Hartford’s Board of Alderman and Common Council both referred a petition for grading of Asylum Avenue.
Trust but verify
There was only one petition here – even though the Courant described it differently. The petition before the aldermen came from the building committee of the Asylum Hill church, which would have been the Asylum Hill Congregational Society Building Committee. The petition before the councilmen came from “Henry French and others,” but French was on the building committee. The “others” were likely the remainder of the building committee.
Put into context
The grading the building committee requested was for the stretch of Asylum Avenue from Sumner Street to Sigourney Street, and it shows how comprehensive the Asylum Hill Congregational Society was in its efforts to build the church. Back in May, Erastus Collins petitioned the municipal government for a new building line on the north side of Asylum Avenue, which was the month before they settled on the future site and five or six weeks before Patrick Keeley went to work. The new building line would have enabled them to have situated the church as advantageously as they possibly could, and the new grade would have made it easier to travel to the future front door of the church. This fits with one of the most important reasons for building the new church, which was that it was too hard to get to the church’s downtown.
Unattributed, “City Government – Last Evening,” Hartford Daily Courant, September 13, 1864, page 2.Related Chronicle: