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Search results for: civil war


Crisis Management during the American Civil War: The Hartford Soldiers’ Aid Society

The Hartford Soldiers’ Aid Society was one of the most important relief organizations during the Civil War and provided new opportunities for women in the public sphere.

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More than two dozen veterans of the Ninth Regiment gathered for a reunion at Savin Rock in West Haven

Fighting Sons of Erin: Connecticut’s Irish Regiment in the Civil War

Men with names like O’Brien, Kennedy, Mahoney, Murphy, Donnelly, Fitzpatrick, and Sullivan flocked to enlist in what a recruiting poster confidently described as a “destined to be gallant Regiment.”

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A Civil War Soldier Engineers an Iconic Career

Horatio Wright was a Connecticut native who served with distinction…

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Celebrating Civil War Men and Women – Today in History: April 9

Today marks the anniversary of not only one, but two…

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Right foot of James Wilbraham

Civil War Soldier Dies of Gangrene – Today in History: July 10

On July 10, 1864, Civil War soldier Curtis Bacon of…

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Muster of Civil War troops, Main Street, New Britain, May 11, 1861

The Civil War Commences: Connecticut’s Involvement in the Civil War

Diaries, letters, and other documents provide firsthand witness to the sacrifices of Connecticut men and women during the years of bloody conflict.

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Burial of Unoin soldiers, Fredericksburg, VA, 1864

Civil War and Reconstruction

Civil War and Reconstruction (1850–1877) The mid-nineteenth century was a…

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Senator William Wallace Eaton

William Eaton, a Peace Democrat and Civil War Opponent

This 19th- century Connecticut politician took a controversial stand against a war that would divide the Union and decrease states’ rights.

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Remembering Civil War Prisoners of War

Outside the Connecticut State Capitol building in Hartford stands a monument to the Connecticut prisoners retained at the Andersonville Prison during the Civil War.

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Soldiers with cannons, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery

The Complicated Realities of Connecticut and the Civil War

Citizens’ dedication on the battlefield and home front did not always signal agreement on key issues of the day.

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Image of Soldiers Memorial, Company B, 29th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers

Connecticut’s Black Civil War Regiment

“If you win freedom and citizenship, we shall share your freedom and citizenship.” With these words, abolitionist Frederick Douglass reminded African American soldiers from Connecticut that they fought for the hopes of many.

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New Haven: What Was Everyday Life Like During the Civil War?

Questions? We get a lot of them and some of…

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Civil War Monuments and Memorials in and Around the State Capitol

During the fall 2013 semester at Central Connecticut State University…

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Hall of Flags: Memorial to Connecticut’s Civil War Colors

Battle flags played an important strategic and ceremonial role in Civil War battles. The preservation of Connecticut’s Civil War colors has been a long, delicate, and expensive process.

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Pomp and Circumstance: Civil War Commemoration

The completion of the Forlorn Soldier did not meet with the pomp and circumstance of many other CIvil War commemorations, despite its media coverage and an overflowing sense of nationalism among the general public.

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William E. Simonds

William Edgar Simonds: A Schoolteacher Turned Civil War Hero

Born into a destitute family, William Edgar Simonds originally set…

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Almira Ambler, Civil War Nurse

A Voice for Veterans: A Civil War era ‘Whistle-Blower’ – Who Knew?

Her obituary stated that “Mrs. Ambler was always expected to say something” on behalf of those who had fought for the Union.

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J.O. Davidson, Battle of Port Hudson

Connecticut’s Naval Contributions to the Civil War

From makers of gun boats to bakers of ship biscuits, companies across the Nutmeg state helped keep the Union navy afloat while sea-savvy leaders and sailors from the state kept it in fighting form.

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General Joseph R. Hawley

General Joseph R. Hawley Helps Commemorate Connecticut’s Civil War Soldiers

“Let monuments be raised in every town, let songs be sung and orations delivered,” urged this state politician and skilled speechmaker.

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Corpse preserver

Death and Mourning in the Civil War Era

The Civil War transformed traditional practices of death and mourning in Victorian-era Connecticut.

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Civil War encampment

Civil War

Civil War (1861-1865) Some 55,000 Connecticut men served during the…

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Video – Home Front: Connecticut During World War II – Civil Defense

This excerpt from the Connecticut Experience series provides a glimpse into the people, places, and events that have shaped our state’s history.

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The 29th Leaves for War – Today in History: March 19

On March 19, 1864, as the 29th (Colored) Regiment Connecticut…

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Thomas Dodd (at podium), Nuremberg trial, ca., 1945-46

Connecticut Lawyer Prosecutes Nazi War Criminals at Nuremberg

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Thomas Joseph…

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Sloop-of-War Ship’s Figurehead Lands at State Capitol

A figurehead from the USS Hartford currently resides at the Connecticut State Capitol and serves as a reminder of the state’s rich maritime heritage.

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View on the Erie Canal

Benjamin Wright: The Father of American Civil Engineering

Benjamin Wright helped build transportation and canal systems in the…

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Freedom to the Slave

From the State Historian: Connecticut’s Slow Steps Toward Emancipation

Slavery remained in the Land of Steady Habits until 1848, and it was not quick to advance suffrage for African Americans, either.

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Constance Baker Motley: A Warrior for Justice

New Haven lawyer Constance Baker Motley became famous for arguing some of the most important cases of the civil rights movement.

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World War II scrap metal drive, Hartford, ca. 1941-1944

Women and Defense: World War II on the Connecticut Home Front

Women who stepped into civil defense positions managed and implemented programs that educated the public, promoted war bond sales, and aided emergency preparedness.

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Detail view of the 29th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

29th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers Fought More than One War

The state’s first African American regiment of the Civil War distinguished itself by battling Confederate forces and 19th-century prejudices.

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World War I broadside referencing Kaiser Wilhelm's Willing Helpers, ca. early 1900s from the Connecticut War Exhibit

Winning the Great War without Some Books

President Wilson’s war speech before Congress on April 3, 1917,…

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Orville Platt Helps Define International Relations after the Spanish-American War

Orville Platt was a powerful Republican senator from Washington, Connecticut. He presented the Platt Amendment to Congress.

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Connecticut’s War Governor, William A. Buckingham

Connecticut governor William Buckingham made significant contributions to the state’s war effort, sometimes even covering war expenses out of his own pocket. His bronze statue at the Connecticut State Capitol honors the selfless manner in which he guided the state through the Civil War.

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Map of the Town of New Britain, Hartford County, Conn. From original surveys by E.M. Woodford

“A Noble and Precious Life”: Edgar M. Woodford, Civil Engineer, Abolitionist, and Soldier

This Avon-born man not only put his talents on the map, literally, he also went west to secure Kansas as a free state.

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Little Sorrel

Little Sorrel, Connecticut’s Confederate War Horse

A foal born on a farm owned by Noah C….

