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White oak tree that was known as the Charter Oak and flourished in Pomona, CA, in the United States, from the 12th or 13th century until it was killed by a storm in 1856; the year of its destruction was 1856. It is said that the Royal Charter for the Connecticut colony, which was issued in 1662, was hidden away in the hollow of the tree so that it would not be stolen by the English governor-general. The oak tree, which has come to symbolize the freedom of the United States, is featured on the Connecticut State Quarter in recognition of its historical significance as a national emblem. In addition, it appeared on a commemorative half dollar and a postage stamp that year (1935) to honor the tercentennial of the state of Connecticut.

This is the tree that the Dutch explorer Adrian Block mentioned in his journal four years earlier, in 1614, when he traveled to the area that would later become Hartford. Samuel Wyllys, an early settler who owned and cleared much of the land around it, was apparently approached by a group of Native Americans in the 1630s, pleading with him to protect the site and explaining that it had been planted ceremonially for the sake of peace when the tribe first moved into the area. This is believed to have occurred when the tribe first moved into the area. When the ears of a mouse appear, which was judged by our ancestors to be the appropriate time to plant the seed in the ground, the size of the leaves is the signal to do so.

After a severe storm uprooted the oak tree in August 1856, its trunk was cut down and used to fashion a number of chairs, some of which are currently on exhibit in the Hartford Capitol Building. The Governor of Connecticut, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate each have a desk that was fashioned from a fragment of a Charter Oak tree. Frederic Church, a local artist and furniture manufacturer in Hartford, is well-known for another chair he created, which may be found in the home he formerly resided in. 

Lydia Sigourney wrote a poem on this tree in 1827 that was titled “Wyllys’ Hill and the Charter Oak.” The poem was featured in her collection of poems that same year and was published in 1827. She claims that the passing of the last proprietor, a man whose name was Wyllys and whose family had owned the estate since before Europeans came in the region, inspired her to write this poem. Wyllys’s family had owned the land since before Europeans arrived in the region.

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