26 APR 2020 ONLINE
This afternoon the Virginia SAR Executive Committee met with 22 of our Chapter Presidents to provide an update on State-wide issues, answer questions, and encourage sharing of ideas. State Registrar Bill Haskins also joined the meeting. Similar meetings are scheduled every two months to increase the flow of information to and from chapters. The meeting was conducted via Zoom.
Items discussed included:
The next meeting of this group will be mid to late June at which we hope all chapters will be represented. These meetings are not a response to the pandemic restrictions, but an effort to increase communication to the benefit of our chapters.
Virginia Children of the American Revolution Society President-Elect Catie Wasenko has announced her project with the flyer below. Your support for this worthy endeavor is encouraged.
22 Apr 2020 Rapidan, VA
Culpeper Minutemen Chapter President Charles Jameson and Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke visited the Virginia Mist Quarry in Rapidan on Wednesday afternoon to inspect the twenty-ton granite boulder being donated by Virginia Mist Group, Inc. for the Culpeper Minutemen Monument being constructed in Culpeper's Yowell Meadow Park near where the Culpeper Minutemen mustered in 1775. Jameson and Schwetke will return next week with Culpeper City Councilman and compatriot Keith Price, and Gary Cole of the Culpeper Department of Planning and Community Development to make decisions on the cutting and polishing of the boulder.
The flag poles for the monument were received by the Town of Culpeper three weeks ago and preparation of the ground for the monument is scheduled to begin on May 1st. This monument is being made possible by a generous contribution from the Virginia SAR Knight-Patty Fund, the Town of Culpeper, the Culpeper Minute Men Chapter DAR and the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter SAR, which conceived, provided initial funding, and is overseeing construction of the monument. In 2018 Foundation Forward, Inc. committed to contribute the "Charters of Freedom" addition to the monument, so that the monument now reflects both the efforts of our patriotic ancestors and the results of their sacrifices.
We are on track to dedicate the combined Culpeper Minutemen and Charters of Freedom Monument on October 24th as a Virginia SAR Presidential Initiative, to which all chapters are invited to present their chapter wreaths.
UPDATE - 6 MAY 2020
Today Culpeper Minutemen President Charles Jameson led a group of three chapter members, including Culpeper Town Councilman Keith Price and Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke to the Virginia Mist Quarry to make decisions on the cutting of the granite boulder for the Culpeper Minutemen Memorial. They were joined by Gary Cole of the Culpeper Department of Planning and Community Development and Daniele Treves and Gibran Medina of Virginia Mist. A different, smaller boulder was selected to better fit the scale of the monument and a cutting plan was developed.
These are the words of Patrick Henry on March 23rd, 1775, accurately telling the 2nd Virginia Convention delegates assembled in Richmond's St. John's Church that war with Britain was inevitable. Those sounds, which rang out 245 years ago this morning, were not heard in Virginia until April 29th, but they would bring life to Henry's famous words and help propel Virginia into a struggle for "Liberty or Death". I recommend to you this morning The Virtual Voice of Historic St. John's Church and the linked YouTube discussion with Dr. John Ragosta.
From President General Jack Manning
On this day in history, April 12, 1776, North Carolina is the first state to call for independence from Great Britain. Her Provincial Congress, meeting at Halifax, North Carolina, passed a resolution that has come to be known as the Halifax Resolves. In the document, the Congress instructs its representatives to the Continental Congress to vote for independence if the other colonies agree to do so. The resolution does not instruct them to introduce a resolution for independence to the Congress, but to vote in the affirmative if the other colonies agree to it.
North Carolina was a hotbed of rebellion against royal authority from the beginning of tensions with England. North Carolina was the site of the "War of the Regulation," a conflict that lasted from 1760 to 1771. This "war" was an effort of poor western farmers to remove corrupt officials in the more prosperous east who were oppressing them with high taxes. The movement was finally defeated at the Battle of Alamance in 1771.
After the Boston Tea Party, the women of Edenton, North Carolina joined in a compact to boycott tea, the first political resistance organized by women in the colonies. The first North Carolina Provincial Congress met in 1774 and elected members to attend the Continental Congress. The second Provincial Congress met the next year, causing Royal Governor Josiah Martin to dissolve the official assembly.
North Carolina was the site of an early invasion attempt by the British in 1776, but the attempt failed when a large group of Loyalists were defeated at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. The Halifax Resolves were adopted less than a month later on April 12. In July, after Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed a formal vote for independence to the Continental Congress, North Carolina's representatives, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper and Lyman Hall, voted for independence in accordance with their instructions in the Resolves. In the same month, Governor Martin fled with the attempted British invasion fleet, bringing royal rule to an end in North Carolina.
North Carolina remained free from fighting with the British for the next several years as the fighting was concentrated in the north. During this time, however, she was involved in numerous battles with Indian tribes allied with the British to the west. In the latter half of the war, the fighting moved south and North Carolina saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war. After the crucial Battle of Guilford Courthouse, British General Charles Cornwallis wrote, "I never saw such fighting... the Americans fought like demons."
