New research that rewrites the earliest histories of
Stamford & Greenwich, CT

"Missy Wolfe's work is an important contribution to the literature of New Netherland" 
                                                                                                                                                        Dr. Charles Gehring, Director of the New Netherland Research 

Hidden History of Colonial Greenwich

Missy Wolfe discovered the lost world of Greenwich, CT in the 1600s by transcribing hundreds of handwritten documents owned by the town. Digitally ordering these centuries old papers opened an ancient portal that showed how the town was first created, managed, and developed from a wilderness. Lost places names are recovered, along with the functioning of the Greenwich Plantation, operated for over a century. This first town was a mandatory and communal endeavor that employed watchers and warners, sheepmasters, cowkeepers, fenceviewers, haywards, pounders and planters.

Faced with an ever-changing new world, the first citizens her created many new-world strategies.  Quite experimentally, they balanced religious and civic authority, private and common interests and financial inequities across communities. As a consequence of their heroic efforts, these first comers often found it more challenging to please their own than it was to please their God. The first here were compelled to depart from the past and fashion an idealized, yet still imperfect, new society. Missy Wolfe details the strategies and setbacks of creating community in colonial America's First Period. This work includes many new maps and illustrations.

Insubordinate Spirit a True Story of Life and Loss in Earliest America

Winner of the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence!

One of the four founders of Greenwich, CT, Elizabeth Fones Winthrop Feake Hallett's first husband died his first day in America and her second went insane. Denied permission to marry her third, she lived with him regardless and faced a death sentence for it. Leaving the safety of Boston’s Bay Colony, she settled on the untamed border between New England and New Netherland that is now Connecticut near Manhattan. She faced threats here as well from soldiers defending Dutch jurisdiction and angry Munsees who detested the European presence.

An imperfect new American, she watched as the Dutch launched what  may have been the largest massacre of the Indians in the northeast from her West India Company property in Old Greenwich. Moving more deeply into New Netherland to save herself from Indian retaliation and her own still-threatening English, she became part of New Netherland’s Dutch society and did pay the price of continued Indian anger. Surviving the turmoil of three colliding cultures, she sought a better engagement with God, if not man, and successfully championed a transformative new religion. Punished for this too, she embodied an emerging new American persona, one that rejected an unworkable past and embraced a future that nurtured the spirit of her intrepid life.

"Wolfe has the rare ability to glean rich and engaging stories of real people from centuries-old archival sources."

Ondine LeBlanc, Director of Publications, Massachusetts HIstorical Society

"The real treasure of this work is the uncovering of the lost world of the New Netherland / New England borderlands . . . in a way that the majority of accounts that focus on men, miss."
Evan Haefeli, Associate Professor of History, Columbia University

"Wolfe's work on Greenwich's earliest history has made a huge contribution to our understanding of this complex period in time wrapped in so much Romanticism."
Debra Mecky, PhD, Executive Director, Greenwich Historical Society

"Extremely informative and it corrects a lot of folklore."
Ron Marcus, Stamford Historical Society

Website Builder