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Joseph A. Montagna
Connecticut is currently a place of gently sloping hills and valleys, but this has not always been the case. Many thousands of years ago, Connecticut was a place of very steep mountains which rose many thousands of feet. The rains were the major force which began to erode the rock and soil of these mountains. Fast-moving water flowed to the lowlands carrying with it eroded sand and rock. This material was deposited in thick layers in low-lying areas. A great crack in the land, called a fault, developed in a north-to-south configuration across the state. Consequently, a huge block of rock dropped down to form the beginning of the great Connecticut Valley.
As the years passed, the rains continued to wash rock and sand down from the higher lands to the valley. Lava flowed to the surface through the cracks in the original fault and through many newly formed cracks in the earth’s surface. Today one can find many layers of sand, gravel, and clay intermixed with layers of cooled lava, called traprock.
The next tectonic force to change the shape of Connecticut’s landforms was the enormous pressure that was building up on both sides of the valley. This force was squeezing the material into the valley from both sides. But the rock in the valley was very hard rock; it wouldn’t crumble under the pressure of this enormous force. Instead, the rock broke in several places, causing one piece to slide over another. Gradually, the erosive power of running water wore away the softer material that was in the valley, leaving behind the harder shale and traprock. After thousands of years of erosion, the traprock and other hard rock that had become exposed formed a series of long hills. In the New Haven area, two of these hills are called East Rock and West Rock.
The remainder of the state is made up of granite, a very old and hard type of rock. As the rivers and streams wore away these areas, steep slopes and valleys were produced, contrasting with the gentle slopes of the central valley. One can easily view these differences by comparing the valley of the upper Housatonic River with the Connecticut Valley. Another type of rock exists in Connecticut that is made up of limy materials that were deposited in the ocean which once covered this area. This deposit lies in the Western section of the state from Danbury to Massachusetts.
The last major event in the geologic history of Connecticut was the ice age. Many thousands of years ago the climate began to get colder and the winters became more severe and longer than normal. Eventually the temperature did not rise enough to allow the snow to melt. The snow piled up higher and higher. The lower levels of this snow began to turn to ice under the enormous pressure. In the southern areas of Connecticut, the thickness of the glacier was believed to have been around 1,000 feet; but in the northern areas, it is believed to have been as much as two miles. As stated before, the lower levels were under enormous pressure from the weight of all that snow and ice. The ice on the bottom squeezed out from underneath and caused the glacier to move. The ice moved slowly southward over the hills and valleys; all of Connecticut was covered, and the edge of the ice reached as far south as Long Island. The ice pushed rock and other material ahead of it. In some instances, rocks as large as houses were frozen into the bottom of the glacier. The glacier acted like coarse sandpaper, smoothing down the rock over which it passed.
Approximately ten thousand years ago, the glacier began to melt. As it melted, it deposited much rock, sand, and clay all over Connecticut. One can see many enormous boulders throughout the state. One such boulder can be found in the woods at the West Rock Nature Center. These huge boulders are called “erratics.” They are the rocks that were carried along by the glacier. Although they appear tremendous in size to us, they were mere “pebbles” in comparison to the glacier.
When all of the ice and snow melted away, Connecticut’s surface was devoid of any kind of life. The state had been stripped of its plant and animal life by the cold climate which had prevailed for thousands of years. Eventually, seeds found their way to the area. By wind, water, and animals, seeds from neighboring regions that were not affected by the ice were deposited over the state. In a few thousand years, Connecticut came back to life.
The present landforms of Connecticut are a result of the aforementioned forces that had been at work. Connecticut has four regions in the western and eastern sections of the state. Bear Mountain, in the northwest section, is the highest point in Connecticut at 2,315 feet. Burley Hill, in the northeastern section, is the second highest point at 1,315 feet. The state is approximately 100 miles east to west, and approximately 50 miles north to south, covering approximately 5,000 square miles of area.1 (See figures 1-5 for further information on above.)
The Indians who settled in Connecticut had migrated in series bringing four distinct groups of Algonkians. The Delaware Indians pushed back and/or mingled with the Algonkians, who were already living in this area. Over a period of time, people from earlier migrations formed affiliations with each other. This led to further localization of smaller tribes scattered throughout this area. The Pequots were the last migrating indins settling in Connecticut in 1600. Each Indian group can be identified and placed in the proper location on a map of Connecticut. But it is important to realize that because of friendly and unfriendly relations between various groups of Indians it is impossible to define exact boundaries of each tribe.
When discussing the Indians of the valley region, confusion arises. Some experts group them with the Wappinger Confederacy, and others refer to them as a separate and distinct group. The Dutch called them the Sequin, or River Indians. For the purpose of this unit, we will distinguish them as a separate group.
The western part of the state was occupied by two groups, the Mahican, who occupied a small section of the northwest and much of New York, and the Mattabesec-Wappinger Confederacy. The latter was a loosely knit affiliation of smaller, more localized tribes, which had settled along several rivers in that section of the state.
One more event which occurred before the arrival of settlers tipped the balance of Indian influence over territories. The Pequot Conquest extended the fierce influence of the Pequot tribe over more than half of the state. Figure 6 should be of great help in illustrating this situation.
The Indian diet was a varied one; they ate deer, moose, raccoon, rabbit, squirrel, otter, and beaver. With their spears and nets, many of them feasted on fluke, lobster, bluefish, salmon, bass, and cod. Turkey, duck, pheasant, owls, and crows were also a part of the Indian’s diet. Occasionally, seals were hunted for food and skins. The preparation of these foods was as varied as the kinds of food. Some of it was boiled, roasted, or dried in the sun; and some of it was smoked and preserved.
