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Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1836,
by JOHN W. BARBER and A. WILLARD, in the Clerk's office, of the District Court of Connecticut.
The power by which we recall past scenes, the rapidity with which they are brought in review before us, the faculty by which we can range "o'er creation," and dwell upon the past and future, demonstrates that man was indeed formed in the image of bis Creator, and destined for immortality. By the contemplation of the past, we feel our span of existence extended: we enter into the thoughts, hopes, and aspirations of generations before us, and in such moments hold communion with the departed spirits of antiquity.
Every thing relating to the history of the "Pilgrim Fathers,” is worthy of preservation. “The Puritans,” says a writer in no wise partial to them,“ were the most remarkable body of men, perhaps, which the world has ever produced............. They were men whose minds had derived a peculiar character from the daily contemplation of superior beings and eternal interests. Not content with acknowledging in general terms, an over ruling providence, they habitually ascribed every event to the will of the Great Being, for whose power nothing was too vast, for whose inspection nothing was too minute. To know him, to serve him, to enjoy him, was with them the great end of existence. They rejected with contempt, the ceremonious homage which other sects substituted for the homage of the soul...............On the rich and the eloquent, on nobles and priests, they looked down with contempt: for they esteemed themselves rich in a more precious treasure, and eloquent in a more sublime language; nobles by the right of an earlier creation, and priests by the imposition of a mightier hand!” These were the men to whom the world owes the preservation of civil and religious liberty, their enemies being judges; and it was men of this stamp that were the fathers of Connecticut.
Though small in territorial extent and population, Connecticut is second to none of her sister states in the virtue, genius and enterprise of ber sons. Considering the amount of her population, she has furnished a large proportion of distinguished men in almost every department of life, and some of the most powerful states in this Union, are largely indebted to her for the elements of their greatness and prosperity.
The early history of Connecticut in its various parts, has been ably written by Dr. Trumbull, the venerable Historian of his native state. To this work the author is deeply indebted, as he is also to the “Gazetteer of Connecticut and Rhode Island," by John C. Pease and John M. Niles, Esqs., a work of much labor and merit. For the account of the towns in Middlesex county, “ Field's Statistical Account,” has furnished much valuable information. The extracts from the most ancient newspapers were taken from files of the New Haven Journals, the earliest and only copies, it is believed, that are now in existence. These Journals are in the valuable library left by the late Col. William Lyon, a distinguished Antiquarian, and are now in possession of his son, William Lyon, Esq. a gentleman to whom the compiler feels himself under lasting obligations. To the various gentlemen in different parts of his native state, who have furnished information for this work, the Author would here return his grateful acknowledgments.
It may be thought, perhaps, by some, that an apology ought to be made for inserting many things contained in this book: Some things may be thought too trivial; others too marvellous to be recorded. With regard to the hrst, it ought to be borne in mind, that many things which at the first sight may appear to us to be of little moment, may hereafter be deemed of much importance. With regard to the latter objection, it may be observed, that the history of any people may be considered as defective, which
39 x 688 !
does not give an account of their religious belief and opinions, &c. however erroneous. Although in this age most of us may smile at what we consider the superstitions and weaknesses of our forefathers, yet it may be well to reflect that Sir Matthew Hale, Dr. Johnson, and others, men of the greatest intellect the world ever produced, lie under the same imputations. Compared with these men many of those who affect to smile at their opinions, are but mere children in understanding.
The numerous engravings interspersed through this work, were (with five or six exceptions) executed from drawings taken on the spot, by the author of this work. Before deciding upon the correctness of these representations, he wishes his readers to consider that the appearance of any place will vary considerably as it is viewed from different points: thus a north view will appear quite different froin one taken at the south. A person not being used to see a place from the point from which the drawing is taken, it may not at first sight be readily recognized. Before any view is condemned as being incorrect, it will be necessary in order to form a correct judgment, to stand on the place from whence the drawing was made.
In giving the notices of distinguished individuals, a limited number on could be inserted. In some instances, perhaps, the information obtained respecting some towns may have been defective. The history of some important towns may apparently not have received that attention to which they are entitled: the failure of obtaining the desired information, after the attempt was made, must be the apology. New Haven, Sept. 1836.
J. W. B.
Amid such a variety of facts, names and dates, it is not to be expected but that some mistakes and omissions may occur. The following is a list of all which have as yet been discovered.
Hartford is bounded N. by Windsor and Bloomfield, E. by Connecticut river, S. by Wethersfield and W. by Farmington and Avon.
Berlin, page 67, in Dr. Smalley's epitaph, for 1704, read 1734.
East Windsor.-Warehouse point is a considerable village on the Connecticut river, near the northern boundary of the town. Formerly the manufacture of Rye Gin, was an important branch of business in this place; of late years, considerable attention has been paid to the cultivation of tobacco. The place derived its name from a warehouse being built here by Mr. Pyncheon, of Springfield, about the period of the settlement of that place. It is 13 miles from Hartford.
Simsbury, page 101, line 5, after Windsor, read and Bloomfield.
Derby, page 198, since the account of Smithville was printed, it has received the name of Birmingham.
Southbury, page 254, 7th line from bottom, after N. W. read from New Haven.
Brooklyn, page 417.—The village contains 40 or 50 dwelling houses, and 4 or 5 mercantile stores. It is about 20 miles from Norwich, 40 from Hartford, and 30 from Providence.
Sharon, page 491, is 16 miles from Litchfield and 47 from Hartford.
306 Litchfield County, 452 Sharon,
380 New Haven County, 133 Wallingford,
72 North Branford, 242 | Waterford,
516 North Stonington, 345 Wolcott,
252 Windham County, 416
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES AND SKETCHES.
23 Granger, Gideon, 110 Hopkins, Doct. Lemuel,271
202 Fitch, Rev. James, 328
223 Ledyard, John, 329
81 Stiles, Ezra, D.D. 246 Griswold, Roger, 336
259 Occum, Rev. Sampson, 344