The Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution honored the memory of Bill Hamilton during the February monthly membership meeting held at the Cleveland Elks Lodge. …
The Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution honored the memory of Bill Hamilton during the February monthly membership meeting held at the Cleveland Elks Lodge.
Hamilton, the chapter treasurer for many years, died last year.
Chapter President Joseph White called on past president Dr. David Chaffin to present a plaque to Debra Hamilton in honor of her husband. The plaque reads “in honor of faithful service” and includes Hamilton’s SAR name badge.
Debra Hamilton was presented the SAR’s Martha Washington Medal and Certificate for her support of the chapter. Chapter President White presented the medal to her.
The local chapter also recognized James Stone, an active SAR member serving in many capacities for many years, including the medals and awards chairman for the chapter as well as statewide for other chapters too. Past chapter president Chaffin presented Stone the SAR’s Meritorious Service Medal with a seventh Oak Leaf Cluster.
The guest speaker for the evening was Richard White, curator of 18th and 19th Century Tennessee history at the new Tennessee State Museum in Nashville.
The Feb. 13 meeting began with Chaplain Jim Kerr repeating a prayer for the country that George Washington included in his letter to state governors in 1783 as he disbanded the revolutionary army.
With Washington’s birthday being in February, the chapter’s annual toast to America’s first president and commander in chief during the Revolutionary War, was led by John Clines Sr., a past chapter president and current Tennessee SAR Color Guard commander.
After quoting several historians’ comments about Washington’s extraordinary decision to walk away from power, Clines asked the audience to stand and join him in a flavored sparkling water toast “to General George Washington, a humble man who could have been king but walked away a farmer; and to Present George Washington, that same humble man, whose guidance and beliefs set the pattern for an office and a country to last hundreds of years.”
The meeting began and ended with prayer led by Chaplain Kerr and the pledge to the United States flag, salute to the Tennessee flag and the SAR pledge.
President White welcomed guests and prospective members. He made several announcements including the financial report and the SAR oration contest for high school students, chaired by Dennis Purvis and held February 15 at the Elks Lodge
White also announced the annual membership drive ended with 202 chapter members, which continues to make the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter the largest of Tennessee’s 23 SAR chapters.
Members approved the minutes of the January meeting.
Richard White was introduced by Second Vice President Dennis Daniel.
White conducted a photographic tour of the new Tennessee State Museum and concentrated on his area of expertise, the 18th and 19th centuries, from Revolutionary War times through the Civil War.
The museum, formerly housed in the basement of the James K. Polk Building, held its grand opening on October 4, 2018. The state funded $120 million of the museum’s $160 million cost, White said. The museum raised the remaining $40 million.
The museum is free, White said, and features state-of-the-art exhibits and educational interactive stations. Visitors can spend the entire day learning about Tennessee’s past, from Revolutionary War days all the way to the last solar eclipse events across the state. But there is also a fast track, White said, “so you can come in, learn about Tennessee history without doing the deep dive.”
The museum is located on the Bicentennial Mall near the state capital and offers a panoramic view of downtown Nashville. The new Tennessee State Library and Archives is under construction across from the museum, he said.
White invited the public to include the museum during trips to Nashville. He said the museum is open to donations of artifacts pertaining to Tennessee history.
Anyone interested in joining the SAR can contact a Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter member; check out the website colbenjaminclevelandchapter.org or contact Chapter Registrar E. Lynn Freeman at email@example.com.
The chapter can also be reached by mail at: Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter, Tennessee SAR, P.O. Box 2861, Cleveland, Tennessee, 37320.
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