From: Miles of Millstreams
An Official Bicentennial History (1976)
By Margaret Weaver, Geraldine A. Wood, Raymond H. WoodPublished by the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Killingly, Conn.
January 14, 1639:
The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut adopted on January 14, 1639, and the laws made under them, applied to all towns which would henceforth join the Connecticut government. The principles of government set forth by Thomas Hooker, and framed into law by Roger Ludlow became the first written constitution in the history of the world.
The five most important laws which it contained were:
- All the authority of the government comes directly from the people.
- There will be no taxation without representation
- The number of men which the towns choose to help make their laws shall be in proportion to the population of the towns.
- All freemen who take oath to be faithful to the Colony of Connecticut shall have the right to vote. They do not necessarily have to be members of the Church, as in Massachusetts.
- New towns may join the three original towns and live under the Fundamental Orders. Of all the officials, only the Governor must be a member of a Congregational Church. (Colonial Records)
October 10, 1639:
The General Court made laws under the Fundamental Orders. These laws authorized the towns to establish their own local government and manage their own affairs. Not less than three men would be elected by the people. (These men have become known as "selectmen".) Town courts were invested with the power to resolve all matters of trespass or debt, not to exceed fifty dollars. The towns were further ordered to keep permanent records of all land bought or sold, of all deeds, mortgages, probate affairs and all such important town matters.
(Towns still retain these rights today.) (Colonial Records)
November 2, 1653
A deed to John Winthrop, Jr. from the Quinebaug Indian, Allumps, was the oldest record of transfer of land pertaining to Windham County. In June 1659, he gained authority from the General Court and obtained a grant of land known as Quinebaug Country from James and "two other chief men of the Quinebaugs."
A bridlepath wound northward from Plainfield through the "border land" to intersect a road from Woodstock to Boston. (This bridlepath followed the present Green Hollow Road and went up the length of present day Broad Street in Danielson.) (Crofut)
More settlers were attracted to the territory by a great forest of pines which started at the Great Falls (Putnam) and grew all the way to Lake Mashapaug (Alexander's Lake). From the pines they made turpentine which was a good trade item of the times. (Barber)
Representatives from Killingly to the General Assembly during this period were Peter Aspinwall, Simon Bryant, George Blanchard, Thomas Whitmore, and Ephraim Warren. (Colonial Records).