Sons of the American Revolution

Tampa Chapter

September 2017



          Meeting announcement

          Revolution History note

          Program Schedule

          2017 SAR National Congress

          Other Dates of Interest

          Misc. reminders and information


Meeting Announcement

The September meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, will held on Saturday, Septeember 16 at the Golden Corral in Temple Terrace.  It is located on 56th Street just north of Fowler Ave.  The search for a new meeting place has been long and it is hoped this meets our needs for at least Sept, Oct and Nov. Time remains the same, although since this is a new venue your flexibility regarding any changes in the usual order will be appreciated.  Social time prior to noon, business meeting, lunch and then program.  Street address is below:  

11801 N 56th St

Tampa, FL 33617

(813) 899-1833

The scheduled September speaker had to cancel due to family matters.  We hope to re-schedule him either at some future meetng.  Through the efforts of President Klug, we do have an interesting speaker joining us Saturday. 

Our speaker will be local author Nancy Turner.  She will make a presentation on the U.S.S. Tampa.  From 1913-1917, the U.S.S. Tampa (formerly known as the U.S.S. Miami) sailed alongside the ship Jose Gasparilla, firing her cannons to the delight of Tampa parade-goers.  During WWI, she escorted 18 convoys in the North Atlantic, and, in 1918, was sunk off the coast of Gibraltar with more than 100 crewmembers - 24 from Tampa - aboard. Ms. Turner will present the storied and little-known  history of the USS Tampa.


Revolution History Note 

September is Constitution month so we turn our attention once again to the convention held in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. This year, we’ll tackle the issue of how the delegates finally arrived at the device of the electoral college to elect the President and likewise how that factored into the original (very limited) powers granted to the chief executive.

            It wasn’t until after the compromise on Congressional representation was agreed upon on July 26 that the delegates got around to seriously debating the executive.  At first the general consensus was that Congress should elect the executive but even its most ardent supporters recognized the many flaws in the idea.  If the president were eligible for re-election he would be dependent upon Congress.  The only way to avoid that would be to elect him for a long term which had its own set of problems.  Plus, there was the problem of intrigue and corruption involved if Congress did the electing.

            So, they turned to a de-centralized election which, of course, brought its own set of problems and concerns.  Aside from the problem of distance and travel, the difficulty that most concerned them was that the electors would simply vote for someone from their own state and the election would end up in Congress anyway.  After Hugh Williamson of N.C. proposed that each elector vote for three people, only one of whom could be from his state, Gouverneur Morris improved on it, offering the solution we have today - that the electors vote for two people, one of whom isn’t from their state.   Despite this solution, they were still concerned that a group “acting in concert” throughout the country would be able to cobble together enough electors to achieve victory and maintain a strangle hold on the position for years.  (They were thinking of the already powerful Society of Cincinnati and the implications of the Executive Office becoming a military position.)

            With the mechanics of election put on hold, they began to debate what powers to give the president.  At first, it was decided that the executive would be just a titular office. Power to appoint judges, ambassadors and all treaty making power would be lodged in the Senate. 

            Both issues were resolved by a proposal from Pierce Butler of South Carolina.  He suggested there be a President and Vice-President, thus solving the problem of succession in case of death, and he proposed that the electors be chosen by their state legislatures and meet and vote in their state capitals.  This answered the problem of electors having to travel large distances to vote.  Giving each state electors equal in numbers to their members of Congress reflected the earlier compromise on Representation.  Finally, with the election being de-centralized, it was decided that the President would be independent enough from Congress to entrust him with the power to appoint ambassadors, judges and other officers, with the approval of the Senate and with the treaty making power, with the consent of 2/3 of the Senate.

            The last piece of the puzzle was what to do if no one won the electoral vote. Williamson and Sherman provided the solution with the House electing the President but with each state having one vote. 

            While this de-centralized election mechanism represented a defeat for the nationalist at the convention (led by Madison, Wilson, Hamilton and Pinckney) it was a victory for those who historian Forrest McDonald has called the middle delegates. These were the delegates who knew the government had to be strengthened, but were leery of centralized power and wanted most of the power to remain with the states. Clearly this solution has withstood the test of time and those who might now advocate for the elimination of the Electoral College will do well to understand its history. Are not some of the same issues debated at the Constitutional Convention still valid today? 


Program Dates

Sept 16        Nancy Turner on USS Tampa    

Oct   21       Presentation of Heroism Medals to Tampa Police Officers

Nov   18       Law Enforcement & Fire Fighter Commendation Recognition &

                   Election of Officers for 2018

Dec   16       Brief business meeting—site to be determined

                             Wreaths across America ceremony

                             Tentative—Christmas social get-together

Jan    20      Officer Installation – Site to be Determined

Feb/Mar      Tentative hopes for a joint meeting with the DAR and/or CAR with speakers on genealogy for one meeting and the Revolution for the other

April  21      JROTC Recognition

May    19      TBD


2017 SAR National Congress

          The 127th National Congress of the SAR was held in Knoxville, Tennessee in July.  The Tampa Chapter Past Present and current Florida Society Treasurer Dick Young attended this Congress with several other compatriots from Florida.  He will make a short presentation on the more important decisions (there were not many “important” decisions) if he can find his notes.  The most important decision made was that there will be no increase in National dues or fees for 2018. 


Other Dates of Interest

September 26 – Honor Flight of Central West Florida –

                             St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport*

October 25-30 - tentative Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall

                             Hillsborough County Veterans Memorial Park*

November 3-4 - Florida Society BOM Meeting – Kissimmee

December 16 - Wreaths Across America Ceremony*

*- volunteer and color guard opportunity


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 one of the other officers at our next meeting.

          Chapter officers and committee chairman are encouraged to send any pertinent information they wish included in the newsletter to the Bob Yarnell, Dick Young or Charles Klug.