National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution

National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR or SAR) was founded in 1889 and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. SAR is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and promoting education to our future generations. SAR members volunteer untold hours of service each year in their local communities. SAR is very active in supporting active duty military personnel and assisting veterans as well. We proudly assist classrooms with living history interpreters, lesson planning materials and reenactment events for school aged youth to attend.

As the largest male genealogical societies in the country, SAR boasts tens of thousands of active members in over 550 chapters across the United States and internationally. Any man 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background-who can prove blood lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership. We are on the razor’s edge of allowing DNA proof to be used to prove descent for those with unclear roots. SAR National Headquarters houses one of the nation’s premier genealogical libraries which is fully staffed with graduate level professionally trained genealogical librarians. NSSAR is exempt from Federal income taxes under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and receives no government funding, despite being a Congressionally Chartered Organization.

A Brief History

We seek to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, patriotism and respect for our national symbols, including but not limited to promoting pride in being American citizens and the unifying force of e pluribus unum. In 1876, there were many celebrations to commemorate the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. As part of this patriotic fervor, a group of men in the San Francisco, California, area who were descendants of patriots involved in the American Revolution, formed an organization called the Sons of Revolutionary Sires. Their objective was to have a fraternal and civic society to salute those men and women who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the battle for independence from Great Britain. The Sons of Revolutionary Sires desired to keep alive their ancestors’ story of patriotism and courage in the belief that it is a universal one of man’s struggle against tyranny – a story which would inspire and sustain succeeding generations when they would have to defend and extend our freedoms.

Out of the Sons of Revolutionary Sires grew the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, which was organized on April 30, 1889, the one hundredth anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as our nation’s first president. We have used the acronym SAR to identify ourselves for over one hundred years. The SAR was conceived as a fraternal and civic society composed of lineal descendants of the patriots who wintered at Valley Forge, signed the Declaration of Independence, fought in the battles of the American Revolution, served in the Continental Congress, or otherwise supported the cause of American Independence. The National Society was chartered by an Act of the United States Congress on June 9, 1906. The charter was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, who was also a member of the Empire State Society, SAR. The charter authorizes the granting of charters to societies of the various states and territories and authorizes the state-level societies to charter chapters within their borders. United States Code TITLE 36 USC​​ then established a federal charter for the National Society, SAR.

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National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Timeline

1888
2019
  • National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution is Organized

    April 30, 1889

    In 1876, there were many celebrations to commemorate the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. As part of this patriotic fervor, a group of men in the San Francisco, California, area who were descendants of patriots involved in the American Revolution, formed an organization called the Sons of Revolutionary Sires. Their objective was to have a fraternal and civic society to salute those men and women who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the battle for independence from Great Britain. The Sons of Revolutionary Sires desired to keep alive their ancestors’ story of patriotism and courage in the belief that it is a universal one of man’s struggle against tyranny – a story which would inspire and sustain succeeding generations when they would have to defend and extend our freedoms.

    Out of the Sons of Revolutionary Sires grew the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, which was organized on April 30, 1889, the one hundredth anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as our nation’s first president. We have used the acronym NSSAR and SAR to identify ourselves for over one hundred years. SAR was conceived as a fraternal and civic society composed of lineal descendants of the patriots who wintered at Valley Forge, signed the Declaration of Independence, fought in the battles of the American Revolution, served in the Continental Congress, or otherwise supported the cause of American Independence.

  • Lucius P. Deming

    President General 1889-1890

    While he was only President General for seven months, Lucius P. Deming played an important role in the history of the NSSAR, acting has the organization’s first leader. He was chosen as the President General at the first meeting of the society at Fraunces Tavern in New York in 1889. Deming was born in West Stockbridge, MA on March 10, 1836. He was the master of a schooner and the owner of a dry goods business until he entered Yale Law School, where he graduated in 1877. He held several important positions during his law career, including assistant city attorney of New Haven and Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of New Haven County. Deming was married twice, first to Laura E. Russell, then after her death to Eleanor M. Parmelee. He had three daughters and one son. Deming died in Auburn, NY on November 28, 1920.

    Source: History of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Vol. 1.

  • Dr. William Seward Webb

    President General 1890-1891

    Dr. William Seward Webb was a physician and businessman. He was born on January 31, 1851 and graduated from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1875. In 1883 he married Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt, daughter of William H. Vanderbilt. He and Eliza had three sons and one daughter. After practicing medicine for a few years, Webb began a career in finance, starting the firm W.S. Webb & Co. Later, through his father-in-law, he became involved in the railroad industry. In addition to his business ventures, Webb was also the Inspector General of the Vermont Militia and served in the Vermont legislature. A property owner in Vermont and the Adirondacks, the Webbs also owned a home at 680 Fifth Avenue in New York which was later sold to John D. Rockefeller. Webb, NY is named after Dr. Webb.

    Dr. William Seward Webb was appointed as the President General upon Lucius Deming’s resignation in 1889. He was elected President General during the first Congress in Louisville in 1890 and also served during the 1891-92 year.

    Sources:

    History of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Vol. 1.

    “William Seward Webb” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Seward_Webb

  • General Horace Porter

    President General 1892 - 1896

    Horace Porter was born in Huntingdon, PA on April 15, 1837. He was the son of David R. Porter, a wealthy ironmaster who later served as Governor of Pennsylvania, and grandson of Andrew Porter (1743-1813), an officer in the Continental Army during the War of Independence. Horace Porter studied for a year (1854) at the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University, and then entered the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in 1860, third in his class.

    He served in the Union army in the Civil War, reaching the rank of brigadier general. He received the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Chickamauga (September 19–20, 1863). The battle took place approximately three to four miles downstream on the Tennessee River from Chattanooga. On September 20, 1863, Horace Porter was serving as a Captain in the Ordnance Department. His citation that accompanies the award reads “While acting as a volunteer aide, at a critical moment when the lines were broken, rallied enough fugitives to hold the ground under heavy fire long enough to effect the escape of wagon trains and batteries.” In the last year of the war, he served as a personal aide to the General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant.

    From 1869 to 1873, Porter served as Grant’s personal secretary in the White House. Horace Porter resigned from the army in December 1873 and became vice president of the Pullman Palace Car Company. He also served in other business enterprises.

    In 1892 at the third NSSAR Congress in New York City, Horace Porter was elected President General. He was re-elected four times and is the only man to serve in this position for five years.

    From March 1897 to May 1905 he was U.S. Ambassador to France. At his personal expense he conducted (1899-1905) a successful search for the body of John Paul Jones, who had died in Paris in 1792. He received the Grand Cross Legion of Honor from the French government in 1904. For this he received on May 9, 1906 a unanimous vote of thanks of both Houses of Congress, and the privileges of the floor for life. In 1907 he was a member of the American delegation to the Hague Peace Conference.

    From 1893 to 1897 Porter was president of the Union League Club of New York. In this position, he was a major force in the construction of Grant’s Tomb.
    General Porter became well-known as a public speaker, and delivered orations at the dedication of General Grant’s tomb in New York, at the centennial of the founding of West Point, and at the re-interment of the body of John Paul Jones at Annapolis. (John Paul Jones was later re-interred in the crypt under the chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.)

    Horace Porter’s National number is 4069 and his Empire State Society number is 69. His Patriot ancestor was Andrew Porter who first served as Captain of the Marines onboard the frigate “Effingham” and later as Colonel of the Fourth Pennsylvania Artillery. He signed his application in April 1891. There are two notes on his application. One handwritten note says he was a “dual with the France Society #7.” The second note is typewritten and reads “(Past President Gen’l) (Founder of French SAR).”

    General Horace Porter died May 25, 1921. He is buried in the Old First Methodist Churchyard, West Long Branch, NJ. Horace Porter authored three books: West Point Life (1866) and Campaigning with Grant (1897), and Letter of John Paul Jones (1905). Compatriot Porter is the only known Medal of Honor recipient to serve as a President General.

  • Edward S Barrett

    President General 1896 - 1898

    Edward S. Barrett was born in Concord, MA in 1833. He was president of the Massachusetts Society SAR for six years. He served in the Civil War in the Connecticut, serving in the Connecticut 12th Infantry Regiment and the Connecticut 12th Infantry Battalion. He was the Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Trade. Barrett died while in office in Concord, MA on December 21, 1898.

    Sources:

    History of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Vol. 1. U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865, Ancestry.com

  • Governor Franklin Murphy

    President General 1898 - 1900

    Gov. Franklin Murphy was born in Jersey City, NJ on January 3, 1846. At sixteen, during the Civil War he enlisted in the 13th Regiment of the New Jersey Volunteers and participated in the battles of Antietam, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. After leaving military service, he founded the Murphy Varnish Company in Newark in 1865. In 1868 he married Janet Colwel of Newark and they had two children. Murphy became involved in politics, serving in the Newark Common Council and the New Jersey state legislature. He was Governor of New Jersey from 1902-1905 and was a candidate for Vice President of the United States in 1908. During his governorship he advocated for tougher child-labor laws and strengthened the state’s finance procedures. In addition to politics, he was involved in several civic pursuits. He was a member of the Essex County Park Commission, a board member for the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and headed the committee that planned the 250th anniversary of the founding of Newark. He died on February 24, 1920.

    Sources:

    History of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Vol. 1.

    National Governor’s Association http://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/past-governors-bios/page_new_jersey/col2-content/main-content-list/title_murphy_franklin.html

    New Jersey State Library Digitital Collections, Governors of New Jersey http://slic.njstatelib.org/slic_files/imported/NJ_Information/Digital_Collections/Governors_of_New_Jersey/GMURP.pdf

  • Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, Sr.

    President General 1900 - 1901

    Joseph C. Breckinridge, Sr. was born Jan. 14, 1842 in Baltimore, Md. He was part of the prominent Breckinridge family that included his cousin, John C. Breckinridge, who was Vice President of the United States. He attended Centre College in Kentucky and the University of Virginia. In 1861 he joined United States Army and fought for the Union side during the Civil War in Kentucky with General William Nelson. Many in his family, including two brothers, fought for the Confederacy. In 1868 he married Louise Ludlow Dudley and they had thirteen children. He was promoted many times, the last of which was in 1903 when he was promoted to Major General. From 1890-1903 he was the Inspector General of the United States Army. From 1900-1901 he was the President General of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution after serving as President of the DC Society and as Vice President General. He died in 1920 in Washington, D.C. and is buried in Lexington, KY.

    References:

    Breckinridge Family Papers Finding Aid, Library of Congress

    Cabell Family Papers, Small Library, University of Virginia

    Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, Sr., Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Cabell_Breckinridge,_Sr.

  • Walter Seth Logan, Esquire

    President General 1901 - 1902

    Walter Seth Logan was prepared for college in the Suffield Institute and the Fort Edward Collegiate Institute. He was graduated from Yale in 1870, from Harvard Law School in 1871, and Columbia Law School in 1872, in which year he was admitted to the New York Bar. Entering the law office of James C. Carter, he became the assistant of Mr. Carter and Charles O’Conor in the famous Jumel will case, thus beginning under the most favorable auspices a career as a lawyer that has been full of successes and honors.

    He has been prominent in Mexican as well as in State and National legal disputations, and is readily recognized as one of the fore most men in his profession. In addition to his professional labors he has found time to devote to literary work on economic, historical and other popular subjects. Among his essays and addresses are “The Siege of Cuautla, the Bunker Hill of Mexico,” “An Argument for an Eight-Hour Law,” “Nationalism,” “Peonage in Mexico,” “A Mexican Law Suit,” “Saxon and Latin Courts,” “A Permanent International Tribunal,” “Needed Modifications of the Patent Laws,” “The Limitation of Inheritances,” and “A More Socialistic State.”

    Mr. Logan was a leading spirit in several reform movements of New York City, and was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Ballot Reform. Association of New York State in 1887-1889, whose work has resulted in the present improved condition of our ballot system, greatly reducing the frauds so prevalent under the old system.

    An ex-president of the New York State Bar Association, he is a prominent member of the American Bar Association, chairman of one of the most important committees, and at present a vice-president of the association. A member of the Manhattan, Democratic, New York Yacht and many other clubs and’ organizations, legal, social and literary, and a liberal patron, of the arts and sciences, he has also been active in the various patriotic societies of the land, participating in many of their celebrations as an orator. A member of the Society of the Colonial Wars, of the Founders and Patriots, and President of the Empire State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, he counts as one of the greatest honors he has received his recent election as President General of the National Society. He was married in 1875 to Eliza Preston Kenyon of Brooklyn, New York. They have three children, Hollister (Yale. 1000; Columbia Law School, 1902); Janette– ( Smith, 1905) ; and Walter Seth Logan, Jr. (Yale, Harvard Law)

    Walter was born April 15, 1847 in Washington, Connecticut to Seth Savage Logan and Abigail Serene Holister. He was President General Logan of the Sons of the American Revolution. The article quoting his speech is in The National Yearbook and mentions that Walter Penn’s Secretary, James Logan, is related to us. I just haven’t found what the connection is. His father, Seth is mentioned in several places as well.

    Source:

    A National Register of the Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Volume 1

    Written in the The Connecticut Magazine, Volumes 3-4, 1897:

  • Governor Edwin Warfield

    President General 1902 - 1903

    EDWIN WARFIELD was born at “Oakdale” in Howard County, Maryland on May 7, 1848. His education was attained in the public schools of his native state, and at St. Timothy’s Hall in Catonsville. He taught while studying law, was admitted to the bar, and then established his legal career in Ellicott City. Warfield entered public service in 1874, with an appointment as the Howard County Register of Wills, a position he held for seven years. He also served as a member of the Maryland State Senate from 1882 to 1886, where he was president in 1886, and served as the surveyor of the port of Baltimore from 1886 to 1890. Warfield secured the 1903 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and then went on to win election to the Maryland governorship on November 3, 1903. He was sworn into office on January 13, 1904. During his tenure, the state flag was adopted; the Poe Amendment was rejected; the Public Records Commission was instituted; and the State House’s historic senate chamber was restored. After completing his term, Warfield retired from political life. He stayed active, serving as a member of the Maryland Sons of American Revolution, and as the president of the Maryland Historical Society. Governor Edwin Warfield passed away on March 31, 1920, and was buried in the family graveyard at “Cherry Grove” in Howard County, Maryland.

    SOURCE
    Eisenberg, Gerson G. Marylanders Who Served the Nation. Annapolis, MD: Maryland State Archives, 1992.

    Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

    White, Frank F., Jr. The Governors of Maryland, 1777-1972. Annapolis, MD: Hall of Records Commission, 1970.

  • General Edwin Seneca Greeley

    President General 1903 - 1904

    General Edwin Seneca Greeley (May 20, 1832 – January 10, 1920) was an industrialist, soldier, and philanthropist who worked in the railroad industry and served in the American Civil War. Greeley was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, the son of Seneca Greeley and Priscilla Fields and the grandson of Joseph Greeley, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Greeley married Elizabeth Corey of Taunton, Massachusetts on 20 Feb 1856.

    Greeley enlisted on August 31, 1861 in New Haven, Connecticut. Due to his assistance in raising a company, he was appointed first lieutenant in the 10th Connecticut Infantry Regiment on October 22, 1861. The unit was mustered into federal service on October 2, 1861, and sent south to participate in Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition.

    He served with the 10th Connecticut throughout the war and rose to become its commanding officer. The regiment served in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and was at Appomattox Court House when General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to General Grant on April 19, 1865.

    After the war Greeley entered a partnership with Luther Tillotson to manufacture telegraph keys. After Tillotson’s passing in 1885, Greeley renamed the company “The E.S. Greeley & Co.” The business suffered greatly following the Panic of 1893 and was dissolved in 1897. Following the dissolution of Greeley and Co., Greeley served as an officer of the Yale National Bank in New Haven.

    General Greeley was active in the Sons of the American Revolution and served as our President General from 1903 to 1904. He was also a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and the Grand Army of the Republic.

    He died in North Haven, Connecticut in 1920 at the age of 87. His estate had an estimated value of $400,000.00. He is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven.

    Sources:

    Greeley, George Hiram (1905). Genealogy of the Greely-Greeley Family. p. 640. Marquis, Albert Nelson (1916). Who’s Who in New England. p. 478.
    “Personal Notes”. The Electrical World. XXIII (15): 518. 14 April 1894. Cornish, Louis H. A National Registry of the Society Sons of the American Revolution

  • James Denton Hancock, Esquire

    President General 1904 - 1905

    James Denton Hancock was born on June 9, 1837, near Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne county, the son of James and Mary Perkins Hancock. There he acquired his early education in the common schools and Wyoming seminary. In 1855 he entered Kenyon college at Gambier, Ohio, graduating from there in 1859 as honor man. He was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, and of Alpha Delta Phi, one of the founders of of the Kenyon chapter of that fraternity. Upon graduation at Kenyon he had conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Arts and later the degree of Master of Arts and the honorary Doctor of Laws. He delivered the Phi Beta Kappa address in 1872 and the alumni address in 1899.

    He became a tutor at Western University, now the University of Pittsburgh, upon the completion of his college course. He was professor of mathematics until 1861, meanwhile studying law with William Bakewell of Pittsburgh. Having gained admission to the bar in Allegheny county in 1862, he practiced in Pittsburgh for about three years. In 1865 he removed to Franklin to make his residence, as it proved, in this city for the remainder of his life. He applied immediately to the Venango county bar, and was accepted, later becoming president of the Venango County Bar association.

    In 1865 he also married Ella C. Hitchcock of Pittsburgh, daughter of Lawrence Peres and Elizabeth Johnston Hitchcock. She died in 1871, and in 1872 he married her sister, Mary Kate Hitchcock. He had five children: Lawrence P. Hancock of Buffalo, NY; Mrs. Ella C. Williamson of this city; Mary Elizabeth Hancock, also of Franklin; James Denton Hancock and Philip Gaylord Hancock, both deceased; one granddaughter, Mrs. Katherine Williamson Allen, and a great-granddaughter, Katherine Hancock Allen.

    For 10 years he was solicitor for the Allegheny Valley Railroad Co., dating from 1877, and in 1878 he was appointed attorney for the Pittsburgh, Titusville and Buffalo Railroad Co., serving as such until 1888 when he became general solicitor for the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad Co, with headquarters in Buffalo, NY. He resigned the latter position in December, 1891. He had cases in almost all the courts of western Pennsylvania, as well as in many in the eastern portion. He retired from active business in 1896, but still retained a number of important associations, He was director of diverse corporations including for many years the Pittsburgh, Youngstown and Ashtabula Railroad Co. In 1881 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt as on of the trustees of the state hospital for the insane at Warren, PA, and in that position he served for 13 years. In 1888 he was president of the board of directors. He was director of a number of corporations in Franklin and elsewhere.

    He was a staunch Democrat in politics. In 1892 he was the democratic candidate for congressman in his district, losing by a small number of votes, as he did also in 1894 when nominated for congressman at large from Pennsylvania. In 1896 he was nominated for elector at large, but declined to be a candidate on account of his opposition to the policy of the party on the silver issue. Afterward he went as a delegate to the national convention at Indianapolis in 1896, which nominated Palmer and Buckner. He was prominent in the tariff reform movement. In recognition of his writings and addresses on the subject, he was chosen an honorary member of the Cobden club of England, and awarded a silver medal by that organization. He was the author of numerous articles upon various economic questions. Hancock also served as our President General from 1904 to 1905. He was a person of indomitable will and unflinching courage. These qualities kept him on his feet under the accumulating weight of the years until almost the very end.

  • General Francis Henry Appleton

    President General 1905 - 1906

    General Francis Henry Appleton presided at the Boston Congress of 1906. His leadership was able and impressive by all accounts and he never ceased being an active participant in NSSAR affairs until his death. It was during his tenure that the US Congress gave the National Society its Charter. This was impressive in an of itself as NSSAR was one of only three Congressional Chartered Organizations.

  • Chartered by US Congress

    June 9, 1906

    The National Society was chartered by an Act of the United States Congress on June 9, 1906. The charter was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, who was also a member of the Empire State Society, SAR. The charter authorizes the granting of charters to societies of the various states and territories and authorizes the state-level societies to charter chapters within their borders. Federal Legislation​​ then established a federal charter for the National Society, SAR.

  • Cornelius Amory Pugsley

    President General 1906 -1907

    Cornelius Amory Pugsley was born and grew up in Peekskill, Westchester County , about two years after the end of the Mexican-American War . During this time he attended public schools and obtained a higher education through a private teacher. Between 1867 and 1870 he worked as clerk and assistant postmaster. He went bankrupt in 1870 and was president of the Board of Trustees at the Peekskill Military Academy.

    Politically, he was a member of the Democratic Party. In the congressional elections of 1900 for the 57th Congress Pugsley was elected in the 16th electoral district of New York in the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, where he succeeded on 4 March 1901 the succession of John Q. Underhill . In 1902 he suffered a defeat at his re-election and retired after 3 March 1903 from the Congress.

    After his congressional time he went to Peekskill again banking business. He was President General of the Sons of the American Revolution in 1906 and 1907. In 1908 he participated as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention . He was president of the New York State Bankers’ Association in 1913 and president of the Westchester County National Bank at Peekskill. He then sat in the Westchester County Park Commission. On September 10, 1936, he died in Peekskill. His body was then buried at Raymond Hill Cemetery in Carmel.

  • Nelson Alvin McClary

    President General 1907 - 1908

    Nelson Alvin McClary was born on a farm at Albany, Vt,
    August 17, 1856. The family was broken up during his early age by the death of his mother. He attended school at Peacham,
    Vt., and worked in a general store at Windsor, Vt. He was placed in charge of a bookstore at Hanover, N. H., by a brother
    at the age of nineteen. Deciding to go through college, he fitted privately and kept the bookstore until the end of the junior year,
    and graduated at Dartmouth College in 1884 with degree of A. B. and ” final honors ” in chemistry, and the Grimes prize for
    greatest general improvement during course, and was class-day poet.

    He settled in Chicago in 1884, where he first worked for Jan-
    sen, McClurg & Co., publishers and booksellers. After a few months he obtained a position with a gas works construction com-
    pany as salesman, later Secretary, and finally General Manager. He became interested in several gas properties in Western States,
    and secured a franchise for the Cicero Gas Company (now part of the Northwestern Gas Light & Coke Co.) in 1892, of which
    he became President. He planned the works and built and man- aged the Ogden Gas Company (Chicago) until sold, 1896 to
    190T. He is now President of the Northwestern Gas Light & Coke Co. (Chicago suburbs), President of the De Kalb County
    (111.) Gas Company, President of the Austin (Tex.) Gas Com- pany, Secretary of the Sterling (111.) Gas & Electric Light Co.,
    Vice-President of the Florence Oil Company (Ind.), and Director of the National Gas & Water Co.

    He married in 7888 Emily Bicknell Rood of Philadelphia and
    has two sons, aged thirteen and fifteen. His home is at Oak Park (Chicago suburb). He has been a member of the Oak
    Park Board of Education for six years, member, Secretary and President of Board of Trustees of the First Presbyterian Church,
    Oak Park, for six years ; Vice-President of the Oak Park Club in 1904; member of the University Club (Chicago) ; President of
    the Chicago Dartmouth Alumni Association, 1903-4; and Presi- dent of the Illinois Society, S. A. R., 1905. He is great-great-
    grandson of Maj. Andrew McClary of the First (Stark’s) New Hampshire Regiment, who was killed at the battle of Bunker
    Hill. Maj. McClary fought at the rail fence during the entire engagement and was killed by a cannon ball from a British ship
    during the retreat. He was President General from 1907 to 1908.

  • Henry Stockbridge Jr.

    President General 1908 - 1909

    Henry Stockbridge, Jr was born at Baltimore, Md., September 18, 1856. He was graduated from Amherst College with degree
    of A. B. in 1877, and from the law department of the University of Maryland with degree of LL. B. in 1878, and in June of that
    year was admitted to the bar. In 1882 he was appointed Ex- aminer in Equity in the courts of Baltimore City, which position
    he held in connection with the practice of law till November, 1888, when he resigned. During the years 1887 and 1888 he
    was one of the editors of the Baltimore ” American.” In No- vember, 1888, he was elected to Congress, serving in the Fifty-
    first Congress and declined a renomination two years later. In 1 89 1 he was appointed Commissioner of Immigration at the port,
    of Baltimore, organizing the immigration service of the Govern- ment at that port. This position he resigned in March, 1893, to
    devote himself exclusively to the law, and in 1896 was elected one of the Judges of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City,
    which position he is still filling’. He has been active for a num- ber of years in historical matters, being a member of the Ameri-
    can Historical Association, and of the Maryland Historical So- ciety, of which last he is now the Corresponding Secretary. He
    has also been actively identified with a number of patriotic socie- ties, and is a member of the S. A. R., S. R., and Society of Colo-
    nial Wars, and one of the organizers of the Maryland Branch of the Red Cross Society under the charter granted by the United
    States Congress in 1905.

  • Morris Beach Beardsley

    President General 1909 - 1910

    Morris Beach Beardsley, son of Samuel G. and Mary (Beach) Beardsley, was born August 13, 1849, at Trumbull,
    Conn.; was prepared for college at the Academy at Stratford, Conn.; graduated from Yale in the Class of 1870. He studied
    law at the Columbia Law School, and in the office of William K. Seeley. June 25, 1872, admitted to practice, and formed a part-
    nership with Mr. Seeley under the name of Seeley & Beardsley. The partnership was dissolved January 1, 1874, when he was
    elected City Clerk of Bridgeport. He held this office until Jan- uary 1, 1877, when he was elected Judge of Probate. To this
    office he was continuously re-elected until 1893, when he de- clined a renomination, and was elected Representative in the
    General Assembly of Connecticut. From 1893 to 1897 he prac- ticed law in Bridgeport and then formed a law partnership with
    his son, Samuel F. Beardsley, which continues. He married Lucy J. Fayerweather, June 5, 1873. His great-grandfather, Daniel Gregory,
    and his great-great-grandfather, David Beardsley, served as pri- vates in Connecticut troops during the Revolution.

