THE OLD STATE HOUSE
IS GONE, BUT
Flour, Grain and Feed,
AS WELL AS
Fox" Stal>le Ke deling-, at
2 f Mtney Aifiine. Railroafl f arehonse, 431 East St.
E. 11 SHELDON & CO.
Staffori Ml 393 State St,
lEVV HAVEN STATE HOUSE
WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF
And Varfous Matters of Historical and Local Interest, Gathered
FROM Many Sources.
HENRY PECK and GEORGE H. COE,
NEW HAVEN, CONN.
HENRY PECK and GEO. H. COE.
K. B. Sheldon & Co..
Eleclrotjpers and Printers,
New Haven, Conn.
DEDICATED TO SUCH OF OUR ANCESTORS AS WERE
BURIED IN NEW HAVEN GREEN, FOR WHOM
THERE IS NO MONUMENTAL STONE, AND
WHOSE NAMES ARE NOT UPON
ANY PAGE OF A PUBLIC
The State House . . . . . . . . 1 1
The Parthenon ....... 14
The First Methodist Church . , . . . .49
Diagrams of the State House ..... 57, 59, 61
The Elm Tree and the Green . . . , . -65
The Green in 1720 ........ 69
The Green in 1800 .......
Sabbaday Houses ........
The Second State House ......
Octagonal Burying Ground . .....
The Falling Columns — North End .....
The South End and West Side in Ruins . . , .147
The Green in 1S50 . . . . , , , ,167
The author and compiler takes .the opportunity to thank those
elderly citizens who have furnished from memory some of the facts
and incidents which have been worked into this rather Mosaic
production, and thanks are also given to the Palladiwti, Journal a7id
Courier, and Register for the use of their files. To his old news-
paper friends, who have shown a kindly interest in his work, assur-
ances are hereby given that their manifestations of good-will have
While it was thought inexpedient to attempt a chronological order
in the arrangement of the matter laid before the reader, care has
been taken that the dates and names mentioned should be as accu-
rate as possible.
Two Great Mistakes !
Tlie g-i'oatest itii«talie e^-er iiiacle toy IVeAV
tioii of* tlie State House.
IS IN SUPPOSING THAT
HAS ONLY SECOND HAND AND AUCTION GOODS AT
388, 890 and 392 Btate Bt.
Those who thus think do themselves an injustice, and suffer loss through their
own neglect to examine his stock of
liT e TXT- ^-u-mituLre,
COVERING THOUSANDS OF SQUARE FEET OF HIS
FOUR STORY FURNITURE EMPORIUM,
which can be bought for less money than the same quality of goods can be had
from any other dealer. Heis an Auctioneer. He sells at auction every SATUR-
DAY CONSIGNED GOODS of every description; but all consigned and
second-hand goods have their own special department, aside from his regular
stock of New Furniture.
MR. BOOTH HAS PRODUCED TWO VALUABLE THINGS.
BOOTH'S UNIVERSAL FURNITURE POLISH
Valixal>le I^eiiiecl^^ foi- Oom».
Botli Of these leet witli geueral fayor, A trial liottle of tlie Corn
RemoTer can lie liart for TEN CENTS.
HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE
A COMPLETE history of the State Houses which have stood upon New
Haven's market-place or Green, would be a record of nearly all the
important events of a local character during a period of about two
hundred and fifty years, and ending in 1889. The reader of such a
history would be able to discern the progress of our town in its
social, religious and business affairs — its changes of opinion and
improvement in general intelligence — its advancement in knowledge,
religious illumination, industrial enterprise and literary, musical and
art culture. It would be a record of prosperity and reasonable
reward for honorable labor, not unbroken by interpolations of stories
of panic and calamity. To the reader would incidentally appear the
broadening, liberalizing effects wrought by successive movements of
common interest. Fidelity to tradition — love of ancestral honor and
justice — these are distinctive elements of life in New Haven to-day,
no less than in the earliest years of our commonwealth. The trans-
planted vine hath indeed flourished, its fruitage being fairer and
sweeter than even the forecasting of those who confidently and
prayerfully believed in the declaration, Qui Tf-anstulit Siistinet.
