William Travis Martin
David Marshall Messick, IV
Ronald Hugh Messick
March Service Anniversaries
James Robert Baird - 32yrs
Michael Reed Helmick - 24yrs
George Washington Bryson - 23yrs
George Vernon Godfrey, Jr. - 13yrs
Kenneth Louis Jordan - 11yrs
Alexander Steven von Elten - 5yrs
Ernest Ray Walker - 5yrs
27 Feb 2016 Stratford Hall, Westmoreland Co., VA
On February 27, 1766, one hundred and fifteen Northern Neck patriots assembled in Leedstown, VA, to support a proposal written by Richard Henry Lee, in protest of the British crown’s imposition of the Stamp Act. This act of courage was a milestone in the path that led to our independence.
On Saturday, February 27th, 2016, a similar number of modern patriots and community leaders gathered at Stratford Hall, Richard Henry Lee’s boyhood home, to note the 250th anniversary of the “Leedstown Resolves”. The Virginia Society provided the color guard and seven wreaths from participating chapters: Colonel Fielding Lewis, Culpeper Minutemen, James Monroe, Norfolk, Richard Henry Lee, Richmond, and Thomas Nelson, Jr. The CMM were represented by Mike Lyman and Lon Lacey. Mike Lyman helped organize the event and led the Virginia Society Color Guard. Lon Lacey participated in the Color Guard and presented the CMM wreath.
John and Thomas Belfield, signers of the Leedstown Resolves, were represented by their descendant, Charles Belfield, president of the James Monroe Chapter. Charles Belfield portrayed his ancestor John Belfield as part of the program that highlighted noteworthy signers of the resolves.
In April, the patriots of 1766 would learn that six days prior to the signing of the Leedstown Resolves, Parliament had rescinded the Stamp Tax, but also passed the American Colonies Act, better known as the Declaratory Act. In little more than ten years Richard Henry Lee would introduce another resolution, to the Second Continental Congress, calling for the colonies’ independence from Great Britain, resulting in the Declaration of Independence. Both he and his brother, Francis Lightfoot Lee, signed both the Leedstown Resolves and the Declaration of Independence. May God bless our patriot ancestors and the country they bequeathed to us during the course of events 250 years ago.
"Roused by danger and alarmed at attempts, foreign and domestic, to reduce the people of this country to a state of abject and detestable slavery by destroying that free and happy condition of government under which they have hitherto lived,
We, who subscribe this paper, have associated and do bind ourselves to each other, to God, and to our country, by the firmest ties that religion and virtue can frame, most sacredly and punctually to stand by and with our lives and fortunes, to support, maintain, and defend each other in the observance and execution of these following articles –
FIRST: We declare all due allegiance and obedience to our lawful Sovereign, George the Third, King of Great Britain. And we determine to the utmost of our power to preserve the laws, the peace and good order of this Colony, as far as is consistent with the preservation of our Constitutional rights and liberty,
SECONDLY: As we know it to be the Birthright privilege of every British subject (and of the people of Virginia as being such) founded on Reason, Law, and Compact; that he cannot be legally tried, but by his peers; that he cannot be taxed, but by consent of a Parliament, in which he is represented by persons chosen by the people, and who themselves pay a part of the tax they impose on others. If, therefore, any person or persons shall attempt, by any action, or proceeding, to deprive this Colony of these fundamental rights, we will immediately regard him or them, as the most dangerous enemy of the community; and we will go to any extremity, not only to prevent the success of such attempts, but to stigmatize and punish the offender.
THIRDLY: As the Stamp Act does absolutely direct the property of the people to be taken from them without their consent expressed by their representatives and as in many cases it deprives the British American Subject of his right to trial by jury; we do determine, at every hazard, and paying no regard to danger or to death, we will exert every faculty, to prevent the execution of the said Stamp Act in any instance whatsoever within this Colony. And every abandoned wretch, who shall be so lost to virtue and public good, as wickedly to contribute to the introduction or fixture of the Stamp Act in this Colony, by using stampt paper, or by any other means, we will, with the utmost expedition, convince all such profligates that immediate danger and disgrace shall attend their prostitute purposes.