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Camp of the 13th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

What’s in a Number? Connecticut’s Thirteenth Regiment Goes Off to War

So how lucky was the Thirteenth when it came to surviving combat, disease, and other perils of the Civil War? Read on to find out.

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Ashbel Woodward house, Franklin

Franklin’s Ashbel Woodward was a Battlefield Surgeon and Historian

Ashbel Woodward was a physician, historian, and farmer who spent…

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Henry Deming: Mayor of Hartford and New Orleans

Henry Deming served as mayor of Hartford and then as the provisional mayor of New Orleans during the Civil War before writing a biography of Ulysses S. Grant.

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A Monument Memorializes the Fallen

In front of the state capitol is a mortar commemorating the service of the First Connecticut Heavy Artillery Regiment. The mortar may or may not be the original “Petersburg Express” used at the famous siege of Petersburg, Virginia, during the Civil War.

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Gun Wheel of the First Light Battery, Connecticut Volunteers

The First Light Battery Connecticut Volunteers took part in numerous battles during the Civil War. A wheel damaged in battle now resides at the Connecticut State Capitol to commemorate the service of this unit.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Significant Events & Developments, 1866-1887

After the Civil War, arms manufacturing kept Connecticut industries busy, but an economic depression in the 1870s drastically changed things.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: The Rise of the Factory, 1866-1887

In the years following the Civil War, Connecticut’s transformation to an urban, industrial state intensified.

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A Memorial to General Hawley at the State Capitol

Although not a native of Connecticut, one would be hard pressed to find a man more committed to the people of Connecticut than Joseph Roswell Hawley. He became Brigadier General of the 1st Connecticut Infantry during the Civil War and served the state as both a senator and as Connecticut’s 42nd governor. Within months of his death, the Connecticut legislature authorized construction of a memorial in his honor.

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Connecticut’s Chickamauga Tree: An Investigation

The Connecticut State Capitol displays part of a tree with a cannonball lodged in it. While it is believed to be a remnant of the battle at Chickamauga Creek during the Civil War, evidence exists suggesting the artifact may have been fabricated for the purpose of commercial sale.

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Battle Flag Parade, Hartford, Connecticut, September 17, 1879

A Day of Celebration – Today in History: September 17

September 17, 1879 was a day of celebration in the City of Hartford when more than 100,000 people came to the city to celebrate Battle Flag Day with a grand parade and celebration of Connecticut’s Civil War veterans.

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The Gettysburg Address and Heroic Fathers Bronze Tablets at the State Capitol

To counter public perceptions that Union women lacked the patriotism found in their Confederate counterparts, in 1927, two different women’s organizations dedicated plaques to commemorate events and service in the Civil War.

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Effect of Confederate shot on the USS Galena, 1862

Mystic-built USS Galena Part of Plan to Strengthen Union Navy

This 950-ton, steam-propelled gunboat took fire from critics and Confederates during the Civil War.

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The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial Tablet

The Connecticut Division of the Sons of Veterans, USA, commissioned a memorial tablet to Ulysses S. Grant who led Union forces during the Civil War, became the eighteenth president of the United States, and whose ancestors had numerous ties to Connecticut.

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The Forlorn Soldier

The Forlorn Soldier, a statue by James G. Batterson, survived years of neglect, punishing weather, and movements to tear it down, and yet still serves an important purpose in Civil War commemoration.

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General Nathaniel Lyon

From the State Historian: The Final Journey of Nathaniel Lyon

The first Union general to die in the Civil War, this soldier from Eastford received national attention as mourners from Missouri to Connecticut gathered to pay tribute.

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The southeast block of West Street, Litchfield as it looked in the Civil War era, 1867

The Peace Movement in Litchfield

Connecticut saw no combat on its soil during the Civil War. Yet, the conflict left its mark on the state in ways that historians are still sorting out. This account details the war’s impact on two Connecticut towns.

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Detail of an advertisement for Connecticut Pies, 1913

The Pie Man from Georgetown and the Connecticut ~ Copperthite Pie Company

More than just a wagon driver and Civil War veteran, Henry Copperthite built a pie empire that started in Connecticut.

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Third Annual Report of the Managers of the Colonization Society of the State of Connecticut

Liberian Independence Day

The Colonization Society of Connecticut was part of a national movement that arose before the Civil War to promote emigration of free blacks to Africa.

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Connecticut’s Capitol Building – Inside and Out

The Connecticut State Capitol was built at a time when Civil War commemoration was gaining popularity. Capturing elements of the Victorian Gothic and Second Empire styles, the building is a testament to the work of James Batterson, Richard Upjohn, and the era in which it was designed and fabricated.

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Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Arch, Hartford

The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, Hartford

Situated in Bushnell Park, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch honors the more than 4,000 Hartford men who fought for the Union during the Civil War.

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Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses, Bridgeport, photograph ca. 1998

Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses

Houses owned by Mary and Eliza Freeman are the only remnants of “Little Liberia,” a settlement of free African Americans in Bridgeport, Connecticut, that began in 1831 and reached its highest population just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.

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Hotchkiss & Sons Artillery Projectiles

Connecticut Arms the Union

Colt, Sharps, and other gun-makers weren’t the only Nutmeg-based firms that supplied armaments during the Civil War. Makers of kitchen utensils, sewing machines, textiles, and other goods re-geared production lines to meet demand.

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John Brown: A Portrait of Violent Abolitionism

John Brown of Torrington used violence to oppose the spread of slavery prior to the Civil War, ultimately leading a bloody raid on the armory in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.

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American Actor Changes 19th-Century Theater – Who Knew?

Hartford-born William Gillette, known best for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in film and theater, was also a successful playwright. His 1886 Civil War drama, Held by the Enemy, earned accolades from British critics and audiences and helped change perceptions of American art forms overseas.

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The Legend of Old Hayfoot, the Forlorn Soldier

A 1932 Hartford Courant report helped perpetuate a legend about the Forlorn Soldier, a Civil War statue designed with a nontraditional right-foot-forward stance many thought to be a mistake.

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Gideon Welles’s Role in Lincoln’s Cabinet

Earning the trust of Abraham Lincoln, despite reservations from many in Lincoln’s cabinet, Gideon Welles navigated the Union navy through the Civil War. He did this largely through expanding the navy and investing in new technology, such as ironclad ships.

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View in Batterson, Canfield & Co.'s Monumental Works

James G. Batterson, Stone Contractor

James G. Batterson, a native of Windsor, was an artist, inventor, and businessman. He supported both Governor Buckingham and President Lincoln during the Civil War, and afterward, helped commemorate the war through his proficiency with stone.

