Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

February 2016




          Meeting announcement

          Revolution History note

          Program Schedule

          War Service Medal Award

          FLSSAR Board of Management Meeting

          Misc. reminders and information


The February meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, will held on Saturday, February 20.  The Piccadilly has closed so please note the change in venue.  The meeting will be held at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library at 2902 W. Bearss Ave. in Tampa, Florida. Their telephone number is 813-273-3652.  This location is only a few minutes from the Piccadilly site.  The doors will be open at 10:00 and the meeting will start at 10:30.


Your Executive Committee is working on a site for future meetings.  They need your feedback on whether we should have a meeting with lunch as we have had for so many years at the Piccadilly or if a meeting, like this one, without lunch is preferable. 


The program will be presented by Rand Sholet of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness (AHA) Society and will, of course, be about Alexander Hamilton, with some discussion, no doubt, about replacing Mr. Hamilton's likeness on the $10 bill. An agenda for the meeting will be provided.


American Revolution Notes:

George Rogers Clark captures the “Old Northwest”.  Part II

          Last month we looked at the first part of George Rogers Clark’s campaign into Illinois and Indiana to capture those areas from the British and to thwart the Indians that were raiding into Kentucky.

          After capturing three British outposts, Clark was able to (essentially) buy off the Indians and was welcomed by the French inhabitants of the area.  One thing I neglected to mention last month was how Clark was able to establish peace with the Indians. Some members may recall that several years ago the Hon. E. J. Salcines presented a program on the Spanish participation in the war and the aid the Spanish gave to the Americans.  In particular he mentioned the aid provided by the Spanish Governor of Louisiana, Bernardo de Galvez.  A large portion of that aid was supplies floated up the Mississippi to aid Clark and his men.  It was gifts provided by Galvez that Clark gave to the Indians in the area to assure, if not their friendship, at least their neutrality.

          By the autumn of 1778 Clark had secured the area, arranged the deal with the Indians and recruited some of the local French inhabitants to join his force.         

           Col. Hamilton, the British commander in Detroit, led a force south to reoccupy Vincennes, which they did.  His intent was to use it as base to re-establish his relations with the Indians.

Clark realized his task was not done and began making plans to retake Vincennes.  Clark realized that if he waited until spring Hamilton’s force would be too large.  Clark then rolled the dice. Working on the assumption Hamilton would not expect anyone to mount an offensive in the dead of winter, Clark, with barely 120 men (fully ½ being French militia) convinced his men they could do this and boldly led them into the wintry wilderness. First they had to cross the swollen Wabash River.  Then, sometimes in water up to their chests, they had to wade through vast areas of flooded marshland.

          Clark’s force arrived at Vincennes in Feb, 1779, and took the town with the aid of the local French inhabitants.  The British retreated into the fort near the town.  Clark knew he did not have the manpower for a frontal assault on the fort and did not have the supplies for a long siege.  First, using local topography to hide his men, but so their flags and banners could be seen, he began the task of convincing the British his force was larger than it was.  He sent a request to Hamilton to surrender but that request was refused.

          Next followed the most controversial part of this remarkable campaign.  Clark’s men captured a small hunting party.  The three Frenchmen in the party were released but the 4 Indians had American scalps.  Clark had the Indians paraded in front of the fort, had them sit down and them in full view of the fort’s garrison had them tomahawked to death and scalped.  It was implied to the garrison that the same fate awaited them if they did not surrender.  Rather quickly Hamilton met with Clark and the surrender documents were signed.

          Clark had hoped to be able to take Detroit but lack of men, supplies and support prevented that.

          While not as well known as many of the other campaigns on the war, Clark’s capturing of the northwest provided the American negotiators in Paris leverage when the negotiations on the treaty ending the war began. The final treaty ratified what Clark and his men had taken by conquest:  American possession of the Ohio country and the Old Northwest.


Program Schedule

Feb— Alexander Hamilton

March— Avoiding Senior Fraud (presented by local office of FBI)

April— JROTC Recognition Luncheon

May—Tampa Bay History Center presentation on Ft. Brooke


Oct—Law enforcement/Fire fighter commendation

Nov.—First Thanksgiving controversy revisited.—Compatriot Bob Yarnell 

Dec—Officer installation


War Service Medal Award

Compariot James Arthur was presented with his SAR War Service Medal with Vietnam Service Bar, his SAR Purple Heart pin and his Florida Veterans Battalion Certificate.  Compatriot Arthur was a career Army officer who retired in 1985 after nearly 25 years of active duty.   


Florida Society Winter Board of Management Meeting

The FLSSAR Winter BOM was held Feb 5-6 at The Florida Hotel in Orlando. Dick Young, Past President and current State Treasurer was present and John Goolsby, Vice President was able to attend the Friday evening banquet and the Saturday morning BOM sessions. Some of the decisions and announcements made were (in no particular order of significance):

  • Application fees for new member and supplemental applications will be increased by $10 for applications "not already initiated" on April 5, 2016.  This means that if we are aware of a potential new member who has advised us that he has started the research/application process prior to April 5, his application fee will not increase, regardless of when his application eventually is submitted. 
  • The Florida Society, as the second largest state society in SAR, has been asked to formally endorse the continuing march toward building a museum on the ground floor of the new SAR Headquarters building in Louisville. The cost of completion, including retirement of remaining debt on the Headquarters work is estimated at $$11 - $14 million.  The SAR Foundation has also suggested that an additional $30 million be raised as an endowment to subsidize the operations of the museum. The mood of the room was not to proceed with the museum concept, but to raise funds to enhance and simplify the genealogical research and  SAR application process as well as the expansion of SAR educational outreach.  The only motion passed was to ask our National Trustee to present a motion at the February National Leadership meeting in Louisville for the National Society to table any action on the museum until the Florida Society could get more information.  

·         Also due to size and location, the Florida Society has been asked to consider hosting a future National Congress.  This would be 2021 at the earliest and possibly as late as 2023.  Your past president has been asked to serve on the Feasibility Study Committee. So far, all that has been provided is a very high level time line, with no budget numbers or cost estimates.  

  • The Last Naval Battle of the Revolution Commemoration will be held on Merritt Island on March 5.
  • The Battle of Thomas Creek Commemoration will be held in Jacksonville on March 19.
  • The Battle of Pensacola Commemoration will be held in Pensacola on May 7.  This is first time in many years that this celebration has been held.  It will be jointly sponsored by SAR, DAR and the City of Pensacola.  
  • The next BOM and Annual meeting will be at The Florida Hotel on May 13-15.  


Misc. Notes and reminders:


Chapter Website—remember you can find information about the chapter and programs on the chapter website.      http://www.tampasar.org/


One of the duties of the Chapter Chaplain is to send cards to our members that are sick. Another is to send a sympathy card to the family of a member who has passed away. If you know of anyone that should be the recipient of these cards please mention it to Chaplain Sessums or President Klug 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.