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Clockwise from top: downtown New Haven skyline, East Rock Park, summer festivities on the New Haven Green, shops along Upper State Street, Five Mile Point Lighthouse, Harkness Tower, and Connecticut Hall at Yale.
As the American Revolution approached, General David Wooster and other influential residents hoped that the conflict with the government in Britain could be resolved short of rebellion.Yale president Ezra Stiles recounted in his diary that while he moved furniture in anticipation of battle, he still couldn't quite believe the revolution had begun.New Haven was not torched as the invaders did with Danbury in 1777, or Fairfield and Norwalk a week after the New Haven raid, so many of the town's colonial features were preserved.It never reached its destination, and its disappearance stymied New Haven's development versus the rising trade powers of Boston and New Amsterdam.In 1660, Colony founder John Davenport's wishes were fulfilled, and Hopkins School was founded in New Haven with money from the estate of Edward Hopkins.The area was briefly visited by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block in 1614.
Dutch traders set up a small trading system of beaver pelts with the local inhabitants, but trade was sporadic and the Dutch did not settle permanently in the area.
By 1640, "Qunnipiac's" theocratic government and nine-square grid plan were in place, and the town was renamed Newhaven, with 'haven' meaning harbor or port.
(However, the area to the north remained Quinnipiac until 1678, when it was renamed Hamden.) The settlement became the headquarters of the New Haven Colony, distinct from the Connecticut Colony previously established to the north centering on Hartford.
It is the second-largest city in Connecticut (after Bridgeport), with a population of 129,779 people as of the 2010 United States Census.
The central common block is the New Haven Green, a 16-acre (6 ha) square, and the center of Downtown New Haven.
New Haven had the first public tree planting program in America, producing a canopy of mature trees (including some large elms) that gave New Haven the nickname "The Elm City".