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Honor and Duty: The Life of Alfred Howe Terry

Born in New Haven, Alfred Howe Terry studied law before heroically capturing Fort Fisher during the Civil War. He earned the thanks of Congress for this victory before maintaining peace between whites and Native Americans in the Dakotas.

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Corporal Thomas Fox , Second Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery, B Company with his regimental flag

Disaster at Cold Harbor: Connecticut’s Second Volunteer Heavy Artillery Regiment

For many veterans of the Second, the assault at Cold Harbor would be the most terrible memory of their Civil War careers.

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The 29th Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Flag and Display

Regimental flags played important symbolic and strategic roles in battle. The State of Connecticut maintains a collection of 110 such flags from the Civil War, among them, the flag of the 29th (Colored) Volunteer Infantry.

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A worker cutting ivory

Ivory Cutting: The Rise and Decline of a Connecticut Industry

Ivoryton and Deep River boomed in the 1800s, along with the demand for piano parts made of ivory.

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Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford

Where Mr. Twain and Mrs. Stowe Built Their Dream Houses

This bucolic oasis on Hartford’s western edge became home to great literary talents, social reformers, politicians, and other nationally-regarded luminaries of the mid-to-late 1800s.

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Detail from the map GoodSpeeds Landing

W. J. Squire’s Gill Net Manufactory in East Haddam

In the early 1870s, Wilbur J. Squire (1837-1890) built his…

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Leatherman in Wallingford, 1880s

The Old Leatherman Alive in Our Memories

This enigmatic, solitary figure has captured the public imagination since the mid-1800s when he began walking a 365-mile interstate loop over and over again.

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John Brown

John Brown Born – Today in History: May 9

On May 9, 1800, the man who became a catalyst…

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African American baseball team, Danbury

Swinging for the Fences: Connecticut’s Black Baseball Greats

In Connecticut, African Americans played organized baseball as early as 1868. In the years that followed, some of the game’s biggest stars played for teams throughout the state.

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The Thimble Islands – Little Islands with a Big History

While initially uninhabited because of their rocky soil, the Thimble Islands in Branford evolved into both a popular tourist destination and an exclusive residential community.

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Triangle Shirtwaist Fire: Connecticut Lessons from a Tragedy

While the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in New York City is one of the most famous tragedies behind the organized labor movement, Connecticut had its share of equally dangerous work environments in the early 20th century. Many of them inspired Connecticut Workers to organize.

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Shipbuilding at Gildersleeve Ship Construction Co., Portland

The Gildersleeve Shipbuilding Legacy in Portland

The town of Portland has a rich history of shipbuilding….

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Placard commemorating the adoption of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

The Fundamental Orders: Connecticut’s Role in Early Constitutional Government

Embracing the ideals supported by Hartford founder the Rev. Thomas Hooker, the Fundamental Orders represent what many consider to be the first written constitution in the Western world.

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Can Opener, E. J. Warner, patented January 5, 1858

The First US Can Opener – Today in History: January 5

On January 5, 1858, Waterbury native Ezra J. Warner invented…

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Lounsbury Elected Governor – Today in History: January 4

On January 4th 1899, George Edward Lounsbury was elected the…

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Monumental Bronze Company

The Monumental Bronze Company of Bridgeport was the only producer of a unique type of grave marker in the United States between 1874 and 1914.

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Henry Austin, Grove Street Cemetery Entrance, 1845, New Haven

Father of Architects Born – Today in History: December 4

On December 4, 1804, “Father of Architects” Henry Austin was…

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Danbury Hangings: The Executions of Anthony and Amos

The executions of Anthony and Amos Adams in Danbury speak to the fears and racial tensions prevalent in early American culture.

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Meriden Britannia Company, West Main Street, Meriden

Meriden’s Silver Lining

Like many towns in central Connecticut that found sustaining an…

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Hartford and New Haven: A Tale of Two Capitals

Before the expense of having two capital cities became too great, both Hartford and New Haven served that function. Hartford became the sole capital in 1875.

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Howard Chandler Christy, Signing of the Constitution

The US Constitutional Convention: America Forms a Bicameral Legislature

In the summer of 1787, Connecticut delegate helped shape the drafting of the US Constitution through his proposal for a bicameral legislature.

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Unveiling of the Grant Memorial Tablet – Today in History: October 4

On October 4th, 1916, the Ulysses Simpson Grant Memorial Tablet…

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Panorama of Bushnell Park, 1920s

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch – Today in History: September 17

On September 17, 1886, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch…

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Combate de Cavite, 10 de Mayo 1898

The Colvocoresses Oak

Litchfield remembers the Spanish-American War’s Battle of Manila Bay.

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Collision on the Housatonic Railroad near Bridgeport

Horror on the Housatonic: The Railroad Disaster of August 1865

Despite measures to ensure the safe operation of railroad trains traveling in opposite directions on single-track lines, things sometimes went wrong—with deadly results.

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Mrs. Lydia H. Sigourney

Miss Huntley’s School Opens – Today in History: August 1

On August 1, 1814, a young teacher named Lydia Huntley…

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Civil War Sanitary Commission

Sanitary Fair – Today in History: July 25

On July 25, 1864, the Stamford Ladies Soldiers’ Aid Society…

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School children placing flowers on the graves of World War I servicemen

Memorial Day 1920 Brings a Changing of the Guard

In 1920, veterans groups played an active role in orchestrating…

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Benjamin Dutton Beecher had a Penchant for Invention

Benjamin Dutton Beecher was a millwright and machinist with a…

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The Influence of Woman, Harper's Weekly, 1862

Bridgeport Women Answer the Call – Today in History: April 15

On April 15, 1861, the women of Bridgeport created the…

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Searching for the Common Good, 1819-1865

During the early 19th century, the General Assembly was slow to deal with rising crime, poverty and the other social costs of a rapidly changing society.

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The 29th First to Enter Confederate Capital When It Surrenders – Today in History: April 3

On the morning of April 3, 1865, the 29th (Colored)…

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Gideon Welles Appointed Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy – Today in History: March 7

On March 7, 1861 Gideon Welles was officially appointed into…

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Portrait detail of Frederick Douglass

“An Admirable Portrait” of Frederick Douglass

Hartford photographer Stephen H. Waite capitalized on the public’s interest in the great abolitionist.

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Thomas Jefferson and the Embargo of 1807

Connecticut and the Embargo Act of 1807

The Embargo Act of 1807 stifled Connecticut trade with Europe, but ultimately boosted local manufacturing.

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Lounsbury Elected Governor – Today in History: January 4

On January 4th 1899, George Edward Lounsbury was elected the…

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Alfred Howe Terry Born in Hartford – Today in History: November 10

On November 10, 1827 Alfred Howe Terry was born in…

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Birth of a Nation Advertisement

Hartford’s Challenge to “The Birth of a Nation”

D. W. Griffith’s silent movie, the racially charged “Birth of a Nation,” initially played to large audiences in Hartford before meeting with official resistance after World War I.

