Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

March 2015



        Meeting announcement

        Editor’s note

        Revolution History note

        February Meeting Summary

        Program Schedule

        Color Guard Activity

        Misc. reminders and information


The March meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution will be on Saturday, March 21st at the Piccadilly Cafeteria, located at 11810 Dale Mabry Highway North, Tampa, Florida (813-963-1660).  The meeting starts at noon but many members arrive early for a time of conversation and fellowship.  


The program will be a visit by Thomas Jefferson (aka Compatriot John Stewart.)  John has been deeply interested in the life of Thomas Jefferson ever since he was a student at the University of Virginia.  As a graduate, John has attended seminars on the Lawn, and lectured on Jefferson's life and influence in American History to schools, civic groups and business audiences around Florida for over 30 years.  John’s commitment to the “illumination of the minds of men to the facts of history” is complimented by his work for the Sons of the American Revolution. Now, John portrays Mr. Jefferson in costume, language, and speaking style.  A large part of his presentation takes the form of questions and answers.  You will be entertained by his convincing portrayal of Jefferson, as well as benefit from his extensive knowledge of Jefferson's life.

American Revolution Notes


This month we turn our attention to British politics during the war.  On March 20, 1782, on the heels of the British defeat at Yorktown and just prior to a no confidence vote being taken, Lord North resigned as Prime Minister.  Most Americans, quite rightly, associate Lord North with the Tea Act and the Intolerable Acts.  However, to be fair to Lord North, there are a few other details that should be mentioned about his career to give a more complete picture.  Lord North was appointed Prime Minister in 1770 after both the Stamp Act and the Townshend Duties had been repealed.  He knew England needed money to pay off the debts of the French and Indian War but also realized that trying to get it from the American colonist was not working.  So, for the next three years he kept hands off the colonist’s wallets and came up with several creative ways (among them instituting a lottery) to increase the revenue of the crown without raising taxes on the people of England and without risking further confrontation with the colonists.

However, economic woes in England soon caught up with him.  One of the unintended results of the Townshend Duties was a recession in Britain.  As the American boycott took hold, English companies were hit by the lack of income.  Among the companies hardest hit was the British East India Company.  To avoid the bankruptcy of the largest company in England, Lord North agreed to a bail out of the company by having Parliament pass the Tea Act.  Then, in the first of his two biggest mistakes, he decided to sneak a one penny tax onto the tea assuming the Americans would not mind it since even with the tax, the tea would be less expensive than before.  Following the Boston Tea Party he authorized the Intolerable Acts and the rest, as they say, is history.

On balance, Lord North had a good political career and did steer England through the recession of the early 1770’s, but for the colonists and for Americans today he will always be associated with the straws that broke the camel’s back (Tea Act and Intolerable Acts) which led to the outbreak of hostilities and the American War for Independence.


February Meeting

Steve Dante spoke at our February meeting on the replica of the Hermione, the ship that transported the young Marquis de Lafayette in 1780 to General Washington with French aid.  Mr. Dante discussed the historic significance of the Hermione and the process and timeline for the reconstructing the vessel.  The Hermione is an exact replica of General Lafayette’s 18th-century ship and is one of the largest and most authentically built Tall Ships in the last 150 years.   This year, the replica vessel will sail 3,819 miles across the Atlantic to land in Yorktown on June 5th, before sailing up the U.S. coast for two months of events. 

Mr. Dante enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school and was stationed for 32 months in the city of Rochefort where in his spare time he studied French.  After his discharge from the Army, Mr. Dante attended Rutgers University, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.  He then moved to Florida, where he worked for many years as a representative for a publishing company.

Steve and his wife, Sharon, visited Rochefort in 2004 and 2012 and saw the construction of the replica of the Hermione. He is active in the French cultural organization Circle Francais and is a member of the committee of the Florida Friends of Hermione-https://photos-2.dropbox.com/t/2/AADKH2ZWXF8FNgtrOCxuuU0xdPXjmB-Sn592UTSpCl7FYA/12/17962768/jpeg/178x178/1/1426525200/0/2/IMG_3441_edited-1.jpg/CJCuyAggASACIAMoASgC/uzHlAzEMvh44p7xRRFtzoC1JMrn0CTvqXccn8OYkEeM

Lafayette.  The Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. is a 501(C) (3) entity and may be contacted at INFO@FRIENDSOFHERMIONE.ORG.




Below is the tentative program schedule for spring 2015.  As always send along any suggestions for speakers.


March          Thomas Jefferson

April            ROTC Recognition

May            Safety Harbor Museum


Color Guard Activity

On Saturday, March 7, Color Guard Commander Alan Bell and Compatriot Dick Young joined the Florida Society-SAR Color Guard for the commemoration of the last naval battle of the Revolution.  On March 10, 1783, the Continental Navy frigate ALLIANCE was escorting a French cargo ship carrying Spanish gold and silver to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. They were intercepted by three British frigates with a sea battle following, won by the ALLIANCE under command of Captain John Barry.





Misc. Reminders and notes


Chapter Website—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 that are sick and sympathy cards to the family of a member who has passed away. If you know of anyone that should be sent a card, please mention it to the chaplain at our next meeting.


Chapter officers and committee chairman are encouraged to send any pertinent information they wish included in the newsletter to the editor.