More information will be added soon.
Stamford was named for a community in Lincolnshire, England. Some, or most, of
the Stamfords settlers reportedly had come from there. |
By the time Stamford saw its founding in 1640/1641, the area had borne witness to dramatic change.
Once heavily populated by an extensive native culture, with an organized society, trade, fishing and farming; now it was nearly barren. Close to 80% of the coastal native population had been decimated by wave after wave of European disease in the preceeding decades.
Another contributing factor was the warfare between the Dutch, English and natives. Fierce and frequent, many times native against native, warfare further reduced the number of inhabitants. This depopulation opened the doors for ever-opportunistic Europeans in their quest to expand into the furtile valleys of Connecticut. Dutch, English and natives all clashed to dominate the lucrative fur trade. Lessor-noted was the flourishing slave trade. Native captives, mostly women and children, were sold and shipped off never to see their homelands again.
In order to feed European appetites, speculators poored into the numerous coastal ports to establish routes for the exploitation of raw materials.
Trading posts were the first to set up, then came people eager to found and govern their own communities.
With them, came their followers and all sorts of people seeking opportunity of every kind.
Into the middle of this tumultuous era, stepped our first immigrant ancestor, presumably Samuel Clark.
Stamford (aka Rippowam) would see a period of relative peace, but only for a few years. With the Pequot war just behind; a civil war in England, and the French & Indian wars looming ahead; peace was not long.
Edgar W. Clark's 1892 history of Samuel Clark, pg 9:
"From 'Huntingdon's History of Stamford' and the records, we learn: Samuel Clark came to Wethersfield in 1636; 'one of the company of restless and dissatisfied men' who forsook the colony; and was one of twenty men who bound themselves May 16th, 1640 (see Scharf's History of Westchester Co.), to establish for themselves a home at Rippowams, now Stamford, Ct., Samuel Clark, born perhaps, about 1619, in Devonshire, came with the company from Wethersfield, Ct., and is on each of the first three lists made of the settlement. They pruchased the land of the Indian chiefs, Ponus and Toquamake, for 30 pounds, in July, 1640. On the first assignment of lands to the settlers, Oct. 19, 1641, Samuel Clark was allotted seven acres. He appears in the list of pioneers to the end of 1642. He is supposed to have lived in Milford, Ct., in 1669, then moved to Hempstead, L.I., and to have lived in New Haven, Ct., in 1685, died about 1690. He married Hannah, daughter of Rev. Robert Fordham."
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