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HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: Incorporated in 1637, Wethersfield is named after the town in Essex, England.

LAWYERS, GUNS AND MONEY: Silas Deane, a lawyer and merchant from Groton, settled in Wethersfield in 1761. Twice appointed to represent Connecticut in the Continental Congress, he was sent to France in 1776 on a diplomatic mission to procure munitions, money and men to help the colonies fight the British. Among his famous recruits was the Marquis de Lafayette. He was recalled by Congress in 1788 after being accused of financial misconduct, and later accused of treason when his letters considering reconciliation with the British were published. Deane died disgraced and bankrupt on board a ship while returning from exile to the United States in 1789 at age 51. Some 50 years after his death, Congress cleared his name and made partial reparation to his heirs. Today, Wethersfield has a highway and middle school named after him.

FAMOUS RESIDENTS: Jonathan Church , the first New Englander to join the U.S. Marine Corps in 1798; film and television actress Annabella Sciorra; and whimsical fashion designer Betsey Johnson.

SOURCES: Wethersfield Village Improvement Association; Connecticut Firsts; Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum; The Hartford Courant

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