The first State House, built in 1717, was located on the Green, not
far from the corner of Elm and College streets, and in the building
were accommodated the courts. Near this structure was the jail.
In 1763 the " new brick " State House was erected upon the Green,
8 THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE.
a short distance north of Trinity Church, the steps projecting into
Temple Street. A part of the first floor was used as a dining and
ball room, and on the same floor were the court and jury rooms. The
upper house of the General Assembly occupied the south room, and
the lower house the north room of the second floor. The prudence
and economy of our forefathers are revealed in their official action in
connection with the taxation inseparable from payment of the bills
for constructing the building. The County Court, in 1761, appointed
a committee to represent to the Legislature that the two halfpenny
rates on the county and the penny rate on the town for the purpose
of paying for the building, were more than sufficient for the building
of a house sufficient for the county, and in this action they had the
moral support of the civil authority, who, January 10, 1763, refused
to lay any further tax. The objection of the court and civil author-
ity prevailed not, however, for the Legislature, sitting at Hartford,
May, 1763, directed that there should be a tax laid of one penny on
the pound to finish the State House at New Haven, and at a special
session of the County Court, held June 28, 1763, this tax was ordered
to be laid, according to the direction of the General Assembly.
If but little space is given in this book to the story of the two
Stale Houses which preceded the one which in this pleasant mid-
summer of 1889 is being removed from the Green, it should be
borne in mind that during the past sixty years the pages of the Book
of Time have been filled with many momentous matters. Life has
moved faster than in former days, and however significant were the
discussions and deeds of the four half centuries antedating this, it is
probably true that the most glorious and important part of New
Haven's historical record will be found by a study of conditions and
happenings known and remembered by various citizens who have
contributed to this memorial.
The General Assembly at its May session, 1827, passed the reso-
lution that it was expedient and necessary that a new State House
for the accommodation of the General Assemblv should be built at
New Haven. In accordance with the provisions of the resolution,
THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE. 9
the Court of New Haven County ordered the clerk to issue notices
to the several representatives of the General Assembly, belonging to
the towns of the county, to meet with the judges at New Haven,
July 5, to take proper action. Dennis Kimberly and Charles A.
Ingersoll were the representatives from this town, at the meeting.
Votes imposing the necessary tax were passed, and one vote provided
'* that said House contain a suitable court room, jury room and two
lobbies for the accommodation of the courts and of the Bar, and also
a room and a fire -proof vault for the use of the clerk of the County
and Superior Courts."
The city did not act so promptly, but at a Common Council meet-
ing, held June 29, 1827, Hon. William Bristol, the mayor, being
moderator, the resolutions of the General Assembly relative to the
location and erection of a State House were read and votes were
passed, to be laid before a freeman's meeting. At this meeting of
the 29th of June, there were present the selectmen of the town,
" likewise the Hon. William Moseley, who was appointed by the
General Assembly of the State, one of the committee to contract and
superintend the building."
The following appears on the record of a Common Council meet-
ing held October 3, 1827 :
" Resolved, That it is expedient that a meeting of the citizens of the city of New
Haven, be held on Saturday, the 13th of October, instant, at 2 o'clock P. M., to
take into consideration the subject of the new State House."
On the 3d of March, the city appears to have been getting ready
for some kind of a change, as the Common Council voted " that
Messrs. Caleb Brintnall and Henry Denison be a committee to at-
tend to the tilling up the cellar of the old Court-house and that they
cause the same to be done on the most advantageous terms at the
expense of the city." What honorable member of the Common
Council of the year 1889 is there, who would feel gratified by being
appointed to such a service ?
In the office of Henry Austin in the Hoadley Building, nearly
THE STATE HOUSE GONE
The City Market Remains.
WE OFFER THE
LARGEST AND BEST VARIETY
Choice Meats, Poultry,
BUTTER, EGGS AND PROVISIONS
TO BE FOUND IX THE STATE AT Ol'R STALLS IX
Cer:Lxer of Cit37- ^Ia,rli:et,
H. L. ANDREWS & CO.
Our Prices are the Lowest the Market
will permit of.
