top of page

Honoring The States: The 5th State - Connecticut...

Connecticut is the fifth state of the 13 original states to ratify the federal Constitution in 1788. Connecticut is the fourth most densely populated state in the US with over 730 people living in each square mile. Between 1701 and 1874, Connecticut had two state capitals - New Haven and Hartford. It is said that hamburgers were invented in this state, along with PEZ, The Frisbee, Polaroid cameras, and Lollipops. Connecticut is the pioneer and world leader in aerospace manufacturing and shipbuilding, as well as a global leader in investment and asset management. The capital is Hartford, the state bird is the American Robin, the state flower is the Mountain Laurel, and the state tree is the Charter Oak - the symbol for spiritual strength and the Love of freedom.

For 13,000 years before settlers arrived, indigenous peoples like the Pequots, Niantic, Nipmuc, Mattabesic, Mohegans, Paugussets, and Schaghticokes lived on the land that was eventually named Connecticut. Each of these tribes had their own territory, their own leader, and shared in language and culture together. In 1633, Windsor became Connecticut's first English to settle. They brought with them the smallpox epidemic and warfare, and the tribes eventually had to merge together. The tribes began to trade animal pelts for axes, hoes, mirrors, bells, and kettles. Trading eventually caused minor conflicts, and these grew and escalated into fighting. The English fought their indigenous allies to take control of the fir trading and the rich and fertile soil of the land, and after a death of an English man by the indigenous people, a war was declared against them. The Pequot War (the war of the swamp) was a massacre of the native tribe in 1637, and 90% of their land was dispossessed. There are records of 200-400 native men and women sold into slavery in the Caribbean, and some women and children were distributed to local households as "servants". This war was eventually won by the English, and the indigenous peoples had to seek new ways to survive on the land. In 1638, after the creation of the first Indian reservation in North America, the Treaty of Hartford (the first indigenous treaty) was signed. The remaining tribe was granted a 100 acre parcel of land outside of Bridgeport, but it was eventually taken over as the town grew and land disputes began. In 1666 and 1683, two reservations were established for the Pequot, and by 1762 there were only 140 remaining. In a 1910 census, only 66 Pequot were reported alive.

The Connecticut Colony wrote and adopted the Fundamental Orders document in 1639 to reflect independence and democracy. This led to Connecticut being nicknamed "The Constitution State". This colony grew to over 200,000 by the time the American Revolution began. From the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill to the Great Britain peace treaty signing, Connecticut's citizens fought in many battles. Connecticut was also known as the "Provisions State" due to the provisions supplied to farmers and manufacturers to help feed and equip the army and militia. The population and wealth grew through the 1700-1800's, and cities and seaports eventually developed into international companies. Windsor takes great pride in claiming to be the first English settlement of Connecticut and the start of the First Town Downtown movement that served to preserve and protect the Windsor name in history.

In 1788, there was a deadlock on who would become the 5th state to ratify the Constitution of the US. On one side, the larger states favored proportional legislative representation based on population, and other other side, smaller states advocated that all states have only one vote each. The "Connecticut Compromise" led to the January 9, 1788 ratification of the Constitution by Connecticut, as well as the two-house legislative system that we still have today.

6 views0 comments


bottom of page