The Founding of Connecticut: A Historical Overview

Connecticut is a state in southern New England that has a mix of coastal cities and rural areas dotted with small towns. Mystic is famous for its Seaport museum filled with centuries-old ships and the Beluga whale exhibits at Mystic Aquarium. The state has a rich history, and its founding is an important part of that story. The Connecticut colony was founded in 1636 by Thomas Hooker and other settlers, in Hartford.

Unlike Plymouth, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, Connecticut Colony was founded by the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay. The settlers eventually allowed themselves to be absorbed by a larger colony and when they did they chose Connecticut. Under the influence of Thomas Hooker, who was a Puritan minister, the settlers approved the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut.” This document sets out the fundamental principles of government of the colony. Soon after the colony was founded, the settlers went to war with the Pequot tribe.

The settlers defeated the Native Americans and forced them to surrender. The charter of the colony covered both the Connecticut Colony and the New Haven Colony and allowed them to elect their own assembly, their own governor, and govern themselves with minimal interference. The Colony of Connecticut played an important role in establishing self-government in the New World with its refusal to hand over local authority to the New England Dominion, an event known as the Charter Oak incident that occurred at Jeremy Adams' inn and tavern. Reverend John Davenport and merchant Theophilus Eaton led the founders of the colony of New Haven, which was absorbed by the colony of Connecticut in the 1660s. He was a major general in the Connecticut Militia in the Revolutionary War in the service of George Washington. Today Connecticut is in the middle of the large urban-industrial complex along the Atlantic coast, bordered by Massachusetts to the north, Rhode Island to the east, Long Island Sound to the south and New York to the west. Connecticut history developed its own tradition when the state charter was secretly removed from the assembly and hidden in an oak tree that became known as the “Charter Oak.”Although there was no internal conflict during the American Revolution, that doesn't mean that the Connecticut Colony didn't feel its effects on its own soil.

Governor Andros led a company of soldiers from Boston to Connecticut and ordered them to surrender their statutes. The founding of Connecticut is an important part of American history. Thomas Hooker's influence on government principles, as well as his refusal to hand over local authority to New England Dominion, are key elements that shaped this state's history. The Charter Oak incident is also an important part of this story.