Hartford is the capital of Connecticut. Hartford was founded in 1637.
Nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World", Hartford houses many insurance company headquarters, and insurance remains the region's major industry.
After Dutch explorer Adriaen Block visited the area in 1614, fur traders from the New Netherland colony set up trade at Fort Goede Hoop (Good Hope) at the confluence of the Connecticut and Park Rivers as early as 1623, but abandoned their post by 1654. Today, the neighborhood near the site is still known as Dutch Point. The first English settlers arrived in 1635 and their settlement was originally called Newtown, but was renamed Hartford in 1637. The name "Hartford" was chosen to honor the English town of Hertford, home of Samuel Stone, one of the settlers.
The leader of Hartford's original settlers from what is now Cambridge, Massachusetts, Pastor Thomas Hooker, delivered a sermon which inspired the writing of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, a document (ratified January 14, 1639) investing the people with the authority to govern, rather than ceding such authority to a higher power. Hooker's conception of self-rule embodied in the Fundamental Orders went on to inspire the Connecticut Constitution, and ultimately the U.S. Constitution. Connecticut's nickname is the 'Constitution State'.
In April 1909 the Connecticut River reached a then-record flood stage of 24.5 feet above the low water mark flooding the city and doing great damage. On July 6, 1944, the Hartford Circus Fire destroyed the big top at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the deadliest circus fire in the history of the United States.
At the time of the 2000 census, the town of Hartford had a population of 121,578 living in 44,986 households. The median age was 29.7 yrs.
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