New Haven, The Town and Its Government
In the early spring of April, 1638, the ship Hector brought the English colonists into what is now New Haven harbor. As Puritans they did not like the laws of the King's Church of England and as businessmen they resented the high taxes. Virtually unsettled, America offered the opportunity to establish a theocracy whereby their religious beliefs could be enjoyed without oppression. Also, with its seemingly limitless natural resources, America provided the opportunities to trade and to prosper with little constraint. The land near the Quinnipiac River would be cleared, the ground tilled and a new home established where the settlers could have their own church, make their own laws and build a busy commercial town. No other settlements were established in the vicinity to threaten interference with their plans. Fortunately, the newcomers were comparatively free from any threat of attack from the Indians. The tribe headed by Momauguin numbered only 47 braves; while Montowese, sachem of the little group to the northeast of the harbor, commanded but ten warriors. From these two chiefs Davenport and Eaton purchased tracts of land covering the original towns of New Haven, East Haven, Branford, North Branford, North Haven, Wallingford, Cheshire, and parts of Orange, Woodbridge, Bethany, Prospect, and Meriden.
During the early summer of 1638, under the direction of John Brockett, surveyor, the settlers staked out the town-plot in the form of nine squares. Reserving the central section for a market place, they allotted the land in the other eight to the principal planters for home building. Since the total half-mile square, laid out with what later became George Street as a base, was insufficient to take care of the entire company, Brockett added two suburbs. One of these, bounded by the modern George, Water, Meadow, and State streets, occupied the tip of a peninsula between two creeks; the other ran along the opposite side of West Creek. The thirty-odd householders, who, at the inception of the colony were not share-owners in the venture, received grants of land in these "suburbs."
The settlement was made between what was called East and West Creeks. As merchants, they wanted to by near the harbor. A half mile square between the creeks was marked off. This square was divided into nine smaller ones; the middle one was to be the market place. The land in the surrounding eight squares was sub-divided and given to the settlers. The size of the land received was determined by the amount of money invested in the Company that had been formed in England to finance the settlement and by the number of family members. Evidence points to the fact that, in the early years, people from the same part of old England tended to cluster in the same section of the town-plot, the sections becoming thus identified with the names of Yorkshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, and London. As time went on, the colonists began to think and talk of these subdivisions in further terms of the names of the leading inhabitants: the northeast square, in which Theopolis Eaton lived, became "the Governors quarters"; the north center bore the honored name of Robert Newman, and the one on the east center that of Mr. Davenport. In November 1639, the pioneers completed a series of fences and gates, setting off the quarters and surrounding the town-plot as a whole with a palisade.
Within a few years this was community of substantial houses (construction materials imported from England). Reverend Davenport's house alone, had 13 fireplaces! The new government of the "Seven Pillars of the Church" renamed their town New Haven in 1640 and by the following year, the population had more than doubled, to nearly 1,000.
Boarded houses, some with projecting second stories, others with steep shingled roofs sloping in the rear nearly to the ground. There are no log cabins in evidence, for New Englanders never built them. At the center of town, a meetinghouse with its pointed roof, the tavern with its swinging sign, the central Green with its stocks and pillories. Not far away, the schoolhouse, and alongside a stream, the grist mill. Beyond the village lie the pasture fields. Partially cut patches of woodland indicate the source for building timer and fireplace-logs. An occasional lonely farm nestles on a hillside.
The population of New Haven town during the period of the independent colony remained preponderantly English. A few Frenchmen, Dutchmen, Scotsmen wandered in from time to time; [Africans] . . , attached to the households of the attached to the households of the Lamberton and Eaton families, are mentioned in the court records for the year 1646; and the Quinnipiac Indians occupied the lands reserved to them by treaty on the east side of the river.
The New Haven settlers being strict Puritans built the "Meeting House" in the middle of the center square within a year of landing. For meetings and for worship, the "House" was a simple, square framed building with a small tower rising from the center of its steep sloping roof. From the tower, at eight o'clock Sunday mornings, two drummers sounded the signal for those who lived at a distance that the service would soon begin. After the long sermons, both in the morning and in the afternoon, the colonists would meet with friends, visit and trade news. The Market Place became the meeting ground for business, social activity, worship, sports and even a training area for the local militia upon which to drill.
