By Charles A. Wills
A historical past of Connecticut, from its early exploration and cost to the nation this day.
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Extra resources for A historical album of Connecticut
The three river towns of Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford joined together in 1636 as the Connecticut Colony. In 1639, the colony adopted a farsighted set of laws, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, as the basis of its government. The Fundamental Orders had their roots in a sermon preached by Thomas Hooker in 1638. " This democratic ideathat the people should have a say in how they are governedwas radical for the time. Drafted by Hooker and Roger Ludlow, a lawyer, the Fundamental Orders were adopted in a meeting at Hartford on January 14, 1639.
The royal charter of 1662 not only gave the colony large slices of modern-day Rhode Island and New York, but set its western border at the Pacific Ocean! Thus, border disputes with neighboring colonies were an ongoing problem. New York, for example, claimed the town of Greenwich, while Massachusetts was sure that Stonington, on Long Island Sound at the opposite end of the colony, was in its territory. Both these claims were finally decided in Connecticut's favor, but the colony never succeeded in gaining control of the vast territory granted by the charter of 1662.
Seeking the freedom to worship in their own way, a few of these ''separatists"or Pilgrims, as they came to be calledcrossed the Atlantic in 1620 to found Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Others remained in England, hoping to "purify" the English church from within; thus, these people were called Puritans. In 1630, however, thousands of Puritans began leaving England to settle in Massachusetts. In 1631, Waginacut, sachem of a Sequin tribe, visited the newly founded Massachusetts Bay Colony. Waginacut's people were at war with the Pequots, and the sachem wanted the Englishmen's help in the conflict.