In addition to decorating their clothing, they often decorated themselves. Many would wear feathers and seashells in their hair, paint their faces and other parts of their bodies. Some were tattooed by scratching themselves with a sharp object and adding a dye to the open sore. Earrings, necklaces, and bracelets were commonly worn by male and female.
Using little more than a stone ax and muscle, an Indian brave would make, in several weeks, a dugout canoe. The dugout canoe was the simplest and most widely used type of boat . Birchbark canoes were also used, but were not as common as the dugout. The birchbark canoe was made by forming a “skeleton” of a canoe with saplings, and covering the skeleton with bark. There are also reports that some Indians made use of a birchbark sailboat.
The Indians who lived near the shore also made extensive use of shells as tools. Clamshells and the shells of horseshoe crabs were used for digging and skinning animals.
Wood was a commonly used material for making utensils. Maple wood was used to make bowls and spoons. They used wood to make pipes with beautiful carvings on them. The bark of trees was also used to make containers for holding liquids or for making arrow quivers.
In 1603, under the rule of James I of Scotland, the Puritans found no relief from persecution. Under his successor, Charles I, conditions had become so intolerable that a group of people migrated to the New World; they established Plymouth Colony. It was at this time that Thomas Hooker, the “Father of Connecticut,” was a lecturer in the Anglican Church. He was a powerful and popular preacher whose talents became widely known. Hooker was constantly warned by superiors to forego his Puritan practices. Finally, he fled from England in late 1629 and went to Holland where he did not remain for long. The promise of a fresh start in the New World caused him, in 1633, to return to England to settle his affairs and then sail for New England. While in England he was nearly discovered and arrested. By disguising himself, Hooker was able to make his departure on board a ship bound for New England, the Griffin.
Thomas Hooker was in good company with John Cotton, an outstanding preacher, and John Stone, who later became his assistant. The 200 passengers on board the Griffin were preached to very often by these three leaders. On September 4, 1633, they arrived at Boston and were welcomed by the residents there. Hooker became the pastor of the congregation at Newtown (Cambridge), and Stone became the teacher of the congregation.
In a relatively short period of time, Thomas Hooker and his congregation wished to remove themselves from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and settle in the rich lands of the Connecticut River Valley, not because of religious differences, but because living conditions were becoming cramped in the Boston area. The land around the Connecticut River was spacious enough for cattle raising and agriculture. Some people believed that Hooker and Cotton, both being strong leaders, needed their own sphere of influence. Debate over the request for removal from the Boston area went on from 1634 to the time of approval in 1635.
What was the attraction of Connecticut? In 1614, Adriaen Block, a Dutch explorer and trader, sailed up the Connecticut River. The Dutch set up trading posts on the river in an area that is now Hartford. In the 1620’s, the Dutch had approached the residents at Plymouth with a venture for settling Connecticut. The English refused because they were suspicious of the Dutch. Indians from Connecticut, who were seeking protection from the fearsome Pequots, traveled to Plymouth Colony to encourage settlers to come to Connecticut. In 1632, Edward Winslow of Plymouth Colony made an exploratory trip to Connecticut. The site he selected for a settlement was probably the area that is now Windsor. Windsor was actually founded in 1633 by William Holmes who named the settlement Dorchester. By 1635, conditions were right for migration to Windsor by others from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. However, an early and severe winter forced many from Dorchester back to the safety of their former colony. Those few that stayed survived by hunting for food with the aid of the Indians. Meanwhile, Watertown (Wethersfield) was settled.
Legal questions arose about the right to set up government in the various settlements which caused Hooker and his company to delay their departure. Once this question was settled, by appointing John Winthrop, Jr. as governor of the colony of Connecticut, Hooker and company were on their way. The lands of Connecticut were under the auspices of the Warwick Patent grantees, and the Massachusetts General Court would serve as the governing body. In March 1636, the General Court authorized eight men who resided there to “carry on judicial duties, issue decrees, and even wage war.” Meanwhile, Saybrook was settled, first as a fort, later becoming a settled town.
In June of 1636, Thomas Hooker and 100 people, 160 head of cattle, and a number of goats and swine left Newtown for Connecticut. They settled an area they called Newtown (now Hartford). The trip took them more than two weeks, traveling ten miles a day. Narrow Indian footpaths forced them to walk in a single file, one reason for the slow pace.
The Pequots sought an alliance with the Narragansets in order to exterminate the white settlers in Connecticut. They had already undertaken a campaign to wipe out those who lived in the English fort at Saybrook. The authorities of the Massachusetts Bay Colony sent Roger Williams to negotiate with the Narragansets and convince them not to join with the Pequots. He may very well have been the decisive factor in preventing this alliance.
In April 1637, a party of Pequots traveled up the Connecticut River near Wethersfield. They attacked a number of settlers there, killing six men and three women. When the Indians canoed back down the river, they displayed the clothing of their victims as they passed the Saybrook fort. As a result of this, John Winthrop was urged by many to undertake an action against the Pequots.
On May 1, 1637, the General Court at Hartford ordered an engagement against the Pequots. The three river towns offered men, ammunition, and provisions for this undertaking. Captain John Mason was put in charge of this offensive force of approximately ninety men. Uncas, chief of the Mohegans, offered the help of himself and 80 of his braves in this endeavor. His motives were to overthrow Sassacus, the chief of the Pequots, and to take over the dominion of Miantonomo, the chief of the Narragansets. This force was later joined by at least twenty Narragansets. After a fierce engagement, many Pequots were killed; some were able to escape alive. Those that survived blamed their defeat on their chief, Sassacus. However, Sassacus was able to retain control and wanted to make a last stand and fight. But he could not convince his men to remain. They fled and headed westward toward the Hudson.
