1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/New Haven

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NEW HAVEN, the largest city of Connecticut, U.S.A., the county-seat of New Haven and the seat of Yale University. It is co-extensive with the township of New Haven (though there is both a township and a city government), and lies in the south-western part of the state, about 4 m. from Long Island Sound, at the head of New Haven Bay, into which empty three small streams, the Quinnipiac, the Mill and the West rivers. Pop. (1890) 81,298; (1900) 108,027, of whom 30,802 were foreign-born, including 10,491 Irish, 5262 Italians, 4743 Germans, 3193 Russians and 1376 Swedes; (1910 census) 133,605. Land area (1906) 17.91 sq. m., of which more than one-half was annexed since 1900. New Haven is served by the main line and five branches of the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway, by three inter-urban electric lines and by two steamship lines connecting with New York. The city is built on a level, sandy plain, in the rear of which is a line of hills terminating in two spurs, East Rock and West Rock, respectively 360 and 400 ft. high and 2 m. and 2¼ m. distant from the Green. On East Rock is a monument to the Connecticut soldiers who fell in the War of Independence, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War; on the West Rock is a cave, “Judges' Cave,” in which the regicides William Goffe and Edward Whalley are said to have concealed themselves when sought for by royal officers in 1661. The central and older portion of the city is laid out in squares surrounding a public Green of 16 acres, which was in former days the centre of religious and social life. New Haven is popularly known as the “City of Elms,” because of the number of these trees. Besides the Green there are 12 other parks, ranging from 6 to 300 acres in area, four of them being on the water front, along the harbour. On the west side of the city is Edgewood Park (120 acres); on the north is Beaver Pond Park (100 acres); and East and West Rocks, mentioned above, have been made into suburban parks.

Among the public buildings and places of interest are the three churches on the Green, built in 1814; Center Church (Congregational), in the rear of which is the grave of John Dixwell (1608-1689), one of the regicides; United (formerly known as North) Church (Congregational), and Trinity Church, which belongs to one of the oldest Protestant Episcopal congregations in Connecticut. On the north-western side of the Green are the buildings of Yale University (q.v.); the “college” campus is the square enclosed by College, Chapel, High and Elm streets, with Battell Chapel at its eastern corner, Farnam, Lawrence, Phelps, Welch and Osborn halls on its south-eastern side, Vanderbilt Hall, Connecticut (or South Middle) Hall, the oldest of the Yale buildings (1750), and the Art School on the southern side, the Library, Dwight Hall and Alumni Hall on the north-western and Durfee Hall on the northern side; farther north of the Green are the Divinity School, the University Campus, on which are the Bicentennial Buildings and Memorial Hall, and, lying between Grove Street and Trumbull Street and Prospect Street and Hillhouse Avenue, the buildings of the Sheffield Scientific School. In the vicinity is the Grove Street Cemetery, in which are the graves of many famous Americans. Besides the University Library, there are a Public Library (1887), containing about 80,000 vols., the library of the Young Men's Institute (1826) and the collection of the New Haven Colony Historical Society. The city contains a State Normal School and a number of hospitals and charitable institutions.

Among the newspapers of New Haven are the Morning Journal and Courier (1832, Republican), whose weekly edition, the Connecticut Herald and Weekly Journal, was established as the New Haven Journal in 1766; the Palladium (Republican; daily, 1840; weekly, 1828); the Evening Register (Independent; daily, 1840; weekly, 1812); and the Union (1873), a Democratic evening paper. At New Haven also are published several weekly English, German and Italian papers, and a number of periodicals, including the American Journal of Science (1818), the Yale Law Journal (1890) and the Yale Review (1892), a quarterly.

In 1900 New Haven was the most important manufacturing centre in Connecticut, and in 1905 it was second only to Bridgeport in the value of its factory product. In 1905 its establishments numbered 490. The principal manufactures are hardware, foundry and machine shop products, ammunition and fire-arms (the Winchester Company), carriages and wagons, malt liquors, paper boxes and corsets. Meat packing is also an important industry. In 1905 the total capital invested in manufacturing was $31,412,715 and the total product $39,666,118 (a gain of 13.7% since 1900). Commercially, New Haven is primarily a distributing point for the Atlantic seaboard, but the city is a port of entry, and foreign commerce (almost exclusively importing) is carried on to some extent, the imports in 1909 being valued at $404,805. In 1908 the assessed valuation of real and personal property was $119,592,508, the net debt was $3,854,498 and the rate of taxation was 14.75 mills on the dollar.

Under a charter of 1899, as amended afterwards, the city government, which has almost entirely superseded the town government, is in the hands of a mayor, who holds office for two years and appoints most of the administrative officers, except a board of aldermen (of whom each has a two-year term, six are chosen from the city at large and the others one each from each ward, the even-numbered wards electing their representatives one year and the odd-numbered the next), a city clerk, controller, sheriff, treasurer and tax collector, all chosen by popular vote, and an assistant clerk, appointed by the board of aldermen.

