Brief History
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John Winthrop, Jr. Source: wikigallery.com
Connecticut became an official colony in 1662, while John Winthrop, Jr. was governor. At the time, the Connecticut colonists were worried that the Massachusetts or New York colonies would try take over Connecticut. Winthrop secured a charter from King Charles that stated Connecticut was its own colony. However, the Dutch were the first Europeans to set up camp in our colony. In 1633, they built a trading post along the Connecticut River after purchasing land from the Pequot Tribe (Native Americans). They traded with the Native Americans for furs, which where then shipped back to the Netherlands.



The Dutch soon had neighbors. In 1636, the first permanent settlers to the area came
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T. Hooker arrives in CT Colony. Source: freewebs.com
from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Reverand Thomas Hooker led the 100 settlers. They established their new life in the area we now call Hartford (one of our colonies' capital since 1665). Within a year, more than 800 other colonists from Massachusetts migrated to our land along the Connecticut River. More towns formed: Windsor and Wethersfield. In 1635, Saybrook Plantation was established at the mouth of the Connecticut River, where the river empties into the Long Island sound. Our expansive New Haven settlement was established by 1638. The town of New London was established in 1646 on land abandoned by the Pequot Tribe. In 1664 the town of Mistick was founded, also on Pequot land.


Much of the new land was "purchased" from the Mohegan Tribe by exchanging goods. As more and more towns sprang up, the Pequot Tribe wanted to take back the land the Mohegan’s "sold" to the colonists. The Native Americans felt land was free and should be shared. They did not know when they received 24 coats and other goods they were exchanging their right to live on the land. By 1637 there was a lot of fighting going on between the colonists and the Pequot Tribe, known as the Pequot Wars. The Pequot Tribe wanted to wipe out the settlements and towns established along the Connecticut River and take back the land. When killings happened the colonists fought back. One of the great military commander that helped lead our colony to victory was Major John Mason, from Windsor. Native American groups like the Niantics, Uncas, and Narragansets, joined the colonists to fight the Pequot Tribe because the Pequot Tribe were their enemies. The War almost wiped out the Pequot people.