Contact:

Margaret Anne Tockarshewsky, Executive Director, New Haven Museum

203-562-4183, ext. 120, matockarshewsky@newhavenmuseum.org

Julie Winkel, Media Specialist,                                                                                                             

203-815-0800, jwinkel@live.com      

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The Quinnipiac: First People of the Shoreline at Pardee-Morris House

New Haven, Conn. (April 25, 2024) – Historian and archaeologist Jim Powers will share the story of more than 14,000 years of Quinnipiac and Indigenous life in Connecticut during,  “The Quinnipiac: The First People of the Shoreline,” at the Pardee-Morris House on Sunday, June 23, 2024, at 2 p.m. Register for this free NH250 event here. For weather updates check FB/IG or call 203-562-4183. 

Powers, who was instrumental in establishing the Quinnipiac Dawnland Museum at Dudley Farm, in Guilford, will illustrate the story of the Quinnipiac People and their ancestors from the end of the Ice Age through the arrival of the Dutch and then English Colonists in the early 17th century. He will highlight the catastrophic impact of the European arrival on the Quinnipiac and present the reasons for their eventual dispersal to join other groups in Connecticut and beyond. He will have copies of his recently published historical novel on the same topic, “Shadows Over Dawnland,” available for purchase. 

Powers is a life-long historian, archaeologist, and teacher. When an extensive collection of Quinnipiac artifacts was donated to the Dudley Farm Museum, where he was volunteering, he  began the curation of the artifacts that led to the building of the Quinnipiac Dawnland Museum at Dudley Farm. 

Powers’ aim is for the public to gain a greater understanding of the story of Indigenous life in the region. The story remains relevant today, he maintains, because the public knows little of who the Quinnipiac were, their way of life, and the importance of their presence in the history of the region. He explains that prior to the arrival of English colonists to what is now New Haven, a series of disasters befell the Indigenous people of Connecticut. 

In 1633, a smallpox epidemic broke out among the Native people who lived in what is currently the Hartford area. Both the Dutch and the English had recently set up trading posts there and each blamed the other for the outbreak. By the end of 1634, 50 to 80 percent of Native people in Connecticut had died. In 1636, the Pequot War broke out between Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Pequot in southeastern Connecticut. When it was over, the Pequot were destroyed, and the English colonists dominated all surviving Native people in the state. English colonists arrived in 1638 to settle in the New Haven area, and by the late 1600’s surviving Quinnipiac could no longer maintain their traditional way of life. By the late 1680’s, their dispersal away from the area along the shoreline began and few Quinnipiac remained in the area by the late 18th century.

About Jim Powers

Jim Powers is a historian, archaeologist, researcher, author, public speaker, and retired teacher. He is a founding member and current vice president of the Dudley Farm Museum in Guilford and was the committee chair that created the new Quinnipiac Dawnland Museum at the Dudley Farm.  

About NH250

This event is part of NH250, an ongoing series of programming developed by New Haven Museum to complement “America 250.” Culminating with the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 2026, the series will highlight inclusive, local, and lesser-known stories, connecting past and present. 

About the Pardee-Morris House

Located at 325 Lighthouse Road, in New Haven, the Pardee-Morris House dates from about 1780, and is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. Built by Amos Morris around 1750, the house was burned by the British during their raid on New Haven in 1779 and rebuilt and expanded by the Morris family. In 1918, William S. Pardee, a descendant of the Morris family, willed the property to the New Haven Colony Historical Society, today the New Haven Museum. For a complete list of summer events at the Pardee-Morris House, visit: http://newhavenmuseum.org/visit/pardee-morris-house/ For New Haven Museum’s event calendar: http://newhavenmuseum.org/visit/events-calendar/ Sign up for e-blasts at info@newhavenmuseum.org.

About the New Haven Museum

The New Haven Museum has been collecting, preserving and interpreting the history and heritage of Greater New Haven since its inception as the New Haven Colony Historical Society in 1862. Located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Avenue, the Museum brings more than 375 years of New Haven history to life through its collections, exhibitions, programs and outreach. As a Blue Star Museum, the New Haven Museum offers the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, free admission all year. For more information visit http://newhavenmuseum.org  or @NewHavenMuseum or call 203-562-4183.

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