DCSAR held its 2023 Holiday Dinner on December 5, 2023, commencing with a host bar with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at 7:00pm. The dinner occurred in the elegance of the Eisenhower Lounge at the Capitol Hill Club, located at 300 First Street SE, Washington, DC. Guests were welcomed by DCSAR President Bill Ritchie followed by the invocation from DCSAR Chaplain The Rev. John D. Stonesifer and the pledge of allegiance. The dinner reception and after meal dessert included musical selections by Dana Kristina-Joi Morgan, a graduate of the Howard University Master of Music Program.
President Ritchie acknowledged special guests who were in attendance. Guests bringing greetings included SAR Mid-Atlantic District Vice President General James Frank Engler Sr., DC Daughters of the American Revolution State Regent Elizabeth Gable Hicks and President General NS Daughters of the American Revolution Pamela Edwards Rouse Wright. Also acknowledged with his attendance was the Defense Attache for the British Embassy Rear Admiral Timothy Woods.
The guest speaker was SAR Compatriot Ric Murphy, who is President General of the Society of the First African Families of English America (SOFAFEA), and past National Vice President for History of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. Ric, an acclaimed historian, educator, lecturer, has received multiple awards for his documentary. As an award-winning author, he explores the rich tapestry of African American history by weaving together the personal and heroic stories of amazing men and women, and their rich and remarkable contributions to American history. He was recently notified that his documentary, "Arrival of the First Documented Africans in English America" is a semi-finalist entry into the 2023 Cannes World Film Festival and is a winner in the 2023 Luanda (Angola) International Pan African Film Festival.
During his presentation, Compatriot Murphy discussed his extensive research on the arrival of his Angolan ancestors who arrived in the English colony of Virginia aboard the slaver the San Juan Bautista on August 20, 1619. He also shared that he descends from fourteen Revolutionary War soldiers of whom eight were of African descent.
The goal of SOFAFEA, in part, is to inform descendants and the general public of the historical importance and contributions of the substantial number of American men, women and children of African and Indigenous descent who served in the American Revolution and are now known as America's Forgotten Patriots. And to restore the dignity of America’s Forgotten Patriots and first veterans, as founders of the United States of America, by honoring these ancestors and connecting them to present day descendants, and to American history. Ric shared how the SOFAFEA in support of America 250 has launched the national Forgotten Patriots Project honoring the men, women and children of African and Indigenous descent who provided military service during the Revolutionary War.
Ric referenced that the Daughters of the American Revolution published the book Forgotten Patriots: African American and American Indian Service in the Revolutionary War, 1775-1783 documenting the names of over 6,600 patriots and includes “details of the documented service of the listed patriots, historical commentary on happenings of the time, and assortment of illustrations and an extensive biography of resource sources related to the topic.” The Daughters of the American Revolution has made this valuable research tool free on their website and includes periodic updates.
Compatriot Murphy and Ms. Morgan were presented with the DC SAR Honor in Service Cross that takes its name from the Latin phrase, honor in officio, expressing esteem for those who perform acts of benefit beyond themselves and in this case for service to DCSAR.
DCSAR Secretary Paul Hays conducted the induction of two new members. Ivar Kent Fjall raises horses on his farm in Stafford, Virginia, and in his spare time, conducts prison ministries. He’s a 5th great grandson of William Teague, who served as a Private in the South Carolina Militia. Paul Hays is his sponsor. Theodore George Osius III is President & CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council and from 2014 to 2017 was U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam. He lives in Wesley Heights with his husband, Compatriot Clayton Bond, and their two children. He’s the 3rd great grandson of Robert Lowrey, a private in the First North Carolina Regiment. Clayton was his sponsor.