Before we can begin a study of Newhallville, the subject of this paper, we must first devote a little attention to the larger area in which Newhallville is a subdivision of. Namely, the city of New Haven.
The Indians of this area had a name for it long before the Europeans arrived. They called it
, or the long-water-place. Today, we know that New Haven sits at the head of a harbor stretching some four miles to Long Island Sound. This connection, in and of itself, was enough to justify the old Indian name of Quinnipiac. But that wasn’t all. Quinnipiac boast the distinction of having three rivers flow from its interior into the Sound (the Quinnipiac, Mill, and West Rivers). This ideal location would later serve as the impetus for New Haven’s development.
Hind sight teaches us that it was a blessing for, both John Davenport and New Haven when on August 4, 1663, William Laud was appointed Bishop of London. Without the benefit of historical hind sight one might wonder what the appointment of an English Bishop had to do with the area called Quinnipiac. However, we now know that that decision sent Davenport scurrying away, the next day, to seek refuge abroad.
In 1663 Davenport was suspected, by the Church of England, of being a Puritan and advocating the education of the clergy. Laud’s job was to crush all elements of dissent within the church.
Davenport’s journey included a stay in the Netherlands, a return trip to England (where he joined up with Theophilus Eaton to recruit recruits for a journey to New England) and eventually to Quinnipiac via Massachusetts Bay . There, he and Eaton planned to establish a new Zion.
Quinnipiac, because of its many harbors that had yet to be claimed by avaricious businessmen, attracted some of the riches men to its shores prior to the middle and late seventeenth century. These men came hoping to increase their wealth in the world of shipping.
Central to the community would be the church. This implied that loyal membership in the church would be a requirement if one planed to vote and/or hold office in the local government.
Quinnipiac remained the name of the colony until September 1, 1640, when it was renamed “Newhaven” and later New Haven.
Early failures of the colony resulted in a migration back to England. This was especially true following the success of the Puritans in England. Frustrated over these and other failures of the colony Davenport left to accept a position in Massachusetts.
In 1782 the State of Connecticut granted New Haven a municipal charter.
New Haven quickly rebounded from its earlier failures and prospered via its merchant and maritime trade. New Haven quickly became a leader in the field of education and industrialization.