A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 28, 2016
Connecticut: Land of Steady Habits (nickname)

Connecticut is known as the “Land of Steady Habits.” “They have steady habits” was cited in a 1794 Connecticut newspaper and “the steady habits of Connecticut” was cited in a 1798 Connecticut newspaper. The term “steady habits” was used many times in 1801, and “The land of ‘steady habits’” was cited in print in 1803.

Personal virtue and federalism (in politics) appear to be the most basic of those “steady habits.” The Connecticut nickname is mostly historical, but is still occasionally used.


1 February 1794, Middlesex (CT) Gazette, “A DIALOGUE between Willy Frank and Faithful Columbus, two Farmers,” pg. 1, col. 1:
The family have been well bro’t up: They have steady habits: ...

3 September 1798, The Connecticut Courant (Hartford, CT), “To the FREEMEN of this State” by A FREEMAN, pg. 2, col. 5:
LAST spring, a violent attempt was made by the Democrats, to introduce into the nomination to Congress, and into the General Assembly, men of unfound characters, and anitfederal politics, in order to change the steady habits of Connecticut, and to destroy our national reputation, and dignity.

9 February 1801, The Connecticut Courant (Hartford, CT), pg. 3, col. 3:
From the Republican Watch-Tower.
THE Governor of the State of Connecticut, at the close of the last session, tells the Assembly, that at no time have greater efforts been made to break in upon the steady habits and good regulations of the people, than at the present period.
(...)
BLUNT.

6 April 1801, The Connecticut Courant (Hartford, CT), pg. 1, cols. 2-3:
To the FREEMEN of CONNECTICUT.
(...)
A Lover of old Steady Habits. (signed—ed.)

OCLC WorldCat record
Federalism triumphant in the steady habits of Connecticut alone, or, The turnpike road to a fortune : A comic opera or, political farce in six acts, ; as performed at the theatres Royal and Aristocratic at Hartford and New-Haven October, 1801. ; [Nine lines of quotations].
Author: Leonard Chester
Publisher: [New York?] : Printed [by Denniston et Cheetham?] in the year, 1802.
Edition/Format: Computer file : English

Google Books
Constitutional Republicanism, in Opposition to Fallacious Federalism
By Benjamin Austin, Jun.
Boston, MA: Printed for Adams & Rhoades
1803
Pg. 254:
Steady habits,” in Connecticut, have been a significant appellation to designate the different classes of citizens in their political sentiments.

OCLC WorldCat record
A bag of nuts, well cracked, or, A pill for steady habits : comprising, the entertaining history of Jack Nips
Author: John Leland
Publisher: Connecticut, printed, January 1803.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

25 November 1803, Newburyport (MA) Herald, pg. 3, col. 1:
The land of “steady habits.”
(The story is about Connecticut.—ed.)

OCLC WorldCat record
Republicanism & aristocracy contrasted, or, The steady habits of Connecticut inconsistent with and opposed to the principles of the American Revolution : exhibited in an oration delivered at New-London (Con.) [sic], July 4th, 1804, on the celebration of American independence
Author: Christopher Manwaring
Publisher: Norwich, Conn. : Printed by Sterry & Porter at the Office of the True Republican, [1804]
Edition/Format: eBook : Document : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Steady habits vindicated, or, A serious remonstrance to the people of Connecticut against changing their goverment [sic]
Author: David Daggett
Publisher: Hartford [Conn.] : Printed by Hudson & Goodwin, 1805.
Series: Early American imprints., Second series ;, no. 8284.
Edition/Format: Book Microform : Micro-opaque : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The steady habits of Connecticut, versified
Author: Isaac Hillard
Publisher: Danbury [Conn.] : Printed for [I. Hillard], 1807.
Series: (American Poetry, 1609-1900 ; Segment I, no. 942).
Edition/Format: Book Microform : Microfilm : English

15 November 1809, The Maryland Herald, and Hager’s-Town Weekly Advertiser (Hagerstown, MD), pg. 3, col. 2:
Even Connecticut, ‘the land of steady habits.’ has experienced a powerful shock, and New-Hampshire is fast returning to true American principles.

Google Books
Considerations on the Approaching Dissolution of the United States Bank.
By Jesse Atwater
New Haven, CT: Sidney’s Peels
1810
Pg. 18:
Lately in the land of steady habits, a little bank, where only 25,000 dollars could be admitted as the first deposit, on a subscription for 100,000, ...

Google Books
A General History of the Baptist Denomination in America
Volume 1

By David Benedict
Boston, MA: Printed by Lincoln & Edmands
1813
Pp. 274-275:
Upon this law a number o their own ministers (Connecticut—ed.) were prosecuted, and Mr. afterwards Dr. Finley, President of Princeton College, New-Jersey, Was transported as a vagrant person, from one constable to another, out of the bounds of the land of steady habits.

Google Books
A Year’s Residence in the United States of America
By William Cobbett
New York, NY: Clayton and Kingsland, Printers
1819
Pg. 276:
New ‘England is called, and truly, “the Land of Steady Habits;” but, a Connecticut man is said to be a ”full-blooded Yankey,” and Yankey means New Englander.

OCLC WorldCat record
SHOCKING MORAL DEPREVITY IN THE “LAND OF STEADY HABITS.”
Publisher: VINCENNES, INDIANA
Edition/Format: Article Article
Publication: VINCENNES GAZETTE, (August 1, 1868)
Database: The Civil War: 1855-1869

ConnecticutHistory.org
The Unsteady Meaning of “The Land of Steady Habits”
By Walter W. Woodward for Connecticut Explored
(...)
For Connecticut’s Standing Order, though, “The Land of Steady Habits” struck just the right note, implying wise governance, order, stability, virtue, Congregational piety, and considered resistance to radical and untested innovation. For their political opponents—who would turn the Standing Order out of office and write the state’s new constitution in 1818—“The Land of Steady Habits” proved equally useful as an ironic shorthand for aristocratic rule, cronyism, inequitable taxation, entrenched corruption, and backward thinking. Thus the state’s Federalist governor could accuse his opponents in 1801 of trying to “break in on the steady habits and good regulations of the people” (American Citizen, February 24, 1801) while the Republicans in turn could accuse a Federalist judge of robbing the state treasury for two years “under cover of ‘a steady habit’” (Courant, Hartford, Connecticut, July 15, 1801). Such charges were typical of the “Steady Habits” press coverage well into the 1820s. They also underscore a feature of the phrase “The Land of Steady Habits” that is instrumental to its longevity: It works equally well when used to highlight positive or negative traits.
(...)
This article originally appeared in Connecticut Explored (formerly Hog River Journal) Vol. 10/ No. 4, Fall 2012.

Posted by Barry Popik
Other ExpressionsOther States • Thursday, January 28, 2016 • Permalink