The History of Middlesex County 1635-1885
J. H. Beers & Co., 36 Vesey Street, New York
[transcribed by Janece Streig]
OUTLINE HISTORY OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
ABORIGINES.-RELICS AND THEORIES OF THE EARLIEST INHABITANTS.-INDIANS AT THE TIME OF SETTLEMENT.
The historian of the former inhabitants of any country or region is confronted, at the outset, by various difficulties. The question arises, Who and what were the progenitors of these inhabitants, and who were their ancestors? and so on.
Ethnologists have hitherto been hampered in their investigations by the assumption that the human family had no existence prior to the advent of Adam, and that wherever upon the surface of this planet man is found, it is necessary to trace him back to his origin at a particular point in Asia, about six thousand years since, and to show, conjecturally at least, by what possible migrations he arrived in the distant region where he was discovered, and what climatic or other influences have wrought, within that limited period, the wide divergence which appears between him and the men of other regions. That a solution of these problems under such an assumption is environed by great, if not insurmountable, difficulties, is shown by the fact that nothing but insufficient and, in many cases, absurd hypotheses have as yet been advanced.
The rapid advance of science in modern times has led many to a belief in the existence of pre-Adamitic man. In adopting this belief they have not called in question the truth of Genesis, but have insisted that is has hitherto been incorrectly interpreted.
As early as 1655 a work was published in Europe, setting forth the doctrine of the existence of pre-Adamites on purely Scriptural grounds. Anthropological and ethnological science had scarcely an existence then, and such a bold innovation without their support could, of course, make but little headway.
The adoption of this doctrine removed some of the difficulties which the historian encounters. In the case of the aborigines of this country, he is freed from the perplexing and useless task of endeavoring to show whether they came from Egypt, Asia, or Europe, or by what routes they came. He is also freed from the task of tracing far-fetched resemblance in language, religious beliefs, or ceremonies, domestic, social, or national customs, or physical conformation.
Prior to its discovery and settlement by the whites, Connecticut was inhabited by numerous tribes or clans of Indians. Of these the most numerous and powerful were the Pequots and Mohegans. The former, of whom tradition said they were once an island tribe that had gradually migrated to the region boarding the Sound, occupied the portion of the State along the coast east from Connecticut River, and their principal seats were at New London, Groton, and Stonington.
Their principal chief, at the time the English began their settlements, was Sassacus, who had under him twenty-six sub-chiefs, or war captains. The country of the Mohegans lay north from that of the Pequots, and extended into Massachusetts.
Although the Pequots and Mohegans have been treated of by historians as separate or distinct tribes, it appears that the latter were the followers of Uncas, who had been a sachem under Sassacus, and who was in rebellion against him when the English first came to Connecticut. By his subsequent alliance with the whites, he maintained his own and his people's independence of the Pequots under Sassacus. The towns that were established in the territory of the Mohegans obtained their title deeds from Uncas or his successors.
Besides these, there were many smaller tribes or sovereignties, especially along the Connecticut River. Most of these were within the limits of Windsor, Hartford, Wethersfield, and Middletown. In Windsor alone, it is said there were ten sovereignties.
West of the river there were scattering families in almost every part, and in some places large bodies. At Simsbury and New Hartford they were numerous; at Farmington there was a large clan; at Guilford a small tribe; and at Branford and New Haven another; at Milford there were great numbers; at Turkey Hill, in the northwestern part of the town, there was a large settlement; about half a mile north of Stratford Ferry they had a strong fortress, built as a defense against the Mohawks. There were two clans in Derby; one at Pangusset, erected on the banks of the river, about a mile above Derby Ferry, a strong fort against the Mohawks; four miles above, at the mouth of the Naugatuck River, was another tribe. At Stratford the Indians were very numerous, though they had been very much wasted by the hostile incursions of the Mohawks; in Stamford there were several tribes, and two small clans in Norwalk; there were many in Woodbury, most of whom were in that part since names South Britain.
In the northeasterly part of the colony was a portion of the territory of the Nipmucks. This was called the Wabbequasset and Whetstone country, and because Uncas had conquered it, the Mohegan conquered country.
The number of Indians in Connecticut when the settlement commenced has been variously estimated. Some have placed it as low as 7,000, others as high as 20,000. Probably the number was about 16,000.
FIRST SETTLEMENT AND INDIAN WARS.
When Connecticut was first visited by Europeans is not known. Probably the Dutch, from their trading post on Manhattan Island, entered some portion of the State soon after that post was established, or as early as 1615. Whether the Dutch or the people at New Plymouth were the first to discover the Connecticut River is uncertain. Both claimed priority, and both occupied lands on it at about the same time.
In 1630 a patent had been granted by the Plymouth Council, and confirmed by King Charles the First, to Robert, Ear of Warwick. In 1631 the Earl of Warwick granted to Lords Say and Seal, and Brook, and their associates, the original patent of Connecticut.
