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In Chapter 15, the historical incident involving the disappearance of the Connecticut Charter is described.
The Charter was a document obtained from England by the Connecticut Colony which guaranteed them the right to self-government. In 1687, the Crown reneged on its agreement and ordered the colonists to surrender their Charter. During discussion on the issue that lasted until dark, the candles were suddenly and mysteriously blown out all at once, and when they were relighted, the Charter, which had been displayed in plain sight on a table, was gone. It had been taken and placed in hiding by unnamed dissidents, and William Ashby is one of the few who knows where it is. Although the colonial government was ended nonetheless, the disappearance of the Charter was a symbolic moral victory, and Matthew Wood predicts that "when the hard times have passed...(they) will bring (the) charter out of hiding ...and show the world what it means to be free men".
Although the book says nothing more about what happened to the Charter, historical records show that it was spirited out of the room by Captain Joseph Wadsworth and hidden in a hollow oak. It remained in its hiding place for two years, at which time the royal governor was removed from office and the precious document was brought forth once again.
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