Hartford is the capital city of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. The city is nicknamed the “Insurance Capital of the World”, as it hosts many insurance company headquarters and is the region’s major industry. It is the core city in the Greater Hartford area of Connecticut.
It is a major industrial and commercial centre and a port at the head of navigation on the Connecticut River, 38 miles (61 km) from Long Island Sound. Dutch traders from New Amsterdam built a fort in 1633 at the mouth of the Park River, a tributary of the Connecticut; but the first settlement was made in 1635, when John Steele and some 60 English pioneers came from New Towne (now Cambridge, Massachusetts). In 1636 the First Church of Christ (Centre Congregational), which was organized in New Towne (1632), moved to Hartford with most of its congregation under the leadership of Thomas Hooker and Samuel Stone. In 1637 the settlement was named for Stone’s birthplace: Hertford, England. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, a document that later served as a model for the U.S. Constitution, was adopted (1639) in Hartford. On Charter Oak Avenue a monument marks the site of an oak tree where Captain Joseph Wadsworth supposedly secreted the colony’s royal charter when Governor Sir Edmund Andros attempted to seize it in 1687.
While agriculture no longer holds its once-prominent position in Connecticut’s economy, farming is still important to the state. The most important crops are dairy, poultry, forest and nursery, tobacco, vegetables and fruit.
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