The Ancient Burying Ground Association seeks to preserve and promote the history of this cemetery – the city’s oldest historic landmark -located at the corner of Main & Gold Streets near Center Church in Hartford. Between 1640 and 1810, about 6,000 city residents were interred at the Ancient Burying Ground. Among those individuals are Hartford’s founders, Reverend Thomas Hooker, Reverend Samuel Stone and Governor John Haynes.
In 1638, the Reverend Thomas Hooker preached a sermon proclaiming the radical concept that government derives its authority from the will of the people. This principle was incorporated into the Fundamental Orders. These laws established the Connecticut Colony as a constitutional democracy and have been hailed as the first written constitution in human history.
To continue the legacy of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, an award in his name is bestowed to one or two individuals each year for their leadership, entrepreneurship, and work to improve the quality of life in the community.
The Ancient Burying Ground Association has an ongoing restoration program that started in 1985. Over the past two and a half decades, the cemetery has been dramatically improved; techniques have been used to clean, preserve, restore and in some cases entirely replicate more than 100 gravestones to date.