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[283] undoubtedly were the first to discover and to occupy
Chap. XV.} 1633 Jan. 8.
The soil round Hartford was purchased of the natives, and a fort was erected1 on land within the present limits of that city, some months before the pilgrims of Plymouth colony raised their block-house at Windsor, and more than two years before the people of Hooker and Haynes began the commonwealth of Connecticut.
To whom did the country belong? Like the banks of the Hudson, it had been first explored, and even occupied, by the Dutch; but should a log-hut and a few straggling soldiers seal a territory against other emigrants? The English planters were on a soil over which England had ever claimed the sovereignty, and of which the English monarch had made a grant; they were there with their wives and children, and they were there forever. It were a sin, said they, to leave so fertile a land unimproved.2 Their religious enthusiasm, zeal for popular liberty, and numbers, did not leave the issue uncertain. Altercations continued for years; but they had no dignity, for they were followed by no result. The Dutch fort long remained in the hands of the Dutch West India Company; but it was surrounded by English towns. At last, the swarms of the English in Connecticut grew so numerous, as not only to overwhelm the feeble settlement at Hartford, but, under a grant from Lord Stirling, to invade the less doubtful territories of New Netherland.3 In the second year of the government of William Kieft,
the arms of the Dutch on the east end of Long Island were thrown down in derision, and a fool's head set in their place.4

1 Albany Records, II. 157.

2 De Vries's Voyages.

3 Winthrop, i. 112, 113. Stuyresant, in Hazard, II. 262. Bradford, in Hutchinson's Mass. 416, 417. Trumbull, i. 21. Bradford, in Prince. Compare the argument of G C Verplanck, in N. A. Review, VIII. 78, &c.

4 Records, II. 82, &c.

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