In 1670, a second "Meeting House" was built; a ships bell was bought and put into the tower to replace the drummers. Like the first, this "House" was also simple and unpretentious. It was square in design with sloping roofs up to a turret at the top. Church and state existed as one in the New Haven Colony. Seven church members, known as the "seven pillars", constituted the government as well as leading the church. Until 1664 and the union with the Connecticut Colony, this was how the colony was ruled. The union also brought an end to prosperity as commercial ventures ended and the colonists concentrated on farming.
The colony' houses were typical of a provincial community and the Green became neglected. A State House was built there in 1717 for the legislature which would meet there, New Haven having become the co-capital with Hartford as of 1701. The town's public place remained an area where merchants bought and sold, where animals grazed and Yale College sprang to life although activity focused on the harbor. A wharf was constructed to reach the many snips and their cargoes that began to bring new wealth to New Haven. The wharf would eventually extend 3500 feet outward by the 1750's. This increased trade and wealth brought a new beginning to the town. From the other sides of the square, thoroughfares extended settlement into surrounding areas. In 1756, the old "Meeting House" was again replaced with a larger one of brick. This third one was barn like, oblong in form with the roof running up to a ridge pole. The entrance was on the broad side and a square tower was built at one end with a steeple.
Government of New Haven Colony
October 27/November 6, 1643
It was agreed and concluded as a fundamental order nott to be disputed or questioned hereafter, thatt none shall be admitted to be free burgesses in any of the plantations within this jurisdiction for the future, butt such planters as are members of some or other of the approved churches of New England, nor shall any butt such free burgesses have any vote in any election, (the six present freemen aft Milforde enjoying the liberty with the cautions agreed,) nor shall any power or trust in the ordering of any civill affayres, be aft any time putt into the hands of any other than such church members, though as free planters, all have right to their inherritance & to comerce, according to such grants, orders and lawes as shall be made concerning the same.
2. All such free burgesses shall have power in each towne or plantation within this jurisdiction to chuse flit and able men, from amongst themselves, being church members as before, to be the ordinary judges, to heare and determine all inferior causes, whether civill or criminal!, provided that no civill cause to be tryed in any of these plantation Courts in value exceed 201, and thatt the punishment in such criminals, according to the mince of God, revealed in his word, touching such oflences, doe nott exceed stocking and whipping, or if the fine be pecuniary, thatt itt exceed nott five pounds. In which Court the magistrate or magistrates, if any be chosen bv the free burgesses or the jurisdiction for thatt plantation, shall sift and assist with due respect to their place, and sentence shall according to the vote of the major part of each such Court, onely if the partyes, or any of them be nott satisfyed with the justice of such sentences or executions, appeales or complaints may be made from and against these courts to the Court of Magistrates for the whole jurisdiction.
3. All such free burgesses through the whole jurisdiction, shall have vote in the election of all magistrates, whether Governor, Deputy Governor, or other magistrates, with a Treasurer, a Secretary and a Marshall, &c. for the jurisdiction.. And for the ease of those free burgesses, especially in the more remote plantations, they may by proxi vote in these elections, though absent, their votes being sealed up in the presence of the free burgesses themselves, thatt their several severall libertyes may be preserved, and their votes directed accord~ng to their owne particular light, and these free burgesses may, att every election, chuse so many magistrates for each plantation, as the weight of aflayres may require, and as they shall finde fitt men for thatt trust. Butt it is provided and agreed, thatt no plantation shall aft any election be left destitute of a magistrate if they desire one to be chosen out of those in church fellowshipp with them.