FOURTHLY: That the last article may most surely and effectually be executed, we engage to each other, that whenever it shall be known to any of this association, that any person is so conducting himself as to favor the introduction of the Stamp Act, that immediate notice shall be given to as many of the association as possible; and that every individual so informed, shall, with expedition, repair to a place of meeting to be appointed as near the scene of action as may be.
FIFTHLY: Each associator shall do his true endeavor to obtain as many signers to this association, as he possibly can.
SIXTHLY: If any attempt shall be made on the liberty or property of any associator for any action or thing to be done in consequence of this agreement, we do most solemnly bind ourselves by the sacred engagements above entered into, at the risk of our lives and fortunes, to restore such associate to his liberty and to protect him in the enjoyment of his property."
In testimony of the good faith with which we resolve to execute this association we have this 27th day of February 1766 in Virginia, put our hands and seals hereto.
25-28 Feb 2016 Brown Hotel, Louisville, KY
The 2016 Spring Leadership meeting was held at the Brown Hotel in Louisville on 25-28 Feb. Five CMM members and three wives attended: PG Lindsey Brock and his wife Billie, VPG Doug Collins and his wife Alison, NMSSAR President Andrew Lyngar, past CMM President Lance Lyngar, and CMM President Bill Schwetke and his wife Cat. In addition to attending the Trustee meetings, Lance and Bill also attended meetings of the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution Committee (both as members), Congress Planning Committee, Eagle Scout Committee (Lance as member), Genealogy Committee, Genealogy Workshop, and the Germany Society (both as members).
One of the first orders of business for the trustees was to vote on the host for the 2020 Annual Congress. The trustees went with the Congress Planning Committee's recommendation and selected Virginia as the 2020 host. This means many things for the CMM for we will certainly be called upon to help with the many tasks that the Virginia Society must accomplish to make the 2020 Congress a reality. It also triggers a $6 surcharge on our 2017 dues to help fund the Virginia Society's efforts. The Planning Committee and a small group from our state leadership will tour the proposed sites of Norfolk and Richmond after Fall Leadership this year and select the site within Virginia.
After a productive trustees meeting the attendees took an evening dinner cruise on the Ohio River onboard the Spirit of Jefferson paddle-wheeler.
The highlights of following trustees meetings were the approval to go ahead with the Solid Light plan for our interactive museum on the first floor of the SAR Headquarters building, distribution of a $100k gift, and allowing Family Search to scan our genealogy records.
Friday night's banquet had a Caribbean theme and the speaker was noted author Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy. During the banquet it was announced that the SAR would fund a fellowship for Dr. O'Shaughnessy to study the recently discovered papers of King George III that cover the time of the American Revolution. At our Banquet Dr. O'Shaughnessy gave a very informative talk about the role of the Caribbean theater in the American Revolution.
At Spring Leadership the Nominating Committee presented its nominations for NSSAR General officers for 2016-17:
250 years ago today, 21 Feb 1766, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act and passed the Declaratory Act. On 18 Mar 1766 the King assented to the acts of the Parliament, and in April the colonist learned what had been done.
19-20 Feb 2016 Omni Hotel, RIchmond, VA
This weekend the Virginia Society of the SAR held its 126th Annual Meeting at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, VA. 80 compatriots from 20 of Virginia's 27 chapters and the Texas Society attended. The CMM were represented by three members and two companions: President Bill Schwetke and his wife Cat, past President Lance Lyngar and his companion Louis Dennis, Jr., and past President Mike Lyman.
The first event for the CMM was the treasurer, administrative and awards workshop. Conducted by Virginia SAR Treasurer Rick Elofson and Virginia SAR Secretary Wayne Rouse the workshop updated secretaries and treasurers and other interested individuals on the latest information. Another workshop, conducted by former President General Joe Dooley, was held on Saturday morning to update registrars on the new online application process.
During the business meetings Lance Lyngar delivered reports on the Eagle Scout Program and the Virginia SAR website; Mike Lyman reported on Revolutionary War Graves Publications; and Bill Schwetke reported on Revolutionary War Graves Preservation and delivered the CMM Chapter Report. Bill Schwetke and Lance Lyngar participated in the Color Guard.
