History

Last Revised: 07 Apr 2014

The Sons of the American Revolution was incorporated on 17 Jan 1890, in Connecticut and later chartered by the United States Congress on 09 Jun 1906. Prior to this date a number of state societies were formed in the 1880’s. These were led by The Sons of Revolutionary Sires, organized 04 Jul 1876, in San Francisco. The first Congress of the National Society was held In Louisville, Kentucky on 30 Apr 1890 – the 101st anniversary of George Washington’s taking the oath of office as President of the United States.

“History of the KENTUCKY SOCIETY of the Sons of the American Revolution”

“With the approach of the Centennial” [in 1890] “of the inauguration of Washington as the first President of the United States, there was aroused a general and widespread interest in the early history of this Nation and in its struggle for liberty.

The men whose forefathers took part in the establishment of the Nation were naturally drawn together, and in some of the older States formed themselves into societies to gather scattered bits of history and save them for coming generations; to preserve alive a memory of the men who gave so much for country and paid so dear a price for liberty; to inculcate in the minds of the rising generations a knowledge of what they fought for, and a love of the principles they held so dear.

To better carry out these noble purposes the New Jersey Society issued the following circular through the press, and personally to very many gentlemen who might be interested in such a movement:

CALL FOR A CONVENTION TO ORGANIZE A NATIONAL SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF THE REVOLUTION.

NEWARK, N. J., APRIL 10 1889.

The special committee of the “SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF THE REVOLUTION of New Jersey,” to whom was referred the duty of inviting the organizing of a co-equal sister Society in every State and Territory in the Union and in France, each Society electing delegates to organize a National Society, made up of the president, one delegate-at-large, and one delegate for each one hundred or fraction of one hundred, exceeding fifty, members; every Society to be entitled to at least three representatives, hereby calls a meeting of such delegates to the National Society, elected or to be elected, to take place at 9 A. M., April 30, 1889, the one hundredth anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as first President of the United States, in Fraunces’s Tavern, New York, corner of Pearl and Broad streets, in the room where General Washington made his farewell address to the officers of the Revolutionary Army (which has kindly been placed at our disposal by the proprietor for that purpose). It is hoped that every Society will be fully represented.

Wm. O. McCowell,
Chairman.
Wm. S. Stryker,
W. C. Pumpelly,
Special Committee.

A copy of this circular was sent to the Governor of Kentucky, General S. B. Buckner, who called on such person as might be eligible to meet in the Senate Chamber in Frankfort, on April 8th. To this invitation some thirty-one persons responded, among them Dr. A. J. Gano, of Scott County, and Ben. C. Allin, of Mercer Countnty, both of whom were sons of officers of the Continental Army. This meeting resolved to form a Kentucky Society of Sons of the Revolution, and appointed a committee on organization consisting of Gov. S. B. Buckner, chairman; Dr. A. J. Gano, Thos. M. Green, Lewis E. Harvie, Sam. E. Hill, E. Polk Johnson, Ira Julian, Wm. Lindsay and Ed. Porter Thompson, and adjourned to meet again on 23rd inst. At this meeting thirty-eight persons were enrolled as members.

On the 23rd inst. the Society met in the Senate Chamber, as agreed, and heard the report of the committee on Organization, who reported a constitution modeled after that of the New Jersey Society.

Ladies were exemped from the payment of initiation fees and annual dues, which were placed at: Initiation Fee, $1; Annual Dues, $2; Life Membership, $50.

The following officers were then elected:

  • President – William Lindsay, Frankfort.
  • Vice-President – E. Polk Johnson, Frankfort.
  • Secretary – John W. Buchanan, Louisville.
  • Registrar – Ed. Porter Thompson, Frankfort.
  • Treasurer – Grant Green, Frankfort.
  • Historian – Thomas M. Green, Maysville.
  • Board of Managers – Ben. C. Allin, of Mercer County; Dr. A. J. Gano, of Scott County; Dr Thomas Page Grant, of Louisville; Harry I. Todd, Lewis E. Harvie, George A Lewis, Alexander Julian, William H. Murray, William H. Averill, Ira Julian, of Frankfort; John C. Russell, James F Buckner and Dr. Howard Smith of Louisville.
  • Delegates to the National Congress – S. B. Buckner, William Lindsay, Samuel E. Hill.