4. All the magistrates for the whole juridsiction shall meete twice a yeare att Newhaven, namely, the Munday immediately before the sitting of the two fixed Generall Courts hereafter mentioned, to keep a Court called the Court of Magistrates, for the tryall of weighty and capitall cases, whether civill or criminall, above those lymitted to the ordinary judges in the particular plantations, and to receive and try all appeales brought unto them from the aforesaid Plantation Courts, and to call all the inhabitants, whether free burgesses, free planters, or others, to account for the breach of any lawes established, and for other misdeameanours, and to censure them according to the quallity of the offence, in which meetings of magistrates, less then tower shall nott be accounted a Court, nor shall they carry on any busines as a Court, butt itt is expected and required, thatt all the magistrates in this jurisdiction doe constantly attend the publique service att the times before mentioned, & if any of them be absent aft one of the clock in the afternoons on Munday aforesaid, when the court shall sift, or if any of them depart the towne without leave, while the court sifts, he or they shall pay for any such default, twenty shillings fine, unless some providence of God occasion the same, which the Court of Magistrates shall judge of from time to time, and all sentences in this court shall pass by the vote of the major part of magistrates therein, butt from this Court of Magistrates, appeales and complaints may be made and brought to the Generall Court the last and highest of this jurisdiction; butt in all appeales or complaints from, or to, what court soever, due costs and damages shall be payd by him or them thatt make appeale or complaint without just cause.
5. Besides the Plantation Courts and Court of Magistrates, there shall be a Generall Court for the Jurisdiction, which shall consist of the Governor, Deputy Governor and all the Magistrates within the Jurisdiction, and two Deputyes for every plantation in the Jurisdiction, which Deputyes shall from time to time be chosen against the approach of any such Generall Court, by the aforesaid free burgesses, and sent with due certificate to assist- in the same, all which, both Governor and Deputy Governor, Magistrates and Deputyes, shall have their vote in the said Court. This Generall Court shall always sift aft New-haven, (unless upon weighty occasions the Generall Court see cause for a time to sift elsewhere,) and shall assemble twice every yeare, namely, the first Wednesday in Aprill, & the last Wednesday in October, in the later of which courts the Governor, the Deputy Governor and all the magistrates for the whole jurisdiction with a Treasurer, a Secretary and Marshall, shall yearly be chosen by all the free burgesses before mentioned, besides which two fixed courts, the Governor, or in his absence, the Deputy Governor. shall have power to summon a Generall Court att any other time, as the urgent and extraordinary occasions of the jurisdiction may require, and aft all Generall Courts, whether ordinary or extraordinary, the Governor and Deputy Governor, and all the rest of the magistrates for the jurisdiction, with the Deputyes for the several! plantations, shall sift together, till the affayres of the jurisdiction be dispatched or may safely be respited, and if any of the said magistrates or Deputyes shall either be absent aft the first sitting of the said Generall Court, (unless some providence of God hinder, which the said Court shall judge of,) or depart, or absent themselves disorderly before the Court be finished he or they shall each of them pay twenty shillings fine, with due considerations of further aggravations if there shall be cause; which Generall Court shall, with all care and delligence provide for the maintenance of the purity of religion' and suppress the contrary, according to their best light from the worde of God, and all wholsome and sound advice which shall be given by the elders and churches in the jurisdiction, so fare as may concerne their civill power to deale therein.
Secondly they shall have power to mak and repeale lawes, and, while they are in force, to require execution of them in all the severall plantations.
Thirdly, to impose an oath upon all the magistrates, for the faithful discharge of the trust committed to them, according to their best abilityes, and to call them to account for the breach of any lawes established, or for other misdemeanors, and to censure them, as the quallity of the opulence shall require.
Fowerthly, to impose and [an] oath of fidelity and due subjection to the lawes upon all the free burgesses, free planters, and other inhabitants within the whole jurisdiction.
5ly to settle and leivie rates and contributions upon all the severall plantations; publique service of the jurisdiction.
6ly, to heare and determine all causes, whether civill or crominall which by appeale or complaint shall be orderly brought unto them from any of the other Courts, or from any of the other plantations In all which, with whatsoever else shall fall within their cognisance or judicature, they shall proceed according to the scriptures, which is the rule of all rightous lawes and sentences, and nothing shall pass an act of the Generall Court butt by the consent of the major part of the magistrates, and the greater part of Deputyes.
