books which might be of general interest to students of the "Early
Republic" period -- If you find any worth purchasing after following
one of these links, a portion will go to support of this web site:
The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough a "story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work."
The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity by Jeffrey Sachs. From book description: "For more than three decades, Jeffrey D. Sachs has been at the forefront of international economic problem solving. But Sachs turns his attention back home in The Price of Civilization, a book that is essential reading for every American. In a forceful, impassioned, and personal voice, he offers not only a searing and incisive diagnosis of our country’s economic ills but also an urgent call for Americans to restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity.
Roughly rectangular; 90 miles from east to west, and 50 from north to south. Bounded on the east by Rhode Island, on the north by Massachusetts, on the west by New York state, and on the south by Long Island sound, a huge inlet of the Atlantic. The shoreline is cut by an exceptional number of southward flowing rivers.
Birthplace of Emma Hart Willard, where she also taught school for some time.
Near the northern border of Fairfield County.
The "beautiful drowsy village of Brooklyn", as described in Odell Shepherd, Pedlar's Progress, p105; where Samuel J. May was pastor from 1822-36; his first pastorate, and he being the "first Unitarian Preacher in Connecticut" (Pedlar's Progress, p104). I recall it getting a good bit of mention in Clark's Communitarian Moment.
Not shown in These U.S., but Dwight's Travels (vol 1) notes it as one of the 7 major towns of Middlesex County (p126). On p161, he speaks of it as part of the township of Middletown, so I assume it is now just part of Middletown. Pop 3,258 in 1810, according to Dwight, p161.
Home of the Episcopal Academy of Connecticut, described by one source as as "America's First 'Junior College'" where Gideon Welles spent a couple of unproductive years. It was run by Rev. Tillotson Bronson, with whom Welles boarded.
A. Bronson Alcott was the nephew of the Rev. Bronson. He made his first serious trial there of his ideas in education here, from 1825 - 1827. He was very highly praised in the American Journal of Education, but his innovations alarmed the townspeople; an "opposition school" was started, support for Bronson's school dwindled, and he left. (Source: Niven, Welles, p9-10; and Shepard, Pedlar's Progress)
In northeast corner of Litchfield County.
One of the largest towns today -- in northwestern Fairfield County.
At the junction of the Naugatuck and Housatonic rivers; about 10 miles up the Housatonic from its mouth at Stratford. Birthplace of Josiah Holbrook. Apparently named, like many New England towns, for the town where the (of some of the) original immigrants came from. At least Holbrook's ancestor John H., came from Derby, England.
A couple of miles east of New Haven, near the mouth of the Farm River.
(Early 19c spelling: Glastenbury)
Where Fitz-Green Halleck was born and grew up, from 1790 - 1811.
Birthplace of Theodore Weld. Weld's father, Ludovicus, was the minister of the Congregational church there.
On the Connecticut River, about a third of the way down from the Northern border.
In the late 18th century and early 19c, it was known for the "Hartford [or Connecticut] Wits", who included Timothy Dwight, Joel Barlow, and others, who strove to forge an American national literature (most of their work was poetic); their ideals were Federalist and Calvinist (Barlow defected from these ideals later).
It also hosted the much maligned Hartford Convention in which New Englanders argued over what to do about the War of 1812, and other signs of New England's being submerged in democratic chaos. Some members, whose roles have probably been exagerated, actually wanted New England to succeed from the union.
Home of Catharine Beecher's Hartford Female Seminary, and of Mary Beecher Perkins, wife of Thomas Perkins, a prominent Hartford lawyer.
Horace Bushnell also had a church in Hartford for most of his career.
Further reading on early 19c Hartford
Also consult works on the people noted above, and on Lydia Sigourney, the hugely popular poet.
Cannot find it in my modern atlas, but is noted in Dwight's Travels (vol 1, p126), and East Hartland and West Hartland appear on opposite banks of the Barkhamsted Reservoir. (perhaps old Hartland is under water).
Lyman Beecher's home parish from 1810 to 1826. Also home of Tapping Reeve's law school, the most important such school (if not the only one?)on the early 19th century.
In the SW corner of New Haven CO; near the mouth of the Woponaug River.
Home of Yale. It has an fairly large harbour into which three moderate-sized rivers, the West, the Mill, and the Quinnipiac, flow. The more moderate form of Calvinism espoused by people like Lyman Beecher and Nathaniel Taylor was sometimes called the "New Haven Theology" because of its connection to Yale (and Nathaniel Taylor, prof of Didactic Theology, especially).
Arthur Tappan lived there from about February 1828.
Ralph I. Ingersoll's birthplace, and home for all his life. He was a congressman from 1825-33, and mayor in 1851.
For New Haven Historic Resources online, go to http://statlab.stat.yale.edu/cityroom/test/hist.
Dwight (II, 21-2) describes it as a vigorous town, but particularly hard hit by the disruptions of trade during the Napoleonic wars and the War of 1812.
Apparently a somewhat recently acquired name for Saybrook.