Though the battle was won by the British, Cornwallis' troops were worn out and ill-supplied after a year of chasing the Continental Army through the state. The Battle of Guilford Courthouse finally broke his strength and Cornwallis was forced to flee to the coast for reinforcements, where he was trapped at Yorktown, Virginia and forced to surrender, bringing about the end of the American Revolution.
National Society Sons of the American Revolution
I pray that this finds each of you and yours well and coping with the current difficulties. It appears that aggressive social distancing is paying off and the picture, particularly for Virginia has improved over the past few days. Please continue to follow the guidelines, even as they change, to protect yourself and your loved ones.
We should all be encouraged by the efforts by fellow compatriots to accomplish what we normally do in ways that fit the current situation. The Fairfax Resolves are hosting a Patriots Day Ceremony via Zoom on April 19th, the 245th anniversary of Lexington & Concord. Please consult the "Current Events" Tab calendar on Virginia Dispatches for details. This will be a great event with participation by President General Manning. I have mad this a Presidential Initiative, with the expectation that our most distant chapters will participate.
This year's Presidential Initiatives are undergoing changes in response to the COVID-19 requirements, such as the naming of the Patriots Day ceremony a Presidential Initiative. Another addition to the Presidential Initiatives is the Grave Marking at Shockoe Hill Cemetery during the 2020 Congress - yes, we are still preparing to host the Congress. That ceremony will be a big event during Congress and your participation will help us make this a truly memorable event for compatriots from across the country, even around the world.
I would also like to ask your help with another Presidential Initiative - increased funding for the youth awards programs through donations to the Mark Brennan, Jr. Fund. Each dollar you contribute will be credited to you for a commission or promotion in the Virginia SAR First Virginia Regiment and to your chapter for awards at next year's Annual Meeting. There is a match of $1 for every $4 that you contribute up to a limit of $3000 matching dollars. The matching dollars will also count toward your First Virginia ran and your chapter's standing for state awards. Even small checks can help us reach our goal of $15,000. Make your check our to "VASSAR", note it is to the Brennan, Jr. Fund, and mail to our Treasurer. Help us reward our patriotic youth while we also raise our public profile.
Be safe, be healthy, and remember our patriot ancestors.
President, Virginia SAR
THIS LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED DUE TO CHANGES REQUIRED BY THE RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 VIRUS
Virginia Revolutionary War Commemorations
National Events in Virginia
Crossing of the Dan (Feb 15)
Raid at Martin's Station (Oct 10)
Yorktown Victory Day (Oct 19)
Battle of Great Bridge (Dec 5)
Virginia SAR Presidential Initiative Events
Boston Massacre Commemoration (Mar 5)
Patriots Day - via Zoom (Apr 19)
Shockoe Hill Cememtery Monument Dedication (Jul 15)
Culpeper Minutemen Memorial Dedication in Culpeper (Oct 24)
Patriot Grave Marking at Ebenezer Baptist in Bluemont (Nov 21)*
Patriot Grave Marking at Ketoctin Baptist in Round Hill (Nov 21)*
Colonel William Preston Memorial Dedication in Daleville (TBD)
* Grave Markings with an (*) are credited if only one of the two is attended
Support of Worthy Programs with Donations
Mark Brennan, Jr. Fund (for Youth Awards) - $15, 000 goal by Semi-Annual Meeting
Virginia CA.R. Restoration of St. John's Bell (by Mar 10)
Participation in the Virginia SAR
2020 Annual Meeting (Feb 7-8)
2020 NSSAR Congress Volunteers (Jul 8-16)
2020 Semi-Annual Meeting (Sep 18-19)
Virginia SAR Committee Membership
Cooperation with other Revolutionary War Lineage Societies
DAR, C.A.R., etc. meeting and event attendance
DAR Finder Forms
Chapter Operations Grant for 10% or greater year-to-year growth
Youth Awards Participation
Social Events in the Public Square
SAR Day/Night at the Ball Park or similar
These initiatives were announced at the Virginia SAR Annual Banquet by our newly installed president. The Virginia SAR Supplement to the Americanism Report will reward participation in the above initiatives.
On the Virginia SAR Calendar, found on the "Coming Events" Tab of Virginia Dispatches, you will see many cancelled events. These cancellations comply with current guidance to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We are attempting to do some events online, the first being a Patriots' Day Commemoration on April 19th, hosted by the Fairfax Resolves Chapter. Watch that calendar for more online events you might want to attend.
So please limit your exposure, but also innovate and find ways to function in this new environment. We at the state level and the National Society are still considering just such measures, some of which you may see in the near future.
Congress is still being planned for July in Richmond, but current restrictions are cutting deeply into our preparation efforts. If we get the all clear in time to hold the Congress, it will be an all hands effort to do our part.
I also ask you to keep in mind our compatriots and their families that are being affected by this pandemic. It brings to my mind one of our compatriots who is at significant risk due to other health concerns and is protecting himself by living in strict quarantine - consider what you might do to help such a compatriot, such as running a needed errand or bringing food. Stay safe, and continue to spread the story of our freedom, not a virus.
President, Virginia SAR