These generalls being thus land and settled, though with purpose thatt the scircumstantialls, such as the vallue of the causes to be tryed in the Plantation Courts, the ordinary and fixed times of meetings, both for the Generall Courts, and courts of magistrates, how oft and when they shall silt, with the fines for absence or default, be hereafter considered oR, continued or altered, as may best and most advance the course of justice, and best sute the occasions of the plantations, the Court proceed to present particular busines of the jurisdiction.
NEW HAVEN EPISODES
New Haven began as a self-governing commonwealth, an independent colony. It was not a colony that was supported by a Royal charter or legal title from the English government.
The independence of New Haven rested upon the chance that the English government would be friendly or be too preoccupied to interfere with their affairs It was both a Puritan community, dedicated to God and at the same time a commercial enterprise. The Bible contained the word of the Lord. It contained the rules of conduct that individuals must follow and a pattern from which they could draw a plan of social organization. The Colonists perceived no conflict between their religious beliefs and pursuing economic advantages.
Two school-mates had become the organizers of this company of faithful. The Reverend John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton personified the themes of puritan community and mercantile enterprise. Eaton was a successful businessman and an administrator familiar with the operation of the joint-stock companies of the day. He was also a staunch Puritan. John Davenport had been the Vicar of Saint Stephen's in London. In that role he was expected to be a participant in the "prudential and secular affairs" of his parish . He had left England for Holland in 1633, but the fear of his parishioners straying from their beliefs and his communications with Reverend John Cotton, whose accounts of New England were exciting, provoked Davenport to return to England. He joined with Eaton to embark on a business venture to establish a plantation with a good harbor for shipping and at the same time to allow the unrestricted practice of their religious beliefs. These settlers were "the wealthiest group of merchants to come to any New England settlement before 1660" . They would have attempted to fit into the Boston community if they had not encountered a Puritan church in crisis. Anne Hutchinson had scandalized the Boston congregation with her belief that divine inspiration came directly from God to the individual and that our earthly conduct had little to do with salvation ). Such a dispute was so offensive to the newly arrived group that Davenport and Eaton immediately sought refuge in another part of this land outside the Massachusetts charter area. They heard of our area most likely from Captain Mason and the troops who had pursued the aggressive Pequots through the area a few years earlier. The first written account of this area may have been as early as 1614, when the Dutch navigator Adriaen Block anchored in a harbor flanked by two red hills, no doubt East and West Rocks. The Native name for the area was Ouinnipiack, the first European name was the Dutch "'Roodeburg"', red-town or place . Eaton and other members of the group went to the area the summer before the rest of the company followed. In the fall seven remained at the Ouinnipiac site, while others returned to encourage the rest of the company to follow in the spring. There was cleared land, a good harbor and the chance of developing a good fur trade. It has been proposed that Eaton may have been one of the about seven who stayed in the proposed site that winter. It is thought that it was at this time that the nine square pattern for the city was developed. Thus actually we may agree with the comment that New Haven was "America's first planned city". The number of people in the company had increased while in Boston. Settlers from Hertfordshire and their Reverend Peter Prudden, who were equally horrified at the religious problems, were persuaded to join the Eaton-Davenport company. It took two weeks or the Hector and an unnamed sister ship to sail from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to Ouinnipiac harbor. Finally, on Saturday, April 24, 1638 about five hundred settlers disembarked.
Few of those that arrived intended to be part of a farming community. There was a substantial amount of hard money in the company, and this meant that the hardships that earlier settlements had were not experienced. These colonists could initially purchase what they needed. The location had been well chosen. There were to the east and west successive smaller harbors, estuaries of rivers that suggested good locations for settlement. The Ouinnipiac harbor was also about half way between the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam and the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In addition, there was virtually no threat from the area natives. Raids by the vanquished Pequots and Mohawks, who once sought tribute, as well as an epidemic had greatly reduced their number. Less than sixty natives in two small groups remained. In order to establish some title to the land treaties with the chiefs, Momauguin and Montowese, were signed in late 1638. Actually, more than the coats, spoons, hatchets, hoes and knives the natives appreciated the protection that the new arrivals provided. So it was that April 1638 the colonists arrived at a fairly secure spot in the wilderness.
