The Tree That Saved Connecticut

The Tree That Saved Connecticut

Download options:

  • 83.55 KB
  • 205.70 KB
  • 116.73 KB

Description:

Excerpt


ANNOUNCER

In the year 1661 Connecticut received from the hand of Charles the Second a very liberal charter granting to the people of the colony almost complete self-government and to the colony an enormous stretch of territory extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. For fifteen years the colony prospered under the generous charter. Then in 1676 trouble arose with the Governor of New York, Sir Edmund Andros, about the boundary line between the two colonies. Andros demanded authority over all the land west of the Connecticut River. Governor Treat of Connecticut refused to submit. Andros threatened to seize the disputed land. Treat defied him. Andros fitted out three ships, embarked a military force, and set out for Saybrooke, Connecticut. Treat ordered out the militia, garrisoned the fort at Saybrooke, and waited.

Our first scene is in the fort on the morning of July 9, 1676. The Governor is at breakfast when he hears—

VOICE [distance]

Sail, ho!

ALL [closer]

Sail, ho! Here they come; call the governor [etc.]

ALLYN [coming in]

Governor! Governor! The ships are coming into the harbor!

TREAT

Are you certain they are the ships of Governor Andros?

ALLYN

Come and see for yourself, Governor.

TREAT

Come along, then. Lieutenant Allyn, how many ships did you see? [crowd noises swell up]

ALLYN

Only one, sir. I didn't wait for any more.

TREAT

Ah, here we are! Give me your hand while I climb to the ramparts.

ALLYN

Yes, sir! Ah! There you are, sir!

TREAT

Good!

ALL [in]

There's three of 'em, Governor! That's Andros, sir. No doubt o' that!

TREAT

Yes, yes, three! Andros's ships! That's certain! [calling] Every man to his place! Load your muskets and prepare for action! Andros shall not land!

ALL

Aye! We'll stop him! Just let him try it!

Here, give me your ramrod. Have you got an extra flint? [etc.]

TREAT

Lieutenant Allyn.

ALLYN

Yes, sir!

TREAT

Load the cannon!

ALLYN

It is loaded, sir.

TREAT

Fire across the bow of the forward ship! Make them come to!

ALLYN

Yes, sir! [calling] Throw the cannon across the bow of the forward ship!

VOICE

Yes, sir!

ALLYN

Fire! [a cannon shot]

ALL

Oh! Look at it!

Yea! Good shot!

TREAT

Excellent! That will show Andros our temper!

ALLYN

The ship is coming about, sir!

TREAT

So I see! They may be going to answer our shot with a broadside! [calling] Down! Every man down behind the ramparts!

ALLYN

Down! Down! Every man down!

VOICE [distant]

Ahoy, the fort!

TREAT

Oh! Hailing us! Well, let them hail!

VOICE

Ahoy, the fort!

TREAT

Can you see who it is, Lieutenant?

ALLYN

No, sir!

VOICE

I say there! Ahoy, the fort! Is there anyone there? Answer or we'll open fire on you!

TREAT

Hail them, Lieutenant.

ALLYN [calling]

Hello there, what do you want?

VOICE

Is the Governor of Connecticut Colony in the fort?

ALLYN [low]

What shall I tell him?

TREAT

Tell him I'm here.

ALLYN [loud]

Yes, the Governor is here!

VOICE

Governor Andros sends his compliments—

TREAT [under his breath]

Compliments, indeed!

VOICE

And requests Governor Treat to come aboard for a parley.

TREAT

Never!...