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Capital Honoring an English Town

Adrian Block a Dutch explorer visited the area in 1614 and set up a trading post at Fort Goede Hoop or Good Hope. Today in the city of Hartford, Connecticut at this site is still a neighborhood called Dutch Point. When the first English settlers arrived in 1635 they renamed it Hartford in honor of the English town of Hertford and home of Samuel Stone, one of the settlers.

At the Hartford Convention in 1814, New England delegations were discussing a possible secession from the U.S. Later on Harford became a center of abolitionist activity. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” lived at Nook Farm, which is now part of the Asylum Hill section of the city.

On July 6, 1944, the Hartford Circus was destroyed by fire. It turned out to be the deadliest circus fire in the history of the U.S.  In the late 1950s the suburbs of Hartford grew but the city went into decline. When the 21st century arrived many workers in Hartford lived more than a twenty-minute drive from the city. Now both commercial and residential development has increased downtown.

The city manages to bring in tourists with the Mark Twain House & Museum. This 1874 mansion includes the desk at which Twain wrote some of his best-known works. There is also the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, including the author’s Victorian house.

Hartford, Connecticut is a port on the Connecticut River.


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