APR 24 2020

They called it The Monarch of the Forest. This was no ordinary tree. Local Indian tribes had held war councils and powwows under her branches for ages. The tree was sacred to them. They took good care of it. So, during a special powwow celebrating a war victory, the sagamores ordered a dead branch removed. With a carefully tended fire, they charred the branch near the trunk. Over the decades that followed, the remnant of the limb, on the Northeast side of the tree, decayed. Wind, rain, heat, and frost worked on that scar, until a deep cavity formed in the mighty oak.??
??
Eventually, George Wyllys, a wealthy Puritan from England, bought the land. The tree towered over the other timbers on George’s property. Standing proud on a modest hill, it was a marvelous old shade tree, impressive in size and beauty. ??
So impressive, that Dutch explorer Adrian Block had described that very tree in his detailed log when he surveyed the area in 1614.??
??
Yet now, decades later, the big tree was in the way. George’s son Samuel made plans to remove it. He had already felled so many other trees across the acreage, clearing the land for cultivation. ??
??
But wait!??
??
A delegation of Native Americans visited young Samuel and begged him not to cut the oak down. According to tribal lore, their ancient forebears had sown the acorn that grew into the great tree. It was a ceremonial planting–a living symbol of peace and prosperity. They explained:??
??
It has been the guide of our ancestors for centuries as to the time of planting our corn; when the leaves are the size of a mouse’s ears, then is the time to put the seed into the ground.??
??
Thus, the tree stood. And the city of Hartford, Connecticut grew up around it. ??
The Wyllys family were my second cousins. The great oak on their property became an important landmark in Hartford. It would go on to serve an even greater purpose and secure an important place in American history and family legend. I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow. You don’t want to miss it!??
??
Happy Arbor Day! ?????
??
Today’s cufflink is: PLANT A TREE.??
Image may contain: sky, tree and outdoor