Connecticut, the Constitution State

Connecticut, the Constitution State

by Sandra Merville Hart 

Connecticut’s nickname is The Constitution State. Many believe that their state Constitution inspired ideas for the Constitution of the United States.

Connecticut’s early history

The first settlers who came to Connecticut were Dutch. By the 1630s, settlers from other colonies began moving to the area. In 1639, the colony of Connecticut became our fifth colony.

Eli Whitney’s cotton gin

gin-700566_960_720Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. It separated the cottonseed from the cotton fiber, which helped the cotton plantation owners in the southern states. Eli and a business partner manufactured cotton gins.

Yale University student changes rugby rules

Walter Camp went to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut from 1876 to 1882. He changed the rules of rugby. The new game became known as football.

Connecticut becomes a state

After the Revolutionary War ended, Connecticut became a state on January 9, 1788. The capital is Hartford.

The charter oak

In 1687, Sir Edmund Andros, an agent of England’s King Charles II, demanded the charters from all of the colonies. All other colonies gave them back, but Connecticut refused. Andros came to the meeting house in Hartford on October 31, demanding the charter. The meeting continued until dark, when suddenly all the candles went out.

In the darkness, Captain Wadsworth of Connecticut took the charter away and hid it in the hollow of an oak tree. Then he rushed back. When the candles were relit, the charter was gone. Andros never found it.

The great tree finally fell during a storm on August 21, 1856.

The Charter Oak is the state tree.

mantis-1146695_960_720Other fun facts about the state

The state song is Yankee Doodle. Did you start humming it when reading the title?

The state flower is mountain laurel.

The state insect is the European praying mantis, which can be found throughout Connecticut.

 

Sources

“13 Originals: Founding the American Colonies,” The Time Page, 2013/01/04 http://www.timepage.org/spl/13colony.html.

“1687 – The Charter Oak,” The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut 2013/01/26  http://colonialwarsct.org/1687.htm.

Bellis, Mary. “The Cotton Gin and Eli Whitney,” About.com Inventors 2013/01/26 http://inventors.about.com/od/cstartinventions/a/cotton_gin.htm.

Bellis, Mary. “History of Football,” About.com Inventors 2013/01/26 http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/HistoryFootball.htm.

Bellis, Mary. “The Cotton Gin and Eli Whitney,” About.com Inventors 2013/01/26 http://inventors.about.com/od/cstartinventions/a/cotton_gin.htm.

Cheney, Lynne. Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Gutman, Bill. The Look-It-Up Book of the 50 States, Random House, 2002.

“Connecticut,” State Symbols USA, 2016/06/06 http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/states/united-states/connecticut.

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