12 THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE.
opposite the post office, maybe seen an admirable portrait-bust of the
architect of the 1829 State House — Ithiel Town — who was also the
architect of the Center Church, on the Green. The bust was the
work of a Connecticut artist, Chauncey Ives, who is living at Rome,
where he has had a studio for many years. Mr. Town's classic taste
had, at the time of making the plans for the State House, been much
improved by foreign travel and a careful study of the famous build-
ings of the Old World. His original plans for the State House, beauti-
fully drawn and colored, are in the possession of Mr. Ausiin. These,
together with various photographs and wood cut prints owned in
different parts of the city, will in future years, be inspected witli
great interest and profit. The plans are drawn to scale. Two views
of the building show its purely Grecian character. At the north and
south ends, respectively, six columns supported the roof of the por-
tico. The extreme length of the edifice from the buttresses at each
end was 182 feet ; length of main building from the pilasters, 130
feet; width of the building, 90 feet. Outside of the buttresses
the steps extended 15 feet. The columns were 7 feet in
diameter and 40 feet high with their capitals. There were twelve
windows in each side, besides windows lighting the basement.
Whenever the beautiful proportions of New Haven's third State
House have been pointed out to strangers visiting the city, it hns
been the general habit of citizens to speak of the building .iis
modeled after the Parthenon at Athens. This has been a mistake.
Through the liberality of the publishers of "'The Building Budget,"
a journal of architecture and kindred arts, Chicago, 111., we are per-
mitted to reprint from their electrotype a picture of that famous
The view is of the west front, restored. This magnificent build-
ing dedicated to Pallas Athene was one of the largest and most
beautiful temples in Greece. It was a peripteros with eight
columns in front and seventeen at the sides, and a hypasthros with
its interior columns in double tiers. The porticoes had two rows of
columns each. The temple was*built by Ictinos and Callicrates 470
THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE. 1 3
B. c, and is 227 feet, 7 inches in length, by a width of loi feet, i
inch. It presented the peculiarity that the usual corner pillars of
the second row of columns in the porticos are substituted by col-
umns. The outer columns are 35 feet 5 inches high by 6 feet
I inch in diameter; those on the corner are two inches thicker. In
ancient times the Parthenon was called Hecatompedon, because it
had exactly 100 feet front according to Roman measure. The cella
contained a magnificent statue of Minerva, by Phidias, made of the
costliest materials, chiefly gold and ivory. The two gable fields
were also richly adorned with sculptures. The groups in the west-
tern gable fields had reference to the birth of Pallas Athene,
while those of the eastern represented her contest with Neptune
about the sway of the land. The panels in the external Doric
entablature contained ninety-two bas-reliefs representing the wars of
the Lapithae and the Centaurs, and the frieze around the cella and
vestibule, which was upwards of 500 feet in length, bore sculptures
representing the Panathencean games. The Parthenon was in excel-
lent perservation up to the year 1687, when on the 28th of Septem-
ber, the Venetians bombarded Athens, and a bomb penetrated the
walls of the Parthenon and exploded in a powder magazine, kept
there by the Turks. This noble building which had stood almost
perfect for nearly two thousand years, was by this calamity reduced
to a ruin, and with it perished the ever memorable remains of the
genius of Phidias. The sculptures of the gable and frieze have been
carried off by the English and are now in the collection of the
There is no doubt that Mr. Town had studied the architecture of
the building, but his plans for the New Haven State House were
more nearly like those for the Doric Temple, Theseus. The ingrati-
tude of the factious Athenians, which resulted in the banishment and
death of the great man in whose honor the temple was built,
reacted upon the mind of the people in after years. The Athenians,
remembering the valor and heroic deeds of Theseus, were led to do
him honor, Many of those who had fought against the Medes at
THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE.
Marathon, imagined that they saw his apparition, in complete armor,
rushing before them into battle. After the conclusion of the war
ao-ainst the Medes, the Athenians consulted the Oracle, and the
Pythian priestess told them that they should bring back the bones of
Theseus, deposit them honorably in the city, and with a religious
observance, keep them there. After diligent search, the remains of
THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE. I 5
the hero were found, together with the brazen point of a spear and a
sword lying near. These were carried to Athens, where they were
received by the citizens with splendid processions and sacrifices, as if
the hero himself w-ere present. His remains were deposited in the
middle of the city and the temple was built in his honor, by Pericles,
in the fourth year of the seventy-fourth Olympiad, b. c. 467. The
temple, which was afterward a church, dedicated to St. George, had
six columns at the east end, thirteen showing on each side. It will
be seen from this brief description that the New Haven State House
presented in its two fronts a much greater resemblance to the
Temple of Theseus than to the Parthenon.
