Connecticut in 1839.
The New England Gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England: also descriptions of the principal mountains, rivers lakes, capes, bays, harbors, islands and fashionable resorts within that territory. Alphabetically arranged.
By John Hayward, author of the Columbian Traveller, Religious Creeds, &c. &c.
Boston: John Hayward. Boyd & White, Concord, N.H. 1839
This is just started, with entries related to my family history project, and some things that just interest me. I'm not currently planning to put the whole thing on-line, and I'll send the pages to anyone who wants to do part.
My other related pages:
Maine 1839, Massachusetts 1839, Vermont 1839,
Cape Cod and Islands 1839, Cape Cod and Islands 1845, Massachusetts 1845, Massachusetts 1890.
Up one level: 19th Century Cape Cod and New England literature.
Home page: Capecodhistory.us/
Chatham [now Portland], Connecticut River,
East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex,
Lebanon, Long Island Sound, Lyme,
Mechanicsville, Middlesex county, Middle Haddam, Middletown, Milford
New Haven county, New Haven, New London, New London county,
Washington, Wethersfield, Willimantic, Windham county, Windham, Windsor, Woodbridge, Woodstock
This state is bounded N. by Massachusetts, E. by Rhode Island, S. by Long Island Sound, and W. by New York. Situated between 40° 58' and 42° 1' N. lat. and 72° 37' and 71° 43' W. lon.
The territory of Connecticut was formerly two colonies Connecticut and New Haven. The colony of Connecticut was planted by citizens of Massachusetts, at Windsor, in 1633, and at Hartford and Wethersfield, in 1635 and 1636. The colony of New Haven was settled by Englishmen, in 1638. In 1665, the two colonies were united by a charter granted by Charles the Second. This charter was the basis of government till 1818, when the present constitution was formed.
The executive power of the State is vested in a Governor, and a Lieutenant-Governor, who is also President of the Senate.
The legislative power is vested in a Senate and a House of Representatives, which together are called The General Assembly. The Senate consists of of not less than 18 and not more than 24 members. Most of the towns may choose two Representatives: the others one each. All the above are elected annually by the people on the first Monday of April. The General Assembly has one stated session in each year, commencing on the first Wednesday in May. These sessions are held alternately, in the years of even numbers at New Haven, and in the years of odd numbers at Hartford.
The electors are all the white male citizens, of twenty-one years of age, who have resided in the town in which they vote six months nest preceding, and have a freehold estate of the value of seven dollars; or who have performed regular military duty in said town for one year next previous to the voting; or who shall have paid a tax within a year of his voting. Those entitled to be electors, before voting must be qualified by taking the oath prescribed by law.
No person is obliged to join any religious society; but having joined one he is liable by law to pay his proportion of the charges for its support. He may separate himself from such society by leaving with the clerk thereof notice of his determination to close his connextion with them.
The judicial department of the government embraces the Supreme Court of Errors, the Superior Court, a County Court in each county, a City Court in each city, a Court of Probate in each probate district, and as in other states in New England, an indefinite number of Justices of the Peace in each county.
The Supreme Court of Errors consists of five Judges, who are appointed by the General Assembly, and hold their offices during good behavior, but not after seventy years of age. They are subject to removal by impeachment, and by the Governor, on the address of two thirds of the members of each House of the General Assembly. This court has final and exclusive jurisdiction of writs of error, brought to revise the judgment on decrees of the Superior Court, in law or equity, wherein the errors complained of appear from the files and records. It holds one term in each county annually. Though this body, as a court, has cognizance only of writs of error, yet, as all the members are Judges of the Superior Court, a convenient opportunity is afforded, while they are thus assembled, for hearing arguments on motions for new trials and cases stated. These, of course, occupy a considerable portion of the term. The opinion of the Judges upon them are given by way of advice to the Superior Court, in which the cases are respectively pending. This advice is always followed, it being understood as settling the law.
A Judge of the Superior Court of Errors, designated by that court for the purpose, constitutes the Superior Court; two terms of which are held in each county annually. This court has cognizance of civil actions at law brought by appeal from the County, City, and Probate Courts, and of suits for relief in chancery, wherein the matter in demand exceeds $335. In criminal cases it has exclusive jurisdiction of offenses punishable with death or imprisonment for life; and, concurrent with the County Courts, of all other offenses not committed to the jurisdiction of the Justices of the Peace. It also has cognizance of writs of error brought to revise the decisions of inferior tribunals; of petitions for divorce, and of writs of scire facias, audita querela, and petitions for new trials relative to matters in or issuing from the court. In capital cases, the Judge holding the court is to call to his assistance one or more of the other Judges.
The County Courts consist of one Chief Judge and two Associate Judges, who are appointed annually by the General Assembly. This court has original jurisdiction of all civil actions at law, wherein the value of the matter in demand exceeds $35. and appellate jurisdiction of all such actions wherein the value in demand exceeds $7. It has also original and final jurisdiction of suits for relief in equity, wherein the value in demand does not exceed $335, except suits for relief against a judgment rendered on a cause depending at law in the Superior Court.
