First European Encounter

The first known European exploration of inland Connecticut was a Dutch voyage up the Connecticut River in 1614 by Adriaen Block. In 1633, the Dutch established a fort and trading site at Hartford. The Dutch continued to show interest in Connecticut throughout the seventeenth century but developed no additional settlements in the colony. In 1632, Edward Winslow, governor of Plymouth Colony, began exploring the lower Connecticut River and established a trading post at Windsor in 1633. By 1634, settlers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony had begun the first permanent towns in Connecticut. Like the original British settlements in Massachusetts and Plymouth, these towns were founded by Puritans, usually individuals and families following dynamic religious leaders. These leaders, seeking their own vision of the Puritan faith, were often controversial. The town of Wethersfield, established in the fall of 1634 by John Oldham, was followed by Hartford, under the leadership of Thomas Hooker, in 1636. While still under the rule of Massachusetts Bay, these settlements sought recognition in the 1630s as an independent colony from the government in London. In 1639, leaders from Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford agreed on and drafted a system of governing themselves called the Fundamental Orders, a political document similar to the 1620 Mayflower Compact. Towns established along the coast in the 1640s operated under the same system of government. In contrast, New Haven was founded as an independent colony in 1638 by John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton. Unable to obtain a patent from the British Crown, New Haven remained politically vulnerable to rule by Massachusetts authorities. According to tradition, colonists in 1687 used a white oak tree in Hartford to hide the charter of Connecticut from Sir Edmund Andros; he had been ordered by the British Crown to revoke the charter and establish a dominion comprising all the New England colonies. The great oak, previously revered and used by native peoples as a council tree, became known as the Charter Oak. (Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut/Gift of the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Company/Bridgeman Art Library) Throughout the early 1630s, the English settlers came in constant contact with Native American tribes, especially the Pequot and Mohegan in eastern Connecticut. Both sides were concerned about the control of land and maintaining their separate cultures. Following a series of raids and failed diplomacy between the English colonists and the Pequot, a Pequot village on the Mystic River was attacked by the colonists, Narragansett, and Mohegan in 1637. Other attacks on Pequot villages continued throughout the summer. Surviving tribal members were absorbed into the Mohegan, Narragansett, and Niantic tribes or sold into slavery. Some Connecticut tribes moved northward, seeking alliances with the powerful Mohawk in New York and Vermont, while others continued to attempt to live alongside the English settlers. The Connecticut River region, with its relatively easy access to Canada, became the most fiercely contested land in Nanban trade – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Presentation “1450-17501450-1750 Satellite View of Europe … Term1 unit1part2

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