  • William Allen Marble

    President General 1910 - 1911

    William Allen. Marble, former President of the Empire State Society of New York, Sons of the American Revolution, whose own grandfather fought in the American Revolution, was elected President General. The honor and esteem in which he is held were expressed in the presentation to him, on the occasion of our annual banquet at the Hotel Astor, of a gold- lined silver loving cup.

  • Dr. Moses Greeley Parker

    President General 1911 -1912

    Dr. Moses Greeley Parker was graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1864. After enlisting as an Army doctor, he served in several important military positions during the Civil War. For one, he supervised construction and operation of a 4,000 bed military hospital. After the war, he returned to the Lowell area and established his practice. He earned a reputation as a skilled physician and innovated many new medical procedures.

    Through his friendship with Alexander Graham Bell, he made wise investments in the American and New England Telephone Companies. Parker introduced the system of using numbers instead of names to complete a call. He died a wealthy man. His will established the Parker Lecture Series that continues to educate and entertain generations of Lowellians.

    ___________
    Civil War Veteran Residence was not listed;
    Enlisted on 4/10/1864 as a Asst Surgeon. On 4/10/1864 he was commissioned into Field & Staff US CT 2nd Cavalry
    He Resigned on 5/21/1865

    ______________ His death certificate lists him as being born in Dracut, MA, however, I was unable to find him listed in the Dracut Vital Records under births. He was also listed as “Single”.

    – Heitman: Register of United States Army 1789-1903
    – Official Army Register of the Volunteer Force 1861-1865

    Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/14403822

  • James M. Richardson, Esq.

    President General 1912 - 1913
  • Rogers Clark Ballard Thruston

    President General 1913 - 1915

    Rogers Clark Ballard Thruston, son of Andrew Jacskon Ballard and Frances Ann Thruston, was born in Louisville, November 6, 1858, the younger of four sons and a daughter. At the request of his mother he assumed her maiden name when he was 16. He took the name “Thruston” by a decision of the Fayette Co. Court in 1884. Thruston remained a bachelor all his life. George Rogers Clark was his great-grandmother’s brother.

    Thruston was educated at Hopkins Grammar School, New Haven, CT., Williston Seminary, East Hampton, MA., and in 1880 was graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University. After graduation he went to work with the Monon Railroad as a clerk.

    He was with the Kentucky Geological Survey for several years, was engaged to buy property for the Interstate Investment Company, and had charge of the land department of the Kentucky Union Land Company. From 1895 to 1899 he was manager of the Big Stone Gap Iron Company of Virginia, selling out his mining interest 10 years later to take up his chief interest – history.

    Saved Filson Club. Credit is given to Thruston for the saving of The Filson Club. In 1913 during the last illness of Col. R.T. Durrett, founder and president of the club, a large part of the clubs collection and Durrett’s library were sold, by mistake. Thruston went to the Durrett home, where the club met, salvaged relics that had not been sold and took them to his house where the club met during the following years. When the new fireproof building was constructed in 1929, Thruston, keeping a promise made many years earlier, gave the organization his historical library and collections and an endowment fund of $100,000 in income-producing securities. In 1940 he increased the endowment by another $50,000. A metal tablet honoring Thruston, “whose library and other gifts are a nucleus of these collections,” was placed in the club. In addition to giving the club his library and family relics such as the gloves and crepe that his father wore to Abraham Lincoln’s funeral, Thruston was untiring in his efforts to obtain additional material. He was chiefly responsible for the Photostat copies of 21,000 manuscripts relating to the campaigns of George Rogers Clark, Jouett’s portrait of Clark is another gift to the club from its president.

    Another valuable portion of the club collection is the group of Kentucky mountain-area photographs, interior and exterior, Thruston made during the ‘80s. Many of the pictures are in the gallery of the Forestry Department in Washington.

    During this era he knew John Fox, Jr and James Lane Allen who drew on the area for material for their stories. Thruston and two other young men, all of whom were appointed special policemen in Big Stone Gap in those turbulent days, were the composite prototype of the young engineers in Fox’s “The Trail of Lonesome Pine.”

    Thruston was a recognized authority on the US flag. His pamphlet, “The History of the Origin and Evolution of the US Flag” was published by the Government. He wrote comparatively little for publication, but gathered more Kentucky history than any other Kentuckian and made it available to the public. He occasionally contributed his historical magazines. Another of Thruston’s interests was the Louisville Free Public Library. He was a member of the board from 1918 until 1940 when he retired as president of the board. He was a member of the Kentucky Society, Sons of the American Revolution, and a past president of the National S.A.R. He was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati and the Kentucky Society of Colonial Wars. He served as president of the Yale Alumni Association of Kentucky as a member of the executive committee of the Yale Alumni Advisory Board and as a member of the American Printing House for the Blind, the J.B. Speed Memorial Museum, and the Kentucky State Historical Society. In 1927, he received an honorary degree from the University of Louisville.

    He was the first chairman of the Louisville Chapter of the American Red Cross for Kentucky, serving from 1917 to 1918. He resigned to become assistant manager of the Lake Davison of the American Red Cross in Kentucky and served for three years. The Thruston family presented Louisville with three public playground parks and deeded the original home of George Rogers Clark on Poplar Level Road to the City. The parks are Ballard Square, Churchill Park, and George Rogers Clark Park.

    Source:

    Rogers Clark Ballard Thruston of Louisville, Kentucky (1858-1946).

  • Newell Bertram Woodworth

    President General 1915 - 1916

    He graduated from Columbia College in 182 with a degree of Bachelor of Arts. He studied law at Columbia and was admitted to the bar in 1884. He graduated from Columbia in 1885 with a Master of Arts. He came to Syracuse in 1892 with a specialty of fire insurance law and was associated with his father in the firm of A.J. Woodworth & Company.

    Source:

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/103797342/newell-bertram-woodworth

  • Elmer M. Wentworth

    President General 1916 - 1918

    As heirs of a unique legacy, the Sons of the American Revolution have the responsibility to translate the people and events of the Revolutionary War era into present day action and project the achievements into the future. One of these such historic events was the signing of the United States Constitution, which spreads its beneficial protection and justice over all citizens of this great country. With this in mind, the SAR achieved an outstanding achievement when it lobbied for the establishment of formal recognition for Constitution Day and its observance.

    It began when President Elmer M. Wentworth of the Iowa Society SAR (SAR President General 1916-1918) prevailed upon the Iowa State Legislature to provide for the observance of Constitution Day in the state in 1911. In that year this effort resulted in appropriate exercises being held in every school in Iowa.

    In 1915 the SAR printed its pamphlet, “No. 3, The Constitution of the United States”. There was a heavy demand for copies. Thousands of copies were sent to the fifteen hundred naturalization judges for distribution at swearing-in ceremonies. In Philadelphia on May 10, 1915, copies were given to the 4,000 new naturalized citizens who were addressed by President Woodrow Wilson.

  • Louis Annin Ames

    President General 1918 - 1919

    Louis Annin Ames was an American flagmaker. From 1896-1952 he served as chief executive officer of Annin & Co. In 1915 he designed the flag of the City of New York. He was a member of the Ames family. He served as the President General of SAR from 1918 to 1919.

  • Chancellor Livingston Jenks, Jr, Esq

    President General 1919 - 1920

    Son of Chancellor Livingston Jenks, Sr., a noted Republican abolitionist and underground railroad conductor and early founder of Evanston Illinois. Served as SAR’s President General from 1919 to 1920. PG Jenks was an attorney of fine reputation who very actively traveled by automobile with his wife to the various state societies during his tenure. He was instrumental in encouraging formation of several new chapters.

  • James Harry Preston

    President General 1920 - 1921

    Preston was born in Harford County, Maryland in 1860. He served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1890-1894. He briefly served as Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates in 1894. Preston then served as the Mayor of Baltimore from 1911-1919. In 1912, he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. While there, he received a few votes for the vice presidential nomination. PG Preston was the founder and president of the first Maryland Chapter and served as the Maryland State President from 1919 to 1921. He was elected as our President General in 1920 and died on July 14, 1938.

  • Judge Wallace McCamant

    President General 1921 - 1922

    Wallace McCamant (1867-1944) was a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He was nominated by President Calvin Coolidge on May 25, 1925 to replace Erskine Ross. On December 8, 1925, he was nominated. His service ended on May 2, 1926 because he was not confirmed by the Senate. He served as our President General from 1921 to 1922

  • Major Washington Irving Lincoln Adams

    President General 1922 - 1923

    Major Washington Irving Lincoln Adams was a direct descendant of Henry Adams, who settled in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1636, and also of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams. He was a founder and President of the Montclair Trust Company, the Murray Hill Trust Company, and the West Side Bank of New York. He served as President of Styles & Cash, a New York City printing and stationary firm.

    In 1912, Adams was the Republican nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives in New Jersey’s 10th congressional district. The incumbent, Democrat Edward W. Townsend, had been elected to Congress in the 1910 Democratic landslide that helped Woodrow Wilson win election as Governor of New Jersey. Townsend was re-elected in 1912 (with Wilson running for President) with 10,854 votes, with former Assemblyman William F. Morgan (running as a Progressive with Theodore Roosevelt) receiving 7,847 votes. Adams (on a ticket with William Howard Taft finished third with 7,111 votes.

    During World War I, Adams, at the age of 52, was commissioned a Major in the U.S. Army and was the Officer In Charge of Finance for the Eastern Division, Quartermaster Corps.

    Adams was a member of the Electoral College in 1916, voting for Charles Evans Hughes, and was an unsuccessful candidate for Elector in 1932. In 1932, Adams was elected Town Commissioner in Montclair, New Jersey and served until 1936.

    Adams was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and served as its President General from 1922 until 1923

  • Arthur Preston Sumner

    President General 1923 - 1924

    Judge Arthur Preston Sumner of Providence Rhode Island served as our President General from 1923 to 1924.

  • Marvin Harrison Lewis

    President General 1924 - 1925

    Marvin Harrison Lewis was born on June 16, 1873 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Son of John William and Lucy Blain (Donaldson) Lewis. Marvin Harrison Lewis, American journalist, historian. member board councillors Saratoga Battlefield Association; Member Society Colonial Wars, National Secretary Sons of the American Revolution (president general 1924-1925).

  • Judge Harvey Foote Remington

    President General 1925 - 1926

    Son of William T Remington and Sarah Ann Foote. Judge Remington was born 28 June 1863
    in Henrietta, Monroe County, New York and died on 18 March 1949 at 85 years of age at Rochester, Monroe County, New York. He is buried at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, Monroe County, New York and is in Section M – Brodie/Remington Plot.

  • Wilbert H. Barrett

    President General 1926 - 1927

    During 1926, through the diligent work and direction of President General Wilbert H. Barrett, of Michigan, a group began the task of locating a sufficient number of eligible applicants to enable the organization of a West Virginia Society.

  • Lt Governor Ernest Elias Rogers

    President General 1927 - 1928

    Ernest Elias Rogers (December 6, 1866 – January 28, 1945) was an American politician who was the 61st Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut from 1929 to 1931.

    Along with Rogers’ political pursuits, he was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, serving as the organization’s President General from 1927 until 1928. Rogers died of a heart attack during Sunday church service aged 78 in 1945.

    References

    http://www.sar.org/NSSAR-Presidents-General “Former Lt Gov. Ernest E. Rogers Is Dead At 78”, Naugatuck Daily News, Monday, January 29, 1945, Naugatuck, Connecticut, United States Of America

  • Ganson Depew

    President General 1928 - 1929

    Mr Depew was born in Buffalo, N. Y., March 6, 1866. His father, William B. Depew, came here from Peekskill in 1864 and has since been connected with railroad enterprises. Mr. Depew attended the public schools of his native city, and in 1884 was graduated from the Buffalo High School as president of his class and class orator. He then began the study of law in the office of Green, McMillan & Gluck, with whom and whose successors he has since remained, being admitted to the bar in Buffalo in 1887, and becoming a member of the firm in 1890, under the present name of McMillan, Gluck, Pooley & Depew. This is one of the strongest and oldest law firms in Western New York. Its members are all distinguished lawyers and enjoy a high place at the bar. Mr. Depew. though a young man, has won honor as an advocate and distinction as a public spirited, enterprising citizen. He is a cousin of John G-anson and a nephew of Chauncey M. Depew, president of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company. In 1892 and again in 1895 he was elected a director of the Buffalo Library, receiving on each occasion the highest vote of any of the candidates, and in December, 1897, was appointed by Mayor Jewett a trustee of the Grosvenor Library. He is a member of the Buffalo, Liberal, Saturn, and Country Clubs, the Sons of the American Revolution, and St. Paul’s Episcopal church, and is a Royal Arch Mason, holding membership in Ancient Landmarks Lodge No. 441, F. & A. M., and Adytum Chapter No. 285, R. A. M. November 15, 1894, he married Miss Grace E., daughter of Frank H. Goodyear of Buffalo, and they have one son, Ganson Goodyear Depew.

  • Howard Cortland Rowley

    President General 1929 - 1930

    HOWARD CORTLAND ROWLEY, of San Francisco, California, was elected President General of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution at the 40th annual Congress of the Society, held in Springfield, Illinois. He was the Great-grandson of Nathan C. Rowley, private Tarpaulin Cove Company Mass. Militia; great2- grandson of Cornelius Lament, private, Col. Benjamin Simonds’s Regt. Mass. Militia.

  • Judge Josiah Alexander Van Orsdel

    President General 1930 - 1931

    Judge Josiah Alexander Van Orsdel was born on November 17, 1860, in New Bedford, Pennsylvania, Van Orsdel received an Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1885 from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, then read law in 1890. He was county and prosecuting attorney for Laramie County, Wyoming starting in 1892. He was a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives starting in 1894. He was the Attorney General of Wyoming from 1898 to 1905. He was an Associate Justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court from 1905 to 1906. He was a United States Assistant Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice from 1906 to 1907.

    Van Orsdel received a recess appointment from President Theodore Roosevelt on November 14, 1907, to an Associate Justice seat on the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia (the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia from June 7, 1934, now the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit) vacated by Associate Justice Louis E. McComas. He was nominated to the same position by President Roosevelt on December 3, 1907. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 12, 1907, and received his commission the same day. His service terminated on August 7, 1937, due to his death.

    Reference: Josiah Alexander Van Orsdel at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.

  • Benjamin Newhall Johnson

    President General 1931 - 1932

    (Died While in Office) Judge Josiah Van Orsdel (Appointed)

    Benjamin Newhall Johnson (June 19, 1856 – February 19, 1932) was an American attorney and historian who owned what would become Breakheart Reservation. He was also President of the Lynn Historical Society for 25 years and the President-General of the Sons of the American Revolution from 1931 to 1932.

    Johnson was born on June 19, 1856 in Lynn, Massachusetts to Rufus and Ellen (Newhall) Johnson. His maternal grandfather was businessman, abolitionist, politician, and writer Benjamin F. Newhall. Johnson grew up in Saugus, Massachusetts and attended public schools there. He went on to attend Chauncey Hall School and Phillips Exeter Academy. He graduated from Harvard College in 1878 cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy. He went on to attend the Boston University School of Law. He completed his legal studies with the firm of Ives, Lincoln & Huntress and was admitted to the Essex County Bar on March 31, 1880. After being admitted to the bar, Johnson opened a law office in Boston. From 1882 to 1884, Johnson was a partner of the firm Ives, Johnson, & Ives. After the death of Stephen P. Ives, Johnson continued alone until 1889, when he became associated with W. Orison Underwood. The two formed the firm of Johnson & Underwood shortly thereafter. In 1894, Robert P. Clapp became associated with the firm and three years later it became Johnson, Clapp & Underwood. With this firm, Johnson focused on commercial and railroad law. In 1919, Underwood retired and Frederick Manley Ives, the grandson of Johnson’s first partner, replaced him.

    In addition to his legal career, Johnson served a president of the Carver Cotton Gin Company, vice president of the Essex Trust Company of Lynn, the Lynn Institute for Savings, and the Lynn Gas and Electric Company. He was also a director of the Atlantic National Bank of Boston and the Boston Woven Hose and Rubber Company. Johnson had a deep interest in the histories of Lynn and Saugus. He was a charter member of the Lynn Historical Society. He was the organization’s vice president from 1898 to 1899 and was its president from 1900 to 1909 and again from 1918 to 1932.

    In 1929, Johnson served as chairman of the executive committee for the Tercentenary celebration of the settlement of The Third Plantation. That spring he traveled to England and on behalf of the city of Lynn and by the appointment of Lynn Mayor Ralph S. Bauer, he arranged a visit with Marchioness Gwladys Townshend, the mayor of King’s Lynn. In connection with the celebration, Johnson constructed and presented a brick, fire-resistant museum to the Lynn Historical Society.

    Johnson served a president of the Old Essex Chapter and the Massachusetts Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and served on the National executive committee as well. In May 1931 he was elected President-General of the SAR In this role he was especially active during the Sesquicentennial of the Siege of Yorktown. He made the presentation address at the unveiling of a tablet at Yorktown’s Old Custom House in honor of Admiral François Joseph Paul de Grasse on October 17, 1931. He was also a member of the Breed Family Association and the Society of Colonial Wars.

  • Frederick William Millspaugh

    President General 1932 - 1933

    By the time that Frederick William Millspaugh became President General, he was faced with an internal financial crises born out of the Great Depression that threatened the very existence of the National Headquarters Building. He placed the former Appointed PG (Judge Van Orsdel) as Chair of a Ways & Means Committee to find savings. Judge Van Orsdel’s Committee decided to move the duties of REgistrar General under the Secretary General thus saving the salary of one Officer.

  • Arthur Milton McCrillis

    President General 1933 - 1935

    PG McCrillis served in that role for two terms beginning in 1933 and ending in 1935. He is the son of Aaron B and Ella Loomis McCrillis. He was born in 1874 and died in 1957. He graduated from Brown University in 1897 and delivered one of the commencement speeches. Upon graduating, he joined his father as in the family business, which was renamed AB McCrillis & Son in 1899 when he became a partner. In 1903, he married Eloise Halsey Brown of NYC. They didnt have any children.

  • Henry F. Baker

    President General 1935 - 1936

    Henry F Baker was President General from 1935 – 1936 and presided over the “Down East” Congress in Portland Maine in 1936. He was one of the most beloved officers of his time.

  • Messmore Kendall

    President General 1936-1940

    PG Kendall was born on December 9, 1872 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States. Son of John Charles and Florence Helen (Messmore) Kendall. His educational background included a Bachelor of Law, Columbian (now George Washington University, 1893, Master of Law, 1894. Doctor of Humane Letters, Lafayette College, 1942. Doctor of Letters, Tufts College, 1947.

    aside from being our President General for several terms, Messmore was heavily involved with several other organizations such as: Member firm of Kendall & Herzog, since 1905. Member of advisory board Salvation Army, New New York Member American, New York State bar associations, Association Bar City of New York, New York County Lawyers Association, American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society (trustee) New York History Society, American Institute Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, Military Order Loyal Legion (commander), Order Founders and Patriots American, Saint Nicholas Society, General Society War of 1812, American Friends of Lafayette, (president), Society of Mayflower Descendants (governor), Society Colonial Wars, Military Order Foreign Wars.

    Clubs: Metropolitan, Players, Twenty-Nine (New York City), Coffee House Deepdale, Illustrators and Writers, Everglades, Bath and Tennis, Coral Beach (Palm Beach).

  • Loren Edmund Souers, Jr

    President General 1940-1941

    Loren Edmunds Souers, Jr. (b. 1882) of Canton, Stark County, Ohio. Born in Mineral City, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, December 4, 1882. Republican. Lawyer; vice-president and general counsel, Continental Steel Corp.; delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1948. Baptist. Sons of the American Revolution President General & Member; American Bar Association; American Judicature Society; Freemasons; Shriners; Odd Fellows; Delta Sigma Rho; Kiwanis. Burial location unknown.

  • G. Ridgely Sappington

    President General 1941-1942

    G. Ridgely Sappington, prominent Baltimore attorney and director of the Capital-Gazette Press, died at Onion Memorial Hospital yesterday after a short illness. He was proud of tracing his descent from Greenbury Ridgely, a member of the Committee for Public Safety for Annapolis during the Revolutionary years. Sappington was active in the Sons of the American Revolution, being at various times president of the Maryjand society and the National Society’s President General. In 1932, he won a notable legal victory when he fought a case through the-Federal Board of Tax Appeals and got a ruling that his salary as a part-time law instructor at the University of Maryland was not subject to income tax.

    Annapolis Evening Capitol, p. 1
    Wednesday, November 10, 1948

  • Sterling Fahn Mutz

    President General 1942-1943

    Sterling F. Mutz, son of Otto and Ella Mutz, was born March 31, 1888 at Burton, Nebraska. He married Jessie Clarke, and the couple would have two children. Sterling worked as a lawyer in Lincoln for most of his life. He died on February 20, 1966, and is buried in Wyuka Cemetery.

  • Smith Lewis Multer

    President General 1943-1945

    PG Multer was noted as being an excellent public speaker. St Paul states in the History of the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution I that “His addresses were of the greatest value in content adelivery-no flamboyancy-a simple straight-forward discussion, given strictly without notes and impressive with its sound patriotic Americanism. We have had many fine speakers and eloquent orators in our day, but none to exceed in ability {of} Smith L Multer.”

  • Allen Laws Oliver

    President General 1946-1947

    It seems like Almost Yesterday that Allen Laws Oliver of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, became the national president of the Sons of the American Revolution.

    Born in 1886 when his parents, R. B. and Marie Oliver, lived in Jackson, Missouri, young Allen Oliver was educated in the local schools, at Southeast Missouri Normal School, and then, in the family tradition, received a law degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

    In 1909 Allen Oliver joined his father’s law firm in Cape Girardeau where he followed R. B. Oliver’s practice of dedicated community service, working vigorously to promote a variety of causes: the Boy Scouts, his church, his Rotary Club, and various efforts to help underprivileged children, all central to his personal values and way of life.

    One of his favorite and most enduring causes was the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, his efforts leading to his election in 1946 as national president of the organization.

    On September 17, 1946, from the steps of the Sub-Treasury Building in New York City, the site of the first Federal Hall, where George Washington delivered his famous farewell address, Allen Oliver delivered a Constitution Day address to a national radio audience, and a crowd of thousands, including Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Thomas Dewey, Charles Evans Hughes, and Lowell Thomas.

    Because of World War II there had been no “Constitution Day” address in 1945, thus the 1946 speech received special emphasis, and extensive distribution.

    It is appropriate that the local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution is named, “The Allen Laws Oliver Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.”

    https://www.krcu.org/post/allen-laws-oliver-and-s-r#stream/0

  • Alvan Herbert Foreman

    President General 1947-1948

    The grave in Riverside Memorial Park has a simple headstone with a short epitaph, which is all that Alvan Herbert Foreman would have wanted. “His deeds yet live.” Foreman, a humble yet powerful man who dedicated his life to education, died 58 years ago. But his deeds indeed live on.

    Foreman was one of several Norfolk businessmen who persuaded officials from the College of William & Mary to found a campus in Norfolk. The Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary, as it was known when it opened in the fall of 1930, was a two-year school that would grow into Old Dominion University.

    He hoped the Norfolk Division would morph into a four-year school, and you can’t truly be a major university without a football stadium, can you? So he lobbied city, state and federal officials for years for stadium funding. His work paid off when a new stadium opened on Oct. 3, 1936. Although fans have been attending games at Foreman Field for 80 years, most don’t have a clue as to whom the stadium is named for, acknowledged his granddaughter, Peggy Bartlett, a retired Portsmouth principal.

    “His first love was education,” she said. “He wanted to ensure that young children had the very best education. He always had so many irons in the fire.” The son of a lumberman from Great Bridge, Foreman knew how to multitask before that term was conceived. He received his law degree from U.Va. in 1907 while serving as superintendent of Norfolk County schools, which would later become the city of Chesapeake.

    He served for 28 years on the board of visitors of his beloved College of William and Mary. In 1930, he was named chairman of the Norfolk School Board, and learned that the city was going to build a new elementary school in Larchmont. He urged W&M officials to start a campus in the old school. Foreman and a small group of educators persuaded W &M President Julian Chandler to come to Norfolk, and in 1930, that was no small task. There was no Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, only a ferry, and the roads between Norfolk and Williamsburg were at times precarious.

    Foreman was persistent in working to bring a stadium to Norfolk. He contacted Admiral Cary Grayson, a former W&M classmate who was chairman of the Red Cross and had been the personal physician to President Woodrow Wilson. Grayson spoke to President Franklin D. Roosevelt about Foreman’s proposal to build a stadium in Norfolk, and the project was funded. The Works Progress Administration, a New Deal program, and the city of Norfolk agreed in 1934 to provide $300,000 to build a stadium that still bears his name.

    https://www.pilotonline.com/sports/college/old-dominion/article_5005405d-fc18-50b8-81df-459f101c0fcd.html

  • Charles B. Shaler

    President General 1948-1948 (Died While in Office, Ben H. Powell Appointed to Finish the Term)

    Charles Bunn Shaler was born in 1884 and passed away on 2 Dec 1948. Immediately after his election, Mr & Mrs Shaler made a trip to the western US to drive up membership. Sometime during all of the stops PG Shaler contracted a virus that ultimately claimed his life. He was laid to rest in the Mount Zion Cemetery (Burnside, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, USA).

    PG Shaler was known for his ability to promote membership. In one year, PA was able to add 500 new members. He was personally responsible for the creation of twelve new Chapters. PG Shaler was a great advocate of American History being taught in US schools. He felt that is was a most powerful tool to combat communism.

