The Founding of the Connecticut Colony: A Historical Overview

The Connecticut colony was founded in 1636 by Thomas Hooker and other settlers, in Hartford. This move to the valley was part of a general move out of the Massachusetts colony, and was driven by the desire to establish a new government based on the will of the people. The settlers approved the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut”, a document that set out the fundamental principles of government of the colony. Soon after the colony was founded, the settlers went to war with the Pequot tribe, and eventually allowed themselves to be absorbed by a larger colony.

William Leete of Guilford served as governor of the New Haven colony before its merger into Connecticut, and was also governor of Connecticut after Winthrop's death in 1675. The province of Connecticut was an English colony in North America that existed from 1636 to 1776, when it joined the other 12 of the 13 colonies in rebellion against Great Britain and became the U. S. John Winthrop the Younger of New London played an important role in consolidating separate settlements into a single colony on the Connecticut River. Thomas Hooker drove 100 settlers with 130 head of cattle to the banks of the Connecticut River, where he established the Hartford colony.

The Old Lights succeeded in passing a Roaming Act that restricted itinerant Great Awakening ministers from preaching in a Connecticut city without an invitation. Puritans allowed dissident churches (Anglican and Baptist) to be created and dissident settlers could avoid a fine if they supported their own church. The colony was later the scene of a bloody war between settlers and Pequot Indians known as the Pequot War. 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”.

The Congregational Church remained the state church of Connecticut until 1818, when Connecticut adopted a new Constitution that disestablished it. Oliver Wolcott was a signatory to both the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation, representing Connecticut and serving as its nineteenth governor.