In 1633 William HOLMES, with a party of the Plymouth colonists, sailed up the Connecticut River, bringing with them the frame and other materials which they had prepared for erecting a house. On Dutch Point, in Hartford, he found that the Dutch had built a light fort and planted two pieces of artillery. Notwithstanding their threats to fire on him he passed this fort, proceeded up the river, landed on the west side near the mouth of the little river in Windsor, and erected and fortified his house there. This, it is said, was the first house erected in Connecticut.
During the summer of 1635, settlers came here and planted settlements at Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield. In October of that year 60 more came overland from Massachusetts, and in November, John Winthrop, under a commission from the proprietors, which styled him "Governor of the River Connecticut," came with a crew in a small vessel and took possession of the mouth of the Connecticut, built a fort there, and thus prevented the Dutch from ascending the river.
The first winter of the settlers who came in 1635 was one of great suffering because of the rigor of the season. Many made their way back to Massachusetts, and the health of those that remained was much impaired.
The next year courts were established; for the settlers, though nominally under the rule of the mother country, really governed themselves. The first court was held at Hartford, April 26th 1636; the second at Windsor, June 7th, and the third, September 1st, of the same year. These courts consisted of two principal men from each town, and, on important occasions, they were joined with committees of three from each town. These courts were invested with all the legislative and judicial powers and functions of the colony.
In 1636 the population of the colony was increased by the arrival at Hartford of Rev. Thomas HOOKER and his congregation, about 100 in all. They came across the country through the untamed wilderness, from their previous home in Cambridge. A congregation also came from Dorchester to Windsor, and another from Watertown to Wethersfield. The population in that year, in the three towns of the river and the garrison at the mouth of it, reached about 800 persons.
In 1635 and 1636 the powerful tribe of Pequots became hostile to the settlers. They had been guilty of several murders, and, when called on to make reparation, they not only refused to do so, but assumed a hostile attitude. The murdered people were citizens of Massachusetts, and an expedition from that colony was sent against the Indians. One or two of the Pequots were killed, and a large amount of property was destroyed. This only exasperated the Indians, who became more actively hostile. They were haughty and independent savages, and under the warlike and ambitious chief, Sassacus, they had conquered and governed the tribes around them. They regarded the English as intruders, and they were determined to extirpate them or drive them from the country. They therefore sought to unite other tribes, and especially the Narragansetts, with them against the whites, though the latter they were not successful. The Pequots continued their hostilities during 1636, and, in the following winter, they kept the fort at Saybrook almost in a state of siege. In the spring they became still more actively warlike, and kept the entire colony in a constant state of alarm by waylaying the roads, fields, and streams, so that the settlers could neither hunt, labor, nor fish without being in constant peril of their lives. In May of that year a court was summoned at Hartford to deliberate on matters concerning the defense of the colony, and an active offensive war was determined on. Ninety men were raised in the towns of Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield, and a sense of common danger induced Massachusetts and Plymouth to send 240. In that month the Connecticut troops, with about 70 friendly Mohegans under Uncas, descended the river to Saybrook. Thence they proceeded to Groton, where they took the Pequot fort. The Pequots were pursued to the westward, and were finally overtaken in Fairfield county. They were surrounded in a swamp, many were killed, about 60 escaped, and the rest fell into the hands of the English and their Indian allies.
COLONIAL GOVERNMENTS OF CONNECTICUT, NEW HAVEN, AND SAYBROOK.-PROGRESS OF CONNECTICUT COLONY.-PURCHASE OF SAYBROOK.-DIFFICULTIES WITH THE DUTCH.
By the pursuit of the Pequots, the colonists became acquainted with the lands on the coast of the Sound to the west of Saybrook. This led to the emigration from Massachusetts, in 1638, of Mr. EATON, Mr. HOPKINS, Rev. Mr. DAVENPORT, and many others, who landed at New Haven and founded a flourishing colony.
The inhabitants of Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield were without the limits of the Massachusetts patent and beyond the jurisdiction of that colony. They therefore resolved to form themselves into a distinct commonwealth, and, on the 14th of January, 1639, the free planters of these towns convened at Hartford and adopted a constitution. The preamble to this instrument set forth that it was to preserve "the liberty and purity of the Gospell," as they understood it, "and the regulation of civil affairs."
This was the first constitution adopted in the New World, and it recognized as among its fundamental principals the great bulwarks of American freedom. It has been said of it that it was "simple in its terms, comprehensive in its policy, methodical in its arrangement, and beautiful in its adaptation of parts to a whole, of means to an end."
On the 4th of June 1649, the free planters of Quinnipiack, or New Haven, met and formed a civil and religious organization. The constitution, if such it may be termed, of this colony was original, and, in some of the provisions, unique. The government thus established has been termed a theocracy, and, although this term was hardly applicable, it is not too much to say that it was widely different from that of Connecticut.
In 1639 the towns of Milford and Guilford were founded in the colony of New Haven. In the same year Fairfield and Stratford were founded, under the jurisdiction of Connecticut.
