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New Haven is a city rich in culture and diversity. It is a center for transportation, commercial, financial and manufacturing industries. It is also an educational center, home for several universities including Yale, the second oldest in the United States. New Haven is a center for museums, art galleries, theaters, entertainment and sporting events. Despite its social ills, New Haven can be a marvelous city to grow up in. It is a city worthy of our attention, and deserves to be the subject of academic pursuit.
Founded in 1638 by English Puritans, New Haven has been the home for many famous people and historical events. New Haven has been home to patriots, writers, inventors, and four United States Presidents. During the Revolutionary War, the town was raided and partially burned by British forces. Aided by enormous immigration throughout the 19th century, and a great natural harbor, New Haven became an important manufacturing and shipping hub. In the 20th century, large numbers of Black Americans and Hispanics migrated to the city. And great changes in the demographics of New Haven and its surrounding suburbs have occurred since the time of its Puritan founders.
It is essential that all students learn of their family heritage and local history. This curriculum will allow students to learn of and appreciate the New Haven community. At the same time the students will be asked to find how their families fit into this community. The unit should address New Haven history, economics, geography, and politics. This unit is written for students in the fourth grade, therefore it will be multidisciplinary and multicultural in its approach to Social Studies.
The Quinnipiacs had been living along the banks of the Quinnipiac River for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years before the English arrival in 1638. They were a peaceful people, as their tribe was too small to war with neighboring tribes. They lived in wigwams along the river and shores of the neighboring Long Island Sound. The Quinnipiacs fished the river with hand made nets much the same way we do today. Then the waters of the river and sound were much cleaner, and the marine life much more abundant. We can only imagine their delight, when in summertime, schools of blue fish raced up the river as they still do today. But the Quinnipiacs relied much more on clams and oysters, as they were abundant in the shallow bays along the sound, and the New Haven harbor. (Today the harbor is much smaller and deeper than it was in the 17th century. At the time of the Puritan arrival, the harbor slowly receded into a marshy creek up to what is now State Street. It was filled in over the years, by developers looking to expand the downtown area.)
The Quinnipiacs were also farmers and hunters. They hunted animals such as deer, rabbit, raccoons and squirrels for food and clothing. They grew vegetables such as corn, and potatoes, which became of great importance to the English and Irish as a food source. The Quinnipiacs were very resourceful in terms of food, and they readily shared these resources with the English Puritans.
Thus far, it may sound as if the Quinnipiacs lived in a utopian world. But in 1638, they were a people close to extermination. Not by the Europeans however, but by other neighboring tribes, especially the Pequots. The Quinnipiacs had once populated the banks of the entire river and shores of the neighboring sound. But their population had suffered great losses from wars with neighboring tribes, starvation due to poor harvests, and terrible diseases. In 1638, the Quinnipiacs lived only in what is now Momauguin, East Haven under Momauguin, the sachem. There was also a small band living behind East Rock, near Hamden, under the sachem Montowese. In all, there were only 150 Quinnipiac Native Americans left at the time of the Puritan arrival in New Haven. They were forced to pay the Pequots wampum taxes or face total annihilation.
When 500 Puritan colonists landed in the New Haven harbor, the Quinnipiacs welcomed their arrival. They knew the English and Dutch had other settlements in the area, and they couldn’t stop one from being built here on the Quinnipiac.
The English began building a settlement in what is now Downtown New Haven. After a year, they offered to buy what is now the towns of New Haven, East Haven, Branford, North Branford, North Haven, Wallingford, Cheshire and parts of Orange, Woodbridge, Bethany, Prospect and Meridan. The Puritans also claimed Greenwich, Stamford and Southold Long Island, as no native peoples lived there already. For this land, the Quinnipiacs received one dozen spoons, one dozen hoes, one dozen hatchets, one dozen bowls, two dozen knives, and four cases of French knives and scissors.
All these items must have been very useful to the Quinnipiacs, but the English Puritans knew they were cheating the natives and stealing their home. The Quinnipiacs were allowed to live in a small part of North Haven which we now call Montowese, and on the East Shore in New Haven. One hundred or so years latter, the remaining Quinnipiacs were moved to a reservation northern Connecticut, with several other Connecticut tribes.
While the Quinnipiacs lived near the English, they were forced to live under English rule. The Quinnipiacs also agreed to the following terms set forth by the colonists:
- 1. They must not set traps where cattle might be caught or hurt.
- 2. They must not frighten away or steal fish from the English nets.
