A Project of the Stanley-Whitman House & Central Connecticut State University

The First Official Pistol-maker of the United States during the Revolutionary Era

Author: Allen Kozloski The American Revolution and war with England resulted in the need for firearms. Individual artisans rushed to meet this demand. The colonial assembly passed legislation that reflected this demand: “A bounty of 5 shillings will be paid for each stand of arms ‘with a good lock’ made in the colony.” –Connecticut General Assembly 1775. (North, 1916, 174).…

Read More Read More

“Newgate: Connecticut’s First State Prison”

Author: Jessica Dabkowski In 1773, Connecticut’s General Assembly chose the copper mines in Simsbury to be the state’s first prison, renaming it Newgate Prison. During the Revolutionary Era, Newgate Prison housed not only political prisoners criminals, such as loyalists. The goal was to create a prison where escape was impossible. However, the overseers soon found out that Newgate was far…

Read More Read More

Sodomy Laws in Connecticut

Author: Nicole Fontaine It is hard to imagine that the “Blue” state of Connecticut once utilized the death penalty for homosexual behavior. In the era of Puritan law, colonial Connecticut and New Haven used England’s 1533 statute against homosexuality as an example. With this statute, homosexual acts became a capital crime (Crompton 277). It was not until the post-revolutionary period…

Read More Read More

The 1776 Election of Hartford’s Black Governor

Author: Chris Menapace From 1749 to 1855, Black communities around Connecticut elected leaders, named “Black Governors.” Little information is available on the men who held the title of Black Governor, but there is evidence of at least 27 individuals from 11 different towns, including Farmington.  This position of leadership among free and enslaved black people was not unique to Connecticut. …

Read More Read More

Daggett’s Charge: The Revolution in New Haven

Author: Ian Long On the morning of July 5th British ships with troops under the command of Major General William Tryon sailed into New Haven’s harbor, bringing the Revolutionary War to the Connecticut college town. A great deal of local legend has grown up around the events of that unusually hot summer day and no small figure in these stories…

Read More Read More

Paper and Provisions: Christopher Leffingwell and Connecticut during the American Revolution

Author: Amirah Neely Connecticut is often referred to as “the Provision State” and the nickname comes from the era of the American Revolution. During this time, Connecticut, the third smallest state, provided more food and cannons for Washington’s army than any other state. Its location between Boston and New York City was ideal for collecting, storing, and transporting goods. The pathways…

Read More Read More

Republican Motherhood and Sarah Pierce’s Litchfield Female Academy

Author: Emily McAdam Before the American Revolution, New Englanders considered learning to be masculine and education for girls unnecessary. However, women’s contributions to the political revolution as protesters, spies, nurses, camp followers, and household and business managers led to a social revolution that not many anticipated. Americans believed that a republic depended on a virtuous and informed citizenry, which gave…

Read More Read More

The Service of Africans from Connecticut in the American Revolution

Author: Kenneth Neal The American Revolutionary War era is consistently at the forefront of the consciousness of Americans, whether in touting the contributions of the founding fathers, or boldly asserting rights promised by the Constitution. The present day development of American Revolutionary War consciousness has been shaped by a selective use of the historical written record from the American Revolution…

Read More Read More

Building Peace after the Revolution: William Spratts and Old Gate Mansion

Author: Teresa Lewis   Today, many historians are attempting to revise Connecticut’s revolutionary history by presenting a more complete historical picture, including the plight of loyalists and prisoners of war in New England both during and after the conflict. During the war, many loyal Tories were imprisoned in jails located in central Connecticut, including one at Farmington (Gilbert, 287). One…

Read More Read More

Tale of Two Trumbulls: The Arts in Connecticut During and After the American Revolution

Author: Chelsea Marti Connecticut became known as the “Provision State” during the American Revolution because the colony was one of the main providers of supplies, such as guns and food, to the Continental Army. However, other than a surplus of guns and food, there was also a surplus of art coming out of this colony during this time, specifically in…

Read More Read More

css.php