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[395] of the Connecticut; and the banks of that river were
Chap IX.}
already adorned with the villages of the Puritans, planted just in season to anticipate the rival designs of the Dutch.

The valley of the Connecticut had early become an

object of desire and of competition. The earl of Warwick was the first proprietary of the soil, under a grant from the council for New England; and it was next held by Lord Say and Seal, Lord Brooke, John
1631 Mar. 19.
Hampden, and others, as his assigns.1 Before any colony could be established with their sanction, the people of New Plymouth had built a trading house at Wind-
1633 Oct.
sor, and conducted with the natives a profitable commerce in furs. ‘Dutch intruders’ from Manhattan,
1633 Jan. 8.
ascending the river, had also raised at Hartford the house ‘of Good Hope,’ and struggled to secure the
territory to themselves. The younger Winthrop, the future benefactor of Connecticut, one of those men in whom the elements of human excellence are mingled in the happiest union, returned from England
July 7.
with a commission from the proprietaries of that region, to erect a fort at the mouth of the stream—a
Oct. 8.
purpose which was accomplished. Yet, before his arrival in Massachusetts Bay, settlements had been commenced, by emigrants from the environs of Boston, at Hartford, and Windsor, and Wethersfield; and in the last days of the pleasantest of the autumnal months, a
Oct. 15, O. S.
company of sixty pilgrims, women and children being of the number, began their march to the west. Never before had the forests of America witnessed such a scene. But the journey was begun too late in the season: the winter was so unusually early and severe,
Nov 15
that provisions could not arrive by way of the river; Trumbull's Connecticut, i. App. No. i

1 Saml. Garton's Defence, 58,59 Winthrop, II. 136.

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