Connecticut Colony

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Connecticut Colony

1636–1776
Colonial-Red-Ensign.svg
Ctcolony.png
Map of the Connecticut, New Haven, and Saybrook colonies
StatusColony of England (1636–1707)
Colony of Great Britain (1707–76)
Capital Hartford (1636–1776)
New Haven (joint capital with Hartford, 1701–76)
Common languagesEnglish, Mohegan-Pequot, Quiripi
Religion
Congregationalism
Government Constitutional monarchy
LegislatureGeneral Court of the Colony of Connecticut
History 
 Established
March 3 1636
1776
Currency Connecticut pound
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Saybrook Colony
Blank.png New Haven Colony
Connecticut Flag of the United States (1776-1777).svg
Today part ofFlag of the United States.svg  United States

The Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut, originally known as the Connecticut River Colony or simply the River Colony, was an English colony in New England which became the state of Connecticut. It was organized on March 3, 1636 as a settlement for a Puritan congregation, and the English permanently gained control of the region in 1637 after struggles with the Dutch. The colony was later the scene of a bloody war between the colonists and Pequot Indians known as the Pequot War. Connecticut Colony played a significant role in the establishment of self-government in the New World with its refusal to surrender local authority to the Dominion of New England, an event known as the Charter Oak incident which occurred at Jeremy Adams' inn and tavern.

Contents

Two other English settlements in the State of Connecticut were merged into the Colony of Connecticut: Saybrook Colony in 1644 and New Haven Colony in 1662.

Leaders

Governor John Haynes of the Massachusetts Bay Colony led 100 people to Hartford in 1636. He and Puritan minister Thomas Hooker are often considered the founders of the Connecticut colony. Hooker delivered a sermon to his congregation on May 31, 1638 on the principles of government, and it influenced those who wrote the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut later that year. The Fundamental Orders may have been drafted by Roger Ludlow of Windsor, the only trained lawyer living in Connecticut in the 1630s; they were transcribed into the official record by secretary Thomas Welles. The Rev. John Davenport and merchant Theophilus Eaton led the founders of the New Haven Colony, which was absorbed into Connecticut Colony in the 1660s.

In the colony's early years, the governor could not serve consecutive terms, so the governorship rotated for 20 years between John Haynes and Edward Hopkins, both of whom were from Hartford. George Wyllys, Thomas Welles, and John Webster, also Hartford men, sat in the governor's chair for brief periods in the 1640s and 1650s.

John Winthrop the Younger of New London was the son of the founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and he played an important role in consolidating separate settlements into a single colony on the Connecticut River. He also served as Governor of Connecticut from 1659 to 1675, and he was instrumental in obtaining the colony's 1662 charter which incorporated New Haven into Connecticut. His son Fitz-John Winthrop also governed the colony for 10 years starting in 1698.

Major John Mason was the military leader of the early colony. He was the commander in the Pequot War, a magistrate, and the founder of Windsor, Saybrook, and Norwich. He was also Deputy Governor under Winthrop. Roger Ludlow was an Oxford-educated lawyer and former Deputy Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He petitioned the General Court for rights to settle the area, and he led the March Commission in settling disputes over land rights. He is credited as drafting the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1650) in collaboration with Hooker, Winthrop, and others. He was also the first Deputy Governor of Connecticut.

William Leete of Guilford served as governor of New Haven Colony before its merger into Connecticut, and he also served as governor of Connecticut following Winthrop's death in 1675. He is the only man to serve as governor of both New Haven and Connecticut. Robert Treat of Milford served as governor of the colony, both prior to and after its inclusion in the Dominion of New England under Sir Edmund Andros. His father Richard Treat was one of the original patentees of the colony. Roger Wolcott was a weaver, statesman, and politician from Windsor, and he served as governor from 1751 to 1754. Oliver Wolcott was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and also of the Articles of Confederation, as a representative of Connecticut and the nineteenth governor. He was a major general for the Connecticut Militia in the Revolutionary War serving under George Washington.