This fighting expedition of English and Indians were joined by at least 200 additional men from Massachusetts; together they pursued the fleeing Pequots westward. The Indians traveled slow because women, children and elderly were with them. Finally, in a swamp in Fairfield, the English surrounded the Pequots. Mason permitted Thomas Stanton, a member of his force who knew the Indian language, to proceed into the swamp to convince the Pequots to allow their women, children, and elderly to leave. Stanton went in and returned after a short while, leading about 200 Pequot women and children out of the swamp. In a fierce battle, all but sixty or seventy Indians were killed. Those who fled found no refuge among their Mohawk brothers who either killed them, or returned them to Hartford. Many of the survivors were given to Uncas and Miantonomo to become their subjects. Some of the Pequot warriors refused to live in such disgrace,; they settled in parts of Connecticut for a short time, but were met again by Stone’s fighting force and were finally exterminated.
No records show whether some of the atrocities committed by the settlers were real or contrived. The escalation of hostilities was inevitable in light of the events that led up to the elimination of the Indians. Revenge for the killing of innocent settlers seemed to be the only course of action to take. The people were controlled by events. One attitude prevalent in the l7th century was that any people of the Christian faith had the Divine Right to land which was occupied by “savages who worship false gods.” Certainly, this conception justified the events which occurred. One cannot attempt to justify 17th-century ideas with 20th-century attitudes.
The Fundamental Orders became the true beginning of a government in Connecticut. Written and adopted in 1639, the Fundamental Orders called for a General Court to convene in April and September. The April session was held to select six magistrates and a governor. Each town,through their deputies on the General Court, had the right to nominate two choices for governor. There were three basic ideas that were written into the Fundamental Orders: 1) the separation of church and government, 2) no taxes that were not approved by the people of Connecticut, and 3) the freemen of the colony would have the right to elect the governor and the magistrates. Meanwhile, Connecticut continued to grow.
Massachusetts, but none was suitable to them. They had intended to settle in Massachusetts, but since many of them were merchants in London, they sought a site with a harbor to enable them to continue in trade.
Word had traveled quickly about the rich land of an area called Quinnipiac (New Haven). In August 1639, Eaton and others went to inspect this area. Some of Eaton’s party stayed there for the winter, while Eaton returned north to report to his followers about the desirability of the area. In March 1638, Eaton, Davenport, members of their original company, and new followers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony left for their new home, New Haven. They arrived there on April 24, 1638.
The Indians there, the Quinnipiacs, were friendly. They were willing to sell the land to Eaton and Davenport; but they reserved hunting and fishing rights on these lands. Monauguin, the local sachem, sold the land which stretches from the coast of what is now Milford to Guilford, and inland to include what is now Bethany, Cheshire, Meriden, Orange, Prospect, Wallingford, and Woodbridge. The cost was “twelve coates of English trucking cloath, twelve alcumy spoons, twelve hatchetts, twelve hoes, two dozens of knives, twelve porengers, and four cases of French knives and size.” In a later agreement in 1645, the Indians received a reservation of more than a thousand acres in the East Haven—Morris Cove area. The indins and the settlers were always on friendly terms, which was unusual for the time. During this initial period of settlement, the people lived in shelters dug in the ground. This was a far cry from the dwellings they were accustomed to in their former affluent lives in London. But, this would soon change.
It was in the summer of 1638 that John Brockett, a surveyor, was placed in charge of plotting the town land. The town plot was laid out in nine squares. The central one was the marketplace; later it became the New Haven Green. (See Figure 8)
The next task was to set up a form of government. In June 1639, they met to organize their church. The people voted that the Scriptures provided “a perfect rule” for the governing of men. They chose twelve men who would select seven as the founders of the permanent church and state. These were known as the “seven pillars.” They were: Davenport, Eaton, Jeremy Dixon, Thomas Fugil, Matthew Gilbert, Robert Newman, and John Ponderson.
In October 1639, the “seven pillars” called to order the first meeting of the civil government. Their first piece of business was to deal with the murder of an English settler by a Nepaupuck Indian. Indians had witnessed the deed and had testified. The Indian was sentenced to be executed by beheading. The head was displayed in the marketplace the next day.
The plantation of New Haven gave birth to the new colonies of Milford, Guilford, Branford, Stamford, and Southold on Long Island. Though a number of them had been independent colonies at first, ultimately they became a part of the New Haven Colony. At a General Court meeting on October 27, 1643, the new colony was officially organized. Theophilus Eaton was elected the Governor of the New Haven Colony.
In May 1643, the colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven sent representatives to Boston to draw up a formal union for the mutual defense and benefit of the members. The New England Confederation faced a serious problem at the outset. A disagreement between Uncas, the Mohegan chief, and Sequasson, the chief of another tribe, had taken place. Uncas attacked Sequasson and some of his braves, killing a number of them. Miantonomo, chief of the Narragansets, sought to avenge this attack upon his friend, but Uncas was victorious once again. Uncas brought Miantonomo to the white settlers at Hartford. They in return gave him back to Uncas, who executed him. The Confederation served its purpose for a number of years to come, especially during the period of strained relations between the English and the Dutch settlers in the area.
As might be expected of people of strict Puritan beliefs, the colony had strict standards of behavior for its members. Any behavior which did not meet these strict standards was met with punishment that came swiftly and was public. The Puritans even had a strict code of behavior for bachelors. They were required to take up residence in an approved household and be under the supervision of the master of that house. Naturally, drunkenness and infidelity were dealt with in a severe manner, usually by whippings and public scorn and ridicule.