  • Judge Benjamin Harrison Powell

    President General 1948-1949 (Appointed)

    POWELL, BENJAMIN HARRISON (1881–1960). Benjamin Harrison Powell, lawyer and judge, was born in Montgomery, Texas, on November 12, 1881, the son of Benjamin Harrison and Eleanor Inez (Meacham) Powell. In 1903 he received Litt.B. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Texas, where he was an editor of the Texan, predecessor of the Daily Texan. In 1949 he received an honorary doctorate from Sam Houston State Teachers College. Powell practiced law at Huntsville with the firm of Dean, Humphrey, and Powell from 1903 until 1919, when he became judge of the Twelfth Judicial District. From 1920 to 1927 he served on the Commission of Appeals to the Supreme Court of Texas. In November 1927 in Austin he founded and became senior partner in the law firm Powell, Wirtz, Rauhut, and Gideon. Senator Alvin J. Wirtz was an early associate in Powell’s law firm. Powell was chairman of the board of directors and president of the Texas Bar Association. He served on a special committee to assist the Supreme Court in writing the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. He was also a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and the American Law Institute. He strongly supported the statute requiring all Texas lawyers to belong to the State Bar of Texas, successor to the old voluntary Texas Bar Association. He was chairman for over thirty years of the Salvation Army Advisory Council in Austin and was active in several public, civic, cultural, and patriotic organizations (NSSAR). He was a leader in Austin business and financial development. On November 12, 1913, Powell married Marian Leigh Rather, who helped found the Austin Public Library; they had two sons. He died on December 3, 1960, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Huntsville.

    Handbook of Texas Online, W. St. John Garwood, “POWELL, BENJAMIN HARRISON,” accessed November 13, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpo34.

  • John Whelchel Finger

    President General 1949-1950

    The first act of PG Finger’s administration was to return control of decision making to the Trustees.

  • Wallace C. Hall

    President General 1950-1952

    PG Hall was instrumental in improving the NSSAR Headquarters in Washington DC during his two years. He also established the first ever PG Office at the Headquarters. These improvements to the building went far to make the building safer and more comfortable for staff and visitors.

  • Ray O. Edwards

    President General 1952-1953

    In his inaugural addrtess, PG Edwards quoted Charles Evans Hughes: “You cannot be saved by valorand devotion to your ancestors; to each generation comes its patriotic duty; and upon your willingness to sacrificeand endure as thosebefore you have sacrificed and endured; rests the National hope.” As you might expect, PG Edwards was an ardent advocate of the necessity for securing the younger generation as members of our organization and he devoted much energy to that end. During his tenure, he visited 39 out of the lower 48 states.

  • RADM Arthur A. De La Houssaye

    President General 1953-1954

    Rear Admiral De La Houssaye accomplishments during his term as President General were the following:

    He increased the income of the Society by approximately $19,000 by raising dues from $1 to $2.50 annually. He corresponded with President Eisenhower and had him continue to be a member of the SAR.
    He worked with the Sons of the Revolution in order to try to broker a merger which ultimately failed to happen.

  • Milton M. Lory

    President General 1954-1955

    PG Lory was known for his extensive travel. After becoming PG, he and his wife traveled 28,000 miles throughout 38 states for the SAR.

  • Edgar Williamson, Jr.

    President General 1955-1956

    Edgar Williamson Jr. (November 24, 1903 – April 1981) was an American Republican Party politician who served four terms in the New Jersey General Assembly. He attended public schools in East Orange, New Jersey and worked as a Realtor and insurance executive. He was the Vice President of Firemen’s Insurance Company. He served as a member of the East Orange Zoning Board of Adjustment, and as Chairman of the Essex County Young Republicans. He was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly in 1937, and was re-elected in 1938, 1939 and 1940. Williamson was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and served as its President General from 1955 through 1956

  • Lt. Eugene P. Carver, Jr.

    President General 1956-1957

    PG Carver was also the Commander-In-Chief of Veterans of Foreign Wars and presented a legislative program to President Coolidge at the White House in 1928. Lt. Carver was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and served as its President General from 1956 through 1957.

  • Ensign George E. Tarbox, Jr.

    President General 1957-1958

    Born in 1931 and passed in 1970, Ensign Tarbox was the first Compatriot to be elected from the Rocky Mountain District. He seperated program committees from administrative committees and the end result was better defined and more efficient committee structures. His tenure was marked with a lot of firsts that carry through to today. Ensign Tarbox was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and served as its President General from 1957 through 1958.

  • Walter Allerton Wentworth

    President General 1958-1959

    Historical Marker #1420 in Frankfort honors Walter Allerton Wentworth, who was known as the father of the Kentucky Historical Highway Marker Program.

    A native of New Hampshire, Wentworth was a graduate of Iowa State University and received his master’s degree from Michigan State University. For nearly thirty years he was the director of public relations for the Borden Company in New York. During World War II he was a Zone Commander for Civil Defense in New York City. His wife, the former Aubyn Chinn Watson, was a native of Frankfort. When Wentworth retired from Borden in 1956, he and his wife moved to the capital.

    Wentworth was active in the Sons of the American Revolution, serving as President General of the National Society from 1958 to 1959, and as president of the Isaac Shelby Chapter. He was chairman of the Frankfort Municipal Housing Commission for eight years and was also a long-time member of the advisory committee of the Salvation Army. He was a member of the Civil War Round Table and an Elder and Trustee of the First Presbyterian Church, in Frankfort.

    In 1962, after serving a four-year term on the Kentucky Historical Society’s Executive Committee, Wentworth was elected chairman of the Kentucky Historical Highway Marker Program. At that time, eighty percent of the few highway markers in existence were within a thirty-mile radius of Lexington. Under his leadership, nearly one thousand historical markers were added, ensuring that every county in Kentucky had at least one marker. Wentworth served as chairman of the program until his death on May 11, 1971, at the age of 82.

    Today, it is fitting that W. A. Wentworth is commemorated with his own historical marker.

  • Charles A. Jones

    President General 1959-1960

    PG Jones was a serious traveler logging more than 25,000 miles during his year tenure. He was passionate about cultivating relationships with other patriotic societies. PG Jones was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and served as its President General from 1959 through 1960.

  • Herschel S. Murphy, M.D.

    President General 1960-1961

    PG Murphy worked to make the membership application process a little more user friendly. He created a leaflet entitled “Ways to Help an S.A.R. Applicant Prepare His Application Papers” which was featured on page 33 of the January 1961 SAR Magazine.

  • Horace Y. Kitchell

    President General 1961-1962

    PG Kitchell was an advertising genius. He conceived a billboard campaign across the US with a little known fact that billboards that were empty across the US could be utilized by reputable patriotic organizations at cost. He set out to create an advertising campaign that used the slogan “Keep USA First”. THis effort was spearheaded by former PG RADM Arthur de la Houssaye. THe efforts were put out on billboards, streetcars, buses, automobile windshields, store windows, office doors and counters.

  • Charles A. Anderson, M.D.

    President General 1962-1963

    In his own words…

    I accepted the high office of President General of the National Society, SAR, with a determination to serve to the best of my ability. But what of other responsibilities, my family and my practice of medicine? My wife and immediate family promised cooperation. A fellow urologist in Warren, Ohio, Theodore A. Russell, M.D., was to cover any necessary work while I was away. With assurance, I boldly arranged week-end tours of the U.S.A., 40 states in all, a week each in New England, the Southwest, Rocky Mountain Area, California, the Southeast and the North Central States. Those visits were most gratifying and, I felt, productive for the National Society.

    The KEEP U.S.A. FIRST poster program paralleled the advancement in State membership. The new Patriot Medal rewarded Compatriots for service at the State level. Compatriot Harold L. Putnam, Executive Secretary of the National Society and later Honorary Past President General, and the three ex officio members of the Executive Committee, Coe, Burn, and Sonfield (all of whom were later Presidents General) were a real background of strength to the administration. Often, I thought of our National Society’s loss of Compatriot Aaron Sargent of California, who died in Philadelphia at the Seventy-Second Congress. It was through his personal guidance that I had been schooled in Americanism. When I name one person, many others come to my mind: Dr. James J . Tyler, who presented my application to the Nathan Hale Chapter, Youngstown, Ohio; Compatriot Osborne
    Mitchell, who inspired me as a chapter member; Compatriots. Hubbard Scott of Toledo, whose Flag Program had played a great role in my SAR work; Arthur de Ia Houssaye, who was elected President General at my first SAR Congress in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1953; Milton Lory and the Americanism programs; Charles Jones, the Secretary of the Ohio Society and later President General of the National Society; Eugene Carver for his sound financial wisdom; and George Tarbox with his ability to manage the difficult.

  • Robert L. Sonfield

    President General 1963-1964

    Serving first as Chancellor General of the NSSAR, Robert L. Sonfield, as many have in the past, went on to become President General. A Texan, born in Nacogdoches March 6, 1893, he was the son of Leon Sonfield, then a Methodist minister, and Martha Chapman Sonfield. The family transferred to Galveston, and soon his preacher-father resigned to become a lawyer and eventually a Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. Robert Sonfield attended Allen Military Academy, the University of Texas law school, and did one year of study at Columbia. He began law practice in Beaumont, Texas, in 1916. Soon World War I came, and he went to France as a combat infantry officer with the 36th Division. Following the war he was ordered to Berlin where he served as American representative on various commissions. Returning home, he resumed law practice in Houston until World War II, when he was ordered to active duty with the parachute troops and later as Staff Judge Advocate at the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia.

    Robert Sonfield joined the SAR in 1918 and went through the chapter and State chairs and then into national prominence as Chancellor and then as President General. Past President General Robert L. Sonfield died June 24, 1972.

  • Harry T. Burn

    President General 1964-1965

    Harry Burn was born in Niota, McMinn County, Tennessee, in 1895, the son of James LaFayette Burn and Febb Ensminge Burn, DAR. He became a member of the SAR in 1931 by descent from Samuel Blair, who was with John Sevier at the Battle of King’s Mountain. He was educated in the public schools of McMinn County and studied law under practicing lawyers. He was the youngest member of the Tennessee General Assembly, 1919-1923, and a member of the Tennessee State Senate, 1949-1953. Harry Burn was a member of the Presbyterian Church, Sweetwater, Tennessee. He was married to Ellen Folsom Cottrell, a member of the DAR. Their son, Jarry, Jr., is a member of the SAR. He was President of the First National Bank and Trust Company of Rockwood. The family lived at Rathburn in Sweetwater Valley, East Tennessee. Harry Burn died February 19, 1977, aged 82.

  • Howard Emerson Coe

    President General 1965-1966

    During this administration, the NSSAR continued to have financial difficulties, so that the site finding committee decided against moving to new quarters. Dues again were in discussion and the Society dropped them back from $5 to $3.50 nationally. Internal Revenue ruled that donations to SAR were exempt from taxes; the fund-raising agency employed to generate donations failed to do so. Membership was 19,322, up 323 from the previous year. The SAR Magazine of 1966 continued to be printed on lighter paper stock without cover coloring because of the operating deficit of the National Society. Compatriot Sterling Faan Mutz, President General in 1942, died on February 20.

    During Congress a motion was passed to amend the By-laws by establishing the annual assessment at $3.50 with $1.00 allocated to The SAR Magazine. Mrs. Helen Murphy, widow of Past President General Herschel S. Murphy, gave $500 in memory of her husband for rebinding books. Past President General Sonfield, Chairman of the Special Headquarters Committee, reported that his Committee
    favored keeping the National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Committee was disbanded.

    Howard Emerson Coe was inducted as President General at the Seventy-Fifth Annual Congress in Albuquerque by retiring President General Harry T. Burn of Tennessee. Compatriot Coe had joined the Connecticut Society as a charter member of Mattatuck Branch #10 in 1928. He became Branch Secretary in 1932, State Secretary in 1934; Secretary of the New England SAR Council in 1959, Secretary General in 1960. He had served as New England Vice-President General in 1938 and 1939; later, on the National Executive Committee. For several years, he was chairman of the Cathedral of the Pines (Rindge, N.H.) Committee; he served on the Registration Committee in Buffalo, 1937, Dallas, 1938, New London, 1939, Chairman at Washington, 1940. He and Mrs. Coe handled registrations at the two Special Congresses called to discuss the sale of the 16th Street Headquarters and then the purchase of the home of Gen. Patrick Hurley on Massachusetts Avenue. Compatriot Coe was honored with the Minuteman Award at the Congress in Williamsburg in 1954 by his good friend, the late Past President General Arthur de Ia Houssaye. President General Coe relates events of his year in his own words.

    While I held office, the cumbersome four-page “long form” application was reduced to the current two pages. My condensation was
    adopted officially, later. Mine was not a great year, but when I left office, there remained a feeling of unity in the Society. I had proved that little can be done without the power to do it. Reporting findings to the Trustees or to the Congress accomplishes little but controversy. So, the way was cleared for Walter Martin and his Acquisition Committee to search out, to find, and, with power to act, to buy our magnificent new Headquarters in Louisville. My term of office ended at the old Victorian Hotel Griswold in Groton, Connecticut. “Progress” doomed it.

  • Kenneth G. Smith, Sr.

    President General 1966-1967

    Under PG Smith’s leadership, prominent Americans continued to join the SAR. which has 16 U.S. Senators and 21 Representatives as members, and added this year Winthrop Rockefeller, Governor of Arkansas, Major General Thomas R. White, Ohio Adjutant General, and Harry S. Truman, President of the United States. In 1967 protests against the Vietnam War mounted everywhere in the United States. President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin met at Glassboro State College in New Jersey on June 23 and 25 and agreed not to let any crisis push them into a war.

    On February 2 television viewers watched President General Kenneth G. Smith., Sr., present a Gold Good Citizenship Medal to
    General Electric Corporation Vice-President Willard H. Sarnoff at the National Headquarters in Washington. Many ambassadors, ranking officers of the Armed Forces, and National SAR officers were present.

    Kenneth G. Smith, Sr., later related the history of his year in these comments: History is made by people through the development of their ideals, the maintaining of the principles by which they are banded together, their standards of living, and being governed for the good of all concerned. The result is a growth in wisdom, compassion, and the combined strength of those participating in the formation of a new nation. Our great country grew out of people exchanging ideas with each other and taking action as never done before in the history of man. This working together was the gathering of power and strength in the unity of people for the good of all.

    My administration, a full decade before the 1976 Bicentennial, believed we should research history to assemble forgotten incidents pertaining to those persons, places, and sites where significant events took place. The decade prior to 1976 was one where the information was to be assembled which would place the Sons of the American Revolution in the forefront in preparing plans for the celebration of 200 years of a great nation’s history.

    My administration started the program of collecting data on persons, churches still in existence, and buildings, as well as sites where historic events took place. The program would recognize the persons who participated in the many essential activities which were beneficial to the successful fight for freedom waged by our forefathers. An important part of the program was to be the establishment of a “Sons of the American Revolution Hall of Fame.” Many persons who participated in the Revolution later pushed west to establish new towns and churches. Their historic activities would be fully recognized. In this manner all parts of the country would have a living connection with the original colonies. The program, as originally proposed and outlined briefly above, was never implemented, but is still viable and should be reconsidered and would provide something all chapters could participate in. The program, if developed by the Sons of the American Revolution, would promote the ideals and standards of the founders of our Society. Past President General Kenneth G. Smith, Sr. died January 24, 1982.

  • Len Young Smith

    President General 1967-1968

    Len Young Smith was born at Nicholasville, Kentucky, on October 20, 1901, fifth son of Walden Rogers Smith, a country banker, and Margaret Young Smith. After two years at Transylvania College at Lexington, in the adjoining county, Compatriot Smith moved to Illinois to pursue his education at Northwestern University. There he earned his B.A., M.A., and J.D., degrees and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1927. Honors earned and affiliations include Phi Beta Kappa, Order of the Coif, and Beta Gamma Sigma – honorary fraternities; Phi Alpha Delta, law fraternity; and Kappa Alpha Order, social fraternity at Transylvania.

    Compatriot Smith was appointed a bar examiner in 1947 and became President of the Illinois State Board of Law Examiners in
    1951, a position he filled for more than three decades. He has served as chairman of the National Conference of Bar Examiners; as member of the Board of Managers and secretary of the Chicago Bar Association; as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association; and, for six years, as a member of the Council of the Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. In the field of education, Compatriot Smith served his alma mater well and long. He was chairman of the Department of Business Law at Northwestern from 1948 until 1970, during which period he was co-author of eleven volumes on Business Law. In addition, he was consultant to the publishers of a forty-volume series on Illinois Law and Practice.

    Len Young Smith’s first job with a law firm led to his lifetime interest and leadership in not only SAR, but a wide spectrum of hereditary societies. One of the partners in the firm was active in the ILSAR, subsequently serving as its president. As are all good SAR’s, he was ever on the lookout for recruits, and the young Kentuckian proved to be a prime prospect.

    Len Young Smith was admitted to membership in the Illinois Society in 1928 by right of descent from Joseph Hughes, who served
    in the Revolution as a private and a corporal in Captain Alexander Parker’s Company of Foot of the Virginia Battalion. Once alerted to SAR eligibility, he proved eleven supplemental lines! He served ILSAR as Secretary, Registrar, Chancellor and Second Vice-President before becoming its President for two years (1960-1962). He became a Vice President General in 1962, serving out the term of the Vice President General for the Great Lakes District (Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan), Charles Goodwin-Perkins, who died in mid-term. Compatriot Smith’s expertise in genealogical research was recognized by the National Society when he was elected Genealogist General in 1963 and returned to that office for a second year at the 1963 Congress. Between the conclusion of his second term as Genealogist General and his election as President General, Compatriot Smith served on important committees, including the National Executive Committee, of which he was a member, under various Presidents General, a total
    of seven terms; chaired the Independence Day Committee and successfully promoted, with letters to every Society, the popular Ringing of the Bells Program, and chaired the Permanent Fund Committee of the Society in later years. He received the Minuteman Medal at the 1966 Congress.

    A committee especially important to Compatriot Smith was the Membership Committee. He had received certificates of distinguished service at three Congresses for sponsoring ten new members within a year. And, in his initial “President General’s Message” in the July, 1967 SAR Magazine he said: “Our principal goal this year is a substantial increase in membership. We must work to bring them in.” Prior to his election as President General, Compatriot Smith had stated that, if elected, he “would go any place I’m invited” to visit chapters, societies and districts. At the conclusion of the Seventy Eighth Congress at Williamsburg, Virginia, he called attention to the 56,000 miles he had traveled during his year in office, a new record for any President General at that time. His companion in that travel record was Helen Tuttle Smith, a Northwestern University alumna and then National President, Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America. They had been married in 1930. Their mutual interest in hereditary societies developed later. Compatriot Smith’s memberships in lineal societies include: Sons of the Revolution; National Huguenot Society, of which he was President General for two years; Baronial Order of Magna Charta; Military
    Order of the Crusades; Society of Colonial Wars; Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims; Descendants of the Founders of Hartford; General Society of the War of 1812; Order of the Crown of Charlemagne in the U.S.A. and The National Society of Americans of Royal Descent. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the School of the Ozarks. Andrew McConnell, of the Kentucky militia, who gave his life in the “last battle of The Revolutionary War” at Blue Licks, Kentucky in 1782, was one of his ancestors.

  • Walter Gage Sterling

    President General 1968-1969

    A native Texan and member of the Sons of the Texas Revolution, Walter Gage Sterling served as President General during 1968 and
    1969. A graduate in law of the University of Texas, the Houstonian was active in civic affairs in his city and state, and active in the SAR from 1958 until his death. He went through the Texas chairs, serving as President of the Paul Carrington Chapter and as charter member of the Houston chapter. Then at the National level, he served as Trustee, Vice-President General, three times on the Executive Committee, as Chairman of the Permanent Fund Committee in 1967-68, and as President General. Walter Sterling’s business activities include the presidency of Royalty Properties, Richmond Manufacturing Co., S. H. Oil & Royalty Co., and The Real Estate Corporation. He has been President of the Hermann Hospital Estate since 1964. He was a Mason, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the School of the Ozarks. Compatriot Sterling is a descendant of Alexander Love of South Carolina and Erastus Chapman of Vermont

  • James B. Gardiner

    President General 1969-1970

    Compatriot James B. Gardiner served as Sixty-Seventh President General of SAR during the period of greatest unrest of the nation’s youth, with protests and demonstrations on college campuses. Compatriot Gardiner awarded the SAR’s Law Enforcement Medal to Arthur Godfrey, radio and television personality; Godfrey was a deputy sheriff of Loudon County, Virginia. State Governors Winthrop Rockefeller of Arkansas, John A. Love of Colorado, Robert B. Docking of Kansas, Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York, Dewey F. Bartlett of Oklahoma, and Arch A. Moore, of West Virginia were members of the SAR. Dr. Mott R. Sawyers, Past Chaplain General of the Minnesota Society and author of the SAR Hymn, celebrated his 100th birthday on July 5, 1969. Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, a member of the Alabama Society, was elevated to the position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The membership roll was 19,595, up 145 over the previous year. The receipts for the year were $116, 701; there was a surplus of $17,942.

    Total membership in the National Society at this time was close to 19,500. It is of interest that, in 1969, 15 out of 50 Senators were members of the SAR. In the House of Representatives there were 24 SAR members. Our annual increase in SAR membership was about one percent, which, despite our efforts, has not been enough to keep pace with the population increase of the country as a whole. And so the nation had passed from the “serious sixties” into the “soaring seventies.” Instead of riots and an unpopular war, the country was beginning to be plagued by the developing spectre of inflation.

  • Walter Reville Martin

    President General 1970-1971

    Walter Reville Martin of the Rhode Island Society was installed as President General on June 10, 1970 during the Eightieth Congress of the National Society at Houston, Texas. During his term he accepted all invitations that could be fitted into his schedule to make visitations to District, State, and Chapter events. This first-hand experiencing of SAR enthusiasm and hospitality was heartwarming. Prompted by his own observations, from contacts with compatriots, and in the course of administrative concerns at National Headquarters, President General Martin gave special attention to the following matters during his administration:

    1. Adoption of changes in the accounting system to make the financial reports of the Society more meaningful to the members.

    2. An increase of $1 in dues (from $5 to $6) to meet rising costs of the Society. This had been under consideration for some years, was deemed advisable by the Trustees, and subsequently was approved by the Congress.

    3. The desirability of providing an employee retirement plan was recognized. A committee named for the purpose produced an actuarially sound plan, subsequently recommended by the Trustees and approved by the Congress.

    4. The SAR Handbook of operating procedures, instructions, and other material was updated and published. The one in use was 13
    years old.

    5. The Medals and Awards Program was updated and new guidelines issued. This was the work of William Y. Pryor, National Chairman of Medals and Awards. A series of plaques in tones of bronze, silver and gold was developed by the Chairman and the President General for awarding to individuals who enrolled five, ten, fifteen, or more new members. This program was to encourage and
    recognize compatriots in the work of obtaining new members. Recipients’ names were inscribed on their plaques, which were presented for the first time at the 1971 Congress in Atlantic City.

    6. To strengthen the patriotic education purposes of the Society, in the spring of 1971, at the urging of Past President General Charles A. Anderson, M.D., the National Trustees adopted unanimously a resolution relating to the long and close association of the National Society with Patriotic Education, Inc. of Deland, Florida. The resolution urged that Patriotic Education, Inc.’s material for teaching the basic documents and other patriotic subjects be regularly listed in the SAR merchandise list and that the Trustees endorse an amendment to the NSSAR Constitution and By-laws for a permanent standing committee to be known as the Patriotic Education Committee. Subsequently, Compatriot Ralph H. Bowles, Chairman of the Committee, drew up a suggested program for implementation by State Societies -in fact, by all levels of the Society.

    7. The President General had become increasingly aware of the vast number of compatriots across the country with tremendous administrative and leadership capacity, and he felt strongly that the National Society should benefit from this resource. Further, many compatriots met during his travels asked how National officers were chosen. (There had been no National Nominating committee, it being the custom for the Past Presidents General to select in caucus the National officers to be recommended for election.) Compatriot Martin had believed for some time that a National Nominating Committee would bring forth a wider representation of leadership and create greater participation by the membership. Although such a committee did not come into being until 1975 at the Eighty-Sixth Congress in Boston, Massachusetts, the success of this approach proved its validity. President General Martin was gratified to have been able to plant some of the seeds to make it possible to involve the State societies, the chapters, and the entire membership.

    8. A Memorial Library Building Fund for an addition to the existing Headquarters building on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington,
    D.C., had been initiated several years previously and contributions urged. However, the changing neighborhood, economic conditions, and lack of adequate space, resulted in increasing support of the idea of relocating Headquarters. As one of several groups, President General Martin visited possible sites, none of which was further considered at that time.

  • Eugene C. McGuire

    President General 1971-1972

    After serving through the chairs in chapter and State offices Eugene McGuire became Chairman of the National Congress in 1967 at Columbus, Ohio. In 1968 he was elected Treasurer General of the National Society at the time Walter Sterling was President General. McGuire made the original proposal for a building fund, was the first subscriber, and became Chairman of the Building Fund Committee. He presented to Walter Martin a donation of $10,000 in the name of the Ohio society, but not from their funds. The significant feature of this contribution is that it was then the largest one on record. Later, Charles A. Anderson became chairman and continued the fund to a sizeable amount until the sale of the Washington property.

