Scion of the Charter Oak — September 12, 2022

SCION OF THE CHARTER OAK
PLANTED 19 OCTOBER 1871
BY THE
1ST CO. GOVERNOR’S
FOOT GUARD

“In the earliest days the great oak served both as a council tree and agricultural guide for Native Americans. The annual spring planting of corn would not begin until the great tree’s leaves were the size of a mouse’s ear thus ensuring proper soil temperature and germination. The venerable oak was considered both sacred and sagacious. Connecticut received its charter from Charles II on October 9, 1662 and that document was the legal basis for all of its governance. With the accession of James II to the throne, there was a plan to seize the charter. In 1687 Governor Andros traveled to Hartford to collect the Connecticut Charter. A meeting was held, the charter was brought forth, candles went out and in darkness the charter disappeared. Capt. Joseph Wadsworth has seized the charter and hid it in the hollow of the ancient oak which stood on the Wyllys estate south of Prospect Street. The great tree blew down in a storm on August 21, 1856 at sundown that day. Bells tolled throughout Hartford. The tree’s age was estimated to be in excess of one thousand years. This tree was planted in 1871 by the officers and men of the First Company Governor’s Foot Guard, Major William H. Dodd commanding.”

-Excerpt courtesy of the Historical Marker Database, “Scion of the Charter Oak,” by Michael Herrick, Southbury, Connecticut, February 5, 2012

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