At this meeting the names of fourty-four persons were presented (nineteen ladies, twenty-five gentlemen), and they were duly elected to membership.

The nineteenth day of October, the anniversary of the surrender at Yorktown, was selected as the day for holding the annual meetings.

THOMAS PAGE GRANT.”1

“Officers.

Elected Previous to October 19, 1893.

Elected April 23, 1889, to serve until October 1889:

President – William Lindsay.
Vice-President – E. Polk Johnson.
Secretary – John W. Buchanan.
Historian – Thomas M. Green.
Treasurer – Grant Green.

Board of Managers.

Ben. C. Allen, S. B. Buckner, A. J. Gans, Thomas Page Grant, Harry I. Todd, Lewis E. Harvie, George A. Lewis, Alex. Julian, Wm. H. John C. Russell, James T. Buckner, D. Howard Smith, Marvin D. Averill, W. H. Averill, Ira Julian.

These gentlemen were re-elected on October 19, 1889, to serve for the year 1889 – 1890.

Officers for 1891 – 1892

President – H. W. Bruce.
Vice-President – Lewis Buckner.
Secretary – J. W. Buchanan.
Treasurer – Grant Green.
Registrar – E. Porter Thompson.

Officers for 1892 – 1893

President – John W. Buchanan.
Vice-President – E. Polk Johnson.
Secretary – George Twyman Wood.
Registrar – George D. Todd.
Treasurer – *Grant Green.
_____
* Mr. Green resigned and John F. Lewis was elected to fill his place.”2

Fifth Annual Meeting

An election of Officers for 1893-1894.

The fifth annual meeting of the Kentucky Society of the Sons of the American Revolution was held in the Board of Trade Hall, on October 19, 1893, the hall having been appropriately decorated with flags by Mr. James T. Buckner, superintendent of the Board of Trade.
The Meeting was called to order by the President at one o’clock, and the Secretary read the minutes of the last annual meeting, which were adopted.
Mr. Todd, the Registrar, made the following report:

REPORT OF REGISTRAR.

“I regret to report that during the past year the Society failed to add to its membership.
The following members died:
I. Chapin Bartlett.
Charles G. Shea.
J. C. B. Burbank.
In making a complete list of members, I fail to find the papers of many whose names appear on our roll, and under the National Constitution these cannot be considered members unless their papers are filed and approved by the Registrar General.
… I would suggest that the Society publish a year book, giving a history of its organization, list of officers and list of the members, and such other matters as the Board of Managers may think proper. I think such a book would be highly prized by the members. Our membership at present is 120; Honorary, 35.

Very respectfully,

George D. Todd,
Registrar.”

Upon motion the report was received and filed…

The President said that the National Constitution, adopted June 16, 1893, required some changes in our Constitution to conform thereto, and that he and requested Messrs. George D. Todd and George T. Wood to revise our Constitution, and that they were ready to report.
The Secretary then read the report, which was adopted.
The Society then went into an election of officers to serve for the ensuing year, with the following result:

President – Thomas Speed.
Vice-President – Thomas H. Taylor.
Secretary – George Twyman Wood.
Treasurer – John F. Lewis.
Registrar – George D. Todd.

Who with the following, constitute the Board of Managers: Lewis Buckner, Thomas Page Grant, Hezekiah Cox.
Mr. Hezekiah Cox, a son of Revolutionary soldier, was then introduced by the President, who gave the Society some very interesting facts about the Revolutionary War which had been told to him by his father, who was at Yorktown.

A vote of thanks was extended to Mr. Cox for his little talk, after which the meeting adjourned, to meet at the Pendennis Club, Tuesday evening, October 26, at 8 o’clock.

George Twyman Wood,
Secretary.”3

1 Year Book of the Kentucky Society of the Sons of the American Revolution 1894, Printed by the Republic Press : New York : in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Ninety-Four ; and of the Independence of the United States of the One Hundred and Nineteenth, pp. 9 – 11.
2 Ibid., p. 30.
3 Ibid., pp. 31 – 33.


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