In criminal jurisdiction, it has cognizance of all offences above the jurisdiction of a Justice of the Peace, and not exclusively within that of the Superior Court. It is also vested with powers relative to the laying out of roads, granting licences, the appointment of surveyors, &c.
Justices of the Peace have cognizance of all actions at law of a civil nature, wherein the value in demand does not exceed $35, and of all offences and crimes punishable by fine not exceeding $7, or by imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, or both.
In each of the six cities: Hartford, New Haven, New London, Norwich, Middletown, and Bridgeport there is a City Court, consisting of the Mayor and two senior Aldermen, having cognizance of all civil actions wherein the title of land is not concerned.
Succession of Governors since the Union of the Colonies under the Charter in 1665. [list]
Succession of Chief Justices. [list]
Connecticut is divided into the eight following counties Hartford, New Haven, New London, Fairfield, Windham, Litchfield, Middlesex, and Tolland. The face of the state is greatly diversified by hills and valleys. In general it is so exceeding undulating or uneven, as to present an everchanging variety of objects. The range of mountains from the north, which terminate near New Haven, are not remarkable for their elevation in this state. Connecticut is finely watered by the noble river from which it derives its name, by the Thames, Housatonick, Naugatuck, and other smaller streams. The soil varies from a gravelly loam on the hills, to a rich and exceedingly fertile alluvial in the valleys. The former is more particularly adapted to grazing, the latter to tillage. These lands, in possession of an industrious class of freemen, yield, in great abundance, all the varieties of products common to a northern climate. The mineral resources of the state are not yet fully developed; but iron and copper ores of excellent qualities are found; also, lead, cobalt, marble and freestone. The mineral waters at Stafford are the most celebrated. Manufacturing establishments are scattered over the state, on its numerous delightful streams; and foreign commerce, the coasting trade, and fisheries, enjoy an enviable position on the waters of Long Island Sound.
Blessed with a salubrious climate and fertile country, the people of Connecticut probably enjoy as much happiness as is allotted to any part of the human family. Her population is always full, and although her domain is not extensive, no Atlantic state has sent so many of her children, or so large a share of intellectual wealth, to the western country, as Connecticut.
If the love of liberty, literature and the arts, of social feeling and moral worth has an asylum on earth, Connecticut may boast that it is to be found within her bosom.
Chatham, Ct. [Portland]
Middlesex co. The township of Chatham embraces Chatham parish, (formerly East Middletown,) the greater part of Middle Haddam parish, the parish of East Hampton and a part of the parish of West Chester. It lies 16 miles S. from Hartford, and opposite to Middletown, from which it was taken in 1767. Population, 1830, 3,646. Chatham is watered by Salmon and Pine brooks and several ponds, Job's pond, about 2 miles in circumference, has no outlet. It rises and falls about 15 feet. It rises for six or twelve months, and then falls about the same period. It is highest in the driest season of the year, and lowest when there is most rain. It is from 40 to 60 feet deep. Chatham is noted for its valuable quarries of freestone. "For forty years past it has been extensively improved, and the stone, to the depth of thirty feet from the surface, are now removed over an area of an acre and a half, back from the river. The stone in this quarry is covered in some places with four or five feet of earth, and in others with four or five feet of shelly rock. It is not perfectly solid, but lies in blocks, eight or ten feet thick, and fifty and sixty feet long. The seams and joints facilitate the process of removing these from their beds; and when removed, they are reduced by the wedge and chisel to any size or form which is wished. In this quarry thirty hands have been employed for several years, eight months in a year, and from four to six teams. The quantity of stone prepared for market, and sold to the inhabitants of this and neighboring towns, and exported to distant parts of the country, has been very great; and has yielded a handsome profit. Fifty rods south of this quarry an opening was made about 1783, now spreading over half an acre. Here the stone is covered with about ten feet of earth. In this opening as many as twelve hands have been sometimes employed. Vessels come to this and the above quarry, and load from the bank. The bed of stone in which these and the smaller openings have been made is immense, and lies at different depths from the surface in different places. It has been discovered in sinking wells, for half a mile in northern and southern directions, and has been opened at a great distance eastward. Wherever found, the stone possesses the same general properties, but varies, like the freestone in Middletown, in the fineness of its texture."
East Haddam, CT.
Middlesex co. A town of considerable trade and manufacturing enterprise, on the E. side of the Connecticut, and at the outlet of the Salmon river. It lies 18 miles below Middletown, and 30 S.S.E. from Hartford. The soil is hilly and rocky, and more fit for grazing than tillage. Considerable business is done here in the shad fishery. It is supposed that more leather is made in this than in any other town in the state. The place has fine water privileges, for both navigation and manufactures. A short distance from the centre of the town is a pond covering 1,000 acres. On the river formed by the outlet of this pond, the water is precipitated over rocks nearly 70 feet perpendicular. The scenery around these falls is beautiful, and worthy of particular notice.
