LatAm Digital Edition and Gazetteer

OverviewStatisticsSubjects

Search for Windsor*

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.)

Last edit about 2 years ago by kmr3934
510

610

CONNECTICUT.

(There is no necessity of serving an apprentice-ship to the business, nor of a large stock of moneyto commence it to advantage. Farmers who dealmuch in barter, have less need of money than anyother class of people. The ease with which acomfortable subsistence is obtained, induces thehusbandman to marry young. The cultivation ofhis farm makes him strong and healthful. Hetoils cheerfully through the day, eats the fruit ofhis own labour with a gladsome heart, at night de-voutly thanks his bounteous God for his dailyblessings, retires to rest, and his sleep is sweet.Such circumstances as these have greatly contri-buted to the amazing increase of inhabitants in thisstate. Besides, the people live under a free go-vernment, and have no fear of a tyrant. Thereare no overgrown estates, with rich and ambitiouslandlords, to have an undue and pernicious in-fluence in the election of civil officers. Propertyis equally enough divided; and must continue tobe so, as long as estates descend as they now do.No person is prohibited from voting. He who hasthe most merit, not he Avho has the most money,is generally chosen into public office. As instancesof this, it is to be observed, that many of the citi-zens of Connecticut, from the humble walks oflife, have arisen to the first offices in the state, andfilled them with dignity and repulation. Thatbase business of electioneering, which is so di-rectly calculated to introduce wicked and design-ing men into office, is yet but little known in Con-necticut. A man who wishes to be chosen intooffice, acts wisely, for that end, when he keepshis desires to himself.

A thirst for learning prevails among all ranks ofpeople in the state. More of the young men inConnecticut, in proportion to their numbers, re-ceive a public education, than in any of the states.The revolution, which so essentially affected thegovernment of most of the colonies, produced novery perceptible alteration in the government ofConnecticut. While under the jurisdiction ofGreat Britain, they elected their own governors,and all subordinate civil officers, and made theirown laws, in the same manner and with as littlecontroul as they now do. Connecticut has everbeen a rejmblic, and perhaps as perfect and ashappy a republic as has ever existed. Whileother states, more monarchical in their governmenand manners, have been under a necessity of un-dertaking the difficult task of altering their old, orforming new constitutions, and of changing theirmonarchical for republican manners, Connecticuthas uninterruptedly proceeded in her old track,both as to government and manners ; and, by these

means, has avoided those convulsions which haverent other states into violent parties.

The present territory of Connecticut, at thetime of the first arrival of the English, was pos-sessed by the Pequot, the Mohegan, Podunk, andmany other smaller tribes of Indians. In 1774,there were of the descendants of the ancient nativesonly 1363 persons ; the greater part of whomlived at Mohegan, between Norwich and NewLondon. From the natural decrease of the In-dians, it is imagined that their number in this statedo not now exceed 400. The first grant of Connec-ticut was made by the Plymouth council to theEarl of Warwick, in 1630. The year followingthe earl assigned this grant to Lord Say and Seal,Lord Brook, and nine others. Some Indian traderssettled at Windsor in 1633. The same year, alittle before the arrival of the English, a few Dutchtraders settled at Hartford, and the remains of thesettlement are still visible on the bank of Connec-ticut river. In 1634, Lord Say and Seal, &c.sent over a small number of men, who built a fortat Saybrook, and made a treaty with the PequotIndians for the lands on Connecticut river. Mr.Haynes and Mr. Hooker left Massachusetts bay in1634, and settled at Hartford. The followingyear, Mr. Eaton and Mr. Davenport seated them-selves at New Haven. In 1644, the Connecticutadventurers purchased of Mr. Fenwick, agentfor Lord Say and Seal, and Lord Brook, their rightto the colony, for 1600/, Connecticut and NewHaven continued two distinct governments formany years. At length, John Winthrop, Esq.who had been chosen governor of Connecticut,was employed to solicit a royal charter. In 1662,Charles II, granted a charter, constituting the twocolonies for ever one body corporate and politic,by the name of “ The Governor and Company ofConnecticut.” New Haven took the affair ill;but in 1665, all difficulties were amicably adjusted ;and, as has been already observed, this charterstill continues to be the basis of their government.The capital is Boston.)

(Connecticut is the most considerable riverin the c. part of the Linited States, and rises inthe high lands which separate the states of Vermontand New Hampshire from Lower Canada. Ithas been surveyed about 25 miles beyond the 45°of latitude, to the head spring of its n. branch ;from which, to its mouth, is upwards of 300 miles,through a thick settled country, having upon itsbanks a great number of the most flourishing andpleasant towns in the United States. It is from80 to 100 rods wide, 130 miles from its mouth.Its course between Vermont and New Hampshire]

1

1

Last edit about 2 years ago by kmr3934
All 2 records