"The 'Spirit of 76.' It has endured for two hundred years. It was there — unformed and unnamed — the night disguised patriots threw chests of British-taxed tea into Boston Harbor. It became a fearful reality as rebel drum beats summoned Minutemen to Lexington Green. It was proudly declared in that summer of 1776, when men signed their names to a document that began,'When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another...' It was formally conceded by the British five years later, on the fields of Yorktown, as the American, General Lincoln, received the sword of defeated Cornwallis. Many fought to keep that spirit alive. Young, old, famous, unknown. Benjamin Franklin was 70 the year he signed the Declaration of Independence."
"The primary cause of the first regular engraving being performed in New Haven appears to have been the battle or action at Lexington. When the news of this affair reached New Haven, Arnold, as has been stated, started with about forty volunteers. Among this number were Mr. Amos Doolittle, and a Mr. Earl, a portrait painter. These young men were, no doubt, powerfully excited by what they saw and heard at the scene of action, and on their return to New Haven endeavored to show to their excited countrymen pictorially the opening scenes of the great contest which had now fully begun."
"Very early the next morning, General George Washington reviewed the local troops on the Green and set out to continue their journey, escorted as far as the historic 'Neck Bridge' by the Second Company of the Governor's Guard, another uniformed company and the company that had been recruited from the students of Yale College, and accompanied by a great number of the inhabitants of the town. Noah Webster, heading the procession with his fife, or to use his own words, 'It fell to my humble lot to lead this company with music.'"
"On September 23, 1779, Captain John Paul Jones fought a battle without parallel in naval history. Hitherto the contest upon the sea had been mainly a predatory warfare of privateers, aimed at the destruction of commerce and the plunder of merchant vessels. The young republic was without a navy proper. Called 'Pirate Jones' by the English, for retaliating on the coast of England for the atrocities committed on the coast of America, the captain of the Bon Homme Richard gallantly refused the sword of the surrending captain of the Serapis — but did take his ship."
"Time and tempest felled it at last; but it blooms here in marble still, its name is preserved throughout the city as the distinguishing mark of divers stores, shops, and companies; and a pretty marble slab, like a grave stone, in Charter Oak Place inadequately marks where the original flourished until 1856. In Bushnell Park (named after that eminent theologian, the late Dr. Horace Bushnell, who was the chief promoter of this public pleasure ground) there is a couple of Charter Oaks junior, sprung from its fruit; and 'certified' acorns, possibly taken from these younger trees, but supposed to have grown upon the parent, have been worth their weight in gold at charity fairs. Across the Connecticut, leading to East Hartford, stretches a covered bridge one thousand feet long, and taking up in its construction a corresponding quantity of timber. Mark Twain, showing some friends about, told them that bridge also was built of wood from the Charter Oak."
"A handwritten working draft of the Bill of Rights — the only such document known to exist — has been found and identified in the most likely of places: the Library of Congress. This early draft was written by Representative Roger Sherman of Connecticut on an unknown date in July 1789 while the first Congress was meeting in New York. Sherman, a longtime judge of the Connecticut Superior Court who became a Senator in 1791, served with Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. He was the only framer to sign all three original founding documents — the Declaration, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution."
"If the President alone was vested with the power of appointing all officers, and was left to select a council for himself he would be liable to be deceived by flatterers and pretenders to Patriotism, who would have no motive but their own emolument. They would wish to extend the powers of the executive to increase their own importance, and however upright he might be in his intentions, there would be great danger of his being misled, even to the subversion of the constitution, or at least to introduce such evils as to interrupt the harmony of the government & deprive him of the confidence of the people. "
"Could those pious Puritans who landed at Quinnipiac in 1638 return to life and spend a day in modern New Haven, they would hardly know where they were or what to do with themselves. They would need to learn again how to live. The uses of almost everything would be unknown to them, and they would require a guide to show them around and explain things."