There are 6 cotton mills in East Haddam, two of which manufacture twine.
Leesville, on Salmon river, and Mechanicsville, on Moodus river, are very flourishing settlements.
This place, the Indian Mackimoodus, is remarkable for frequent slight shocks of earthquakes, producing singular noises, which the Indians attributed to the anger of their gods towards the white men. It is said that some valuable geological discoveries have recently been made in this quarter. The town was first settled in 1685, but not incorporated until 1724. Population, in 1835, about 3,000. This is the birthplace of many distinguished men. The venerable Nathaniel Emmons, D.D., of Franklin, Mass. was born here.
New London co. Lebanon lies 30 miles S.E. from Hartford, and 10 N.W. from Norwich. First settled about 1700. Population, in 1830, 2,554. The surface of the town is uneven moderately hilly. The soil is of a chocolate color; a rich deep mould, very fertile, and well adapted for grass. Husbandry is the principal business of the inhabitants. The village is on a street more than a mile in length, wide, pleasant and interesting: it was the residence of the Trumbull family, celebrated for their genius and patriotism. On the family tomb, in the village, is the following inscription to the memory of the first governor Trumbull.
"Sacred to the memory of Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. who, unaided by birth or or powerful connexions, but blessed with a noble and virtuous mind, arrived to the highest station in government. His patriotism and firmness during 50 years employment in public life, and particularly in the very important part he acted in the American Revolution, as Governor of Connecticut; the faithful page of History will record.
Full of years and honors, rich in benevolence, and firm in the faith and hopes of Christianity, he died August 9th, 1783, Ætatis 75."
Long Island Sound
Middlesex county, Ct.
Shire towns Middletown and Haddam. This county is bounded N. by Hartford county, E. by Hartford and New London counties, S. by Long Island Sound, and W. by New Haven county. The general surface of the county is uneven. The soil is generally good, particularly adjacent to the Connecticut river. There are many small streams which afford mill privileges, fertilizing the soil and giving beauty to the county. The waters of the Connecticut afford it an important business in navigation, especially in the coasting trade. The tonnage of the district of Middletown, in 1837, was 13,133 tons. There are numerous manufacturing establishments in the county; large quantities of freestone are quarried and carried to market, and the shad fishery gives employment to many of its people.
Middlesex county contains an area of 342 square miles. Population, 1820, 22,405; 1830, 24,845, containing a population of 73 inhabitants to a square mile. Considerable amounts of the productions of the soil are exported, and in 1837, there were in the county 12,401 sheep.
Chief town of Middlesex co. Middletown City, and port of entry, lies on the W. bank of Connecticut river, 30 miles from its mouth, 15 S. from Hartford, 24 N.E from New Haven, 35 N.W. from New London. Lat 41° 34' N., long. 72° 39' W. The city is very pleasantly situated on ground rising gradually from the river. The principal street, called Main street, runs parallel with the river. This and other streets, are intersected by cross streets, leading to the river.
The wharves are commodious for shipping, there being ten feet of water for all vessels that can cross the bar at the mouth of the river.
Two high wharves are appropriated for two lines of steam-boats, of a large class, which afford a daily communication with the cities of New York and Hartford.
The streets and side-walks are pleasantly shaded with trees, and the side-walks are remarkably well paved.
The population of the city, is about 3,500; of the town, above 7,000.
The public edifices are a court-house in the Grecian style of architecture, built in 1832; a custom-house handsomely built of Chatham freestone; 2 banks, and a savings bank, &c. The places of public worship in the city, and the principal houses and stores are of brick, many of which are built with great taste.
The Wesleyan University, under the patronage of the Methodist Episcopal church, was founded in 1831, and is rapidly acquiring a high standing. It has now 160 students. Its officers are a president and 5 professors.
The college buildings command an extensive view of the surrounding country, as well as of the valley of the Connecticut, so justly famed for its beauty.
The college library, with those belonging to the societies, comprise about 10,000 volumes. It has many rare and choice works, an entire set of the Latin Classics, and most of the Greek, a set of the Philosophical Transactions, and all of the most important later scientific works of France. There is also a collection of bibles and testaments in 81 languages and dialects, oriental, &c., into which the bible has been translated.
The philosophical and astronomical apparatus, has been lately increased at great expense. There is a telescope, with a six inch object glass, a splendid altitude and Azimuth instrument, so constructed as to be used for meridian transits. Russell's magnificent Orrery, an unrivalled instrument, and the only one of its kind. There is a noble Plate Electrical machine, with two plates 36 inches in diameter, &c.
The chemical department has a good laboratory and apparatus, The cabinet of minerals is becoming extensive. In geology, besides specimens, there are several valuable charts to illustrate the different states, and many districts of England.
