New Book Focuses on History of LI Sound
June 27, 2011
It’s not as vast as the Atlantic Ocean, or as storied as the Mississippi River. But as Richard Radune, author of Sound Rising, explained in a talk at the Custom House Maritime Museum last Thursday, Long Island Sound has played a vital role in shaping Connecticut, and the United States, into what we know today.
Radune, a former Air Force Captain and businessman turned independent historian, focused on the period he calls the Sound’s “golden age,” from 1750 to 1820, in his research.
This era began with “massive” local participation in the West Indies trade, which, Radune said, has long been ignored by most historians. The Sound was a “superhighway” for Connecticut ships transporting rum, molasses, salt, and prohibited European goods. British authorities cracking down on these illegal actions concentrated on the larger ports of New York and Boston, making Connecticut’s smaller harbors, and its many coves and rivers, ideal for escaping their notice. Some New York merchants even relocated to Connecticut in order to better evade the law.
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