Religion

The original colonies along the Connecticut River and in New Haven were established by separatist Puritans who were connected with the Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies. They held Calvinist religious beliefs similar to the English Puritans, but they maintained that their congregations needed to be separated from the English state church. They had immigrated to New England during the Great Migration. In the middle of the 17th century, the government restricted voting rights with a property qualification and a church membership requirement. [1] Congregationalism was the established church in the colony by the time of the American Revolutionary War. [2]

Economic and social history

The economy began with subsistence farming in the 17th century and developed with greater diversity and an increased focus on production for distant markets, especially the British colonies in the Caribbean. The American Revolution cut off imports from Britain and stimulated a manufacturing sector that made heavy use of the entrepreneurship and mechanical skills of the people. In the second half of the 18th century, difficulties arose from the shortage of good farmland, periodic money problems, and downward price pressures in the export market. In agriculture, there was a shift from grain to animal products. [3] The colonial government attempted to promote various commodities as export items from time to time, such as hemp, potash, and lumber, in order to bolster its economy and improve its balance of trade with Great Britain. [4]

Connecticut's domestic architecture included a wide variety of house forms. They generally reflected the dominant English heritage and architectural tradition. [5]

See also

Further reading

Specialized studies

Historiography

Related Research Articles

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Thomas Hooker Puritan minister

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Pequot War war

The Pequot War was an armed conflict that took place between 1636 and 1638 in New England between the Pequot tribe and an alliance of the colonists of the Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Saybrook colonies and their allies from the Narragansett and Mohegan tribes. The war concluded with the decisive defeat of the Pequots. At the end, about 700 Pequots had been killed or taken into captivity. Hundreds of prisoners were sold into slavery to the West Indies; other survivors were dispersed as captives to the victorious tribes.

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John Haynes, also sometimes spelled Haines, was a colonial magistrate and one of the founders of the Connecticut Colony. He served one term as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and was the first governor of Connecticut, ultimately serving eight separate terms.

Roger Ludlow English lawyer, founder and deputy governor of Connecticut Colony

Roger Ludlow (1590–1664) was an English lawyer, magistrate, military officer, and colonist. He was active in the founding of the Colony of Connecticut, and helped draft laws for it and the nearby Massachusetts Bay Colony. Under his and John Mason's direction, Boston's first fortification, later known as Castle William and then Fort Independence was built on Castle Island in Boston harbor. Frequently at odds with his peers, he eventually also founded Fairfield and Norwalk before leaving New England entirely.

John Winthrop the Younger Governor of the Saybrook and Connecticut Colonies

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John Mason (c. 1600–1672) English settler, soldier, commander, and Deputy Governor

John Mason, was an early English settler, soldier, commander, and Deputy Governor of the Connecticut Colony. Mason was best known for leading the English settlers at an attack on the Pequot and the Mystic Fort, an event that ended up being known as the Mystic Massacre which effectively ended the hegemony of the Pequot tribe in southeast Connecticut.

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Robert Seeley, also Seely, Seelye, or Ciely, (1602-1668) was an early Puritan settler in the Massachusetts Bay Colony who helped establish Watertown, Wethersfield, and New Haven. He also served as second-in-command to John Mason in the Pequot War.

Richard Risley was an early Puritan settler in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut. Risley sailed from England on July 15, 1633, in the ship Griffen with Thomas Hooker, William Stone, John Cotton, and John Haynes. They arrived in Boston on September 4, 1633.

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William Phelps, was a Puritan who emigrated from Crewkerne, England in 1630, one of the founders of both Dorchester, Boston Massachusetts and Windsor, Connecticut, and one of eight selected to lead the first democratic town government in the American colonies in 1637. He was foreman of the first grand jury in New England, served most of his life in early colonial government, and according to noted historian Henry Reed Stiles, Phelps "was one of the most prominent and highly respected men in the colony."

William Parker (1618–1686) was an early Puritan settler in the Connecticut Colony and one of the founders of Hartford. He arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the summer of 1635 after sailing from London on May 21, 1635 aboard the ship Mathew. He settled in Newtowne, the community that is now Cambridge, and became one of the members of Thomas Hooker's congregation. He was one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut.

Thomas Bull, also known as Captain Thomas Bull, was an early settler in the Connecticut Colony who is counted as one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut.

References

  1. Barck, Oscar T.; Lefler, Hugh T. (1958). Colonial America. New York: Macmillan. pp. 258–259.
  2. Barck, Oscar T.; Lefler, Hugh T. (1958). Colonial America. New York: Macmillan. p. 398.
  3. Daniels (1980)
  4. Nutting (2000)
  5. Smith (2007)

Bibliography

Archival collections

Other

Coordinates: 41°43′05″N72°45′05″W / 41.71803°N 72.75146°W / 41.71803; -72.75146