In botany, there are several of the best standard works, and for the preservation of the science, the richness in species of the native plants about Middletown, is not surpassed by any location in New England. The place is also remarkable for the variety and abundance of its rare minerals.
The rising reputation of the university, the great salubrity of its atmosphere, and the activity of its manufacturing capital, render Middletown equally attractive to the traveler, the man of science, or of business. There are besides in this city, several fine cabinets of shells, insects, minerals, &c, and an Herbarium of considerable extent, of North American as well as of European plants, also several choice private libraries.
The library of the Rev. Dr. Jervis, contains 13,000 volumes of exceeding choice books, collected by him, during a residence of several years in Europe, and his gallery of about 120 paintings, is regarded as being very valuable. About 70 of these paintings formed the gallery of the Archbishop of Tarento at Naples, and are of the old masters Titian, Rubens, Tintoretto, Salvator Rosa, Carlo Dolce, Lueca, Giordano, Jordens, Spagnoletto, &c. There is also in another collection some very fine old paintings of the old masters, and an exquisite piece of statuary by the Chevalier P. Marchesi of Milan, representing Christ when 12 years of age! This is the only work of the distinguished sculptor, that has yet arrived in this country.
The township from N. to S. is about 9 miles long, its breadth varying from 4 to 10 miles at its greatest area, or about 43,520 acres. The Indian name of the town was Mattabesett. The town is divided into 4 societies or parishes.
There is in the city a preparatory school connected with the university, as well as several flourishing private schools.
The public records of this town commenced in 1654. The city was incorporated in 1784.
The burial grounds contain many curious, as well as antique monuments of its earliest settlers.
The burial ground in the N. part of the city, and by the river, was laid out in 1650.
Middletown meadows, north of the city, contain about 640 acres. The height of the base of the village is 160 feet above the river, and is from it, five eighths of a mile. Main street is from 40 to 50 feet above the river.
The Connecticut river is here generally closed with ice about the middle of December, and opens about the end of the third week in March.
The manufactures in this city, are 3 establishments on a large scale for the manufacture of arms, for the United States service ; broadcloths and cotton goods, britannia and tin wares, stoves, combs, tubs, machinery, steam engines, cotton machinery, paper, powder, jewelry, brass ware, steel pens, buttons, looking-glasses, carriages, carpenter's tools and locks, besides many manufactures of minor importance.
Geology. Middletown rests on secondary red sandstone: within 2 miles of the city, south, there is a granite ridge, here known by the name of the White rocks. It runs N.N.E., and forms the straits of the Connecticut river. This granite ridge is from 400 to 600 feet above the tide water. Here occurs an inexhaustible quantity of the finest feldspar, the material used for the glaze of porcelain. This was first brought into notice in 1833, at the recommendation of Dr. Barrett. A large quantity of it has been sent to Europe, as well as being used in this country, and it has been proved to be of the best quality.
The feldspar is often so pure at the quarry opened on the Haddam road, that masses of several hundred weight occur without any admixture of quartz and mica.
New Haven co. This is one of the towns which composed the "Old Jurisdiction of New Haven." The settlement commenced in 1639. The first purchase of land was made of the Indians, for the consideration of "6 coats, 10 blankets, 1 kettle, besides a number of hoes, knives, hatchets, and glasses." The Indians made a reservation of 20 acres in town, which was old by them, in 1661 for 6 coats, 2 blankets, and a pair of breeches.
Milford is bounded W. by Housatonick river, and S.E. by Long Island Sound. The Indian name of the place was Wepawaug. The town is generally level, and the soil productive. There is a quarry of beautiful serpentine marble in the town, and a harbor for small vessels.
Poconock or Milford point is a noted place, where are a number of huts on the beach, occupied by persons engaged in the oyster and clam business.
Milford village is very pleasant, and the scenery variegated and interesting. Population, 1837, about 2,800.
New Haven County, Ct.
New Haven, Ct.
New London County, Ct.
New London, Ct.
Litchfield co. Plymouth lies 22 miles W.S.W. from Hartford, 31 N. by W. from New Haven, and 12 S.E. from Litchfield. Taken from Waterbury in 1795. Population, 1830, 2,064. The surface of the town is rough and hilly, with a strong, gravelly soil, well adapted for grazing. The Naugatuck affords an ample water power, which is improved for the manufacture of cotton goods, clocks, &c.
The manufacture of small wooden clocks, it is believed, originated with Mr. Terry, of this town, about 20 years ago; since that period, the manufacture of wooden clocks has been widely extended, and forms a very important branch of the manufactures in this part of the state.
