Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

Meeting Notice and News, September 2011



            Our next meeting will be held on September 17th in the private meeting room of the Piccadilly Cafeteria, located at 11810 Dale Mabry Highway North, Tampa, Florida (813-963-1660). Meetings begin at noon but members arrive as early as 11:30 for a time of camaraderie.

The Speaker for the kick off meeting of the new year will be Mr. E J Salcines who will talk to us about the Spanish in Florida.

There are several very important items we need to bring to everyone’s attention.  They are listed/explained below.  Thanks for taking the time to look them over.




Bob Yarnell

Vice President, Tampa Chapter



Name Tags

We regret that several non-related events have led to the cancellation of the last name tag order placed in the spring. We think it would help to make a clean start and so, if you don’t have an SAR name tag and wish one, please see our Treasurer, Chuck Copeland at the September meeting or email him at chuckc100@verizon.net.


A Note from John Skillman

On May 28th John participated with the Color Guards from North and South Carolina at the 231st anniversary of the Battle of Waxhaws (Buford's Massacre) near Lancaster, SC.


On June 4th John appeared in uniform at the rededication of the grave of a Rev War Patriot about six miles from our home. It was sponsored by the local Woman's Club and the DAR. Our SAR Chapter President presented a SAR bronze grave marker and a wreath, and John gave a ten minute talk on the military record of Colonel Andrew Lewis, Jr., son of the more famous General Andrew Lewis of the Virginia Militia in the Rev War.


The picture at the left was taken after the rededication event.

On June 18th I participated with the Color Guard from NC, SC and other states at the ceremony to honor the 231st anniversary of the Battle of Ramseur’s Mill in Lincolnton, NC. I also presented a wreath to honor those who lost their lives in the battle. I was able to get a new streamer for our flag, which I will present to the chapter in the fall.


Also participating with the Color Guard and presenting a wreath from FLSSAR was David Ramseur, FLSSAR President and direct descendant of the owner of the mill. I am attaching a photo of David and me and hope that it can be included in our next newsletter to the chapter. In an email to me, David recounted the following about the battle: “…that battle lasted less than an hour.  After the battle my ancestor David and his brother Jacob got on their horses and chased their Loyalist brother-in-law down in the woods and hung him from a tree.”




John writes, “I am lucky to be here in Virginia for half of the year, because there are Rev War battle sites all around the area and the SAR is always doing a ceremony somewhere. There are also numerous grave markings because there are so many Rev War soldiers buried around here. There is a cemetery about 15 miles from our house that contains eight. I wish the Tampa Chapter and Color Guard could participate in events like these, but fortunately the war had little impact in Florida. I hope you are all having a good summer and look forward to seeing you in October or November.”



Florida SAR Board of Management Meetings  -- note from John Skillman

The summer meeting was held in late August and the Fall meeting will be held October 21st and 22nd in Kissimmee. In the past Kevin, by virtue of his role as state secretary, attended all the meetings and was able to keep our chapter informed of state events. It would be helpful to the chapter if one or more members were able to attend the Board of Management meetings. We are allowed three voting members: the president, immediate past president, and one at-large member. Proxy voting for the president and past president are permitted. You can find information regarding registration at www.flssar.org.   I will be attending the October meeting.  Anyone interested in joining me, let me know.


2nd Annual Conference on the American Revolution

John Skillman attended the conference and sent the following report:


This past weekend I attended the 2nd Annual SAR Conference on the American Revolution. It was held in Baltimore and the topic was “Slavery & Liberty: Black Patriots of the American Revolution.” As with last year’s conference at West Point on George Washington and his Protégées, it was extremely well organized and the entire program was fascinating and informative. All in all, it was a delicate topic handled masterfully. There were ten university professors who each presented a 45 minute paper on a specific individual or other relative topic. Each professor was thoroughly knowledgeable in his or her subject. Among the Universities represented were UCLA, Rochester Institute of Technology, Tulane, Colgate, Smith, Morgan State, and the University of Massachusetts. This was a heavy duty line-up! These papers will ultimately undergo a peer review and editing and be published in a book by the SAR.


Both of these conferences have been the most stimulating experience of the year for me. One of the great benefits was the interaction with the professors and other attendees. Next year’s conference will be in Charlottesville on Thomas Jefferson. I urge all of you to plan to attend if you can work it into your travel plans. The date has not been set, but you can be sure I will let you know when I have details.



Additionally, John Skillman has arranged for us to sponsor an information / recruiting table at the Fall Genealogy Seminar to be sponsored by the Florida Genealogical Society on Saturday, October 1st at USF.  . Luke Lloyd, Ed Neugaard, Allen Bell and Jack Bolen have volunteered to staff our table for the day, but we welcome anyone else who may want to help out. Please contact John Skillman for details.