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Plan of USS monitor, 1862

Cornelius Bushnell and His Ironclad Ship

Cornelius Scranton Bushnell was a 19th-century Connecticut businessman and shipbuilder…

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Map shows the neighborhood where the murder took place

Murder on the Map: The Mysterious Death of Captain George M. Colvocoresses

At first glance, this hand-drawn map appears unremarkable but it depicts the scene of a sensational crime in Bridgeport.

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Anna E. Dickinson

Anna Elizabeth Dickinson at Touro Hall – Today in History: March 24

On March 24, 1863, Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, a 20-year-old Quaker…

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St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland

The Wearing of the Green: 19th-century Prints of Irish Subjects by Hartford’s Kellogg Brothers

Irish immigrants arrived in Connecticut in great numbers during the 1800s and, while anti-Irish sentiment was widespread, Hartford’s Kellogg brothers viewed these new Americans as potential customers.

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Cover of a patriotic song dedicated to Lincoln's secretary of the navy Gideon Welles

Gideon Welles, US Secretary of the Navy and Lincoln’s “Neptune”

“He was a man of no decorations; … but he understood his duty and he did it efficiently, continually and unwaveringly,” said a contemporary of this Glastonbury-born leader.

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Looking Back: Tempest Tossed, the Story of Isabella Beecher Hooker

Isabella Beecher was a suffragist and spiritualist who shunned traditional female roles while alienating large parts of her famous family during her brother’s adultery scandal.

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Martha A. Parsons House

A Pioneering Woman in Business: Martha Parsons of Enfield

Enfield’s Martha Parsons broke new ground in her pursuit of employment opportunities for women. Her family home now belongs to the Enfield Historical Society.

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Postcard of Charles Island, Milford, CT

A Good Spot and a Healthy Place: A Short History of Charles Island

Before becoming a part of Silver Sands State Park, Milford’s Charles Island served as everything from a luxury resort to the home of a fertilizer factory.

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WTIC-TV filming airplane

Oldies But Goodies – Order DVDs from the Vaults of the Connecticut Humanities

YouTube – CTHPrograms – Co-produced by Connecticut Public Television and…

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The Language of the Unheard: Racial Unrest in 20th-Century Hartford

Race riots in Hartford during the 1960s came about thanks to a century of frustration and political inaction surrounding disparate standards of living among different races and ethnicities,

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Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company

Samuel Colt: From Yankee Peddler to American Tycoon

Hartford native Samuel Colt built a financial empire on his design and automated production of the revolver.

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Detail from a map of Hayt

Ebenezer Bassett’s Historic Journey

This educator, activist, and associate of Frederick Douglass served the US as its first African American ambassador.

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Armory Fire

Colt Armory Burns – Today in History: February 4

On February 4, 1864, most of Colt’s East Armory burned…

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Hazard Powder Company gunpowder barrel

One-Legged Stools – Who Knew?

. . . that Hazard Powder Company employees sat on…

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Lattice Truss Bridge, Ithiel Town

Town Patents the Lattice Truss Bridge – Today in History: January 28

On January 28, 1820, architect Ithiel Town was granted a…

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Hazard's Electric Gunpowder, Hazard Powder Company

Colonel Augustus G. Hazard, Gunpowder Manufacturer – Who Knew?

…that Connecticut resident, Augustus G. Hazard owned and operated over…

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Apostle of Peace: Elihu Burritt’s Quest for Universal Brotherhood

Elihu Burritt, a blacksmith by trade, became an advocate for peace around the world throughout the 19th century.

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Jewett City, Conn, bird’s-eye map by Lucien R. Burleigh

Map – Bird’s-eye View of Jewett City, 1889

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries panoramic or…

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Governor Ella Grasso

The Education of Ella Grasso

The daughter of Italian immigrants becomes Connecticut’s first woman governor.

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Can Opener, E. J. Warner, patented January 5, 1858

The First US Can Opener – Today in History: January 5

On January 5, 1858, Waterbury native Ezra J. Warner invented…

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The Great Remedy. Hand-colored lithograph by E.B. & E.C. Kellogg

The Great Remedy: Picturing the Emancipation Proclamation

On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, declaring more than three million African Americans in those states in rebellion against the United States to be forever free.

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Mark Twain with his friend, John Lewis

A Life Lived in a Rapidly Changing World: Samuel L. Clemens

As Twain’s books provide insight into the past‚ the events…

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View of Ansonia, Conn. 1875

Map – Bird’s-eye View of Ansonia, 1875

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries panoramic or…

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Borden's Evaporated Milk Crate Label

Evaporated Milk’s Connecticut Connection – Who Knew?

…that in 1856 businessman Gail Borden Jr. opened the first…

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The Articles of Confederation: America’s First Constitution

The Articles of Confederation loosely served as the nation’s first formal governing document, until ultimately being replaced by the US Constitution.

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A Soldier’s Welcome

In September of 2013, officials arranged for the statue of the Forlorn Soldier to be placed in its new permanent home at the Connecticut State Capitol.

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Straitsville Schoolhouse, Naugatuck

Child Labor vs. Schooling in 19th-century Naugatuck

The Naugatuck school system today consists of 11 public schools…

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Fitch’s Home for Soldiers, ca. 1864

Fitch Soldiers’ Home Closes – Today in History: August 28

On August 28, 1940, Fitch’s Home for Soldiers and their…

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Pier at Savin Rock, West Haven, 1905

Savin Rock Park: “Connecticut’s Coney Island”

Savin Rock Park was a seaside resort constructed in the…

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Intertwining Family Businesses

Emory Johnson, a farmer from Chatham, Connecticut, moved to East Haddam and operated one of the area’s most successful businesses of the late 19th century.

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Engine number 36 in a Hartford station

Steam Railroads Transform Connecticut Travel and Commerce

In 1832, the state chartered its first railroad and ushered in a new age of fast, and sometimes dangerous, regional transportation.

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Alexander Calder at Stegosaurus sculpture dedication

A World in Motion: Artist and Sculptor Alexander Calder

Most renowned for his invention of the mobile, an abstract sculpture that moves, Calder is considered a pioneer of kinetic art.

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A Muster Ceremony, New Haven Green

The First Battle of Bull Run: Connecticut Troops Stand Firm When the Battle Turns Against Them

Connecticut troops earned admiration for staying to fight when others fled.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Most Famous American in the World

In 1853, in cities and villages across Britain and Europe, throngs of admirers pushed and shoved to catch a glimpse of a barely 5-foot-tall writer from America whose best-selling novel had taken slavery to task.

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Postcard of the Parking Area, Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme

Abundant Wildlife Drives the History of Rocky Neck State Park

Rocky Neck State Park is located on Long Island Sound…

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Billings & Spencer Company

Christopher Miner Spencer, 19th-century Arms Manufacturer

A well-known American inventor in his day, this Manchester native obtained 42 patents during his lifetime and created the first successful breech-loading repeating rifle.