The ascension of Charles II to the throne in 1660 was of great concern to the Puritans in Connecticut, for they could no longer rely on the Puritan influence in England that they had enjoyed under Cromwell. They faced the grim fact that their colonies had no legal foundation. A meeting was called, at which time it was resolved to send emissaries to England and petition Charles II for a charter. Gov. John Winthrop, Jr. was the logical choice for this mission. He arrived in England in September 1661. Winthrop and his party were successful in procuring a charter from King Charles. This was good news for Connecticut, but the Puritan colony of New Haven was gravely concerned because the Charter set Connecticut’s southern boundary at Long Island Sound.
Meanwhile, two of the men who had signed the death warrant of Charles I, Colonels William Goffe and Edward Whalley, had to flee to Boston to escape being captured. Pursued by agents of the crown, they fled to New Haven to seek refuge. A friend of theirs, Richard Sperry, took them to the top of West Rock where they stayed for nearly a month. They were protected from the elements in the famous “Judges Cave.” A third regicide, Colonel John Dixwell, under the alias of James Davids moved to New Haven where he lived a normal life.
The concealment of the regicides in New Haven did not win any favors for the colony. New Haven was growing increasingly weaker and poorer. Many towns in the New Haven Colony were growing restless over this precarious situation. Greenwich, Southold, and Stamford chose to become a part of Connecticut. Connecticut wanted to incorporate New Haven into the colony under the new charter. However, New Haven strongly resisted this move. Pressure was exerted by Massachusetts on both the Connecticut colony and New Haven Colony, because this internal struggle was attracting much unfavorable attention in England.
New Haven became poorer as more of its towns seceded to become a part of Connecticut. In 1665, New Haven became a part of Connecticut.
Some of New Haven’s inhabitants left Connecticut for New Jersey to establish a new “Bible State” there. In November of 1668, John Davenport left New Haven to take a position in a church in Boston. He died there after one year. New Haven did not “disappear” after its absorption into Connecticut. It was co-capital with Hartford until 1875, and its last governor, William Leete, served as governor of Connecticut from 1676-1683.
During the period between the Pequot War and 1667, relations with the Indians of New England grew tense again. Many of the old sachems, who were finally on good terms with the white settlers, had died off. The new leaders, seeing their lands slowly whittled away, sought to reverse this trend. Over the years, missionary efforts to convert the Indians to Christianity were not successful. In 1662, Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags of eastern Rhode Island and Plymouth, died. His son, Philip, was now the sachem. He was bitter towards the whites for taking land and trying to disarm the Indians of his tribe.
In Swansea, Massachusetts, three Indians of Philip’s tribe were hanged after being convicted of murdering a Christian Indian. In June 1675, war broke out between the Indians and the settlers. The Wampanoags and the Narragansets united in an effort to rid their land of the white settlers. At first, the fighting was localized. Gradually, Connecticut was drawn into the war which became known as King Philip’s War. Human sacrifices were numerous on both sides; the fighting ended in the summer of 1676. Governor Leete pledged peace with the Indians, and promised sufficient lands for them. In other New England colonies, the treatment of the Indians was more severe. Many of them were sold into slavery.
In 1674, Connecticut was again besieged. This time it was threatened by the new governor of New York, Major Edmund Andros. Andros sent a letter to John Winthrop stating that Charles II gave him claim to all the land west of the Connecticut River. He demanded that this land be surrendered to him. Connecticut refused, citing the charter of 1662 which gave them claim to that land. Andros’ contempt for Connecticut was actually caused by Connecticut’s encouragement of the Long Islanders’ rebellion against the rule of the Duke of York. On July 8, 1675, a number of armed ships under the command of Major Andros appeared off the shore of Saybrook. Shortly thereafter, Andros was granted permission to come ashore to talk with the leaders of that community. Seeing that he would meet with strong military resistance if he attacked, Andros left without resolving anything.
The English throne was moving to consolidate the colonies of New England in order to combat the influences of a new colonial power in America—France. In 1684, Massachusetts lost its charter due to violations of the English acts of trade. It was now under direct royal control.
Connecticut was engaged in boundary disputes with Rhode Island at the time. King Charles II undoubtedly wanted to consolidate Connecticut and Rhode Island into New England. But Charles II died in 1685, at which time his brother James II, came into power. King James wanted to make Connecticut a part of New York. Major Andros under orders from James II stating that Connecticut’s charter was to be surrendered, tried to force Connecticut to surrender. Connecticut again resisted.
On October 22, 1687, Major Andros wrote a letter to Governor Treat saying that he intended to come to Hartford to take control of the government. The Assembly was called together to meet Andros when he arrived. Andros was led to the governor’s chair by Gov. Treat. Andros began to read the king’s orders for the annexation of Connecticut and demanded that the charter be surrendered at this time. It was then that the famous “Charter Oak Incident” occurred. The charter disappeared. Even though the fact was that Connecticut was now a part of New York, this act of defiance was symbolic of Connecticut’s protest to the course of events.
Rule under Andros was unbearable. His policies included exorbitant fees, restriction of freedom of the press, and an advance filing of bonds for all intended marriages. But rule in England under James lI was also intolerable. Because the King was a Catholic, he ordered all members of the clergy of the Anglican Church to read a Declaration of Iindulgence. They refused. His unpopularity reached its highpoint when he tried seven bishops for seditious libel. Public opinion forced the acquittal of these men. When a son was born to James II, assuring a Catholic heir to the throne, an appeal was made to the Protestant ruler of the Netherlands, William, and his wife, Mary, to take over the throne. James fled to France, and open rebellion erupted in the colonies when news of these events reached them. The government was restored to the form it had had prior to the rule of Andros.
Finally, each concept of this unit has been separated into separate lessons. The amount of time necessary to complete each concept will vary from teacher to teacher, and from class to class. This arbitrary separation was not intended to be strictly adhered to by those using it. The number of lessons that are required to complete the unit of study is flexible, too.