In 1639 the commonwealth of Saybrook was founded by Colonel George FENWICK, one of the original patentees. The fort there had been garrisoned since its erection, but no civil government had been established. This government was administered by FENWICK till 1644.
Under the constitution of Connecticut, the freemen assembled at Hartford, in April 1639, and chose as officers: John HAYNES Esq., governor: Roger LUDLOW, George WILLYS, Edward HOPKINS, Thomas WELLES, John WEBSTER, and William PHELPS, magistrates; Roger LUDLOW, deputy governor; Edward HOPKINS, secretary; and Thomas WELLES, treasurer. Twelve delegated composed the first General Assembly. At an adjourned session of this assembly the several towns in the colony were incorporated, and their municipal powers and privileges defined.
In 1642 the capital laws of Connecticut were recorded. These are a portion of what have sometimes been termed the "blue laws," and the passages of Scripture on which they were founded were noted in each instance.
The death penalty was prescribed for 14 crimes, including witchcraft, blasphemy, various forms of unchastity, cursing or smiting of parents, and incorrigible stubbornness of children.
The colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven, formed, in 1643, a confederacy for mutual safety, under the name of "United Colonies of New England."
In 1644 the colony of Connecticut purchased from Colonel FENWICK, for £1,600, the jurisdiction right in the colony of Saybrook.
During the decade from 1640 to 1650, many towns were founded, both in the colonies of Connecticut and New Haven. Each sought to extend her territory by the purchase of portions of Long Island, and the latter attempted to plant a colony on the Delaware Bay.
New London was founded in 1646, under the auspices of the General court of Massachusetts; but the jurisdiction was, in the next year, relinquished to Connecticut.
At about the commencement of the decade from 1650 to 1660, the Dutch, at New Netherland, who had never relinquished their claim to the territory of Connecticut, had become troublesome by their plotting and inciting the Indians against the English, and in 1663 measurers were adopted by the colonies of Connecticut and New Haven for defense against a projected expedition by Long Island Indians against the Indians in alliance with the colonies. In 1654 the colony received an order from Parliament to treat the Dutch as enemies, and the Dutch possessions at Hartford were seized for the benefit of the commonwealth.
UNION OF CONNECTICUT AND NEW HAVEN UNDER A CHARTER.-BOUNDARIES ESTABLISHED.-CLAIM OF JURISDICTION BY SIR EDMUND ANDROSS.-KING PHILIP'S WAR.
In 1661 measurers were taken to procure for Connecticut a patent directly from the Crown of Great Britain. Governor WINTHROP was sent to England for this purpose. He was a man of superior address, and his application was made under favorable circumstances; and on the 20th of April, 1662, Charles the Second granted the colony letters patent, conveying ample privileges, under the Great Seal of England.
This charter included the colony of New Haven. The inhabitants of this colony were greatly dissatisfied with this. Mr. DAVENPORT and other ministers were strongly of the opinion that all government powers should be vested in the churches, and the churches were unanimously opposed to being united with Connecticut. In New Haven only church members in full communion could be freemen, but in Connecticut all orderly persons, who were possessors of a freehold to a certain amount, might enjoy all the rights of citizenship. Doubtless the people of New Haven were fearful that the purity of their churches would be marred, and the civil administration corrupted by a union with Connecticut. After much difficulty, however, the two colonies, at the general election, May 12th 1664, united, and John WINTHROP was chosen governor.
March 12th 1664, Charles the Second granted to his brother, the Duke of York and Albany, a patent, covering several extensive tracts in North America, and the lands on the west side of the Connecticut River were included in this patent. Colonel Richard NICHOLS was then sent from England with an armament, to reduce the Dutch possessions in America, and to hear and determine all matters of controversy between the New England colonies. After he had possessed New Netherland, and rechristened it New York, he, with his associates, met the agents of Connecticut, and on the 30th of November 1664, determined the boundaries between the two colonies. They also determined the southern boundary of Connecticut to be the sea, thus cutting off her possession on Long Island.
Ten years later the Duke of York received from the King another patent, granting the same territory described in a former patent. He commissioned Major Edmund ANDROSS to be Governor of New York, and all his territories in these parts. ANDROSS was a petty tyrant, and a pliant tool of the Duke. Under the patent of 1674 he laid claim to the lands on the east side of Connecticut River, in violation of the agreement of 1664, and in disregard of the priority of the patent of Connecticut. In 1675, he attempted to force his claim by taking possession of the fort at Saybrook. By the firmness and resolution of Captain BULL, however, he was defeated in this attempt.
In 1675, what is known in history as King Philip's war broke out, and during its continuance a veritable reign of terror prevailed in some portions of New England. Philip was the principal chief of the Wamponoags, and to prevent the formation of an alliance between him and the Narragansetts the English made with the latter a friendly treaty, in July 1675. Within six months from that time it was found that the Narragansetts were secretly aiding the Wampanoags. A winter campaign against the Narragansetts was accordingly undertaken, and for this Massachusetts furnished five hundred and twenty-seven men, Plymouth one hundred and fifty-nine, and Connecticut three hundred, besides one hundred and fifty Mohegan Indians. This force, in December 1675, cam together at a place called Pettyquamsequot. Sixteen miles from that place the Narragansetts had a strong fort, on a piece of dry ground, in the midst of a large swamp. This fort consisted of a circle of palisades, surrounded by a thick fence of trees. Within the fort were about six hundred wigwams, and large stores of corn, wampum, etc.
