Overview

The DAR, the Daughters of the American Revolution, is a non-profit organization founded by pioneering women in 1890. The roots of the DAR are grounded strongly in patriotism, history, and education. The birth of the organization was conceived by women who wanted a way to express their patriotism and educate the American people, but lacked the power due to their social status at the time. Thus, they formed the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, in an effort to make their voices heard. One of the outspoken members of the DAR was Martha Berry. Her vision paralleled the vision of the Daughters of the American Revolution, sparking the DAR to sponsor Berry College.

History

The DAR, the Daughters of the American Revolution, was formed during a time of suppression. The members had to take a stand to represent the patriotic heart women had at the time, despite the belittling view some men held of women involved in patriotic matters .The idea for the DAR was created by Mrs. Lockwood, when the SAR, the Sons of the American Revolution, prohibited membership of women into their organization. Mrs. Lockwood wrote an outspoken and convincing article in the Washington Post discussing the importance of women in the Revolution by asking the question, "Were there no mothers of the revolution?" The president of the SAR read the article and wrote a responding article in the Post, strongly agreeing with Mrs. Lockwood. He encouraged Mrs. Lockwood and other women that stood firmly in their belief in their patriotism, to represent the pioneering women in the revolution and start their own organization. Thus, the DAR was born. The first official meeting occurred on October 11, 1890 at the Strathmore Arms boarding house at 810 12th street ,which was Mrs. Lockwood's house. The four most prominent and active women at the meeting were Mrs. Lockwood, Miss Desha, Miss Eugenia Washington and Mrs. Ellen Hardin Walworth, who would later be considered the founders. At the first meeting many activities were conducted, such as, elections for the first slate of officers, the drafting of the first constitution and the commemoration of the organizations first project. Since the founding of the DAR, the organization has strived to spread patriotism and preserve history.

Their Mission

To become a member, as long as a woman is 18 years of age or older, all she has to do is prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution regardless of her race or ethnic background. The DAR was founded by four women whose common bond was the fact that each had fathers or grandfathers who were patriots of the American Revolution. The founders of the Daughters of the American Revolution sought to create an organization that would "perpetuate the memory and spirit of the women and men who achieved American independence(Berry College and the NSDAR, 1980).”
Martha Berry was a member of the DAR, and because of this, when she founded Berry College in 1902, she had their support. "Both Martha and the Daughters of the American Revolution sought to persevere and advance the values that have made America great. Both are committed to the enlightment of our citizenry. Both recognize the importance of young people in achieving our purposes"(Berry College President's Office, 1980). With all of these factors in common, it is no wonder as to why the DAR supported Martha in many of her hopes and dreams she had for her school. The DAR gives money to Berry and hundreds of members visit the school each year(Berry College and the NSDAR, 1988). Without their support, it is unlikely that Berry College would be as prosporous as it is today.
The women who founded this society wanted to better the futures of others and allow everyone the opportunity to do what they wanted in life. They founded their organization in a time when women were not allowed much of an opinion and could not join groups that men were in. Both the DAR and Martha Berry did things that others told them they could not.

Berry's Relationship to the DAR

Martha Berry was a proud and dedicated Georgia member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and her involvement in the society and the morals Berry College embraced and encouraged helped Berry become the first DAR “Approved School”. The school was founded in 1902 and Berry became approved just two years later in 1904. In order to make this happen, Martha Berry addressed the Continental Congress in Washington, D.C., describing the school and its mission. Due to the similarities in the objectives and philosophies of Berry and the DAR, the NSDAR named Berry the first DAR-approved school. There is no doubt that Miss Berry was a very influential and personable woman who had many connections with some powerful people, yet it was her dedication and beliefs that set Berry apart from other schools. Over the next few decades, numerous other schools were added to the Approved Schools list, however, most of those names have disappeared from the list. The long standing presence on the Approved Schools list demonstrates the relationship that Berry College has maintained with the Daughters of the American Revolution throughout the years.
A prime example of the reasoning behind the DAR choosing to sponsor Berry is illustrated in this quote by Mrs. Minor, president general; “We are here in this world to be useful-to get things done-and I believe this school is doing some of the most worth-while things for our country and our on-coming citizenship that can be done. I shall encourage the Daughters of the various chapters to increased support of The Berry Schools”(Mrs. George Maynard). The leaders of the DAR stood behind the mission of Berry because they believed they were raising and contributing to the conservation of Americans, which represented the true sons and daughters of the American Revolution. Still to this day, Berry College instills a sense of leadership, service and hard work in its students, which is why the support of the DAR has spanned over many decades. Their strong relationship is recognized by the numerous donations they give to both the school and its students. Their gifts are utilized as instructed by the donor, which the majority of the time is to aid in student work and to make scholarships available for able and deserving young people. In addition, Berry College continually strives to honor former regents of the Georgia State Society. A summer house was restored in honor of a former regent and many walkways have been constructed and dedicated in their honor. A rather larger contribution gifted to Berry College by the Georgia State Society was the stunning stained glass window located in Frost Memorial Chapel, which can be found on Mountain Campus. Hundreds of DAR members from around the country come to visit Berry. Specifically, many Georgia DAR members visit the school both individually as well as in groups, which affords them the opportunity to witness how their continuous support and generous donations have impacted the school and its students.

Works Cited

Berry Believes. Berry College-President's Office. 1988. Print. Berry College Archives, memorial library, Berry College.

Berry College and the NSDAR. Berry College-President's Office. 1988. Print. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.

"Berry and the NSDAR." Rome News Tribune. 30 October 1980. Print. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.

Mrs. George Maynard Minor, President General National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and Mrs. John L. Buel, State Regent of Conneticut, Visit The Berry
Schools. Photo with Caption. January 26, 1921. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.

NA. A Century of Service: The Story of the DAR. NP. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.

NA. Berry and the Georgia State Society NSDAR. NP. Print. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.

NA. Berry College And The Daughters Of The American Revolution( DAR). NP. Print. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.

National Society of Daughters of American Revolution. March. 2005: Web. 14 March 2013. http://www.dar.org/natsociety/content.cfm?ID=276&hd=n&FO=Y

Roberts, Harvey. From Cabin to College-Daughters of American Revolution Magazine.107-111.Print. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.

Simmons, Harriet. "Martha Berry-Miracle Worker."NP. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.