Presidents, States, and Capitals

Posted by Jianne Carlo | 9:17 AM | 8 comments »

The Founding Colonies – Connecticut

Now I know most of you know all about the thirteen founding colonies, but I learned about them the first time this weekend. Fascinating history, the stuff of legends and lore (ooh, couldn’t resist).

But I’m sure the majority of my audience doesn’t want to know the same-old, same-old facts and figures so I thought I’d take a different slant for this blog. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still share my newfound knowledge of State statistics but I’ll keep the basics to the minimum.

As you may have noticed I am fixated on order and organization therefore, we’ll be doing this, the exploration of the thirteen colonies in, you guessed it, alphabetical order.

Connecticut

Capital: Hartford
Size: approximately 5,500 square miles with 618 miles of coastline
Size Rank: 48
Bird: Robin
Admitted to Statehood: January 9, 1788, 5th Constitution
Population: 3, 405,565
Presidents (birth): George W. Bush

I’ve decided to focus on the smallest towns in each State for this blog measured by either population and size and I take full editorial license to choose either both or one as I see fit. The 2000 census forms the basis for all of these blogs.

Settled in 1642 as an Indian trading post (Paugasset), Derby, Connecticut is only 5 square miles in size and has a population of 12,391. I almost blanched at those figures as I’ve always thought of small towns as having a very low population density. Sigh, another rural myth put to rest.

Amazingly enough, Obsornedale State Park comprises approximately 350 acres or almost ten percent of the total square miles of Derby.

And I’ve always thought of small towns as being non-industrialized. Go figure. The Kraus Corset Factory, The Howe Manufacturing Company (one of the first mechanized pin factories in the US) and Charlton Comics all claim Derby as home at one point in time or another.

Interestingly. one Frances Osborne, daughter of the original founders of The Kraus Factory became a business magnate in the eighteenth century. Frances ran the company she inherited on her own from 1907 until her death in 1956.

An incredible and astonishing woman.

In an era where females were relegated to the roles of wives and mothers, Frances became an international tycoon. Positions she held included: president of Union Fabric Company, vice president of Connecticut Clasp, treasurer of the F. Kelly Company, as well as a founding partner of Steels and Busks, Ltd. of Leicester, England.

The first woman bank director in the state (Birmingham National Bank), the first female to serve on the Derby Board of Education, Frances was treasurer of District Nurse Assn., director of the American Holstein - Friesian Assn., the CT Forest and Park Assn., and the CT Jersey Cattle Club.

And she did all this in spite of the fact she was blind in one eye and because of this handicap had been unable to complete her public school education.

Frances died with her boots on, serving in most of these positions until her death at the age of 80!

What an example!

Amongst Derby’s prominent residents during its history are:

Actor Brian Dennehy
The first black diplomat in US history (Ambassador to Haiti): Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett
Co-founder of Spider-Man Comics, Steve Ditko
Commodore Isaac Hull, who commanded the U.S.S. Constitution in the Revolutionary War

Another notable is William Hull (uncle to Issac), a General in the American Revolutionary War who later served as a judge and as a Massachusetts’ state senator as well as Governor of Michigan Territory.

I’ll end on a note of intriguing trivia (sad my penchant and capacity for retaining useless facts).

William Hull, friend to Nathan Hale, is generally credited with publicizing Hale’s famous last quote, “I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Of course, now I’m planning a ‘small town’ trip to Connecticut. Anyone have favorites to share?

8 comments

  1. Judy // July 28, 2009 at 9:39 AM  

    Loved reading about Connecticut. Such interesting facts. I suppose to each resident of a small town, it's history is interesting - or not!!Thanks

  2. Judy // July 28, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

    I reread my comment and it didn't come out right...I was thinking lots of kids in small towns think they're boring when they are anything but - history-wise.

  3. Pamela Varnado // July 28, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

    Lots of interesting facts about Connecticut. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Mary Marvella // July 28, 2009 at 6:19 PM  

    Thanks for such a fun way to learn about our own history. Too cool!

  5. Dayana // July 29, 2009 at 7:20 AM  

    I actually do have a favorite to share and had decided to blog about it before I even read your very interesting research material. Now I am definitely going to put my name up and blog! Thanks for such interesting facts. A great way to learn about our country.

    Now I'm off to the calendar to pick a date to blog about my favorite place to date and coincidently, my next WIP is set there and abouts:)

    Dayana~

  6. Beth Trissel // July 29, 2009 at 2:40 PM  

    Wowwww. Love this historical info. Very interesting.

  7. Joanne // July 29, 2009 at 5:37 PM  

    I don't really have a tidbit to share, but your post reminded me of the wonderful book, "The Tipping Point." My dh received the book as gift from his boss. In fact, all the employees received a copy. Anyway, the author gives the example of Paul Revere and his midnight ride--certainly a tipping point in our American history.

  8. Jianne Carlo // July 30, 2009 at 1:48 PM  

    Sorry I haven't responded before, but everyone in my house, all three males, are down with the flu, and I've been run off my feet.

    Thanks for the great comments. Of course, I'm finding every topic in my new studies fascinating, but I know it's old hat to most of you. I'm glad you enjoyed the slant.

    Dayana, what a tease you are. I can't wait for your post.

    JC