John Trumbull, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17,1775

John Trumbull, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker’s Hill, June 17,1775,1786, oil on canvas. Knowlton is shown in the white shirt holding a musket – Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Revolution and the New Nation (1754–1820s)

Connecticut played a vital role in the forging of our new nation politically, economically, and militarily. Through a period characterized by conflict, Connecticut provided arms, food, and other provisions to undersupplied armies, as well as leadership in government. Governor Jonathan Trumbull led Connecticut through the American Revolution, while men such as Roger Sherman helped author the Connecticut Compromise, paving the way for the passing of the Constitution of the United States. When hostilities erupted with Great Britain again in 1812, the state survived blockades on New London and assaults on Essex and Stonington, while producing a new national hero, Isaac Hull, who captained the famed ship USS Constitution during the conflict.

Featured

Map detail from Turnpikes of Connecticut,

Oxford: From Paths to Pikes

When colonists first settled around Oxford, Connecticut, roads consisted of... …[more]

Yung Wing

Avon’s Educational and Cultural Pioneer

Yung Wing was the first Chinese student to graduate from... …[more]

Westport Country Playhouse

Broadway Comes to Westport

The Westport Country Playhouse is a theater meant to provide... …[more]

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. …[more]

View on the Erie Canal

Benjamin Wright: The Father of American Civil Engineering

Benjamin Wright helped build transportation and canal systems in the... …[more]

Gravestones, Old Burying Ground, Hartford

The Art of Burying the Dead: Exploring Connecticut’s Historic Cemeteries

From winged death's heads to weeping willows, gravestone carvings in Connecticut's historic cemeteries reflect changing attitudes toward mourning and memorialization.  …[more]

Sandbagging at the Stanley P. Rockwell Co

The Flood That We Forget: October 15 and 16, 1955

When we speak of the “Flood of 1955,” we should remind ourselves that two separate floods, one in August and a second one in October, occurred.  …[more]

Vietnam Protests in Connecticut

Opposition to the war in Vietnam manifested itself in Connecticut in many of the same ways it did across the country. The most extensive protests occurred in 1969 and 1970. …[more]

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

Questions? We get a lot of them and some of... …[more]

Beacon Falls Rubber Shoe Company

Beacon Falls Rubber Shoe Company Puts Best Foot Forward

Father and son George and Tracy Lewis not only founded... …[more]

Improved Centrifugal Governor

Portland Improves the Steam Engine

Thomas R. Pickering, an engineer, ran a factory power plant... …[more]

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. …[more]

John F. Weir, Roger Sherman, ca. 1902

Roger Sherman, Revolutionary and Dedicated Public Servant

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]

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. …[more]

New England burst its boilers off Essex, October 8, 1833

The Steamboat New England: “The shock was dreadful” – Today in History: October 8

One of Connecticut’s worst steamboat disasters occurred on the dark... …[more]

Yale charter, October 9, 1701

When Old Saybrook Was a College Town

Yale University traces its origins back to the Connecticut Colony’s... …[more]

Vegetable cart in Charles Street Market, Hartford

Hartford’s “Little Italy”

In the early 1900s, Italians made new lives for themselves in Hartford. …[more]

Armsmear, Wethersfield Avenue, Hartford

Elizabeth Jarvis Colt Born – Today in History: October 5

On October 5, 1826, Elizabeth Jarvis was born in Hartford.... …[more]

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. …[more]

Pamphlet, 1692

Accidental Shooting Leads to Witchcraft Conviction – Today in History: October 3

On October 3, 1651, Henry Stiles of Windsor was killed... …[more]

Capital Punishment in Connecticut: Changing Views

Connecticut’s struggles with the issue of capital punishment date back... …[more]

Pierre Eugene Du Simetière, Silas Deane. Member of Congress

The Rise and Fall of Silas Deane, American Patriot

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]

Amusement Park Rides, Danbury Fair

The Danbury Fair, 1869-1981

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 and the Vernacular of the Times

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]

