Hartford, Connecticut, the state capital. It is known as the “Insurance Capital of the World,” and is also an industrial center. Hartford is the state's second largest city and lies 34 miles (55 km) north-northeast of New Haven. It is on the Connecticut River in Hartford County.
Hartford's insurance business began before 1800, and a large number of insurance companies have home offices either in the city or nearby. Factories in the area produce machinery, fabricated metals, electrical equipment, firearms, office machines, and aircraft equipment.
Landmarks include the marble and granite capitol, the Old State House (1796), and the Elizabeth Park rose gardens. Wads-worth Atheneum ranks among the country's leading art museums. In the State Library and Supreme Court building is the colonial charter said to have been hidden in the Charter Oak. The homes of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) are in Hartford.
Hartford is the seat of Trinity College; the University of Connecticut divisions of insurance, law, and social work; Hartford Seminary Foundation; the University of Hartford, which includes Hartford Art School, Inc., Hartt College of Music, and Hillyer College; and Hartford Graduate Center. The Hartford Courant (1764) is the nation's oldest newspaper in continuous publication.
Hartford began in 1633 as a Dutch trading post called “House of Hope.” Colonists led by Thomas Hooker came in 1636 and named their settlement after Hertford, England. It was incorporated in 1784. Formerly joint capital with New Haven, Hartford became sole state capital in 1875.