Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Real Daughter of the American Revolution

Western Cemetery is Portland Maine's second oldest cemetery, and it's just a few blocks from where I live. I often take walks there during the summer or nordic ski during the winter. It's the final resting place for many of Portland's distinguished citizens, including Sarah Crossman Hatch. Ms. Hatch's name may not ring a bell, but she was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and not just any Daughter. Ms Hatch was a Real Daughter. That's to say, her father fought in the American War of Independence (the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775). Moreover, Ms. Hatch has the distinction of being the last surviving Real Daughter. She was born in 1816 and died in 1916. There were a lot Real Daughters but not many who lived into the 20th Century!
The DAR is a service organization for women who can prove direct bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence, generally a person who fought in the American War of Independence. There are currently 177,000 DAR members in the USA and around the world. Famous DAR members have included Susan B. Anthony, Ginger Rogers, Bo Derek, Laura Bush, Rosalynn Carter, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who resigned from the DAR when it barred world-renowned singer Marian Anderson, an African American, from performing at its Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. 

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