Concept Where is Connecticut located?
Performance Objective Given a map of the world or the U.S., and/or a globe, the student will be able to locate Connecticut.
- 1. Use a large class map of the United States to point out the location of Connecticut. Do the same with a world map and a globe.
- 2. Discuss the boundaries of the state. Ask that the students use geographical terms in their references to the large class map. For instance, if a student replies that New York is on the left of Connecticut, correct the student by replying that New York lies west of Connecticut. Those who are not in the habit of using the terms will soon catch on.
- 3. Pass out the blank outline map of the northeast (Fig. 7). Have each student locate and label the following: Long Island Sound, Long island, Block Island, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut River, Connecticut River Valley.
- (If crayons are available to everyone, it is a good idea to have the students color in each state a different color and color the water blue.)
- 4. Have each student make a folder in which all of the work on this unit will be kept. This can be assigned as a classroom activity, or as a homework assignment. Point out that you expect this folder to include a section for vocabulary development.
Large class maps of: The United States, Connecticut, the world. Blank outline maps of the northeastern section of the U.S. (ditto). Crayons.
Construction paper (for booklets).
island, sound, boundary, natural boundary, cardinal directions, valley, highland, coast.
(All vocabulary work should be assigned as independent work and discussed at the beginning of successive lessons.)
Performance Objectives: With reasonable accuracy, each student will be able to write or tell about the formation of the Connecticut Valley;, locate the highlands and lowlands of the state, and locate Bear Mountain, Connecticut’s highest point.
Lesson Outline The teacher will need to refer to Figures 1-3 to carry out this lesson. It is necessary for the teacher to draw these figures on an overhead transparency or a blackboard so that everyone can see. Passing out a ditto sheet may be more desirable.
This may be a good stopping point.
- 1. Refer to the narrative which explains the forces that were at work in forming the Connecticut Valley. (Figure 1). Discuss the formation of the fault. Describe what a fault is. Point out Southern California’s San Andreas fault.
- 2. Discuss the erosion properties of swiftly moving water. Discuss with the students the length of time that may be needed for water to wear a hole in solid rock. Point out to the class the fact that the large rock that lies behind the Peabody Museum has a large hole in it that was caused by water. Some may have seen it already. Those who haven’t should be encouraged to go look at it.
- 3. Using Figures 2 and 3, demonstrate the forces that came about to further change the landforms, the filling of the river valley with sand and gravel from the highlands, the pressure that was being exerted on the sides of the central valley, and the breaking and tilting of the hard rock that was once lava. Looking closely at Figure 3, one can see that one of these rock formations has broken through the surface. Later, as the softer rock and sand were eroded, these formations developed into long hills with steep sides. This explains the formation of such New Haven landmarks as East Rock and West Rock.
Overhead projector, blackboard, or ditto copies of Figures 1-3.
fault, erosion, lava, sediment.
Concepts What is a glacier?
What effect did the glacier have on Connecticut’s landforms?
Performance Objectives The student will write an account of the period, the events that led up to the ice age, and the glacier’s effect on present-day Connecticut’s landforms.
- 1. Using several long sheets of plain paper that are taped together end-to-end, prepare a timeline with the students. Use as a beginning, the approximate beginning of the earth (4.5 billion years) to an epoch called the Pleistocene period (approximately one million years ago).
- ________There were four ice ages during this period with warm stages in between. After filling in the entire Pleistocene period, one sees that it is dwarfed by the rest of the timeline that represents the earth’s beginning. This is a good visual effect for the students. (See Grolier’s Book of Popular Science for further information on this period.)
- 2. Describe the movement of the glacier southward. Have students locate this southward movement on a nap.
- 3. Discuss the various actions of the glacier as it moved:
- ____a) picking up material, such as rocks, sand, etc.
- ____b) smoothing the surface as it moves over it
- ____c) scratching into surface rock (glacial striae)
- ____d) depositing material
- ____e) formation of lakes
- ____Book of Popular Science, Volume 9, pp. 163-174.
- 4. Discuss the “coming back to life” of Connecticut. (See narrative).
6” wide construction paper for time line
Book of Popular Science
erratic, moraine, glacier, striae, abrasive
Concept What are the major landforms of present-day Connecticut?
Performance Objectives Given a blank outline map of Connecticut, the student will: a) locate and label the four major landform areas, b) locate Bear Mountain and Burley Hill, c) label the rivers.
- 1. Connecticut has four basic landforms: the central valley, the eastern highlands, the western highlands, and the coastal lowlands. (See Figure 4)
- 2. Discuss with the class the facts that they already know about Connecticut’s landforms (how the central valley was formed, erosion, etc.). Make a list of their comments as they are given.
- 3. This may be given as a homework assignment. Pass out a blank outline map of Connecticut, and locate the following: a) the major rivers and their tributaries (see Figure 5), b) Bear Mountain (label elevation), c) Burley Hill (label elevation).
Blank outline map of Connecticut
Large class map of Connecticut
tributary, elevation, sea level, topography
- 1. Make a topographical map of Connecticut using clay or plaster. These are relatively simple to do, and they have a certain fascination to students. They may use the cardboard tray that comes in the large boxes of frozen lunches at school. Have the student draw an “aerorelief” map first, before starting to mold the clay onto it. The aero-relief map will be an excellent guide in showing the student how to sculpt the clay.
- 2. Make an erosion table. (See Book of Popular Science, Vol. 4.)
- 3. Construct a timeline of the earth’s history.
- 4. Construct a clay model that demonstrates the formation of Connecticut’s landforms.
Concept What is the origin of the American Indian?