Pulling Down the Statue of King George II, New York City

Mariann Wolcott and Ralph Earl – Opposites Come Together and Make History

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]

Morton Biskind Warned the World About DDT

A Westport physician named Morton Biskind became one of the first to warn the world about the dangers of DDT. His work ultimately helped inspire the writings of Rachel Carson. …[more]

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. …[more]

Evelyn Beatrice Longman Commemorates the Working Class

"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]

When the NFL Played in Connecticut: The Hartford Blues

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]

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. …[more]

President Richard Nixon visits Hartford

The 42-Day Income Tax

In 1971, to eliminate the state's budget deficit, Connecticut legislators approved a tax on income. Just forty-two days later, they repealed it, instead voting to increase the state's sales tax. …[more]

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. …[more]

Piling sandbags, Colt dike

The Hurricane of 1938 Rocks Connecticut

Together the combination of chance and human error produced the most destructive hurricane in Connecticut's history. …[more]

Rescue Scene, Hurricane, September 1938

The Great Hurricane of 1938 – Today in History: September 21

The most devastating hurricane in New England history. …[more]

Red Cross Emergency Ambulance Station

The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918

For those who lived through the 1918 flu, life was never same. John Delano of New Haven recalled, "The neighborhood changed. People changed. Everything changed." …[more]

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. …[more]

Climax Fuse Company, 1899

Avon Industry: From Underground to Outerspace

The Climax Fuse Company manufactured safety fuse, a type of... …[more]

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. …[more]

Enoch Smith Woods, Colonel Thomas Knowlton

Thomas Knowlton: A Small Town’s National Hero

Thomas Knowlton is arguably Ashford’s most widely recognized war hero.... …[more]

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. …[more]

FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive poster of Victor Manuel Gerena

Financing a Free Puerto Rico: The Great Wells Fargo Heist of 1983

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]

Second Congregational Church, Greenwich

Bucket Brigade to the Rescue – Today in History: September 12

On September 12, 1873, the bell in the Episcopal Church... …[more]

Combate de Cavite, 10 de Mayo 1898

The Colvocoresses Oak

Litchfield remembers the Spanish-American War's Battle of Manila Bay. …[more]

Combat between the Frigate Constitution and the British Frigate Guerriere

A Patriotic Legacy in Print

Two hundred years ago, on September 10, 1813, the US captured six vessels from the British Royal Navy, the most powerful maritime force in the world. …[more]

Sol Lewitt, Certificate of Ownership and Diagram Wall Drawing #614

Painter, Muralist, Sculptor Sol LeWitt born – Today in History: September 9

On September 9, 1928, the American artist Sol LeWitt was... …[more]

Aerial view of Connecticut State Prison

Wethersfield Prison Blues

In September 1827, the newly constructed Connecticut State Prison in... …[more]

Greased pole, Labor Day picnic, Colt Park, Hartford

Labor Day at the Turn of the 20th Century

In February of 1889, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a... …[more]

Fort Griswold, 1781

Fort Griswold Attacked – Today in History: September 6

On September 6, 1781, British forces overtook Fort Griswold and,... …[more]

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. …[more]

Straitsville Schoolhouse, Naugatuck

Child Labor vs. Schooling in 19th-century Naugatuck

The Naugatuck school system today consists of 11 public schools... …[more]

Learn More

Websites

New London County Historical Society. “Connecticut and the War of 1812,” 2016. Link.

Places

“Connecticut Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
“Connecticut River Museum,” 2016. Link.
New London Maritime Society. “Custom House Maritime Museum,” 2016. Link.
Derby Historical Society. “David Humphreys House,” 2016. Link.
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. “Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park,” 2016. Link.
“General Israel Putnam Cottage (Knapp’s Tavern),” 2016. Link.
Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution. “Governor Jonathan Trumbull House,” 2016. Link.
“New Haven Museum,” 2017. Link.
“New London County Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
Department of Economic & Community Development. “Old New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine,” 2017. Link.
“Putnam Memorial State Park,” 2016. Link.
“The Litchfield Historical Society,” 2017. Link.
“The Stonington Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut Freedom Trail. “Venture Smith Gravesite,” 2016. Link.
“Yale University Art Gallery,” n.d. Link.