The building was placed twenty-two feet nearer the fence on the
College Street side of the Green than to the Center Church. The
east side of the building was built over the graves of a number of
persons, as the ancient burial-place of the town extended westerly
nearly to College street. The circumstance that the ground had
been part of the graveyard, excited a number of the relations of per-
sons deceased and there was a great deal of angry talk and unpleas-
ant feeling at the disturbance of the graves. The discussion of this
topic was carried on \vith considerable acerbity, in the Legislature,
while a site was being considered, and great care was exercised by
Isaac Thompson, who had the sub-contract for the mason work, and
Charles Thompson, sub-contractor for the joiner work, not to unnec-
essarily arouse the sensibilities of the survivors of friends buried
there. The workmen in digging for a foundation came across
numerous bones, and instead of exposing them to view, pounded
them down into the earth. Some of the bones were, however, taken
away for re-interment, and a citizen remembers assisting at the put-
ting of the bones of a person who in life had been a Mr. Baldwin, a
custom-house officer, into a box for conveyance elsewhither, most
likely to the new city burial ground adjoining Grove Street on the
southerly side. Long after the State House w\^s built and occupied,
venturesome boys exploring the cellar, found the skulls of sonie of
J. ID. IDET77"EI-iI-.
DIRECT RECEIVERS OF
FANCY PONCE MOLASSES,
T^lii^l^s Island Salt,
I3Cs-Tra-z2.SL Cig-sors, Etc.,
233 TO 239 STATE STREET, - - ■ - NEW HAVEN, CONN.
THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE, \'J
The executive committee for contracting for the building of the
State House consisted of William Moseley, Charles H. Pond and
John Q. Wilson. Their names are signed upon the plans of Mr.
Town as approved by them. Mr. Town came to New Haven from
Boston. He lost money by taking the contract and by doing work
for which he was not paid by the State. But he never blamed the
executive committee, as its members were handicapped by the eco-
nomical notions of the Legislature.
No estimate can easily be made as to the cost of the State House
since its foundations were laid. Hardly had it been accepted and
finished, when additional work had to be done, and from then until
its final removal money was every little while being spent on repairs.
The first session of the Legislature offered an opportunity for the
uutlay of more money, and $10,000 were appropriated to substitute
marble for the wood steps at the ends of the building. The aggre-
gate amount of money expended in alterations and repairs has been
very large. The first cost was $42,000 in all, and two years passed
away while it was under construction.
In the spring of 183 1, Messrs. Moseley, Pond and Wilson, the
building committee, made a report to the Legislature then in session.
They said they had paid $4,000 toward the marble purchased at the
Sing Sing prison ; $2,935.67 for work and erecting arches: $509.50
toward" the freight on the Sing Sing marble, and $272.30 for cartage
from the wharf to the State House. The committee say :
" By the original contract with Mr. Town, the State House was to have been
completed by the 14th day of September last , but it is with regret and dis-
appointment that the committee are obliged to represent to the General Assembly
that the house is not yet finished. . . . The committee have been assured bv the
agents of Mr. Town that the building will be finished in the month of June next."
The committee were desirous of terminatins; their labors. Thev
explain in their report a number of things, as, for instance:
" The alterations in the original contract, which from time to time have been
directed by the Legislature, by substituting marble for wood steps and buttresses;
I 8 THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE
by substituting marble flagging for platforms in the porticoes for those of brick, and
brick arches having become necessary to support said platform they have been sub-
stituted in place of wood supports, and by covering the basement story with marble
instead of hydraulic cement, will necessarily cause some adjustments between the
committee and the contractor which cannot well be arranged until the house is
In one sense the house was never completed. The windows in
the south end were not cut in until a few years ago, and there was
some extensive repairing; when the building received a coat of new
stucco and was radically renovated, somewhere in the early part of
the fifties. The roof has been renew^ed at least once and has
been repaired from time to time.
