Swedish: Trefaldighet) following its seizure by the colony of New Sweden on Trinity Sunday, 1654.
The Dutch conquered the entire colony of New Sweden the following year and rechristened the fort Nieuw-Amstel ("New Amstel").
In 1680, New Castle was conveyed to William Penn by the Duke of York by livery of seisin and was Penn's landing place when he first set foot on American soil on October 27, 1682.
Many smaller houses were torn down and replaced in this era.
In February 1777, John Mc Kinly was elected the first President of Delaware (a title later renamed "Governor").
Prior to the establishment of Penn's Philadelphia, New Castle was a center of government.
After being transferred to Penn, Delaware's Swedish, Dutch, and English residents used to the relaxed culture of the Restoration monarchy grew uncomfortable with the more conservative Quaker influence, so Delaware petitioned for a separate legislature, which was finally granted in 1702. New Castle again became the seat of the colonial government, thriving with the various judges and lawyers that fueled the economy.