is one of the three oldest towns in the state of Connecticut. Settlers
came overland from Boston
and saw the potential for lucrative farming and shipping from Wethersfield’s
impressive location along the Connecticut River founded it in 1634.
the town’s people started building
an impressive brick meeting house (see image) that
spoke to Wethersfield’s
wealth and standing along the river. After its completion, John
Adams climbed up the steeple and declared the area a perfect location
for a prosperous town (see image).
George Washington (see portrait) later
attended Sunday services. There were successful merchants, ship
owners and farmers.
All town residents were required to contribute their fair share
for the building of this beautiful structure that still stands
today. As the Revolutionary War neared, those town leaders became
leaders in the Revolutionary cause. Although there were few actual
battles in Connecticut, the patriots of Wethersfield proved their
worth in other ways. Many went off
as soldiers. Some were at sea as privateers and crew members on
naval ships. The successful Wethersfield merchants were enlisted
to provide goods for the soldiers throughout the War, hence the
derivation of an 18th century nickname for Connecticut, the Provision
State. And Connecticut contributed its fair share of planners and
financiers for the patriotic cause.
One of those Wethersfield citizens
who took part in the important planning of the Revolution was
Silas Deane (see portrait).
His story is not told in any details in high school textbooks
but he was very much a hero of the Revolution. This web site
you through his life and accomplishments. As a wealthy merchant,
he was able to accept an appointment as a member of the Continental
Congress (see image),
both its first and second sessions (see Continental
Congress lesson). He was involved in the planning and/or
provision of supplies for two early successes for the colonists
in their War for Independence,
Fort Ticonderoga and Saratoga (see Thank
you Mr. Deane..... lesson). He was appointed by Congress
to act as a secret agent in France and then was appointed as
with Benjamin Franklin (see Brief
Biography and Fictional
Musings lessons). He was responsible, along with Franklin
and a third commissioner named Arthur Lee, in bringing French
aid to the struggling Continental
Army led by George Washington.
Join us on the web site and follow Silas Deane
as he accomplishes so much and learn of his trials and tribulations
after he helped obtain the important contributions of the French
nation that led to the successful
defeat of the British by George Washington’s army (see portrait).
Along the way, you can also learn a great deal about Slavery (see Slavery lesson) in
the northern states as you meet two slaves who lived in the Deane
House in Wethersfield. You can also tour that beautiful mansion,
now a part of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, without even leaving
your classroom. Have fun and learn a lot!!
Map of Wethersfield
brick meeting house