1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 Records of the Rhode Island Society of

 the Sons of the American Revolution

 Hereditary society, Rhode Island

 Records, 1890-1953

 Size: 0.75 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 1052

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, May 2000

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution was founded in 1889. According to its constitution, the Society's goal was to "keep alive among ourselves and our descendants and in the community the patriotic spirit of the men who achieved American Independence, to collect and secure for preservation the manuscript rolls, records, and other documents relating to the War of the Revolution, and to promote social intercourse and fellowship among its members now and hereafter." Membership was open to adults who were descended from Revolutionary soldiers, sailors, government officials or other patriots. In this sense it was more democratic than the older and more exclusive Society of the Cincinnati, which was only open to the eldest male heirs of Revolutionary officers. The Sons of the American Revolution envisioned a constantly expanding membership, and it was prophesied that "it will soon become the largest society in the world" (see Registrar-General's Circular pasted into first minute book).

            The Rhode Island Society had its first meeting on January 24, 1890. It soon had over a hundred members, and received a charter from the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1894. Its meetings were generally held in the old Cabinet Building of the Rhode Island Historical Society for many years. By 1953, the Rhode Island Society had three hundred members. It is still active today.

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Scope and content:

            This collection consists solely of the complete minute books of the Rhode Island Society's Board of Managers from 1890 through 1953. Some of the early volumes include membership lists and relevant newspaper clippings.

            The Rhode Island Society's membership records are still in their possession. They are stored on deposit at the Rhode Island Historical Society, but are only accessible with the permission of the Rhode Island Society officers.

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            These records had been the property of Lisa Berke of Saunderstown, R.I. They were donated to the Pettaquamscutt Historical Society in 2000. The Pettaquamscutt Historical Society in turn donated them to the Rhode Island Historical Society later in the year. A minute book from the Bristol chapter of the S.A.R. dated 1898-1919 was donated to the Bristol Historical Society at the same time.

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Box 1, folder 1. Minute book, 1890-1894

Box 1, folder 2. Minute book, 1894-1912

Box 1, folder 3. Minute book, 1912-1919

Box 2, folder 4. Minutes, 1919-1929

Box 2, folder 5. Minute book, 1929-1940

Box 2, folder 6. Minute book, 1940-1953

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National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution

Patriotic societies - Rhode Island

Sons of the American Revolution

United States - History - Revolution, 1775-1783 - Societies, etc.

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