Windham co. Pomfret was first settled in 1686. Incorporated, 1713. Its Indian name was Mashamoquet. The surface of the town is pleasantly diversified by hills and valleys: from some of the elevations, delightful views are obtained. The soil is deep, strong and fertile, and, although somewhat stony, is very productive, and exceedingly well adapted for grazing. A considerable amount of the productions of the dairy are sent to market. The Quinnebaug and several of its branches water the town, and flourishing manufacturing establishments of cotton and other materials are springing up within its borders. Pomfret lies 40 miles E. by N. from Hartford, 7 N. from Brooklyn and 30 W. from Providence, R.I. Population, 1839, 1,981.
Pomfret contains the “Wolf Den,” celebrated for the bold exploit of the gallant Putnam, who resided here some years. He died at Brooklyn, in this state, in 1790.
The aperture to this den or cave, which is situated under a high ledge of rocks, is about two feet square. It is about forty feet in length, narrow, of uneven surface, and in no part of it can a man stand upright. The sides of this cave are of smooth rock, which appear to have been rent asunder by an earthquake. After making the necessary preparations for his venturous expedition, Putnam entered the den, and “having groped his passage in the horizontal part of it, the most terrifying darkness appeared in front of the dim circle afforded by his torch. It was silent as the house of death. None but monsters of the desert had ever before explored this solitary mansion of horror. He cautiously proceeding onward came to the ascent; which he slowly mounted on his hands and knees until he discovered the glaring eye-balls of the wolf, who was sitting in the extremity of the cavern. Started at the sight of fire, she gnashed her teeth, and gave a sudden growl. As soon as he had made the necessary discovery, he kicked the rope as a signal for pulling him out. The people at the mouth of the den, who had listened with painful anxiety, hearing the growl of the wolf, and supposing their friend to be in the most imminent danger, drew him forth with such celerity that his shirt was stripped over his head and his skin severely lacerated. After he had adjusted his clothes, and loaded his gun with nine buck-shot, holding a torch in one hand and the musket in the other, he descended the second time. When he drew nearer than before, the wolf assuming a still more fierce and terrible appearance, howling, rolling her eyes, snapping he teeth, and dropping her head between her legs, was evidently in the attitude and on the point of spring at him. At this critical instant he leveled and fired at her head. Stunned by the shock, and suffocated by the smoke, he immediately found himself drawn out of the cave. But having refreshed himself, and permitted the smoke to dissipate, he went down the third time. Once more he came within sight of the wolf, who appearing very passive, he applied the torch to her nose, and perceiving her dead, he took hold of her ears, and then kicking the rope, (still round his legs,) the people above, with no small exultation, dragged them both out together.”
Middlesex co. This is one of the most ancient towns in the state. Lord Say and Seal, Lord Brook and other gentlemen in England, dissatisfied with the government of Charles I., contemplating a removal to this country, procured, in 1632, of Robert, Earl of Warwick, a patent of all the country "which lies west from Narraganset river, a hundred and twenty miles on the sea coast; and from thence in latitude and breadth aforesaid, to the South Sea." In 1635, they appointed Mr. John Winthrop, a son of the governor of Massachusetts, to build a fort on Connecticut river, and appointed him governor for one year.
In the summer of 1639, Colonel George Fenwick, one of the patentees, arrived from England, and in honor of Lord Say and Seal, and Lord Brook, gave the tract about the mouth of the Connecticut river, the name of Saybrook. Colonel Fenwick superintended the affairs of the colony until 1644, when, his associates having relinquished the design of removal to America, sold the jurisdiction of Saybrook to the Connecticut colony.
The original limits of the town extended upon the east side of the river for several miles, and included a part of the town of Lyme. The township now comprises three parishes, viz: Saybrook, Westbrook, and Essex. Saybrook parish is the southeast section of the town. The Indian name for this place was Pataquasset. West of this is Westbrook parish, which was called by its Indian name Pochaug, until October, 1810. North of these two parishes is Pautapoug or Essex.
Saybrook is upwards of 7 miles in length from north to south, and averages more than 6 in breadth. The greater part of the township is uneven and stony. There are, however, some extensive levels, and tracts of rich soil, particularly in the vicinity of Saybrook village, in the southern part of the town. Some of the hills, near Connecticut river, have good granite quarries. There are several small harbors on the Sound, and on Connecticut river, at Saybrook point and Pautapoug. The bar at the mouth of the Connecticut is an impediment to navigation; vessels of a moderate draught are often obliged to pass it with part of their cargoes. The depth of water at the bar, at spring tides, is about twelve feet. Saybrook harbor is at the mouth of a handsome cove, making up from Connecticut river, and extending west almost to Saybrook village. It is often resorted to by coasters in bad weather. To this place the river is open through the winter, and it is here that vessels are frequently laid up, and goods deposited, while the river is frozen over above. Large quantities of fish are taken in this town. The shad fisheries are numerous, and a source of considerable wealth. Connecticut river shad are considered superior to any other in the country. White fish are taken upon the shores of the Sound, and are very valuable for the purposes of manure. They are afforded at a cheap rate; the lightest soils, enriched by them, have produced forty bushels of rye to the acre, and they have an equally advantageous effect upon the growth of corn and potatoes.
