of the Connecticut
; and the banks of that river were
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 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-
sor, and conducted with the natives a profitable commerce in furs.
intruders’ from Manhattan
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
with a commission from the proprietaries of that region, to erect a fort at the mouth of the stream—a
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
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,
that provisions could not arrive by way of the river; Trumbull
, i. App.