The courts were all held in the State House until in April, 1861,
Messrs. Alfred Blackman, John S. Beach, Charles R. Ingersoll, Nor-
ton J. Buel, Dexter R. Wright and William B. Wooster were
appointed a committee of the Bar to consider the expediency of
removing the courts to the new City Hall, Church street, then
nearly completed. Plans were prepared and the rooms were occu-
pied at the December term, 1862. In a monograph by Arthur D.
Osborne, president of the Second National Bank, but at the time,
clerk of the Supreme and Superior Courts, we find the following :
" The arrangement of this court room, which proved to be excellent, was chiefly
devised by Hon. Alfred Blackman."
'J'he first State House was used less than fifty years ; the second
one only a little over sixty years, and the third one, commenced in
1829, was removed from the Green the present year — having had a
life of only sixty years. The removal was finished November 26,
1889. More than 7,500 cart-loads of the material were taken away.
Every citizen of comprehensive mind must remember the last
State House, not altogether as a structure of brick and stone and
stucco, built after the noblest of Grecian models, but rather as an
object around which cluster hundreds of memories of happenings
serving to illustrate in various ways, the attachment of the people to
THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE. 1 9
the principles of liberty, established at the beginning of our political
existence. The events and scenes of the past sixty years are impor-
tantly recalled in this rehabilitation of the building. Like a pano-
ramic picture, pass in silent procession the forms of thousands of
patriotic, fearless men who faithfully bore a part in the duties and
responsibilities of government. And there are not wanting memory-
visions of fair women who have moved through the crowded halls on
pleasant errands of love and mercy, or who, in some leisure hour
have brightened by their presence the assemblages of the representa-
tives of the people on great public occasions.
Wednesday, the 5th of May, was held the first session of the Gen-
eral Assembly in the year 1830. Gov. Gideon Tomlinson arrived at
Woodruff's tavern, four miles out on the Milford road, at four o'clock
on the afternoon of Tuesday. Here he was met by official persons
and citizens who were taking part in the inaugural ceremonies.
Henry W. Edwards was that year Speaker of the House, and in
returning thanks for the honor conferred upon him he took occa-
sion to say among other things: "This splendid edifice erected by
the State for the accommodation of the public, is now first occupied
for the uses for which it was intended, and this, like any other
improvement of any importance, naturally awakens recollections and
leads us to one of those retrospects in which the people of this coun-
try, more than any other on the face of the earth, are fond of indulg-
After the organization of the two Houses the governor was
escorted by the Foot Guards, Captain Hotchkiss, and the City Artil-
lery, Captain Durand, the whole under command of Major Can dee,
from his lodgings to the State House, and thence, with the other
branches of government, to the North Church, where an eloquent
and practical discourse was delivered by Rev. Charles A. Boardman
of this city, which was listened to by a large and attentive audience.
From the church the governor was escorted to his lodgings, where
his Excellency was saluted by the music and the firing of the mili-
tary. This session of the Legislature was notable for the passage of
20 THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE.
what was denominated "The Universalist Bill," which allowed any-
body who believed in a Supreme Being to testify in courts of justice.
Representative Haley, of New London, made an effort to dispense
with prayers in the House, explaining that he thought the members
were elected for business and had no right to occupy their time in
public devotions. In May, Governor Tomlinson was elected to serve
six years in the United States Senate, from March, 1831. Two thou-
sand five hundred dollars were appropriated to finish the State House.
This was the year in which occurred an explosion on the steamboat
U7uted States^ plyi"g between this city and New York, eight lives
being lost. Two men named Wooster — father and son — were on
board. The father died from a broken skull, but the son escaped
uninjured. Hiram Clark, a respected New Haven merchant, lost his
life. The accident happened on the nth of September. Noyes Dar-
ling was appointed chief judge by the Legislature, and Jared Bassett
"and William Hinman, associate judges for New Haven County. It
was proposed at this session that the State should take from the towns
their local control over clam and oyster beds, but the measure was
While it is doubtless true that the body of the people are to-day as