Saybrook village is 40 miles S.S.E. from Hartford, 34 E. from New Haven, and 18 W. from New London. Population, 1830, 5,018.
Besides the business in navigation, the fishery, ship building and quarrying of stone, there are many manufacturing establishments in the several villages in this town. Among the articles manufactured, are augers, gimlets, hammers, steel carriage springs, ivory and iron combs, ink stands, sand boxes, &c.
The Borough of Essex is about 7 miles from the mouth of Connecticut river, on the west side. It is a place of considerable commerce, navigation and ship building, with a population of about 1,000.
Ship building was commenced in 1740, on the Pochaug, and is still a leading branch of business in the place. There are at present about 15 vessels owned here, principally coasters. It is estimated that there are 1,200 inhabitants in its limits.
Saybrook point is a peninsula, circular in its form, and connected with the main land by a narrow neck, over which the tide sometimes flows. From this place to the fort, on the eastern extremity of the peninsula, the distance is about one mile. On the neck, a palisado was anciently formed from the river to the cove, to secure Saybrook point from any sudden incursion of the Indians. The soil on the peninsula is light and sandy, and the elevation of the highest part is about twenty feet. Being nearly destitute of trees and shrubbery, it presents to the beholder a bleak and naked aspect.
The land on the point was laid out with care, as it was expected to become the residence of great men, and the center of great business and wealth. It is said that Oliver Cromwell, with other men then equally distinguished, actually embarked in the Thames, to occupy this ground. Westward of the fort a square was laid out, on which it was intended houses should be erected for Cromwell, Pymm, Hasselrig, and Hampden, the most illustrious Commoners in the English annals, who were expected from Europe; while a square still further west was reserved for public uses.
About half way between the palisado was erected the first building designed for the collegiate school, since named Yale College. This institution was founded in 1700, and remained at Saybrook 17 years. The building was one story in height, and about eighty feet in length. Some remains of the cellar, "over which the ploughshare has passed," are still visible. Fifteen commencements were held at Saybrook, More than sixty young men were graduated, most of whom entered the ministry, and some of them became characters of distinguished usefulness and excellence. To educate young men of piety and talents for the ministry, was the leading design of this institution. It was desired by the founders and others, that the churches should have a public standard or confession of faith, agreeable to which the instruction of the college should be conducted. This led to the adoption of the Saybrook Platform, after the commencement in 1708.
David Gardiner, was the first white child born in Connecticut. The following was written upon a blank leaf of an old bible, in possession of John G. Gardiner, Esqr., of Gardiner's Island, N.Y.
In the year of our Lord, 1635, the 10th of July, came I, Lion Gardiner and Mary my wife from Worden, a town in Holland, where my wife was born, being the daughter of one Diricke Willemson deureant; her mother's name was Hachir, and her aunt, sister of her mother, was the wife of Wouter Leanerdson, old burger Muster, dwelling in the hostrade, over against the Bruser in the Unicorne's head; her brother's name was Punce Garretson, also old burger Muster. We came from Worden to London, and from thence to New England, and dwelt at Saybrook fort four years—it is at the mouth of Connecticut river—of which I was commander, and there was born unto me a son, named David, 1635, the 29th of April, the first born in that place, and 1638 a daughter was born, named Mary, 30th of August, and then I went to an island of my own, which I had bought and purchased of the Indians, called by them Monchonack, by us Isle of Wight, and there was born another daughter, named Elizabeth, the 14th September, 1641, she being the first child of English parents that was born there."
Saybrook is a very pleasant town, and full of interesting associations.
New London co. This town is situated at the eastern extremity of Long Island Sound at the S.E corner of the state, and on the line of Rhode Island. It contains an area of about six square miles. The land is rocky and uneven, but fertile and productive. A considerable amount of agricultural products is annually sent from this town to Nantucket and other places. It is watered by the Mystic and Paucatuck, considerable streams, on which are cotton, woolen and other factories. Stonington was first settled in 1649, and incorporated in 1658. Population, 1830, 3,401.
This place was bombarded by British ships during the revolutionary war, and again on the 10th of August, 1814, and gallantly defended.
The harbor of Stonington sets up from the Sound, opposite Fisher's island, and is well protected by an expensive Breakwater.
This place is noted for the commercial enterprise of its people. Large capitals are employed in the whale, seal, and cod fisheries. Five whale ships recently arrived, bringing each, on an average, 3,100 barrels of oil, and 25,000 pounds of bone. The sealing business in the Pacific Ocean, has been conducted here, very extensively, for many years, with great success. Many ships are built, and a large number of coasting vessels, and some in the West India trade, belong to this port. This place is accommodated with a marine rail way, and a light house at the entrance of the harbor.
