The State Capitol, Hartford

The State Capitol, Hartford
– Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

From the 1600s on, Connecticut laws have shaped the daily lives of its residents. Early mandates include the Code of 1650, the first compilation of the colony’s laws, and Sabbath-related ordinances, later known as Blue Laws. From the mundane to the momentous, Connecticut regulations have forbidden travelers to ride a ferry without a ferryman, abolished slavery in 1848, and penalized makers of defective goods since the 1982 passage of the nation’s first Lemon law. The state has also produced lawyers: the Litchfield Law School opened in 1773, Yale’s in 1834, and the University of Connecticut’s in 1921. Today, state government continues to enact laws to protect and benefit Connecticut’s residents.

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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. …[more]

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Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries. “Tapping the Scales of Justice - A Dose of Connecticut Legal History,” 2012. Link.


“Connecticut State Capitol Tours,” 2017. Link.
“Connecticut’s Old State House,” 2017. Link.
Litchfield Historical Society. “Tapping Reeve House Virtual Tour,” 2017. Link.


University of Connecticut. “Colonial Connecticut Records 1636-1776,” 2016.
Litchfield Historical Society. “Litchfield Ledger - Database,” 2016. Link.
Yale Law School. “The Avalon Project: Charter of Connecticut - 1662,” 2016. Link.
Yale Law School. “The Avalon Project: Connecticut Resolutions on the Stamp Act- December 10, 1765,” 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.
Connecticut State Library. “Wethersfield Prison Records Warrants - Database,” 2016. Link.


Swift, Zephaniah. A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut: In Six Books. Vol. 1. Windham, CT: John Byrne, 1795. Link.
Swift, Zephaniah. A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut: In Six Books. Vol. 2. Windham, CT: John Byrne, 1795. Link.
Connecticut. Acts and Laws of the State of Connecticut, in America. Hartford, CT: Elisha Babcock, 1786. Link.
Bollier, David, and Connecticut. Office of the Attorney General. Crusaders & Criminals, Victims & Visionaries: Historic Encounters Between Connecticut Citizens and the United States Supreme Court. Hartford, CT: Office of the Attorney General, 1986.
Johnson, John W. Griswold V. Connecticut: Birth Control and the Constitutional Right of Privacy. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2005.
Trumbull, J. Hammond. Historical Notes on the Constitutions of Connecticut, 1639-1818 Particularly on the Origin and Progress of the Movement Which Resulated in the Convention of 1818 and the Adoption of the Present Constitution. Hartford, CT: Case, Lockwood & Brainard, 1901. Link.
Connecticut. Constitutional Convention. Journal of the Proceedings of the Convention of Delegates: Convened at Hartford, August 26th, 1818, for the Purpose of Forming a Constitution of Civil Government for the People of the State of Connecticut. Hartford, CT: Case, Lockwood & Brainard, 1873. Link.
Connecticut. The Code of 1650: Being a Compilation of the Earliest Laws and Orders of the General Court of Connecticut: Also, the Constitution, or Civil Compact, Entered into and Adopted by the Towns of Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield in 1638-9: To Which Is Added Some Extracts from the Laws and Judicial Proceedings of New-Haven Colony, Commonly Called Blue Laws. Edited by Silas Andrus. Hartford, CT: Silas Andrus, 1822. Link.
Horton, Wesley W. The Connecticut State Constitution: A Reference Guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993.
Capen, Edward Warren. The Historical Development of the Poor Law of Connecticut. New York; London: Columbia University Press, 1905. Link.
Trumbull, J. Hammond, ed. The True-Blue Laws of Connecticut and New Haven and the False Blue-Laws Invented by the Rev. Samuel Peters, to Which Are Added Specimens of the Laws and Judicial Proceedings of Other Colonies and Some Blue-Laws of England in the Reign of James I. Hartford, CT: American Publishing Company, 1876. Link.