Performance Objective With reasonable accuracy, the student will write an account of the migration of Asians to North America. This account should reflect a basic understanding of this great migration which later developed into the various civilizations of North and South America. The student should make it clear in this account that he/she understands that there existed great differences between migrating peoples, despite their common origin. Finally, the student will trace an eastward route of this migration to the area that is now Connecticut.
- 1. On a map of the world, locate the Asian continent. Ask students to find a place where Asia and North America come very close to touching. Bering Strait.
- 2. Relate the story that in the winter, a “land bridge” exists for a part of the year. It is the popular theory that this is the way that the continent of North America received its first residents.
- 3. Ask them if they can think of any people that live in and around Alaska. Eskimos. Did any of them ever think of the eskimos being “American Indians?” They probably didn’t.
- 4. Trace the various directions that further migration nay have gone from there. Have students consider what conditions may have to exist for a group of people to want to migrate. What conditions might they be looking to find? Divide the larger group into small groups to come up with reasons for leaving. Present their findings after a specified amount of time.
- 5. Consider their findings all together. Have them trace these ideas on the world map. See if any groups of Indians had ended up in the areas that they guessed at. The chances are that some tribe developed in any area south and east of the Bering Strait. This is a good opportunity to lead into individual study of other tribes of indins of North or South America. Someone should try to locate a map that shows the various civilizations that developed. The differences that they might find are astounding, between the great empires of the Mayans and the Incas, and the primitive hunters and farmers that existed. This would make an interesting unit all by itself. (The students and you could get carried away.)
- 6. In North America, the tribes differed from one another in language and customs. They invented a sign language so that they were able to communicate whenever they made contact. However, they have enough similarities that ethnologists recognize seven general culture groups: Californian, Northwest Coast, Southwestern, Plateau, Plains, Southeastern Woodland, and Eastern Woodland.
- 7. Obviously, there had to be reasons for further migration eastward. Discuss the reasons for migration from the west. Students’ replies may be a bit more thought out in comparison to the first discussion of this topic.
- 8. The narrative which precedes this unit defines further the migrations which led to the tribal formations in the area that is now Connecticut. Trace these migratory routes with the students to set the scene for the study of these Indians.
Large class map of the world
Large class map of the United States
Blank outline map of the western hemisphere, desk-size (optional)
migration, migratory, tribe, origin, Asia, North America, continent, strait, ethnology, ethnography, customs
Additional Follow-Up (optional)
The Audio-Visual Dept. of New Haven has the following films. They should be of interest to the children and the teacher. The teacher may choose to show these to the whole class at one time, or they may be set up in a study corner to be viewed by individual students and small groups.
- “Indian Adventure”: This is a legend about an Indian boy who saves his tribe from an attack by other indins. The scene is the territory of the Ottawa Indians. This doesn’t relate directly to the Indians of Connecticut, but it may be of interest to the students.
- “Where Did The Indians Live?” This filmstrip illustrates the differences that existed between the various tribes of North American Indians. While it is not the best film available on the subject, it is valuable to clarify certain general statements for the students.
Concept What is the origin of the tribes of the Indians of Connecticut?
Performance Objective The student will be able to write a short narrative which relates the migration of the various Indian tribes to the area that is now Connecticut. The student should be able to provide a time reference for these events, name the tribes that settled here, and speculate on why they migrated eastward.
- 1. Using a map of the United States, locate the area that is west and north of the area that is now Connecticut. From this area the first residents of Connecticut migrated—Indians of the Algonkian Confederation.
- 2. Add to the timeline that was started in the Geologic History section of this unit. The above migration took place around 1600. Have a discussion about the approximate number of years that this area was without human life. Discuss what the land must have looked like when these people arrived.
- 3. Next came a group of Lenape or Delaware Indians from the Ohio Valley region. Locate this area on the map. These indins advanced north by the Hudson River and then east into Connecticut. They drove back the Algonkians who were already living there.
- 4. The last group to move into this area was the Pequot Indians. They came into Connecticut from the north. They were the last aboriginal group to occupy part of Connecticut.
- 5. Many historians choose to divide the larger groups into many smaller groups. There is no doubt that these subgroups existed (Quinnipiacs, Hammonasetts, etc.). However, to make this unit less confusing, we will use the larger classifications. If it is better at certain points to use the names of the localized groups, then the teacher should do so.
- 6. The class should complete a map of Connecticut to illustrate the Indian Territories as depicted in Figure 6. See the narrative for further information on this topic.
Large class map of United States
Large class map of Connecticut (or transparency of same)
Blank outline map of Connecticut
Proper names of Indian groups.
Concept How did the Indians of Connecticut get their food?
Performance Objectives The student will be able to identify the various activities that the Indians engaged in for subsistence. This may be done in a short narrative or by an oral presentation.
- 1. The Indians were both agricultural and hunter/gatherer people. Discuss the differences of both types of living. Make a chart of the students’ responses.
- 2. See the narrative for the types of crops that they cultivated.
- 3. See the narrative for the wild foods they were able to gather.
- 4. See the narrative for the types of animals that they hunted.
- 5. The groups will make a presentation to the whole class for the next lesson. Assign various tasks to small groups of students in researching one or more of the following:.
- ________What kinds of tools did the Indians use for agriculture?
- ________What kinds of weapons did the Indians use?
- ________How did they cook their food?
- ________What kinds of crops did they raise?
- ________What kinds of animals did the Indians hunt?
agriculture, nomad, cultivation
Concept How did the Indians dress?
Performance Objective The student will choose a particular article of dress or ornamentation to make on his or her own.