    During President General McGuire’s term of office, his wife, Paula, was with him in all of their visitations from coast to coast and they traveled 50,000 miles to carry out the duties in meetings of all varieties concerning the Society. His motto was that he used a common purpose – Membership, Money, and McGuire. The National Society, the Ohio Society, and the Benjamin Franklin Chapter were the donors of medals for his work and he received the Minuteman Award, the Gold Good Citizenship Medal, the Patriot Medal , and the Silver Good Citizenship Medal. For her splendid assistance, his wife, Paula, was awarded the Martha Washington Medal. In his business experience, the last 38 years were with one of the major metal moulding manufacturers until he retired at the end of 1976. It was early that year that he suffered his first stroke. He moved to Tampa, Florida, where he had a second stroke in 1977, but recovered. In 1978, Mrs. McGuire died of cancer. He died March 18, 1985.

  • Ryall Stapleton Morgan

    President General 1972-1973

    As President General Ryall S. Morgan’s term began in June, 1972, the Environmental Protection Agency banned the pesticide DDT. Five men were arrested June 17 for breaking and entering offices of the Democratic National Committee housed in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. The U.S. began to sell 750 million dollars worth of American wheat to Russia, the Senate ratified the strategic arms treaty with Russia, and Life Magazine folded after 36 years. By January, 1973 seven defendants in the Watergate burglary had been convicted. A peace treaty signed in Paris January 27, 1973 ended the Vietnam War and released 590 prisoners-of-war. The American military draft was ended, and China and the U.S. agreed to establish liaison offices. President General Morgan appointed three ad hoc committees for long-range SAR progress:

    (1) to set guidelines for Vice Presidents General and Trustees; (2) to establish a protocol guide for meetings;
    (3) to create a new office of Organizing Secretary General.

    During the autumn the resolutions passed at the Eighty-Second Congress at Indianapolis were printed in the U.S. Congressional Record six times, the first by Sen. James B. Allen, a Compatriot in the Alabama SAR.

  • Marion Howard Crawmer

    President General 1973-1974

    A descendant of James Powell of the Pennsylvania Militia, President General Marion H. Crawmer was an SAR for more than 45 years. He served as the National Resolutions Chairman, Vice President General, Chancellor General, Genealogist General, Member of the National Executive Committee and National Trustee. In addition to two terms as National Constitution Day Chairman, he served on several other National committees, and was President of the Michigan Society. An attorney, he was a prominent Mason: F. & A.M. (Past Master), Royal Arch Masons (Past High Priest), Royal and Select Masters, Knights Templar, York Rite, the Scottish Rite (33°), A.A.O.N.M.S. (Shriner) and the Legion of Honor of the Order of DeMolay. Compatriot Crawmer was married to the former Kamma D.
    Nielsen. They were parents of Karin M. Villanueva, Peter M. Crawmer, and Elizabeth A. Lentz, and the grandparents of Kristian K. Lentz. Marion Crawmer lived 1905-1977.

  • Montague Graham Clark, Ed.D.

    President General 1974-1975

    M. Graham Clark, President of The School of the Ozarks, a four year accredited college, assumed that post in 1952. He was born in Mecklenburg, North Carolina, and is an alumnus of Georgia Tech School of Engineering. Dr. Clark received the degree of LL.D. from Drury College, Springfield, Missouri. He emerged from World War II with the rank of Major. In 1950 he was ordained a minister in the Presbyterian Church, serving as Moderator of Lafayette Presbytery and Moderator of the Synod of Missouri. Compatriot Clark was a Past Vice-President General and Trustee. He is the great-great-grandson of Joseph Graham, a Major of the
    North Carolina Line, who saw much combat, was severely wounded, and was only 22 at the end of the Revolution. This maternal ancestor served in the War of 1812 as a Brigadier General. Dr. Clark’s direct paternal ancestor was Captain Daniel Clark of Connecticut. Dr. Clark holds the following offices and memberships: Member, Board of Trustees, School of the Ozarks; National Council, Boy Scouts of America and recipient of their Silver Beaver Award; Advisory Board, American Automobile Association of Missouri; National Advisory Council on Health Professions Education of the National Institute of Health; Order of the Founders and Patriots of America; Society of Colonial Wars; Board of Directors, Springfield Baptist; Board of Directors, Missouri Pilots Association; 33° Mason; Grand Chaplain of Royal Arch Masons of Missouri; York Rite Mason; Scottish Rite Mason, Shriner; Past District Governor of Rotary International; DeMolay Legion of Honor; Navy League; Past President, White River Valley Historical Society; Past President, Missouri Junior College Association; past member, Commission of Colleges and Universities of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools; and past member, Executive Committee of the American Heart Association. Compatriot Clark is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, and Presidents and Deans of American Colleges and Universities. Dr. Clark is married to the former Elizabeth Sherman Hoyt, and the couple had four daughters and several grandchildren.

  • Robert D. Savage, Lt. Col. USA (Ret.)

    President General 1975-1976

    Robert D. Savage was born in 1906. He attended the public schools in Richmond, Va. and was graduated from the School of Government, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government (Foreign Service). He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and Delta Pi Epsilon (professional Foreign Service) fraternities. Prior to entry into the military service he was active in the Episcopal Church, having been a member of the boys’ choir. In 1924 Compatriot Savage chose a military career and served in the Cavalry, Signal Corps, and Armor branches. His service took him to numerous posts in the United States, the Panama Canal Zone, and Hawaii, where he was stationed on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked. During World War II he served as a company commander and as a staff officer in Africa, Italy, Southern France, and Germany. He served two tours in the Pacific during the Korean War. He retired after 33 years of service in 1957 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Armor. Colonel Savage served the SAR as President of the Harris Ferry Chapter, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for three years; as Historian, Secretary, Vice-President, and President of the Pennsylvania Society and Editor of the Pennsylvania Minuteman for more than 11 years; National Trustee, two years; Secretary General, two years; Member of the Executive Committee, four times. He was named Pennsylvania’s “Mr. SAR” in 1964 and received the Minuteman Award and the Patriot Medal. He was a member of American Legion Post 101, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Associates of the National Archives, Washington, DC; The Army and Navy Club, Washington, DC; National and State Promoter, C.A.R.; Carlisle Barracks Officers’ Open Mess: Life member, George Washington University Alumni Association; William S. Snyder Lodge No. 756, F. & A.M., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Harrisburg Consistory, Scottish Rite, Zembo Temple of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Carlisle Chapter 130, National Sojourners, and Charles E.
    Lukens Camp, Heroes of ’76, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Cumberland Valley Chapter, The Retired Officers’ Association and The Society of the Sons of St. George. He was married to the former Elizabeth R. Carroll of New Brunswick, New Jersey, a member of the DAR and D.A.C. They had two daughters, a son, and numerous grandchildren. President General Robert D. Savage died in 1980.

  • Matthew Bacon Sellers, III

    President General 1976-1977

    Matthew Bacon Sellers, III, was born in New York City, November 13, 1919, and is descended from Revolutionary officers Captain Thomas Bragg and Captain Thomas Blakemore of Virginia. He graduated from Tome School in Port Deposite, Maryland, attended Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with a B.S. degree in Chemistry. After graduation, he joined the Navy prior to World War II and served on two destroyers, the USS Morris DD 417 and the USS Blue DD 744 as Engineering Officer. These destroyers operated with the Fast Carrier Task Forces and participated in most of the battles in the South Pacific. He retired after the war as Commander with 14 battle stars on his Pacific Campaign Ribbon. His career of the past 30 years has been varied: Cincinnati Ohio Branch and District Manager of Snow Crop Frozen Foods; Vice President and General Manager, Urban Laundry, Baltimore, Maryland; Vice-President and Secretary of Filterite Corporation, Timonium, Maryland. He moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1960 and was a Registered Real Estate Broker, a Certified Florida Evaluator, and a Land Developer. Compatriot Sellers was Florida State President and Host for the Eighty-Third Annual Congress in Palm Beach; National Trustee, Genealogist General and National Membership Chairman. He was also Florida Senior Vice-President and Membership Chairman and was Treasurer and President of the Fort Lauderdale Chapter. He was Editor of the Florida Patriot. In his visits to the State Societies, President General Sellers emphasized the need to build our membership by increasing our Chapter activities and interest.

    During his administration, the SAR Headquarters in Washington, D.C. was sold, as it had become too small for our purposes. The membership wanted a headquarters that would have room for a library and museum and one that would be more centrally located. The property was sold to the Ivory Coast to be used as an Embassy; the price was almost one million dollars. Past President General Sellers has received the Minuteman Award, the Patriot Medal, the Silver Good Citizenship Medal, and nine Membership Plaques. During his two years as Chapter President, Fort Lauderdale won the Florida membership bell for obtaining the most new members, and the Allene Wilson Groves Award. His memberships include Society of the Cincinnati in the Commonwealth of Virginia, General Society of Colonial Wars, Baronial Order of Magna Charta, Order of Americans of Armorial Ancestry, Americans of Royal Descent, Order of the Crown of Charlemagne, Washington Family Descendants, Society of the Ark and the Dove, Sons of the Revolution, Florida President, Kentucky Historical Society, Phi Sigma Kappa, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, and Coral Ridge Yacht Club, where at different times he was Secretary, Treasurer, Rear Commodore, Vice-Commodore, and Commodore. He is married to the former Gene Marion Herrick of Hastings-of Hudson, New York. They have two daughters, Tracy Sellers Ali and Wendy Sellers Howell, and two grandchildren, Morgan and Shannon Howell. He is listed in Who’s Who in the South and Southwest.

  • Judge Wilson King Barnes

    President General 1977-1978

    After the election, Judge Barnes postponed the usual Trustees meeting until the Congress delegates could go to Churchill Downs to see the famous Louisville horse races; one race was dedicated to SAR and one horse was named Martin. PPG Walter R. Martin thereupon placed a minimum bet of two dollars on the four-footed Martin definitely not a winner. As soon as Congress ended, Gradie R. Rowntree, M.D., who had been Chairman of the 88th Congress, asked the upcoming President General Chunn, PPGs Len Young Smith and Ryall Morgan to accompany him to Masonic headquarters. Without knowing the purpose other than a fraternal visit, the quartet went to the offices of the Kentucky Grand Lodge at Fourth and Kentucky Streets near downtown Louisville and there learned that the building was for sale. This Thursday morning visit turned into big changes for the Society, as described by
    the Acquisition Chairman Martin, for it led eventually to the purchase of this fine limestone building for the National Headquarters. The Trustees voted to ask the Chancellor General to settle on a Jump sump with the Warren Woodwards for their money deposited for their retirement. The first official visit of President General Barnes was to the General Phileman Thomas Chapter of the Louisiana Society, at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 12, 1977. He participated in that Chapter’s Seventh Annual Gold Good Citizenship Award Banquet as its principal speaker and presented the Gold Good Citizenship Medal to the Honorable Joe W. Sanders, Chief Justice of Louisiana. This was a thoroughly delightful affair and was an excellent and gracious way to begin a National Administration of the Sons of the American Revolution. The Executive Secretary of the National Society SAR, Warren A. Woodward, unexpectedly resigned that position on September 15, 1977, effective within thirty days, in order to accept a new position in Houston, Texas. He and his family departed shortly after October 15, 1977. Fortunately, the move from the National Society’s Headquarters in the District of Columbia to its temporary headquarters in the Huntington Building in Alexandria, Virginia, had been substantially completed, but the existing staff at National Headquarters also left the employment of the National Society shortly after the departure of Compatriot Woodward. This rather desperate situation was fortunately resolved by
    obtaining the services of Compatriot Lt. General Herman Nickerson, Jr., as acting Executive Secretary, whose appointment as Executive Secretary was confirmed by the N a tiona! Board of Trustees. General Nickerson performed brilliantly in the emergency, assembled an efficient staff, and kept the affairs of the National Society operating as smoothly as possible under quite difficult circumstances. The Special Real Estate Committee of the National Society, under the able Chairmanship of Compatriot Carl F. Bessent, worked hard during the Barnes Administration in gathering data and viewing sites for the Permanent Headquarters of the National Society.

    The Report of that Committee was presented to the 88th Congress of the National Society held in Louisville, Kentucky. The President General visited many State Societies and Chapters during his term of office. Mrs. Barnes, because of her health, was unable to accompany him on all but three visits, and then with some difficulty. In all of the visits, the President General was warmly received and a spirit of good fellowship and hospitality prevailed. The National Society received excellent publicity in regard to many of these visits and addresses by the President General. Compatriot Joseph B. Head, Chairman of the Liberty Bell Committee, and Mrs. Head, continued their excellent work in visiting many schools in various States. Here again, the National Society received helpful publicity and the foundation was laid for future membership in the National Society. At the 88th Congress of the National Society, held in Louisville, Kentucky, from May 27-June 1, 1978, the Congress received the
    Report of the Special Real Estate Committee with its recommendation that the Permanent Headquarters of the National Society be established near-but not in-the nation’s capital. This recommendation was rejected by a substantial vote and thereafter the Congress established a National Headquarters Acquisition Committee with various well defined powers and with a view to bringing to a speedy cone! us ion the question of the location of the permanent headquarters. This was happily accomplished during the succeeding administration of Compatriot Calvin E. Chunn. The year of the Barnes Administration was an enjoyable one for President General Barnes. His health remained good, he had no accidents or difficulties in his travel arrangements and, as indicated, he was most graciously and well received by his Compatriots during all of his visits.

  • Calvin Ellsworth Chunn, Ph.D.

    President General 1978-1980

    Born in Jonesboro, Arkansas of parents whose ancestors came from Cornwall, England, and County Cork, Ireland, Calvin Ellsworth
    Chunn became a member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution January 23, 1969 in Sacramento Chapter. An active career of service included chapter, Treasurer, Secretary, President, State and district offices; Registrar General and, upon his election at the 88th Congress at Louisville, Kentucky, on May 31, 1978, the position of President General of the National Society, to which position he was re-elected in 1979. He had proved 27 Revolutionary ancestors, and had joined 27 hereditary societies, including the Society of the Cincinnati, the Order of Founders and Patriots of America, the Order of the Crown of Charlemagne, and the Society of the Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge, of which he was Commander-in-Chief 1980-1982. He was a Methodist, a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, and a Mason and Shriner. His biography is
    in Who’s Who in America. In World War II, he survived major battles as an Army officer while he advanced to Major in combat on Bataan with the 45th Infantry, and on Corregidor with the Fourth Marines. Wounded three times and for three and a half years a prisoner of war, he swam ashore from two prison ship sinkings. Engaged to then First Lieutenant Calvin E. Chunn before World War II, Florence Jenkins (DAR) waited for him to return from the war. They were married October 19, 1945. They have two children, Mrs. Lyle J. Stinson (DAR), and Lawrence J. Chunn (SAR). After a courageous struggle against the inroads of cancer, Calvin Ellsworth Chunn, Ph.D., passed away early in June, 1983.

    The two-term tenure of Calvin Ellsworth Chunn, Ph.D., as President General of The National Society of the Sons of the American
    Revolution, (1978-79 and 1979-80)-the tenth such double term in the ninety-year history of the Society-was a benchmark administration in many notable respects. This period was pivotal in that many facets of NSSAR operations and objectives were simplified, updated, revised and given new direction. A beautiful and highly suitable building had been purchased in Louisville, Kentucky, as a national headquarters for NSSAR. The Herculean chore of moving-in mid-January-headquarters personnel
    and equipment; records dating from the founding of our Society; and more than 150,000 volumes and documents, accumulated during almost nine decades, from our inadequate rented premises in Alexandria, Virginia, was accomplished smoothly. agency, with major corporations as clients. Dr. Chunn also named a Magazine Advisory Committee, chaired by the Secretary General, to oversee budget, advertising rates, and other business and policy management matters.

    President General Chunn traveled in excess of 200,000 miles on NSSAR business during his two years in office. According to Past
    President Walter R. Martin, he “attended more SAR functions than any previous President General.”

  • Arthur Mansfield King

    President General 1980-1981

    A descendant of Samuel Mansfield, a fifer, Maryland, and Dan King, private, Connecticut, who answered the Lexington Alarm, Arthur King has twenty-one supplementals. He joined the Delaware Crossing Chapter of the Kansas Society in 1963, subsequently serving as Chapter vice president and two terms as president; and as president of Kansas SAR. His national service. prior to his election at the 90th annual Congress at Dallas in 1980, included Vice President General of the South Central District and two terms as Secretary General immediately prior to becoming President General. He also served on the Executive and other committees. Honors received include the Minuteman Medal; the Patriot Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Silver Good Citizenship Medal; and Law Enforcement Commendation Medal. At the 91st Congress he received the Gold Good Citizenship Medal from the incoming President General Richard H. Thompson, Jr. For bringing in 40 new members, he has received the National Membership Plaque twice, the Silver Membership Plaque, the Gold Membership Plaque and the DAR Honor Medal. Berdena King joined with her husband in establishing the Arthur M. and Berdena King SAR-DAR Membership Comparison Awards, providing for $400 cash awards to (a) the State Society having the highest percentage of SAR State Society membership when compared to the total DAR membership in its state, and (b) the largest percentage increase in the ratio of SARto DAR membership among State Societies, during the year preceding each April l. First awards were presented at the Dallas Congress, along with a customized gavel with a gold identification band to (a} the Delaware Society, and (b) the Nevada Society. Funding for continuation of the competition in perpetuity was provided by Mr. and Mrs. King by a gift of public utility stock to NSSAR. Arthur M. King had two dissimilar business careers-both successful-prior to retirement from the second one, in 1968. His first, begun in 1928 with the A. & P. Tea Company, ended in 1952 when he resigned as superintendent of the Kansas City Division to enter the real estate development industry as executive vice president of a real estate company. High point of his second business career was his recognition, in the fifties, that Platte and Clay counties needed a shopping center. He spearheaded the acquisition of the site and the construction of the Antioch Shopping Center in Kansas City North, which has more than a million square feet of office, retail and service business space, serving upward of 300,000 residents of residential developments. He has served as director and treasurer of the Kansas City Real Estate Board; director of an insurance company; a mortgage loan company; a mutual fund; and a bank. His civic contributions have included five terms, for a total of ten years, as mayor of his home city, Weatherby Lake, and twenty-two years as director or president of the Weatherby Lake Improvement Company; an organizer and a director of the Platte County Business and Professional Association; and a director of the Platte County Industrial Development Authority.

    Arthur Mansfield King was a Presbyterian, Knight Templar, Shriner, Acacian, and member of the Order of Pythagoras and the Tribe of Illini. His memberships in hereditary organizations include the Order of Americans of Armorial Ancestry, the Society of the
    Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, the Society of the Descendants of Colonial Clergy, the National Huguenot Society, the General Society of Colonial Wars, the General Society of the War of 1812, Sons of the Revolution, and the First Families of Ohio. In his first Message to the NSSAR membership in the Summer 1981 SAR Magazine, President General Thompson said, “In assuming this office, and after having spent ten days of my first month at National Headquarters in Louisville, I must once more compliment my predecessor, Arthur M. King, for the excellent job he did during his term.”

  • Richard H. Thompson, Jr.

    President General 1981-1982

    President General Thompson was born in Gove, Kansas. He received an A.B. degree from Kansas University and LL.B. degree from Yale Law School. He is Phi Beta Kappa, a member of Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity, Kappa Sigma social fraternity and the Cosmopolitan Club, an undergraduate society composed primarily of foreign students attending U.S. colleges and universities. He is an Elder and Deacon in the Presbyterian Church, a Republican Precinct Committeeman and a member of the boards of various charitable and educational groups, including the Florida Orchestra and Children’s Home Society of Florida. Following his graduation from Yale Law School he worked for a year doing legal research for the school, then as a criminal investigator for 9 years for the federal government. For the next 31 years he was successively a Vice President, Secretary, and Director of the Celotex Corporation and after its merger into Jim Walter Corporation, one of the “Fortune 500” companies, he moved to Florida and on retirement he was Vice President, Secretary, and head of the Legal Department of Jim Walter Corporation. He was Vice President, Secretary and a Director of the South Coast Corporation, a Louisiana based sugar manufacturer; he held the same offices in South Shore Oil and Development Company, a Louisiana-based oil producing company; and in Celotex Limited, London, an English subsidiary of Celotex. Thompson is a member of the American and Chicago Bar Associations and of the American Arbitration Association. A longtime member of the American Society of Corporate Secretaries, he has been regularly listed in Who’s Who in America. Currently he is a counsel to the Chicago Law firm of DOZORYST, COSBY & BRUSTEIN.

    During World War II he served in the U.S. Marine Corps as Legal Officer of the 9th Marine Air Wing. Prior to his election as President General NSSAR Thompson married Nel White of Chicago, who was serving as Treasurer General of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Nel is the recipient of the NSSAR Gold Good Citizenship Medal and the NSSAR Medal of Appreciation. Nel is an Honorary State Regent for Life in the Illinois Society of DAR, as was Thompson’s first wife, Laura, who died in 1977. She and Nel were longtime friends. He has one son, Richard H. Thompson, III and two grandchildren, one of whom, Richard H. Thompson, IV, is a charter member of the United Kingdom Society of NSSAR. Thompson joined SAR in Illinois in 1959 and served that State Society as Chancellor. After moving to Florida he served the St. Petersburg (Florida) Chapter as President, and the Florida State Society as Chancellor, First Vice President, President and Editor of the Florida Patriot and as National Trustee from Florida. At the national level Thompson served as Vice President of the South Atlantic District, Chancellor General for two and one-half years, Executive Committee member for seven years and has served on a number of national committees. He is the recipient of the Minuteman Award, the Patriot’s Medal, and the Gold Good Citizenship Medal.

  • Howard Laverne Hamilton, Ph.D

    President General 1982-1983

    President General Howard L. Hamilton came from a rural background in Eastern Iowa. Born July 20, 1916, in Lone Tree, Johnson Co., Iowa-the town founded in 1870 by his mother’s family. He attended the Lone Tree Public School, graduating as Valedictorian of his high school class in 1933. He attended the University of Iowa at Iowa City (16 miles away), earning the Bachelor of Arts, With Highest Distinction, in 1937 and a Master of Science in Zoology in 1938. Two years of doctoral work ensued at the University of Rochester, and one at Johns Hopkins University, where he received the Ph.D. in 1941. As a Reserve Officer, he was called immediately to active duty and served 4.5 years (2nd Lieutenant and Captain) as a Medical Research Officer in the Division of Virus and Rickettsial Diseases, Army Medical School, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., during which he published extensively on factors influencing the growth of viruses and rickettsiae. Presently. he is retired as Colonel. MSC-USAR.

    His professional career in Biology began January 1. 1946. at the Iowa State College in Ames where he taught Embryology. Histology. and Cytology as an Assistant and Associate Professor. He was appointed Acting Head in 1960 and Chairman of the Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Wildlife in 1961. In 1962 he became Professor of Biology at the University of Virginia. and retired as Emeritus Professor in 1982. During this period he published two books and about sixty scientific papers. One of these, A Series of Normal Stage. In the development of the Chick, was proclaimed recently a “Citation Classic” for being one of the most quoted scientific articles ever written. His research centered on the mechanisms by which organs come into being. He gave much service to the American Society of Zoologists. writing their brochure. Career in Animal Biology, which went
    through three printings of 50,000 copies each. He also served for many years on selection committees of the National Science Foundation, and was Chairman for three years of the prestigious Committee on Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowships. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Phi Kappa Phi. Sigma Xi, Osborn Research Club (Iowa). Raven Society (Virginia), American Society of Zoologists. American Society of Naturalists, International Institute of Developmental Biology, Society for the Study of Growth and Development. and the Corporation of the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, Massachusetts). Prof. Hamilton was married first to Alison Phillips, December 22. 1945, at Highland Park. Illinois. She died July 30. 1972. They had three children: Christina Helen (1948). Phillips Howard (1950). and Martha Jayne (1951), all born in Ames, Iowa. There is one grandchild, Rosemary Alison Fehlner (daughter of Christina and James R. Fehlner, Ph.D.). On June 18. 1975. Dr. Hamilton married Miss Elizabeth Burnley Bentley in New York City. They have two daughters. Elizabeth Marshall (“Bessie”) (1977) and Catherine Randolph (1978). both born in Charlottesville. Virginia. Mrs. Hamilton is Past President General of the Order of Three Crusades 1096-1192. She is a member of the Colonial Dames of America (Chapter IX- Kentucky) and many other lineal societies. Besides serving as Registrar General. 1980-82. and President General, 1982-83, of the NSSAR. Dr. Hamilton is currently President General of the Order of the Crown of Charlemagne in the U.S.A. (1982- ), First Vice-President General of the Order of Three Crusades 1096-1192. and Councillor for the Order of Americans of Armorial Ancestry. He was President General of the National Society of Americans of Royal Descent. 1974-80. Other memberships include: National Gavel Society, Society of Colonial Wars. Baronial Order of Magna Charta. St. Nicholas Society, St. Andrews Society, Society of the War of 1812 (Pennsylvania and Virginia). Netherlands Society of Philadelphia, Dutch Colonial Society of Delaware, and the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York. He is a member of the Virginia Historical Society, the Society for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, English-Speaking Union, Farmington Country Club, the Masonic Lodge, and the Presbyterian Church. He is listed in American Men of Science, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World (5th and 7th eds.), and Men of Distinction (England).

  • Warren Griffin Hayes, Jr.

    President General 1983-1984

    President General Warren G. Hayes, Jr. traces his ancestry from the First Lord North of England. Coming from an old Philadelphia family, he attended public schools in that city and the University of Pennsylvania. He took graduate work at Rutgers University in New Jersey and was honored when his graduate school thesis was accepted for the libraries of the American Bankers Association and the Harvard School of Business Administration. During his long career in banking, where he was Vice-President of the Philadelphia National Bank, he was active in both the American Bankers Association and the Pennsylvania Bankers Association, serving on various committees and lecturing in the summer school at Bucknell University. During his banking career he was listed in Who’s Who in the East. President General Hayes joined the Sons of the American Revolution in 1967 and immediately became active in the Society at all levels. Prior to his election as President General in June, 1983 he had served as National Trustee, Secretary General and several years on the National Executive Committee. He has chaired a number of national committees, including the 1976 Congress Committee. He has attended every National Congress since joining the Sons of the American Revolution. In 1982, he received the distinguished Minuteman Award and the National Society’s Gold Good Citizenship Medal in
    1984. President General Hayes has long been active in local community and charitable affairs, having served as President of his civic association, Treasurer of the local philharmonic orchestra, President of his county’s blind association and President of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind. He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and was treasurer of his church for 22 years.