The CMM also received many awards at the annual meeting. Our Outstanding JROTC cadet, William Grimsley, won the Virginia SAR Outstanding JROTC Cadet Award, which includes a check for $1,000. Cadet Grimsley will represent the Virginia SAR at the national competition in Boston in July. The CMM also received nine streamers for our flag: The Carroll Wright Award streamer for the largest percentage increase in membership; The Chapter Excellence Award; Best Chapter Scrapbook; Sponsor of the Best JROTC Cadet; History Day Support; Participation in the Flag Certificate Program; and three streamers, one for each of the Presidential Initiatives we attended.
CMM past President Lance Lyngar was also active presenting awards and recognizing chapters for supporting the Boy Scouts.
Business conducted included improving the addition of a surcharge of $6 to Virginia Society Dues starting next year and continuing through 2020 to help fund our hosting of the Annual Congress in 2020, contingent on the expected confirmation of our selection by the National Society Executive Committee next week. An increase in the state fee for membership and supplemental applications to $7 was also approved to take effect on July 1st to cover increased postage.
During the business meeting the Virginia SAR officers for 2016, except for the president, were sworn in by President General Tom Lawrence (picture at the top). Virginia SAR officers for 2016 are:
President: Edward W. Truslow
President-Elect: Michael J. Elston, Esq.
2nd Vice President: Patrick M. Kelly
3rd Vice President: J. Thomas Whetstone, PhD
Secretary/Assistant Treasurer: R. Wayne Rouse
Treasurer: Frederick N. "Rick" Elofson
Chancellor: Eric H. Monday, Esq.
Registrar: J. Michael Taimi
Historian: Larry G. Aaron, D.Min.
Surgeon: Dr. Christopher N. "Kirk" Sheap MD
Chaplain: The Rev. Dr. Roy A. Martin, Jr.
Assistant Secretary: Lance M. Lyngar
Assistant Registrar: David A. Cook
Assistant Registrar: David R. Thomas
Assistant Chaplain: Eugene F. Thomas
The membership also nominated past Virginia SAR President Mark S. Brennan, Sr., Esq. for Vice President General of the Mid Atlantic District. The traditional rotation of this position between the states assures us that compatriot Brennan will be elected to this position in Boston this July. Also nominated for election in July were Reverdy E. Wright, PhD as national Trustee and Edward W. Truslow as Alternate Trustee.
Also during the business meeting the 1st Virginia Regiment commissioned new officers including CMM President Bill Schwetke, who was commissioned as a sergeant. CMM members and current rank in the 1st Virginia include: Colonel Larry R. Alexander, Colonel Lance M. Lyngar, Captain Robert L. Bowen, and Sergeant Alonzo L. Lacey, Jr.
Commissions in the 1st Virginia Regiment are purchased by donating to Virginia Society SAR through the regiment.
Saturday evening was the Annual Meeting Banquet. During the Banquet Bill and Cat Schwetke were presented Certificates of Appreciation by outgoing Virginia SAR President Reverdy Wright for coordinating the Friday evening reception o'dourves and decorations. Bill Schwetke also received the State Medal of Distinguished Service for his activities in support of the Virginia Society in 2015. The State Medal of Distinguished Service is the highest medal that can be awarded by a State Society President, and only one may be awarded each year. It is awarded in recognition for conspicuous service to the State Society.
Greetings were presented by many other lineage organizations:
President General Tom Lawrence presented greetings from the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He also talked about his efforts to improve communications, the use of technology to make applications and gathering documentation easier, and the living history display being developed for the national headquarters building.
Our Virginia Society President for 2015 addressed the gathering on his thoughts about the last year, our Society's 125th. He expressed his gratitude to his wife, Lydia, for her constant support that was visible to all of us despite health concerns that made her efforts seem remarkable. Our prayers are with Reverdy and Lydia. President Wright gave an overview of our success the past year and graciously shared the credit for what had been done. In recognition for a very successful year as president of the Virginia Society President Reverdy Wright was awarded the Patriot Medal.
President Truslow then addressed the Virginia Society. He first gave credit to his 95 predecessors, and noted his strong ties, as a 12th generation Virginian, to our state He then set his goals for 2016:
1. Strong Virginia Society support for the Blanford Cemetery Monument Dedication on April 16th in Peteresburg. (The CMM will be represented by President Bill Schwetke, who command the Color Guard for the event, and hopefully many other CMM compatriots)
2. Recognition of our veterans with War and Military Service Medals. (All eligible CMM Compatriots have received the appropriate medal and we will continue to make appropriate awards to new members).
