Colonel Benjamin Cleveland Chapter
History of the Sons of the
American Revolution and
Center for Advancing America’s Heritage Library Project
The National Society of the Sons of
the American Revolution is a patriotic organization formed in 1889 and
chartered by the United States Congress in 1906. SAR has more than 25,000
living members from all 50 states and 23 foreign countries.
Throughout its 112-year history, SAR has admitted more than 155,000 members. Among them are 16 Presidents of the United States, including George W. Bush and his father George H. W. Bush, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry Truman and Theodore Roosevelt. SAR also has among its members Sir Winston Churchill and King Juan Carlos I of Spain, both of whom trace their ancestry to Revolutionary War patriots.
The SAR National Headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, is more properly a historic shrine honoring our Patriot Ancestors. It is a museum of art and artifacts from the colonial and revolutionary periods, and a genealogical library. The museum includes an extensive collection of historical American paintings and an exact replica of the Liberty Bell.
The existing SAR Library contains 50,000 books, periodicals, journals microfilm, and microfiche, including 5,000 family genealogies in hard copy and 8,000 books on the American Revolution. The Library has three nationally important collections of materials relating to George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, and George Rogers Clark.
The mission of SAR is to promote patriotism and to reaffirm those values on which our country was established. To achieve its goals, SAR has embarked upon a campaign to raise $6 million. Funds will be used for the construction of a new SAR Genealogical Library and for an endowment that will provide a permanent source of support for SAR programs and facilities.
With the success of this fund-raising campaign, SAR will continue its quest of becoming the foremost repository of Revolutionary War era documents and artifacts. Construction of a new Genealogical Library will enable SAR to expand upon its already outstanding collection of military and genealogical records, books, manuscripts and other pertinent historical materials. All of these materials will be available to scholars and the public for genealogical and historical research.
Now, more than ever, we must preserve and sharpen the national memory of the American Revolution and the freedoms our Patriot Ancestors gave us by building the new Advancing America's Heritage Library..
The current SAR Library has outgrown it's facilities. Over the last 20 years, our country has changed and serious threats have challenged our heritage, history, and nation. Our Society has responded to challenges that distort and lessen the value of democracy by authorizing the Center for Advancing America's Heritage. The facility will provide quality programs and education material through state of the art facilities. The Center will reach a wide range of ages and audiences as we provide comprehensive material and programs on what makes America the greatest democratic nation in the world. The Center will provide educational materials to our schools and the public, educational/historical materials and programs through the Internet, and be the largest facility of its type in the world.
In keeping with historical objectives of the National Society, the new Center for Advancing America's Heritage will have a "Jeffersonian" look - in that it will take on some of the architecture attributes of Thomas Jefferson's design for Monticello and the University of Virginia. The facility is destined to become the foremost repository for Revolutionary War documents and artifacts. It will also enable the SAR to expand its already outstanding collection of military and genealogical records, books, manuscripts, and other pertinent historical materials. The serene courtyard within the proposed Center will feature flags from the 13 original colonies and pathways paved with bricks purchased by Compatriots and Society friends.
If you would like to give toward the new library, please send a check made payable to The SAR Foundation, Inc. and
John C. Echerd
7541 Savannah Drive
Ooltewah, TN 37363
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