If you would like to attend the Fall Genealogy Seminar and sit in on all the sessions, the first link below will give you the details. The second link includes the registration form. John will not be able to attend, but welcomes any questions you may have and looks forward to seeing all of us at the October meeting on the 15th at the Piccadilly Cafeteria.

For details: http://www.fgstampa.org/cpage.php?pt=33

For registration: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/847772/FGS%202011%20Fall%20Seminar%20Registration%20Form.pdf


Jack Bolen has agreed to take over coordinating the ROTC program.  We are planning to do it slightly differently than we have in the past in order to get more members involved and to make it less work for any single person.  Below is a list of all the high schools in Hillsborough County to which we give awards.  You will note they are organized by zip code.  What we need is for members to take “ownership” of one or more schools.  What you would be expected to do is contact the ranking senior ROTC instructor, introduce yourself and let that person know you will be the contact with the SAR.  You would be responsible for letting them know about the April luncheon meeting, sending periodic reminders so they remember to chose a recipient and finding out when they will be holding their spring awards ceremony.  You would not be required/expected to attend the awards ceremony.  While that might be nice and we would encourage it, we will handle that part as we always have, getting a list of when and where the awards ceremonies are and having members go to those that fit their schedules in May.  Please consider helping with this.  It would not take much time.  Jack Bolen and Bob Yarnell would be happy to answer any questions or deal with any concerns you have.  They only way we will be able to continue this program is with the help and cooperation of the entire membership.  Please help.









East Bay




Lithia/Fish Hawk


Plant City

Plant City



Plant City











So. County Ctr.

























Temple Terrace





Tampa Bay Tech
























H.B. Plant










New Tampa



New Tampa
















Below is the tentative program schedule for the 2011-2012 year.  As always send along any suggestions for speakers.


Sept.   E J Salcines :  The Spanish in Florida

Oct.     Law Enforcement award

Nov.                            Genealogy and DNA

Dec.    CAR and Oratorical Entrant

Jan.     TBA

Feb.    TBA

March Fire/EMT award

April    ROTC—speaker TBA

May     TBA


Several notes about the schedule.  The October meeting will differ from our usual format.  We will give out the law enforcement award the first thing after the usual introductory things.  Then adjourn for lunch and after lunch have an extended business meeting to discuss a myriad of things that need to claim our attention.  Among them are the ROTC program and also the possibility/probability of having to move that meeting due to space concerns.  Any suggestions you have along those lines would be welcome at the Oct. meeting.  We are planning on keeping the business as short as possible in Sept. in deference to our speaker, thus the expanded business meeting in October.  The January speaker will be a Florida state officer who will install the officers and give us an update on the state society.





Jack Bolen and Bob Yarnell have agreed to serve as the nominations committee for the year.  If you are interested in running for any of the officer post let them know.  Elections are in November.  In particular, we are in desperate need of a new secretary.   We have heard that some folks are intimidated by what they perceive as the work load of the job.  The most significant thing to say here is  that you would not expected to do all that Kevin did.  Since he was also state secretary, it was just easier for him to do things that we now need to find others to do (the ROTC program being a prime example).  Your main jobs would be: taking minutes at the meetings – this, of course, means you need to be able to attend all meetings…; handling any correspondence; and working with the treasurer to turn in the annual report in December.  This is a vital job and needs someone to step forward and claim it.  If you aren’t sure and want a try out, we need an interim secretary for the fall.  Anyone who is willing to just take minutes until elections in November, please let Bob Yarnell know.


Minutes of the May 21, 2011 meeting of the Tampa Chapter SAR


Vice President Robert Yarnell called the meeting to order at 12:00. Jack Bolen offered the invocation. The Vice President led the pledge to the flag and to the SAR.


Members present: Jack Bolen, Marty Miller, Allen, Bell, Chuck Copeland, Dick Young, John Sessums, Robert Koehler, Ed Neugaard, Leo Kelly, Gray Reese, Cy Gamber, Chuck Hawley, David McCallister, Gilbert Doan, Terrell Sessums, Bill Floyd, Paul Farley, Robert Yarnell, and Kevin Yarnell.


Welcome guests:

Wives: June Bolen, Judy Copeland, Lisitte Young

Other guests: Glenn Clepper, Robbins Denham, Greg Tilsdale, Brooke Wade and her family


The Vice President introduced the guests.


For the benefit of our speaker the regular order of the meeting was adjusted and the Vice President introduced Joel Pineira a veteran of the Afghanistan wars. Joel was the class commander at the Clearwater High JROTC and while there won the SAR Bronze award. He later enlisted in the Marines and after basic training attended school to learn Arabic and other languages. Following this training he served in a number of different offices and units and was stationed to Iraq and Afghanistan four times. Joel gave some details of his deployments and assignments which included locating those appearing on the “deck of cards” of most wanted in Iraq.


