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Connecticut, state seal

Connecticut, state seal

Connecticut's first seal was brought from England by Colonel George Fenwick in 1639. It was the seal of the Saybrook Colony and was turned over to the Connecticut Colony at about the time that it purchased the land and fort at Saybrook Point from Colonel Fenwick in 1644. The seal was used by the General Court (General Assembly) from that time forward, but there is no clear record of who had custody of the seal. On October 9, 1662, the same day that the new Royal Charter was read aloud at Hartford, the assembly formally declared that the seal would be kept by the Secretary of the Colony and used as the Seal of the Colony on necessary occasions. It remained the colony's seal until October 1687, when Sir Edmund Andros took control of the colony's government and the seal disappeared. It is presumed to have been destroyed.

Self-government returned to Connecticut in 1689, but for a number of years only a poorly fashioned substitute seal was used. On October 25, 1711, a meeting of the Governor and Council (upper house of the assembly) resolved, "that a new stamp shall be made and cut of the seal of this Colony, suitable for sealing upon wafers, and that a press be provided with the necessary appurtenances, for that purpose, as soon as may be, at the cost and charge of this Colony, to be kept in the secretary's office." The new, less elaborately decorated seal was larger in size and more oval shaped than the original. The words of the motto remained the same, but the number of grape vines was reduced to three and the legend SIGILLUM COLONIAE CONNECTICUTENSIS (Seal of the Connecticut Colony) is added to the edge of the seal. The three vines may have been intended to represent the three colonies, New Haven, Saybrook, and Connecticut (Hartford), which, by 1665, had merged to form the Connecticut of that time.

After the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, the inscription on the colonial seal was no longer appropriate. Therefore, in May of 1784 the General Assembly directed the Secretary to alter the inscription to read "SIGILL. REIP. CONNECTICUTENSIS." However, when a new version of the seal was prepared, the inscription contained the words spelled out ---SIGILLUM REIPUBLICAE CONNECTICUTENSIS (Seal of the State of Connecticut).

/Source: State of Connecticut, www.ct.gov/


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