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its claims upon them. My friends, I shall never be satisfied until all are here—every woman in this union of States whose ancestor assisted in bringing about this Union. In one part of our country we have the Grand Army of the Republic, and in another the United Confederate Veterans, but our grand army of patriotic women includes them both and is not confined to any one section. Be it our mission to leaven the whole. One of the most wondrous utterances of the time is that of President McKinley on a recent occasion in Atlanta. He would place a wreath of Forget-Me-Nots on the Southern soldier's grave. Has he done it? That matters not. His expressed desire has won the admiration of every living heart that ever throbbed under a jacket of gray. Forget! Forgive! These tremendous words have resounded in all parts of the earth, nor have they stopped at the Cape of Good Hope, nor on the shores of the Yellow Sea. Ah, no! They have ascended to higher hemispheres, and pierced the very gates of heaven, where the angels when they heard them, must have united their plaudits with the plaudits of men. Great Presidents we have had before now, but here is one who seeks to incorporate the mighty plank of love into the Ship of State—the nectar of heaven into the honeycombs of earth.
May I not place one humble wreath of Carolina palm upon his august brow ?
We, as an organization, have been the forerunner in this era of a re-united country. We were banded for that purpose eight years ago, we are still banded together—in spite of the crushing irony of the man in Toronto (whose flapping sails allawry, our quick witted Editor so adroitly took the wind of): banded to fight the good fight of faith in our native land, faith in her institutions, her principles, her present and her future. Into that future, we shall dip our own fingers—we women. Didn't our grandmothers, as well as your grandfathers, help to make a new world of freedom out of an old world of oppression? Who is to gainsay us? But the beauty of it is, nobody wants to, except the man in Toronto. While our lawmakers are anxiously debating the relative merits of expansion and non-expansion, we “Daughters” are just quietly going on in our policy of expansion. What a deal of ignorance there is ! I do not refer to the Congress of the United States, but to ignorance in general, and about us in particular. Some women within the borders of my own State, who, unhappily, are passing their lives far removed from railroad and telegraph facilities, did not know that we had organized until I wrote and told them. They were surprised! And the Regent of another State found among her constituency, one woman who was laboring under the impression that we had tried to get up a little Society, but had signally failed, inasmuch as only one woman of prominence had ever been known to join us !
Do you wonder that a State Regent's lot is not altogether a happy one? And that she writes a good many letters—letters upon letters? Down into the cane-brakes of Four-Hole Swamp, and up into the dark spots which lie among the rising spurs of the Blue Ridge, I have tried to tell them all the good news. We are organized. Some of the women to be found in these sequestered vales would make magnificent "Daughters.” Serious, rough of fibre, living close to nature's heart, they are fresh and frank, and full of originality. Was their ancestor a general? A half-clad standard-bearer? A bare-footed drummer boy? An humble private? Whatever he was, if he went to the front under shot and shell, she is entitled to her heritage. We are not the ones to accept the Rose of Sharon and shut our doors upon the Lily of the Valley. Some societies do. They start out with the intention of having no awkward squad in their well-drilled regiment. They enact laws as stringent as the famous Blue Laws of Connecticut, and for what? To keep people in? No; to keep them out. That woman must not be allowed to join because she does not feel at home in peacock's feathers; this one, because she works every day for her bread and butter. Ah, Madam President, and Daughters of the American Revolution, it is not upon such a foundation as this that our great structure is builded. Make room for the homespun frock beside the gown of velvet!
We have but one standard—a good record.
Do not misunderstand me here; I do not object to exclusiveness in any other society; I only object to it in this
Society. We are planned like a great painting—we have a great motive. Ours is an historical landscape-not a monochrome.
But I have disgressed to almost unpardonable extent. Now, what of the work in South Carolina ? Does it languish? Does it prosper? I believe there is a wider and deeper interest than ever existed before. Notwithstanding high taxes and low cotton, a number of new names have been added to our Chapter lists during the year. One new Chapter has been organized, in the city of Anderson, the Cateechee Chapter, named for the beautiful Indian girl, who, a captive among the Cherokees, walked ninety-six miles to warn the whites of a murderous plot against them. The story of this brave deed has just been presented to the Society's library by the Historian of the Columbia (South Carolina) Chapter. The Regent of the Cateechee is Lulah Ayre Vandiver (Mrs. James R.) who is already known to the readers of the AMERICAN MONTHLY through her interesting biographical sketch of Lewis Malone Ayre, the boy hero, Marion's courier at twelve years old, her great-grandfather. For him a Society of the Children of the American Revolution founded in a State far distant from this youth's adventures has been named, the Lewis Malone Ayre Society. Though the Cateechee is the only new Chapter thoroughly organized, the women of Camden and Chester are at last awakened to a warm-hearted sympathy in the wonderful deeds of our noble association. It is but a question of a little more research, a little more necessary time, ere these two Chapters will fall into line. Sweeping my eyes over the whole field, my feeling is this: the seed has been planted, the harvest is sure to come; the torch has been ignited, and the flame of patriotic impulse must ascend higher and higher until every hill-top and every green valley in the Palmetto State shall be alight with its refulgence.
