Part of New England, New York, East New Jersey and Long Iland (sic) by John Thornton and Richard Mount

Part of New England, New York, East New Jersey and Long Iland (sic) by John Thornton and Richard Mount, 1698
– University of Connecticut Libraries’, Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC)

The Age of Discovery that began in 15th-century Europe sparked extensive world exploration and brought European travelers to what would become known as North America. The Dutch first explored the (now) New York and Connecticut regions, and the English soon followed. Puritan minister Thomas Hooker set off with a group of about 100 people from the Massachusetts Bay area and settled in what would become Hartford. As the Connecticut Colony evolved into a state, its residents themselves became ready explorers. For example, John Ledyard traveled the world and Hiram Bingam III discovered the city of Machu Picchu in Peru. State residents have also discovered (and uncovered) a wealth of knowledge and resources. Meteorologist William Redfield’s discovery of the directionality of hurricane winds and the unearthing of Eubrontes dinosaur prints in Rocky Hill are but two breakthroughs that have added to the scientific canon.


Asaph Hall, August 1899

Goshen’s Asaph Hall Becomes an Astronomical Success

Credited with discovering the moons orbiting the planet Mars, Asaph Hall became an international science celebrity in the 19th century. …[more]

Learn More


The Stonington Historical Society. “Palmer House,” 2016. Link.
“Yale Peabody Museum,” 2016. Link.


University of Connecticut. “MAGIC Historical Map Collection - Connecticut,” 2012. Link.
Connecticut Historical Society. “Maps and Charts: Finding Our Place in Connecticut History,” 2017. Link.


Spears, John Randolph, and Oliver Wendell Holmes Collection. Captain Nathaniel Brown Palmer: An Old-Time Sailor of the Sea. New York: Macmillan, 1922. Link.
Gifford, Bill. Ledyard: In Search of the First American Explorer. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2007.
Phelps, Matthew, and Anthony Haswell. Memoirs and Adventures of Captain Matthew Phelps Formerly of Harwington in Connecticut, Now Resident in Newhaven in Vermont: Particularly in Two Voyages, from Connecticut to the River Mississippi, from December 1773 to October 1780. Bennington, VT: Anthony Haswell, 1802. Link.
Schuchert, Charles, and Clara Mae LeVene. O.C. Marsh, Pioneer in Paleontology. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1940.
Sparks, Jared. The Life of John Ledyard, the American Traveller; Comprising Selections from His Journals and Correspondence. Cambridge, MA: Hilliard and Brown, 1828. Link.
Gray, Edward G. The Making of John Ledyard: Empire and Ambition in the Life of an Early American Traveler. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007.
Boyd, Julian P., and Tercentenary Commission of the State of Connecticut. Committee on Historical Publications. The Susquehannah Company: Connecticut’s Experiment in Expansion. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1935.