- 3. They must not come to town on Sundays to trade or hang around the houses while the English were at church.
- 4. They must not take any boat or canoe belonging to the English without the consent of the owner.
- 5. Not more than six Indians at a time were to come to town with bows and arrows or other weapons.
- 6. They must never harm in any way an English man, woman or child.
- 7. They must pay for cattle they killed or injured in any way.
- 8. They must not allow other Indians to come and live with them without the consent of the English.
- 9. They must promise to tell the colonists of any wicked plot against them.
- 10. They must agree to have all wrong-doers punished by the English.
The English established these terms with the Quinnipiacs, for they did not understand their native customs and traditions. In terms of respect for private property, they felt the natives were poorly behaved. The Quinnipiac did not own livestock, and would often take animals which belonged to the Puritan colonists. The Puritans were also very religious, even for their time. When the Quinnipiac would come to trade on Sundays, the colonists became very disturbed. The Puritans did not want their own people corrupted by the native traditions, and therefore set rules for their social behavior. Soon after, missionaries would convert many Connecticut Native Americans to Christianity.
- 11. The natives would be paid for any damage done them.
- 12. All those who wronged the Indians in any way would be punished by the colonists.
Today, in courtrooms across Connecticut, several Native American tribes are trying to reclaim their lands. Some, such as the Mashintucket Pequots have been successful in this process.
John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton were two very wealthy and influential English Puritans. They had helped form the Massachusetts Bay Company. A few years latter, Davenport and Eaton became the leaders of a new company, which they formed to go the New England. Puritans from various parts of England joined them. They were farmers and merchants looking for new prosperity and religious freedom. Each family or individual in the company was expected to contribute money, according to ability to pay. Davenport and Eaton gathered about 250 men, women and children and they hired two ships. The name of one ship was the Hector. The name of the other ship is now unknown. They stopped for a short time in the Netherlands, and then set sail for Massachusetts Bay.
When they reached Boston, they were very disappointed. The Puritans there were already fighting over how their church would be run. They were also disappointed to find much of the good farmland, and the Boston harbor had been claimed by enterprising English merchants. Eaton and Davenport wanted to form a colony of their own.
While the Hector was still sailing across the Atlantic in 1637, the English of New England were fighting a fierce war against the Pequot Indians. In May, the English burned a fort near New London, and killed hundreds of Native Americans. Those who escaped fled westward along the shores of the Long Island Sound. The soldiers from the colonies gave chase and killed nearly all of them in a swamp near Fairfield. During the pursuit the soldiers stopped at a place called Quinnipiac, or Long-water-land. The English liked Quinnipiac very much. Captain Stoughton, reported that he had found the best location for a settlement anywhere.
When Davenport and Eaton heard of this place on the sound with a river and natural harbor, they sent a party to investigate at once. The seven man party stayed the winter, living in wigwams near what is now the corner of Congress and Meadow Streets. They began building a few shelters, for their fellow countrymen who were to arrive the following spring. On April 24, 1638, John Davenport and about 500 followers arrived at the site of the party’s camp. They had gathered additional followers in Boston. Many Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Company were disappointed, as they learned the king declared it the Massachusetts Bay Colony, subject to British taxation.
The Puritans began planning a city a once. Eaton and the planners working with him marked off a half-mile square near the harbor (remember the harbor extended much farther inland than today). The sides of the square are now George, State, Grove and York Streets. If you look at the map below, you will notice that the streets now called Church, College, Chapel and Elm divided the square into nine equal parts. The square in the center became the Green, which was used as a market and meeting place. The remaining squares were divided again, and named after the most prominent resident who lived there. People who did not have much money invested in the company, were also given land, but outside the square.
In the mid 17th century, the puritans, under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell, had taken over England, and executed then king, Charles I in 1649. The Puritans ruled England for two decades, until the death of Oliver Cromwell. When Cromwell died, Charles II restored the royal government in England. King Charles II was angry with the three judges who had his father executed. He ordered the judges returned to England from the colonies. The judges were Edward Whalley, John Dixwell, and William Goffe. The men were in hiding throughout the colonies, and were welcomed by their fellow puritans in New Haven. Goffe and Whalley stayed in the Westville area of New Haven, before going into hiding on West Rock in what is now called Judges Cave. Soon their location became known to the English, and they were forced into hiding farther form the colonies at Hadley, in the western part of Massachusetts. As for John Dixwell, he stayed in New Haven under the alias name of James Davis.
