Hartford


Hartford
/hahrt"feuhrd/, n.
1. (George) Huntington, 2nd, born 1911, U.S. businessman and patron of the arts.
2. a port in and the capital of Connecticut, in the central part, on the Connecticut River. 136,392.

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City (pop., 2000: 121,578), capital of Connecticut, U.S. Lying on the Connecticut River, it was settled by Dutch traders in the 1630s.

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, which later served as a model for the U.S. Constitution, were adopted (1639) in Hartford. The city's insurance industry, its major business, dates from 1794, when the first Hartford fire insurance policy was issued. The statehouse (1796) was designed by Charles Bulfinch. Institutions of higher learning include Trinity College. The birthplace of J.P. Morgan, Hartford was also the home of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain, whose houses are preserved.

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      capital of Connecticut and city coextensive with the town (township) of Hartford, Hartford county, U.S., in the north-central part of the state. It is a major industrial and commercial centre and a port at the head of navigation on the Connecticut River, 38 miles (61 km) from Long Island Sound. Dutch traders from New Amsterdam built a fort in 1633 at the mouth of the Park River, a tributary of the Connecticut; but the first settlement was made in 1635, when John Steele and some 60 English pioneers came from New Towne (now Cambridge, Massachusetts). In 1636 the First Church of Christ (Centre Congregational), which was organized in New Towne (1632), moved to Hartford with most of its congregation under the leadership of Thomas Hooker (Hooker, Thomas) and Samuel Stone. In 1637 the settlement was named for Stone's birthplace: Hertford, England. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, a document that later served as a model for the U.S. Constitution, was adopted (1639) in Hartford. On Charter Oak Avenue a monument marks the site of an oak tree where Captain Joseph Wadsworth supposedly secreted the colony's royal charter when Governor Sir Edmund Andros (Andros, Sir Edmund) attempted to seize it in 1687.

      Hartford was the scene of the Hartford Convention (1814), called by New England Federalists to protest the War of 1812 (1812, War of) policies of President James Madison (Madison, James). Shipping never recovered from the depression the war caused. Insurance, the city's outstanding business, dates from February 8, 1794, when the first Hartford fire insurance policy was issued. Hartford became the sole capital of Connecticut in 1875 after having been co-capital (with New Haven) of both colony and state since 1701.

      The marble and granite state capitol, completed in 1879, contains many objects of historical interest, including the tombstone of the American Revolutionary War hero Israel Putnam (Putnam, Israel). A gem of colonial architecture is the old three-story brick statehouse (1796) designed by Charles Bulfinch (Bulfinch, Charles). Wadsworth Atheneum, the oldest free public art museum in the United States, was opened in Hartford in 1844. The city's nationally famous urban renewal project, Constitution Plaza, was dedicated in 1964; the Hartford Civic Center opened in 1975. Nonetheless, the neighbourhoods peripheral to Hartford's rebuilt downtown continue to suffer from urban blight.

      Hartford is the seat of Trinity College (1823), Hartford Seminary (1834), Hartford Graduate Center (1955), Capital Community-Technical College (1946), and the law school (1921) of the University of Connecticut (Connecticut, University of). The University of Hartford (Hartford, University of) (1877) and Saint Joseph College (1932) are in West Hartford.

      The Hartford Courant (1764) is the nation's oldest surviving newspaper. The city is the birthplace of the writer and lecturer John Fiske (Fiske, John), the firearms manufacturer Samuel Colt (Colt, Samuel), and the financier J.P. Morgan (Morgan, John Pierpont). It was the home of the writers Harriet Beecher Stowe (Stowe, Harriet Beecher) and Mark Twain (Twain, Mark) (both houses preserved), the writer Charles Dudley Warner, the poet Wallace Stevens (Stevens, Wallace), the educator Henry Barnard (Barnard, Henry), and the theologian Horace Bushnell (Bushnell, Horace). The Hartford wits (Hartford wit), a group of poets, flourished there in the 18th century. The city has a large West Indian community. The city and town, both incorporated in 1784, were consolidated in 1896. Pop. (1990) city, 139,739; Hartford MSA, 1,157,585; (2000) city, 121,578; Hartford MSA, 1,183,110.

      county, north-central Connecticut, U.S. It is bordered to the north by Massachusetts and traversed (north-south) by the Connecticut River. Other waterways are the Farmington, Pequabuck, and Quinnipiac rivers and the Barkhamsted and Nepaug reservoirs. The terrain mostly consists of an Appalachian oak forest region featuring broad lowlands broken by traprock ridges. Parklands include Tunxis and Massacoe state forest reserves and Penwood and Talcott Mountain state parks.

      In the 1630s English pioneers arrived in the Connecticut River valley, settling beside such Indian tribes as the Podunk, Wangunk, and Saukiog. Established in May 1666 and named for Hertford, Eng., the county government was abolished on Oct. 1, 1960. The city of Hartford, the state capital, contains Trinity College (founded 1823), Wadsworth Atheneum (opened 1844), and the houses of writers Mark Twain (Twain, Mark) and Harriet Beecher Stowe (Stowe, Harriet Beecher). West Hartford, the birthplace of lexicographer Noah Webster (Webster, Noah), is the seat of the American School for the Deaf (founded 1817), St. Joseph College (1932), and the University of Hartford (Hartford, University of) (founded 1877). New Britain, the seat of Central Connecticut State University (founded 1849), is known as the Hardware City because its primary products are consumer hardware and industrial tools. From 1790 Bristol was known as an important producer of clocks. The world's first ax factory was founded in Collinsville in 1826.

      The twin economic pillars of the county are insurance and manufacturing, particularly high technology and defense-related industries. Area 736 square miles (1,905 square km). Pop. (2000) 857,183; (2006 est.) 876,927.

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Universalium. 2010.

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