New England Colonies
THE FOUR NEW ENGLAND COLONIES INCLUDE:
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
Connecticut was originally settled by Dutch fur traders in 1614. They sailed up the Connecticut River and built a fort near present-day Hartford. The first English settlers arrived in Connecticut in 1633 under the leadership of Reverend Thomas Hooker. They were Puritans from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. After their arrival, several colonies were established including the Colony of Connecticut, Old Saybrooke, Windsor, Hartford, and New Haven. Hartford quickly became an important center of government and trade. Much of land settled by the colonists was purchased from the Mohegan Indians. The Pequot tribe, however, wanted the land. Soon, violence erupted between settlers and the Pequot Indians in 1637. In what came to be known as the Pequot War, The Pequots were systematically massacred by not only the settlers, but by Mohegan and Naragansett Indians that had previously warred against them. Pequot lands were subsequently divided among the settlers and other tribes. After the Pequot War, Thomas Hooker led in the drafting of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut in 1639. The document was a plan for government and is sometimes called America’s first Constitution. John Haynes was then chosen as Connecticut’s first governor. Finally, in 1662, Connecticut was issued a royal charter, which gave the colony a legal basis and approval from the King. The average population was 237,946 people and an estimated 2,764 slaves.