    In addition to the Sons of the American Revolution, President General Hayes is a member of a number of other hereditary organizations including the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution, the Military Order of the Loyal Legion in the United States, the Society of the Sons of St. George, the St. Andrews Society of Philadelphia, the Scotch-Irish Society of the United States of America, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the National Gavel Society. He belongs to the Pennsylvania Society, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Plymouth Country Club.

    In 1936, President General Hayes married Mabel Elizabeth (Betty) Brown, daughter of Frederick Huquenele Brown and Mabel Chase Taylor. They have one daughter, Elisabeth Taylor Hayes Barrett and one granddaughter, Susan Elisabeth Barrett.

  • LTC Carl Francis Bessent

    President General 1984-1985

    Carl Francis Bessent was born in Conway, South Carolina, on September 14, 1919. The Bessent Family is listed by the South Carolina Tricentennial Commission as a first settling family of South Carolina. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina. After serving in the Air Force in World War II in both the Pacific and European Theatres, he was discharged as a Lieutenant Colonel. He retired as Assistant Superintendent of the Mechanical Department after 42 years of service at Bethlehem Steel’s Sparrows Point plant in Maryland. Compatriot Bessent was a National Director and District Chairman of the Association of the Iron and Steel Engineers. He twice was awarded the Iron and Steel Kelly Award given annually to the author of the best technical paper adjudged of greatest value in the advancement of engineering or operation in the iron and steel industry. He is an Eagle Scout and has served as a District Commissioner and a member of the Executive Board of Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts. He served on the Executive Board of the Baltimore YMCA and served as Chairman of the Dundalk YMCA. Carl Bessent is past Senior Warden and serves as a Layreader and Chalicist of Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Baltimore.

    In 1943 he married Velma Elizabeth Leitzel, who is a member of the Carter Braxton Chapter, DAR. They are the parents of Carl Timothy, M.D., SAR, born in 1947; Mary Elizabeth, DAR, born in 1949; and John M., SAR, born in 1955. Following offices held at the local and state levels in the Maryland Society, he served the National Society, SAR, as Vice President General, Secretary General for two terms, Treasurer General for two terms, as a member of the Executive Committee for seven terms.

  • Col. Benjamin Hume Morris

    President General 1985-1986

    He was born in Louisville on December 31, 1945 to the late Benjamin Hume Morris and Lacy Abell Morris. A graduate of Waggener High School, Hume was proud to be inducted into the WHS Hall of Fame earlier this year. He attended Centre College and was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He graduated from the University of Louisville in 1968 and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1971 from the University of Louisville School of Law, where he was President of Omicron Delta Kappa and received the “Outstanding Graduating Senior” award for the 1971 class.

    He practiced law in Miami Florida, as well as Louisville where he was a successful attorney, proud to represent those less fortunate than himself. Hume was active in the community and in the national fraternity of Beta Theta Pi, serving as General Secretary, and President. He received the highest honor from Beta, as the recipient of the Oxford Cup in 2000. He was a gifted speaker and a tireless advocate for American College Fraternities, speaking at over 100 university campuses and mentoring countless young men. He left his legacy to his Beta brothers by authoring his successful book, Brothers in Blood, a tribute to young fraternity heroes in the Civil War.

    Hume’s strong faith in God was evident throughout his life and he was very active with the Communicant class at Anchorage Presbyterian Church. Hume was life-long student of history with an unending fascination of military conflicts and the American Civil War. A true seeker of knowledge, he had a passion for reading and a library and miniature soldier collection that consumed most of his home. Hume was a devout family man who adored his children and grandchildren, making interactions with them memorable through family vacations, mindful treasure hunts, and regaling the family with stories of his days as a scuba diver and master captain aboard The Halcyon. Hume was a true renaissance man, a wordsmith with a brilliant mind, who will be missed by all who knew him. PG Morris passed on March 27, 2018.

  • Clovis Hunter Brakebill

    President General 1986-1987

    CLOVIS HUNTER BRAKEBILL was born in Bonham, Texas on December 15, 1920 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Texas A & M University. He was a member of the Army Corps of Cadets. Mr. Brakebill served in the U.S. Army as a combat forward observer in France and Germany for four years during World War II with the 542 Field Artillery Battalion, 42nd Rainbow Division attaining the rank of Captain and earning several decorations including the Bronze Star with one Oak leaf Cluster. Mr. Brakebill has been a member of The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution since 1973 and held several offices including Treasurer General, Secretary General and President General. He was also a member of the Military Order of the World Wars and several historical/genealogical organizations. In addition, Mr. Brakebill was a Freemason Blue Lodge Master Mason, Knight’s Templar Mason, Scottish Rite Mason, National Sojourner, Heroes of ’76, Shrine and Legion of Honor Mason. He obtained his 50-year membership award from the Cypress Lodge in December, 2001. He enjoyed reading and genealogy, as well as traveling around the world to meet new “cousins”. He was a member of Cy-Fair Christian Church. PG Brakebill passed away on January 21, 2002 in Houston, Texas.

    Published in Houston Chronicle from Jan. 23 to Jan. 24, 2002

  • Nolan Wendell Carson

    President General 1987-1988

    Nolan Wendell Carson was born on July 10, 1924 in Bucyrus, Ohio, United States. Son of James Earl and Adelia Lenore (Crooks) Carson. His educational background was AB, Heidelberg College, 1949. Juris Doctor, University Michigan, 1951.

    Career: Associate Dinsmore & Shohl, Cincinnati, 1951-1957, partner, 1958-1994, of counsel, since 1995. Director emeritus Fifth Third Bancorp, Fifth Third Bank, since 1995.

    Member Ohio House of Representatives, 1961-1962, Ohio Constitutional Revision Commission, 1970-1978. Member Cincinnati Charter Review Commission, 1973-1974. Member executive committee Hamilton County Representatives, 1973-1992, finance committee, 1982-1992, chairman policy committee, 1973-1982.

    Chairman Ohio Elections Commission, 1974-1978. Trustee Heidelberg College, 1973-1977. Commissioner Hamilton County Park District, 1978-1995, president, 1980, 83, 86, 89, 90, 93.

    President Cincinnati Museum Natural History, 1980-1983. Member Ohio Bicentennial Commission, 1987-1988. Member Ohio Parks and Recreation Commission, 1991-1993.

    Member Cincinnati Infrastructure Commission, 1986-1987. Master sergeant United States Army, 1943-1946. Member American Bar Association, Ohio Bar Association, Cincinnati Bar Association, Cincinnatus Association (president 1979-1980), National Society Sons of the American Revolution (president Cincinnati chapter 1961, president Ohio Society 1970-1971, president general 1987-1988), Association Ohio Commodores, Society Colonial Wars in Ohio (governor 1982), Commercial Club (vice president 1986-1987), Commonwealth Club (secretary 1980-1981), Queen City Club (president 1987-1989), Recess Club (president 1982-1983), Queen City Optimists Club (president 1992-1993), Coldstream Country Club, Hole-in-the-Wall Golf Club (Naples, Florida), Naples Yacht Club.

  • Charles F. Printz, Sr, CDR (USNR Ret.)

    President General 1988-1989

    Charles F. Printz, was born July 18, 1915, in Ranson WV, he was the son of Charles B. Printz and Mattie Booton Printz. PG Printz was committed to excellence in higher education. He graduated from Charles Town High School in 1934 and received a business degree from Shepherd College, in 1940. He taught briefly at Berkeley Springs High School and then entered West Virginia University, earning a Master of Business Administration in 1942. Following World War II, he was employed as associate professor of business administration at Shepherd University in 1947. He was appointed chairman of the Business Division in 1950, a position he held for 31 years until his retirement in 1981. His department, at one time, accounted for 31 percent of the enrollment of Shepherd University. While at Shepherd, Mr. Printz worked to raise admission and transfer standards. He founded Delta Sigma Pi, a business fraternity, directed the Shepherd Alumni Association and formed alumni chapters in all Eastern Panhandle and South Branch Valley counties. He was appointed to the board of the Shepherd University Foundation and as treasurer of the Scarborough Society. Following his retirement, he was appointed to and served on the West Virginia Board of Regents by former Gov. Arch Moore for five years. For his service in higher education, he was named Outstanding Alumnus at Shepherd University and an Outstanding West Virginian by Gov. Jay Rockefeller.

    During World War II, as a U.S. Navy ensign, he served aboard the USS Chincoteague, a seaplane tender, in the South Pacific, and was later assigned to the Seventh Fleet in Brisbane, Australia, where he worked in intelligence there and under Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s advanced headquarters in Papua New Guinea. He was then assigned to the Commander Service Force Pacific Fleet, the British Pacific Fleet and the Caribbean Sea Frontier in Miami, Fla., at the war’s end. He served on inactive duty as administrative personnel officer at Bolling Air Force Base and was promoted to commander in that position. He retired as a commander, United States Naval Reserves, in 1978.

    In 1960, Mr. Printz became the first certified public accountant in the Eastern Panhandle. He was the owner of Charles F. Printz & Company CPAs. In addition to this accounting practice, he was actively involved in numerous business interests, including Kable Oil Company, Jefferson Finance Company, Peoples Supply and Peoples Supply Farm Machinery. He was appointed a director of Blakeley Bank and Trust Company and the Small Business Administration. Since 1972, he has owned and operated Aspen Pool Farm near Shepherdstown.

    Active in community affairs, he was a member of the Charles Town Kiwanis Club, where he served as president and as the district’s lieutenant governor. He was a member of the Shepherdstown Men’s Club, the Charles Town Lions Club and the Old Opera House. He was parishioner of Trinity Episcopal Church, Shepherdstown, where he served as treasurer for many years. He was a member of Malta Lodge No. 80, Charles Town. He was elected to one term on the Jefferson County Board of Education and served as recorder for the city of Charles Town. He is a founding member of the Gateway New Economy Council.

    Patriotism was important to Mr. Printz. He was part of the program at numerous Memorial Day ceremonies at Edge Hill Cemetery in Charles Town. He was commander of Post No. 71 of the American Legion in Charles Town and was chef de guerre of La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux (Forty & Eight) in the Eastern Panhandle. He was active in the Retired Officers Association. He was president of the Virginia Society of the War of 1812 and was commander of the Henry Kyd Douglas Camp, Sons of Confederacy. He was dedicated to the Sons of the American Revolution. He was president general of the Adam Stephen Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, from 1978 to 2009, building the chapter to more than 100 members, the largest in West Virginia. He was president general of the West Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution, during 1978 to 1981, and in 1988, was elected president general of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, the only West Virginian to hold that post. He was later honored with the National Society’s highest award, the Minuteman Award.

    Among his hobbies was an avid interest in genealogy. After 20 years of research, he published “Into the Valley, a Printz Family History.”

  • James R. Westlake

    President General 1989-1990

    James Roger Westlake, Sr was born February 11, 1928 in Kansas City, Missouri, son of Roger Adolphus (McGinnis) Westlake and Helen Treadway Westlake. He married his high school sweetheart Joyce Rosemary Covey in Los Angeles, California on May 14, 1946 Mr. Westlake attended the University of Missouri and was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1945 and served on the U.S.S. Cape Gloucester in the Pacific theatre. He was valedictorian when he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Georgia State College with a BBA in 1958 and went on to graduate with an MBA from Georgia State College in 1960. He was the first president of the night school student body under Noah Langdale and president of the Georgia State Alumni Association in 1961-62. In 1974, he completed his Masters in Public Administration at the University of Georgia. Mr. Westlake was president and owner of Southern Agencies, Inc. insurance company in Atlanta. In 1965, he was elected to the Georgia State Legislature as a representative from DeKalb County, one of four that year that were the first Republicans elected to the State House since Reconstruction. In 1971, he was appointed by Richard Nixon as Regional Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. He served as Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Commerce from 1976 to 1981. When he retired in 1995, he was a Deputy Administrator of the US Economic Development Administration. Mr. Westlake was elected the President General of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution in 1989-90, the organization’s centennial year. He served two terms as the President General of the National Society of Washington Family Descendants. He was a member of the Old Guard of the Gate City Guard of Atlanta and served as Commandant in 2001. Mr. Westlake served for many years as the Chairman of the Board of the Atlanta University of Biblical Studies in Decatur, Georgia. He was a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church, PCA, in Covington, Georgia and served as a Presbyterian ruling elder for over forty years. PG Westlake passed away on March 25, 2008.

  • James R. Calhoun, Col (USA ret.)

    President General 1990-1991

    Colonel James R. Calhoun. 87th President General. National Society SAR. 1990-1991, passed into immortality on February 2, 2001 at the Veteran Administration Hospital. Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jim was born on a Sioux Indian Reservation in North Dakota on April 26, 1919. In 1933, the family moved to Santa Fe. He received his B.S. Degree from the University of California, Berkeley; his Master of Business Administration Degree from George Washington University; and completed the Harvard Graduate School or Business Advanced Management Program. Jim entered military service in July, 1941 and participated in WW II , Korea and Vietnam . His awards included the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf cluster’s, the Army Commendation medal with an oak leaf cluster. and the Korea and Vietnam Service Medal with three campaign stars. He was a graduate or the Army Command and General Staff College, Armed Forces College. and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He served primarily as a Comptroller and Finance and Accounting Officer. Jim retired in 1970 with the rank of Colonel. Upon retirement he and Connie. whom he had met and married in 1943 when she was Lt. Constance Carpenter C, returned to New Mexico and became actively engaged in family genealogy. While a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. he was awarded the Minuteman Medal, Patriot Medal. Gold Good Citizenship Medal. Silver Good Citizenship Medal, War Service Medal and the Liberty Medal. lie proved that 15 of his ancestors served during the Revolutionary War and sponsored 53 new members. Jim held memberships in numerous patriotic organizations. In addition to the SAR, he served as President of the National Huguenot Society and President of the National Society Americans or Royal Descent.

    (This text was prepared by Former President General Carl F Bessent, a long time friend.)

    In his own words “I am greatly honored that you have selected me to be your President General for the first year of the last decade of the 20th century! For the last few years our Society has concentrated on the history of our great Country and the men who fought for our freedom. We have celebrated the 1OOth Birthday of our organization, recalling many large and small accomplishments over the years. Today, we are living in an ever-changing world and are faced with a great challenge to try to maintain the ideals on which the United States was founded”.

  • George H. Brandau, M.D

    President General 1991-1992

    George H. Brandau, M.D., a long time resident of Houston was born 12th of August 1916, in Shreveport, Louisiana, to Charles Young Brandau and Annie Belle Bringhurst. George attended C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport and later LSU majoring in economics and pre-law. At the age of 19, while attending LSU, he was diagnosed with nephritis and was hospitalized in Vanderbilt Hospital for 265 days before resuming his education at LSU. Based on the care that he received during his hospitalization and his exposure to the medical field, he decided to pursue a medical career, receiving a BS Degree in pre-med and graduating from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1942. He served an internship and surgical residency at Jefferson Davis Hospital in Houston. Due to this previous illness, he was rejected thirteen times for military service during WWII. He volunteered his services at the recruiting station in Houston serving with a team of physicians in examining recruits and draftees throughout the war. Entering private practice, he continued for 46 years before retiring from general surgery in 1990. Dr. Brandau was active in organized medicine for some 30 years. He was one of the Founders of the Houston Museum of Medical Science where he served as the first operating president from 1969-71 and continued as Director of Exhibits for almost 25 years. Dr. Brandau participated in numerous civic activities as a member of Rotary, The Houston Philosophical Society, The Mayflower Society, The Houston Executives Association and other organizations. Dr. Brandau was keenly involved in the Sons of the American Revolution, a long-standing member and Past President of the Paul Carrington Chapter of Houston, holding two Texas State offices and four National offices, including NSSAR President General in 1991-92. Dr. Brandau founded the George Washington Fund which helped to fund many causes of the National Society and participated in numerous national activities of The SAR for over 30 years including serving as a member of the 1st Foundation Board. He received many SAR related honors including the DAR Medal of Honor, SAR Gold Good Citizenship medal and Minute Man award. Dr. Brandau had fond memories as President General of the SAR when he was honored to present the SAR Gold Good Citizenship medal to General Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, at the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. in 1992. Dr. Brandau was a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and has served on various advisory committees.

    After retiring from medicine, Dr. Brandau continued to be active in investments and sports. He was an avid golfer and played regularly at River Oaks Country Club for many years. Dr. Brandau wrote many articles and in 2004, at age 88, his successful book, “Just Between the Doctor and Me” was published. Dr. Brandau was married for 55 years to his college sweetheart, Nancy Smith Brandau, who preceded him in death in 1997.

  • Paul H. Walker, Cpt

    President General 1992-1993

    PG Walker Walker, Paul Howard was born on February 10, 1923 in Baldwyn, Mississippi, United States. Son of Howard Earl and Frances Caroline (McElroy) Walker. His education consisted of Student, E. Mississippi Junior College, 1941. Student, Louisiana State University, 1943. Student, University Missouri, 1944. Juris Doctor with honors, George Washington University, 1948. Bachelor, George Washington U, 2000. Master of Laws, George Washington University, 1949. Postgraduate, Harvard University, 1982.

    Career path was as follows: Admitted to the Bar in the District of Columbia 1948, Maryland., 1959, Massachusetts 1969. Attorney-editor United States Tax Court, Washington,1950-1953. Assistant general counsel Life Insurance Association American (now American Council of Life Insurance) Washington, 1953-1968. Tax counsel New England Mutual Life Insurance Company, Boston, 1968-1986. Member tax policy advisory board Taxation with Representation Fund, Washington, 1975. Advisory council Hartford Institute on Insurance Taxation, Connecticut, 1981-1983. Trustee New England College, Henniker, New Hampshire, 1978-1986, trustee emeritus, 1986. Chancellor New England Diocese Anglican Church in American, 1981. PG Walker was listed as a reputable lawyer by Marquis Who’s Who.

    Trustee New England College, Henniker, New Hampshire, 1978-1990. Chancellor New England Diocese Anglican Church in American, 1981-2002. Senior warden St. Columba Anglican Church, Dudley, Massachusetts, since 2002.

    Served with Army of the United States, 1943-1945. Rose to captain United States Air Force Reserve and was decorated with a Silver Star, Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Man’s Badge, EAME Ribbon with 2 battle stars., 1951-1963. Member of Sons of the American Revolution (president Massachusetts Society 1981-1983, national trustee 1983-1985, chancellor general 1986-1988, president general 1992-1993), American Bar Association, The American Legion, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Society of the War of 1812 in Massachusetts (state president 1996-1997), Honorary Order of Kentucky Colonels, Masons, Knights Templar (Commander Boston Commandery Northern 2 1997-1998, named Knight Commander of Temple of Grand Encampment 1997, Knight York Cross of Honor 2001).

    He passed away on 14 Feb 2005 at Newton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

  • Robert B. Vance, Sr (Col Ret.)

    President General 1993-1994

    Colonel Robert B. Vance, Sr, the National Society’s President General during 1993-1994, passed into immortality on January 30, 2002. A Memorial Service was held February 4 at the North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia. with interment at Arlington Memorial Park in Roswell. Georgia. Compatriot Vance served the Son of the American Revolution with distinction at the Chapter, State and National levels. Prior to being elected to the position of President General. he had been Secretary General. Treasurer General. Vice-President General for the Foreign District Europe and National Trustee for the Georgia Society. He was a member of several National Committees. including Congress Planning (Chairman for 7 term ). Executive (3 terms). Long Range Planning, Finance. Minuteman, Museum and Americanism. His record also encompassed being President of both the Atlanta Chapter and Georgia Society. He was proud to hold these prestigious Medals: Minuteman. Patriot, Meritorious Service, Silver Good Citizenship. Florence Kendall and Distinguished Service. The DAR awarded him their Medal of Honor. Compatriot Vance served in the Army during World War II as a Commander of combat troops in the South Pacific and was G-3 Plans and Operation Officer, Third U.S. Army, Fort McPherson. He received several awards, Including the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action, Bronze Star for Valor and cluster for Heroism in Ground Combat, and the Purple Heart with cluster. He enjoyed a most successful business career. His early employment was with GENESCO Corp., a manufacturer, dlstributor and retailer of shoes. While there, he advanced to Vice
    President and General Manger of the Chemical and Supply Division. He later entered into business as Founder and President of the MARIGOLD Corporation, a manufacturer and distributor of margarine. He at o founded ROBERT B. VANCE & Associates Company, manufacturer and distributor of bank supplies.

    In his own words: “The honor you have bestowed upon me as the President General of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution is greatly appreciated. I consider it an opportunity to serve and accept the challenge that will justify your confidence. The timing has never been better than the present for the Sons of the American Revolution to advance our inherited
    responsibility to preserve the Heritage and Freedoms our Ancestors created through Historical, Educational and Patriotic programs. someone to do something that you want done because he wants to do it” We must inspire each to have confidence in himself through knowledge, initiative and justice. We have exposed to these qualities and must continue with the goals
    and projects established for the future of the Sons of the American Revolution. The National Society does an outstanding job with the limited funds available. It has been said, “To double your membership will triple your effectiveness.” This means two times as many members to carry out our mission and double the funds to work with.”

  • Stewart Boone, McCarty, Jr, Col (USMC Ret.)

    President General 1994-1995

    Compatriot McCarty has served our Society with distinction at all levels for many years, currently holding the post of Secretary General. He previously was Registrar General for two terms, Vice-President General for the Mid-Atlantic District, and National Trustee and President of the District of Columbia Society. He has served five terms on the Executive Committee and has been a member of these Committees in the past: United States Constitution Bicentennial (Chairman 7 years); Historical Oration Contest
    (Chairman 2 years); and Government Relations (including being Chairman). He holds the Minuteman, Patriot, Silver Good Citizenship, Meritorious Service, Treaty of Paris and War Service (WWII, Korea, Vietnam) Medals. An important accomplishment has been his tenure as Chairman of the Thomas Jefferson Birthday Ceremony at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC over the past 14 years.

    In his own words: “Please accept my sincere thanks for the special trust and confidence you have shown by electing me to the office of President General. I feel greatly honored. I follow two distinguished gentlemen from the District of Columbia Society into this office: General Joseph Cabell Breckinridge and Judge Josiah A. Van Orsdel. The quality of their service to our Society demands excellence from those who follow. With your help, I trust I can meet that standard. I also feel a sense of awe as I begin to realize the responsibility and demands of the year ahead. However, with the loyal support of our many Compatriots, I am confident the next year will be successful and productive for our Society. One of our strongest support systems is our committee structure, and some of our greatest accomplishments come through the efforts of our committees, and the work their members do at the National, State and Chapter levels. In making committee assignments, I have attempted to accommodate every request, feeling that those who volunteer for a particular position will more than likely serve well in it. However, some of our committees have grown too large, and a few requests could not be met To provide more support for the projects of our committees, the George Washington Endowment Funds has now come on line and is beginning to disburse financial support- modest at the moment, but it will grow stronger over time as more contributions are made.”

  • William C. Gist, Jr., D.M.D.

    President General 1995-1996

    Compatriot Gist has served our Society with distinction at all levels for many years, currently holding the post of Secretary General. He previously was Registrar General for one term, Historian General for two terms, Vice-President General for the Central District, President and National Trustee of the Kentucky Society and President of the Louisville-Thruston Chapter. He has been a member of the Executive Committee for four years and has served on some 30 other Committees. He has chaired the Centennial Observance and National Headquarters Committees and the Council of State Presidents. He is proud to have been awarded the Minuteman, Patriot, Meritorious Service, Silver Good Citizenship and Liberty Medals – as well as the NSDAR History Award Medal. He is a member and officer of several genealogical, historical, professional, civic, preservation and fraternal organizations.

    In his own words: “With great pride, humility and enthusiasm, I assumed the post of President General at the conclusion of the 105th Annual Congress in Louisville this June. What a thrill it was to wear George Washington’s Seal Ring for a few moments after being installed- a powerful reminder of what he and our Patriot ancestors gave to us and our nation. This year we will
    demonstrate how we treasure this priceless gift. How will we show love for our country and our Society over the months ahead? Here are a few of the ways. First, we will aggressively tell our membership- and indeed the whole country- about our Society’s significant achievements throughout its 1 05-year history. And we will highlight our current and future programs as well. To assist in this effort, we have engaged the services of a professional public relations counseling firm -a first for the SAR. By elevating our public profile as to who we are and what worthy projects we sponsor, we will attract eligible potential members to join us as active Compatriots. The public relations agenda will be aimed at all media, with the objective of featuring what our Society and members are doing. Secondly, we will be working more creatively and cooperatively with other organizations that share our vision and values. Foremost here is the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which recently elected Mrs. Charles K. Kemper as President General. It was a delight that she and her SAR husband attended our Congress. Both of our Societies have established a Regional Lineage Workshop Program to aid those interested in genealogy- with the hope that they will discover their eligibility for joining our ranks. The SAR and DAR will be working closely in this most important undertaking. To the DARs about the country who have already assisted us, we say THANK YOU! Thirdly, we will strive to recruit new members, as well as encourage greater involvement from current members- and the return of those who have dropped their affiliation. A new Retention and Reinstatement Task Force has been developed. With the slogan “Adopt A Drop”, this group is commissioned to tackle these problems in earnest.”

  • Reon Glessner Hillegass, Jr.

