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The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]

509

CONNECTICUT.

509

(which, with that degree of industry that is neces-sary to happiness, produces the necessaries andconveniences of life in great plenty. The inhabi-tants are almost entirely of English descent. Thereare no Dutch, Phench, or Germans, and very fewScotch or Irish people, in any part of the state.The original stock from which have sprung all thepresent inhabitants of Connecticut, and the nume-rous emigrants from the state to every j)art of tlieUnited States, consisted of 3000 souls, who settledin the towns of Hartford, New Haven, Windsor,Guilford, Milford, and Weathersfield, about theyears 1635 and 1636. In 1756, the population ofthe state amounted to 130,611 souls ; in 1774, to197,856; in 1782, to 202,877 whites, and 6273Indians and Negroes; in 1790, to 237,946 per-sons, of whom 2764 w'ere slaves ; and by the cen-sus of 1810, to 261,942 souls. The people ofConnecticut are remarkably fond of having alltheir disputes, even those of the most trivial kind,settled according to law. The prevalence of thislitigious spirit affords employment and support fora numerous body of lawyers. That party spirit,however, which is the bane of political happiness,has not raged with such violence in this state as inMassachusetts and Rhode Island. Public pro-ceedings have been conducted generally with 'nuclicalmness and candour. The people are well in-informed in regard to their rights, and judicious inthe methods they adopt to secure them. Tiiestate enjoys an uncommon share of political tran-quillity and unanimity.

All religions, that are consistent with the peaceof society, are tolerated in Connecticut : and aspirit of liberality and forbearance is increasing.There are very few religious sects in this state.The bulk of the people are Congregationalists.Besides these, there are Episcopalians andBaptists.

The damage sustained b}’- this state in the latewar was estimated at 461,235/. I6s. Id. To com-pensate the sufferers, the general court, in May1792, granted them 500,000 acres of the w. part ofthe reserved lands of Connecticut, which lie w.of Pennsylvania. There are a great number ofvery pleasant towns, both maritime and inland, inConnecticut. It contains five cities, incorporatedwith extensive jurisdiction in civil causes. Twoof these, Hartford and New Haven, are capitals ofthe state. The general assembly is holden at theformer in May, and at the latter in October, an-nually. The other cities are New London, Nor-wich, and Middleton. Weathersfield, Windsor,Farmington, Litchfield, Milford, Stratford, Fair-field, Guilford, Stamford, Windham, Suffieid, and

Enfield, are all considerable and very pleasanttowns. In no part of the world is the educationof all ranks of people more attended to than inConnecticut. Almost every town in the state isdivided into districts, and each district has a pub-lic school kept in it a greater or less part ofevery year. Somewhat more than one-third of themoneys arising from a tax on the polls and rateableestate of the inhabitants is appropriated to the sup-port of schools in the several towns, for the educa-tion of children and youth. The law directs thata grammar-school shall be kept in every countytown throughout the state. Yale college is aneminent seminary of learning, and was foundedin the year 1700. See Yace College. Acade-mics have been established at Greenfield, Plain-field, Norwich, Windham, and Pomfret, some ofwhich are flourishing.

The constitution of Connecticut is founded ontheir charter, which was granted by Charles II. in1662, and on a law of the state. Contented withthis form of government, the people have not beendisposed to run the hazard of framing a new consti-tution since the declaration of independence.Agreeable to this charter, the supreme legislativeauthority of the state is vested in a governor, de-])iity-governor, twelve assistants, or counsellors,and the representatives of the people, styled thegeneral assembly. The governor, deputy-gover-nor, and assistants, are annually chosen by thefreemen in the month of May. The representa-tives (their number not to exceed two from eachtown) arc chosen by the freemen twice a-year, toattend the two annual sessions, on the secondTuesdays of May and October. The general as-sembly is divided into two branches, called the up-per and lower houses. The upper house is com-posed of the governor, deputy-governor, and as-sistants ; the lower house of the representativesof the people. No law can pass without the con-currence of both houses.

Connecticut has ever made rapid advances inpopulation. There have been more emigrationsfrom this than from any of the other states, andyet it is at present full of inhabitants. This in-crease may be ascribed to several causes. Thebulk of the inhabitants are industrious, sagacioushusbandmen. Their farms furnish them with allthe necessaries, most of the conveniences, and butfew of the luxuries of life. They, of course, mustbe generally temperate, and if they choose, cansubsist with as much independence as is consistentwith happiness. The subsistence of the farmer issubstantial, and does not depend on incidentalcircumstances, like that of most other professions.)

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