undoubtedly were the first to discover and to occupy
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
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.
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
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