Tampa Chapter
Sons of the American Revolution
September 2012

            Meeting announcement
            Editor’s note
            Sept. agenda items
            Revolution History note
            Program Schedule
            Miscellaneous reminders and information
The September meeting commemorating the 225th anniversary of the writing and signing of the Constitution will be on September 15th at the Piccadilly Cafeteria, located at 11810 Dale Mabry Highway North, Tampa, Florida (813-963-1660). Dick Young has done yeoman work throughout the summer preparing for the Constitution Day commemoration. The speaker for the meeting was arranged by Compatriot Bill Floyd and will be Dr. Edward M. Silbert, a retired Associate Professor of History from U.S.F. He will speak on the differences between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.


Going forward, the minutes will be sent separately and no longer be part of the newsletter.  Instead the newsletter will focus on notes, announcements, and reports from chapter officers, updates on various programs, and the “revolutionary notes” the editor, Bob Yarnell, includes in every issue.  So, chapter officers and committee chairmen are encouraged to send any pertinent information they wish included in the newsletter to the editor.

The most important agenda item for the September meeting is the election of a nominating committee.  Therefore, we will need to take nominations from the floor and then vote for 3 if more than 3 people have been nominated.  And, yes, you are to fell free to self-nominate.  President Skillman has already let it be known he is willing to serve an additional term.  Even if the other officers also agree to be re-nominated, the committee will need to find a new Vice President, as the current VP is no longer able to do the job properly due to family matters.

American Revolution Notes.
Since the speaker will be discussing the Constitution, we’ll turn our attention to the Naval War this month.
In 1779 John Paul Jones raided along the English coast.  With help of Ben Franklin, he was able to replace his sturdy but small ship with a larger, albeit nearly obsolete, French discard.  He renamed it the Bonhomme Richard in honor of Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac.  He proceeded into the North Sea to continue raiding British merchant ships.  On Sept. 23, the HMS Serapis spotted Jones’ ship and two engaged in, what is now, perhaps, the most famous single ship duel of the war.  After an exchange of several broadsides, The Bonhomme Richard was seriously damaged, on fire, and her ensign had been shot away.  Seeing this, the British Captain shouted across the waves “Have you struck, sir?”  In response, it has been recorded that Jones replied “I have not yet begun to fight.”  His men then managed to grapple the two ships together and the crew from the American ship boarded the British ship.  After a brief, but intense hand to hand fight, the British captain surrendered.  After the war, John Paul Jones’ feats during the war faded into obscurity but were rescued in the early 20th century and now he is remembered (not without some other claimants dissenting) as the “father” of the American Navy.
The other significant September naval engagement occurred in September 1781. Washington had already launched his campaign to trap Cornwallis at Yorktown.  But to accomplish this would require that the British Navy be prevented from rescuing Cornwallis and his army.  A British fleet operating in the Caribbean as well as it’s French counter part both headed north in a game of cat and mouse.  On September 15, the two fleets engaged near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.  With the help of some confused orders and mistakes on the British side, the French fleet succeeded in forcing the British fleet away from the Bay, thereby closing the trap on Cornwallis.

Below is the tentative program schedule for the 2011-2012 year.  As always send along any suggestions for speakers.
September        Constitution Day, Speaker Dr. Edward M. Silbert + Nominating Committe Election
October             EMT/Fire Medal and Law Enforcement Medal + Nominating Committee Slate of Officers
November         TBA + joint meeting with CAR + Election of Officers
December          Installation of officers
April                   JROTC luncheon

Miscellaneous Reminders and Notes.
Chapter Website—always remember you can find information about the chapter and programs on the chapter website.  http://www.patriot-web.com/
One of the duties of the Chapter Chaplain is to send cards to our members who are sick. If you know of anyone that I need to send a card to, please mention it at our next meeting. Another duty is to send a sympathy card to the family of a member who has passed away. I have been remiss in these areas and am asking your help. I need your input.
Jack C. Bolen           

Regrettably, I will not be present at the September meeting, as I will be attending a mini-reunion of my college class. I know VP Bob Yarnell and Director-at-Large Dick Young will do a splendid job in my absence.
I look forward to seeing all of you in October.

With best regards,

John Skillman