One of the United States, so called from its principal river, lies between 41° and 42° north latitude, and 71°20' and 73°15' west longitude from Greenwich, and is bounded north by Massachusetts; east by Rhode Island; south by Long Island sound; and west by New York, containing 4,674 square miles
Physical aspect-- The surface is uneven, and greatly diversified by hills and valleys. The soil is generally fertile, particularly so in Fairfield county, and the alluvial meadows in the valley of the Connecticut are uncommonly fine, and well adapted for tillage; but a large portion of the state is better suited to the purposes of grazing.
Mountains--Strictly speaking, there are three mountains ranges in this state; one running a few miles east of the Connecticut as far south as Chatham, where it is cut off by that river, and reappears again on the western side, and terminates at East Haven. Another range, which extends from Mount Tom, in Massachusetts, runs through the whole state, on the westerly side of the Connecticut, and terminates at New Haven, in a similar bluff called West Rock. The Blue Hills, in Southington, belonging to this range, are the most elevated land in the state, being at least 1,000 feet in height. At the westward of Hartford is Talcott mountains, belonging also to this range.
Rivers, Bays, Harbors, &c--The principal rivers are, the Connecticut, Housatonic, Thames, Farmington, Naugatuck, and the Quinnebaug. The shores of Connecticut are Penetrated by numerous bays and creeks, which afford many safe harbors for small vessels. The three best harbors in the state are those of New London, Bridgeport and New Haven.
Climate--The climate is generally healthy, through subject to sudden changes of temperature, and extreme degrees of heat and cold. In winter, the northwest winds are piercing and keen, while those which blow from the south are more mild. Near the coast the weather is particularly variable, usually changing wit the wind, as it blows from the land or the sea. In the western and northerly parts of the state, the temperature is more uniform and mild.
Production Resources--Among the staple products may be enumerated, horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, eggs, fish, beef, pork, milk, butter, cheese, silk, wool, tobacco, hemp, flax, hay, straw, wheat, rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, Indian corn, potatoes, garden vegetables, fruits, cider and wine. Iron ore, of superior quality, is found in Salisbury and Kent, that of the former being particularity adapted for the manufacture of wire. At Stafford, a bog iron ore is found, from which excellent casting and hollow ware are made. Lead and copper mines exist in different parts of the state, but in general they have not been worked to much extent. A lead mine, near Middletown, was wrought with some success during the revolutionary war. At Simsbury there is also a mine of cooper. In Chatham and Haddam, a reddish-brown freestone is quarried, which is easily wrought, and is highly esteemed in modern architecture, wherever it can economically be obtained. Fine variegated marble is found at Milford, resembling verd-antique.
Manufactures-- A Large proportion of the people of Connecticut are engaged in manufactures, more particularly those of cotton and woolens; also iron, hats, paper, leather, tin ware, buttons, cutlery, carriages, ship building &c.
Railroads and Canals-- Connecticut has over 600 miles of railroad in operation, and others projected, which will undoubtedly be carried through at an early day. The only canals in the state now in operation are those which have been constructed to facilitate navigation on the Connecticut river.
Commerce-- The Commerce of Connecticut is mostly with the southern states and the West Indies. The imports and exports of 1850 amounted to $614,320 one half of which entered and cleared at New Haven, and one fourth at New London. The shipping owned within the state amounts to about 120,000 tons. The foreign commerce of Connecticut has deceased, owing to the facilities afforded by the railroad communications for shipping at New York and Boston.
Education-- There are three colleges in Connecticut; Yale college at New Haven, one of the most flourishing in the Union; Trinity college at Hartford; and the Wesleyan university at Middletown. There are in the state 150 academies, and over 2000 common schools. Connecticut has a large school fund, amounting to about $2,000,000. The asylum for the deaf and dumb at Hartford is the oldest and most respectable institution of the kind in the United States.
Populations-- In 1790 was 237,946; in 1800 was 251,002; in 1810 was 261,942; in 1820 was 275,248; in 1830 was 297,711; in 1840 was 310,015 and in 1850 was 370,791. Number of slaves in 1790 was 2,759; in 1800 was 951, in 1810 was 310; in 1820 was 97 and in 1830 was 25 who were not emancipated on account of advanced age or infirmities.
History-- Connecticut comprises a part of the territory of the Plymouth colony, and was granted to the earl of Warwick, in 1630, extending westward from the Atlantic to the "South Sea". The first permanent settlement was made in 1633, by English emigrates from Massachusetts Bay, who located at Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield. In 1635, another puritan colony was also established at the mouth of the Connecticut, called the "Saybrook" in honor of Lords Say and Brook, to whom in 1631, the earl of Warwick had conveyed his title. In 1638, a third puritan colony was formed at New Haven and remained in force until 1665. In 1639, the inhabitants of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield formed a separate government for themselves, as one public state, or commonwealth, to which the Saybrook colony was annexed, by purchase, in 1644, and with which the New Haven colony united, under the royal charter, in 1665. In 1662, the royal charter of Connecticut was granted by Charles II, embracing the territory extending westward from Narraganset bay to the Pacific, embracing within its limits the New Haven colony and most of the present state of Rhode Island. In 1687, Sir Edmund Andros came to Hartford with a body of troops, and by royal authority, as governor general of all New England, demanded a surrender of this charter, and a dissolution of the existing government. The Connecticut assembly being in session at the time, were not disposed to make the surrender, and while the subject was under discussion, the lights were extinguished, and the charter secretly conveyed away, and concealed in the cavity of a hollow oak tree, which is still standing and bears the name of the "Charter Oak". This charter formed the basic government until 1818, when the present constitution was adopted. Within this charter was embraced the "Connecticut Western Reserve", consisting of about 3,300,00 acres of land in the northeast part of Ohio, which as a compromise, was ceded to the United States in 1796. It was sold to the Connecticut Land Company, for $1,200,00 and was the foundation of the state school fund. The Constitution of the United States was adopted in 1788. The motto of the state seal is, Qui transtulit susinet "He who brought us hither still preserves."
Government-- The government is vested in a governor, lieutenant governor, senate, and house of representatives, all chosen annual by the people, on the first Monday in April. The senate consists of not less than 18, nor more than 24 members. The sessions for the legislature are held annually, alternately, at Hartford and New Haven. The judicial power is vested in a supreme court of errors, Superior court, and such inferior courts as the legislature may establish. Judges are chosen by the legislature, and hold office during good behavior, or till seventy years of age. The right of suffrage is enjoyed by every white male citizen of the United States, who has resided in the town six months immediately preceding, and has a freehold of the yearly value of seven dollars, or shall have preformed, or been excused from military duty, or shall have paid a state tax, one year next preceding the election, and who is of good moral character.