By the end of the 17
century, New Haven was the village center of an agricultural township. They sold much of the land they bought from the Quinnipiacs to English people looking to form new settlements in Branford, Guilford, Milford, Stamford and Greenwich. They realized the formation of new settlements would help New Haven’s trading possibilities. New Haven’s population also continued to grow, and with it grew the limits of the town. Land in 17
century New Haven was very cheap by European standards, and it was easy to start a prosperous farm here.
In the mid 17
century, the puritans, under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell, had taken over England, and executed then king, Charles I in 1649. The Puritans ruled England for two decades, until the death of Oliver Cromwell. When Cromwell died, Charles II restored the royal government in England. King Charles II was angry with the three judges who had his father executed. He ordered the judges returned to England from the colonies. The judges were Edward Whalley, John Dixwell, and William Goffe. The men were in hiding throughout the colonies, and were welcomed by their fellow puritans in New Haven. Goffe and Whalley stayed in the Westville area of New Haven, before going into hiding on West Rock in what is now called Judges Cave. Soon their location became known to the English, and they were forced into hiding farther form the colonies at Hadley, in the western part of Massachusetts. As for John Dixwell, he stayed in New Haven under the alias name of James Davis.
New Haven had slaves until the early 19
century, and the role of Blacks in this time period deserves considerable mention in this unit. The first “colored school” was opened in New Haven in 1811. A privately run integrated primary school was opened at this time by women who believed in education reform. When public schools began to open at the beginning of the 19
century, they were segregated in New Haven. One student at Sally Wilson’s Artisan Street Colored School, Edward Bouchet, became the first black person to earn the Ph.D. degree in the United States, from Yale University.
In 1839, the Spanish schooner
was heading to Cuba from Africa with 50 Mendi warriors, their young and handsome chief Cinque, and two Cuban plantation owners. The Africans were being held as cargo, and were to become slaves upon their arrival in Cuba. But the Mendis mutinied, they killed the captain, and forced the crew over board somewhere in the Atlantic ocean. The Mendis allowed the plantation owners to live, and tried to force the Cubans into bringing them home. The Cubans did not return the Mendis home, instead they zigzagged up and down the American coast hoping to be spotted by the American Navy or Coast guard. On September 1, 1839, the
was taken into the New Haven harbor by a United States coastal patrol boat. Cinque and the Mendis were jailed under the courthouse on Church Street, but were later cleared of all charges and were returned to Africa. This became known as the
and would sway many Yankees of New Haven, towards abolitionism and antislavery in support of the Civil War.