Such is the end, I strive for, labor for, hope for.
Two of my Chapters, the Nathaniel Greene and the Andrew Pickens have had hardships and misfortune during the pas year. Their ranks have been thinned by death and by removals to other localities. But they will revive-doubt not, they will revive. I have discovered within their ranks the spirit of selfhelpfulness, and that is the spirit of eternal rejuvenescence. This spirit will enable them to build up their broken ranks and put on a new life. While I am talking about Chapters, let me say this—every State Regent, in our great National system, believes that her own Chapters are the finest going, but bless you, I would not exchange my galaxy of bright particular stars—the Rebecca Motte, the Columbia, the Cowpens, the Catawba, the King's Mountain, the Ethel Marion, and the vigorous young Cateechee (who has Indian blood in her veins) for any other Chapters ever organized on the shining shores of patriotism !
I believe in my Chapters; I believe in them inext to my Bible.
Perhaps the most arduous part of my year's work has arisen from the fact that I have had to perform the duties of a State Genealogist and Registrar as well as Regent. In certain localities, many records and papers were destroyed during the Civil war, and in the absence of public libraries in the smaller towns, I have in many instances, through the aid of our State Library, and South Carolina College Library, been able to trace the ancestry of those desiring to become Daughters. This has given me a great deal of pleasure; at the same time, it has necessitated a tremendous correspondence. I will not, in this place, touch upon the war work done among my Chapters during the hundred days war with Spain, having already, in accordance with the wishes of the War Committee, devoted a separate and entire report to that special subject. Permit me, however, to supplement that report with a brief mention of the subsequent work of the Rebecca Motte Chapter, that heroic band of heroic women. Of the soldiers who died in the Charleston hospitals, there are four whose dead bodies have never been removed to their old homes. They lie in four new graves in the Confederate grounds at Magnolia Cemetery, and over their graves, the many visitors who find their way to this beautiful spot, may see four handsome marble slabs, decorated with the Stars and Stripes, to announce to the passerby that these died in the service of their country. These slabs were erected by a generous and well known citizen of Charleston, Mr. E T. Viett, the sculptor. He forestalled the Rebecca
Motte Chapter in this graceful act; but, determined to do something as a last tribute to the memory of the departed, the Chapter has had the graves photographed, and sent copies to the distant relatives, that their hearts may be comforted in the knowledge that their loved ones do not sleep among cold strangers, but among those whose kind hands will care for them always. For, it has been agreed, that just as long as Magnolia Cemetery continues to be the resting place of these four soldiers, so long will the Rebecca Motte Chapter be their guardians and their care-takers.
As a member of the Revolutionary Relics Committee, I have endeavored to secure such treasures of the past as would fittingly find a place in our National Museum. It gives me pleasure to place into the hands of the respected Chairman of the Relics Committee two appropriate and beautiful additions to our historic treasures. First, two bullets dug up on the battlefield of Cowpens, the gift of the Cowpens Chapter, and mounted by them. Secondly, some exquisite pieces of china, whose texture is so interwoven with the early days of the Republic as to make it of interest, not alone to every Daughter of the American Revolution, but likewise the public in general. Hence, I consider it not amiss to transcribe the account of the same as it appeared in the columns of the Columbia State, under date of January 14th: “The Hon. William A. Courtenay, ex-Mayor of Charleston, contributes a cluster of leaves redolent of the perfume of the past. He opens the great tomb of history and reads us a pretty page or two. If the early years of the Nation were stern and anxious, they were brightened by amenities and graces like these portrayed in this interesting record. We see the French officers who served with Washington, butterflies in the salon, but falcons when the hour came to strike their prey. The story of this elegant gift to Martha Washington will have its sequel in February, when the State Regent of South Carolina delivers her offering into the keeping of the National depository of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington. Of the elegant presents given to the President and Mrs. Washington, three linger in the public mind. 1. The French officers, who served with General Washington in the Continental