His presentation included some remarks on the emotional toll of war, particularly as it applied to younger soldiers. He concluded with remarks of appreciation to the other veterans in the room.


Following some questions the Vice President presented Joel with an SAR coffee mug.


The meeting recessed for lunch.


The minutes of the April meeting were approved.  


The secretary related notes from members that were unable to attend the meeting. He then read a thank you note from the Chamberlain High School cadet that received the SAR award and an email from the Commander of the Sickles High School JROTC unit.


A copy of the reports submitted at the recent state Board of Management Meeting was made available for the members.


The treasurer reported cash of $26.88 and $2,703.57 in checking. The secretary passed on to the treasurer information about the Florida Endowment Trust Fund including our recent submission for reimbursement for the 25 ROTC medals we presented this year.


Registrar Alan Bell reported on his work. There is an especially large number of Supplementals in process. One new member was approved.


As Color Guard Commander, Alan announced the Lutz 4th of July parade and encouraged other members to join the Color Guard.


Jack Bolen spoke to the continuation of the JROTC program after the departure of the secretary. His plan is to divide up the schools in the country and assign one member to each area. This should make things more workable. Alan Bell spoke to the value of the program to the chapter and to the cadets.


Our fall meetings and programs have been planned by the Vice President. In either Sept. or Oct. EJ Salcinace will speak on the Spanish American War and we’ll present our annual Law Enforcement award on the other month. In November Mr. Boyet will speak to the members on genealogy and our annual joint meeting with the CAR will be held in December.


Vice President Bob Yarnell presented Leo Kelly his membership certificate and inducted him as the chapter’s newest member. Terry Doan received his Military Service Medal as well.


We were pleased to welcome Brooke Wade and her family to the meeting. Brooke won the Florida Knight Essay Contest. Due to a communications mix up the secretary did not have her essay on hand to share, but we’ve included it at the end of these minutes for the benefit of the members. Brooke briefly spoke regarding her background and accomplishments. She expressed an interest in participating in next year’s Rumbaugh Oration Contest.


To mark the last meeting which the chapter’s longtime secretary will be able to attend. Both the Vice President and Jack Bolen offered some background on Kevin’s work with the chapter dating to 1994 as well as expressions of appreciation for those efforts. Jack then presented Kevin a monetary gift from the members to aid in his seminary expenses. In accepting the gift, Kevin offered his sincere thanks and appreciation for the remarks and generous gift.


June Bolen won the 50/50 and donated her share to the treasury.


The Vice President led the recessional, Jack Bolen gave the benediction, and the meeting adjourned at 1:30pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Kevin Yarnell

Chapter Secretary








WE the People


By: Brooke Wade

In A.D. 1620, after suffering intense persecutions from Anglican authorities in England and struggling for survival in Holland, a group of Separatists, or Pilgrims, left their homeland to settle in the unknown wilderness of America. They hoped to settle in Virginia, but after a grueling 65-day journey on the crowded, storm-tossed Mayflower, they Pilgrims found themselves in Massachusetts in the dead of winter. Determined to succeed and survive in this new world, the passengers drafted the Mayflower Compact as a temporary constitution. This document, nevertheless, has "firmly established its place in history as one of the earliest examples of the right of self-government to be found in America" (Perry 59). Subsequent colonial constitutions also granted the ultimate legislative authority to the people. Eventually, in the late 1700s, this most important principle of self-government became the primary cause for America's separation from Great Britain. As expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, the idea of individual self-government laid the foundation for the American republic and its political philosophy.

Many people today believe that the War for Independence began as a struggle for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." In a way, it did, but on a deeper and more fundamental level it began as a fight for self-government. The American colonists wholeheartedly believe that "it was a violation of basic human dignity for anyone other than the people or their own elected legislative representatives to decide the rules that everyone must obey" (Farris 7). Everyone has this natural desire to govern his own life and his own actions. No one wants to be told what to do all the time. There is a sort of joy and satisfaction in independence and self-government. Within every human heart exists the will to self-govern, and any government that attempts to suppress these tendencies immediately becomes a tyrant in the minds of the people. Eventually, the people will grow tired of such oppression, rise up, and reclaim their right to self-government. As M.A. Richter accurately observed, "The idea of self-government is the main cause of all great reforms and revolutions" (Richter iii). American was no exception. Her revolution focused on the importance of individual self-government.

