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Monday, May 8, 2017

LeBel Delivers 'A Brief Relation of the State of Delmarva' May 10

LeBel BookSALISBURY, MD---Should the Delmarva Peninsula break off into its own state?

Dr. Phillip LeBel, retired professor of economics at Montclair State University, NJ, and lecturer at Salisbury University discusses the topic from historical and economic standpoints during the lecture “A Brief Relation of the State of Delmarva.”

His presentation is 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, in the Patricia R. Guerrieri Academic Commons Assembly Hall.

The suggestion that the peninsula secede from its respective states has been debated for the past 150-plus years — including a few half-hearted succession bills in Annapolis when Maryland’s Eastern Shore felt it was not getting its fair share from the General Assembly.

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LeBel researched the feasibility for such an action for his 2016 book A Brief Relation of the State of Delmarva: Accounting for the Singularity, Insularity and Other Irregularities of a Population in Economic and Cultural Evolution from Maryland History Press.

LeBel, a native of Salisbury, said he first considered the book during trips back to the area to visit his mother, Ellen Bloodsworth, a 1936 SU alumna, before he moved back to the region himself. His inspiration came, in part, from her collection of local history books.

Though he was familiar with the region, he researched and wrote the book from the eyes of an “outsider,” tracing Delmarva’s history from the Mason-Dixon map of 1769 through colonial times, the Civil War, the emergence of the railroad as an economic engine, the seafood and aviation industries, and finally, changes on the peninsula post-World War II.

His findings: Maryland’s Eastern Shore has more in common with Western Maryland and the rest of the state — and less in common with Eastern Shore Virginia and lower Delaware — than many of its residents may care to admit. Factors include income, ethnicity and family foundations, he said.

Sponsored by SU’s Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture, admission is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6312 or visit the Nabb Center website at

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