New Haven had slaves until the early 19th century, and the role of Blacks in this time period deserves considerable mention in this unit. The first “colored school” was opened in New Haven in 1811. A privately run integrated primary school was opened at this time by women who believed in education reform. When public schools began to open at the beginning of the 19th century, they were segregated in New Haven. One student at Sally Wilson’s Artisan Street Colored School, Edward Bouchet, became the first black person to earn the Ph.D. degree in the United States, from Yale University.
In 1839, the Spanish schooner Armistad, was heading to Cuba from Africa with 50 Mendi warriors, their young and handsome chief Cinque, and two Cuban plantation owners. The Africans were being held as cargo, and were to become slaves upon their arrival in Cuba. But the Mendis mutinied, they killed the captain, and forced the crew over board somewhere in the Atlantic ocean. The Mendis allowed the plantation owners to live, and tried to force the Cubans into bringing them home. The Cubans did not return the Mendis home, instead they zigzagged up and down the American coast hoping to be spotted by the American Navy or Coast guard. On September 1, 1839, the Armistad was taken into the New Haven harbor by a United States coastal patrol boat. Cinque and the Mendis were jailed under the courthouse on Church Street, but were later cleared of all charges and were returned to Africa. This became known as the Armistad Affair, and would sway many Yankees of New Haven, towards abolitionism and antislavery in support of the Civil War.
The expanding economy of New Haven during the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s attracted a diversity of people to the city. Some were New England farmers, looking for a better life in the city. Many Europeans from Irish and German descent also came to New Haven through New York and Boston in this same time period. Due to this migration and immigration, the population jumped from 10,678 in 1830 to 40,000 in 1855. These newcomers helped build the shops, factories and transportation links so vital to the city’s success.
Although the white newcomers of this and later time periods faced much prejudice and discrimination, their lot was much better than the Black Americans of New Haven. The city’s black community, largely descended from slaves brought the New Haven during the colonial era. The lives of most blacks were defined by menial work, segregated housing, poor education and color.
In the 20th century, large numbers of peoples, from mixed back grounds were absorbed into the city. Blacks began migrating in ever increasing numbers from the nation’s south, as Hispanics have been migrating in recent years from Puerto Rico and Central America. During the time period, Italians have become the largest ethnic group in the city, and the greater New Haven area. There have also been considerable numbers of Chinese, Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Irish and Greeks who have contributed to the area’s development.
During and after the Civil War, New Haven’s harbor, industry, and population grew enormously. This must be taught using maps and illustrations depicting the growth of New Haven and Yale University. There must also be mention of famous New Haven people such as John Goodyear, Eli Whitney, Walter Camp and so on.
This era in New Haven could also look at the women’s suffrage movement and the role of women in the history of New Haven. It is essential we teach our young female and male students about people such as Susan B. Anthony and Sarah Kemble Knight, who organized marches in New Haven for women’s right to vote in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
New Haven reached its greatest population in 1950 at 164,443 residents. By 1980, the population dropped 30 thousand residents to only 125,787. Many of the people to leave New Haven were upper income residents, and this hurt the city financially. At the same time, many of these people moved to New Haven’s suburban communities, which doubled in combined population in the same time period. It use to be the American Dream to own your own home, but for many Elm City residents, the dream is to leave New Haven for one of its suburban communities. New Haven has also changed in its racial demographics. As the Euro-American families leave, they are replaced by the expanding Black and Hispanic communities.
Between 1960 and the present, New Haven has declined population and economy. The reasons for this decline may be due to an increase in crime. This has some of the more prosperous residents to leave, and many suburban residents no longer shop in the city. Just a few decades ago, the people of greater New Haven shopped at the five and dime stores downtown on a regular basis. New Haven was home to Macy’s and Mally’s which left the city in the mid 1980s. At the same time, large suburban shopping malls have opened, and retail outlets such as Walmart have taken the business of small shops in the downtown area. Many industries such as United States Steel have left the city, finding cheaper labor overseas. All the above are factors attributing to the city’s recent decline.
Although New Haven has declined, the future looks very bright for the Elm City. Due to economic incentives such as state tax breaks, industry is coming back to the city. The city has attracted a new steel plant into the city. This plant will employ thousands of New Haven residents. Construction will begin before the year 2000. The city has attracted New England Development to build a 1-million-square foot mall on Long Wharf. This should bring shoppers back to the Elm City, not to mention the employment opportunities created by the mall and its construction. The state has also agreed to widen interstate 95 and the Quinnipiac River (Pearl Harbor Memorial) bridge. This will ease traffic and make travel to New Haven a more enticing place to shop, work and live.
