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“Nationals October 2019

Local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution celebrate 120 years!

| April 02, 2019, 04:22 PM

Rams Head

A gavel created from the wood of Annapolis’ Liberty Tree that was located on St. John’s College campus and served as a gathering spot for patriots during the Revolutionary War. When the tree had to be cut down in 1999, former PSTP Regent Mrs. J. Humbleton Palmer had this keepsake created and gifted it to the Chapter.

The Peggy Stewart Tea Party (PSTP) Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) celebrates 120 years of service in Annapolis. NSDAR began in 1890, and the PSTP Chapter was confirmed as a local group nine years later. Since that time, women of the PSTP Chapter have been involved in historical, educational and service-oriented events to honor and preserve both the valuable history and modern-day service of those who have dedicated their time and lives for the United States.  Women’s History Month offers the Chapter an opportunity to reflect on the role of its members in past historical events, recurring moments of commemoration and ongoing community service.

As a part of NSDAR, which consists of 3,000 chapters worldwide and is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations, PSTP is a non-partisan and patriotic group of women who trace their ancestry back to the men and women of the Revolutionary War. The Chapter was named in recognition of a local revolt against British taxation referred to as the “Peggy Stewart Affair” that occurred in the port of Annapolis. Known as the “Annapolis Tea Party”, this event highlighted Maryland’s desire for independence and commitment to the Revolutionary War when both the tea and the ship named the Peggy Stewart were set ablaze in protest of the King’s taxes.

“The history of this Chapter has been rich and continues to unfold,” said PSTP Regent Bliss Kaye.  “Our mission is to promote patriotism, preserve American history and secure America’s future through better education for children. Members have an opportunity to connect with the past, work in the present and give to our posterity.”

Early on, the PSTP Chapter began making a mark locally. On Maryland Day in 1908, PSTP helped establish a monument at the State House that symbolizes our state government’s duty to defend Maryland. The Chapter arranged for a cannon that dates back to the ship Ark and the Dove to be moved to its current place of honor where it points toward the sea.  The ship filled with European settlers arrived on the banks of the St. Mary’s River in 1634.

Current PSTP Regent Bliss Kaye holds an antique flag that has belonged to the Chapter for many years. It represents the the group’s commitment to promote patriotism, preserve history and secure America’s future through better education for children.

The Chapter also helped erect and debut Annapolis’ National Monument to French Soldiers and Sailors in 1911. President Taft and French Ambassador Jusserand visited Annapolis to dedicate the monument during a ceremony attended by thousands. The monument is on the grounds of St. John’s College and is the first known tomb to the Unknown Soldier anywhere in the world.

Another notable, historic connection is the Chapter’s association with the Old Senate Chamber at the State House. PSTP was granted permission to hold regular meetings in the historic room in the early 1900’s.  In 1915, members of the Chapter invested $40.10 in a bronze plaque to mark the place where George Washington resigned his commission.  Guests have regularly visited this spot during the past century.

PSTP is proud of its place in local, national and international history. And the group maintains its commitment to both reflect back and move forward.

“Our Chapter is fortunate to have active members willing to give their time and talents to further our mission,” said Kaye.

During the past year, PSTP participated in local events such as Wreaths Across America and the annual wreath laying ceremony at the Monument to French Soldiers and Sailors.  Chapter members recognize and support current military members by shipping care packages to deployed service men and women around the globe through its Project Patriot outreach program. The women of the group also participate in local events such as distributing American flags in celebration of Independence Day, serving as docents at historic homes during Annapolis by Candlelight tours and providing items that support literacy in schools across the country.  When a woman joins the organization, her application documents preserve the woman’s genealogical ties to the Revolutionary War era.

The PSTP Chapter currently boasts 133 members and is gaining new members regularly. Several members recently celebrated monumental anniversaries including a 50th anniversary.  Any woman who is 18 years or older with lineage leading back to a Revolutionary War Patriot may apply. The group hosts regular meetings and volunteers throughout the community during the year.  For more information on the PSTP Chapter, membership eligibility or upcoming events, please visit peggystewart.marylanddar.org or contact the chapter at [email protected].

Rams Head

Category: Local News, NEWS

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