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Henry Austin, Grove Street Cemetery Entrance, 1845, New Haven

An Overview of Connecticut’s Outdoor Sculpture

Public sculpture has punctuated the state for three centuries, reflecting the values of our communities, their times, and their funders.

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Map of the state of Connecticut showing Indian trails, villages and sachemdoms

Andover to Woodstock: How Connecticut Ended Up with 169 Towns

Religious mandates, the difficulties of colonial-era travel, and industrialization are a few of the forces that gave rise to the proliferation of towns in our state.

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Defenders of the Flag Monument, Soldiers Monument, Plainville

A Special Place to Honor Military Veterans in Plainville

On the corner of Maple and Whiting Streets in Plainville,…

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Pope Automobile Model S, Seven Passenger Car, 1909

Albert Augustus Pope, Transportation Pioneer

Pope’s bicycles and automobiles not only gave 19th-century consumers greater personal mobility, they also helped propel social change.

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John Rogers, Checkers up at the Farm,1875, painted plaster

John Rogers was a 19th-Century Sculptor for the Common Man

John Rogers was an American sculptor whose style and production…

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Frederick Douglass

Speaking under the Open Sky: Frederick Douglass in Connecticut

The famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass had several connections to Connecticut, including run-ins with a number of the state’s vocal slavery proponents.

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Understanding the Environmental Effects of Industry by Examining the Starr Mill

The development of resources both in and around the Coginchaug River in Middletown were representative of prevailing attitudes about industrial expansion and environmental protection.

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The Fight Over Slavery Reaches Torrington

In the years prior to the Civil War, Torrington, like…

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Laboring in the Shade

Thousands of black Southern students, including a young Martin Luther King Jr., came north to work in Connecticut’s tobacco fields.

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North and South: The Legacy of Eli Whitney

After studying to become a lawyer, Eli Whitney actually helped further American industrial production methods through his numerous clever inventions.

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Reverend James Pennington: A Voice for Freedom

Having escaped from slavery in Maryland, this accomplished pastor, publisher, and freedom fighter challenged racism wherever he found it, even within the ranks of the abolitionist movement and the ministry.

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The Boardman Building, New Haven

First Commercial Telephone Exchange – Today in History: January 28

On January 28, 1878, the Boardman Building in New Haven…

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Boot Blacks and the Struggle to Survive in Hartford

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, young boys who shined shoes (sometimes 70 hours per week) were the primary breadwinners for many struggling families.

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Placard commemorating the adoption of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

The Fundamental Orders: Connecticut’s Role in Early Constitutional Government

Embracing the ideals supported by Hartford founder the Rev. Thomas Hooker, the Fundamental Orders represent what many consider to be the first written constitution in the Western world.

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Music Vale Seminary, Salem

Music Vale Seminary in Salem Credited as Being First in US

In the mid-19th century, Orramel Whittlesey founded a music conservatory…

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The Old State House, Hartford

The Hartford Convention – Today in History: December 15

On December 15, 1814, delegates to the Hartford Convention met…

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Samuel Colt

Samuel Colt

Samuel Colt (1814-1862) Hartford native Samuel Colt was an inventor…

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John Warner Barber, Public square or green, in New Haven

A Separate Place: The New Haven Colony, 1638-1665

In 1638, Puritan leader John Davenport led a group of settlers out of Boston, ultimately founding what became the New Haven Colony.

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Connecticut Courant building

The Oldest US Newspaper in Continuous Publication

The Hartford Courant is a source for news and history…

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The crew and passengers of the steamboat Sunshine

Rising Tide: Steamboat Workers on the Connecticut River

For the deck hands, stevedores, and firemen who made the steamboats of the Hartford Line run, 18-hour days, dangerous conditions, and lousy food were the norm.

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Amos Doolittle, The looking glass for 1787. A house divided against itself cannot stand

The Connecticut Ratification Convention

Though approved at a renegade convention on September 17, 1787, the US Constitution did not become “the supreme law of the land” until 9 of the 13 states ratified the document.

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The Importance of Being Puritan: Church and State in Colonial Connecticut

In the sixteenth century, Connecticut Protestants wanted to cleanse the church of what they saw as corruption, and to return to the simplicity and purity of early Christian worship.

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Shaker advertisement to board horses, 1884

Enfield’s Shaker Legacy

Shaking Quakers settled in Enfield and created the packaged seed business.

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Everett B. Clark seed barn, Orange

Orange Seeds Yield Corn, Alfafa, Soy, and More

The United States is one of the leading producers of…

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Globe Onion

The Many Layers to Onion Farming in Westport

Westport’s fertile soil and ease of access by boat and rail once made it home to a thriving onion farming industry.

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Civil War Monument, Kensington

Kensington Soldiers Monument Dedicated – Today in History: July 28

On July 28, 1863, the Soldiers Monument in the Kensington…

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Entrance to Steeplechase Island, Bridgeport

A Unique Island Attraction in Bridgeport

When Bridgeport annexed the borough of West Stratford in 1889,…

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Wallace Nutting, The Shadow of the Blossoms

Past Perfect: Wallace Nutting Invents an Ideal Olde New England

In the early 1900s consumers bought photographs, furniture, and books from a former minister who skillfully sold the fantasy of simpler times as an antidote to modern life.

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David Hotchkiss House, ca. 1980

The Prospect Green as a Historical Narrative

In the southeast corner of the intersection of Routes 68…

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Detail of a bed curtain attributed to Priscilla Kingsbury

The Decorative Arts of Connecticut

Decorative Arts—or, household furnishings— reveal past lifestyles and showcase the state’s best-known craftspeople.

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Commissary Sergeant 29th Regiment

Connecticut 29th Mustered into Service – Today in History: March 8

On March 8, 1864, the state’s first African American regiment,…

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James Lindsey Smith Takes the Underground Railroad to Connecticut

James Lindsey Smith was one of many slaves who found freedom through the Underground Railroad network that included many stops in Connecticut, including New Haven, Hartford, and Norwich.

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Hazardville Powder Company

Powder Hollow in Hazardville – Who Knew?

…that 40% of all the gunpowder consumed in the Civil…

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Norwich Arms barrel room

Norwich’s “Volcanic” Past

With its year-round availability of water power, its location at…

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Aerial view of Black Rock Turnpike Bridge and Vicinity

Overland Travel in Connecticut, from Footpaths to Interstates

By overcoming the limitation of distance, transportation makes possible the many economic and social interactions that allow a community, a people, an entire culture, to thrive

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The Smith-Worthington Saddle Company

Saddles Fit For a Shah

Since 1794, Hartford-based Smith-Worthington Saddlery has made tack for horses—along with the occasional ostrich harness and space suit prototype.

