Underused Setting #4: Hartford, Connecticut
I am not an expert on most of the things I write guides about, but my information either comes from my own experience, or from a ton of research (and no, Wikipedia is not real research). Like everyone else, I can make mistakes, so if I ever get something wrong, please let me know.
Hartford is the capital of Connecticut, and is one of the oldest cities in the united States. First founded in 1637, Hartford has been through its booms and busts like every other city. Known as the insurance center of the world, insurance is one of the biggest industries in the city. Although wealthy in the 19th century, especially in the aftermath of the Civil War, Hartford is now one of the poorest cities in the United States, with 30% of residents living below the poverty line.
So what sort of roleplay would be set in Hartford, Connecticut? Easy! A witch/supernatural/coven sort of roleplay, of course! From what I’ve seen on this website, so many witch roleplays seem to be set in Salem, home of the infamous witch trials. While Salem is a cool place, it is also way too overused. Hartford, as another city in the New England region with a rich history of witchcraft, makes a much more unique setting.
The first recorded execution for witchcraft in what is now the United States occurred in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1647, Alse Young was hanged for witchcraft. Very little is known about her, other than she had a daughter who was also accused of witchcraft thirty years later. Forty three cases regarding witchcraft were heard in the state of Connecticut between 1648 and 1688. Sixteen of the accused were executed.
Clearly, by the 18th century, with the formal codification of the legal system, a topic I could write my college thesis on, witchcraft was no longer considered a real crime. However, there have been a number of unusual disasters in the city since twentieth century. In 1909, the Connecticut River rose over twenty four feet and flooded Hartford, inflicting considerable damage. Less than fifty years later, in 1944, a tent at a visiting Ringling Brothers Circus caught on fire. The fire rapidly spread out of control, killing 167 and injuring over 700. This fire remains one of the deadliest in United States history.
While less well-known than Salem, Boston, or other famous historic cities, Hartford is the ideal city setting for a roleplay where witches wander.