APR 25 2020

1662- King Charles II grants royal charters to the New England colonies. Connecticut’s charter is generous, granting dominion all the way to the Pacific Ocean, guaranteeing the colonists “all liberties and immunities” of England.?
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Charles dies suddenly in 1685. His brother James takes the throne. James II thinks his brother’s charters are too liberal, so he sends an axe man to revoke them. Edmund Andros. Governor of New York. Wager to tighten imperial grip on the American colonies. He’s already been trying for years to bring Connecticut into subjection.?
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1687- Andros marches into Hartford with a band of soldiers to take the charter.?
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What happens next is a debated piece of history. Details unclear. Here’s the story from the family lore perspective:?
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Meeting in a tavern. Document in the middle of the room. Connecticut leaders on 1 side. Andros and entourage on the other. Colonists won’t go down without a fight. The debate lasts till dusk.?
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Finally, Andros gets fed up. He begins reading an official decree. Suddenly, the Connecticut official strikes up the band. Andros is ticked. Orders the band to stop. Begins reading again. Band starts playing again. The official draws his sword and says, “If you tell them again to stop, I’ll let daylight through you!”?
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Just then, a Hartford Councilor “swoons,” conveniently snuffing the candles out. ?
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Scuffle in the dark. Lights come back on. The charter is missing!?
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It was passed out the window to Captain Joseph Wadsworth, who ran off and hid it.?
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Where??
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Well, remember the big oak tree that I wrote about yesterday? It had a deep cavity where the Indians had burned a dead branch off. Perfect hiding place for an important document. ?
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Long, fruitless search. Andros and his men are forced to leave Hartford without taking the charter.?
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Capt Joseph Wadsworth was my 8th Great Grandfather.?
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Sir Edmund Andros married my 3rd cousin.?
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King James II was my wife’s 9th Great Grandfather.?
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The “Charter Oak” became a legendary symbol of U.S. freedom. In 1856, it was blown down in a violent storm. Thousands of souvenirs were carved from its wood.?
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Today’s cufflink is: HIDING PLACE.