    President General 1996-1997

    Compatriot Hillegass has served our Society with distinction at all levels for many years, currently holding the post of Secretary General. He previously was Treasurer General for a period of three terms, Vice-President General for the MidAtlantic District, President and National Trustee of the Virginia Society and President of the Norfolk Chapter; VASSAR. An attendee at 14 Annual Congresses, he served as Chairman of the 102nd when it was held in Noifolk. Compatriot Hillegass has been a member of the Executive Committee for four years and has been Chairman or member of several Committees, including Finance, George Washington Endowment Funds, Audit, Congress Planning, Merchandise, Medals and Awards, Library and Historic Celebrations. He is proud to have been awarded the Patriot, Meritorious Service, Silver and Bronze Good Citizenship, Centennial, and War Service medals; he will receive the Minuteman Medal during the 106th Annual Congress this June in San Antonio.

    In his own words: “Being elected President General of the National Society at the 106th Annual Congress is certainly one of
    the high points of my life. Having served in many offices over the years, I feel properly prepared for my term. I have no sophisticated program for my year. However, everything possible will be done to instill enthusiasm in the many Committees we have. When the year is over, I hope every Committee Chairman will be able to say, “I did my very best and as a result our great Society has benefited.” The time to set goals for your committee is now. Our committees in many cases are large, which is good, because you have more enthusiastic Compatriots to help attain the goals you as Chairmen have set. The potential of committee members in our Society is unparalleled. These men are well educated, have had most honorable and distinguished careers. Most are retired and are looking for new challenges. Mr. Chairman, put them to work; they are the cream of the crop!
    I am interested in all of our Committees and their growth and progress. However, this year I am going to put special emphasis on membership. Our entire Society is dependent on membership growth, membership retention and membership reinstatement. The two committees directly responsible for our success here are the Membership Committee and the Task Force on Membership Retention and Reinstatement.”

  • Carl K. Hoffman, J.D.

    President General 1997-1998

    Compatriot Hoffmann has served our Society with distinction at a// levels for many years, currently holding the post of Secretary General. He was previously Chancellor General 1994-96 (and held that position in 1970-72). A former member of the Children of the American Revolution, he joined the SAR Illinois Society in 1950 while a Senior at Northwestern University. Upon graduation from Northwestern, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy in Korea 1951-54. He later received his J.D. Degree from
    Yale Law School and began law practice in Miami, Florida. He was admitted to the Florida, Virginia and District of Columbia Bars and the Federal Courts of Florida and Western District of Texas. He helped found the Ft. Lauderdale Chapter, served as President of both the Miami Chapter and Florida Society and was Vice-President General for the Foreign District-Europe. He holds the Patriot and Minuteman Medals.

    In his own words: “As we approach the year 2000, I would like to share some ideas and goals with you. The working unit of our Society is the chapter. Our chapters hold programs that are intended to implement our patriotic, educational and history mission. We need better communication between our chapters, state societies, national officers and our headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. Our national officers and the staff in Louisville exist to serve you – the members, chapter and state officers – and not the other way around. The telephone and FAX numbers and E-mail addresses of our national officers are printed in the Directory of 1997-1998 Officers herein. Please call us with your ideas to improve our Society and our services to you, the member. One of my goals this coming year is to foster the development of a fourth youth program – the JROTC as a national program. We need to create a permanent JROTC Committee that will determine the criteria for the contestants, such as military bearing, scholarship and leadership. The outstanding cadet or midshipman will be selected at the chapter, state and national level. This new national competition would create a new excitement about the JROTC among the parents of the cadets, the high school student body, the JROTC faculty and our
    members.”

  • Russell D. Page

    President General 1998-1999

    In his own words: “June and I celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary on the day I was installed as President General. Milestones such as this gives one pause to reflect upon life. Life has been a series of challenges for me. As a baby, I was challenged to leave the crib and crawl. No sooner had I met that challenge, when Mom insisted I stand up and walk. Why walk? I was a champion crawler! Can you identify with these challenges? Yes, we all faced them. In time, we faced more serious challenges. There was the first day at school, the playground bully, and school tests. We could have lived without school tests. Challenges- there are so many. Remember the challenge of deciding on a career? Remember when you asked her to marry you? Remember your first job? Life is really a series of challenges! Who we are, and what we become, is decided by how we meet our challenges. This is true of individuals. It is also true of organizations. How we, the SAR respond to our challenges determines our character and effectiveness. The Internet has provided an unprecedented opportunity to introduce our programs to literally millions of young men and women. Are we up to the challenge? There are other challenges within our Society, just
    as important and necessary: Vice-Presidents General, I challenge you to get involved in membership recruitment. Make sure each state in your District has a membership goal. State Presidents, please make sure each chapter has a membership goal. Encourage and support them. The Illinois Color Guard came up with a postcard I like. The front shows a photo of our National Color Guard in front of the Alamo in Texas. Below the photo is a caption, “SAR needs a few good men.” I urge you to make this our motto for a National membership drive. I have another challenge for our Vice-Presidents General. Please get involved in our Veterans program. A major drive will be made by our Veterans Committee to involve every chapter and state in the program. This is your President General ‘s favorite program. To our State Societies, I challenge you to promote all programs of the NSSAR, and to participate in many of them. Establish an Internet web site and link with our National web site. A working society is a growing society. To our almost 500 chapters around the country, I challenge each of you to:
    1. Achieve your membership goal. 2. Reach out to the public and help them qualify for membership by holding a Genealogy workshop. Check out Compatriot Schweizer’s Lovely Course in Genealogy. It is just what you need.
    3. Have an annual SAR Information Workshop to train new officers. 4. Please give the Flag Award each year to an individual, or business, that flies Old Glory.

    I am counting upon all of you to accept these challenges. You have successfully met your personal challenges. Now your Society looks to you for SAR leadership. I know you will make us proud. At the National level, we will not start new programs. We will not add more committees. If we can’t get the job done with 58 committees, we have a problem more committees will not cure. We are going to concentrate on our core objectives of patriotism, history, and education. It amazes me to learn how much some of my
    Compatriots know about dues increases; the dates they occurred, and how much dues were raised. I am also amazed by the flood of proposed bylaw amendments every year. We seem to know our bylaws very well, especially those dealing with membership and money. Let me emphasize, there is nothing wrong with that. What concerns me, though, is how little we know about our history, our objectives, and the traditions of our Society. If we knew more, perhaps we would love her more and have fewer concerns about dues and bylaws. The challenge at the National level is more and better communications. We look forward to that challenge. Have we forgotten, perhaps we were never told, those glorious reasons for our founding? I wonder how many of our Chapters, or Chapter Presidents, even have an SAR Handbook? How do they learn? Working together, at national, state, and chapter level, let us face our SAR challenges with the undaunted resolution of our forefathers. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “we do have a republic, if we can keep it, and its history, for our posterity.”

  • Howard F. Horne, Jr., Ph.D.

    President General 1999-2000

    In his own words: “It is a great honor to have been elected President General of the National Society at the 109th Annual Congress held in San Diego, California. Having the Seal Ring of the Father of our Country, George Washington, placed on my finger by Former President General Russell D. Page was an experience I shall never forget. I am happy to report SAR is alive and well. Our Society attracts about 2,000 new members each year. However, due to death and nonpayment of dues, we lose about the same number annually. National Society membership continues to total about 25,500. This is about the same total we have had in each of the last several years at the time of the Annual Congress. We have neither gained nor lost in total members. The area requiring the greatest amount of work is retention of members. If we are to grow as a Society this problem of membership retention must be solved. This is not to say we can neglect attracting new members. We should not and cannot! SAR has many fine programs in place. Our Youth Programs, in particular, are important because they reinforce the ideals of our Society to the youth of our country. Plans are underway to include recognition of the C.A.R. Program in next year’s Youth Awards Program. Color Guard contingents add a great deal of color and pride at our meetings. We encourage more Societies to adopt a Color Guard Program so that one day we will have many, many Color Guardsmen at our functions. Further, we plan a “seminar” for incoming State Society and Chapter Presidents at the Spring Trustees Meeting. We hope this will foster improved communications between State Societies and the National Society. Also, I urge you to support the George Washington Endowment A traditional highlight of each Annual Congress takes place when the outgoing President General- in this case, Russell D. Page slips George Washington’s Seal Ring onto a finger of the new PG – Howard F. Horne. This artifact is the Society’s most valuable possession. Fund. It is the sole source of funds for National Society unfunded and underfunded Committees. There are approximately 65 National Committees. They form the “working structure” of the National Society. Most of these Committees rely on the George Washington Fund for revenue to carry out their programs. A challenging year lies ahead. I pledge your officers and I will work for the good of the Society throughout the next year. I welcome the opportunity to serve and consider it a privilege to do so. Thank you for the trust and honor your have bestowed upon me. I look forward to visiting with many of you during the coming year.”

  • Bruce Baird Butler, D.D.S., Col (USAR - Ret.)

    President General 2000-2001 (Died While in Office, Howard F. Horne, Jr., Ph.D. - Appointed to finish the term)

    In his own words: “The 11Oth Annual Congress is now history, but will be long remembered as a very successful one. Compatriots of the New England District did an outstanding job of handling even the smallest of details. Special thanks go to the Host Chairman, Duane T. Sargisson, and Co-Chairman David J . Gray for their exemplary leadership. Traditionally at Congresses we pass the torch to the newly elected President General. Looking back at Howard F. Horne, Jr., our Immediate Former PG, I must express amazement atthe quantity and quality of accomplishments completed during his term. He did a most commendable job of furthering the programs that had been launched by his predecessor, Russell D. Page. Your new PG will do the same. Our Society is now entering the most historic period in its span of over 110 years. Never before have the Trustees and the Congress approved construction of a new building, in this instance a structure that will greatly enhance what our Headquarters has to offer – beginning with an expanded library. We have outgrown our current Headquarters, the floors are overloaded and our library and museum collections are becoming increasingly cramped for space. You are invited to read the special news report about the solution that appears on page 13 of this issue of the magazine. To completely implement our plans for the building and ancillary facilities will depend upon a certain amount of financial support from Compatriots such as you all across the country. You will be hearing more about this over the coming months, but for now you may want to give thought to funding, for example, a brick with your Patriot’s name on it to become part of one of many pathways on the site. Or library furnishings with your nameplate attached as the giver. Or a wing of the library named for you. There will be a variety of ways in which you may participate. The President General’s family is already an ardent supporter of the new library. A $100,000 charitable remainder trust given by Dorothy B. Butler, a DAR and mother of the PG, has been designated for it.”

  • Larry D. McClanahan

    President General 2001-2002

    In his own words: “It is a great honor to serve as your President General. We are indebted to all of you for your continuing support of this Society. This year is dedicated to preparing the Society and its structure to meet the demands of the future. A Long Range or Strategic Plan was presented to the delegates at Congress. This plan covers the next twenty years and is being distributed to all the Trustees by the Council of State Presidents for dissemination within the State Societies. A new organizational structure for Society operations is presented on page 28 of the magazine. This structure provides for corporate lines of responsibility under each General Officer for more effective Society operations. The goal of the Plan is to raise the visibility of the Society on the national level through existing and new programs. This will facilitate increasing membership to levels comparable to the percentage of males eligible nationally and internationally, and increasing the financial resources of the Society though endowments for facilities, operations and programs. Expansion of the Society is necessary to provide the
    influence on our nation and its leadership to insure the preservation and perpetuation of the heritage of our Founding Fathers. Programs we promote must reach a far greater portion of the nation and our youth to instill the values and principles of our Patriot Ancestors. Participation by each of us in these programs is necessary to fulfill our mission and our Congressional Charter mandate. You can find your role in the Society on the Chapter, State or National level. Color guards, historical presentations, reenactments, living history, program coordination, membership recruitment, fund raising, speaking and writing, all provide opportunities for our participation. Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm. We must be active to be visible and be successful.”

  • B. Rice Aston

    President General 2002-2003

    In his own words: “I recently returned from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, home of the preeminent World War II historian and founder of the nationally acclaimed Eisenhower Center for American Studies at the University of New Orleans and the 0-Day Museum in that city: Dr. Stephen E. Ambrose. Louisiana Society President George Reech and I delivered the Resolution of the Annual Congress in Nashville thanking him for his service to the American people and gave him the Gold Good Citizenship Medal. I then said: “Dr. Ambrose, we have many WW2 veterans in our organization who admire your books on D-Day and President Eisenhower, and many members who admire your volume on Lewis and Clark, and we would like very much for you to become a member of our organization. I have an application with me and all it requires is your signature. I’ll be happy to leave it with you if you wish.” Dr. Ambrose signed the application and one of my proudest moments was when I swore him to uphold the Constitution of the
    United States and the Sons of the American Revolution – and then welcomed him as a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Added interesting details relative to this visit are reported elsewhere in this issue of the magazine. We are now engaged in a fund raising campaign which is our most important undertaking of the year. We have outgrown our Headquarters in Louisville purchased in 1978 and desperately need additional Library space and room to grow. Beginning back in the 1980s forward -thinking leaders of our Society acquired on behalf of the SAR, parcel by parcel, the land on which we will build. Patriotic and hereditary organizations much smaller and less active than ours, raise significant funds annually. I am convinced that, with the Almighty’s help, we shall succeed in this endeavor, and our stronger voice will be heard regionally and nationally. We have just scratched the surface and the pledges now stand at nearly $1.2 million. I will keep you advised of our progress.”

  • Raymond G. Musgrave

    President General 2003-2004

    In his own words: “It seems but yesterday that Twila and I attended the 113th Annual Congress in Chicago, and when I was installed as your President General The Congress was a most impressive and outstanding success. Illinois Society Compatriots, under the leadership of Joe Smith (who served as Chairman of the Host Society Congress Planning Committee), deserve our gratitude and appreciation for a job well done. My visits to District and State Society gatherings started in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania July 25-26 for the Annual Meeting of the Atlantic Middle States Conference. On hand for this traditional event were Compatriots from both the North Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic Districts – and for the first time representatives of the New England District. I had the distinct honor of bringing greetings from the National Society and attending a variety of functions. Numerous national officers were there, too – as were candidates seeking national office. Their comments and presence added greatly to this unique meeting. By the time this issue of our magazine is distributed, I will have attended the Annual Meeting of the American Legion at St. Louis. I had been invited to be a “distinguished guest speaker” on their program. Naturally, I accepted for this presented an opportunity to discuss who we are and what we have accomplished to preserve America’s heritage. Also important was the opportunity for this descendant of America’s first legion to join with today’s veterans to preserve freedom and liberty. Now I am looking forward to presiding over the Fall Meeting of the National Trustees scheduled for Louisville at the end of September. As is always the case, we have an array of matters to consider and resolve. In conclusion, I want to urge those who have not already done so to contribute to the funds being raised to construct the Center for Advancing America’s Heritage. Your attention is drawn to the handy envelope inserted in the center of this issue. It is designed as a simple means for your making a gift at this time – or a pledge to do so in the future. We look forward to hearing from you! Please accept my thanks for electing me to the top position in the National Society. It will be a distinct pleasure to serve you over the coming year.”

  • Henry N. McCarl, Ph.D

    President General 2004-2005

    In his own words: “As I write this message, it has been a while since you gave me the opportunity to serve you as the 101st President General of our National Society. My endeavor will be throughout this year, to work together with the other Compatriots on our leadership team, to support our programs, our principles, our ideals and our great Nation. The 114th Annual Congress in Pittsburgh was one of the best attended events in our recent history. It proved to me that our members are sincerely concerned about the future of our Society. They were willing to be there to assure that the business of the SAR was conducted in a proper and open manner. I can pledge to you that your President General and all of our National Leaders will work together, in unity, without rancor, to further the goals of honoring our forefathers while promoting the patriotic spirit of America. As Benjamin Franklin said “We must all hang together, or we will surely hang separately.” In addition to the coordination of all endowment fund raising under the direction of our new Treasurer General, Nathan E. White, Jr., Secretary General Roland G. Downing will be organizing the archives and records of NSSAR to improve recovery of our historical records. The Secretary General will also be the Chairman of the NSSAR Strategic Planning Committee, developing new approaches to communications within our Society and new educational outreach programs that will utilize our Center for Advancing America ‘s Heritage to increase our impact on patriotic education and public understanding of American History. I would like to offer the opportunity to any interested Compatriot to participate in the efforts of our NSSAR Committees and working groups. Leadership and membership of our NSSAR Committees are listed elsewhere in this issue of The SAR Magazine. This will be a starting point for activities at our Trustees meeting in September. Additions and changes to these listings may be found on the NSSAR Web site at www.sar.org where we will try to maintain the most current listings as members are added to our Committees and leadership responsibilities are shifted during the year. Mary and I had a wonderful experience in New York and New Jersey immediately following the Pittsburgh Congress. We attended the 200th Anniversary . Commemoration of the death of Alexander Hamitlton, one of our most important and often under appreciated Founders. Hamilton was , in the words of Ron Chernow, the author of the current best selling biography, “the principle designer of the federal government, the catalyst for the emergence of the two-party political system, the patron saint of Wall Street, founder of the US Coast Guard, and pioneer of our modern bank.ing and financial systems .. . He was arguably the most important figure in American history who never attained the presidency, but he has a far more lasting impact than many who did.’ I was honored to be an invited guest at the Hamilton Family Reunion, Burr/Hamilton Duel reenactment, and Memorial Service, for Alexander Hamilton at Trinity Church in Manhattan· I represented the NSSAR as a speaker at the Memorial Service on Monday, July 12. An honor guard from the U.S. Coast Guard laid the memorial wreath on the grave of our Patriot Ancestor, and my wife Mary, great-great-great granddaughter of Hamilton, laid the memorial wreath on the grave of his wife, Eliza Schuyler Hamilton. We have been invited to return to New York on September 9, 2004, for a preopening reception for the six -month exhibition at the New-York Historical Society honoring Hamilton: soldier, patriot, statesman, and in the opinion of many, the founder of Modern America. The building in Manhattan that houses the N-YHS will be sheathed in a large replica of the $10 bill in time for the 2004 Republican National Convention. Please accept my gratitude for entrusting me with the top position in our National Society. I have always given my best efforts to the missions that have undertaken. You may expect no less during this next year as I coordinate the best teamwork with the best leadership that we have elected and appointed for the coming year.”

  • Roland G. Downing, Ph.D.

    President General 2005-2006

    In his own words: “It is a great honor to serve as your President General and a privilege to lead a management team who are united in our short and long-term goals of improved policy and management continuity, of significant membership growth, of organizational structure modernization and of enhanced educational outreach. The I 15th Congress in Louisville was a great success and delegates left with a sense of unity and optimism regarding the steps being taken to fulfill the missions set forth in our Constitution. Specifically I am referring to the ones concerning outreach education, ” … to inspire … the community-at-Large with a more profound reverence for the principles of the government founded by our forefathers … to foster true patriotism, to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom …. ” Many of our members recognize the critical role the SAR must play in teaching Americanism now that government agencies and schools are failing to do so. Fortunately, those of us in the SAR can still teach the value of unity in one American identity, and we can still teach the value of United States nationhood versus the impractical notions of multiculturalism and of world government. We can – and we will – teach that it is special and good to be an American.”

  • Judge Nathan E. White

    President General 2006-2007

    In his own words: “Thanks to all of you for giving me the great honor and privilege of serving you as President General 2006-2007. We have just concluded the 116th Annual Congress in Dallas, with over 450 Compatriots and guests in attendance. The combined color guard, gathering at the opening ceremonies and memorial service, was one of the largest, if not the largest in history. As the Color Guard grows, the opportunity for service for immigration and naturalization ceremonies, parades, and community events continues to expand. The NSSAR is, first and foremost, a hereditary organization. We become members by proving our blood relationship to our ancestor(s) who fought or otherwise supported the cause of liberty. I am reminded of an organization of my youth, which reminded us that “through our very veins flows patriotic blood.” But we are not just a static, repository of lineage documentation. We are a service organization with a message, important for our times. We must dedicate ourselves to the task of re-presenting to a new generation the story of the American Revolution and of those who wrote that story, many with their own blood. We need additional members to help carry the message. Over the next twelve months, I will be leading what, with your help, will be a successful effort in establishing our priorities, establishing new chapters, bringing into our membership prominent members who can assist us with our mission, and developing a plan for the permanent retention of our members. We will also continue to advance the goal of several years – the completion of the fundraising campaign and building of the Center for Advancing America’s Heritage. I look forward with excitement as we pursue these goals, and with the hope that all of you will jump aboard. Let’s go all in!”

  • Bruce A. Wilcox

    President General 2007-2008

    In his own words: “It is a great honor to have been elected as your President General. I thank all of you for your trust and confidence. I promise I will do all in my power to deserve it. The Congress at Williamsburg was one of the finest ever and I hope you enjoyed it as much as Theresa and I did. Larry Guzy and Joe Dooley deserve a great deal of credit for packing so much activity and accommodating so many people into the few days we had for the Congress. I believe attendance was the highest of all time at approximately 600 and I am particularly pleased that we had so many first time attendees. Theresa and I particularly enjoyed renewing the acquaintance of so many of you that we met during our SAR travels through the years. Now if we can only maintain the momentum and convert the enthusiasm of this Congress into increased participation in our programs
    at all levels. The work of our Society at the national level is accomplished in the national committees. We have more than 60 of them. This is where programs are managed and program policies are established. I urge each of you to become familiar with the programs of the SAR and participate in more programs within your chapters. This year we have a new Committee called Member Services which will consider for adoption commercial affinity agreements such as credit cards and travel clubs that will yield revenue for the SAR without cost or risk. Tom Lawrence of the Texas Society will chair this Committee. We have come a long way in our Society during the past several years. Because of our increasing awareness of the need for patriotic education in our nation we have adopted outreach education as a mission of the NSSAR. Our children, new immigrants, and the general public need to be educated about the founding of this great country and why it is so great. To this end we have hired an Education Director, Colleen Wilson, to lead us in these efforts. You have been reading about her programs in this magazine and some of you have been fortunate enough to hear her presentations about the work that is going on now at NSSAR Headquarters. As she travels around to District Meetings more of you will hear her stories of patriotic education at Headquarters. I don’t have to tell you about fundraising for the Center for Advancing America’s Heritage. By now you know what our objectives are and you are giving as much toward those objectives as you possibly can. By the time you read this we will hopefully have hired a Development Director to lead the charge toward raising enough to start construction before next summer. I know you support this effort and I know you will do everything in your power to make it happen. But our society is not just hard work. Social interaction is an integral part of most of our programs. Every historic commemoration includes a social gathering after the wreaths are presented. And we have some great get-togethers at the Leadership Meetings. In addition, this year we are planning an SAR trip to Scotland in May of 2008 to celebrate John Paul Jones and our English-Scottish heritage. In September 2008 there will be another trip to France to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the Treaty of Paris which ended the Revolutionary War. I hope as many of you as possible
    can participate in one of these trips. The Sons of the American Revolution is a great organization and you are privileged to be a member of it. Please take full advantage of your membership and don’t just be a “certificate member”. Be a “participating member”. You will never regret it. See you down the road.”

  • David N. Appleby, Col (USA Ret.)

    President General 2008-2009

    In his own words: “Before any other comments for my first message to you as President General, I want to congratulate and thank again both the California Society and the National Congress Planning Committee for a great Congress in California! Raylene and I, and Bruce and I know Theresa, too, really appreciated everything. It was a job really well done. When I was 16 years old, my parents allowed me to drive by myself from our home in southern Missouri to visit my grandparents in Des Moines, Iowa. The day before I left, I called my grandfather for directions. He asked me if there was any other information I wanted to give him before he answered. I could think of nothing, so he then asked me where I was starting from, saying, “If I don’t know where you are, it’s going to be difficult to tell you where you need to go.” This was a great life lesson, and I often remember it! In fact, I would add to it that it’s often very helpful to also know where we’ve been (i.e. how we got here) as well as we are, before we begin a journey. So, let’s first think about where we’ve begin this last 119 years. Since our beginning, “patriotic education” has been a part of our purpose. It is my understanding that this particular purpose has received less emphasis at certain times in our history; but, I believe we now believe collectively that it is the primary reason for our existence. For that reason, in the past few years we’ve seen a real emphasis in our programs, dreams, and goals to ensure patriotic education is provided to our future generations. And, at least part of our dreams in this regard-the Center For Advancing American’s Heritage-has now moved from concept to reality. Many have worked hard to make this happen, and special credit must go our
    Education Director Colleen Wilson. With The Center in existence and outreach patriotic education as our focus, we now have a greater need for expanded facilities that will also house our society headquarters, our foundation offices, a world-class genealogical library, and a world class museum. And to that end, last spring our trustees voted favorably to adopt a three phase plan.

    First, purchase the historic Fulton-Conway Building in the Louisville Museum District. (This was done, and we now refer to that facility as the Center.)

    Second, build out of The Center would begin when sufficient funds were raised to do so. At Congress, the trustees further voted favorably to expend necessary funds to have detailed plans prepared for the build-out. And, in recognition for this commitment by the trustees, the SAR Foundation Board of Directors, charged with fundraising for this purpose, launched a new Capital Campaign chaired by Compatriot Sam Powell, NCSSAR. Details of that campaign are found elsewhere in this publication, but it is
    important to note that a “lead gift” to kickoff such a campaign is very important and through the exceptional effort of President General Roland Downing, a $1 million gift was secured from the William Drinkard Charitable Trust Fund. Details of Compatriot Drinkard’s remarkable life and his legacy are also found elsewhere in the publication.

    Finally, our existing facilities and adjoining property will be sold when the build out is complete. The proceeds from the sale will be the basis for the endowment fund to provide for administrative and operational needs in the future.