The first settlement in New Haven (called Quinnipiac, its Indian name, until 1640) was made in the autumn of 1637 by a party of explorers in search of a site for colonization for a band of Puritans, led by Theophilus Eaton and the Rev. John Davenport, who had arrived at Boston, Massachusetts, from England in July 1637. In the following spring a permanent settlement was made. It was governed under a “plantation covenant” until the 4th of June 1639, when, at a general meeting, the “free planters” adopted the fundamental principles of a new government. They agreed that the Scriptures should be their guide in civil affairs, and that only approved church members should be admitted to the body politic; twelve men were appointed to choose seven men (“seven pillars”) who should found the church and admit to its original membership such planters as they thought properly qualified. This having been done, the first General Court of which there is record met on the 25th of October. At this court the members of the new church, together with six members of other approved churches, were admitted to citizenship; a magistrate, four assistants, a secretary and a constable were chosen as the civil officers; annual elections and an annual session of the General Court in the last week of October were agreed upon; English statute and common law were expressly excluded; and the “worde of God was adopted as the onely rule to be attended unto in ordering the affayres of government in this plantation.” As thus founded, New Haven was town and colony combined. In 1643-1644 the colony was expanded into the New Haven Jurisdiction, embracing the towns of New Haven, Guilford, Milford, Stamford, and Branford in Connecticut, and, on Long Island, Southold; but this “Jurisdiction” was dissolved in 1664, and all these towns (except Southold) passed under the jurisdiction of Connecticut, according to the Connecticut charter of 1662. The government of the Jurisdiction was of the strictest Puritan type, and although the forty-five “blue laws” which the Rev. Samuel Peters, in his General History of Connecticut, ascribed to New Haven were much confused with the laws of the other New England colonies and some were mere inventions, yet many of them, and others equally “blue,” were actually in operation as enactments or as court decisions in New Haven.

Among those in the Peters's list which are wholly or substantially true are the following: “The judges shall determine controversies without a jury”; “Married persons must live together or be imprisoned”; “A wife shall be good evidence against her husband”; “No minister shall keep school”; “The selectmen, on finding children ignorant, may take them away from their parents and put them into better hands, at the expense of their parents.” Among those in the same list which are wholly or in part spurious are: “No woman shall kiss her child on the Sabbath or fasting day,” and “No one shall travel, cook victuals, make beds, sweep house, cut hair or shave on the Sabbath day.”

One of the most important events in the history of New Haven was the removal hither in October 1716 from Saybrook of the Collegiate School of Connecticut, which developed into Yale University. The period of greatest material prosperity of New Haven in the colonial period began about 1750, when a thriving commerce with other American ports and the West Indies developed. As a port it was notorious for its smuggling and illicit trade. New Haven also had extensive shipbuilding interests. All attempts to enforce the British commercial regulations were ineffectual. On the 22nd of February 1763 a town meeting resolved to encourage colonial manufactures and to refrain from importing from England hats, clothing, leather, gold and silver lace, buttons, cheese, liquors, &c. Two years later Jared Ingersoll (1722-1781), who had been sent to England to protest against the Stamp Act, but had accepted the office of Stamp Distributor on the advice of Benjamin Franklin, was forced to resign his office. In 1770 most of the merchants agreed not to import goods from England and transferred their trade with New York City, where Loyalist influence was strong, to Boston and Philadelphia. When news of the embargo of the port at Boston arrived at New Haven, a Committee of Correspondence was at once formed; and in the War of Independence the people enthusiastically supported the American cause. On the 5th of July 1779 the place was invaded by a British force under General William Tryon, who intended to burn the town, but met so strong a resistance that he withdrew before the next day. New Haven's commerce suffered severely during the war, but by the close of the first decade of the 10th century it had regained its former importance. When the War of 1812 opened there were fully 600 seamen in the city, practically all of whom were engaged in privateering or in the regular naval service of the United States. Among them was Captain Isaac Hull. In 1815 the Fulton, the first steamboat on Long Island Sound, made its first trip from New York to New Haven. The second quarter of the 19th century was the period of development of railways and manufactures. The period since the Civil War has been marked by a diversification of industries. To that conflict New Haven contributed approximately $30,000,000, and 3000 men, 500 of whom were killed. From 1701 until 1873 New Haven was the joint capital (with Hartford) of Connecticut. New Haven was incorporated as a city in 1784; new charters were secured from the General Assembly of the state in 1869, 1881 and 1899. Fair Haven was annexed to New Haven in 1897.

See Leonard Bacon, Thirteen Historical Discourses (New Haven, 1839); J. W. Barber, History and Antiquities of New Haven (3rd ed., New Haven, 1870); C. H. Levermore, Town and City Government of New Haven, and The Republic of New Haven (Baltimore, 1886); E. S. Bartlett, Historical Sketches of New Haven (New Haven, 1897); Edward E. Atwater, History of the Colony of New Haven to its Absorption into Connecticut (New Haven, 1881); H. T. Blake, Chronicles of New Haven Green (New Haven, 1898); Records of the Colony of New Haven 1638-1665 (2 vols., Hartford, 1857-1858), edited by C. H. Hoadly; and the Papers and other publications (1865 sqq.) of New Haven Colony Historical Society.