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Daughters of the American Revolution Directory credited Connecticut with a membership of 1,185.
To-day, upon the authority of the Treasurer General, I am able to state that our membership is 3.315-an increase since 1896 of 2,130.
So rapid has been the growth in membership in New York and Massachusetts, during the past year, that I cannot believe we shall at this Congress be greeted as the Banner State. But having always heretofore held that position, we can now certainly afford to be generous, and pass on the “Banner" to tlie successful State with our hearty congratulations and best wishes. But we cherish a perennial hope that we may always be the Banner State for the quantity and quality of our historical and commemorative work, and for loyalty to the principles, the objects and the aims of the great national organization of which each member is an integral part. Respectfully submitted,
SARA T. Kinney,
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Madam President and Members of the Eighth Continental Congress: I have the honor to report that the patriotism and untiring zeal of the Daughters of the American Revolution in the District of Columbia have elevated, not merely themselves, but the entire Society in the minds and hearts of their fellow citizens. At a crowded meeting, called by the State Regent, in the Red parlor of the Ebbitt House, on May 16th, the cry was, "Tell us what we can do." The District Daughters gave $52 to the war fund and $132 to the Hospital Corps, in addition to their time and strength as clerks, or in sewing and cutting. A full report of the war work done in the District up to date was read by the State Regent to the National Board in October. But much has been done since then, especially by the Mary Washington and the Army and Navy Chapters. The former is our oldest Chapter, which continues to number over two hundred, and still has the charming blind widow of the late Admiral Lee as Regent, and Miss Pearre
as Vice-Regent. The chairman of their War Committee was Mrs. Dickens, and Miss Clay was treasurer. All the committee forgot heat, expense and fatigue in their efforts to bring comfort and happiness to the families of the District volunteers and they were helped by their own and other Chapters. Fourteen hundred dollars were raised and expended most judiciously. The Treasurer General, Corresponding Secretary General and Mrs. Goodloe, Vice-President General, belong to this Chapter, as does also Miss Wheeler, one of General Wheeler's daughters, who went as nurse to Santiago. The Chapter passed a vote of thanks to Dr. Anita Newcomb McGee, one of their number, Vice-President General and Director of the Daughters of the American Revolution Hospital Corps from its inception to August 31st, when she was appointed Acting Assistant Surgeon United States Army to take charge of all the nurses who had been employed by the Government after their selection by the Hospital Corps from the thousands of applicants, and of those who have been employed since. Some interesting papers were read at the social meetings. A gold medal has been awarded as an annual prize in the Academic Department of the High School for the best essay descriptive of the events that led up to the Revolution, or of the Revolution itself; the selection to be made by the principal of the High School in conjunction with the Chapter committee consisting of Miss E. B. Johnston, Miss May Johnson and Mrs. Marguerite Dickens. They also appointed a committee to appeal to the Congress of the United States not to admit Mr. Roberts, of Utah.
2. The Dolly Madison Chapter, Mrs. Gannett, Regent, is limited to sixty members so that they may meet at the homes of the members, each giving one dollar a year that the expense may be equal. After the business of the evening is attended to there are recitations, music and historical papers before the supper. More charming and instructive meetings can scarcely be imagined. The Historian, Miss Lyman, gave excellent papers on the revolutionary period, including a sketch of the battle of Cowpens. There is a great deal of talent in the Chapter, and Mr. Tweedall, whose wife is a member, is inimitable in his recitations. Addresses by Mr. H. M. Gannett on “The Growth of the United States”; on “General Washington,” by Mr. Barnard; "The Venezuela Boundary," by Dr. Marcus Baker, and "Virginia," by Judge Goode, were intellectual treats. In June the meeting took the form of a basket picnic on the spacious lawn of the home of Mrs. Dean, corner' of Florida and Connecticut avenues, and Rev. Dr. Hamlin was the orator of the evening. The hostess distributed leaflets on which was printed an old, but mythical legend about the place, which had formerly belonged to the grandfather of the Regent of the District. Members of this Chapter did much to help the Hospital Corps, or any others who were working for our soldiers and their families. The Librarian General, Mrs. Darwin, and one of the Vice-Presidents General belong to this Chapter.
