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Daughters of the American Revolution


“Listen, my children, and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.”

Long has lived the immortal poem Paul Revere’s Ride. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s words have been memorized by school children across the country; memorized by reluctant school children perhaps, but remembered all the same. The poem conjures visions of desperation as America took its first steps towards independence from King George and Great Britain’s unjust taxation. It tells of the heroics of our first patriots as they fought the feared ‘redcoat’ soldiers in their fields and their towns. And none of it has anything to do with North Dakota; well not necessarily.

Although the American Revolution was fought over a century before North Dakota existed, and decades before it was even mapped by white explorers, there exists still a connection between our nation’s struggle for independence and the State of North Dakota. That link is embodied by the North Dakota chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The Daughters of the American Revolution is a volunteer women’s service organization open to any female descendant of a Revolutionary War patriot. It strives to promote patriotism, preserve America’s history and provide better education for our country’s youth. The North Dakota chapter, made up of descendants of Revolutionary War patriots who moved to the area decades after the war’s conclusion, was launched on this day, October 3, 1895. Although named Daughters of the American Revolution, the North Dakota branch reaches beyond the chronological and geographic boundaries inferred by its name and works to preserve more than just Revolutionary War history.

From its conception, the North Dakota branch of the Daughters of the American Revolution has been instrumental in preserving North Dakota’s historical heritage. It tracked down a rocking chair originally owned by General George Custer and donated it to the Custer House at Fort Lincoln, it worked to preserve the memory of the Red River Valley Ox Cart Trial and donated Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘Maltese Cross’ cabin to the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park.

Today the North Dakota Daughters of the American Revolution continues to fight the good fight in the preservation of North Dakota’s historical heritage and promotion of pro-history legislation. Unlike their forbearers, the Daughters of the American Revolution have no British to combat, but struggle none-the-less to ensure that our national and state history is not lost, and to make certain that in future generations it can still be said that…

“You know the rest. In the books you have read

How the British Regulars fired and fled, --

How the farmers gave them ball for ball,

From behind each fence and farmyard wall,

Chasing the redcoats down the lane,

Then crossing the fields to emerge again

Under the trees at the turn of the road,

And only pausing to fire and load.”


"About Dar", National Society Daughters of the American Revolution http://www.dar.org/natsociety/whoweare.cfm (accessed September 23, 2008).

Englerth, Nancy, "History of the North Dakota Dar", North Dakota State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution http://www.cuttington.org/nddar/state.htm (accessed September 23, 2008).

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. "Paul Revere's Ride." In One Hundred and One Famous Poems, Revised Edition, ed. Roy J. Cook. Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books.

"North Dakota Daughters of the American Revolution Records," University of North Dakota http://www.und.nodak.edu/dept/library/Collections/og529.html (accessed September 23, 2008).