The First Pratts in Prattsville

I’ve decided to wait a while on the Hardenburgh House and go back to the beginning for the Pratts of Prattsville. Once we catch up to 1790, we’ll return to the House of Hardenburgh.

William and John Pratt were the first Pratts in the line of our own Zadock to set foot in America. They arrived in 1633 on the 17th century sailing ship, The Griffin.

William Pratt (1609–1678) was an early colonial settler, a lieutenant in the Pequot War, and a representative to the General Court of Connecticut for 23 terms. William and John, his older brother, were the sons of Reverend William Pratt of England. They journeyed from England to Massachusetts on the 17th century ship, The Griffin. along with 17th century divines John Cotton and Thomas Hooker. The Rev. Hooker and Rev Cotton had attended college at Cambridge with the Pratt brothers’ father, Rev. William Pratt. All were strong in the Puritan faith. Thomas Hooker believed deeply in universal Christian suffrage. So did William and John Pratt. This caused a rift between them and John Cotton, all of them now a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Hooker and his party, including the Pratts went on to found the Connecticut Colony, which in 1639 ratified “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut” inspired by Hooker and company’s beliefs. Today Connecticut is known as “The Constitution State” because of the forward thinking of its founders, including the Pratt Brothers and Thomas Hooker who saw freedom of religion as foundational for the future of American Democracy and whose “Fundamental Orders” some see as the world’s first written democratic constitution for representational government.

William and John Pratt are considered founders of Hartford, Connecticut and their names are enshrined on a founders’ monument in that city.

Carolyn Bennett

Prattsville Historian

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