The English marched for this fort on the morning of the 19th of December. A deep snow impeded their march, but at 4 P.M. of the same day they attacked the Indians in their fortress. They were at first repulsed, but a second onset was made, and after a terrible conflict, in which many of the attacking party fell, the Indians were destroyed or dispersed in the wilderness. It was computed that about three hundred Indians were slain in this fight, and that many others who were wounded, died in the cold cedar swamp, where they had taken refuge. HOLLISTER says: "The village was burned to ashes, and the valuable stores that it contained, with the women and children, whose number history as never recorded, and whose agony, though brief, was only hear in its full significance by the ear of a mercy that is infinite." TRUMBULL says: "They were in much doubt then, and afterward seriously inquired, whether burning their enemies alive could be consistent with humanity, and the benevolent principals of the gospel." Humanity revolts at such atrocities.
Of the 300 men from Connecticut 80 were killed and wounded, and of these about 40 were killed or died of their wounds.
This overthrow of the Narragansetts did not terminate the war, which was continued by Philip and his allies till the summer of 1676.
This terrible war, as well as many others that have been waged between the whites and the aboriginal proprietors of the soil, might doubtless have been averted had the fact been recognized that the Indians had rights that Christians were under obligation respect.
ATTEMPTS TO DEPRIVE CONNECTICUT OF ITS CHARTER AND ITS CHARTERED RIGHTS, AND SUCCESSFUL RESISTANCE TO THESE ATTEMPTS.
Charles the Second died in 1685, and was succeeded by the Duke of York, under the title of James the Second. The disregard of the rights of his subjects that had characterized the latter years of Charles' reign was increased rather than diminished under the reign of James. It was considered desirable by this king and those in authority under him to procure a surrender of all the patents that had been granted to the American colonies, and to rearrange them for provinces, with a governor-general over the whole.
In July 1685 a writ of quo warranto was issued against the officers of Connecticut, summoning them to appear and show by what authority they exercised their functions and privileges. This was answered in July 1686 by an address beseeching pardon for any fault in their government, and requesting a continuance of their rights. On the 21st of that month two writs of quo warranto were served on the governor, requiring appearance and answer at a date prior to their service. Another bearing date October 23d was served December 28th, and this gave insufficient time for appearance and answer. All these writs declared the chartered rights of the colony vacated by failure to appear at the time and place required.
When an agent was sent to present the petition of the colony and endeavor to preserve its rights, it was found that the king and council had already determined to vacate all the colonial charters, and unite all the colonies under a governor of royal appointment. Accordingly Sir Edmund (previously Major) ANDROSS was appointed governor-general of New England. He arrived in Boston on the 19th of December 1686, and at once demanded, by letter, the surrender of the charter of Connecticut. He did not succeed, and, in October of the next year, while the assembly was in session, he visited Hartford with a company of soldiers and demanded the surrender of the charter. It was produced, but, pending a debate between ANDROSS and the officers of the government, the lights were extinguished, and it was carried away and secreted in a hollow oak. ANDROSS took formal possession of the government, however, annexed it to Massachusetts, and appointed civil and military officers.
Although ANDROSS commenced his administration with strong professions of regard for the happiness and welfare of the people, it soon became evident that these professions were insincere, and that the colonists were to suffer under the exercise of an arbitrary and despotic power. The titles of the colonists to their lands were declared to be invalid, and they were required, even after they had improved their possessions during more than half a century, to take out new patents and pay for them a heavy fee. Many other oppressive measurers were instituted, and the people were made to feel the weight of the tyranny under which they were placed.
The reign of ANDROSS, was, however, not of long duration. King James, who as odious in England as was ANDROSS in America, was compelled to flee from the kingdom, and on the 5th of November 1688, William, Prince of Orange, landed in England and assumed the functions of government. The news of this revolution was received in Boston in April 1689, and the people arrested and imprisoned ANDROSS, and reinstated the old officers of the colony.
The former government of Connecticut was re-established. The charter had not been surrendered nor invalidated, and the ablest lawyers in England decided that the government had not been legally interrupted.
The population of the colony continued to increase, and new towns were founded. The limits of this sketch will not permit an account of the founding of these towns. The free basis on which the colonial government of Connecticut was originally established was favorable to the development of the spirit of liberty, independence, and jealousy of their rights that has always characterized her citizens. The existence and exercise of that spirit was illustrated by an episode in the colonial history in 1692.
