1935 3¢ Connecticut Tercentenary
Issue Date: April 26, 1935
First City: Hartford, CT
Quantity Issued: 70,726,800
The Charter Oak
Charter Oak was a huge tree in Hartford, Connecticut. It became famous through a tradition that Connecticut’s original charter was hidden there to keep the English governor, Sir Edmund Andros, from seizing it. Andros had been sent by the newly crowned King James II to take control of the colony.
When Andros reached the colony in 1687, he appeared at a legislative meeting and demanded that the charter be turned over to him. Members of the legislature debated with Andros, and then suddenly, the candles went out. When they were lit again, the charter had vanished. According to tradition, Joseph Wadsworth took the charter and hid it in a gigantic oak tree.
Andros’ rule as governor ended in 1689, after James II’s fall from power. The charter remained the supreme law of Connecticut until a new constitution was adopted in 1818. The Charter Oak was destroyed during a windstorm in 1856. A granite shaft now marks the spot where the tree stood.