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The New England state of Connecticut, one of the original 13 colonies, has as one of its nicknames “Constitution State,” though it is more commonly known as the “Nutmeg State.” The capital of Connecticut is Hartford. The nickname comes from the fact that Connecticut had the first written constitution, adopted on January 24, 1639, establishing a governmental system called the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. The state tree is the white oak, and for good reason. In 1686, King James II appointed a new Royal Governor of the Dominion of New England, Sir Edmund Andros. Sir Edmund asserted that his commission superseded the 1662 Royal Charter granted by King Charles II which granted the colony’s broad autonomy. The colonists ignored the Royal Governor’s assertions, but in October of 1687, Sir Edmund appeared with both ground troops and naval support and on October 31, an assembly was convened. He read his commission and demanded that the colony’s governor surrender the charter. As it was placed on the table, the attendees blew out the candles and the room went dark. When the room was again illuminated, the charter was gone. Legend has it that the document was hidden in the white oak, dubbed “the Charter Oak.” That specific white oak was felled by a storm in 1856, but the type of tree remains their official tree. The Governor’s desk in Connecticut and the chairs upon which the President of the State Senate and the Speaker of the House are all made from wood salvaged from the Charter Oak. Two years later, Sir Edmund was arrested during the 1689 Boston revolt. He was sent back to Britain in chains after having been arrested by the Bostonians, and the Dominion of New England was dissolved.

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