During early February, the Luiseño Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution enjoyed a Social Saturday at member Cindy Greer’s home in Fallbrook. At the Social, D.A.R. members and guests, plus one 7-year-old member of Children of the American Revolution and other youngsters created handmade valentine cards for veterans. Sixty-five unique and individualized valentines were then placed in treat bags which had been filled with sweets. All 65 Valentine bags were delivered to the VFW in Murrieta by a D.A.R. member.
The Daughters of the American Revolution’s mission encourages its members to promote education, historic preservation, and patriotism. Under the patriotism umbrella, it contributes to veterans’ needs at home and to deployed military members’ wish lists, and honors veterans through events like Honor Flight and holiday treat bags like those 65 made for Valentine’s Day.
The D.A.R. America 250 Committee honors our American veterans of 2023 as well as those from 250 years ago. This month, it draws attention to Virginian Nathaniel Burwell, born circa 1750. Nathaniel came from a long line of Virginians beginning in 1648. At age 26, he began his military career in the 1st Virginia Regiment, and rose through the ranks to become a major and aide-de-camp to General Robert Howe in 1779.
Burwell became a member of the Society of the Cincinnati which was organized by George Washington. “The Society of the Cincinnati is the nation’s oldest patriotic organization, founded in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army who served together in the American Revolution. Its mission is to promote knowledge and appreciation of the achievement of American independence and to foster fellowship among its members.” The Society’s “founding document, the Institution, outlined the aims of the new organization: to perpetuate the memory of the War for Independence, maintain the fraternal bonds between the officers, promote the ideals of the Revolution, support members and their families in need, distinguish its members as men of honor, and advocate for the compensation promised to the officers by Congress.” To achieve its aims, the Society called on its members to contribute a month’s pay, per the website www.societyofthecincinnati.org.
Even in the 1780s, the country’s leaders encouraged support of veterans’ needs. This is not a new concept.
Washington wrote of Burwell in 1787: “Be it known that Nathaniel Burwell, Esquire, of the Commonwealth of Virginia, instituted by the officers of the American Army at the period of its Dissolution, as well to commemorate the great event which gave independence to North America, as for the laudable purpose of [initiating] the Duty of laying down in peace arms assured for public defense, and of uniting in aid of brotherly affection, and bonds of perpetual friendship, the members constituting the same.” Washington was President of the United States at the time of writing the above on March 1, 1787.
Nathaniel married Martha “Patsey” Digges in 1780, and the couple had seven children.
The Daughters of the American Revolution honors Nathaniel Burwell for his contribution to freedom. Luiseño Chapter’s America 250 Committee will honor another Patriot with the publication of his/her story next month. For more information about Luiseño Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, you are encouraged to visit their public Facebook page at www.facebook.com/luisenochapterdar. The Luiseño Chapter has 104 members living in Riverside and San Diego counties.