The Connecticut Colony was governed by John Winthrop, Jr., who in 1662 obtained a royal charter that gave the colony a great deal of self-government. Between 1685 and 1689, King James II of England attempted to organize New England under one government. Connecticut resisted, refusing to turn over its charter. It is believed that colonists hid the charter in 1687 in the Charter Oak tree in Hartford.
The colony originally was settled in 1633 by the Dutch on the site of the modern Hartford, but the site soon was abandoned. Meanwhile, English settlers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Plymouth Colony established settlements at Wethersfield, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Guilford, Milford, Saybrook, Windsor, and elsewhere. The Pequot Indians tried to prevent white settlement, but were defeated in the Pequot War of 1637.