Documents

Connecticut Historical Society. “A Guide to the French and Indian War Papers at the Connecticut Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
Lyman, Daniel. “A Sketch of New London & Groton with the Attacks Made on Forts Trumbull & Griswold by the British Troops Under the Command of Brigr. Genl. Arnold, Sept. 6th. 1781.” 1781. Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division. Link.
“Broadside: I Do Hereby Profess and Declare My Loyalty and Allegiance to His Majesty King George the Third...,” 1779. Connecticut Historical Society and Connecticut History Illustrated. Link.
Brewster, Caleb. “Collection of Letters Including General Correspondence with George Washington, Samuel Culper, Benjamin Tallmadge, David Humphreys, and David Waterbury,” 1784 1778. Library of Congress, American Memory,  George Washington Papers, 1741-1799. Link.
National Archives. “Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin Patent Drawing,” 2016. Link.
Abbot, Henry L. “Engraving - Bushnell’s American Turtle,” 1881. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Link.
Washington, George. “George Washington to Israel Putnam, et al,  Circular Letter to Officers on Winter Cantonment,” October 14, 1778. Library of Congress, American Memory, George Washington Papers: Series 4. General Correspondence. 1697-1799.
“Guide to the Roger Sherman (1721-1793) Collection.” Yale University, 2016. Link.

Books

Smith, Venture. “A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa: But Resident Above Sixty Years in the United States of America.” C. Holt, 1798. Link.
Morgan, Forrest, ed. Connecticut as a Colony and as a State; or, One of the Original Thirteen; Vol. 2. Hartford, CT: The Publishing Society of Connecticut, 1904. Link.
Purcell, Richard J. Connecticut in Transition: 1775-1818. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1963.
Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.
Buel Jr., Richard. Dear Liberty: Connecticut’s Mobilization for the Revolutionary War. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1980.
Roth, David M, and Freeman Meyer. From Revolution to Constitution: Connecticut, 1763 to 1818. Chester, CT: The Pequot Press, 1975.
Middlebrook, Louis. History of Maritime Connecticut During the American Revolution, 1775-1783. Salem, MA: Essex Institute, 1925.
Dwight, Theodore. History of the Hartford Convention: With a Review of the Policy of the United States Government Which Led to the War of 1812. New York; Boston: N. & J. White; Russell, Odiorne, & Company, 1833. Link.
Loucks, Rupert Charles. “Let the Oppressed Go Free”: Reformation and Revolution in English Connecticut, 1764-1775, 1998.
Phelps, Richard. Newgate of Connecticut: Its Origin and Early History. Being a Full Description of the Famous and Wonderful Simsbury Mines and Caverns, and the Prison Built Over Them. Hartford, CT: American Publishing Company, 1876. Link.
Rolls and Lists of Connecticut Men in the Revolution, 1775-1783. Hartford, CT: Connecticut Historical Society, 1901.
Roberts, Jerry. The British Raid on Essex the Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2014.
Marble, Annie Russell. The Hartford Wits. New Haven, CT: Published for the Tercentenary Commission by the Yale University Press, 1936. Link.
Peck, Epaphroditus. The Loyalists of Connecticut. Tercentenary Commission of the State of Connecticut. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1934. Link.
Buel, Richard. The Peopling of New Connecticut: From the Land of Steady Habits to the Western Reserve. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2011.
Boylan, James, Meredith Mason Brown, Fred Calabretta, Frances Manwaring Caulkins, James T. De Kay, Andrew W. German, Glenn S. Gordinier, Jerry Roberts, Nancy Hathaway Steenburg, and Matthew Warshauer. The Rockets Red Glare: The War of 1812 and Connecticut. New London, CT: New London County Historical Society, 2012.

Articles

Marks, Arthur S. “The Statue of King George III in New York and the Iconology of Regicide.” American Art Journal 13, no. 3 (July 1, 1981): 61–82.