In this next installment of the Virtual Summer Program, WHS Research Librarian Martha Smart takes us on an insightful guided tour of some of the highlights of Wethersfield’s oldest and most recognized landmark: the Ancient Burying Ground. The tour focuses on a few specific monuments in the cemetery and how they reflect contemporary values about lineage, status, and one’s accomplishments in life and how those values evolved over time. Ms. Smart is an engaging and knowledgeable host, providing the viewer with a fundamental understanding of historic burial practices and the religious and cultural influences that gave rise to them.
This content was made possible in part by a grant from the Robert Allan Keeney Memorial Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the generosity of our members.
Appendix: As an added bonus, there is an additional short video below where Ms. Smart recounts some of the details of the life and career of Wethersfield notable, Rev. Gershom Bulkely and contrasts his memorial with that of Leonard Chester’s.
If you have been following this series, you know what comes next. Now that you have watched the video, it’s time for a Colonial Wethersfield Scavenger Hunt.
Directions: The people of Colonial Wethersfield are scared because they believe that there is a dangerous witch causing trouble in their community. Search for clues in the following places in Wethersfield to decode the name of the accused witch. Click here for your own PDF copy of the hunt. You can download and print it or work from your mobile device. Good luck!
Learn more: What follows are a series of links and recommendations to curated sources for additional detailed information about Colonial Wethersfield.
- A. Baker, “Governor Thomas Welles”
- “Connecticut’s Black Governors”
- Allison Golomb, Rachel Zilinski, and Mary Pat Knowlton, “London: A Black Governor or Connecticut”
- Bruce Stark, “The Charter of 1662” (2019)
- Bruce Stark, “The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut” (2020)
- Elizabeth George Speare, The Witch of Blackbird Pond (1958)
- Sherman Adams and Henry Stiles, The History of Ancient Wethersfield, Connecticut (1904)
- Carol Seeley Scott, “The Eel-Catcher’s Travels”
- “Timeline: Settlement of the Colony of Connecticut” (2019)
- Nancy Finlay, “The Importance of Being Puritan” (2015)
- Thomas Kidd, “George Whitefield – The Billy Graham of Colonial America” (2014)
- Joseph Loconte, “Houses of Worship” (2012)
- Henry von Wodtke, “The First Church of Christ”
- John Willard, “Reverend and Colonel Elisha Williams”
- “Citizens All: African Americans in Connecticut 1700-1850”
- Paul Courchaine, “Foodways: The Middle Passage: African Americans”
- Nora Howard, “Black History in Wethersfield”
- Brenda Milkofsky, “Connecticut and the West Indies” (2016)
- Paul Courchaine, “Foodways: Starting at the Beginning, Preparing a Wongunk Meal”
- Timothy Howlett Ives, “Wangunk Ethnohistory” (2001)
- Lucianne Lavin, “Pre-colonial History of the Wangunk” (2015)
- Scott McDonnell, “Forgotten Indian Tribe Emerges from Connecticut’s Deep History” (2016)
- Joe Duffy, “Connecticut at War: 1634-1781”
- “The History of the Pequot War” (2009)
- Mike Messina, “America’s Most Devastating Conflict” (2019)
- Mary Rowlandson, The Sovereignty and Goodness of God (1682)
- Tom Soboleski, “‘Connecticut’s Jamestown’? An Incident in Wethersfield Nearly 400 Years Ago May Rewrite Early American History” (2019)