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The first Europeans known to have explored the area were the Dutch under Adriaen Block, who sailed up the Connecticut in 1614.
Dutch fur traders from New Amsterdam returned in 1623 with a mission to establish a trading post and fortify the area for the Dutch West India Company.
He employed advanced manufacturing techniques such as interchangeable parts and an organized production line.
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.
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.