In August of that year Colonel Benjamin FLETCHER, a governor of New York, arrived in his colony with a commission which empowered him to assume command of the militia in the neighboring colonies. The charter of Connecticut conferred this power on the colony, and the Legislature would not submit to its assumption by Governor FLETCHER. In September 1693, the court caused a petition for their chartered rights to be drafted and sent to King William. An agent was also sent to New York for the purpose of making terms with Governor FLETCHER till the pleasure of the king should be further known. No terms, however, short of an entire relinquishment of the militia to his command could be made.
"On the 26th of October he came to Hartford, while the Assembly were sitting, and, in his Majesty's name, demanded the submission of the militia to his command, as they would answer it to his Majesty; and that they would give him a speedy answer in two words, Yes, or No. He subscribed himself his Majesty's lieutenant and commander-in-chief of all the militia, and the forces by sea and land, and of all the forts and places of strength in the colony of Connecticut. He ordered the militia of Hartford under arms, that he might beat up for volunteers. It was judged expedient to call the train bands of Hartford together; but the Assembly insisted that the command of the militia was expressly vested, by the charter, in the governor and company; and that they could by no means, consistently with their just rights and the common safety, resign it into other hands. They insinuated that his demands were an invasion of their essential privileges, and subversive of their constitution.
"Upon this, Colonel BAYARD, by his excellency's command, sent a letter to the Assembly, declaring that his excellency had no design upon the civil rights of the colony; but would leave them in all respects as he found them. In the name of his excellency he tendered a commission to Governor TREAT, empowering him to command the militia of the colony. He declared that his excellency insisted that they should acknowledge it as an essential right inherent in his Majesty to command the militia, and that he was determined not to set his foot out of the colony until he had seen his Majesty's commission obeyed; that he would issue his proclamation, showing the means he had taken to give ease and satisfaction to his Majesty's subjects of Connecticut, and that he would distinguish the disloyal from the rest.
"The train bands of Hartford assembled, and as tradition is, while Captain WADSWORTH, the senior officer, was walking in front of the companies and exercising the soldiers, Colonel FLETCHER ordered his commission and instructions to be read. Captain WADSWORTH instantly commanded 'Beat the Drums!' and there was such a roaring of them that nothing else could be heard. Colonel FLETCHER commanded silence. But no sooner had BAYARD made an attempt to read than WADSWORTH commands 'Drum, drum, I say!' The drummers understood their business, and instantly beat up with all the art and life with which they were masters. 'Silence! silence!' says the colonel. No sooner was there a pause than WADSWORTH speaks with great earnestness, 'Drum, drum, I say!' and, turning to his excellency, said: 'If I am interrupted again I will make the sun shine through you in a moment.' He spoke with such energy in his voice, and meaning in his countenance, that no further attempts were made to read or enlist men. Such numbers of people collected together, and their spirits appeared so high, that the governor and his suite judged it expedient to leave the town and return to New York."
When the matter was presented in England the legal officers of the Crown gave their opinion in favor of Connecticut, and the king and council determined the matter in accordance with their opinion.
PROGRESS OF THE COLONY.-FRENCH AND INDIAN WARS.-CLAIMS OF CONNECTICUT TO LANDS IN PENNSYLVANIA AND OHIO, AND THEIR ADJUSTMENT.
In 1698 the General Assembly enacted that the colonial Legislature should thereafter consist of two houses, one consisting of the governor, or deputy governor, and magistrates, the other of deputies from the several towns in the colony, now known as representatives. From that time the concurrence of both houses was required for the enactment of a law. The town of New Haven was, in 1701, designated as the place for holding the October session of the Legislature, the alternate session being held at Hartford, as before.
War existed with France at this time, and Connecticut was subjected to heavy expense on that account. In 1709 the colony was compelled to issue paper money to defray the expense of an expedition against Canada, for which she raised 350 men. It was enacted the £8,000 should be issued for this purpose.
At about the commencement of the eighteenth century the colony was again harassed by an attempt to deprive it of its charter. Lord CORNBURY, governor of New York and the Jerseys, and Governor DUDLEY, of Massachusetts, conspired for this purpose, and they would have succeeded but for the able effort of Sir Henry ASHURST, who was the agent of Connecticut, and a firm friend of the colonies.
In 1713, Connecticut had about 1,700 inhabitants. There were thirty-eight towns, and the counties of Hartford, New Haven, New London, and Fairfield, had been incorporated. Each county had a regiment of militia, making an aggregate of 4,000 in the colony. Two small brigs and seventy sloops constituted the shipping, and these were manned by about one hundred and twenty seamen. The principal trade was with New York, Boston, and the West Indies. To the two former, produce, such as wheat, rye, barley, Indian corn, peas, pork, beef, and cattle was taken; to the West Indies, horses, cattle beef, pork, staves, and hoops were exported, and rum, sugar, molasses, cotton, and some money received in return.
The sessions of the Legislature which met twice in each year, were usually limited to ten days, and the annual expense of the two sessions was about $1,600. The governor received a salary of $800, and the deputy governor of $200. The total expense of the government was within $3,500; which was a smaller sum than was usually allowed to a royal governor in the colonies.