    So, where are we now? We are clearly at a crossroads. We can simply say the task of raising the necessary funds is too great, and give up (something akin, I think, to George Washington saying it was just too cold and too difficult to cross the Delaware River and sending the Army home). Or, we can do whatever it takes to get the job done. Of course, we really don’t have a choice if we consider our oaths given to the society. Please remember the words you repeat several times annually, in our Pledge to the SAR and in our Recessional. We clearly have an obligation to defend against every foe, including apathy and indifference toward patriotic education in our educational institutions and in many American homes, and an obligation to stand up for what we believe and preserve the American way of life. How do we get where we need to be? What can and must we do? We have to continue the work in all our youth and teacher recognition programs; we have to continue building relationships with those organizations of like mind, e.g. the DAR, the CAR, and all our “Partners in Patriotism;” and we have to solidly establish the NSSAR and The Center as the leaders in our nation’s restoration of patriotic education. And, of course, we must focus on the critical tasks and not let ourselves, individually or collectively, to be distracted from them. Congratulations on all that you do and have done for our society and our nation. Keep it up-you are making a difference!

  • Judge Edward F. Butler

    President General 2009-2010

    In his own words: “Robin and I are very excited about representing you this next year as President General and First Lady. We selected the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, as the backdrop for our photo on the cover of The SAR Magazine because of the connections between Texas and the American Revolution. San Antonio is our home. The most visited landmark in Texas is the Alamo-the symbol of freedom. Did you know that 55 sons and grandsons of veterans of the American Revolutionary War were among the heroes killed at the Alamo? The dead included one of my ancestors, James Butler Bonham, who chose to die with his fellow warriors. He returned to the Alamo with the news from Sam Houston that no help was coming. As we travel around the country visiting SAR district and state society meeting, I will be telling the story about Spain’s assistance during the American Revolutionary War. Gen. Bernardo Galvez, the Spanish governor of Florida, which at the time stretched to the Mississippi River, fought the English up and down the Mississippi River, and along the Gulf Coast. His victories at Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Mobile and Pensacola are all noteworthy. When he left Havana, Cuba, headed toward Pensaco la, his task force totaled more than 7,800 soldiers and sailors. This force was larger than Washington’s Continental Army at the time (about 6,000 men). To make a long story short, Galvez fed his army on Texas beef. Texas longhorn cattle were driven from San Antonio and points south to Louisiana to feed Galvez’ troops. Many of these steers were ent up the Mississippi River, onto the Ohio River to Fort Pitt, where they were herded to Valley Forge. Spain also was an equal partner with France, contributing a like amount of cash, weapons, ammunition, clothing, blankets, medical supplies, tents and other military hardware. Galvez went back to Malaga, Spain, where he raised additional funds from the townspeople for use during the war. Galvez was memorialized by the U.S. Postal Service in 1980, when it placed his figure on a 15-cent commemorative stamp. Many of our members in Louisiana and Texas are descended from soldiers in Galvez’ army. An oil painting of his likeness hangs in the lobby of our SAR Headquarters building as a token of our respect for him. The first SAR chapter in Texas chose to be named the Bernardo Galvez Chapter. There are monuments to him in New Orleans, Mobile, Ala., and Pensacola, Fla. Upon his uncle’s death, he was made viceroy of New Spain and moved to Mexico City, where he and his uncle are entombed in the San Fernando Cathedral. Robin and I will be leading an SAR trip to Spain May 10- 23, 2010, where we will visit Galvez’ hometown and the cathedral that donated the funds to complete the south tower of the church-which has never been finished. We hope to have a meeting with King Juan Carlos; his son, the prince; and his nephew, the duke, all of whom are SAR members. On this trip we will also visit the incomparable Alhambra in Granada, Gibraltar, Madrid, El Escorial and Toledo, with an optional trip to Tangier, Morocco. There even will be some time to relax on the beach on the Costa del Sol. We hope you will put these dates on your calendar and travel with us.”

  • James David Sympson, Cpt. (USA)

    President General 2010-2011

    In his own words: “Evelyn and I want to congratulate the Ohio Society and Congress Planning Committee for organizing a historic 120th Annual Congress in Cleveland. Delegates were energized and inspired by the proceedings and return to their local communities dedicated to fulfilling the mission of our National Society. I am honored and humbled to serve as President General of our National Society for 2010-11. As a captain in the United States Army during the height of the Vietnam War, I learned
    the importance of mission along the Lower Saigon River. Rest assured, as your President General, I will stay focused on SAR’s mission and will keep faith with the objectives of our founders to perpetuate the memory of the patriots of the American Revolution who achieved the independence of the American people How will I accomplish this? Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the commander of the Allied forces in Europe on D-Day, former U.S. president and a distinguished Compatriot of our Society, said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” So here’s what I’m planning First, we will make membership recruitment and retention our top priorities. There is no better way to perpetuate the memory of patriots of the American Revolution than to ensure that all their descendants join SAR and remain as members. While charging our Membership Committee to ramp up recruiting efforts, I have appointed a new committee that will focus entirely on membership retention. Second, we will reduce the size of our own bureaucracy, enhance efficiency, and prepare the next generation for leadership. The proliferation of national committees has outgrown the hotel facilities in Louisville, rendering many committee meetings ineffective. Committee leadership has remained virtually the same for years, and committee membership has not kept pace with changing leadership within our districts. In the interest of better utilizing meeting facilities, improving committee efficiency and effectiveness, and grooming the next generation of leadership for SAR, I have reduced the number and size of national committees, broadened membership to represent more districts, and appointed n~w committee leadership. I am hopeful that these changes will cultivate fresh ideas and reinvigorate our Society to remain relevant in a future that grows increasingly indifferent to our nation’s past. Third, we will finish what we started. Ten years ago, we recognized that our library, museum and administration had outgrown SAR’s headquarters in Louisville. We launched a fundraising campaign, acquired property for expansion and developed construction plans. Along the way, we realized that not only had SAR outgrown its facilities, but also that the American Revolution had outgrown the history books in our schools, colleges and universities. In response, we developed the Center for Advancing America’s Heritage to ensure that future generations would learn the lessons of our founders and the blessings of being an American. As Thomas Jefferson said, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people … they are the only reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” Through the generosity of compatriots and patriotic corporations and foundations in Louisville and across America, we are nearing completion of Phase I construction and will dedicate the SAR Genealogical Research Library this fall. This dedication will mark a new beginning. The next phase of construction will include not only our museum but also our national headquarters and the Center for Advancing America’s Heritage. Your continued generosity and support will be required to see this through completion. Let’s finish what we started. Fourth, we will meet our national objective to inspire
    our communities with a more profound reverence for the principles of the government founded by our forefathers. We will build on the educational and patriotic outreach programs of my predecessors and see that the Center for Advancing America’s Heritage fulfills its promise to ensure that We The People remain faithful to the ideals of our founders and true to our founding documents. Fifth, in unity and fellowship, we will honor all who have served our nation and the cause of freedom-from our forebears who bestowed the blessings of liberty upon us to our sons and daughters who defend the cause of freedom today on distant shores. The core of this great organization over the past 60 years has been World War II veterans. Tom Brokaw wrote eloquently about those who grew up during the deprivation of the Great Depression and went on to defend our freedom in World War II. He accurately called them “The Greatest Generation.” I dedicate my presidency to them and salute their valor and patriotic service to our nation. This is my mission. These are my plans, and as Eisenhower said, it’s not the plan but the planning that leads to success. Now that the torch has passed from one President General to the next, I know of no higher duty than to keep alive the spark of patriotism that animated the heroes of the American Revolution. I pledge to keep faith with our founders and
    ensure that SAR remains America’s premier patriotic, historical and educational organization. Let us live up to the patriotic principles of our Society and like the Liberty Bell, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all.”

  • Larry J. Magerkurth

    President General 2011-2012

    In his own words: “We just returned from the l21st National Congress in Winston Salem, N.C., where I am pleased and honored to have been elected the l08th President General of our National Society. It is with a deepest gratitude I accept this honored position. I further pledge to provide the highest ethical leadership in honor and respect to the memory of our patriot ancestors. A special thanks to the North Carolina Society and volunteers from all the societies for the hard work resulting in an outstanding l21st Congress. Well done to all. It truly is an exciting time in the long and storied history of our Society. We are pleased to announce the selection of our new executive director, Donald Shaw. He has outstanding credentials, including a degree in history and master’s degrees in human resources and marketing. He is well known and widely respected on local, state and national levels with experience testifying before congressional committees. We give a warm welcome to our new executive director. We cannot let this opportunity go by without recognizing our outgoing executive director, Compatriot Joe Harris, for his outstanding performance during a period of growth. We recognize his leadership of the transition to our new genealogical library and his guidance during the very successful sale of our Fifth Street property. We wish Joe well in the future and we thank him for his service and dedicated leadership to our national society. We have long recognized the gap in our children’s
    education and we are moving forward with the Center for Advancing America’s Heritage to fill this void. National statistics on public education reflect an alarming lack of knowledge of our American Revolution, with an average of only 24 percent of students having the critical knowledge of the period. Now is the time to step up and rededicate ourselves to the funding of the phase II of our building project and to the CAAH educational outreach programs. The Center is based on a solid foundation of liberty and freedom set down by our patriot ancestors, and is envisioned to become a nationally recognized educational outreach program that will answer the call for patriotic education on the national level. Our lives would be so different if we, as a nation, really understood the importance of the sacrifices of our patriot ancestors and their importance to our future. It is vital to keep in mind our faith in the principles of liberty and our Constitutional Republic as we dedicate ourselves to do what really matters in defense of our freedom and liberty. The Center for Advancing America’s Heritage is a gift of knowledge to every future generation of Americans. It is our duty and privilege to make sure it becomes a nationally recognized reality. I thank you for the honored opportunity to serve as your President General and ask for prayers and your continued support. God bless the SAR and God bless the USA.”

  • Stephen A. Leishman

    President General 2012-2013

    In his own words: “It is a great honor and privilege to serve as your President General for the coming year. We have just completed our 122nd National Congress certainly, one of the warmest. Thank you to all-especially the Arizona and New Mexico Societies-who made the Phoenix Congress such a success.As I mentioned in my inaugural address at Congress, SAR is experiencing many positives for the Society at this time. We need to keep this moving forward in our favor. One goal I expressed is to have our host society reception in the new headquarters building at the 2015 Congress in Louisville. Think positive. It is possible financially with approval of the trustees and with the time needed to complete renovations to have full occupancy of the building by that time. One thing we all can do for ourselves is work on member retention. Most chapters and societies derive
    nearly 100 percent of their revenue from dues. The more dues-paying members, the more revenue. Let’s actively work to retain members and reduc.e the loss of members for non-payment of dues. It is everyone’s obligation. By the time this issue of The SAR Magazine is distributed, Janet and I will have attended the seven-state Atlantic Middle States Conference and the South Central District Conference. We also will have represented our Society at the Annual Meeting of The American Legion in Indianapolis and presented The Distinguished Patriotic Leadership Award to outgoing National Commander Fang A. Wong. Commander Wong was one of our distinguished visitors at the Phoenix Congress. Our fall leadership meeting is just weeks away. All compatriots are welcome to attend. Educational workshops for all will be presented Saturday morning. Subjects will include secretary duties for chapter and society officers, reconciliation report writing, Americanism Award application writing and a workshop for registrars on updates to the Registrar’s Manual. Look for the schedule and online registration form on the SAR website. Looking further ahead to springtime, a trip to England and Scotland is planned for May 9-21, 2013. In London we are planning a meeting with the United
    Kingdom Society. After a few days of taking in the sights of London, Stonehenge and Bath, we’ll journey by train to Edinburgh. Destinations in Scotland include St. Andrews, Blair Castle, Culloden, Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. More information will be available at the fall leadership meeting. We hope you can join us. Janet and I look forward to serving you and participating at various commemorations whenever we can.”

  • Joseph W. Dooley

    President General 2013-2014

    In his own words: “I am humbled, grateful and honored to have been elected as President General for 2013-14. I pledge to you all that I will dedicate my life this year to fulfilling the mission of the Sons of the American Revolution, to preserve the memory of those heroes who established the independence of the United States and secured the liberty of her citizens. Let me briefly review some items I’d like us all to work on this year. The Patriotic Education Committee has been renamed and refocused. It is now the Education Committee. Its primary purpose is to disseminate information about the education programs in the various state societies and what the state societies are doing to reach elementary, middle and high schools. Larry Stevens of the Texas
    Society chairs this committee. The Young Members Committee has been re-established. Some young members have informed me there is a need for such a committee. Mike Elston of the Virginia Society chairs this committee. At the recommendation of Col. Chuck Sweeney of the Florida Society, a Vietnam War Veterans Corps has been established as part · of the Veterans Recognition Committee. This Corps is similar to the one previously established for World War II and Korean War veterans and will be chaired by Col. Sweeney. Finally, I am adding the USO to the list of organizations with which the Patriotic Outreach Committee is charged to foster cooperative arrangements, along with the American Legion, Wreaths Across America and Blue Star Salute. I’m
    establishing a special task force to encourage this partnership with the USO. Dan McMurray of the Missouri Society chairs this task force. I have devised five President General Initiatives for 2013-14. Hard copies of these were distributed at the Installation Banquet. These also have been posted on the SAR website and are printed in this edition of the SAR Magazine, beginning on page 14. I understand that five President General Initiatives may seem like a lot. It is not my intention to overwhelm you, but to give you meaningful choices. I do not expect every state society, chapter and individual compatriot to
    pursue all five of these initiatives. But I hope-I ask you all-to pursue as many of them as you can in the furtherance of the goals and objectives of the Sons of the American Revolution, and in honor of our patriot ancestors. May the Lord bless you all. May He bless the SAR. And may He bless the United States of America.”

  • Lindsey C. Brock

    President General 2014-2015

    In his own words: “Serving as your President General is a great honor. When I joined the SAR, I had no idea that someday I would
    be serving you in this position. Billie and I want to express our gratitude for your support over the years. My primary goal is to continue advancing the objectives of this organization. The 124th Congress is behind us, and it was great! The Congress Planning Committee and the South Carolina Society are to be commended for an outstanding 124th Congress. We have virtually completed Phase II of our building program, but we still have a ways to go to realize our dream. Recent statistics indicate that more than 2 million people visit West Main Street in Louisville, Ky., annually, and we are confident that SAR will attract many of those visitors when our SAR Museum exhibits are ready for viewing. Sam Powell and Solid Light have created a campaign brochure to assist in raising the remaining funds needed for Phase III. This year, we will begin the SAR Patriot Ancestors’ Biographies Committee, which will be chaired by Doug Collins of the Kentucky Society. This will be another tool in recruiting new members, and it comports with one of the objectives of our society-that is, to perpetuate the memory of our patriot ancestors. The plan is to solicit biographical articles from our membership relating to their Revolutionary War ancestors and post those on our SAR website. Our IT committee assured me that our website can handle this project. Now, the duty is yours to write the stories. This is your chance to tell the world about your SAR ancestor and preserve that ancestor’s
    memory. The site will be accessible to our members and visitors to peruse the biographies. Another new project that will be helpful to each member is the archiving of notable speeches given by our compatriots. Often, when one is asked to speak, the first response is: “I don’t have time to research and write a speech,” or “I don’t have a speech on that subject.” Archiving speeches should encourage more members to be willing to give a presentation to one of our chapters, state societies, or more importantly, to an outside organization. Bill Stone of the Alabama Society, chairman of the Library and Archives Committee, and Rae Ann Sauer, assistant librarian and archivist, will handle this task. Another project is identifying SAR Medal of Honor recipients, which began when President General Stephen A. Leishman was Historian General. Will Schrader of the KYSSAR will chair the newly formed SAR Medal of Honor Recipients Task Force. The members of this task force are hard at work. We need to recognize those SAR members who have received the Medal of Honor and place a memorial with their names in our museum. For this to be a success, we need SAR members and other volunteers to assist in the search for Medal of Honor recipients among our membership. Remember, there is a medal for this volunteer service.Education will always be one of our main objectives. We must continue to expand our educational outreach at the chapter, state and national levels. Colleen Wilson, our education director, has done a superb job, and we need to continue to grow in this area. We want to encourage each chapter and state to develop an outreach program whereby our members go into elementary, middle and high schools to promote the core principles of the founding of our country and the men and women who made it happen. You can be an important voice to preserve our patriotic history in our schools. We will continue to explore strategies that will enhance membership retention and reinstatements, because this will translate into growth of our membership. If your chapter or state has found something that works well for you in this area, please share it with other chapters and states. We must have a culture of continuous improvement, where solutions are shared and successes celebrated together in keeping our members connected after joining the SAR. Recruit, Retain and Reinstate should always be our theme for membership. Under the leadership of Chuck Sweeney of the Florida Society, we will continue the work of the Veterans Recognition Committee, which is recognizing the military service of our members to our country. To date, we have recognized compatriots who served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. During my term as President General, we will recognize those who served in the Persian Gulf War. Plans are to begin a Veterans Recognition Committee Newsletter, issued at least three times annually, to keep our veterans and leadership informed of the various ongoing recognition programs. Although these are my goals for the SAR for the coming year, the goals can only come about with your help. Thank you for all you are going to do this year for the SAR and may God bless the SAR and these United States of America.”

  • Thomas E. Lawrence

    President General 2015-2016

    In his own words: “Thank you for your confidence by electing me President General. Let me introduce you to my family. Our daughter, Bridgett Harsgaard, is a consultant living in New York City with our grandchildren, Lizzie and Gracie. Gracie is 7 and plays baseball-not T-ball or softball. She is a catcher and shortstop and a good hitter with her own Louisville Slugger bat. Lizzie is 12 and a ballerina. She has danced with the American School of Ballet and the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. She is going to study with the Paris Opera Ballet. Many friends and compatriots have worked hard to make this society one of the strongest lineage and patriotic organizations. Organizations that want to make a difference, to be great, must have dreams and set lofty goals. There has been much discussion about the Solid Light proposal for the main-floor education center, our need to
    move forward aggressively with outreach education, to finish construction on our building, and the need for new software and a new website. While raising money and renovating the Library and Headquarters building, we were all pretty much on the same page, but when we completed enough of the building to move in, it became clear there were differing opinions about what to do next. This is like when our Patriot ancestors were united to achieve independence but then became divided over the course to follow after we won the war. And like our founding fathers, we will come together, and here is how I think we can do it. To make the best decision possible I will appoint an SAR Implementation Committee to look at our options and make recommendations at the Spring Leadership Meeting. The committee should have the final Solid Light plan by then; they already have the University of Louisville business plan, a better plan for outreach education and updated IT plans. The committee will be chaired by PG Nathan White and will include principal stakeholders, including the SAR Foundation; the IT Committee; representatives from Education, Budget and Strategic Planning committees; the museum board; and our new Governance and Organization Committee. They will review our existing plans and suggest options for consideration. We have to make decisions about what type of exhibit space we will have, how to proceed with completing construction, how to develop and make our outreach education programs national in scope, and how to complete our IT systems. Another focus will be to bolster our SAR legacy. We all hope to leave a legacy to be remembered. We have legacies with our family, our jobs and our church, but another important legacy is our SAR legacy. How many lives will we touch? How many seeds of patriotism will we plant? It is through young people that we build our SAR legacy, and we do it with our youth programs. I am not minimizing the importance of our color guard or public service awards or any other programs, but if we want to preserve the vision of our founding fathers, we must reach our youth. When we go to a school and put on a program or sponsor a poster or oration contest, or when Tom Green from Texas puts on a flag program, we touch students’ lives and give them an opportunity to learn about Paul Revere’s ride, the Battle of Yorktown or a brave young wife named Molly Pitcher. Going to the trouble to help them leaves a lasting impression that the American Revolution is important enough for you to take the time to come out and talk about it. It is hard work to set up these programs, but it is incredibly rewarding, and we know that by doing this we make this country stronger and ensure that our descendants will continue to enjoy the freedoms Thomas
    Jefferson and Thomas Paine wrote about so eloquently, and Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams spoke about so passionately. Our youth programs are strong and led by dedicated compatriots, but not all states fully participate. Committee members have always talked informally, but I think we would benefit from a structured exchange. I will form a Council of Youth Programs that will include the chairmen of the eight youth programs-the poster contest, middle school brochure contest, C.A.R. award, Eagle Scout award, essay, oration, JROTC and the American History Teacher award. Dr. Rudy Byrd will chair the council, and its members will help one another’s programs. I ask that they design a brochure featuring all eight programs that can be handed out in schools. This brochure can be put on our website so chapters and states can download it, add their contact information and print it themselves. As encouragement, any state society that submits at least four candidates for a youth program national contest will receive a streamer. For any state societies that submit an entry for all eight contests I will personally write a check for $250 to that society’s youth program budget. For states that submit candidates for all eight programs I will write another check for $250 if any of their candidates win. Don’t worry about the money; it is coining out of Mickey Jo’s shoe budget. I ask this council to post the winning essays and speeches on the website as well as information about current and past winners. The committee chairmen should record videos so chapters and states can access them on our website and see the benefits and learn how to set up a youth program. I would like to mention three other ideas before I close education, the way our committees function, and our basic governance and organizational structure. One of the first things the new regime does when it takes over the government is to change what the kids are taught in school. They now learn that ~he old government was bad and the new leaders are heroes. Textbooks are rewritten, teachers re-educated, and new pictures put up in the schoolhouses. If you teach history in a certain way long enough, school children begin to believe it, so our fight is over how the history of the American Revolution is taught. Not only do we need to make sure it is adequately covered, but we need to see it is accurately portrayed. I am asking
    the Education Committee to add a subcommittee to map out a strategy to exert influence on how textbooks and web-based learning programs are written and selected. Tom Jackson from Texas is to chair this subcommittee. He is an elected school board member from one of the largest suburban school districts in the country, with more than 112,000 students. Anyone interested in this project should contact Education Committee Chairman Larry Stevens or Tom Jackson. Next, it clearly impossible to get all of our committee work done on a Friday at Leadership Meetings. Every new PG tries to improve efficiency by dissolving some committees and creating new ones, but I think we need to change the corporate culture. To help the committees, I am appointing Mike Elston of Virginia as a committee coordinator. He will work.with the committee chairmen to set and meet goals, submit budgets, assist them in holding meetings with teleconferences and gotomeeting.com and introduce them to working with Sharefile for document access. He will make sure committee concerns needing immediate attention are brought to the Excom and PG. To allow our members to attend all the necessary committee meetings and allow sufficient time for the trustee meetings, we will start on Thursday with a social activity on Thursday night. Lastly, I want to look at our governance and organizational structure. As you know, we have a Congressional Charter, which is prestigious but limiting. We have the SAR Foundation, which is chartered in Kentucky, and we have the right to use the CAAH name, so we have laws and rules we must follow. Questions have come up about our corporate structures in regard to liability, accepting donations from charitable entities, whether we have the exclusive right to use all of the potential operating names we need, and whether our system of governance still makes sense. I am appointing three of our best lawyers-John Dodd, Davis Wright and PG David Appleby-to seek answers and report to us by the Spring Leadership Meeting with suggestions or proposed changes. I often find myself reading the obituaries. I love to see where people were born and what they did. I look for their military service. I notice their work history, sometimes being impressed if they were a doctor, a partner in a big law firm or the president of a corporation. I increasingly search for what they did to help their community. When you read an obituary, you see the year a person was born, a dash, and then the year that person died. The
    dash represents the individual’s life. My wife, Mickey Jo, told me about a poem titled “Dash Between the Years,” from which I quote:

    “For it matters not how much we own..,the cars … the house. .. the cash What matters is how we live and love and’ how we spend our dash”

    How do you want to spend the rest of your dash? The fact that you are an SAR member indicates you love this country, you care about its future, and you respect the ideals of our founding fathers and mothers. If we want this country to continue to look like Washington and Adams and Jefferson envisioned it, then we must ensure that our young people understand their vision and love our country as we do. The best way for us to do this is through our youth programs. You will agree that instilling in our young people the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence and a love of the freedoms in our Constitution is worth some of your dash. I close with a final thought about what makes an organization great. It is not how many members you have, although people join organizations that do worthwhile things. It is not how much money you have, although people tend to vote with their pocketbook and give when they think their money will be used for beneficial purposes. Organizations are great when they help people or influence positive and fundamental change. Our chance for the SAR to be great is to inspire this great country to continue to follow the patriotic vision of our founding fathers. Those of us who have contributed money and valuable time to preserve the principles of the American Revolution recognize our country’s future is dependent on those principles remaining the cornerstone of our government and national vision. We must dream the same dream that George Washington, John Adams and our Patriot ancestors dreamed, and work to make their sacrifices count and ensure that today’s youth understand those dreams.
    It is a humbling honor to be elected President General, and Mickey Jo and I look forward to this year and hope to see many of you in your home states soon. God bless you.”

  • J. Michael Tomme, Sr.