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Forlorn Soldier Oral History Interviews

Oral histories make up a substantial portion of our knowledge regarding the Forlorn Soldier. Several theories exist as to why the statue’s creator designed the foot placement in a nontraditional stance.

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The Old Brownstone Soldier

Charles Conrads, a German immigrant and George Batterson’s lead sculptor, helped design the initial shape of the Forlorn Soldier. Unlike many sculptures of the period, the piece was made from Connecticut brownstone rather than the more traditional process of using granite.

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Commemorating the USS Hartford at the Connecticut State Capitol

The Connecticut State Capitol currently houses two important artifacts to commemorate the service of the USS Hartford. The first is a figurehead taken from the original ship. The second is a scale model of the USS Hartford.

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The Danbury Hatters

The origins of Danbury’s hat-making industry date back to the…

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The Forlorn Soldier Conservation Ceremony, July 2013

Originally located on Charter Oak Avenue, the statue of the Forlorn Soldier moved to Airport Road in the spring of 1968, after ConservArt worked to repair and restore the statue.

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Testing the camping equipment on The Gunnery’s campus in Washington

Reading, Writing, and the Great Outdoors: Frederick Gunn’s School Transforms Victorian-era Education

In 1850, this educator, prominent abolitionist, and outdoorsman founded The Gunnery, a school in Washington, Connecticut.

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A Revolution On Two Wheels: Columbia Bicycles

Albert Pope’s company not only played a prominent role in developing improved bicycle designs, it also developed the market for them.

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Tomlinson Cottage, Retreat for the Insane, Hartford

Hartford Retreat for the Insane Advanced Improved Standards of Care

In the 1800s, this Connecticut hospital stood at the forefront of medical practice in the US in its new approaches to the treatment of mental illness.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe's residence

Hartford’s Nook Farm

This small enclave in the capital city’s west end became home to many of the 19th century’s most celebrated and creative personalities.

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A Shipping and Railroad Magnate Remembers His Connecticut Roots

Charles Morgan was a shipping and railroad magnate who earned…

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Western view of Plainfield

Plainfield Academy: Grooming Connecticut Scholars in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Founded in the late 18th century, the Plainfield Academy went…

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Connecticut Shore, Winter by John Henry Twachtman

Connecticut and American Impressionism

French Impressionists celebrated their new modern lives, but American Impressionists looked instead to a New England countryside like that in Connecticut for evidence of a stable, timeless order beneath the dazzle of the ephemeral.

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Colt workers in front of the Armory, 1876

Workers at the Colt Armory, Hartford 1867

Colt Firearms has been one of the most prominent industries…

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Cornwall Bridge Furnace, Cornwall

Two Cornwall Firms Part of Famed Salisbury Iron District

The serenity found in Cornwall’s wooded hillsides and remote location…

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Crew of the Whaling Schooner, Margaret

Crew of the Whaling Schooner Margaret 1907

Although no particular data is available on the Margaret, she…

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Private Henry Cornwall

Private Henry Cornwall 1862

The State of Connecticut sent over 55,000 troops to help…

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Obookiah’s gravesite, Cornwall

Hidden Nearby: Henry Obookiah’s Cornwall Grave

Heneri Opukaha’ia (Anglicized as Henry Obookiah in his lifetime) of Hawaii was a student of the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall.

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Detail from a broadside circa 1899

Food and Drink

The story of food and drink in Connecticut is one…

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Norwich City Hall, Union Square, Norwich, New London County

Site Lines: Monuments to Connecticut’s Lost County Government

County government operated in Connecticut in one form or another for nearly 300 years before the state abolished it in 1960.

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Early letter penned by P.T. Barnum referencing his lottery

P. T. Barnum’s Lottery

Known for entertainment, this showman gained experience in engaging the public, and profiting from it, by running a lottery in Bethel.

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Chinese Educational Mission: the college, Hartford

Yung Wing, the Chinese Educational Mission, and Transnational Connecticut

In their respective tragic but inspiring final American acts, Yung and the Mission reflect the worst and best of the Chinese Exclusion Act era.

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Capital Community College Students Explore Hartford’s Immigrant History…In Their Own Words

In spring 2013 students from Capital Community College’s Liberal Arts…

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Ensign, Bickford & Company fuse factory campus, ca. late 1800s

The Steady Evolution of a Connecticut Family Business

The product that helped build America’s railroads, mine her natural resources, expand the Panama Canal, and even blow up tree stumps in local farm fields harkens to a time when Simsbury and Avon were “fuse-making-mad.”

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The Hartford Wheel Club, Hartford

The League of American Wheelmen and Hartford’s Albert Pope Champion the Good Roads Movement

How the 19th-century cycling craze led to improved roads and paved the way for future federal highway construction.

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First Company Governor’s Horse Guards escorting President Taft

Oldest Cavalry Unit – Who Knew?

….that the First Company Governor’s Horse Guards is the oldest,…

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Detail of Beacon Falls Mill, Beacon Falls

Weaving the Cultural Fabric of Beacon Falls

The textile mills of the Naugatuck Valley brought tremendous change…

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New Haven Green

The Connecticut Town Green

Considered a quintessential feature of the New England landscape, town greens weren’t always the peaceful, park-like spaces we treasure today.

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Nathaniel Lyon. Lithograph by E.B. & E.C. Kellogg

Nathaniel Lyon: Colorful Commander from Connecticut

The military exploits of this passionate abolitionist include an attack on pro-secessionist forces that may have assured Missouri remained part of the Union.

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The Shoemakers printed by E.B. & E.C. Kellogg

The Sole of New Canaan’s Shoe Industry

New Canaan, now largely a residential suburb of New York…

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Clock tower and Sharon Inn, Sharon, ca. 1930s

The Rise of the “Second Home” Community in Sharon – Who Knew?

…that after the Civil War and through the 1930s, recreational…

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Gideon Welles

Gideon Welles

Gideon Welles (1802-1878) Born in Glastonbury in 1802, Gideon Welles…

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Cheney Brothers Mills

The Cheney Brothers’ Rise in the Silk Industry

Building a business on the back of an insect may seem foolish but for Manchester’s Cheney Brothers silk mill, it became the ticket to global success.

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Eleanor: The Maltese Port painting by Vincenzo D'Esposito

The Slaters Go Round the World

In 1894, a well-to-do Norwich family set sail from New London on a ship outfitted with Persian rugs, oil paintings, a library with hundreds of titles, and 75 cases of champagne.

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Hall of Flags, State Capitol, Hartford

Collections: Battle Flags

“Keep them, keep them, as long as there is a thread left,” said one soldier of the regimental flag for the 6th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry.

