Hartford City, Connecticut
Hartford, city, capital of Hartford co.,
Ct., and the semi-capital of the state Situated on the w. side
of Connecticut river, 50 miles from its mouth, at the head of
sloop navigation; and is in 41° 45' n. lat., and 70° 50' w. Ion.
from Greenwich, and 4° 15' e. Ion. from W. It is 34 miles N. N.
e. from New Haven; 44 n. w. from New London; 70 w. from
Providence; 100 w. s. w. from Boston; 97 s. e. from Albany; and
123 n. e. from New York; 336 W. The population in 1810, was
3,955; in 1820, 4,726; in 1830, 7,076; in 1840, 9,468. Engaged
in commerce, 575; in manufactures and trades, 1,081; learned
The compact part of the city is more than a mile in length, and
three fourths of a mile wide. The ground rises gradually from
the river and on the w. and s. becomes considerably elevated.
The streets are not laid out with great regularity. Main street,
which passes through the place in a n. and s. direction, about
60 rods from the river, is broad, and well built; and Little
river, which crosses the s. part of the city from west to east,
is crossed in this street by a stone bridge, 100 feet wide,
consisting of a single arch of 104 feet span, over 30 feet above
the bed of the river. Many of the streets have fine houses in
pleasant locations. Little river furnishes, in the city, some
valuable water power. Hartford is well situated to become a
considerable commercial capital. Connecticut r., which has been
made navigable for boats, 220 miles, to the mouth of Wells
River, in Newbury, Vt., opens an extensive country to it at the
north. A covered bridge, 1,000 feet long, and which cost about
$103,000, connects the city with East Hartford. A line of
steamboats connects the city with New York; and a railroad
extends 3S miles to New Haven.
Among the public buildings and institutions, is the state house,
a spacious and handsome edifice, fronting on Main street. The
legislature now meets here, on each alternate year, the odd
years at Hartford. The city hall is a large and commodious
building of the Doric order of architecture. Washington College
has an elevated and commanding position in the western part of
the city, has 2 large edifices, was founded in 1824, has a
president and 8 other professors or instructors, has had 175
alumni, of whom 42 have been ministers, has 80 students, and
6,500 vols, in its libraries; its philosophical apparatus is
quite complete, a cabinet of minerals and a botanical garden are
connected with the institution. It is under the direction of the
Episcopalians. The commencement is on the first Thursday of
August. The American Asylum, for the instruction of the deaf and
dumb, was the first establishment of the kind in the United
States, and has prepared teachers for other similar
institutions. The Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet, its first principal,
visited Europe, and particularly France, to obtain the requisite
information, and was eminently successful. In addition to funds
granted by the state, and by Individuals the United States
granted a township of land, in Alabama, consisting of upwards of
23,000 acres, which constitutes a permanent fund, and enables
the institution to afford instruction on very favorable terms.
It has a large and commodious building, in a commanding
situation, in the w. part of the city, surrounded by 8 or 10
acres of land belonging to the establishment. It has, usually,
about 140 pupils. The Retreat for the Insane, is on a commanding
eminence, a mile and a quarter s. from the state house, and was
opened in April, 1824. It has a spacious and fine stone edifice,
covered with cement, and, with the surrounding grounds, has a
handsome appearance. It is well conducted, and is one of the
best institutions of the kind in the United States. The
Athenaeum, an elegant edifice of the Gothic order of
architecture, is now being constructed, intended to accommodate
the "Young Men's Institute,'' "Historical Society," and Gallery
There are, in the city, 12 churches, 5 Congregational, 2
Episcopal, 2 Baptist, 1 Methodist, 1 Universalist, 1 Roman
Catholic There are 3 banks, with an aggregate cap. of over
$2,000,000, a bank for savings, 3 fire and marine insurance
companies, an arsenal, a museum, and 2 markets.
There were in 1840, 3 for commercial and 10 commission houses,
cap. $383,000; 245 retail stores, cap. $1,954,250; 6 lumber
yards, capital $76,000; machinery produced, $6,000; 5 furnaces,
cap. $54,000; precious metals produced, $27,000; various metals,
$121,500; silk, cap. $30,000; 1 tannery, cap. $500; manufac. of
leather, cap. $130,370; 1 pottery, cap. $12,000; 1 ropewalk,
cap. $6,000; 1 flouring m., 1 grist m., 2 saw m., cap. $43,000;
11 printing offices, 6 binderies. 1 daily, 10 weekly, and 3
semiweekly newspapers, 6 periodicals, employed 191 persons, cap.
$43,775. Total cap. in manufactures, $578,195. 1 college, 79
students, 5 acad. 535 students, 8 sch. 1,252 scholars.
The Indian name of Hartford was Suckiag. In 1633 a company of
Dutch traders came to Hartford, and built a house at the mouth
of Little river, which they called the Hirse of Good Hope, and
erected a small fort, in which they planted 2 cannon; they
opposed the first English settlement, but at length relinquished
Hartford w as first permanently settled in 1635, by the Rev. Mr.
Hooker, and a party of emigrants who travelled through the
wilderness, with their cattle, from Newtown, (now Cambridge,)
Mass., subsisting chiefly on the milk of their cows. It was
incorporated as a city in 1784.
Table of Contents
Source: A Complete Descriptive And
Statistical Gazetteer Of The United States Of America, By Daniel
Haskel, A. M and J. Calvin Smith, Published By Sherman & Smith,
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