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  • 4 Jul 2020 10:00 AM | Joel Hinzman (Administrator)

    Founded April 19, 1890 - Our 131st Year

    1801 E Street, Southeast, Washington, D.C. 20003


    The District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution (“DCSAR”), the District of Columbia Daughters of the American Revolution (“DCDAR”), the Children of the American Revolution (“C.A.R.”) and members of many other lineage and patriotic organizations gathered on the Fourth of July 2020 for our traditional Independence Day kickoff at Congressional Cemetery. The purpose was to honor and remember Vice President Elbridge Gerry and all the other Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Vice President Gerry is the only Signer buried in Washington, D.C. 


    Elbridge Gerry was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, on July 17, 1744, one of Thomas and Elizabeth Greenleaf Gerry's 11 children. A former ship's captain who emigrated from England in 1730, Thomas Gerry was a pillar of the Marblehead community, serving as a justice of the peace and selectman and as moderator of the town meeting. Gerry was elected to the second Continental Congress in December 1775, serving until 1780 and again from 1783 to 1785. He was one of four delegates chosen by the Massachusetts legislature to attend the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Gerry served in the United States House of Representatives during the First and Second Congresses (1789-1793). A conciliatory and moderate legislator, he supported Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton's proposals to fund the Revolutionary War debt and to establish a national bank.1


    The vice presidency had been vacant for nearly a year by the time Gerry took office as the nation's fifth vice president on March 4, 1813. His predecessor, died in office on April 20, 1812. Gerry would die in office before the end of his term in 1814. After Gerry's interment at Congressional Cemetery, the United States claimed victory over Great Britain. The young nation received few tangible concessions from the British under the Treaty of Ghent, but a new generation of leaders viewed America's "victory" in the War of 1812 as a reaffirmation of the ideals that had animated and sustained Elbridge Gerry since the summer of 1776.1


    During the program, two new members were inducted into DCSAR by State Secretary Paul Hays. Compatriot Jonathan Carothers is a 

    fifth great grandson of Magdalena Adams, who as a widow paid the Pennsylvania Supply Tax in 1782 and therefore qualifies as a patriot ancestor in her own right.  Compatriot Brian Jack, is a fifth great grandson of Jonas Nicholas, a Private in the 1st Regiment of New York Levies


    DCSAR 1st Vice-President William O. Ritchie, Jr. presented the 2020 SAR Law Enforcement Commendation and Medal to the Family of Officer Robert Fleet. 


    On August 20, 1874 at about 0129 hours Washington Metropolitan Police Department Officer Robert Fleet of the Second Precinct while on duty observed a building fire while standing on the corner of 15th and Q Streets NW. Reportedly, the officer ran to fire box #79 to turn in an alarm. He sounded the alarm using a key to the old-fashionedtelegraph system two alarm boxes with a telegraphic key that were used to report neighborhood fires. He immediately fell dead with his key still in the alarm box. It was opined that the exertion of running and excitement caused the rupture of a blood vessel. Others attribute his death to apoplexy, which is unconsciousness or incapacity resulting from a cerebral hemorrhage or stroke.2

    Officer Fleet was the second person of color appointed to the police force on October 29, 1869 and served over three years in the fourth precinct. During April 1873, he was transferred to the second precinct where he served until the time of his death. The funeral of Officer Fleet took place on August 24th at his residence of 2039 K Street NW. The remains were attended by a detail of police, under Lieutenant Cornelius Noonan, and were interred in Harmony Cemetery. Reportedly, there was hardly an officer on the force more generally liked, being of quiet, unassuming manners, and faithful and discreet in the discharge of his duties. As was remarked by some of the officers who had been his colleagues, he was a gentleman.2

    Officer Fleet is listed as a member of the department in the US Interior Department MPD roster on September 13, 1871.


    Robert Fleet was found to have enlisted in the US Navy on May 30, 1859 and served in the capacity of a waiter. On July 25, 1863 was listed in the U.S. Colored Troops, 22nd Regiment Company C and held the rank of Private and the position of feed merchant. He was discharged at some point after the conclusion of the Civil War. 

    Officer Fleet was survived by his wife and two children. During August of 2019 two of Officer Fleet’s second great grandsons, Clayton and Simeon Deskins and second great granddaughter Donna Shoulders were identified via genealogy by DCSAR. All are currently living in the Washington, DC area. The commendation is presented to the Deskins Family.

    Evening Star Article Dated August 20, 1874, Page 4

    The Sons of the American Revolution (“SAR”) the largest male lineage organization in the U.S., consists of 50 state-level societies with more than 500 local chapters, several international societies (including Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), and over 34,000 members. The Missions of this Society are declared to be patriotic, historical, and educational; to unite and promote fellowship among the descendants of those who sacrificed to achieve the independence of the American people, to inspire them and the community-at-large with a more profound reverence for the principles of the government founded by our forefathers; to foster true patriotism; to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom. 

  • 29 Apr 2020 4:52 PM | Joel Hinzman (Administrator)


    The District of Columbia Sons of the American Revolution held its Installation of Officers ceremony on Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 7:45 pm. The black-tie-with-regalia virtual event was simulcast to each member’s home through the marvels of modern technology, specifically the Zoom application. The ceremony was preceded by a brief cocktail period.

