Ocoee Chapter DAR Meets
The Ocoee Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution held its June meeting recently at the Elks Lodge, and celebrated the 222nd anniversary of Tennessee’s statehood. Regent Leigh Ann Boyd presided and led in the Ritual. Katy Tippens led in the singing of the National Anthem.
Debra Hamilton gave a memorial tribute to member Rinehart Lackey, who passed away recently, and led the prayer.
Boyd introduced guests and announced the names of those members having birthdays in June, July, or August, wishing them a happy birthday.
She reported on recent events in which Chapter members participated and announced the dates of several upcoming events. Members were reminded to observe Flag Day on June 13 and to join other DAR members at the Brainerd Mission for the Flag raising at 2:30 p.m. that day.
Boyd read President General Ann T. Dillon’s message to the Daughters which included the following:
“I am looking forward to welcoming members to our National Headquarters this month for the 127th Continental Congress.
“While you are visiting Headquarters, be sure to see the restored Constitution Hall Stage and the renovated DAR Museum Gallery.
“The DAR Library has put together some helpful tips for researching in the Library. Because many of the resources in the DAR Library have been digitized, you can do a lot of research at home, even if you are unable to attend Congress.
“Marking a Revolutionary War Patriot’s grave can sometimes seem like a daunting task, but the Historian General’s office has put together procedures that make it easier for chapters.”
National Defense Chairman Sarah Dorset gave a brief biography of John Hancock as part of her series on Patriots of the Revolutionary War.
John Hancock, born in 1737 and best known as the most prominent signer of the Declaration of Independence, practiced writing his name in order to sign boldly and with such flourish.
Hancock, who lived with his rich uncle after the death of his parents, became one of the wealthiest men in New England. After graduating from Harvard, he became a merchant, statesman and prominent Patriot.
He was on the King’s “most dangerous” list, due to his involvement in the Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Hancock was a colorful character who enjoyed wearing expensive clothes, but who was also a very generous man.
Conservation Chairman Katy Tippens read “Forecasting Folklore,” which included methods that our ancestors used to help them try to predict the weather. Some of the more popular ways to forecast a harsh winter were the number of acorns on the ground during the fall, squirrels being more active in the fall, markings inside persimmon seeds, markings on woolly caterpillars, and onions or cornhusks having thicker than normal skins.
Women’s Issues Chairman Ellen McReynolds offered tips for anyone wishing to lose weight and cautioned that one should not follow a diet containing fewer than 800 calories per day.
DAR Schools Chairman Mildred Maupin read a thank-you letter from Tamassee School, thanking the Chapter for the recent monetary donation.
Members were asked to log their “Service to America” hours during the summer and to report those volunteer hours to Service to America Chairman Linda Foster.
Vice-regent Joanne Swafford introduced guest speaker Ann Dietrich who spoke about the history of the Brainerd Mission. She is a librarian, married to local attorney Paul Dietrich and they have a married daughter, Elizabeth Ann.
The Brainerd Mission Cemetery was established in 1817 on 25 acres of land by Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. The Board was at that time a committee represented by the Presbyterian, the Dutch Reformed Church, and the Congregational Church.
The plan of the Mission was to continue the missionary work of Dr. Gideon Blackburn. Indian Agent Col. Return J. Meigs assisted in the construction of the houses and in the effort to promote school attendance by the Indian youths.
The Mission was renamed in 1818 to honor David Brainerd who had been a missionary to the Indians in New England.
The grounds included a schoolhouse, mission house, gristmill, sawmill, orchard, barn, dormitories, and a cemetery. The site was located on what is now Brainerd Village and the Walmart.
The goal of the mission and boarding school for Cherokee children was to educate and Christianize the Cherokees living in the area. Missionaries taught students to speak and read English and to read the Bible. It played an important role in influencing future Cherokee leaders and the history of our region.
One of the more famous students at Brainerd Mission was Elias Boudinot, who became editor of the Cherokee Phoenix and signer of the 1835 New Echota removal treaty.
President James Monroe visited the Brainerd Mission in May 1819 and was so impressed that he made a personal donation of one thousand dollars to the Mission.
By 1831, most of the missionaries had become devoted to the Cherokee people and their fight against the Georgia government and removal.
One missionary, Rev. Samuel Worcester, first ministered at Brainerd in 1825 and later moved to New Echota to work with Elias Boudinot on a Cherokee version of the Bible. Worcester was involved in the purchase of a printing press for the Cherokee Nation and with Boudinot served as co-editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, a newspaper published in both Cherokee and English.
Between 1835 and 1838, the missionaries reported many periods of illness in the area including deaths from influenza and a case of smallpox.
The Mission was closed in August of 1838 after hundreds of Cherokee were removed on the Trail of Tears. A one-acre cemetery is now all that is left of the Brainerd Mission.
During the business session of the meeting, Linda Foster read the minutes of the May meeting, and Carolyn Hendrix gave the treasurer’s report.
Registrar Helen Riden reported that the reinstatements of Teresa Winter and Becky Chaffin have been verified, and that Heather White is in the process of being transferred into the Ocoee Chapter.
Following a drawing for door prizes, Regent Boyd who was also a hostess, thanked hostesses Linda Boyd and Maggie Evans, and adjourned the meeting.
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