This simple explanation of the beginnings of the American Revolution did not come only from history textbooks: the Founding Fathers themselves attributed self-government as the reason for separation in what is commonly known today as the Declaration of Independence. In fact, the title "Declaration of Independence" is a misnomer. John Adams noted, in a letter to his wife Abigail, that a resolution for independence had passed the Continental Congress two days earlier on July 2, 1776 (Adams "July 3, 1776"). The actual name for the document approved on July 4 was "The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America," and its sole purpose was to declare the reasons for separation. Out of the roughly 27 reasons, almost all of them fell under the heading of self-government or individual rights. Both must be guaranteed for the continuation of the American republic. According to the Founders, however, self-government had to come before the exercise of natural rights since without proper representation in government, no person could have guaranteed natural rights. As the Declaration itself states, "To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" (Declaration). "Consent of the governed" mandated that the people had full power to self-govern. Government could only intrude into the private sphere of people's lives with the people's permission (Meese 2). Self-government formed the necessary foundation not only for American political philosophy but also for her structure of government.

By itself, however, the Declaration could not guarantee that the new American republic would stand firm on these principles. While it "provided the philosophical basis" for a limited government, another key document, The Constitution of the United States of America, "delineated the structure of government and the rules for its operation" (Meese 1). While the Declaration expressed the spirit of the law, the Constitution framed the letter of the law. For instance, the Declaration included the individual's inherent right to self-govern, and the Constitution codified this principle with these words from the Preamble: "We the People of the United States … do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America" (Constitution). Ultimately, the people had supreme authority over the government through their elected representatives. That is the unique foundation of the American republic. Joseph Story, a Supreme Court justice under the Marshall Court, explained in his Commentaries on the Constitution that "the fabric of American empire ought to rest and should rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people" (Story 447). Using almost the exact wording as the Declaration, Story demonstrated how the political philosophy of the colonists in 1776 carried over into the Constitution with the delegates of 1787. The Constitution ensured that the principles of liberty fought for in the Revolution would not be destroyed by an irresponsible, aloof government but would be upheld by a government accountable to the people themselves.

Even the very process of ratification confirmed this idea. Delegates at the Second Constitutional Convention, having not been elected directly by the people, had no legitimate authority to create a government. By submitting the newly drafted Constitution to the states for ratification, the delegates acknowledged that the ultimate decision should be made by the elected representatives of the people—the delegates to the state ratification conventions. When a state ratified the Constitution, it signified that the people of that state also ratified the document through their representatives. For further protection of self-government and natural rights, several delegates proposed a Bill of Rights. Originally, twelve amendments were proposed. What is currently the First Amendment was actually the Third Amendment in the original Bill. The initial First Amendment required that each representative to the United States Congress speak for no more than 50,000 people (Original Bill of Rights). Representation, the most effective form of self-government, was the bedrock of the Constitution, the Declaration, the republic, and American political philosophy in general. Representation could almost characterize the American life: without political representation and self-government, no American citizen could guard against government intrusion into the personal, religious, and social spheres of life. As a guarantee against a tyrannical and unlimited government, the Founding Fathers ensured that each person would be adequately represented in Congress.

Governor Edmund Randolph, arguing for the principles of the Constitution, asked one crucial question to the Virginia ratification convention: "The government is for the people …. If the government is to be binding on the people, are not the people the proper persons to examine its merits or defects?" (qtd. in Meese 44). Self-government formed the basis for the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States. Self-government shaped the development of American political philosophy and the structure of the American republic. America's guarantee of liberty and individual rights comes only from the exercise of self-government. Those who wish to continue the American tradition of liberty and preserve the legacy of the Founders must never forget the sacred principle of WE the People.

Works Cited

Adams, John to Abigail Adams. "July 3, 1776." PDF File.

"Declaration of Independence." Archiving Early America. Web. 29 January 2011. <http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/freedom/doi/text.html>.

Farris, Michael P. Constitutional Law for Enlightened Citizens. N.p.: Home School Legal Defense Association, 2006. Print.

"Full Text of the Constitution of the United States." Archiving Early America. Web. 29 January 2011. <http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/freedom/constitution/text.html>.

Meese, Edwin III, Matthew Spalding, and David Forte. The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2005. Print

Perry, Richard L., ed. Sources of Our Liberties. Revised. Buffalo: William S. Hein & Co., Inc., 1991. Print.

Richter, M.A. "On Self-Government; Together With General Plans of a State Constitution, and a Constitution for a Confederation of States, Founded on the Principles of Self-Government; Also, Two Extracts, One from the Constitution of the United States of North America. The Other from the State of Kentucky. To Which is Added, The Constitution of the State of New York, Examined According to the Principle of Self-Government." Boston: Crosby & Nichols, 1847. Google Book Search. Web. 28 January 2011.

Story, Joseph. Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. Ed. Leonard W. Levy. Vol. 1. New York: Da Capo Press, 1970. Print.

"The Original Bill of Rights – Text Version." Archiving Early America. Web. 29 January 2011. <http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/freedom/bill/text.html>.