    The meeting was called to order by DCSAR President Lane D. Brooks followed by the invocation offered by Assistant Chaplain Rev. Dr. John D. Stonesifer. Cindy Hays, DC DAR State Regent-elect, presented the American flag from her living room, and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by DCSAR Vice President William O. Ritchie. NSSAR Vice President General Ernest L Sutton administered the oath of office to the newly-elected officers. Brief remarks were made by incoming DCSAR President Joel P. Hinzman, who then led the membership in a toast appropriate to the occasion.

  • 9 Feb 2020 4:58 PM | Joel Hinzman (Administrator)

    The Embassy of France in the Georgetown section of Washington, DC was the location of the District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution 2020 Sweethearts and Patriots Gala for the second consecutive year. The sixth annual Gala occurred on February 8, 2020. The 2020 gala beneficiaries are the Code of Support Foundation and Terre Fraternité.

    His Excellency, the French Ambassador to the United States, Philippe Noël Marie Marc Étienne joined the 2020 Sweethearts and Patriots Gala as Honorary Chair.

    Guests were greeted and welcomed by DCSSAR President Lane D. Brooks and were treated to a rendition of the French National Anthem by Colonel Remi Bouzereau, Military Attaché at the Embassy of France. 

    The most captivating presentation was made by D.J. Skelton, Chairman of the Defense Language Foundation, who served in the US Army from 1996 to 2018. He was severely wounded in 2004 while leading a rifle infantry platoon in Fallujah, Iraq. After his recovery, DJ dedicated himself to advancing the causes of wounded veterans. He served as a military advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Defense and as a Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, advising on wounded warrior policy and veterans issues. He talked about his many personal challenges as wounded warrior and his gratification to the many organizations that support disabled veterans such our Code of Support and Terre Fraternité.

    Among the attendees was Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient Dawn Halfaker, who is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Halfaker ( and Associates, one of the Gala Corporate Sponsors. 

    Pictures from the Gala are in the album.

  • 12 Dec 2019 7:47 AM | William Ritchie (Administrator)


    December 14, 2019 

    In this excellent account of Monticello's ownership after Thomas Jefferson's death, Leepson, who has written for the New York Times, Preservation and Smithsonian, turns the spotlight on a family that contributed to the preservation of history but heretofore went unnoticed. When Jefferson died in 1826 his enormous debt forced his heirs to sell the beloved estate. Unfortunately, James Turner Barclay, a Charlottesville, Va., druggist who paid $7,000 for it, let the house decline during the few years he owned it. In 1834 the house was purchased by U.S. Navy Lieutenant Uriah Phillips Levy, a wealthy, bold, passionate admirer of Jefferson who quickly poured money into its repair. Thus began this Jewish-American family's nearly 90-year proprietorship of Monticello.

    After being briefly appropriated by the Confederacy during the Civil War, it again landed in the hands of a Levy, Uriah's nephew Jefferson Levy. Monticello became a kind of surrogate child for this extremely successful, unmarried businessman and sometime politician. When the patriotic New York socialite Maud Littleton began her campaign to make Monticello a government-owned shrine in 1911, the battle that ensued in Congress and the newspapers was as emotional as any child custody battle, but more compelling for the dynamic lives and personalities involved. Through extensive research and with fascinating detail, Leepson uncovers the facts surrounding Monticello's owners and preservation involving great wealth, patriotism, anti-Semitism, and social and political influence. Leepson's absorbing account is an overdue chronicle and homage to the national treasure and its memorable saviors….Publisher’s Weekly.

    Our guest speaker at the District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution Holiday Dinner, held at the Capitol Hill Club on December 12, 2019 in the National Capital, was Marc Leepson, a journalist, historian and author of nine books. Those books include "Ballad of the Green Beret, a biography of Army Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler” (2017), "What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life" (2014), "Lafayette: Idealist General" (2011), "Desperate Engagement, the story of the Civil War Battle of Monocacy and the Confederate attack on Washington, D.C." (2007), "Flag: An American Biography, the history of the Stars and Stripes from the beginnings to the 21st century" (2005), and "Saving Monticello" (2001).

    During his presentation, while guest dined on Crab Cakes and Petite Filet Steak, Leepson highlights his book “Saving Monticello” that offers the first complete post-Jefferson history of this American icon and reveals the amazing story of how one Jewish family saved the house that became a family home to them for 89 years -- longer than it ever was to the Jefferson.

    Our next event will be the 2020 Sweethearts and Patriots Gala, to be held at the Embassy of France on February 8, 2020. The beneficiaries for this event will be the Code of Support Foundation ( and l’AssociationTerre Fraternité (  More Information can be found at

  • 26 Oct 2019 7:43 AM | William Ritchie (Administrator)


    DCSAR luncheon guest were treated to an excellent presentation by Robert Watson, Ph.D.,Distinguished Professor of American History at Lynn University, about Alexander Hamilton's relationship with George Washington and his role in the victory at Yorktown. His presentation covered the early life of Alexander Hamilton to his becoming an important advisor and confidant to General Washington. The October 26, 2019 Yorktown Luncheon was held at the prestigious Army and Navy Club in downtown Washington, DC., celebrating the 238th anniversary of the American Victory at Yorktown and the major contribution to its success by France and French Heroes of the Revolution. 

