Charter Oak, Hartford, Conn., 1856 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
Written in ink on this item are the words "Genuine piece / of / Charter Oak / Hartford [Conn.]." Affixed to the item is a label which adds that it was "Given to Laurel Goodman / in that city, in June 1857 / by Louis Lippoldt." Also written on the label is the note that the tree was "Blown down August 1856." The Charter Oak was an unusually large white oak tree growing from around the 12th or 13th century until it fell during a storm in 1856. It acquired symbolic importance for the colony and state of Connecticut because it was believed that the colony's royal charter of 1662 had been hidden in a hollow of the tree to keep the governor of the Dominion of New England from confiscating it in 1687.
The Library's piece of the Charter Oak is about 8" long. It seems possible that it was once part of the Gutmann-Steven collection.