The region that is now Hartford was originally inhabited by multiple tribes, including Podunks, Walgunks, and the Saukiog. The area was first reached by the Europeans in the early 1600s, with the Dutch later coming to establish a trading post called Fort Hoop. The Dutch were soon outnumbered as more English settlers came to the area. During the 1650s, a boundary was created to separate the two colonies.
When the English arrived in the 1630s, the settlement was first called Newtown which was changed later to Hartford. It was also during the 1630s when Thomas Hooker delivered a speech that inspired the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, which gave the power of governance to the settlement’s people. It’s believed that this document was the inspiration for the Constitution.
Hartford continued to serve as a potent political presence through the 19th century. It was a center of influence, had a strong economy and was one of the wealthiest cities in the country. One of the most notable residents during the 19th century was Samuel Colt, who patented a revolver mechanism that allowed a gun to be shot multiple times without the need to reload. , and Colt created his corporation located near what is now downtown Hartford.
Colt also opened the Colt Armory and used advanced techniques to produce 150 weapons per day. During the Civil War, the armory thrived. In addition to becoming very wealthy and creating over 400,000 revolvers in just 25 years, Colt was a pioneer in product placement and marketing because of his innovative business practices.
Throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th century, Hartford had secured its place as a major manufacturing city. The city produced many products, including sewing machines, bicycles, cars, and typewriters.
The arrival of the 20th century also brought about some hardships for the city. This included one of the worst fires in the history of the US—the Hartford Circus Fire. Despite the disaster, the city was continuing to grow, with many Puerto Ricans moving to the area. However, in the 1950s, the expansion of suburbs led to population loss in the city limits. Businesses shut down or moved as suburban areas continued to grow. The population continued to drop through the 1990s, and it has been up and down ever since.
Today, the city of Hartford is a very diverse city. It has a thriving theater and arts scene, and it is the site of many events, including concerts and festivals. It is home to many higher education institutions including Trinity College and has many parks, churches, historical sites and attractions for residents and visitors to enjoy.