3. Financial support for the new Museum of the American Revolution in Yorktown. (this will be on the agenda for the March chapter meeting).
5. Increased participation in Youth Recognition Programs. (This will need our attention and volunteers are needed to improve our participation in orations, essays, and recognition of scouts and teachers. An immediate need can be met by volunteering as a History Day judge; ten more are needed; transportation is available: register here ASAP, or contact Bill Schwetke and he will contact the judges coordinator, then contact Bill Schwetke about a ride).
President Truslow also noted that the Virginia DAR has about 9,00 members to our about 2,000, and each of these ladies has a father, brother, or son, who would be eligible for SAR membership which we should encourage. President Truslow also announced plans for our 28th chapter in the Halifax area, which should stand up this year.
The Culpeper Minutemen are proud of our accomplishments this past year and are inspired by President Truslow to increase our membership and our impact on our community in 2016.
On February 14th, 1781, General Greene and his army crossed the swollen Dan River just ahead of the pursuing British army under General Cornwallis. The now secure Southern Army was provisioned by the farmers of Virginia and replenished with troops from the Virginia militia. The British withdrew in search of supplies, to be followed later by the revitalized Southern Army and engaged at Guilford Court House.
Two CMM members, past President Lance Lyngar and President Bill Schwetke, and their companions Cat and Louis, participated in the ceremony. Lance and Bill both were part of the Color Guard, and Bill presented the chapter wreath.
Past Virginia SAR President Phil Williams was the master of ceremonies, and Janet Uhlar, author of "Freedom's Cost: The Story of Nathanael Greene", was the keynote speaker. The local JROTC and Civil Air Patrol Squadron presented a Parade of Flags as part of the program.
As has become the tradition, the participants gathered on Friday evening at Ernie's Restaurant for the seafood buffet and camaraderie. The parade down to the river bank to observe the reenactment of the crossing was shortened to a march to the gazebo due to the mud in the reenactment area. After the ceremony the participants enjoyed a lunch of Brunswick Stew before dispersing.
Compatriot and Friends,
2016 is fully upon us and we are in a busy time of the year. In this month we have the Crossing of the Dan, Washington's Birthday Parade in Alexandria, Virginia SAR Annual Conference, George Washington's Birthday, 250th Anniversary of the Leedstown Resolves, and Spring Leadership in Louisville. I will be at each of these except for the Leedstown Resolves which conflicts with Spring Leadership; hope to see many of you at these events.
I will make a special request that you support the 250th Anniversary of the Leedstown Resolves, in Warsaw, VA (88 miles from Culpeper), on Saturday morning February 27th. This is an important event, and important anniversary, and a time to support our own Mike Lyman, who is one of the organizers of the event. A good turnout by the Culpeper Minutemen would be most appropriate.
I would also like to see more of us attend the Virginia Annual Conference in Richmond. Looking at old scrapbooks, it wasn't long ago that as many as ten chapter members attended a Annual Conference. This is a great place for officers to meet their counterparts in other chapters and the state officers that support them. It also offers opportunities to learn how our state organization functions and to participate in committees and other efforts that make our society great. If you are not fond of wearing a tux, bring your uniform and participate in the Color Guard.
Closer to home I would like to thank Scott Mitchell, our newest member, for stepping up to be our Graves Chairman. We should mark at least one patriot grave this year, and must mark the grave of one of our compatriots who died last year. We still have a need for an Orations Committee Chairman. We now have more local interest in competing in Orations and we need someone to provide proper support to the youth that want to participate. A little effort on your part will add so much to what our chapter is able to do in the community.
At the January meeting Color Guard Commander Lon Lacey displayed many uniform parts that are available to aspiring color guardsmen. Though not for everyone, the Color Guard is our best advertisement in the community. If you have an interest, contact Lon and see what he has that might get you started to having your own uniform.
I hope that everyone has escaped the burdens of the latest snow storm. It won't be long until we are at Graves Mountain, celebrating spring. Please keep Jim and Linda Lillard in your prayers.
Bill Schwetke, president
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