In 1860, Hartford was the site of the first "Wide Awakes," abolitionist supporters of Abraham Lincoln.
These supporters organized torch-light parades that were both political and social events, often including fireworks and music, in celebration of Lincoln's visit to the city.
In sharp contrast, the Hartford metropolitan area is ranked 32nd of 318 metropolitan areas in total economic production and 7th out of 280 metropolitan statistical areas in per capita income.
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This type of event caught on and eventually became a staple of mid-to-late-19th century campaigning.
Industrialist and inventor Samuel Colt and his wife Elizabeth had a great influence on Hartford's development in the 100 years after independence.
The original site was located on the south bank of the Park River in the present-day Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhood.
This fort was called Fort Hoop or the "House of Hope." In 1633, Jacob Van Curler formally bought the land around Fort Hoop from the Pequot chief for a small sum.
It was home to perhaps a couple families and a few dozen soldiers.