The city government of New Haven is run by Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and a board of 30 alderman. The alderman represent the following city neighborhoods: Westville, West Hills, Dwight Street, the Hill, Fair Haven, the Annex, Morris Cove, Newhallville, East Rock and Downtown. New Haven has 8 public high schools, 7 middle schools, and 27 elementary schools. The school system is run by Superintendent Dr. Reginald Mayo, and an eight member board of education. The total city budget in 1996 was over 308 million dollars, most of that money going to education 125 million, and public safety 50 million.
|1638||New Haven is founded by John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton with about 500 puritan followers from England and the Mass. Bay Colony. 1648 Merchants set sail from New Haven to London, hoping to make great profits from the ships cargo. They never reached London, and never returned. Colonists reported seeing a vision of the ship in the clouds. This became the Ghost Ship folklore of New Haven.|
|1661||New Haven residents aid the regicidal judges Whalley, Dixwell and Goffe to elude capture by soldiers of King Charles II. 1684||First almanac published in New Haven.|
|1701||New Haven Collegiate School founded. Its Name later changed to Yale University after its benefactor Elijah Yale in 1716.|
|1774||Black population recorded at 273.|
|1787||First steamboat invented in New Haven.|
|1808||James Brewster used the first assembly line at his New Haven carriage factory.|
|1811||First black school opened.|
|1820||First black church congregation “United African Society,” established by Simeon Jocelyn.|
|1839||Spanish slave ship Armistad is brought into the New Haven Harbor and the Africans on board are put on trial for killing the ship’s crew.|
|1845||Irish potato famine starts large wave of immigration to the city.|
|1873||New Haven ceases to be a co-capital of Connecticut.|
|1876||First black graduate of Yale University, Edward Bouchet becomes the first black to earn a Ph.D. in the United States.|
|1886||Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument erected on East Rock overlooking the city in memory of 420 New Haven residents killed in the Civil War.|
|1942||Penicillin invented and first used in New Haven.|
Objectives: The students will be able to use Yahoo’s City Maps, and find their individual addresses within their neighborhoods. The students will use directional tools such as north, south, east, and west to explore neighborhoods and towns which border their neighborhood. The students will access “driving directions” from home to school, and make print- outs of the maps and directions.
Materials: At least two computers wired for the internet. A flow chart of directions for using Yahoo on the internet (see flow chart).
* Teachers may also provide questions for the students to answer
about the neighborhood being studied.
Procedure: This lesson is to be taught as a center, for few teachers have enough computers wired, for the entire class to use them at the same time. If the library media center is wired, the school media specialist should aid the teacher.
The students will follow the flow chart to access the following information:
Print “driving directions” from your address to the school.
- 1. Find home address using Yahoo.
- 2. Enlarge the map of your neighborhood and print.
Answer related questions about the neighborhood.
____Yahoo Infoseek Lycos Hotbot Excite ____Search engines are specialized. When you choose an engine, it will tell the kinds of information its designed to look for.
- 1. Log on to a browser such as Netscape or Microsoft Explorer.
- 2. You may then type an address if it is known, for example (http://www.ect) and press enter. If the address is correct, it will take you directly to the website you are looking for.
- 3. If the address is not known, you must choose a search engine, provided by the browser, to help find an address. Some of the most common search engines are:
____For example: If you type in the word “basketball”, there will be thousands of entries. So you could then type N.B.A. Championship to be more specific.
- 4. When you have chosen a search engine, you must then type in what you are looking for. You may begin your search with a general subject, and then get more specific if there is too much information.
Goals: The purpose of this lesson, is for the students to use the internet
for research, and learn about the City of New Haven.
Objectives: The students will be able to find the New Haven web site, and print selected information about the city for the purpose of research. This is current information about the city. It will then be used for writing reports about New Haven.
Materials: At least two computers, wired for the internet, and a printer will be needed for this research center. The internet address for the New Haven web site is:
Procedure: This lesson is to be taught as a center, unless there are enough computers for the entire class to share. If the school has a computer center, or media center wired for the internet, those resources and teachers should be utilized.
The students will use the flow chart to access the New Haven web site.
The students will work in groups of three per computer.
Extension: The students may also browse other web site to gather informant on New Haven. The Connecticut Historical Society website offers a wide range of programs and curriculum on New Haven.
