Members of The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) are direct descendants of those patriots whom achieved the independence of the American people. The objectives of the organization are intended to perpetuate a more profound reverence for the principles of the government founded by our forefathers and of their steadfast commitment to our nation’s success. Below the image is a brief history of SAR’s origins.
Sons of Revolutionary Sires
On October 22, 1875, Dr. James L. Cogswell, met with several Masonic lodge members to plan a march for the upcoming Declaration of Independence centennial celebrations in San Francisco. They chose Sons of the Revolutionary Sires as the name of the organization. The group attracted over 80 men who marched together in the city of San Francisco 4th of July parade of 1876. The group never formally incorporated and its numbers dwindled down to two or three semi-active surviving members when the call came from William McDowell and a group of New Jersey gentlemen to become part of the Sons of the American Revolution.
National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. The history of SAR can be traced to the founding of the Sons of the Revolution, the New York Society which was organized in 1883. In 1889, William Osborn McDowell, Josiah Pumpelly and William Stryker, residents New Jersey and members of the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution organized the New Jersey Society of the Sons of the Revolution but were unwilling to accept the Sons of the Revolution requirement that other state societies be subordinate to the New York society. As a result, McDowell organized the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) at Fraunces Tavern in New York on April 30, 1889. This was the centennial for the inauguration of George Washington as the First President of the United States of America in 1789. SAR was incorporated on January 17, 1890 in Connecticut and the first National Congress was held on April 30, 1890 in Louisville, KY. Click here to see a more detailed history.
California Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. At a meeting held on March 22, 1890, the name of the Society was changed to “The California Society Sons of the American Revolution. Steps were taken to have the Society incorporated under the laws of California, and delegates were elected to the first convention of the National Society. On October 19, 1891, a new Constitution and By-laws were adopted. The minutes of the May 25, 1906 California Society meeting stated that all records of the Society had been destroyed during the 1906 earthquake.
The Southern California Society. On Independence Day, in 1894, Mr. Daniel Cleveland, of San Diego, called together the sons of Revolutionary ancestors to organize the Southern California Society of SAR. Descendants of Revolutionary sires, residing in the counties of San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Kern, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo would be eligible for membership. The Society took an active interest in securing patriotic instruction in the public schools of San Diego County, the observance of Flag Day, and in having the national flag raised over the schoolhouses of San Diego.
San Diego Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. In early 1910, the Southern California Society submitted an application to form a chapter within San Diego County to be known as the San Diego Chapter. The charter establishing the San Diego Chapter was signed by the California Society President Thomas Allen Perkins, a member of the San Francisco Chapter, and Secretary Edwin Bonnell on June 13, 1910. Thus, the Southern California Society was reorganized as San Diego Chapter, No. 2 of the California Society Sons of the American Revolution. The original Charter delivered to the San Diego Chapter was lost many years ago. The copy of the Charter on the next three pages was discovered by the California Society Secretary James Faulkinbury in the minutes of the California Society in 2010. Click here to go to the SAR San Diego page.