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In 1637 a small party of Puritans reconnoitered the New Haven harbor area and wintered over.
The Quinnipiacs, who were under attack by neighboring Pequots, sold their land to the settlers in return for protection.
For over a century, New Haven citizens had fought in the colonial militia alongside regular British forces, as in the French and Indian War.
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.
On July 5, 1779, 2,600 loyalists and British regulars under General William Tryon, governor of New York, landed in New Haven Harbor and raided the 3,500-person town.
A militia of Yale students had been preparing for battle, and former Yale president and Yale Divinity School professor Naphtali Daggett rode out to confront the Redcoats.
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On 23 April 1775, which is still celebrated in New Haven as Powder House Day, the Second Company, Governor's Foot Guard, of New Haven entered the struggle against the governing British parliament.