The Connecticut Colony

Freedom of religion and government! It's all in Connecticut!

Why was Connecticut founded?

The settlers in the New England Colonies wanted to keep their family together and have religious freedom. Some people came to New England to make money, but there weren't many of them.

Who founded it? When? And where?

Thomas Hooker and the other 100 that came with him in 1636. He led them to the Connecticut River along with 130 heads of cattle where he set up the town of Hartford. Thomas Hooker became the governor of the colony two years later.


Geography

In Connecticut, there are:


  • hills
  • forests
  • thin, rocky soil
  • narrow plains
  • The Connecticut River
  • long, snowy winters
  • short but warm summers


Economics

New England colonists consisted of many farmers and fishing groups. They made their own clothes and shoes. The people grew much of their own food. Crops like corn and wheat grew all over, and much was shipped to England.


Government

In 1639, many pilgrims were being punished for their religious beliefs. They left Massachusetts and went the area that is now Connecticut. There, they drafted the first written constitution which was the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. They called for a meeting of elected representatives from each town to make laws. It is thought of as the first written constitution in North America.


Religion

Most colonists went to church in a building in the center of the town called the meetinghouse. The services usually lasted most of the day. The majority of the colonists in New England were Puritans, who led strict lives on a daily basis.


Town Life

A lot of the town consisted of artisans, shopkeepers, and merchants. Which includes blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and furniture makers.

Shops sold window glass, iron tools, and cloth. They also sold Western Indian products such as sugar and molasses. In exchange for these goods, shop keepers traded them for crops, shingles, and potash. They also sent products to the West Indies to exchange for molasses, sugar, and gold coins.


Other New England merchants had fishing boats and took cod to the West Indies and southern Europe, and many of them became rich.

Farm Life

Most people in New England were farmers. After marriage, English women could not own property or vote. Farm women spun yarn from wool and knitted sweaters and stockings. They made candles and soap, and churned milk into butter.

When sons married, fathers gave them gifts of land, livestock, or farming equipment. Daughters received household goods, farm animals, and cash. Most farming families in Connecticut lived in wooden houses because there were many trees.

New England colonist farmers grew corn and raised cows and pigs. The corn was food for humans while the corn stalks and leaves were food for the animals.

Many families traded with each other. Families worked together to make yarn, create quilts, and shuck corn.