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Oxford Agricultural Society Premium List, Oxford Agricultural Fair 1875

Establishing Roots in Oxford

From its earliest colonial days the area in and around…

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Site of the Revolutionary War Foundry, Salisbury

Salisbury Iron Forged Early Industry

Connecticut’s bucolic northwest corner, with its Taconic Range, Berkshire Hills, and pastoral valleys, harbored a major iron industry in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Connecticut's Whig party candidates for Congress, 1834

Politics and Government

The Fundamental Orders of 1639, the first written constitution in…

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New Haven Hospital ward

Health and Medicine

Connecticut issued its first medical license in 1652 and, by…

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Congregational Church, Franklin

Franklin

Originally called West Farms, the town of Franklin in the…

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Sharon Valley Lime Kiln

Sharon

The Litchfield County town of Sharon is located in Connecticut’s…

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Former Grist Mill site, North Stonington

North Stonington

The New London County town of North Stonington is in…

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General Lyon Cemetery, Eastford

Eastford

Located in the northern portion of Windham County, the town…

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The birthplace of John Brown, Torrington

Torrington

Torrington, in Litchfield County, is located in northwest Connecticut on…

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Machine for crushing stone, E.W. Blake

The Blake Rock Crusher – Today in History: June 15

On June 15, 1858, Eli Whitney Blake of New Haven…

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Helen Keller in front of her home at Arcan Ridge, Easton

Helen Keller in Connecticut: The Last Years of a Legendary Crusader

This internationally known author, political activist, and lecturer made her final home in Easton.

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Connecticut’s Loyal Subjects: Toryism and the American Revolution

Loyalists in Connecticut, often acting on beliefs tied to relegion, proved particularly prominent in Fairfield County. Many of them fled to Canada rather than face imprisonment at New-Gate.

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A plan of the first Society in Lebanon

Exploring Early Connecticut Mapmaking

Renderings of the terrain served a variety of purposes, from supporting colonists’ land claims as well as tribal counterclaims to settling religious disputes and even adorning the homes of the well-off.

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Hard Times: Governor Wilbur Cross and the Great Depression in Connecticut

In addition to having a section of the Merritt Parkway named after him, Governor Wilbur Cross helped see Connecticut through the Great Depression and several natural disasters.

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ARRL station W1MK at Brainerd Field

Amateur Radio Comes of Age in Connecticut

In April 1914, inventor, scientist, and amateur radio operator Hiram Percy Maxim encouraged the Radio Club of Hartford to organize amateurs into a self-reliant network and, thus, the American Radio Relay League was born.

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Arrest of White House pickets Catherine Flanagan of Hartford, Connecticut, and Madeleine Watson of Chicago

Women of the Prison Brigade

These women from all walks of life had one thing in common: they had been jailed for demonstrating in support of women’s right to vote.

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A Godmother to Ravensbrück Survivors

Philanthropist Caroline Ferriday aided women whose internment at a German concentration camp during WWII left them scarred, physically as well as psychologically.

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Paul Robeson by Gordon Parks, 1942

“Negroes Who Stand Up and Fight Back” – Paul Robeson in Hartford

Called the “greatest mobilization of police in the city’s history,” the event that brought law enforcement out in force to Keney Park was not a riot, not a strike, but a concert by this singer-actor and activist.

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The “Red Scare” in Connecticut

The Palmer Raids, launched in Connecticut in 1919, were part of the paranoia known as the “Red Scare” that resulted in numerous civil rights violations committed by law enforcement officials.

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Picking Tobacco in the Connecticut River Valley

Literacy Tests and the Right To Vote

Connecticut was the first state to require a literacy test of would-be voters and, even as the practice came under fire as a tool of discrimination, the state held steady until 1970.

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Scandal in the Beecher Family

An alleged affair between Elizabeth Tilton and Henry Ward Beecher became public in 1872 and inspired a series of lawsuits for libel. The incident involved one of the state’s most respected citizens and religious leaders and attracted national attention.

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Delivery truck for The Lustron Home

Metal Homes for the Atomic Age

Once touted as the house “America has been waiting for,” only a few post-WWII Lustron steel houses remain in Connecticut.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: A Society in Ferment, 1819-1865

Industry, immigration, and urbanization characterized Connecticut in the 19th century.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Making Self-Government Work, 1819-1865

In the mid-19th century, Connecticut looked toward changing its electoral processes as well as its civil rights record.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Making Self-Government Work, 1929-1964

Connecticut attempted to reorganize it state government by streamlining its agencies and rejected a number of socially progressive programs.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Significant Events & Developments, 1819-1865

Connecticut in the 1830s was characterized by a move from agriculture to industry, and the loss of residents to westward migration.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Significant Events & Developments, 1965-Now

Connecticut recast its constitution, reapportioned its House and Senate, and struggled with providing equal rights to all races and socio-economic classes in the state.

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A Godmother to Ravensbrück Survivors

Philanthropist Caroline Ferriday aided women whose internment at a German concentration camp during WWII left them scarred, physically as well as psychologically.

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Illuminations at the entrance to the Bulkeley Bridge

Mighty, Mighty Hartford

In October of 1908, Hartford celebrated the opening of the…

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The Rise of the Black Panther Party in Connecticut

As they did nationally, the Black Panther Party in Connecticut fought for an end to discriminatory legal and regulatory practices, often clashing with authorities to achieve their goals.

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Connecticut Pin Makers

For the latter half of the 19th century and for much of the 20th, Connecticut led the nation in pin production.

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Red Cross Headquarters, Hurricane of 1944

The Great Atlantic Hurricane Hits Connecticut

Applying lessons learned from the Hurricane of 1938, Connecticut made extensive preparations before the arrival of a similar storm in 1944.

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Fort Griswold, 1781

Fort Griswold Attacked – Today in History: September 6

On September 6, 1781, British forces overtook Fort Griswold and,…

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Furniture Caster Patented – Today in History: June 30

On June 30, 1838, the US patent No. 821—the first…

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Kimberly Mansion, Glastonbury

The Smith Sisters, Their Cows, and Women’s Rights in Glastonbury

By refusing to pay unfair taxes, these siblings became national symbols of discrimination suffered by women and of the struggle of the individual against government.

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Little Bethel AME Church, 44 Lake Avenue, Greenwich

Site Lines: Fortresses of Faith, Agents of Change

Black churches, including the earliest ones in Connecticut, have long been at the forefront in the battle for social progress and equality.

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Airmen returning home, Bradley Field, Windsor Locks

Bradley Airport’s Military Origins

In 1941, with war raging on the European continent, the…

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Ingersoll Mickey Mouse Wrist Watch, 1933

Waterbury Clock Company Saved by Mickey Mouse – Who Knew?

…that the Ingersoll Waterbury Company (now Timex) was saved from…

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Detail of the South Part of New London Co.

