Charter oak is an extraordinarily large white oak tree that grew in the ancient times of 12th and 13th centuries. Charter Oak was the name that came to be as a result of the tree’s capacity to harbor the 1662 charter of Connecticut State in its hollow trunk before it was violently sent down by a vigorous storm in 21st august 1856. The tree had a diameter of nearly seven feet.It became a symbol of American-independence is commemorated on the Connecticut State Quarter
The tree was preserved Samuel Wyllys after the local Indians approached him and encouraged him to spare the tree. Wyllys was one of the earliest settlers and he used to clear lands to plant corn. The locals had planted the tree ceremonially after they arrived at the place for the mere sake of peace.
History has it that the Connecticut’s royal charter of 1662 was concealed at the trees hollow trunk base to prevent it from the English governor- general who wanted to confiscate it.
An English governor general known as Andros arrived in New England at a time when USA was a colony under various colonialists. On arriving in New England, he demanded that all the colonialists to step down and surrender all the charters to him. Out of fear of his superiority, they all surrendered their royal charters to Andros. The state of Connecticut did not obey the command, arguing that it was their only guarantee to their political rights and freedoms.
He therefore set out to Connecticut where the colonialists were having a meeting. He was invited warmly to join them. The meeting ran into the night and candles were lit. When the charter was brought in a mahogany box, Andros was about to take it when all the candles went out. The charter was snatched and securely hidden in the hollow base of the oak trunk.
The Charter Oak was of an importance to the early settlers in America. It acted as a beacon of light to these people for centuries guiding them on seasons which were conducive for them to plant corn. When the leaves were the size of a mouse’s ears, it was the perfect time for them to put their seeds into the ground.
After the tree fell, it was sawed into timber. The timber secured from this oak was used to make furniture, which included designing chairs for the house of representative speaker as well as for the senate president and a desk for the governor of Connecticut State. A baseball made from the same wood was in September 20, 1860 presented to the Charter Oak Baseball Club in Brooklyn by the Charter Oak Engine Co. NO.1.
A section of the trunk of charter oak was preserved in Connecticut historical society rooms as a souvenir. And the oak was symbol of the American independence, celebrated even today on Connecticut State Quarter.
Hartford, the capital city of Connecticut State, was established on the same ground the charter oak grew.
Charter oak’s age was computed to be nearly a thousand years.