STATE HISTORY

The Virginia Society Daughters of the American Colonists has been a

small but thriving hereditary society. From its beginning, restoration of old

records have remained a primary concern. Other interests that have

continued through the years are the marking of historical places, support for the

history taught in the schools, correct usage and respect for the Flag of the United States of America,

National Defense, Veterans Service, recognizing outstanding students and donations to libraries.

The society was organized April 7, 1922 in the Richmond home of

Mrs. James Branch Cabell who was appointed State Organizing

Regent by the National President, Mrs. George Thatcher Guernsey.

Officers elected were:

Regent Mrs. James Branch Cabell

Vice Regent Mrs. B. H. Ellington

Secretary Mrs. John D. Clothier

Treasurer Mrs. Albert H. Hunts

Registrar Mrs. W. O. Wood

Members present were:

Mrs. Benjamin L. Purcell

Mrs. Warner Moore

Mrs. Robert N. Williams

Mrs. Stuart Michaux

Mrs. L. Hawkins

Mrs. William Hugh Nelson

Mrs. Melville C. Branch

Miss Mary Anna Nesbett

Miss Margarett Conway

The program for the day was a discussion of work done by and qualifications of members of NSDAC.

On April 11, 1923 the name Pocahontas was chosen. Mrs. Ashton Gray was elected Vice Regent.

In May 1924 a wreath was placed at Monticello.

The following year the National Society placed a fence around the ancient foundations at Jamestown.

It was dedicated during the visit of the National President Mrs. Guernsey.

Also 1,000 pages of old records were restored.

In 1928 Mrs. James B. Cabell was elected to the office of National Vice President Southern Section.

Virginia became a State Organization in 1931 with the birth of a second chapter the Chanco Chapter.

Two years later NSDAC laid the corner stone for the cross at Cape Henry.

The first annual meeting of the Virginia Society, Daughters of the American

Colonists were held March 13, 1935 in Petersburg.

The Memorial Cross at Cape Henry was dedicated on April 26th.

By 1938 there were 90 members of the State Society.

Numerous old records and will books were restored during the early years.

Regentsí homes were determined to be the headquarters for the respective chapters.

In 1943 and 1945 State Assembly meetings were not held. Members volunteered for numerous war efforts.

The first annual Fall Board Meeting was held November 11, 1943 in the home

of Mrs. M. M. Fitzhugh, State Regent. Members continued to restore records

and work in the VA hospitals. On October 17, 1947 an oil portrait of Dr. Lyon

G. Tyler, past president of the College of William and Mary was presented by the

Virginia Daughters to the Virginia Historical Society. In 1948 a State Regentís pin was purchased.

In 1953 the first Memorial Service was held at the State Assembly.

That same year the National President was presented a pin that was a replica

of the Norfolk Mace. During these years the Virginia Society continued to restore

old records and books throughout the state. Magazines were contributed to the

Veterans Hospitals. Members from other societies and neighboring DAC societies

were frequent guests. Some years the Virginia DAC had joint meetings with other societies.

Pledges and gifts were also presented to the National Society.

During the Viet Nam era, a strong focus was placed upon veteran service.

Membership climbed to 210. Virginia DAC continued the tradition of restoring old records

and donating books to libraries. Gifts of American and NSDAC flags and bible records were

donated to the National Society. A gavel from the only known tree

standing on Jamestown Island at the time of the first

arrivals was presented to the State Society.

It is still used at the discretion of the State Regent upon special occasion.

Virginia Daughters were on hand when Berkeley Hundred was identified

as the site of the first official Thanksgiving Day in America. In 1969

the State Society hosted the National President and Executive Board and

the State Regents when the national project was dedicated at Berkeley.

During the 70ís the Virginia Society marked the grave of Elizabeth Bassett

Harrison 1730-1792. By 1979 membership was 242. National Defense messages

were emphasized. Over the years numerous state daughters have served as

national officers in a variety of positions. In the earliest years history scrapbooks

were presented to the Virginia Historical Society. More recently State Regents

have served as the eventual Curators for these histories of their administrations.

The Park Service has received special recognition and support over the years.

The State Regentís Project during Mrs. G. Humphrey Bryan, Juniorís administration

was a teak wood bench built in England and designed in the style reminiscent of the

Colonial era for placement at St. Lukeís Church, Isle of Wight County.

A number of distinguished national and state leaders from NSDAC and several others

Historical societies were present at the dedication.

The State Society donated numerous books and money to the National Library.

Membership in 1983 was 285. Records preservation and book

contributions continued to serve as priorities for Virginia DAC.

On March 7, 1984 the Pocahontas Chapter dedicated a

grave marker in memory of Mrs. James Branch Cabell,

the Organizing State Regent and Honorary National Vice President.

Virginia was the second state to mark the grave of its Organizing Regent.

All chapters supported the restoration of The Statue of Liberty.

On March 7, 1985 Mrs. Gary L. Holder was elected the first Golden Acorn State Regent.

Her State Project was the compiling of the history of the Virginia State Society.

Much information from her literary efforts was offered by Mrs. Holder and utilized in this history.

In 1987 Virginia and West Virginia received an award from the Southern Section

for having the most Golden Acorns attending the General Assembly.

DAC Daughters in the Commonwealth assisted with the restoration of National Headquarters.

During the administrations of Regents Shipp, Muller and Gordon Virginia

continued numerous restoration projects. During Honorary Regent Gordonís term

antique chairs dating to the period 1683 in the Lynhaven House were restored,

both the chairs and seats. In Regent Osborneís term the Virginia

Daughters continued their service to Americaís heroes.

Beautiful boxwoods were planted along the carriage path to historic ďVillage ViewĒ

at Emporia during the administration of State Regent Mrs. Charles Featherston.

Tree pins were sold to help fund the project. The graveyard at Red Hill,

last home of Patrick Henry was rededicated on the 200th anniversary of his death.

Veteran Service and National Defense were priorities. Membership was reported at 270 during that time.

During the recent administration of State Regent Mrs. Russell Bersch Virginia Daughters

adopted her project to restore Will Book 13 in Brunswick County.

The State Society supported the National Presidentís Project that was marking the most heavily traveled

road in Colonial America, The Great Indian Warrior/Trading Path located from

the northern to southern borders of the Commonwealth.

That dedication was held at Stanton.

Mrs. Bersch represented the National Society as color

bearer at the annual Yorktown Day Ceremony on October 19, 2000.

NSDAC Patriotic Book Marks were placed in several schools.

State Regent Bersch created and presented a special program exhibiting and explaining the various

NSDAC insignia at her official chapter visits.

She also honored three Centenarians during her administration.

Parties for patients were held at a local Veterans Medical Center.

During Mrs. Charles Odomís administration the State Regentís project was a pair of paintings

presented to Jamestown in support of the approaching Quadra-Centennial. She provided a series of programs featuring

the history of religious freedom in America. Revision of state by-laws aided fiscal procedures. Grants, comfort items, gifts,

manufacturersí coupons and visits honored veterans. Hampton Spanish American War Cemetery received flags at a grave

marking ceremony. The Regent restored a marble tablet for historic Masonís Hall that had formerly served as a veteransí

hospital in Americaís second war for independence. Violet Bank Museum was aided in seeking accreditation.

Nancy Ackerman and Carol Stone were appointed to organize two new chapters. Sharon Stine assisted in

establishing this web site. Implementation of computer technology facilitated operations.

Betty Shackelford coordinated marking Meander Plantation as a State Project.

This webpage last updated February 16, 2010