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Charter Oak Mutual Coal Company

American, 1865 - 1866
Biography: The Charter Oak Mutual Coal Company was established in Hartford in 1865 with the stated purpose of mining anthracite coal in Pennsylvania. The originators of the company were Paul P. Todd of Boston, Massachusetts and John H. Bracken of Pennsylvania. The name "Charter Oak," recalling the venerable tree in which Connecticut's Colonial Charter was hidden and preserved, was probably meant to inspire investors with confidence. Articles describing the mines in glowing terms appeared in the Hartford Courant and a map was probably issued at the same time to familiarize investors with the mines' location. Much stock was sold, but the promised profits failed to materialize, and in 1866 Todd and Bracken were charged with fraud.