Colonization and Settlement (Up Through 1763)
The arrival of Europeans to Connecticut shores drastically altered the region’s physical and cultural landscape. Thomas Hooker’s venture into the lower Connecticut River Valley facilitated the founding of the Connecticut Colony, and two years later, inspired the drafting of the Fundamental Orders (which established civil government in the colony). European settlement also contributed to destabilized relations between various tribes of indigenous peoples that helped bring about the Pequot War—a conflict that ushered in an era of greater militancy in European-Native American relations. In 1662, Governor John Winthrop Jr. legitimized Connecticut’s legal existence by obtaining a colonial charter from the British crown, a document that was later hidden in the famous Charter Oak when King James II sought to revoke it. All of this occurred as America drew inspiration for reform from the Great Awakening and committed greater resources to education and religious instruction through the founding of such institutions as Yale College.
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. …[more]
Benjamin Wright helped build transportation and canal systems in the... …[more]
From winged death's heads to weeping willows, gravestone carvings in Connecticut's historic cemeteries reflect changing attitudes toward mourning and memorialization. …[more]
Questions? We get a lot of them and some of... …[more]
Father and son George and Tracy Lewis not only founded... …[more]
In the summer of 1787, Connecticut delegate helped shape the drafting of the US Constitution through his proposal for a bicameral legislature. …[more]
An author of the Connecticut Compromise, Roger Sherman is also the only person to have signed all four of the most significant documents in our nation’s early history. …[more]
One of Connecticut’s worst steamboat disasters occurred on the dark... …[more]
On October 5, 1826, Elizabeth Jarvis was born in Hartford.... …[more]
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. …[more]
On October 3, 1651, Henry Stiles of Windsor was killed... …[more]
Esteemed by his fellow patriots as a savvy diplomat who helped cement a strategic alliance with France during the American Revolution, Deane spent his final years under a cloud of suspicion. …[more]
For almost a century the Danbury Fair thrilled people from near and far. First showcased for its agricultural achievements, it later hosted a number of popular attractions including rides, races, and entertainment. In 1981, developers purchased the fairgrounds and the land is now home to the Danbury Fair Mall. …[more]
Indian Hill Cemetery's founders promoted their property as a place to find peace, both with the natural environment and with the area's indigenous past. …[more]
The story of Mariann Wolcott and Ralph Earl captures much of the complexity the Revolutionary War brought to the lives and interactions of ordinary citizens. …[more]
"Industry," also known as "The Craftsman," resides in Hartford. The work, by Evelyn Longman, is a celebration of the working class and their contribution to society. …[more]
In 1926, the Hartford Blues became the first and only NFL team to call Connecticut home. After a disappointing season, the NFL voted them out of the league. …[more]
The most devastating hurricane in New England history. …[more]
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. …[more]
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. …[more]
On September 12, 1983, an employee at the Wells Fargo depot in West Hartford, Connecticut, committed what was, at the time, the largest cash robbery in American history. …[more]
On September 12, 1873, the bell in the Episcopal Church... …[more]
On September 9, 1928, the American artist Sol LeWitt was... …[more]
On September 6, 1781, British forces overtook Fort Griswold and,... …[more]
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. …[more]
The Naugatuck school system today consists of 11 public schools... …[more]
Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center. “Battlefields of the Pequot War,” 2016. Link.
“Connecticut Historical Society,” 2017. Link.
Museum of Connecticut History, Connecticut State Library. “Exhibit: Liberties & Legends,” 2016. Link.
“Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center,” 2017. Link.
“New Haven Museum,” 2017. Link.
“New London County Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
“Old Saybrook Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
“The Indian & Colonial Research Center,” 2016. Link.
“Wethersfield Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
“Windsor Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
“A Map of Connecticut and Rhode Island, with Long Island Sound, &C.” London: Gentleman’s Magazine, 1776. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
Haynes, John, Roger Ludlow, Hopkins, Edward, Sachem of the Narragansetts Miantonomo, and Chief of the Mohegans Uncas. “Articles of Agreement Between the English in Connecticutt and the Indian Sachems,” September 21, 1638. Connecticut State Library. Link.
University of Connecticut. “Colonial Connecticut Records 1636-1776,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut State Library Digital Collections. “Digitized Reprint - The Charter of Connecticut, 1662,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut State Library Digital Collections. “Founding Documents of Connecticut - Warwick Patent Copy by John Winthrop, Jr., 1662, with Transcript,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “Guide to Connecticut’s Colonial Censuses,” 2017. Link.