- 1. Chapters three, four,and five of J. H. Saloman’s book, The Book of indian Crafts and Indian Lore, has much information on the dress and ornamentation of various tribes of North American Indians. Directions are explicit enough for the students to make such articles of clothing as leggings, moccasins, necklaces, etc. Discuss these with the class. Point out the similarities of dress between tribes. Have students choose the activity. Have each student make a list of materials needed to complete the article. The student should have the main responsibility of acquiring the materials.
- ________These projects may be worked on during the students’ free time in school, for homework, or at a specified class time.
Concept What kind of shelter did the Indians have?
Performance Objectiv The students will construct a model wigwam in much the same manner as the Indians did. The size of the model can be full-scale if desired.
- 1. Chapter six of Salonan’s book is entitled “Tipis and Wigwams.” Discuss the various shelters that were constructed by the various tribes of Indians. Spend more time on the wigwam, the type that the Connecticut Indians made extensive use of.
- 2. Divide the class into working groups. Divide the tasks to fit the size of the class. If the class-size warrants it, two shelters may be constructed.
See Chapter six of The Book of Indian Crafts and Indian Lore.
Concept How did the Connecticut Colony begin?
Performance Objective The student will be able to give an oral presentation, or write a short narrative, which will include the important details of the settlement of the Connecticut Colony.
- 1. Have a map of the world available to refer to during the course of this lesson. Discuss the basics of Puritanism.
- 2. Relate the story that is contained in the narrative about the events which led to Thomas Hooker’s departure from England to sail to New England. Refer to the map to trace his travel route.
- 3. Encourage students to participate in a discussion of these events. Ask them if they can see any similarities between Hooker’s flight from England and the flight of others before him.
- 4. Relate the events that led to Hooker and company wanting to leave the Boston area for the Connecticut River Valley.
- 5. Relate the story of others who before Hooker, explored the Connecticut area.
- 6. Place these events on the timeline that was started in previous lessons.
Large class map of the world
Large class map of Connecticut
Proper names, Puritans
- 1. Get the filmstrips Puritans and Background to Colonization from the A-V Department.
- 2. Discuss previous lesson before showing the above filmstrips.
- 3. Conduct a discussion following viewing.
- 4. Make these films available to small groups or individuals who may wish to view them at a later date.
Write a biography of Thomas Hooker or John Cotton—or— Write a report on Puritanism
Concept How did the war with the Pequots start?
Performance Objectiv The student will participate in a discussion concerning the war with the Pequots.
- 1. Relate the story as it is told in the narrative.
- 2. Emphasize the idea that is related in the last paragraph of this section concerning the moral questions that come into play here. Underscore the fact that the various “Papal Bulls” that were issued prior to this time encouraged Christians to take over any lands that were occupied by what they called “savages” because they worshipped pagan gods.
- 3. Encourage students to participate in a discussion revolving around the above.
- Do you think that evidence which pointed to the Indians’ responsibility in raids was contrived?
- If a person believes in Christ, does that give that person the right to harm those who do not?
- Could the same situation happen again?
- Could the situation have been resolved without a war with the Pequots?
Concept How was a government formed?
Performance Objectiv The student will be able to relate the reasons which compelled the settlements in Connecticut to evolve a government.
- 1. The government of Massachusetts was too far away from Connecticut to serve it well, so the Fundamental Orders was written (see narrative).
- 2. This was the first real government of Connecticut.
- 3. Discuss the major points of the Fundamental Orders.
constitution, fundamental, magistrate
Concept: How was New Haven founded?
Performance Objective With reasonable accuracy, the student will write a short narrative which illustrates the events that led to the settlement of New Haven Colony.
- 1. Have a large class map of England, the world, and Connecticut to refer to during the lesson. Refer to the narrative for specific information. Have a student locate London.
- 2. Relate the story of Rev. John Davenport at St. Stephen’s.
- 3. Relate Rev. Davenport’s acquaintance with Theophilus Eaton, and their subsequent deal to start a company and travel to New England. Emphasize the fact that wherever they were bound to settle the town would be a “Theocracy.” Explain the term.
- 4. Have students trace their route to New England aboard the Hector.
- 5. Locate where they first settled outside of Boston.
- 6. Trace their route to the area which became New Haven.
- 7. Relate the facts as presented in the narrative concerning their dealings with the Quinnipiac Indians. Ask students to search for any Indian names they can still find around the New Haven area. Also, ask them to make a list of other names that are mentioned in this history of New Haven that can be found around New Haven (Momauguin Beach, Davenport Avenue, etc.).
Maps: world, England, Connecticut
theocracy, merchants, all proper names.
Concept How was the plantation of New Haven first planned?
Performance Objective The student will be able to relate the facts in an oral presentation concerning the plotting of New Haven.
- 1. The surveyor, John Brockett, first laid out nine squares. The central square, the marketplace, is today the New Haven Green. (See map.)
- 2. Pass out a blank outline map of the New Haven plantation.
- 3. Point out the east and west creeks that have since been filled in. Have the students label these.
- 4. Label the various plots of land belonging to some of the notable people of New Haven, e.g. Eaton, Davenport, Brewster, Gilbert, etc. (See map.)
- 5. Point out that Brockett had to add two suburbs to the plan due to the increasing population of New Haven.
- 6. Discuss the purpose of the common land.
- 7. Discuss the types of homes that were built by the wealthier residents. (See descriptions in Carlton Beal’s Our Yankee Heritage.)
Blank outline map of New Haven (1641)
Concept What kinds of homes did the colonists build?
Performance Objective The student will appreciate the amount of hard work and skill that was needed to construct a home with only the simplest of tools.
- 1. Preview the filmstrip and cassette entitled Colonial Life, Part Five. Set the stage before showing it.
- 2. Discuss it afterwards.
- 3. Assignment: Draw a picture of a typical Colonial House. Label the most outstanding features of it.