It was at a meeting of the 'General court,' a legislative and judicial body of sixteen members under the leadership of Eaton, on September 1, 1640, that the new harbor was officially for the first time referred to as New Haven . It is interesting to note that Davenport and Eaton had previously won a close vote of the legislative body that established the separation of church and state in New Haven's government. These same town fathers felt that in order that New Haven become a new trading center they should create a series of communities in the area. These Communities would deliver their products to New Haven for export. The leaders of each of the communities would be members of the General court and meet on a regular basis in New Haven. Milford was established in 1639 by Reverend Peter Prudden, Guilford by the Reverend Henry Whitfield.. his house in Guilford is still standing and may be visited. Stamford and Southold, on Long Island, were incorporated in 1641. The last member of this network of local Communities was Branford; it came into the fold in 1644.
The New Haven merchants also made a thrust out of the immediate Long Island Sound area. They struck out for what is now the mid-Atlantic states Coastline, determined to find the best available Long Island Sound area. They struck out for what is now the mid-Atlantic states Coast line determined to find the best available harbor and establish yet another trading outpost. They paid little attention to previous titles to the land claimed by the Swedes and the Dutch; instead they resorted to gaining title by purchasing the land form the natives. In 1641 the New Haven legislative authorities voted themselves in Control of what is now most of southern New Jersey and the present site of Philadelphia. While this was a bold move it was also an unrealistic extension of what the New Haven Colony could control. The Dutch and the Swedes did not mind the settlers, but refused to tolerate the independent competition. The fifty New Haven families that settled the Philadelphia site were Constantly harassed. For ten years the New Haven party's homes were burned, commerce interfered with and leaders captured. New Haven appealed to its fellow New England Colonies for help. The other Colonies were not about to commit to something that Could develop into an armed Conflict to defend the New Haven Colony's tenuous claim. Sickness too, ravaged the outpost. The Colony Continued its claim until 1664 when the Duke of York brought under English Control New Amsterdam. Some of the original settlers from New Haven are today considered among the founding fathers of that region.
This was an enormous set back at a very bad time for New Haven. The Colony now had little currency. The Delaware scheme had drained its resources. There was now little chance of new investment because of a political change in England. Oliver Cromwell had lead a Puritan revolution. Charles I was killed. There no longer existed a reason for the Puritans to flee to the New World. "Strange though it may seem, more people left Massachusetts for England than came thence to the Bay Colony between 1640 and 1660" . A continued trust in the Lord, an indomitable spirit and perhaps desperation motivated the New Haveners to attempt what was to their last and most ambitious venture.
In New Haven, in 1645, was built an ocean worthy ship of 80 tons. To this point the Colony had but five small ships for coastal trade. This new craft was to sail directly to England. The Colony was no longer to use the Massachusetts Bay Colony as middle-man. The last resources of the Community were aboard the ship when it set sail in 1646 never to return. A year and a half went by and in the summer of 1647, after a thunder shower moved out over the harbor an apparition of the ship appeared. There seems to have been time for everyone to gather on the shore. They watched in amazement. It is recorded they Could recognize their friends on the deck. Then as the ship drew nearer the masts seemed to snap in an invisible wind, the passengers to pitch into the sea and the ship to capsize. Reverend Davenport explained that God had sent the ship to answer their prayers for an explanation of what had happened to their loved ones. H. W. Longfellow eulogized this revelation in his poem The Phantom Ship. The risks had been taken, all the grand plans had failed and the Colony was near collapse. Thus ended what might called New Haven's first maritime period. Those that remained now faced "a future of farming and isolation" .
