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STONINGTON

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 966 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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STONINGTON, a township of New London county, Connecticut, U.S.A., in the S.E. corner of the state, on Long Island Sound. Pop. of the township (1900), 8540 (of whom 1968 were foreign-born), (1910), 9154, including that of the borough of Stonington, 2083. Stonington is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway, which has repair shops here, by an electric line connecting with New London, Conn., and Westerly, Rhode Island, and, in summer, by steamer to Watch Hill and Block Island. Its harbour is excellent, and it is a port of entry, but its foreign trade is unimportant. The township covers an area of about 45 sq. in., and includes, besides the borough of Stonington, the villages of Mystic, Old Mystic and Pawcatuck (which is closely allied with Westerly, Rhode Island). Among the manufactures of the township are foundry and machine-shop products, printing presses, silk machinery, fertilizers, spools, thread and cotton, and woollen, silk and velvet goods. Ship building and fishing are among the industries. After its settlement in 1649 and the years immediately succeeding by English planters from Rehoboth in Plymouth Colony (to whom a monument was erected in 1889 in Wequetequock Burying Ground), the territory now included in Stonington town-ship was first a part of New London township, and then (1658), in accordance with a boundary decision of the United Colonies of New England, a part (under the name of Southertown) of Suffolk county, Massachusetts, finally reverting to Connecticut in accordance with the new boundaries fixed by the Connecticut royal charter in 1662. In 1664 it gained representation in the General Court of Connecticut; in '665 the name was changed to Mystic, and in '666 to Stonington. In the '8th century the village (now the borough) of Stonington (settled in 1752) developed a brisk trade with Boston, Plymouth and the West Indies. Whaling and sealing were for many years important industries and a whaling captain of Stonington, Nathaniel B. Palmer, early in the 19th century, discovered Palmer Land in the Antarctic. The village was the seat of military stores during the War of Independence, and was bombarded by a British frigate in August 1775. In August '814 another British attack, by a squadron under Commander Thomas M. Hardy, was successfully resisted. The borough of Stonington, the first in the state, was incorporated in 1801. See R. A . Wheeler, History of the Town of Stonington (New London, 1900).
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