On the journey to New England, the Reverend John Winthrop and fellow English Puritans who formed the River Colony, later joined with other colonies to be named Connecticut, gave a sermon in which he expressed his belief that the Puritans had a contract ("covenant") with God to create a society that would be governed by Scriptures in which everyone worked together for the common good. His most famous words were even quoted by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 at a dinner for the American Heritage Foundation,
For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.....
With this strong direction, the new colony that was to become Connecticut maintained fiercely its independence in the face of New England rule by the crown of England, thus playing a significant role in the concept of self-government. For instance, Governor Wolcott of Connecticut was one of the signers of the Constitution, and his successor, William Pitkin, who defeated Thomas Fitch who was criticized for "not having been strong enough in his repudiation of the Stamp Act," formed the Sons of Liberty a member of whom was his successor, Jonathan Trumbull. Therefore, with this history of Connecticut and its fiercely independent leaders, one slogan could be
The Sons of Liberty illuminate, lead, and legislate the path to Independence.