    Professor Watson is an award-winning author who has published 40 books and hundreds of scholarly articles and chapters on topics in history and politics as well as two multi-edition encyclopedia sets on the presidents and first ladies. His recent books include Affairs of State (2012), America’s First Crisis (2014)--winner of the Independent Publisher’s Gold Medal in History, The Presidents’ Wives (2014)--which is in 2nd edition, The Nazi Titanic (2016)--which is being made into a motion picture, The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn (2017)--which won the John Barry Book Award and John Lyman Book Award and is the subject of a National Geographic TV special, and George Washington’s Final Battle, forthcoming in 2020. Several of his books are in international translation, have been nominated for book awards, and were featured on Book TV and at prominent literary festivals. 

    Guests received greetings from Colonel Remi Bouzereau, Military Attaché, Embassy of France, who led a toast on behalf of the people of France.

  • 4 Jul 2019 4:16 PM | William Ritchie (Administrator)


    Knight Essay Contest Awardee

     Ms. Shannon Elliott captivated the audience who were in attendance at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC on July 4, 2019 with her essay about one of the forces/motivations behind the American Revolution; taxation without representation.  Entitled "Taxation without Representation: History Repeated", Ms. Elliott, standing alongside the grave of  Vice President Elbridge Gerry, the only signer of the Declaration of Independence buried in the Nation’s Capital, compared this wrongdoing to the current taxation without representation of District of Columbia residents.

    The George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest is open to any student in grades 9-12 in any public, parochial, private or home school within Washington DC. The student must write and submit an original researched and proven paper. The topic of the essay shall deal with an event, person, philosophy, or ideal associated with the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution. Ms. Elliott received a $1000 prize as the 2019 contest winner from DCSAR President Lane D. Brooks alongside her mother, Ms. Sheila McCree.

    Shannon Elliott is a long-standing District of Columbia resident. She recently graduated from McKinley Technology High School on a NAF certified Informational Technology Computer Science track and will be attending North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in this fall majoring in civil engineering.  A growing number of top national and global companies have committed to NAFTrack Certified Hiring, a promise to give special consideration to college students and eventual job applicants who, as high school graduates, earned NAFTrack Certification.

  • 4 Jul 2019 4:08 PM | William Ritchie (Administrator)


    The District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution (“DCSAR”), the District of Columbia Daughters of the American Revolution (“DCDAR”), the Children of the American Revolution (“C.A.R.”) and members of many other lineage and patriotic organizations gathered on the Fourth of July 2019 for our traditional Independence Day kickoff at Congressional Cemetery.

    C.A.R. led the way at 9:00 AM, laying a wreath at the grave of Revolutionary War drummer boy John Hunter. At 10:00 AM guest moved the short distance to the grave of Vice President Elbridge Gerry; to honor and remember not only Gerry himself, but all the other Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Vice President Gerry is the only Signer buried in Washington, D.C. 

    During the program, new members were inducted into DCSAR. Compatriots Inocencio Orta and Christopher Dartagnan Orta are both descendants of the Revolutionary War Patriot Joseph Ingraham. Inocenio is a former DC C.A.R. State President and Christopher is a former NS C.A.R. Newsletter Chairman.

    The posthumous memorial inductee was William O. Ritchie Sr., (1926-2001) a business icon and community leader formerly of Beckley, WV. Mr. Ritchie was the former managing partner of the Ritchie and Johnson Funeral Parlor Inc., in Beckley. He also served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Beckley Housing Authority where he was a proponent of ensuring equitable and affordable housing for deserving residents. The Lewis-Ritchie Apartments were co-named in his honor.  

    On February 27, 2014 he posthumously received the Certificate of Recognition for extraordinary service to the citizens of West Virginia in the battle for absolute equality and civil rights for all from the Honorable Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor of the State of West Virginia. Governor Tomblin stated “It is important to remember our past as we look toward our future. You… have made this country a better place to live and it is because of your efforts, and your service to the great State of West Virginia, that we enjoy the level of diversity we have today. It is on your shoulders that we stand. Your commitment and passion to the struggle for equality and justice will not be forgotten.” Mr. Ritchie’s great grandfather, Harvey A. Reynolds, was born into slavery on August 15, 1828.

    On this day that we celebrate our nation’s independence, Mr. Ritchie’s induction will be the fourth generation of his family that has proven their bloodline to the Revolutionary War Patriot Lieutenant Isaac Rucker, a member of the Amherst County Virginia Militia. Other family are William Ritchie Jr (son) and Delante’ Joiner (great-grandson) both members of DCSAR, Arian Ritchie Joiner (granddaughter) member of DCDAR and Devin and Destiny Joiner (great-granddaughters) members of C.A.R. Delante’ accepted the certificate for his late great grandfather. 

Copyright D.C. Sons of the American Revolution

The D.C. Sons of the American Revolution is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. 1801 E Street SEWashington, DC 20003 

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