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English Colonies of Connecticut and Long Island – 1636

Unlike the Dutch, English immigrants to New England came to establish permanent settlements where they could practice their religion, own land, pursue financial opportunities, and manage their own affairs. They left a land where they were persecuted for their Puritan religious and societal beliefs and which offered little opportunity. Because the English kings were anxious about the colonization of the lands they claimed, they were willing to grant charters with liberal “concessions” to colonists for self-management of local affairs and the practice of their religion.

Two groups of Puritans who came from England settled in the area around Long Island Sound, not very far from New Amsterdam. In 1636 sixty men, women, and children resettling from Massachusetts organized the Connecticut Colony along the Connecticut River at Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford as a haven for “Puritan gentleman” and their families. In 1638 the independent colony of New Haven was founded by the Puritan minister John Davenport and his congregation at a point of land with a good harbor at the mouth of the Quinnipiac River. New Haven soon became a trading center, and several affiliated communities were created in the area, including Milford, Guilford, and Stamford in what is now Connecticut, and on the south side of Long Island Sound at Jamaica, Southold, Northampton, and South Hampton. These settlements were in areas claimed by the Dutch and the English; however, the Dutch had little appetite or interest in defending their claims.

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