The record of Connecticut in the French and Indian wars, which prevailed between 1745 and 1763, is an exceedingly honorable one. She furnished one thousand men in the expedition of the colonies against Louisburg, and after the reduction of that place three hundred and fifty men were provided by the colony for the winter garrison. A sloop manned with one hundred men was also furnished. During the continuance of the war it is believed that Connecticut did fully double her proportion, compared with the rest of the colonies, for its maintenance. More than six thousand of her men were in actual service in 1759. She also sent her full quota to the West Indies in 1762.
After the termination of the French wars, in 1763, Connecticut increased rapidly in population, wealth, and commerce. Her settlements and towns multiplied, and se was soon able to discharge the debt incurred in the prosecution of the war. Her prosperity continued until the commencement of the Revolution.
By the charter of 1662 Connecticut was bounded "on the north by the line of the Massachusetts plantation, and on the south by the sea," and extended "from the said Narragansett Bay on the East to the South Sea on the Weste part." Nineteen years later a grant was made to William PENN of lands on the west side of the Delaware River as far north as the 43d degree of latitude. This grant included a part of the territory embraced in the charter of Connecticut. During ninety years these lands, which lay west of the colony of New York, were not claimed by Connecticut. In 1753 her lands east from that colony had all been granted, and a company for settling those on the Susquehanna was formed. The Indian title to a large tract in Wyoming was extinguished, and settlements were made there. The jealousy of the proprietaries in Pennsylvania was aroused, and they obtained from some of the chiefs who had not signed the grant to the Connecticut purchasers, a deed for the same lands. Grants were made by Pennsylvania, and settlements thereon were commenced. Fierce disputes were thus excited, and the parties sought to maintain their claims by force of arms; and during several years what was known as the "Yankee and Pennanite war" prevailed. This controversy was suspended during the Revolution, but on the return of peace it was renewed. In 1782 the matter was determined by a joint commission, which decided adversely to the claims of Connecticut, and this State acquiesced in the decision.
The claim of Connecticut to the land within the northern and southern boundaries, as expressed in the charter, west from Pennsylvania, was not relinquished. In order, however, to obtain the implied sanction of these claims, Connecticut, in 1786, ceded to the United States all these lands except a tract one hundred and twenty miles in length west from Pennsylvania, within the charter limits. The United States accepted the cession. Of these reserved lands half a million acres were granted by the State to the inhabitants of New London, Fairfield, and Norwalk, as an indemnity for property destroyed by the enemy during the Revolutionary war. The remainder was sold, in 1795, with the proceeds, $1,200,000, were appropriated to the school fund of the State. The title to these reserved lands was confirmed by Congress in 1800, and the territory, which is now a part of Ohio, is still frequently spoken of as the Western Reserve.
CONNECTICUT IN THE REVOLUTION AND IN THE WAR OF 1812.
Connecticut was one of the first among the American colonies to protest against the Stamp Act, and to insist on the rights of trail by jury, and of the people to represent and tax themselves, and the Assembly early adopted an address to the English parliament on the subject. After the passage of the act, its execution in the colony was firmly and successfully resisted by the people. The non-importation agreement was faithfully carried out by the people of Connecticut, and, after the passage of the Boston Port Bill and the rumor of an attack on Boston, 20,000, it was estimated of the citizens of the colony armed themselves and started, or were ready to start, for that city.
The new of the battle of Lexington was received in Hartford while the Assembly was in session, and with the tacit consent of the members the expedition against Ticonderoga was planned, and it was paid for from the treasury of the colony.
Following these first aggressive acts by armed American forces came the rapid preparations for the hostilities that were to follow. In these Connecticut was among the foremost. She was hampered by no royal governor, and the spirit of liberty, which had been nourished and invigorated by more than a century of self-government, prompted her sons to the active and energetic resistance to the acts of Great Britain which, from first to last, characterized them. At the battle of Bunker Hill, Connecticut men, under PUTNAM and other officers from this State, rendered effective service, as they did on every battle-field where they fought during the protracted contest.
It will be remembered that after the battle of Long Island, in 1776, the enemy held possession of that island till the close of the war, and that the shore of Connecticut was subject of hostile incursions from the British, while Long Island was often raided by parties of patriots from Connecticut. In addition to these minor operations the State was several times invaded, and its towns were burned and pillaged. The last invasion of this kind was under the infamous traitor, ARNOLD, who was born in Connecticut, and who, after having basely attempted to betray his country, filled the measure of his infamy by bringing fire and sword into the state of his nativity.
In the last war with Great Britain, commonly known as the War of 1812, it is notable that in the first conflict on the ocean the first flag was struck to a native of Connecticut. On the land, the first flag that was taken was also surrendered to one of her sons.