Now once again there was a change in the English government. Charles II came to the throne in 1660. Puritan power was over. Two judges, or regicides, who had signed Charles I's death warrant escaped to New England in 1661. They were Colonel William Goffe, and his father-in-law Colonel Edward Whalley. While at first warmly greeted in the Bay Colony, the word of troops hot on their heels cooled the Bostonian's welcome. They traveled overland to New Haven where they were greeted by Reverend Davenport. They took up refuge on West Rock in an outcrop of massive boulders that now is call Judge's Cave. When the royal authorities arrived it was the Sabbath. They were Coerced to attend service, at which the Reverend Davenport read from the Bible, "'Hide the outcasts, and betr not him that wandereth"' he then read the supposed secret royal warrant aloud to those present. The officers could not find a trace of the regicides and departed empty-handed. For more than a month the judges remained in their natural hideaway. Daily a local farmer left food for them on a stump about half way from the center of town. They were prompted to leave their shelter after hearing what they thought might be a mountain lion or another fierce wild animal. Colonel Dixwell, the third regicide, had initially traveled to Europe after his escape from England and did not join his fellow judges until 1664. In 1664 another detachment of royal officers arrived in search of the regicides. Now all three hid at the West Rock site. Once again the search was fruitless and the troops left. The judges fled north spending time in Hadley and Hartford. Colonel Dixwell is the only one on record to have returned to New Haven. He assumed the name James Davids and established himself as a respected member of the community. He started a family and is the only one of the three judges we are sure of lain to rest on the New Haven Green.
It is felt but not established in any written record that this snub of the Charles II government officials may have hastened the end of the proud and independent New Haven Colony. It was brought to Governor Leete's attention that the Connecticut colony was sending an emissary to England to establish friendly relations with the new government. Eaton had died in 1658. New Haven was without a statesman and without funds. Governor Leete sent a hurried message to the Connecticut Colony's Governor Winthrop to request that he plead New Haven's case. Whether or not the message ever reached Governor Winthrop is unknown. What is known is that the Connecticut Colony envoy sought and obtained a charter which included the independent Colony of New Haven. Governor Winthrop returned in 1663 and proposed a compromise and after a two year argument New Haven acquiesced. On January 5, 1665 an act of submission was passed by the General Court of the New Haven Colony. The New Haven Colony was now officially part of the Connecticut Colony.
What words can we use to describe these early settlers? They were most of all God fearing adventurers. In an almost Quixotic fashion they seemed to venture forth without regard for physical boundaries or human limitations. They were dreamers with a vision. They longed not only to create God's kingdom on earth, but also a colonial empire that had the New Haven Colony at its center. The story of the Colony seems to fit the pattern of the tragic hero. He starts in heroic fashion, well-off and confident. Then fate interferes making each thoughtfully developed and implemented ventures collapse. These enterprises were not those of an individual or dictated unilaterally. The decisions were communally agreed upon, the Colony acted as a single body. The colonists' faith in God enhanced their belief that their undertakings would be successful. When it was apparent that their ship had been lost and that they were to become party of the Connecticut colony it was, no doubt, that same faith that held them together and gave them the strength to carry on.
The New Haven Colony was fundamentally designed to have a government based on a social contract whose rules were those of Bible state. The freedom to seek commercial expansion and the resulting financial reward were the primary factors-obsessions-in the establishment of the independent Colony. Yet below this entrepreneurial layer that found the leaders of the free planters from the six plantations, or settlements, meeting in 'general court' monthly to determine the Colony's grand plans there were the everyday routines that were necessary to sustain a community. Davenport and Eaton had arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony with about two hundred fifty in their company. Discontent cause by the religious turmoil doubled the number to approximately five hundred and these souls reached Ouinnipiac on April 24,1638. In spite of the fostering of five neighboring plantations in the following years it was reported in 1643 the New Haven plantation had about eight hundred inhabitants. This group was comprised of "122 planters (including widows), the number of persons in their households (totaling 419)" .There was a definite structure in this society. Free planters who were church members held the most authority they were followed by the nonchurch member free planters. There were also indentured servants, apprentices and finally those of a more transient nature the laborers and seamen. It must be noted that there were slaves. "There were a few Negro and Indian slaves, and some white persons were also enslaved as a penalty for arson, sometimes for years, sometimes for life" .
Within years after the arrival of the Hector at Ouinnipiac, not only were there social classifications but also a great diversity of employment. First of all there were the Puritan farmers; then those that might be considered in professional fields, the ministers, the merchants and teachers. While these groups may well have provided for the emotional and financial security of the Colony it was the great number of skilled artisans who provided the community with what was needed daily. The artisans of New Haven in the seventeenth century made almost everything by hand. Their ranks included: "sawyers, carpenters, ship-carpenters, joiners, thatchers, chimney-sweepers, brick-layers, plasterers, tanners, shoemakers, saddlers, weavers, tailors, hatters, blacksmiths, gunsmiths, cutlers, nailers, millers, coopers, and potters". There was in addition an unsuspected category of skilled laborer, the spinster. Nearly every home housed an unmarried woman and it was to them that the task of making linen and woolen thread that eventually would be woven into cloth fell. Essential services were provided both for individual households as well as for the community at large for more than a century in this hands on labor intensive manner.