Stonington Borough is located on a narrow point of land, extending into the Sound about half a mile. It was incorporated in 1801. It is handsomely laid out, is well built, and contains about 1,200 inhabitants. Many strangers visit this place in summer months to enjoy the marine air and delightful scenery. It lies 54 miles S.E. from Hartford, 12 E. from New London, and 62 E. from New Haven.
Stonington is an important point on the New York, Providence, and Boston Rail Road. The distance from New York to Brooklyn, on Long Island, across the ferry, is half a mile; from Brooklyn to Greenport, at the easterly part of Long Island, is 98 miles; from thence, across the Sound, to Stonington, 25; from Stonington to Providence, 47; and from Providence to Boston 41 miles. Total distance from New York to Boston, by this route, 211 1/2 miles.
Until the completion of the rail road on Long Island, passengers are conveyed to and from New York, daily, by safe and splendid steam boats.
Windham County, Ct.
Brooklyn is the county town. This county is uniformly hilly, yet no part of it is mountainous or very elevated. The prevailing soil is a primitive gravelly loam. The greatest portion of the county is stony and considerably rough, and the lands generally best adapted for grazing, and many sections afford some of the best dairy farms in the state. The Quinnebaug and Shetucket, with their branches, intersect this county, and afford many valuable water privileges for mills and manufacturing purposes. The valley of the Quinnebaug river comprises the best land in the county. The inhabitants of this county are more extensively engaged in the manufacturing business than in any other county in the state. Cotton and woolen goods are the principal articles manufactured.
Windham county originally belonged to the counties of Hartford and New London. It was incorporated as a county in May, 1726.
This county is bounded N. by Massachusetts; E. by Rhode island; S. by the county of New London, and W. Tolland county. It contains an area of about 620 square miles. Population, 1810, 28,611; 1820, 31,684; 1830, 27,077. Population to a square mile, 44. In 1837, there were 26,017 sheep in Windham county.
Hartford co. This most ancient town in Connecticut is situated on the west side of Connecticut river, 6 miles N. from Hartford. Population, 1830, 3,220. The surface of the town is generally level, having some extensive plains. The soil is various, and free from stone : some of it is light, but a large proportion of it is fertile, containing extensive tracts of rich meadow.
Farmington river passes through the town, and meeting the Connecticut, gives the town a good hydraulic power.
There are in Windsor 4 paper mills, 2 manufactories of cotton batting, and factories of satinet, Kentucky jean, wire, &c. The business in these manufacturing establishments is very considerable. At a place called Pine Meadow, at the commencement of the locks on the Enfield canal, a variety of ship and other timber is prepared for market. Pine Meadow is opposite to Warehouse Point, in East Windsor.
The centre village in Windsor is pleasantly extended on the banks of the Connecticut: it is well built, well shaded, and commands delightful prospects.
Poquonnuck village is a few miles N. from the centre. It is a manufacturing village, delightfully situated at the head of navigation on Farmington river.
" In 1631, Wahquimacut, an Indian sachem, living near Connecticut river, made a journey to Plymouth and Boston, and earnestly entreated the governors of each of the colonies to send men to make settlements on the river. He represented the fruitfulness of the country, and promised the English, that if they would make a settlement, he would annually supply them with corn, and give them eighty beaver skins.
" The governor of Massachusetts, although he treated the sachem and his company with generosity, paid no attention to his proposals. Mr. Winslow, the governor of Plymouth, judged it worthy of attention. It seems that soon after that, he went into Connecticut, and discovered the river and the adjacent parts. It appeared that the earnestness with which the sachem solicited the English to make settlements on the river, originated from the distressed state of the river Indians. Pekoath, the great sachem of the Pequots, was at war with them and driving them from the" country, and they imagined 'that if the English made settlements on the river, they would assist them in -defending themselves against their too powerful enemies.
"Governor Winslow of Plymouth, being pleased with the appearance of the country, having visited it, the Plymouth people made preparations for erecting a trading house, and establishing a small company upon the river. In 1633, William Holmes, with his associates, having prepared the frame of a house, with boards and materials for covering it immediately, put them on board of a vessel and sailed for Connecticut. Holmes landed and erected his house a little below the mouth of Farmington river, in Windsor. The house was covered with the utmost dispatch, and fortified with palisadoes. The Plymouth people purchased of the Indians the land on which they erected their house. This, governor Wolcott says, was the first house erected in Connecticut.
" In June, 1634, the Dutch sent Jacob Van Curter to purchase lands on the Connecticut. He made a purchase of about twenty acres at Hartford, of Nepuquash, a Pequot captain, on the 25th of October. Curter protested against Holmes, the builder of the Plymouth house. Some time afterwards, the Dutch governor, Van Twiller, of Fort Amsterdam, sent a reinforcement to Connecticut, in order to drive Holmes from the river. A party of seventy men under arms, with banners displayed, assaulted the Plymouth house, but they found it so well fortified, and the men who kept it so vigilant and determined, that it could not be taken without bloodshed. They therefore came to a parley, aud finally returned in peace.
