Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

February 2018



          Meeting announcements

          American Revolution History note

          Supplemental Certificates

          Veterans Service Opportunity

          Program Schedule

          Color Guard Opportunities

          Misc. reminders and information


February Meeting

The next meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, will held on Saturday, February 17 at the Golden Corral in Temple Terrace.  As always, members will start gathering at 11:30, the formal meeting will start at 12:00 with a break for lunch.  Please remember to pay on your way in and keep your receipt for the waitress.  This month J. Michael Francis will speak on Colonial Florida. The street address for the Golden Corral is: 11801 N 56th St. Tampa, FL 33617

(813) 899-1833

January Meeting

The January meeting was the Tampa Chapter Annual Officer Installation Banquet.  Regional Vice President Charles Butler was on hand to make a presentation on the status of the FLSSAR Strategic Planning process and to officiate at the Officer Installation.  The following Compatriots were installed to serve the Tampa Chapter during 2018:


President -- John Goolsby

Vice President -- David Bryant

Recording Secretary -- Jim Handly

Membership Secretary -- Jason Krajnyak

Treasurer – Paul Ergler

Chancellor – Charles Klug

Chaplain -- John Sessums

Historian -- Bob Yarnell

Registrar/Genealogist – Brett Thomas

Sergeant-at-Arms – Dick Young

Executive Committee Members at Large (2) -- Terry Doan and Jack Bolen


American Revolution Notes:

          This month we begin a five-part series on the ratification of the Constitution.  First will be a brief intro and the first states to ratify.  In March we’ll look at the ratification fight in Massachusetts followed by the Carolina’s in April and Virginia in May.  We’ll conclude the series in Sept.


Independence Hall – Philadelphia


The state ratification debates are often over-looked and sometimes considered just a formality or foregone conclusion. Nothing could be further from the truth.  The Constitution got its real meaning during the ratification conventions of the several states.  If we are to understand the Constitution we must understand not what emerged from the convention in Philadelphia, but what the states ratified. 

          Throughout the ratification process the opponents of the new constitution forced its defenders to explain it and answer their concerns.  The members of the state conventions approved the Constitution based on those answers and assurances. Thus, according to James Madison, “the meaning of the Constitution is to be sought not in the opinions or intentions of the body which planned and proposed it, but in the conventions where it received all the authority which it possesses.” He later added, “if the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the states be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a faithful exercise of its powers.” 

          The question of what powers had been given to the new government became the central theme of the ratification process.[i]   Throughout the ratification conventions, the Federalist defended the new constitution by repeatedly declaring that only a few clearly defined powers had been given to the new government.  In the Virginia ratifying convention Madison declared that the new Constitution dealt mostly with “external objects (which) are but few”.  James Wilson, one of the leading centralizers and nationalists declared in his famous State Yard Speech that “everything which is not given, is restricted”.  Charles Pinckney, a leading federalist in South Carolina, stated during the South Carolina debates that the states “certainly reserve to themselves every power and right not mentioned in the Constitution.”  John Hancock a leader in the Massachusetts ratification fight declared the “all powers not expressly delegated to Congress are reserved to the several states to be by them exercised”. And finally, Madison, in Virginia’s debates stated, “everything not granted is reserved.”[ii]

          The first states to ratify, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Georgia, did so with very little debate. They all had good and pressing reasons to ratify quickly.  Pennsylvania hoped the stability would help control their quarrelsome western residents and that ratification would bring with it commercial advantages to Philadelphia.  Likewise, Georgia looked forward to the commercial advantages it would bring and that it might help Savannah compete with Charleston for trade with the Caribbean.  Additionally, being beset by Cherokees to the northwest, Creeks to the West and Spanish power to the south, Georgia needed the added protection the new government would hopefully bring.

