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about New Haven

New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut, and is located in New Haven County, Connecticut, on New Haven Harbor, on the northern coast of Long Island Sound. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 123,626. New Haven is generally considered to be within the greater New York metropolitan area, and can be said to be culturally split between New York's influence and its own New England roots.

New Haven's nickname is the Elm City, as it historically contained many elm trees. It is home to Yale University, the institution for which the city is most known.

New Haven geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 52.4 km² (20.2 mi²). 48.8 km² (18.9 mi²) of it is land and 3.6 km² (1.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 6.91% water.

New Haven's best-known geographic features are its large deep harbor, and two reddish sandstone "trap rocks" which rise to the northeast and northwest of the city core. These trap rocks are known respectively as East Rock and West Rock, and both serve as extensive parks. West Rock has been tunneled through to make way for the east-west passage of the Wilbur Cross Parkway, and once served as the hideout of the "Regicides". East Rock features the prominent Soldiers and Sailors war monument on its peak as well as the "Great Steps" which run up the rock's cliffside.

New Haven history

Pre-Colonial and Colonial History

Before European arrival, New Haven was the home of the Quinnipiack tribe of Native Americans, who lived in villages around the harbor and subsisted off of local fisheries and the farming of maize. The area was briefly visited by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block in 1614. Dutch traders set up a small trading system of beaver pelts with the local inhabitants, but trade was sporadic and the Dutch did not settle permanently in what would become New Haven.

In April 1638, five-hundred Puritans who left the Massachusetts Bay Colony under the leadership of Reverend John Davenport and the London merchant Theophilus Eaton sailed into the harbor. These settlers were hoping to establish a more perfect theological community than the one they left in Massachusetts and sought to take advantage of the excellent port capabilities of the harbor (which is actually a fjord). The Quinnipiacks, who were under attack by neighboring Pequots, agreed to sell their land to the settlers in return for protection from hostile tribes.

By 1640, the town's theocratic government and city grid plan were in place, and the town was renamed Newhaven from Quinnipiac. The new settlement soon became the headquarters of the New Haven Colony, which at that time was separate from the Connecticut Colony which had been established to the north focusing on Hartford. Disaster struck the colony in 1646, however, when the town sent its first fully-loaded ship of local goods back to England. This ship never reached the Old World, and its disappearance stymied New Haven's development in the face of the rising trade power of Boston and New Amsterdam.

In 1661, the judges who had signed the death warrant of Charles I of England were pursued by Charles II. Two judges, Colonel Edward Whalley and Colonel William Goffe, fled to New Haven to hills northwest of the town. A third judge, John Dixwell, joined the other regicides at a later time.

New Haven became part of the Connecticut Colony in 1664, when the two colonies were merged under political pressure from England. It was made co-capital of Connecticut in 1701, a status it retained until 1873. At this time, New Haven was a largely agricultural town, but in 1718, Yale University relocated from Old Saybrook to New Haven and established the early city as a center of learning.

During the American Revolution, New Haven was a town of approximately 3,500 citizens and was a major hotbed of revolutionary activity -- so much so that the British invaded town during the course of the war; however, the British forces did not torch New Haven as they had done with many other coastal New England towns they seized, leaving many of its colonial features preserved.

Post-colonial History

New Haven was incorporated as a city in 1784, and Roger Sherman, one of the signers of the Constitution and author of the "Connecticut Compromise", became the new city's first mayor.

The city struck fortune in the late 18th-century with the inventions and industrial activity of Eli Whitney, a Yale graduate who remained in New Haven to develop the cotton gin and also establish a gun-manufacturing factory in the northern part of the city near the Hamden border. That area of Hamden is still known as Whitneyville. It was in Whitney's gun-manufacturing plant that Samuel Colt first invented the automatic revolver in 1836.

New Haven was home to one of the important early events in the burgeoning anti-slavery movement when in 1839, the trial of the mutineering Mendi tribesmen from the slaveship Amistad was held in New Haven's United States District Court.

During the Civil War, the city received another economic boost as demand for industrial goods increased nationally. New Haven's population doubled in the time between the war and the start of the 20th century, most notably due to the influx of immigrants from southern Europe.

Modern History

New Haven's growth continued during the two world wars, however most inward immigration during those years was of African-Americans from the South and Puerto Ricans as opposed to foreigners. The city reached its peak size during World War II, and in many cases it can be argued that it was already in decline when the post-war process of suburbanization began in earnest.

As early as 1954, New Haven was already suffering from an exodus of middle-class workers and the chronic development of "slums". Then mayor Richard Lee attempted to stem the tide by engaging in one of the earliest major urban renewal projects in the United States. Large sections of downtown New Haven were destroyed and rebuilt with new office towers, a hotel, and large shopping complexes. Other parts of the city were affected by the construction of Interstate 95 along the Long Wharf section and Interstate 91. In some cases, the destruction leftover from a planned semi-beltway around and through the city remains incomplete to this day in the form of open fields in the midst of older neighborhoods.

From the 1960s through the early 1990s, New Haven continued to decline both economically and in terms of total population despite many attempts to resurrect the city through renewal projects. During this period, the city and Yale were engaged in ongoing disputes over taxation and land use.

At present, New Haven has since stabilized. The city has engaged in efforts to attract and encourage biomedical and pharmaceutical research facilities to locate in-town, and some have done so to take advantage of the city's connections with Yale. The university, and other local schools, also continue to draw in many young people from around the world. Ongoing problems persist, however, with poverty, the spread of AIDS, and decaying primary education facilities and transportation infrastructure.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "New Haven, Connecticut".

This city is also known as: New Haven.

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