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From top to bottom, left to right: Downtown Hartford skyline from the Connecticut River, Connecticut State Capitol, Old State House, University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford Seminary, historic Cheney Building Hartford is the capital of the U. The city is nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World", as it hosts many insurance company headquarters which is the region's major industry.

It was the seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960.

Hartford was founded in 1635 and is among the oldest cities in the United States.

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It also is home to Trinity College, a private liberal arts college, and the Mark Twain House where the author wrote his most famous works and raised his family, among other historically significant attractions.

Mark Twain wrote in 1868, "Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see this is the chief." Hartford was the richest city in the United States for several decades following the American Civil War.

Today, it is one of the poorest cities in the nation, with 3 out of every 10 families living below the poverty threshold.

In sharp contrast, the Hartford metropolitan area is ranked 32nd of 318 metropolitan areas in total economic production and 7th out of 280 metropolitan statistical areas in per capita income.

Census estimates since the 2010 United States Census have indicated that Hartford is the fourth-largest city in Connecticut, behind the coastal cities of Bridgeport, New Haven, Connecticut, and Stamford.

Various tribes lived in or around Hartford, all part of the Algonquin people.

These included the Podunks, mostly east of the Connecticut River; the Poquonocks north and west of Hartford; the Massacoes in the Simsbury area; the Tunxis tribe in West Hartford and Farmington; the Wangunks to the south; and the Saukiog in Hartford itself.

The first Europeans known to have explored the area were the Dutch under Adriaen Block, who sailed up the Connecticut in 1614.

Dutch fur traders from New Amsterdam returned in 1623 with a mission to establish a trading post and fortify the area for the Dutch West India Company.

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