Tinker, John. “Map - Plan of the Pequot Country and Testimony of Uncas, Casasinomon, and Wesawegun.” Manuscript Map - Photostatic Copy. Hartford, CT: Connecticut State Library, 1662. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “Research Guide to Colonial Witchcraft Trial Materials,” 2016. Link.
Government Printing Office. “The Avalon Project: Fundamental Agreement, or Original Constitution of the Colony of New Haven, June 4, 1639.” Yale Law School, 2016. Link.
State of Connecticut. “Transcript of the Charter of the Colony of Connecticut, 1662,” 2016. Link.
Haynes, John, Edward Hopkins, Roger Ludlow, Miantonomo, and Uncas. “Treaty of Hartford,” September 21, 1638. Yale University, Yale Indian Papers Project. Link.
Mason, John. A Brief History of the Pequot War (1736). Edited by Paul Royster. Electronic Texts in American Studies, 1736. Link.
Hinman, R. R. A Catalogue of the Names of the Early Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut, with the Time of Their Arrival in the Country and Colony, Their Standing in Society, Place of Residence, Condition in Life, Where from, Business, &c., as Far as Is Found on Record. Hartford, CT: Case, Tiffany and Company, 1852. Link.
Gardiner, Lion, and W. Dodge. A History of the Pequot War, or, a Relation of the War Between the Powerful Nation of Pequot Indians, Once Inhabiting the Coast of New-England, Westerly from Near Narraganset Bay and the English Inhabitants, in the Year 1638. Cincinnati, OH: J. Harpel for W. Dodge, 1860. Link.
Taylor, Robert J. Colonial Connecticut: A History. Millwood, NY: KTO Press, 1979.
Jones, Mary Jeanne Anderson. Congregational Commonwealth Connecticut, 1636-1662. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1968.
Finlay, Hugh. Journal Kept by Hugh Finlay, Surveyor of the Post Roads on the Continent of North America During His Survey of the Post Offices Between Falmouth and Casco Bay, in the Province of Massachusetts, and Savannah in Georgia, Begun the 13th Septr., 1773 and Ended 26th June 1774. Brooklyn, NY: Frank H. Norton, 1867. Link.
Mandell, Daniel R. King Philip’s War: Colonial Expansion, Native Resistance, and the End of Indian Sovereignty. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.
Van Dusen, Albert. Puritans Against the Wilderness: Connecticut History to 1763. Chester, CT: Pequot Press, 1975.
Hoadly, Charles. Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, from 1638 to 1649 Transcribed and Edited in Accordance with a Resolution of the General Assembly of Connecticut, with Occasional Notes and an Appendix. Hartford, CT: Case, Tiffany and Company, 1857. Link.
Hinman, R. R. The Blue Laws of New Haven Colony, Usually Called Blue Laws of Connecticut; Quaker Laws of Plymouth and Massachusetts; Blue Laws of New York, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina. First Record of Connecticut.. Hartford, CT: Case, Tiffany & Co., 1838. Link.
Daniels, Bruce Colin. The Connecticut Town: Growth and Development, 1635-1790. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1979.
Manack, Richard. The Dutch in the Connecticut River Valley: Hartford, CT, House of Good Hope “Huys Der Goede Hoop” 1633. Hartford, CT: New Netherland Nautical, Inc, n.d.
Church, Benjamin, Thomas Church, and Samuel Gardner Drake. The History of the Great Indian War of 1675 and 1676 Commonly Called Philip’s War; Also, the Old French and Indian Wars, from 1689 to 1704. Hartford, CT: Silas Andrus & Son, 1845. Link.
Woodward, Walter William. “The Magus as Mediator: Witchcraft, Alchemy, and Authority in the Connecticut Witch-Hunt of the 1660s.” In Prospero’s America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676. Chapel Hill, NC: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by the University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
Cave, Alfred A. The Pequot War. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996.
Knight, Sarah. The Private Journal of a Journey from Boston to New York, in the Year 1704, Kept by Madam Knight. Albany, NY: Frank H. Little, 1865. Link.
Andrews, Charles McLean. The River Towns of Connecticut: A Study of Wethersfield, Hartford, and Windsor. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University, 1889. Link.
Taylor, John M. The Witchcraft Delusion in Colonial Connecticut, 1647-1697. New York, NY: Grafton Press, 1908. Link.
Woodward, Walter William. “New England’s Other Witch-Hunt: The Hartford Witch-Hunt of the 1660s and Changing Patterns in Witchcraft Prosecution.” OAH Magazine of History 17, no. 4 (July 2003): 16–20.