          Of all the participants at the Philadelphia convention, perhaps none did a better job for their states’ interests than John Dickinson of Delaware and James Patterson of New Jersey.  They, and their states, realized they would never get a better deal.  Their overriding accomplishment was making the Senate the more powerful of the two houses of Congress and then getting equality in the Senate for the small states.  This is illustrated by a scene in the movie A More Perfect Union, that shows Dickinson, with clasped hands, saying “we’ve done it”[iii] after the convention passed the Great Compromise.

          So, the ratification process had begun.  Four relatively quick and easy victories for the Federalist.  Victories would not be so easy in the next round of ratification conventions.  Next month, Massachusetts.

[1] The lack of a bill of rights also concerned the anti-federalist.  We’ll deal with that issue in part five next Sept.

[1] In Federalist 45 Madison makes the same point

[1] ‘it’ referring to equality in the senate.  A More Perfect Union is a movie about the Philadelphia Convention as seen through the eyes of Madison



Bowen, Catherine:        Miracle in Philadelphia

Bradford, M. E.                        A Worthy Company: Brief Lives of the Framers of the Constitution

                                    Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the Constitution

Kirk, Russell:                Roots of the American Order

McDonald, Forrest:       Novus Ordo Seclorum: Intellectual Origins of the U S Constitution

                                    Requiem: Variations on Eighteenth Century Themes

St. John, Jeffrey:       A Child of Fortune


Supplemental Certificates

Four Supplemental Certificates have been delivered to the Tampa Chapter for presentation to its members.  Those four Compatriots whose Supplemental Patriot Ancestor has been approved are:

                   John William Glass

                   Matthew Curtis Glass

                   Wesley Minton Morris

                   William Bebout Swain


Veterans Service Opportunity

As the direct lineal descendants of the first veterans of the United States of America, one of our SAR goals is to “honor, respect, and support veterans, especially those confined to residential and hospital facilities provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.”  Attached to my e-mail is a copy of the February invitation from the MOAA to a dinner with injured soldiers/veterans and their families this Thursday, Feb. 15 at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa. The following was copied from their website at https://operationhelpinghandtampa.com Look for and click on “view all events”. Their next monthly dinner is four weeks after that on Thursday, March 15.


It is important to mention that our main purpose in having our monthly dinners is to let the patients and their families know that we recognize, honor, support, and thank them for their sacrifices and for what they have done for us. 


Since 2004, Operation Helping Hand has extended all necessary efforts to assist and support over 1,000 military wounded/injured being treated at the James A. Haley VA Hospital, and many of their visiting families. 


We have expanded our mission to include assistance and support to all poly trauma patients, both those presently in the VA Hospital and those "out patients" that are residing outside of the Hospital and still undergoing Hospital treatments, whether they are still on active duty OR are discharged or retired.  As long as they have served OIF or OEF (meaning they have served in Iraq or Afghanistan), Operation Helping Hand will help them in any way possible.


Program schedule for Spring of 2018

February 17           J. Michael Francis: Colonial Florida

March 17               Dr. Roger Smith: Florida during the Revolution

April 21                 JROTC Recognition

May 19                   TBD

All meetings will be at the Golden Corral in Temple Terrace


Color Guard Opportunities

There are four National Event Color Guard opportunities in the next few months within the State of Florida

March 10     Last Naval Battle            Merritt Island

April 7         Battle of Thomas Creek   Jacksonville

May 18-19    FLSSAR Annual Meeting* Kissimmee

May 28        Memorial Day**               Various


There are two Honor Flights scheduled for the Spring, April 24, and June 5.  I am sure the Tampa Chapter Color Guard will meet at least one of those flights on its return to Clearwater on those evenings.  Watch this space for more details.

*- The Spring BOM/Annual Meeting qualifies as a National Event because the SAR President General     will be present and will participate in the Meeting.

** - Any Memorial Day event involving the SAR Color Guard is considered a National Event.  The Withlacoochee Chapter Color Guard always participates in a Memorial Day Ceremony in Floral City


Miscellaneous 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 editor.