In 1813 a blockage of the principal ports on the Sound was established, and this blockade was more rigidly enforced after a torpedo vessel had been sent into the Sound with the design of destroying a portion of the blockading squadron. During this blockage, several spirited affairs of minor importance occurred on the coast. In August, 1814, Stonington was bombarded, the bombardment continuing during four days. The attack was resisted as vigorously as could be done with the feeble force available, and the vigilance of its defenders thwarted the designs of the enemy to burn the town. Several buildings were badly shattered, and some were wholly destroyed; but no one in the town was killed.
CONNECTICUT IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR.-CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENTS.-CIVIL LIST.
It is quite unnecessary to record events which led to the war of the great Rebellion. During the interval between the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency, in 1860, and the bombardment of Fort Sumter, in 1861, the position of Connecticut was not equivocal. The declaration and acts of her governor, her Legislature, and her representatives in Congress, were all in favor of a firm maintenance of the national honor, and against any concession to those who sought to compromise that honor, or to humiliate the nation.
There were, however, in Connecticut, as in the other loyal States, some who, if not in sympathy with those who had seceded from the Union, were not heartily in accord with those who advocated prompt and energetic measurers for the defense of the national integrity. The attack on Fort Sumter, however, aroused in many of these their dormant patriotism, and the sympathizers with the rebels were reduced to an impotent minority.
As in other parts of the loyal North, there was here a spontaneous uprising for the support of the government; and such as the enthusiasm of the people that, in four days from the first call for troops, a regiment was at its rendezvous, and within three weeks 54 companies, or five times the quota of the State under the call, had tendered their services.
Did space permit, an account of the self-sacrificing patriotism which was manifested in all parts of the State would be of interest. Different localities seemed to vie with each other in their efforts to sustain the government which had conferred on them prosperity and happiness.
As time wore on, however, and the armies of the Union encountered disasters in the field, the opponents of the war became bolder and more outspoken. In the darkest hours of that struggle, however, they were not able to obtain control of the State government, and from the beginning to the end of that terrible war, Connecticut sustained her full share of the burden which it imposed on the nation.
It is worthy of remark that on the first day of the next session of the Legislature after the return of peace, the amendment to the Federal constitution abolishing and prohibiting slavery was ratified without a dissenting vote.
The number of men furnished by the State during the war was 54,882, of whom 1,804 were in the naval service. This total, when reduced to a three years' standard, gives 41,483, a surplus, in three years' men, of 6,698 over the total quota required to be furnished by the State. The number of men furnished, in proportion to the population of the State, was great than that of any other State except Iowa and Illinois. The total war expenses of the State were estimated at $6,623,580.60.
Connecticut furnished the following general officers who were natives or residents of the State, or who were officers of Connecticut regiments, and became general officers during the war:
Henry W. BENHAM, Darius N. COUCH, Joseph r. F. MANSFIELD, Joseph A. MOWER, --- NEWTON, John SEDGWICK, Alfred H. TERRY, Horatio G. WRIGHT, major-generals; Henry L. ABBOTT, Henry W. BIRGE, Joseph R. HAWLEY, Alexander SHALER, Joseph G. TOTTEN, Robert O. TYLER, Henry W. WESSELLS. A. S. WILLIAMS, brevet major-generals; Luther P. BRADLEY, Henry B. CARRINGTON, William T. CLARK, Orris S. FERRY, Edward HARLAND, Henry M. JUDAH, William S. KETCHUM, Nathaniel LYON, Ranold S. MACKENZIE, James W. RIPLEY, Benjamin S. ROBERTS, Truman SEYMOUR, A. Von STEINWEHR, Daniel TYLER, H. D. TERRY, brigadier generals; Erastus BLAKESLEE, William G. ELY, Theodore G. ELLIS, E. D. S. GOODYEAR, Edwin S. GREELEY, James HUBBARD, Brayoton IVES, Edward M. LEE, Gustavus LOOMIS, John LOOMIS, William H. NOBLE, John L. OTIS, Joseph G. PARKINS, William S. PIERSON, Alfred P. ROCKWELL, Samuel ROSS, Griffin A. STEDMAN, John E. TOUTELLOTTE, Edward W. WHITAKER, Henry M. WHITTLESEY, Henry C. WARD, brevet brigadier-generals.
It is a fact, of which their descendants have reason to be proud, that the founders of Connecticut comprehended the great principles of civil and religious liberty, and established the government, from the first in strict accordance with those principles. While the other colonies were suffering under the domination, and often under the tyranny of royal governors, she had her affairs administered by officers of her own choice. As had been seen she firmly and successfully resisted every attempted encroachment on her rights, and every effort, whether by insidious craft or open intimidation, to deprive her of her charter.
In this State it was not found necessary after the Declaration of Independence to adopt a constitution, but simply to enact a statute providing that the government should be administered according to the provisions of the charter, which was already republican in its character. This form of government continued without essential change till 1818.
The changes that time had gradually wrought rendered the adoption of a new fundamental law desirable, and accordingly, in that year, a convention of delegates from the several towns assembled in Hartford, and in a session of about three weeks elaborated a constitution. This was submitted to the electors of the State, in October of that year, and was ratified by a majority of fifteen hundred and four.
