East Hartford is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 51,252 at the 2010 census. The town is located on the east bank of the Connecticut River, directly across from Hartford, Connecticut. It is home to aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. It is also home to Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field, a stadium used mainly for soccer and football with a capacity of 40,000 people.
When the Connecticut Valley became known to Europeans around 1631, it was inhabited by what were known as the River Tribes — a number of small clans of Native Americans living along the Great River and its tributaries. Of these tribes the Podunks occupied territory now lying in the towns of East Hartford and South Windsor, and numbered, by differing estimates, from sixty to two hundred bowmen. They were governed by two sachems, Waginacut and Arramamet, and were connected in some way with the Native Americans who lived across the Great River, in what is now Windsor. The region north of the Hockanum River was generally called Podunk; that south of the river, Hockanum; but these were no certain designations, and by some all the meadow along the Great River was called Hockanum.
In 1659, Thomas Burnham (1617–1688) purchased the tract of land now covered by the towns of South Windsor and East Hartford from Tantinomo, chief sachem of the Podunk Indians. Burnham lived on the land and later willed it to his nine children.