Nathanael Greene Chapter NSDAR

GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA

 OUR HISTORY

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded on October 11, 1890.

It had as its three objectives: Historical Preservation
Promotion of Education
Patriotic Endeavors

In 1890, there was a great revival of patriotism because of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World. Men’s organizations included the Society of Cincinnati, Sons of the Revolution Sires, Sons of the Revolution, and the Sons of the American Revolution, all organized to perpetuate the memory of ancestors who fought to make this country free and independent. Women also wanted to express their patriotic feelings, but their attempt to join the men's organizations was refused. A member of the Sons of the American Revolution then suggested they start their own organization.

In our nation's capital, a small group of women decided to organize under the name, Daughters of the American Revolution. During the summer of 1890, these women performed preliminary work and selected a President General to lead the newly formed organization. Mrs. Benjamin Harrison, the wife of the President of the United States, was invited to be the first President General.

The Daughters of the American Revolution was organized and the dreams and outline for the work of the society was put into place. Today, encompassing one city block and enhancing the beauty of the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., is the headquarters of the NSDAR. A complex of buildings, Memorial Continental Hall, Constitution Hall, and the administration building includes:

  • The DAR Library has a collection which includes many unpublished genealogy typescripts not available anywhere else;

  • Thirty-Three Period Rooms that are maintained by individual state organizations;

  • The DAR Museum has a collection of objects made or used in North America prior to the Industrial Revolution. The museum is open to the public and has a magnificent collection of quilts and ongoing special exhibits;

  • The Seimes Technology Center;

  • And Our Constitution Hall, which has the seating capacity of 3,702 is the largest and primary location for cultural events in Washington, D.C. 

The NSDAR complex of beautiful buildings is the largest in the world that is owned and maintained exclusively by women.

Two years after the founding of the National Society, South Carolina officially became a part of this wonderful group. In February 1892, the National Board of the Daughters of the American Revolution elected Rebecca Pickens Bacon of Edgefield, South Carolina as the State Regent of South Carolina.

Rebecca Pickens Bacon retired from office in 1897. She presented the National Society with seven fully organized chapters and three other organizing chapters.

Today we have 70 chapters totaling almost 4,000 members in South Carolina. Thirty-four state regents have served our state society. What wonderful women we have serving God, Home and Country. South Carolina Daughters continue to tell the story of who we are and what we do.

Four women had the inspiration to form the Nathanael Greene Chapter, DAR. They met on November 12, 1896, at the home of Emma Westfield Mayberry on South Main Street near the Reedy River Bridge in Greenville, South Carolina. Emma Westfield Mayberry became the first chapter regent. The chapter’s charter was granted on May 22, 1897, with the chapter number 328.

When organizing a chapter, a name must be chosen. Emma Westfield Mayberry's application for membership in the DAR was an ancestor of her paternal line, James Gillespie. James Gillespie was born in Cheraw, South Carolina in 1754 and was Sergeant in Martin's Troops, Sumter's Brigade. He resided near General Greene's camp and acted as a guide to General Greene on his march from the Pee Dee. So Emma Westfield Mayberry knew of General Greene's greatness, thus the chapter was named for him.

Nathanael  Greene was born July 27, 1742, near East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Even with his Quaker belief, Nathanael still became a soldier in 1774 and in 1775 was made commander of Rhode Island Regiments. His ability won him many honors, higher ranks, and George Washington's friendship.

Greene's generalship was largely responsible for the triumph of the American forces in the South. After the Americans were defeated in the Battle of Camden, August 16, 1780, Greene was chosen to succeed General Horatio Gates in command of the southern war theater and in early December he took over leadership of a shattered and destitute army.

Greene quickly reorganized it and devised a strategy of retreat northward into North Carolina, goading Lord Cornwallis, the British commander, into following him. His strategy succeeded in dividing the British forces, making the victory possible at the Battle of Cowpens in January 1781, the turning point of the American Revolutionary War. Within eight months Greene freed most of the Carolinas from British control. At the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781, Greene suffered a defeat, but his troops fell back in good order without serious loss. Cornwallis, who was far from base, was compelled by lack of supplies to withdraw. Greene had lost the battle but won the campaign. His strategic skill thereafter brought the war in the South to a successful close.

It was said that Greene might have had a loss but never had a defeat. The minister of France, de la Luzerne, said of Nathanael Greene, "Other generals subdue their enemies by means with which their country or their sovereign furnished them, but Greene appears to subdue his enemy by his own means. He commenced his campaign, without an army, provisions or military store. He has asked for nothing since; and yet scarcely a post arrives from the south, that does not bring intelligence of some new advantage gained over his foe. He conquers by magic."

Nathanael Greene was a great man and Revolutionary War hero and worthy of having a chapter named in his honor.

Locally the Nathanael Greene Chapter has:

  • Held flag retirement ceremonies during war

  • Presented portraits of Francis Marion and Thomas Sumter to high schools and the Jamestown Exposition

  • Contributed to the Greenville, South Carolina, Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)

  • Given flags to Furman University and Women Club, YMCA, Old 96 Girl Scout Council, Roper Mountain Science Center

  • Contributed to King's Mountain Monument, Monument for Sumter, Marion, Pickens and the Memorial plaque to signers of the Constitution located at the South Carolina State House in Columbia

  • Worked with Red Cross and sold bonds

  • Contributed to all National and state projects and programs.

  • Marked Dicey Langston Springfield's grave and later placed monument at her home site in Travelers Rest and helped the preservation effort

  • Knitted garments for the Battleship South Carolina

  • Started the first Children of the American Revolution Society in South Carolina, the Dicey Langston Society

  • Constituted a sewing group for a local army airbase, repairing hundreds of garments and turning hundreds of yards of net and colorful cotton materials into draperies for recreation room and mess hall

  • Planted two-thousand pine trees at Hopewell Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Greenville, South Carolina.

  • Presented American History Medals to high schools since 1924 and recognized history teachers with Outstanding American History awards, outstanding seniors with DAR Good Citizen Awards and worked with children through the Junior American Citizens

  • In 1943, framed copies of Thomas Jefferson’s bi-centennial portrait and presented one to each of the 29 local schools

  • Chapter members wrote their family histories and donated copies to various libraries

  • Donated a quilt and 1818 sampler the NSDAR Museum

Remembering that Promotion of Education is one of our Society's Goals: 

Tamassee DAR School, located in the foothills of South Carolina, was the idea of a Nathanael Greene Chapter NSDAR member. When Frances Louise Hudson Mayes served as South Carolina State Regent, she spoke of her vision for a mountain boarding school for girls without access to transportation.  Although it was not until the next state administration that the school was actually established, Frances Louise Hudson Mayes set the groundwork for the project as a member of the Nathanael Greene Chapter NSDAR. Our NSDAR still continues to support Tamassee DAR School's projects, buildings, and students with time, talent, and treasures. Several chapter members have served on the Boards of Trustees at the school, and member Joyce Howard Ellis, served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

 Our chapter has contributed "woman power" to the State  Society.

  • Organized the state Cameo Society

  • Designed pins for state clubs

  • Numerous Daughters have served as state and national chairs

  • Five members have been recognized as State Outstanding Juniors Members, consecutively from 1998-2000

  • Fifteen members have served as state officers, including the following four state regents:

1910-1914 Frances Louise Hudson Mayes
1976-1979 Joyce Howard Ellis
1997-2000 Ann Salley Crider
2012-2015 Dorothy Ricks Lind

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Yes, we are the Nathanael Greene Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.  
We have a proud heritage of service to God, Home and Country for over a century.

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