3. The Martha Washington is still flourishing under the devoted Regency of Miss Pike. Beside their regular meetings they have held two "open meetings” in some large hall, to which the National Officers living in the District, the officers of other Chapters and friends of members were invited. After a “feast of reason” and music refreshments were served and then the young people danced. The Historian, Miss M. L. Conrad, has at different times prepared most excellent papers which have been much enjoyed by the members. During the war they assessed themselves so much a month, leaving that and other moneys in the control of the Regent and Treasurer to be expended as they thought best. Some members gave up their summer vacation to devote themselves to the war work.
4. The Continental Chapter with such an energetic patriot as Mrs. Gist for Regent could not have failed to work as it did, and is doing, for our soldiers or their families. The $156 which they gave in money was a very slight item compared to the food, bedding, books, time and strength which they lavished wherever it was needed. They must be very harmonious, for they are able to finish their business in time to have delightful evenings, either at the home of the Regent, where refreshments lend their aid to a better acquaintance with one another and their work, or at the Elsmere with music and addresses. The State Regent has found them a
very pleasant Chapter to speak to about work the Congress or the Board wished to have done. At one of these gatherings Senator Cannon interested us greatly by an eloquent address on “The Other Daughters of the American Revolution," meaning the Republics of America that had won their freedom by following the example of our revolutionary ancestors. Another time, Mr. Franklin Smith came in about nine o'clock and invited the Chapter to visit his interesting, curious and instructive “Hall of the Ancients" under his guidance.
5. Miss Chenoweth, Regent of the Columbia Chapter, reports that it closes its fifth year with the same number, fiftyseven. There have been two transfers to Chapters in distant cities, two resignations and four additions, thus keeping the number always to its limit. They did not take up any particular work during the war, but helped in a great many ways. The Recording Secretary General and the Chaplain General belong to this Chapter. The State Regent had the pleasure of attending one of its open meetings at the Ebbitt House and one when it was entertained by a member and takes pleasure in adding the words of its Regent, “We are a band of loyal women, loyal to the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and to each other. I am proud of my Chapter."
6. The Army and Navy Chapter has increased in membership from sixty-eight to eighty. The Regent, Mrs. Sternberg, and the chairman of their War Committee, Mrs. Alden, were members of the National Society War Committee and worked industriously all summer. Their meetings are held in the morning at the Ebbitt House, where Mr. Burch is unfailing in his kindness and courtesy to the Daughters of the American Revolution. After routine business there is always a literary program. The papers read this year included historical and other sketches of permanent value, indicating careful research and study. They were written to be read in fifteen or twenty minutes and were generally followed by an open discussion. Among them were accounts of the taking of Havana by the English in 1762 and the siege of Manila in the same year, both by Mrs. Gheen. Deep interest was felt in Mrs. Offley's papers about the voyage of the United States steamer “Oregon" last summer from California around Cape Horn to Cuba, where the Nation had anxiously awaited her arrival. Mrs. Catling spoke on colonial times in New York, and Miss Cushing described George the Third and his times; Miss C. deN. Miller gave a sketch of General Schuyler, detailing his career from early childhood and presenting many facts to show that having lost his father when but eight years old, his mother did much to mold his character by her loving firmness and care. Colonial times in South Carolina were described by Miss Emily Middleton, beginning in 1629 when Charles the First gave all the territory extending from Virginia to Florida to his Attorney General, Sir Robert Heath. She showed the interest women then took in agriculture, particularly Miss Eliza Lucas, later Mrs. Colonel Pinckney and mother of Mr. Charles C. Pinckney, Minister to France in 1797, and who will always be remembered by his “millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute." At the age of sixteen, while her father was Royal Governor in Antigua and her mother an invalid, she often had charge of the plantation for months at a time. She experimented with various plants and in 1745 succeeded in growing indigo, thus introducing a plant which played a most important role in the production of the colony for more than fifty years, when it was superseded by cotton. The Army and Navy Chapter has been very true to its name in the care they have taken and are taking of families of regulars, whether at Fort Myer or in Nebraska. Each week since the war began they have met one morning to remodel old and new garments. They gave $15.00 to the families of sailors killed by the blowing up of the "Maine." The Regent reports that up to January ist they had given away 583 new and 287 second-hand garments and expended $538.23, and she makes an earnest appeal for “help in the work so long as our Army and Navy are in foreign lands or on foreign waters." Mrs. Main, Vice-President General, belongs to this Chapter.