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Treat, Robert

Robert Treat, 1622?–1710, American colonial governor of Connecticut, b. England. He was taken to America when a child; his father was an early settler of Wethersfield, Conn., and a patentee of the royal charter granted in 1662. Robert Treat settled (1639) in Milford and became a prominent citizen, serving in the colonial assembly and on the governor's council. When the colonies of New Haven and Connecticut were united, Treat was a leader of the group of settlers who, discontented with the new arrangement, went to New Jersey and founded (1666) the city of Newark. He later returned (1672) to Milford and was commander in chief of the Connecticut forces in King Philip's War (1675–76) and in other clashes with the Native Americans, especially the Narragansett tribe. Deputy governor after 1676, he became governor of Connecticut in 1683. When the English government planned to unite the New England colonies, Treat led the opposition to the surrender of the Connecticut charter. He is supposed to have had some part in concealing the charter in the Charter Oak to prevent its falling into the hands of Gov. Edmund Andros, but there is excellent reason to believe that the whole Charter Oak story is a myth. Treat served on Andros's council, and when that unpopular governor was ousted (1689), he resumed the governorship of Connecticut, retaining it until 1698. He again served (1698–1708) as deputy governor.

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