It is a pleasure to welcome you to the website of the Society of Sons of the Revolution in the city of Boston in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, often called the cradle of the American Revolution. We urge you to enjoy the splendor of what our city has to offer — from world-class museums, a busy seaport, peerless shopping, great dining, and the graceful layering of colonial-to-modern urban amenities.
We would like to introduce ourselves with this historical account our formation and accomplishments here in Massachusetts before the opening of the twentieth century. As you will discover, without our ancestors’ efforts, there would be no Freedom Trail. (We would like to give special thanks to Past Governor General William Allerton for bringing this to our attention.) Below is an account of the formation of the Massachusetts Society by Walter Gillman Page from the March 1889 edition of New England Magazine. His article in whole may be downloaded here.
It was in grateful memory of the founders of the republic and in sympathy with the revival of interest in our country’s history marking the period of the centennial of our independence, that the Society of the Sons of the Revolution was formed. Instituted on the birthday of Washington, February 22, 1876,-the original roll of membership being pre served in the library of the New York Historical Society,-the association took fuller and firmer shape on the centennial celebration of the anniversary of the formal evacuation of New York by the British, December 3. 1883. It was incorporated as a society of the state of Kew York. lay 3, 1884. Numbers were attracted to an organization so patriotic in its object and rapidly becoming so popular; and, with added numbers, there arose in the minds of many descendants of Revolutionary sires outside of the state of New York the wish to share in this patriotic purpose of honoring our fathers’ memory.
Pennsylvania was the first to organize a state society of the Sons of the Revolution, independent of the parent society of New York. The District of Columbia followed; Iowa, New Jersey and Georgia successively organized societies; and these six state societies united in a general or national organization in March, 1890.
On the evening of October 1, 1891, in response to a call for organization issued September 23, some twenty five or thirty gentlemen met in the anteroom of Faneuil Hall and formed a Society· of Sons of the Revolution in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, electing the following list of officers: William Leverett Chase, president; Hazard Stevens, vice-president; Frank Harrison Briggs, treasurer; Henry Dexter Warren, secretary; Walter Kendall Watkins, registrar; Francis Ellinwood Abbot, historian; and Eben Norton Horsford, Andrew Robeson, William Curtis Capell, Theodore Harold Clapp, Arthur Henry Dutton, Gilbert Hodges, Charles Howard Bailey, Jr., Walter Gilman Page and Winthrop Wetherbee, as a board of managers.
On October 9, 1891, a charter was granted the society by the secretary of the Commonwealth. October 24 the first meeting of the board of managers was held, and it was at once decided that immediate action should be taken towards fulfilling the requirements of the constitution of the society, which were “to perpetuate the memory of the men who, in the military, navel and civil service of the colonies and of the Continental Congress, by their acts or counsel achieved the independence of the country; to inspire the members of the society with the patriotic spirit of their forefathers; and to promote the feeling of friendship among them.
Already, over a century ago, the Sons of the Revolution in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts claimed high ground in defining the enduring political and moral significance of the American Revolution for our way of life by raising up, celebrating, and memorializing the vital monuments of our liberties. We have found a new energy here and are eager to share our enthusiasm with you.