A number of Mr. Wareham's people came, in the summer of 1635, to Connecticut, and made preparations to bring their families and make a permanent settlement. After having made such preparations as they judged necessary, they began to remove .their families and property. On the 15th of October, about sixty men, women and children, with their horses, cattle and swine, commenced their journey from Massachusetts, through the wilderness, to Connecticut river. After a tedious and difficult journey, through swamps and rivers, over mountains and rough grounds,which were passed with great difficulty and fatigue, they arrived safely at the places of their respective destination. They were so long on their journey, and so much time and pains were spent in passing the river, and in getting over their cattle, that after all their exertions, winter came upon them before they were prepared.
" About the beginning of December, provisions generally failed in the settlements on the river, and famine and death looked the inhabitants in the face. In their distress, some of them in this severe season attempted to go through the wilderness to the nearest settlement in Massachusetts. A company of thirteen, who made the attempt, lost one of their number, who, in passing a river, fell through the ice and was drowned. The other twelve were ten days on their journey, and had they not received assistance from the Indians, would all have perished. Such was the general distress by the 3d and 4th of December, that a considerable part of the settlers were obliged to leave their habitations. Seventy persons, men, women and children, were obliged, in the severity of winter, to go down to the mouth of the river to meet their provisions, as the only expedient to preserve their lives. Not meeting the vessels which they expected, they all went on board of the Rebecca, a vessel of about 60 tons. This vessel, two days before, was frozen in, twenty miles up the river; but by the falling of a small rain, and the influence of the tide, the ice became so broken, that she made a shift to get out. She however ran upon the bar, and the people were forced to unlade her to get her off. She was reladed, and in five days reached Boston. Had it not been for these providential circumstances, the people must have perished from famine.
"The people who remained and kept their stations on the river, suffered in an extreme degree. After all the help they were able to obtain, by hunting and from the Indians, they were obliged to subsist on acorns, malt and grains. The cattle, which could not be got over the river before winter, lived by browsing in the woods and meadows. They wintered as well, or better, than those that were brought over, and for which all the provision was made, and care taken, of which the settlers were capable. A great number of the cattle, however, perished. The Dorchester or Windsor people lost, in this species of property, about two hundred pounds sterling. Upon the breaking up of winter, and during the summer following, the settlers came in large companies, and the settlements at Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield were firmly established."
The first of the four following epitaphs is supposed to be the most ancient monumental inscription in the state.
Heere lyeth Ephraim Hvit,To the memory of Oliver Ellsworth, LL. D., an assistant in the Council, and a judge of the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut. A member of the Convention which formed, and of the State Convention of Connecticut, which adopted the Constitution of the U. States.—Senator and Chief Justice of the U. States ; one of the Envoys extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, who made the convention of 1800 between the U. States and the French Republic. Amiable and exemplary in all the relations of the domestic, social and Christian character. Pre-eminently useful in all the offices he sustained, whose great talents under the guidance of inflexible integrity, consummate wisdom, and enlightened zeal, placed him among the first of the illustrious statesmen who achieved and established the independence of the American Republic. Born at Windsor April 29th, 1745, and died Nov. 26, 1807.
sometimes Teacher to ye chyrch of
died September 4th,
__________Who when hee lived wee drew ovr vitall breath,
Who when hee died his dying was ovr death,
Who was ye stay of stale, ye chvrches staff,
Alas, the times forbid an epitaph.
vnder lyeth the body of Henry Wolcot,
a Maiestrate of this Ivrisdiction, who died ye 30th day
Anno Salvtis 1655, Ætatis 77.
the body of the Hon. Roger Wolcott, Esq.
of Windsor, who
for several years was Governor of the
Colony of Connecticut, died
Anno Salutis 1767,
Earth's highest station ends in " Here he lies ;
" And " dust to dust" concludes her noblest song.
The ancient boundaries of Windsor extended 46 miles in circumference, lying on both sides of the river. Within these limits there were ten distinct Indian tribes or sovereignties. In the year 1670 there was a large Indian fortress at Windsor, and nineteen natives to one Englishman : but another race has arisen:—
"The chiefs of other days are departed.
They have gone without their fame.
The people are like the waves of the ocean:
Like the leaves of woody Morven,
They pass away in the rustling blast,
And other leaves lift their green heads
New Haven co. The territory of this town belonged to the towns of New Haven and Milford, and was called the parish of "Amity," from 1739, until its incorporation in 1784. West river runs on the west side of West Rock, a range of mountains on the eastern border of the town. The surface of the town is hilly, but the soil is excellent for grazing, and much butter and cheese is annually taken to New Haven market, from which it lies 6 miles S.W. Population, in 1830, 844.
The regicides, Goffe and Whalley, had a number of places of concealment in the limits of Woodbridge, the most noted of which is Hatchet Harbor or the Lodge, near a beautiful spring, in a valley, about 7 miles from New Haven.
19th Century New England