The water powered gristmill was the only exception to the general rule of manual endeavor. Of course, New Haven's was on Mill River. Atwater states, "To the first planters of New Haven, their gristmill was a very important institution. It was at Whitneyville, and the lane through which grists were carried to the mill, . . . called Mill Lane. Their posterity have change the name to Orange Street" . It is interesting to speculate where this mill might have been. It may actually be on the Eli Whitney site.
The New Haven Colony traded with the Massachusetts Bay Colony, New Amsterdam and New Netherlands. New Amsterdam was their first, nearest and favorite market. There were duties on both imports and exports and a constanstream of protests from one colony to another dependent upon which group imposed what. There was a demand for the Colony's products which included: "peas, flour, biscuit, malt, livestock, dairy products, beef, pork, hides and leather, furs and skins, shingles, clapboard, and pipestaves, fish, the products of the whale, the crude work of artisans, and wampum". Hard money was scarce and might have been, "English shillings, Dutch Guilders, (or) Spanish pieces of eight". The above list of products includes wampum which was another currency substitute. Most of the trade of the colony was carried on using barter or wampum. These methods of exchange necessitated constant regulation. Laws were passed fixing the value of wampum. Some colonists tried to copy the Native wampum, others took samples to England and had a porcelain counterfeit manufactured that eventually destroyed its use as money .
The currency problem continued to trouble the colonies until the revolution. In the mean time there was a slow development of industry in the area. Thomas Nash, (Osterweis 33) or Naish (Carder 156) is credited with making the first American clock. It was an all wood works affair Constructed in 1638. A few years later in 1655 an interest in mining developed in East Haven. John Winthrop Jr. and Stephen Goodyear joined to establish a forge and bloomery-a bloom is a chunk of iron that has been separated from the rock and is ready to be worked, wrought-at the point where Lake Saltonstall empties into a stream. Ore for the forge was located in North Haven bogs It was brought down the Ouinnipiac to East Haven and then carted overland to the forge. John Winthrop Jr. was enticed to move to New Haven to oversee the operation of the forge. He was Considered an outstanding metallurgist as well as physician. He purchased a home, ". . . paying for it in goats" . Again, as fate would have it within the year he was elected by the Connecticut Colony to be their Governor and left the area. This is the same office he no doubt, would have been elected to within the following months in the New Haven Colony had he been available because of the death of New Haven's Governor, Theoplilus Eaton. "It was a shrewd move on the part of Connecticut, destined to change the history of the colonies" . So to, it changed the future of the forge. The colony eventually suffered more than it gained from the venture. Within a few years it was considered a liability. It also "attracted unruly transients much to the discomfort of the town fathers" . before its eventual closing in the late 1670's.
An appropriate designation for the period from the 1650's to the 1750's might be the village period. Very little happened to industrialize New England. The household industries did become well established and the artisans maintained systems of apprenticeship. Trade was based primarily on barter. New Haven became a provincial, self-contained community based on agriculture. At the turn of the century it did reclaim some of its former prestige when it was proclaimed the CO-capital with Hartford. There were small attempts to industrialize the area in the 1730's. Abel Parmalee established a bell foundry in 1736, becoming New Haven's first true industry. In the 1730's there was also a sawmill functioning in Hamden that was water powered. New Haven was slowly regaining its health and once again was becoming a bustling and prosperous community. No longer were the names of Eaton and Davenport the topics of Conversation, now it was Roger Sherman, James Hillhouse and Benedict Arnold that captured peoples interest. Osterweis states: "New men, ambitious and energetic, began to arrive . . . Ships engaged in trade with the West Indies were slipping in and out of the busy harbor . . . New Haven...was emerging from its medieval period"