Goals: The students will learn of early New Haven by building a model of the settlement and surrounding geography.
Objectives: The students will build model churches, mudhuts and one room homes built colonists, and wigwams built by the native Quinnipiacs. The students will write a description of the models they build.
Materials: corrugated cardboard, craft sticks, glue, twigs, reeds, clay, miniature colonists, natives and slaves, 2 large rocks (for East and West Rocks) and a model sailing ship. The teacher should provide maps of early New Haven to help the students plan the class model.
Procedure: This lesson will be taught as an extension of a trip to the New Haven Colony Historical Society.
The class will discuss how New Haven was America’s first planned city.
The class will discuss geographical features of New Haven such as the harbor, East and West Rocks, the Quinnipiac, Mill and West Rivers the Green and the 9 original city squares.
The class will be divided into cooperative groups to work on the various structures included in the finished model.
This project should take 5-7 school days for completion.
Goals: The student will learn of the Armistad Affair, the slave trade, and slavery in the United States, as it relates to New Haven.
Objectives: The students will be able to write a summary of the Amistad Story, including their opinions of the event. The students will be able to compare the Armistad story, with a fiction story of the slave trade titled Ebony Sea, by Irene Smalls.
Materials: Ebony Sea, by Irene Smalls The Armistad Story and curriculum package, published by the Connecticut Historical Society. Slide projector for Amistad slides.
Read Ebony Sea to the class and discuss the story.
Read the Armistad story to the class and discuss.
Show the Armistad slides to the class and discuss.
The students will write one to two pages comparing the 2 stories.
Extension: The students can write 1-2 pages explaining how their family came to live in the New Haven area. They should be given a graphic organizer or a family tree worksheet.
114 Whitney Avenue, N.H., CT 06510 (203) 562-4183
The NHCHS will arrange a free bus for classes to visit various sites.
Design a map of early New Haven. Include the nine original city squares and the major geographical features such as hills, rivers and the harbor. Also include any street names.
Write a 2-3 page report on the City of New Haven. You may include information such as history, government, places of interest, famous people, geography and so on.
Visit a historic place in New Haven and write a one page report on its significance. You may use books to further your research and take photographs of the site if you have a camera. If you do not have a camera, you may draw an illustration. Some historical places are: Judges Cave, Black Rock Fort, Pardee Morris House, Yale University, East Rock, The Green and the 3 Churches and so on.
Make a diorama of an early New Haven Colony home. You can use an opened cardboard box to create this scene. Include rooms, fire places, furniture, clothing and tools you might find during this time period.
This is a multicultural story of a boys dream to improve his neighborhood. The story lends many insights to understanding the problems of growing up in a racially diverse neighborhood.
Ebony Sea, by Irene Smalls, Longmeadow Press, 1995.
This is a story of an African tribe called the Ebos and their resistance to slavery in America.
Armien’s Fishing Trip, by Catherine Stock, Morrow Junior Books, 1990.
This is a story of False Bay in South Africa. Two hundred years ago it was settled by Europeans, Filipinos and freed slaves from Malaya and Java. In 1967 it was declared a “white” area by the South African government. This is a story of that struggle written on a third grade reading level.
Children of the Sun, by Jan Carew, Little, Brown and Company, 1980.
This is an African folktale which teaches values of compassion which we should all live by.
Children Just Like Me, by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley, D.K. Publishing, 1995.
This is a picture atlas showing children from all over the world.
Jenny of the Tetons, by Kristiana Gregory, Gulliver Books Inc., 1989
This is a story of how European settlers find common ground and friendship with Native Americans in the Teton Mountains.
Our Yankee Heritage, by Carleton Beals, Bradley and Scoville Inc., 1957.
This is a history of New Haven from 1638 to 1950. There are many excellent photos and illustrations.
Know Your State, by William J. Prendergast, Published by the New Haven Register.
This book is a collection of interesting about New Haven and the state of Connecticut.
New Haven: An Illustrated History, Edited by Floyd Shumway and Richard Hegel Windsor Publications, 1981. This is an illustrated history of New Haven that will be very useful for it interesting photographs, maps and illustrations of the city.
Picture Book of Old Connecticut, by Sam Tuttle, Americana Review Inc. 1979.
This is an excellent collection of illustrations of Old Connecticut landmarks. Each illustration is accompanied by a paragraph explaining its significance to the state.
Contents of 1997 Volume IV | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute