web analytics

Len Tantillo’s New Work on the Connecticut River and Fort Good Hope

An unvieling ceremony of historical artist, Len Tantillo’s work on

the Connecticut River and Fort Good Hope

will be held at

the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Connecticut on

Thursday, October 12, 2023
Old Lyme Country Club
40 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme
6:00 p.m.

Please contact the musuem for reservations at 860.767.8269 or email them at crm@ctrivermuseum.org.

The following is the Research Study on 

A Depiction of Fort Good Hope on the Connecticut River

written by historical artist

L.F. Tantillo

No one living today knows what Fort Good Hope, on the banks of the Connecticut River in Hartford, looked like. Some information can be gleaned from historical accounts but it is quite vague and of little use in definitively representing the physical appearance of the fortification.
So where to begin?


The Journal of David de Vries

David Pietersz de Vries was a renowned 17th century Dutch explorer noted for his many global expeditions and dogged documentation of those adventures in his extensive journals. In the late 1630s de Vries made several visits to the North American Dutch colony of New Netherland, a tract of land stretching from Connecticut, through New York and New Jersey and southward into Delaware. In 1639 de Vries spent 6 days at Fort Good Hope on the Connecticut River in what is now the city of Hartford.

On June 4, 1639 de Vries wrote, “…the West India Company have a small fort called the House of Hope.”  On June 7th he states, “They cannot sail with large ships into this river, and vessels must not draw more than six feet water to navigate up to our little fort, which lies fifteen miles from the mouth of the river.” On June 9th he arrived with a yacht at the House of Hope where he noted the presence of 14 or 15 soldiers. He added, “This  redoubt stands upon a plain on the margin of the river, and alongside it runs a creek to a high woodland, out of which comes a valley, which makes this kill, and where the English, in spite of us, have begun to build up a small town, and had built a fine church, and over a hundred houses.”

Aside from a lengthy description on June 12th of his encounter with the English where he again refers to the Dutch installation as a “little fort or redoubt” there are no clues given as to the appearance of Fort Good Hope. It is interesting to note that of the 6 days de Vries spent there we only have 3 accounted for in his journal including a brief mention of his departure on the 14th.

Read more of the indepth study of this project.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our articles and information.  If you would like to contribute to help us promote and spread the history of the early New York, please click and discover more about our programs, what we offer and ways you can help.

To be a sponsor email us at:  events@newamsterdamhistorycenter.org

New Amsterdam History Center

Leave a reply