    President General 2016-2017

    In his own words: “It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 113th President General of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution. I am humbled and I appreciate the confidence you have bestowed upon me by electing me to this position. I am excited to serve you and this worthy organization. I take great pride in that I am a member of the SAR. This is your society and each of us has an important role to play. We should take every opportunity to educate the public on who we are and why we are relevant. I believe we can increase our identity and have the SAR become more recognizable to the public. Over the years, a lot of our compatriots and colleagues have worked hard to make this organization into the largest, strongest and best society that it can be. However, there is still a lot of work to do, both now and into our future. At the Spring Leadership and Trustees meeting, we took an important step into the future. We engaged in discernment and debate of the proposal, and then the Trustees voted to pay the final installment of the interpretive plan to Solid Light and approved moving ahead with the Educational Outreach Center, when we have the money in hand. I believe that our compatriots, like our Patriot ancestors, came away from this session with an overall appreciation of the process and agreed to move forward. This facility will be a wonderful addition to our society, not only now, but into the future of our organization. With our headquarters located on Main Street in Louisville, Kentucky, among numerous museums and tourist attractions, this Educational Outreach Center will not only enhance our visibility, but should attract new prospective members who visit the area. Visitors could tour our educational center and then exit next door to our library to conduct research on their own family history. I will continue the Implementation Committee that PG Lawrence started. This will be chaired by PG Nathan White. This committee will continue to be made up of stakeholders from the following: SAR Foundation and the IT, Education, Budget, Finance, and Strategic Planning committees. They will continue to review our existing plans, programs and needs as we progress into the future and continue to prioritize them. The committee will continue to set forth and present to the ExCom and Trustees a list of priorities. I am also continuing the following committees and programs, which were in place before I was elected:

    • Compatriot Doug Collins will continue as chair the Patriot Ancestors’ Biographies. • PG Brock will chair SAR Medal of Honor Recipients and work to finish this project.
    • Compatriot Chuck Sweeney will chair the Veterans Recognition Committee. • Compatriot Paul Callanan will chair the Congress Review Committee.
    • Compatriot Dr. Rudy Byrd will chair the Council of Youth Awards. • Compatriot John Dodd will chair the Governance and Organization Committee.

    An important part of the SAR mission is patriotic education and therefore it is our responsibility to share our knowledge of the founding of this country and the struggles of our forefathers and ancestors. That is why my first initiative is Education Outreach. To enhance our Educational Outreach beyond the borders of Louisville, this new Educational Outreach Team initiative will extend this mission into our chapters and reach out to the children in their schools, Scout organizations, civil groups, religious institutions and other patriotic societies. The long-range goal of this initiative is to develop and share educational program presentations by SAR members. These presentations would be Colonial Living History (era before or during the American Revolution), a discussion about our founding documents, presentations on battles or personalities, or other appropriate patriotic programs targeted for children. The long-term goal is to have an NSSAR database of all Educational Outreach Teams and their programs. This would enable educators to access a database of our nationwide programs, including contact information and scripts and/or videos. NSSAR Education Director Colleen Wilson, Brooks Lyles, Educational Committee chairman; Bill Stone, Educational Outreach Center production chair; and Tom Jackson, Web based Educational Learning Subcommittee chair and others on the NSSAR Educational Team will work together to develop this initiative. The NSSAR educational director could assist in the developing of new presentations. The details of this long-range initiative can be found on the NSSAR website. There will be two levels of the program, one for those chapters that have never offered an educational outreach program and the other for those chapters that already have an educational program in place. The basic requirements are the same and will require chapters to share their program information with NSSAR to be included in the national education website. Streamers will be available for those chapters that complete this initiative between now and May 31, 2017. But this initiative does not stop in 2017. It continues for many years into the future. My next initiative is the Mentor Program. When does the mentor process begin? It begins when a new prospective member inquires/seeks information on becoming a member of the Sons of the American Revolution by a casual conversation, email inquiry, or responds to an ad in the local paper. At that time, the process should be an offer to assist or a referral to a mentor in the chapter. The president should have a list of mentors in the chapter to assist in this endeavor. Each chapter should have mentors regardless of chapter size. The mentor should assist the applicant through the process of acceptance and continue on once he becomes a member to assimilate the new member, ensuring a meaningful relationship with the current members and a commitment to the mission of the society. It has been recognized that the retention rate of members, especially new members, should be increased. I believe the retention rate may be significantly increased by involving a new member in the chapter’s activities. The mentoring of members is a responsibility of all SAR members and especially the first-line sponsor and chapter. Therefore, I am asking the Membership Committee to spearhead this project. I am requesting that they review their policies, pamphlets and brochures and bring them up to date. Their publications should be “eye catching.” I would charge the Membership Committee to work with the Medals and Awards Committee to look into the possibility of tying a portion of this program to the Liberty Medal. The goal of this initiative is to create an effective mentorship program, which will enhance not only our enrollment numbers but the quality and quantity of our SAR programs. Our youth programs continue to be strong. We continue to have strong leadership in these committees. Our Council of Youth Award’s has put together a wonderful brochure listing all of Youth Awards. I am aware that additional money is required to increase the awards provided by the various programs. Therefore, I am issuing a challenge to each state society to donate $1,000 or more to the Council of Youth Awards (not to the individual youth programs) between now and June 1, 2017. Those states that meet the $1,000 challenge will receive a streamer. If 100 percent of the state societies donate $1,000, Cilia and I will donate $10,000 or more to the Council of Youth Awards. The total donations would then be divided among the various programs. I would charge the committee to look at the various programs and determine how to equalize the awards. (Last year, PG Lawrence funded such initiatives from First Lady Mickey Jo Lawrence’s shoe budget. Cilia doesn’t have a shoe budget, so I guess we’ll have to raid her Colonial-attire budget.) Our NSSAR Children of the American Revolution program continues to grow. I am asking Chairman Darrin Schmidt to make sure that each state society has a state C.A.R. chairman. I would like the state C.A.R. chairman to encourage each chapter to create a C.A.R. liaison. Chapters should encourage SAR members to become senior leaders in the local and state C.A.R. societies, as well as at the national level. I would like each SAR chapter to enroll C.A.R. members as junior members in our society. Once they become SAR junior members, the chapters are encouraged to get them involved in our committees. Many of the C.A.R. members are already serving on committees in the C.A.R., so why not with the SAR? This would increase our membership. Once the Junior Member ages out, they would continue on into the parent organization. This year the National Park Service is celebrating its 100th year. This is a wonderful opportunity for the Historic Site and Celebrations Committee to build our relationship with the Park Service and partner with it in its year of celebration. The Park Service is engaging in a campaign to reintroduce the national parks and the work of the National Park Service to a new generation of Americans. Therefore, I am issuing a challenge to the Historic Site and Celebrations Committee to build upon our relationship with the National Park Service. Many of our American Revolutionary historic sites our maintained by the Park Service and with our increased involvement, this would bring increased visibility and promotion of the SAR to a potential new member base. In closing, I would like to reflect on the exceptional members we have in the SAR. We have all given of our time, talents and financial assets to make this organization prominent. Now is our opportunity to take the SAR to a new level and commitment. We must continue to promote the SAR to the public, so that we are recognizable. We must constantly tell our ancestors’ stories and those of the early Patriots who fought for our independence. We live in the greatest country and enjoy the freedoms that our forefathers fought for more than 230 years ago. We are obligated to continue to preserve our heritage, our mission, and the historic principles upon which this country was founded. I ask that you please keep Cilia and me in your thoughts and prayers as we travel this great nation to carry out the business of our society. We both look forward to a wonderful year. Thank you once again for the confidence you have placed in me. I look forward to working alongside you for our Society, a society of gentlemen, the Sons of the American Revolution. God Bless America and each of you.”

  • Larry T. Guzy

    President General 2017-2018

    Compatriot Guzy was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from Jesuit High School in 1966. He later graduated from Jesuit Marquette University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. Compatriot Guzy served three years in the U.S. Navy on the USS Independence aircraft carrier. In 1973, he and his wife, Karin, moved to Marietta, Georgia. He was self-employed in an insurance claims handling business for 40 years, retiring in 2013. In 1995, he joined the Georgia SAR and took his first steps into involvement at the National level in 1999. “I was drawn to the SAR for the ability to preserve my link to the American Revolution and only later found the joy of friendship and the ability to reach out to others through recruiting and education.” – Larry T. Guzy

  • Warren M. Alter

    President General 2018-2019

    Compatriot Alter was born in Aurora, Colorado, and moved to Tucson, Arizona, as a young child and has lived there for over 50 years. His formal education includes Bachelor of Science degree in public administration, Master of Arts in organizational management, Master of Education in educational leadership, Certified Public Manager and Graduate of FBI National Academy. Compatriot Alter joined the Pima County Sheriff’s Department at the age of 20 as a detention officer, and worked his way up through the ranks to retire as Bureau Chief with 39 years of service. He also retired after 14 years as adjunct faculty member at Pima Community College and University of Arizona teaching variety of law enforcement-related undergraduate and graduate level courses. He and his wife Nancy have two daughters Katie and Amanda and two grandsons, Brayden and Ethan. Compatriot Alter joined the SAR in 1998 due to his long term interest in genealogy. The SAR drew his attention because of the Law Enforcement Commendation program. The local chapter contacted his department for a nominee and he knew immediately that any organization that supported public safety and patriotic service was one he wanted to join. It wasn’t long after joining that he became involved with the National SAR through the various committees and projects.

  • John T. Manning

    President General 2019-2020

    In his own words: “I am honored to represent you as the 116th President General of the Sons of the American Revolution. The President General is the face of the national society and travels across the country to attend the many and varied events at the district, state and chapter levels. This, I believe, is one of the most important tasks of the President General. All the good work of our society begins in our own communities. Grave markings, parades and school programs, to name a few activities, shine a spotlight on our mission. These events, held at the local level, are what defines the SAR and educates all who attend them. I look forward to representing the SAR across the country at these events. Being there will let those who plan and implement these programs know that all their hard work is appreciated and recognized at the national level. Since becoming a member of the SAR, I have been very involved. Starting at the state level, I have served as state secretary, president and national trustee. I also had the honor of serving as VPG of the New England District. Once I became active at the national level, I served on several boards and committees. Many of you may know me through my daily history messages. I have always been passionate about history, and discovering that my ancestors played a role in the fight for independence has enriched my life in so many ways. To be able to stand here before you as President General is humbling. I hope to expand on the good works of those who served before me and carry on the mission of the SAR. I would like to thank the staff of our National Headquarters. They are the folks who keep the
    organization running efficiently on a day-to-day basis. Many of us interact with the staff only briefly at Congress and Leadership; however, as a general officer serving in different capacities, I have seen firsthand their dedication and hard work. I would also like to thank Steve Vest for his outstanding work on The SAR Magazine. To those general officers I have served closely with these last few years, I thank you for the time and effort which you put into your position and the teamwork that has served the society so well. To all committee members, thank you for stepping up to serve and work on these important boards and committees. I cannot emphasize enough that the SAR would not work if not for all the volunteers who share their time and talent. It is not about any one person; it is about the membership as a whole. Thank you to David Perkins, recording
    secretary, for his outstanding work this past year. This last year, it has been an honor and a pleasure to work with President General Warren Alter. Warren has worked tirelessly for the SAR and has accomplished a great deal this last year alone. If you have read your SAR Magazine during his tenure, you know how far we have come. I could not follow a more dedicated and passionate leader than Warren. He and I have been on the same page regarding many issues, the main one being carrying out the support and vote of the trustees to continue the work on the Education Center and Museum. PG Alter has kept the lines of communication with the general officers and VPGs open, and I will continue with that practice as well, with teleconferences between Leaderships and
    Congress as needed. I recall, when I was a new member of the SAR, the then-President General visiting Massachusetts for one of our events, and how important his presence was to the compatriots who attended. It is that which I look forward to the most—meeting the membership in their home states and participating in their events and, as I said earlier, representing the National Society. When I joined the SAR, I did not know what to expect. I knew I wanted to become an active member, but I did not envision being involved beyond my state and chapter. That was 25 years ago. In those 25 years, having taken on the duties that brought me to a Leadership meeting and a Congress, I was hooked. It was the people we met, and the friendships that developed,
    just as much as the work we were doing that kept me coming back year after year. It has enriched our lives. I also want to thank the California Society for all the work they have done to make this Congress such a success. I look forward to seeing many of you along the way this year in my travels, and making new friends, as well. We ask that you keep us in your prayers for health and safe travels—and, while you are at it, for a mild winter and no flight cancellations due to snow!”

Our SAR’s insignia is steeped in historical significance, as related in this scholarly account by Compatriot Duane L. C. M. Galles. Most SAR members are familiar with the insignia found on the membership badge of the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Few perhaps are familiar with the history and significance which underlie it. The insignia is not only one of the most beautiful of American hereditary societies; it is also one of the most steeped with history and replete with significance. The insignia was designed in the very early days of the Society by Major Goldsmith Bernard West, Vice-President of the Alabama SAR. The insignia consists of a cross of eight points suspended by an eagle. The cross is of white enamel and has four arms and eight points, each point being decorated with a gold head. Its source is the cross of the ancient chivalric Order of St. Louis, founded by Luis XIV in 1693.

Why the Order of St. Louis?

The cross of the Order of St. Louis is identical to the SAR cross except in three details. The central medallion of the SAR symbol bears the image of Washington rather than that of St. Louis; the medallion is surrounded by the SAR Latin motto “Libertas et Patria” or “Liberty and Country,” rather than the military order’s motto “Bellicae Virtutis Praemium” or “The Reward for Virtue is War;” and the angles between the arms of the cross lack the French fleur de lis. Instead, the SAR surrounds the cross with the laurel wreath of republican victory.

French Aid Influential

Several reasons made the St. Louis cross an appropriate pattern for the SAR insignia. The Grand Master of the Order of St. Louis, Louis XVI, lent the American rebels material and diplomatic aid which was indispensable for the defeat of the British. Moreover, a great many of the French officers who fought for the American patriot cause were chevaliers of the Order. Beyond that, the Order of St. Louis had had a significant presence in North America. During the French Colonial period, somewhere around three hundred chevaliers of St. Louis saw service in on the North American continent. Hence, it was in recognition of France’s decisive aid and the Order’s significant presence in North America that the SAR chose the St. Louis cross as a model for its own.

But the adoption of the cross of St. Louis was appropriate for other reasons as well. The Order of St. Louis was the first order of military merit. Earlier orders, like the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and the Order of the Garter, were crusading or chivalric orders. They were open to members of the nobility ready to undertake deeds of religion or chivalry. But those deeds were international in scope: all Christendom was to be the beneficiary of the knight’s good deeds. By contrast, the Order of St. Louis was established to reward military service to one’s own country and it was the first to do so. Since the SAR has as its purpose the remembrance and recognition of the military service of their Revolutionary War ancestors to their country, the adoption of the St. Louis cross seemed most apropos.

Legion of Honour Influence

The laurel wreath is significant, for it is derived from another French order, the Legion of Honour. Instituted by Napoleon shortly after his advent to power, the Legion of Honour was intended to fill a vacuum left by the disappearance of the old royal orders during the Revolution. Napoleon, like Louis XIV before him, recognized the importance of rewarding faithful public service and recognizing merit. Hence, he instituted the Legion of Honour, which to this day remains one of the most prestigious orders of merit in the world. Napoleon’s order however differed from the old royal orders. Those either presupposed or conferred nobility. They were inextricably linked to the caste system. But with the Legion of Honour came a new basis for reward: personal merit rather than birth. Thus, it will not be surprising that the SAR insignia is also consciously modeled on the Legion of Honour badge. The laurel wreath is borrowed from the Legion of Honour. Even the size of the SAR badge is designed to be exactly the same as the Legion of Honour’s badge. But the SAR refused to follow the Legion of Honour in all respects. Unlike the five-armed Legion of Honour cross, the SAR cross resolutely retains the four arms of the cross of Christ. This is as if to declare that the excesses of deism and atheism of the French Revolution are to be eschewed by an American patriotic society; American is a nation under God.

The Eagle Denotes Patriotism

Also distinctly American is the eagle which suspends from the cross. Badges and insignias of European orders had used a trophy (a war helmet), a wreath, or a gold loop to symbolize their chivalric purposes. But the purpose of the SAR was not chivalry, but patriotism. Hence, the SAR appropriately adopted the eagle which the Society of the Cincinnati had previous selected for their insignia. The SAR was conceived to mirror the Society of the Cincinnati, though open to all sons of Revolutionary sires without regard to primogeniture. All of these choices and historical influences produced a uniquely American symbol.

Bibliography

  • Fauteux, A. (1940). Les chevaliers de Saint-Louis en Canada. Montreal, Canada: Les Éditions des Dix Publishers.
  • Gourdon de Genouillac, H. (1891). Nouveau dictionnaire des ordres de chevalerie. Paris, France: E. Dentu Publishers.
  • Hanson, L. (1803). Accurate historical account of all the orders of knighthood at present existing in Europe. London, United Kingdom.
  • Hieronymussen, P. O. (1967). Orders and decorations of Europe. New York: MacMillan Publishing Company.
  • The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. (1890). Historical notes of the organization of societies of Sons of the American Revolution. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons Publishers. Pp. 39-40.
  • The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. (1991). Centennial history of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, 1889-1989. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company. Page 110.
by Rae Ann Sauer, NSSAR Archivist,  Joseph W. Dooley, President General (2013-2014)

Forrest Proper of Joslin Hall Rare Books in Northampton, Massachusetts recounts an interesting story.

In April of 1917, William Lanier Washington auctioned several items at Mitchell Kennerly’s Anderson Galleries, a leading auction firm in New York City. (“Lanier” is pronounced LAN-yer, not La-NEAR.) Lot 27 in this auction was a set of Sheffield candlesticks, said to have been used by George Washington on his desk at Mount Vernon. Prominent bookseller G.D. Smith happily bought the candlesticks.

William Lanier Washington also sold Washington memorabilia door-to-door. In 1920, he arrived at G.D. Smith’s home in New York, and not realizing Smith had already bought a set of Washington candlesticks, attempted to sell him another set, also purportedly used by General Washington. Smith questioned just how many candlesticks George Washington kept on his desk. He and William Lanier Washington got into a heated argument, and Smith dropped dead on the spot.

So, how is this relevant to the SAR?

When SAR President General Messmore Kendall passed away in 1959, he left in his will a special gift to the SAR: a seal ring believed to have been owned by George Washington. The ring was in a varnished, wooden box with a shield on the front and brass knob. Accompanying the ring was an affidavit, dated February 16, 1922, purporting to verify its authenticity and signed by a lateral descendant of George Washington: William Lanier Washington.

According to the affidavit that accompanies the ring, William Lanier Washington was the 4th-great-grand-nephew of President George Washington.  The line of descent proceeds from George Washington’s nephew William Augustine Washington (1757-1810), to his son George Corbin Washington (1789-1854), to his son Lewis William Washington (1812-1871) to his son James Barroll Washington (1839-1900), father of William Lanier Washington.  This lineage can be independently verified in Genealogies of the Families of the Presidents.  The affidavit also asserts that George Washington gave the seal ring to William Augustine Washington, his eldest nephew, and that the ring had never left William Lanier Washington’s possession since his father’s death in 1900.

In February 1920, William Lanier Washington held another public sale of George Washington artifacts in New York, under the management of The American Art Association.  (The organizations that hosted William Lanier Washington’s various sales no longer exist.)  Listed in the 1920 program as Item No. 16 is:

Gold Ring with Washington’s Coat-of-Arms: Cut in carnelian.  Given by General Washington to his nephew, Colonel William Augustine Washington.  In black morocco case with inscription.

While a 1920 photo of this ring is not of high quality, the ring’s square shape clearly indicates it is different from the ring that would ultimately come into the SAR’s possession. The collection catalog of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association indicates that Mount Vernon owns a ring with a similar description as Item No. 16 in the 1920 sale. That ring was donated to Mount Vernon by the William Randolph Hearst family in 1963. Like G.D. Smith and many others, William Randolph Hearst purchased many items that he thought had belonged to George Washington. It is also interesting to note that the ring sold at the 1920 auction was in “a black morocco case,” while the SAR’s ring sits in a wooden box.

In 1922, William Lanier Washington held another public sale.  Item No. 134 is listed as “Contemporary Seal Ring.  Gold.  Enriched with coat-of-arms finely cut in carnelian.”  This description more closely matches the ring owned by the SAR.  But it should be noted at this writing, that no account of George Washington using a seal ring has been found in contemporary documents.

It should also be noted that many of the items sold by William Lanier Washington were accompanied by affidavits purporting authenticity, similar to the affidavit that accompanies the signet ring now owned by the SAR.  At this time, it is unclear how the signet ring owned by the SAR passed from William Lanier Washington to President General Messmore Kendall.

So, did the Washington signet ring owned by the SAR ever belong to George Washington?  We cannot say with certainty that it did.  Forrest Proper and others attest that some of the items sold by William Lanier Washington were authentic, and at one time belonged to George Washington.  But it is impossible to determine at this time which items sold by him were authentic, and which were simply late 18th or early 19th century artifacts that he merely claimed were owned by his illustrious 4th-great-grand-uncle.

Bibliography

  • American Art Association (1920).  William Lanier Washington’s Collection of Relics and Memorabilia of George Washington.  New York: American Art Association.
  • American Art Galleries (1922).  Relics and Memorabilia of George Washington Inherited and Collected by his great-great nephew Mr. W. Lanier Washington.  New York: American Art Galleries.
  • Anderson Galleries, Inc. (1917).  Historical Relics of George Washington Inherited and Collected by Mr. William Lanier Washington.  New York: The Anderson Galleries.
  • Henry, R. B. (1935).  Genealogies of the Families of the Presidents.  Rutland, VT: The Tuttle Company.
  • Kendall, M. (1958, August 20). Copy of Last Will and Testament of Messmore Kendall late of Dobbs Ferry, Westchester County, New York.  NSSAR Archives, Louisville, KY.
  • Mount Vernon.  Catalogue Entry for Washington Seal Ring, #W-2423. Mount Vernon, VA.
  • Mount Vernon.  Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association: A Brief History.
  • “Washington’s relics sold on birthday.”  (February 23, 1922).  New York Times.

SAR Management

The National Society is led by the President General and an Executive Committee of National Officers. In addition to rulings by the Executive Committee, governance for the Society is through National Trustees. Our officers meet two times a year at SAR headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. Most of SAR’s volunteer work is accomplished under a committee system comprised of national chairs appointed by the President General and locally appointed state and chapter chairs. The national chairs direct and supervise the activities of their committees and subcommittees.National Congress, the SAR annual national meeting, is named after the original Continental Congress which governed the American Colonies. SAR’s Congress attracts more than 600 members to various host cities around the country, each year. Prominent SAR members include sixteen U.S. presidents, dozens of U.S. Senators and Representatives, untold numbers of local business and community leaders, as well as foreign dignitaries such as Sir Winston Churchill, and Kings Juan Carlos I and Felipe VI of Spain.

SAR members have also answered their country’s call in every major American conflict beginning with the battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, and continuing to the present day, including Operation Desert Storm, Bosnia, and the recent actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. SAR members have received the highest awards America can bestow, including the Medal of Honor.

SAR Members

Our members strive to lead from the front by adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Remembering Our Past….By honoring those who served or assisted the colonies during the Revolutionary War.
  • Promoting Core Values….By protecting our Constitution and perpetuating American ideals and traditions.
  • Shaping Young Minds….By educating our youth about the Constitution and those who developed the American ideals and traditions.

At the National level, we work with other organizations to further the understanding of the American Revolution. Those organizations include, The Smithsonian Institution and the King’s College London Partnership and Georgian Papers Programme At the state and local levels, our members give speeches and presentations at various SAR and/or civic events in our communities. Additionally, they mark Patriot graves at the request of descendants.

Words From Our Members

“The American Revolution was about both the pen and the sword.  The SAR provides a place where I can explore the ideas that motivated my New England Yankee ancestors and think about how those ideas continue to shape a country that has made a home for my German and Norwegian emigrant ancestors and all the other people who make up our nation.”

David Schrader (MA)

“While I have enjoyed learning about my Patriot ancestors and honoring their service, I have also enjoyed the many new friendships I have made and I have a much keener interest in history in general and the Revolution in particular.”

Alan Douglass Fitch, Jr.

Being an SAR member involves you in your local and national community with telling the story of the Founding Fathers and the creation of the United States of America.  It connects you to the history of the American Revolution by a direct means in tracing your lineage.  It allows you to connect with others that also share that same type of connection.

SAR Goals

  • We will work tirelessly to inspire the community with the principles on which our nation was founded. Many chapters and state-level societies have color guards that wear Revolutionary War uniforms and participate in civic and patriotic events and observances such as the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Armed Forces Day, Flag Day, Patriots Day, Bill of Rights Day, Yorktown Day, Constitution Day, and important battles of the Revolutionary War. Each year the SAR National Congress passes resolutions to stimulate personal and national action based on these principles.
  • We strive to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom. In 1994, the SAR formed a Task Force to Preserve U.S. History to help focus public attention on profound problems in some proposed national standards for teaching pre-college U.S. history.
  • We will work to carry out the promises expressed in the Preamble to the Constitution.
  • We shall provide recognition for public service. The state-level societies and chapters of the SAR present thousands of awards each year to law enforcement officers, public safety officers, and other citizens who exemplify the best civic traditions of our nation. This includes young men and women who are leaders in our communities: high-ranking high school students of history, Eagle Scouts, JROTC and ROTC cadets, and midshipmen.
  • This organization shall strive to honor, respect, and support the sacrifices of our veterans, especially those confined to residential and hospital facilities provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • We commemorate and provide memorials for the people and events of the American Revolution.
  • We shall preserve records relating to the events leading up to and during the American Revolution. The SAR was a major force behind the construction of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and the collection of historic documents therein.
  • We support genealogical research and presentations (books, articles, and presentations) related to the history and people of the period from 1750 until 1800. The National SAR Magazine publishes authoritative descriptions of historical events in a quality magazine of archival value. Our Revolutionary War Graves Committee published information on some 54,000 grave sites of patriots in the SAR Revolutionary War Graves Register, published in 1993. More names have been collected and the entire 140,000 names and locations have now been published. The Patriot Index Committee is publishing information on 732,000 patriots and their descendants.
  • We enthusiastically sponsor youth awards programs, including essay and oration contests for students, based on historical and patriotic themes.
  • We distribute history curriculum and educational media resources across the country.
  • We inform the community about the events and philosophical bases of the American Revolution and the Constitution. Important events and persons of the Revolutionary period are portrayed for students and the public at large.
  • We help people locate and evaluate genealogical records. The SAR’s state-level society and chapter registrars have excellent resources and the SAR Genealogical Research Library is a major national repository of genealogical information.