John Hayward, Gazetteer of the United States of America… (Philadelphia: James L. Gihon, 1854), 303.
Bridgeport, Ct. City and town, Fairfield co. 75 miles S. S. W. from Hartford; 17 miles S. W. from New Haven, and 62 miles N. E. from the city of New York. It is on the W. side of an arm of Long Island Sound, into which the Pequanock River enters. The township contains about 10 square miles of excellent land, and was separated from Stratford in 1821. The city has had a rapid and prosperous growth. It was incorporated as a city in 1836. It is chiefly built on a plain, elevated a few feet above high-water mark, and is handsomely laid out and neatly built. There is a terrace of about 50 feet ascent at the N. side of the city, above which there is a surface of about half a mile square, on which are a number of beautiful private mansions, delightfully situated for the prospect of the city and of the Sound, which lie spread out before them. There are five or six handsome church edifices, belonging to different denominations. Some of the hotels are spacious and elegant buildings. A large business is done at Bridgeport in the coasting trade, and something in foreign commerce. Some vessels are employed in whaling and other fisheries. The harbor is safe; but the entrance of large vessels drawing more than 13 feet of water is impeded by the bar at its mouth. A steamboat plies daily between Bridgeport and New York. This is the S. terminus of the Housatonic Railroad, which connects at West Stockbridge. Mass., with the Western Railroad from Boston to Albany, and with another to Hudson, N. Y. The New York and New Haven Railroad, which is part of a continuous route to Boston, passes through this place. The Naugatuck Railroad also comes in here.