Are the westernmost of the counties created from the "Western Reserve," and comprise the "Fire Lands" grant made in 1792 by the state of Connecticut to the people of Greenwich, Fairfield, Danbury, Ridgefield, Norwalk, New Haven, East Haven and New London to indemnify them for their fire losses during the British expeditions in Connecticut under Governor Tryon in 1779 and Benedict Arnold in 1781.
It is served by the main line and the Danbury division (of which it is a terminus) of the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway, by inter-urban electric lines, and by steamboats to New York.
Supplementing the educative influence of the schools are the public libraries (161 in number in 1907); the state appropriates $200 to establish, and $100 per annum to maintain, a public library (provided the town in which the library is to be established contributes an equal amount), and the Public Library Committee has for its duty the study of library problems. Higher education is provided by Yale University; by Trinity College, at Hartford (nonsectarian), founded in 1823; by Wesleyan University, at Middletown, the oldest college of the Methodist Church in the United States, founded in 1831; by the Hartford Theological Seminary (1834); by the Connecticut Agricultural College, at Storrs (founded 1881), which has a two years' course of preparation for rural teachers and has an experiment station; by the Connecticut Experiment Station at New Haven, which was established in 1875 at Middletown and was the first in the United States; and by normal schools at New Britain (established 1881), Willimantic (1890), New Haven (1894) and Danbury (1903).
Yet with the exception of isolated British movements against Stonington in 1775, Danbury in 1777, New Haven in 1779 and New London in 1781 no battles were fought in Connecticut territory.