The Rogerenes Leave Their Mark on Connecticut Society

A refusal to compromise became the governing principle of this religious group active in the New London area for some 200 years.

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Rockwell Park Lagoon, Bristol

Mr. & Mrs. Rockwell’s Park

In 1914, bell and ball bearing manufacturer Albert Rockwell donated 80 acres of land to the city of Bristol for the creation of a public park.

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Beatrice Fox Auerbach meets with the department heads of her store, G. Fox & Company

Beatrice Fox Auerbach: Retail Pioneer Led Iconic Family Department Store

Beatrice Fox Auerbach was pioneering retail executive who ran the G. Fox & Co. department store and numerous philanthropic benefiting people in Hartford and around the world.

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University of Connecticut, Commencement

UConn and the Evolution of a Public University

From farming and war work to physics and sports, the University of Connecticut has diversified over the years and become New England’s leading public university.

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James Lukens McConaughy sworn in as Governor by Chief Justice William M. Maltbie

Did You Know a Connecticut Governor Was a US Spy?

In late 1943 James Lukens McConaughy became Deputy Director in Charge of Schools and Training for the precursor of the Central Intelligence agency.

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Map – Connecticut Landmarks of the Constitution

A map of some of the Connecticut Landmarks of the Constitution researched and published by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

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Gifford Pinchot, ca. 1890-1910

Gifford Pinchot: Bridging Two Eras of National Conservation

“The conservation of natural resources is the basis, and the only permanent basis, of national success,” wrote this Connecticut-born forester who oversaw the rapid expansion of national forest land holdings in the early 1900s.

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Child Labor in Connecticut

While Connecticut proved to be one of the more progressive states when it came to child labor laws, it still took federal legislation to protect children in the workplace.

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The Northern Student Movement

The Northern Student Movement motivated college students to contribute their energies to important social causes such as literacy and civil rights.

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A Different Look at the Amistad Trial: The Teenager Who Helped Save the Mende Captives

James Benajmin Covey, a former slave, was only 14 years old when asked to serve in one of the most publicized trials in American history.

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Hartford Times – Voices of Change

1960’s photographs from The Hartford Times offer a look back at a decade of protest that focused local and national attention on the civil rights of African Americans, the war in Vietnam, and the inequalities facing women.

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HMS Resolution and Discovery in Tahiti

John Ledyard, Connecticut’s Most Famous Traveler

This intrepid voyager, one of the most adventurous figures in Connecticut’s long history, would have made a great fictional character had he not been real.

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The Fundamental Orders

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

The Fundamental Orders, inspired by Thomas Hooker’s sermon of May…

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Thomas Nason, The Leaning Silo

Thomas W. Nason, the Poet Engraver of New England

A Lyme-based artist best known for the wood engravings he created to accompany poems by Robert Frost, Nason blended classic and modern styles to capture a vanishing rural landscape.

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Plan of the ancient Palisado Plot in Windsor

Colonization and Settlement

Colonization and Settlement (1585–1763) The arrival of Europeans to Connecticut…

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Foreign Mission School, Cornwall

An Experiment in Evangelization: Cornwall’s Foreign Mission School

The story of the Foreign Mission School connects the town…

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Capital Punishment in Connecticut: Changing Views

Connecticut’s struggles with the issue of capital punishment date back…

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Thomas Hooker: Connecticut’s Founding Father

A powerful and popular preacher, Thomas Hooker led a group of Puritans out of Massachusetts in 1636 to settle new lands that eventually became the city of Hartford.

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Igor Sikorsky and the first successful helicopter built in America, Stratford

Igor Sikorsky and his Flying Machines

This Russian émigré not only invented a machine capable of controlled vertical flight, he also re-invented his aviation career along the way.

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Benedict Arnold

Benedict Arnold Turns and Burns New London

September 6, 1781 was a brutal and terrifying day for Connecticut citizens living on both sides of New London harbor, along the Thames River.

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Roger Tory Peterson, European starlings

Artist Roger Tory Peterson, a Champion for the Natural World

“The philosophy that I have worked under most of my life is that the serious study of natural history is an activity which has far-reaching effects in every aspect of a person’s life,” said Roger Tory Peterson, an artist, author, and influential conservationist whose own life epitomized this belief.

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Sign for the Temperance Hotel, ca. 1826-1842

Hope for the West: The Life and Mission of Lyman Beecher

Lyman Beecher was one of the most influential Protestant preachers of the 19th century, as well as father to some of the nation’s greatest preachers, writers, and social activists.

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Joel Barlow

The Hartford Wits

Eventually taking the name the “Hartford Wits,” some of the most influential figures of the 18th century got together to write poetry that documented the state of the times.

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Designed to Heal: The Connecticut General Hospital for the Insane

The design of this state facility in Middletown reflects 19th-century beliefs about the environment’s ability to influence mental health.

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Soldier, Patriot, and Politician: The Life of Oliver Wolcott

Oliver Wolcott served in military in the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution, but was also a popular member of the Continental Congress and governor of Connecticut.

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Selma, Not So Far Away

Father Leonard Tartaglia was sometimes called Hartford’s “Hoodlum Priest.” Like the 1961 film of the same name, Tartaglia ministered to the city’s poor and disenfranchised.

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The Long, Ambiguous History of Connecticut’s Blue Laws

Connecticut’s blue laws are a series of laws based on puritan values that restrict or ban certain “morally questionable” activities on days of worship or rest.

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Education/Instrucción Combats Housing Discrimination

This group’s bilingual name reflected its educational mission as well as its dedication to unified, multicultural cooperation for the common good.

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Standing at Rest, at Last: The Story of the Forlorn Soldier

Started with an inquiry, then researched and written, and finally…

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View of Camp Columbia, Morris

Hidden Nearby: Camp Columbia State Park in Morris

Once an engineering field school for Columbia University, this former campus presents a study in change and adaptation.

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Robertson Field, also known as Robertson Airport, Plainville

Plainville Has Been Flying High for Over 100 Years

The town of Plainville claims a special relationship with aviation…

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Deep River, 1934 aerial survey

Road Signs of the Air

In the 1920s, when aviation was still in its infancy, most pilots navigated using road maps and by following highways, rivers, and other landmarks that they could see from the air.

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Detail of the Bethany Airport Hanger from the Aerial survey of Connecticut 1934

A Busy Airfield in Bethany

In 1920, a small airplane landed in a flat, open…

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Lantern Hill

Breaking the Myth of the Unmanaged Landscape

Evidence of early Native land use is etched into the landscape and preserved in oral tradition as well as the historical and archaeological records. This is in direct contradiction to a persistent myth of colonialism: that European settlers encountered a virgin landscape free of human intervention and ripe for development.

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Ice cream stand along highway near Berlin, 1939

Popular Culture

A catchall term for fads, popular amusements, mass-marketed goods, and…

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