“quietly resumed their functions” — Connecticut Tercentenary Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin

Today, the Connecticut Tercentenary Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin remembers when the government resumed its duties under the charter on May 9, 1689.

Stories abound about the way the charter was hidden in the old oak tree, but its removal and reinstatement occurred with only a small amount of historical reference.

From History for Ready Reference compiled by J. N. Larned, published in 1895:

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The reinstatement of the charter government.

April, 1689, came at last. The people of Boston, at the first news of the English Revolution, clapped Andros into custody.

May 9, the old Connecticut authorities quietly resumed their functions, and called the assembly together for the following month. William and Mary were proclaimed with great fervor.

Not a word was said about the disappearance or reappearance of the charter; but the charter government was put into full effect again, as if Andros had never interrupted it.

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The minutes of the first meeting under the resumed charter from The public records of the colony of Connecticut [1636-1776] transcribed and edited by J. Hammond Trumbull, published in 1859:

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A Meeting of the General Court in Hartford, May 9th, 1689.

For the present peace and safety of this part of New England called Connecticut, the necessity of the circumstances it is now under so requiring, it was voted by the Freemen that they would re-establish the Government as it was before and at the time when Sir Edmond Andros took the Government, and so to have it proceed as it did before that time according to charter, engaging themselves to submit to it accordingly until there shall be a legal establishment settled amongst us.

Those in the Government at the time when Sir Edmond Andros took it, were Robert Treat, James Bishop, Nathan Gold, John Allyn, Wm Joanes, Andrew Leet, John Wadsworth, James Fitch, Samuel Mason, Benj. Newbery, Samuel Tallcot, Giles Hamlin, Esquires; there were now added, Samuel Willis and Major General John Winthrop, Esquires, to make up the number of Assistants according to charter.

The Deputies of this Court are: —

Mr. Ciprian Niccols, Ens. Nath. Stanly; for Hartford.
Mr. Henry Woolcot, Capt. Joseph Fitch; for Windsor.
Capt. Moses Mansfield, Lt. Abram Dickerman; for New Haven.
Mr. John Beard, Mr. Tho. Clark; for Milford.
Mr. John Burr, Mr. John Wheeler; for Fairfield.
Mr. Joseph Curtis, Mr. Josiah Niccols; for Stratford.
Mr. Benja. Brewster, Lt. Tho. Leffingwell; for Norwich.
Capt. Wm Lewes, Capt. Jn Stanly; for Farmington.
Mr. Nehem. Palmer, for Stonington.
Cristo. Comstock, for Norwalk.
Ens. Tho. Yale, Mr. John Hall; for Wallingford.
Mr. John Chapman, Mr. Wm Dudley; for Saybrooke.
Mr. Wm Maltby, Lt Eli. Stent; for Brandford.
Samuel Willcoxen, for Simsbury.
Ens. Tho. Judd, for Watterbury.
Mr. Edward Griswold, for Kenilworth.
Deacon Win Johnson, Deacon John Grave; for Guilford.
Lt. Nath. White, for Middleton.
Capt. James Avery, Lt. Daniel Witherly; for New London.
Capt. John Minor, Lt. Israel Curtis; for Woodbury.
Mr. Georg Gates, Joseph Arnold; for Haddum.
Lt. Abram Brunson, for Lyme.
Lt. Ebenez. Johnson, Mr. John Hulls, for Derby.

Whereas this Court hath been interrupted in the management of the Government in this Colony of Connecticut, for near eighteen months past, and or laws and courts have been disused; that there may be no damage accrue to the pub. hereby, It is now enacted, ordered and declared, that all the laws of this Colony formerly made, according to Charter, and courts constituted in this Colony for administration of justice, as they were before the late interruption, shall be of full force and virtue for the future and till this Court shall see cause to make farther and other alteration and provision according to charter.

And this Court do farther order, enact and declare, that all the present military officers throughout this Colony are hereby continued and established in their respective offices according to law until there shall be farther order; and all the soldiers in this Colony are hereby required to be obedient to their respective officers, and to attend accordingly; and if there be any vacancies or want of any officers in any Band, or they be dissatisfied with their present officers, they may nominate such others as they judge suitable in their places, at the next session of this Court, who may receive such establishment as shall be judged necessary.

This Court do order and appoint Capt. Josiah Standidg to take care of the Trayne Band of Preston, and to exercise them in peace and war, according to law; and they the Trayne band of said Preston are hereby required to be obedient to him accordingly.

This Court made choice of Major Ed. Palmes, Mr. Daniell Witherly and Capt. James Avery to be Commanders or justices of the peace for New London; and Mr. Mathew Griswold for Lyme, Mr. John Chapman for Saybrook and Kenilworth, Mr. Rosewell for Brandford, Mr. Tho. Yale for Wallingford, Mr. Richard Bryant and Capt. John Beard for Milford, Capt. Wm Curtis, Mr. Jose[ph] Hawly, and Mr. Jeramy Judson for Stratford, Capt. John Minor and Mr. Jos. Judson for Woodbury, Mr. Jehu Burr and Mr. John Bur for Fairfield, Capt. Tho. Fitch for Norwalk and Danbury, Captain Jonath. Sellick and Lt. Jonath. Bell for Standford and Greenwich, Captain John Chester for Wethersfield, Mr. Benjamin Brewster for Preston.

John Allyn is to administer the oath of assistant to Captain Newbery, and Mr. Bishop to administer to Captain Leet and Captain Rosewell their respective oaths, and Captain Mason to administer the oath of Assistants to Major Winthrop, and Major Gold to the Commanders of that county.

Georg Graue is appointed Marshall as formerly.

This Court doe order and appoint Mr. John Chapman and Mr. Wm Dudley to take care that something may be done towards the repair of the Fort at Saybrook, and its left with them to do what is necessary about the same provided they exceed not the sum of ten pounds, which shall be paid out of the next country rate.

This Court do desire and appoint the Treasurer to provide for the fort at Saybrooke a barrel of powder, upon the country’s account, and to send it to Mr. John Parker to be kept in readiness for the defense of the country.

The deputies of this General Court by their vote did declare, that in case any occasion should come on in reference to our charter or government, it is their desire that the Governor would call the General Court to consider and determine what is necessary to be done, and do not leave it with the Council.

This Court do appoint the 4th Wednesday of this present month to be kept a day of public humiliation throughout this Colony; the grounds and reasons are upon the file of this Court.

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The Connecticut Tercentenary Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin shows with a map of the area, circa 1758.

Connecticut Tercentenary Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin

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