The following is a list of the colonial and State governors of Connecticut:
John HAYNES, first chosen in 1639, served 8 years; Edward HOPKINS, 1640, 7; George WILLYS, 1642, 1; Thomas WELLER, 1655, 2; John WEBSTER, 1658, 1; John WINTHROP, 1657, 18; William LEETE, 1676, 7; Robert TREAT, 1683, 4; [Sir Edmund ANDROSS, 1687, 2]; Robert TREAT, 1689, 9; Fitz John WINTHROP, 1698, 9; Gurdon SALTONSTALL, 1707, 17; Joseph TALCOTT, 1724, 17; Jonathan LAW, 1741, 9; Roger WOLCOTT, 1750, 4; Thomas FITCH, 1754, 12; William PITKIN, 1766, 3; Jonathan TRUMBULL, 1769, 15; Matthew GRISWOLD, 1784, 2; Samuel HUNTINGTON, 1786, 10; Oliver WOLCOTT, 1796, 2; Jonathan TRUMBULL, 1798, 11; John TREADWELL, 1809, 2; Roger GRISWOLD, 1811, 1; John Cotton SMITH, 1813, 4; Oliver WOLCOTT, 1818, 9; Gidion TOMLINSON, 1827, 4; John Samuel PETERS, 1831, 1; Henry W. EDWARDS, 1833, 1; Samuel A. FOTT, 1834, 1; Henry W. EDWARDS, 1835, 3; William W. ELLSWORTH, 1838, 4; Chauncey F. CLEVELAND, 1842, 2; Roger Sherman BALDWIN, 1844, 2; Isaac TOUCEY, 1846, 1; Clark BISSEL, 1847, 2; Joseph TRUMBULL, 1849, 1; Thomas H. SEYMOUR, 1850, 2; Alexander H. HOLLEY, 1857, 1; William A. BUCKINGHAM, 1858, 8; Joseph R. HAWLEY, 1866, 1; James E. ENGLISH, 1867, 2; Marshall JEWELL, 1869, 1; James E. ENGLISH, 1860, 1; Marshall JEWELL, 1871, 2; Charles R. INGERSOLL, 1873, 4; Richard D. HUBBARD, 1877, 2; Charles B. ANDREWS, 1879, 2; Hobard B. BIGELOW, 1881, 2; Thomas M. WALLER, 1883.
The deputy or lieutenant governors of the colony and State of Connecticut have been:
Roger LUDLOW, first chosen in 1639, served 3 years; John HAYNES, 1640, 5; George WILLYS, 1641, 1; Edward HOPKINS, 1643, 6; Thomas WELLER, 1654, 4; John WEBSTER, 1655, 1; John WINTHROP, 1658, 1; John MASON, 1660, 9; William LEETE, 1669, 7; Robert TREAT, 1676, 17; James BISHOP, 1683, 7; William JONES, 1692, 5; Nathan GOLD, 1708, 16; Joseph TALCOTT, 1724; Jonathan LAW, 1724, 17; Roger WOLCOTT, 1741, 9; Thomas FITCH, 1750, 4; William PITKIN, 1754, 12; Jonathan TRUMBULL, 1766, 3; Matthew GRISWOLD, 1769, 15; Samuel HUNTINGTON, 1784, 2; Oliver WOLCOTT, 1786, 10; Jonathan TRUMBULL, 1796, 2; John TREADWELL, 1798, 11; Roger GRISWOLD, 1809, 2; John Cotton SMITH, 1811, 2; Chauncey GOODRICH, 1813, 2; Jonathan INGERSOLL, 1816, 7; David PLANT, 1823, 4; John S. PETERS, 1827, 4; Henry D. EDWARDS, 1831, 1; Thaddeus BETTS, 1832, 1; Ebenezer STODDARD, 1833, 1; Thaddeus BETTS, 1834, 1; Ebenezer STODDARD, 1835, 2; Charles HAWLEY, 1838, 4; William S. HOLLABIRD, 1842, 2; Reuben BOOTH, 1844, 2; Noyes BILLINGS, 1846, 1; Charles J. MCCURDY, 1847, 2; Thomas BACKUS, 1848, 1; Charles H. POND, 1850, 1; Green KENDRICK, 1851, 1; Charles H. POND, 1852, 1; Alexander H. HOLLEY, 1854, 2; William FIELD, 1855, 1; Albert DAY, 1856, 1; Alfred A. BURNHAM, 1857, 1; Julius CATLIN, 1858, 3; Benjamin DOUGLAS, 1861, 1; Roger AVERILL, 1862, 4; Oliver F. WINCHESTER, 1866, 1; Ephraim H. HYDE, 1867, 2; Francis WAYLAND, 1869, 1; Julius HOTCHKISS, 1870, 1; Morris TYLER, 1871, 2; George G. SILL, 1873, 4; Francis B. LOOMIS, 1877, 2; David GALLUP, 1879, 2; William H. BULKELEY, 1881, 2; George G. SUMNER. 1883.