A Puritan Landscape New Haven Town Green
View of the New Haven Green

William Giles Munson, View of the New Haven Green in 1800, oil on canvas, circa 1830 - New Haven Colony Historical Society

On April 24, 1638 Rev. John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton sailed into the New Haven harbor. They were on a religious mission to escape persecution in England and establish a commonwealth where their beliefs could thrive. In addition to goals of a Christian utopia, Davenport and Eaton also wanted to create a commercial empire in the new world. Two years after their arrival, a formal government was established and the settlement took the name of New Haven. The population at this time was approximately 800 citizens. The town planned a central square that would be designated for public use. This central square is now known as the town green. The port of New Haven gradually became overshadowed by the larger cities such as Boston and New Amsterdam (now New York).  In 1664 New Haven united with the Connecticut Colony. In 1701 the city was granted co­-capitol status with Hartford. The October legislative session was held in New Haven, while the May session was held in Hartford. This sharing continued in some form for 170 years.

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