Mentioned as "new" in Dwight's Travels (vol 1, p126)
These United States (p19) quotes Wm. Storrs Lee, The Yankees of CT:
In Middlesex CO; the main town at the mouth of the Connecticut River, Renamed Old Saybrook in 1947, according to the history section of the web page at http://oldsaybrook.com/, which gives a summary of its history from the founding of Saybrook Plantation (whose geographical area encompassed the seven modern towns we know today as Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, Old Lyme, Westbrook and Old Saybrook) in 1635.
A mile or so from the W'ern border of Litchfield County (with New York). It is on the E bank of the point where Weebatuck Creek gathers its small tributaries before flowing to Ten Mile Creek (NY) and in turn to the Housatonic.
There are two tiers of counties:the shore tier, consisting of Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, and New London Counties, as one goes from east to west along the shore, and the inland tier; returning west to east, there are Windham, Tolland, Hartford, and Litchfield Counties.
The counties listed below are the same as are shown in a modern atlas, These United States, though the atlas says county governments were abolished in Connecticut in 1960.
The counties have apparently remained the same since they were listed in Dwight's Travels (vol 1, p126).
The largest city today is Bridgeport.
Towns noted in Dwight's Travels (vol 1, p126): Brookfield, Danbury, Fairfield, Greenwich, Huntington, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newtown, Norwalk, Reading (sic for Redding, I think), Ridgefield, Stamford, Stratford, Sherman, Trumbull, Weston, Wilton, Darien.
Towns noted in Dwight's Travels (vol 1, p126): Berlin, Bristol, Burlington, Canton, East Hartford, East Windsor, Enfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Granby, Hartford, Hartland, Marlboro (sic for Marlborough?), Simsbury, Southington, Suffield, Wethersfield, Windsor.
Traversed by the south-flowing upper reaches of the Housatonic River, the East and West Aspetuck (the 3 rivers mentioned so far meet right at the town of New Milford. There is also the Marshepaug and the West Branch of the Bantam (I don't see any East branch on the map), which flow to the west and east of Litchfield, merge in the Shepaug, which then flows into the Housatonic, near the Fairfield-Litchfield County border. There are also the west and east Branches of the Naugatuck, which meet at Torrington, flow down through Waterbury and Naugatuck, almost to the sound, but not quite, as it runs into the Housatonic about 8 miles above its mouth.
Towns noted in Dwight's Travels (vol 1, p126): Barkhamsted, Bethlehem, Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Goshen, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, New Hartford, New Milford, Plymouth, Norfolk, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington, Washington, Warren, Watertown, Winchester, Woodbury.
On the sound and the next-to-eastmost county. Down the middle of it runs the very wide expanse of the lower Connecticut River.
The second westmost county facing the sound. Contains the city of New Haven, at a point where three small rivers run into the sound.
Towns noted in Dwight's Travels (vol 1, p126): Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, New Haven, North Haven, Oxford, Southbury, Wallingford, Waterbury, Wolcott, Woodbridge.
Traversed by the very broad but short Thames River, with New London and Groton facing each other on the river's west and east banks about 3 miles from the sound. The small city of Norwich is well inland, around where several rivers merge to form the Thames.
An upland county (in the N'ern tier, and next to the E'ernmost) with many small rivers and lakes.
Towns noted in Dwight's Travels (vol 1, p126): Bolton, Coventry, Ellington, Hebron, Somers, Stafford, Tolland, Union, Vernon, Willington.
Towns noted in Dwight's Travels (vol 1, p126): Ashford, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Columbia, Hampton, Killingly, Lebanon, Mansfield, Plainfield, Pomfret, Sterling, Thompson, Voluntown, Windham, Woodstock.
If we follow this river north from its mouth, its first approx 50 miles (from its mouth) roughly bisects Connecticut (it crosses Hartford and Middlesex counties); the next 50 miles marks off the Western third of Massachusetts; another 100 or so miles make up the border between Vermont and New Hampshire. The largest city on it is about 35 miles upstream, namely Hartford. From the top of the state, there are Thompsonville, Enfield, Windsor Locks and Warehouse Point on the west and east banks, respectively, Windsor, Hartford, Wethersfield, Glastonbury, Cromwell, Portland, Middletown, Haddam, Deep River, and Old Saybrook and Old Lyme, facing each other at the mouth of the river.
Appears somewhat over 15 miles long; reaching the shore near East Haven.
Presently a very broad river, made that way in part by large dams. It forms the border between Fairfield and New Haven counties, and empties into the Long Island Sound between Bridgeport and New Haven.
A roughly 10-20 mile wide finger of the Atlantic which separates the (southern) shore of Connecticut from Long Island.
Middle of 3 rivers that flow into New Haven harbor.
Dwight (II, 24) calls the Quinebaug the "longest and most noble" tributary.
Easternmost of 3 rivers that flow into New Haven harbor.
A very broad river for about 15 miles, where it originates in Norwich. It is fed there by several tributaries, the major ones being the Shetucket and the Quinebaug. Dwight (II, 24) calls the Quinebaug the "longest and most noble" tributary, and thinks it should have been considered the upper part of the Thames.
It appears there are two (or more) minor rivers by this name. One is the westernmost of 3 rivers that flow into New Haven harbor. The other, less than 10 miles to the east, runs to the sound near Guilford.
Runs parallel to, and a couple of miles E of the Naugatuck, and the last few miles of the Housatonic rivers