But Some Years Later, In 1686, When
The Bad Days Of James II.
Had come, this charter was considered to
be too liberal, and order was given that it should be suspended.
One Sir Edmund Andross had been appointed governor of all New
England, and sent word from Boston to Connecticut that the charter
itself should be given up to him.
This the men of Connecticut
refused to do. Whereupon Sir Edmund with a military following
presented himself at their Assembly, declared their governing
powers to be dissolved, and, after much palaver, caused the charter
itself to be laid upon the table before him. The discussion had
been long, having lasted through the day into the night, and the
room had been lighted with candles. On a sudden each light
disappeared, and Sir Edmund with his followers were in the dark.
As a matter of course, when the light was restored the charter was
gone; and Sir Edmund, the governor-general, was baffled, as all
governors-general and all Sir Edmunds always are in such cases.
The charter was gone, a gallant Captain Wadsworth having carried it
off and hidden it in an oak-tree. The charter was renewed when
William III. came to the throne, and now hangs triumphantly in the
State House at Hartford. The charter oak has, alas! succumbed to
the weather, but was standing a few years since. The men of
Hartford are very proud of their charter, and regard it as the
parent of their existing liberties quite as much as though no
national revolution of their own had intervened.
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