First surveyed by Dutch explorers in 1614, New London quickly rose to prominence in New England's shipping industry due to its excellent harbor, formed by the basin of the Thames River. Late in the Revolutionary War, the American privateer Minerva captured the British merchant ship Hannah (supposed to have carried the most valuable cargo brought into America during the war) and moored it in New London Harbor. On September 5, 1781, a British invasion force under the command of the infamous traitor Gen. Benedict Arnold descended on New London in retaliation for the Hannah's capture, destroying its shipyard, sacking its warehouses and burning the majority of its businesses and several homes. The fortification across the Thames at Groton was also attacked, and its defenders massacred despite attempts to surrender. A monument was erected commemorating those who died in defense of the two towns, while Arnold, a former New London resident, would be burned in effigy for years following the incident.
The majority of this history is concerned with the early settlement of New London and its development through the Indian wars, the Revolution and the War of 1812. Matters civil, ecclesiastical, and professional are all discussed at some length, with a smattering of biographical information included. Topics of interest include: regional Indian tribes-the Pequots, Mohegans and Nahantics; the Pequot War; the first European female at New London; early land grants and the first 36 grantees; the first meeting-house and the ancient burial ground; origins of local names; the Rogers and Liveen families; early commerce-ship building, foreign trade, and whaling; Revolutionary War times-New London companies at Bunker Hill, the first alarm in New London, privateering and Arnold's Invasion; the War of 1812 and the British blockade of New London; newspapers; census returns; local businesses and "New London in 1860."
A biographical and genealogical "Memoir of Frances Manwaring Caulkins" (1795-1869) precedes the historical narrative. The book is presented as graphic images, so the user sees the work just as it was originally published. It is intended to look and function very much like a "real" book. There is no electronic index, and there is no electronic text to search. However, numerous electronic bookmarks have been added which make it easy to move through the book. Image numbers will match the page numbers for all of the main text, as well as the index. Any unnumbered portraits and illustrations are at the back of the actual file, to keep page numbering consistent.
Also available in paperback.
Frances Manwaring Caulkins
(1895), 2004, CD, Graphic Images, Adobe Acrobat, PC and Mac, indices, 696 pp.