Filmstrip, Colonial Life, Part V.
Concept What kinds of work were required in a typical colonial town?
Performance Objective The student will be able to write a short narrative about one or more kinds of work during the colonial period.
- 1. Get the following series of books from the New Haven Public Library, Series of Colonial American Craftsmen by Leonard E. Fisher, and present each one to the class as an introduction.
- ________Each of the following is a separate book: Wigmakers, Limners, Papermakers, Potters, Printers, Shoemakers, Doctors, Weavers, Homemakers, Tanners, Silversmiths, Hatters, Glassmakers, Cabinetmakers.
- 2. Ask the students if they know the word “apprentice.” Ask if they know of any jobs that still require apprenticeships. Explain.
- 3. Get the filmstrip and cassette, Colonial Life, Part One.
- 4. Discuss the film afterwards.
- 5. Assignment: Pick one of the above books on colonial workers. Do a report on it. Illustrate the report.
Filmstrip, Colonial Life, Part I.
Proper names of colonial crafts.
Concept How much did Connecticut grow by 1664?
Performance Objective: The student will realize the connection between the topography of Connecticut and the pattern of further settlement.
- 1. Pass out a blank outline map of Connecticut.
- 2. Project a facsimile of Figure 7 with an overhead.
- 3. Discuss the reasons why settlements followed this pattern. Large hills to the east and west of the river were unsuitable for agriculture. The river was a natural highway to the coast. With a little encouragement, the students should figure this out after awhile.
- 4. Have students draw in the settlements to this point.
Blank outline map of Connecticut.
Concept What are some examples of furniture, utensils, and works of art during the colonial period?
Performance Objective The student will appreciate the amount of time and work that the artisan put into the final product.
- 1. Discuss the points that the students may recall about how a colonial home was constructed.
- 2. Show the slides of early American homes, furniture, silver, pewter, etc. Encourage student comments on each slide. Don’t expect to have the students become experts on antique objects. Expect only that they learn to look at objects in a new way, appreciating the time-consuming work that went into each piece.
- 3. Assign for homework: Pick one room in your house and make a list of everything contained in it. Try to determine its point of origin by looking for any labels that may contain such information.
Slide collection on colonial objects.
Performance Objectives: The student will be able to relate the tasks that were expected of each member of the family and the activities in which the children engaged.
- 1. Obtain the following books from the Public Library: Pastimes of Colonial Children, G. H. Gardner Children of the Handicrafts, C. S. Bailey
- 2. Both of these books contain excellent descriptions of the activities in which colonial children engaged daily. Some of these activities may include working around the house or making toys for themselves. The students will enjoy them.
- 3. Introduce these books to the class. Encourage their investigation of these books.
- 4. Show the filmstrip Colonial Life, Part IV. This deals with the household of the period.
- 5. Assignment: Choose an item from the abovementioned books. On your own, or with a partner, make the chosen item.
- 6. Discuss the filmstrip.
Concept What were the events which led to direct royal control of Connecticut?
Performance Objectiv The student will be able to write a short narrative of the events which took place between 1660 and 1689. With reasonable accuracy, the student will include the major points to be covered: New Haven’s absorption into Connecticut, Major Andros’ attempts to take over Connecticut, New England Consolidation, and the Charter Oak Incident.
- 1. Relate the events as stated in the narrative, starting with an explanation of why Connecticut did not “legally” have any right to establish a colony.
- 2. Discuss the importance of Connecticut’s finally securing a charter from the King.
- 3. Show the motion picture, Courage in Connecticut. This is a film which dramatizes the Charter Oak Incident.
- 4. Conduct a discussion following the film.
16 mn projector
Suggested projects for Colonial Period:
Construct a model of early New Haven as laid out by John Brockett. Learn about some crafts of the period and make an example of them. Construct a toy that may have been used by a child of this period. Write a report on how an early American home may have been built. Include some of its outstanding features.
Choose a notable person of the period. Write a story about that person’s return to the 20th century. Explain some of the changes that person would find.
Recreate some of the events through role-playing situations.
Contact Ms. Janet Sweeting for details.
New Haven Historical Society
Yale Art Gallery
Contact Education Office at the Gallery.
They have an excellent exhibition on the American Art Experience.
Grove Street Cemetery
Fort Hale Park
New Haven Green and The Center Church
Bushman, Richard. From Puritan to Yankee.
Calder, Isabel. The New Haven Colony.
DeForest, John W. History of the Indians of Connecticut.
Deming, Dorothy. Settlement of Connecticut Towns.
Grant, Charles. Democracy in the Frontier Town of Kent.
Hoyt, Joseph B. The Connecticut Story.
Jennings, Francis. The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest.
Osborn, N. G. The History of Connecticut.
Rainey, F. G. A Compilation of Historical Data Contributing to the Ethnography of Connecticut and Southern New England Indians.
Tercentenary Commission of the State of Connecticut: A series of pamphlets published by the Yale University Press, written by various authorities on various topics concerning Connecticut’s past.
Gardner, Grace H. Pastimes of Colonial Children.
Saloman, Julius H. The Book of Indian Crafts and indian Lore.
Tunis, Edwin. Colonial Living.
FIGURE 1—The diagram below illustrates the formation of the central valley by a down-dropped block in the crust of the earth’s surface.
FIGURE 3—This diagram illustrates the pressure that was exerted from both sides of the original fault. Notice the tilting of the very hard rock that broke into large sections, rather than crumbling as softer rocks would have done under such force. Also, take notice of the rock that protrudes through the surface. It is a simplified drawing which depicts the formation of such landmarks as East and West Rock in New Haven.
FIGURE 5—Major Rivers of Connecticut
Contents of 1978 Volume IV | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute