APRIL 2016



My fellow compatriots, we find ourselves now in April of my second term as your Chapter President. It has been an honor representing our great chapter in my daily life, chapter meetings, outside presentations to honor our boys and girls in JR ROTC, ROTC, and Eagle Scouts and during our state and national meetings. We have done a wonderful job of putting our brand out there and due to our hosting of the Fall TX State BOM in 2015, our participation in color guard events throughout the year, our honoring of our heroes with medals and in our attendance at the state and national meetings, the name Bernardo de Galvez is more recognizable today.

I, Pete Lenes, Bill Whatley, John Hamlin, Gene Shaner, Dalton Shaner and Jim Mitchell just returned from the Texas Society Sons of the American Revolution

121st Convention which was hosted in Richardson, Texas by the Plano/East Fork Trinity Chapters on March 31st-April 3rd. What a wonderful

event it was for our chapter. We were awarded certificates for Outstanding Chapter Award Group 3 (40-100 members), as a chapter who has excelled in all areas in promoting the ideas and programs of the SAR during the Texas SAR year 2015; Outstanding Public Service Award, for awarding all four Public Service Awards during the year of 2015; E.A. Limmer Group 3 (40-100 members), as the chapter having the highest percentage of approved supplementals during the Texas SAR year 2015; Meritorious Service Medal and Certificate for Larry D. Tidwell in recognition of notable services in behalf of our American Principals, Pete Lenes was presented the silver Good Citizenship Medal and Sue Lenes was awarded a Daughters of Liberty Medal and Certificate and 1st place for our Presidents Yearbook contest, which clearly stood out amongst the other entries.

Let’s take this success forward to inspire us to continue to do great work in our chapter, which in my opinion stands out amongst all chapters in our Texas Society. I am very proud of each and everyone one of my fellow Bernardo de Galvez chapter compatriots.

Larry D. Tidwell


President – Larry D Tidwell

1st Vice – John Loper

2nd Vice – John (Pete) Lenes

3rd Vice – Bill Whatley

Treasurer – Merlin (Gene) Shaner

Secretary – John M. Hamlin

Registrar – John (Pete) Lenes

Chaplain – John M. Hamlin

Parliamentarian – Gordon Robinson

Historian – David Peterson

Webmaster – Clark Wright


By Compatriot

CDR. Bryan K Crittendon

General Griffith Rutherford

General Griffith Rutherford was born in about 1721 in Northern Ireland. There is still some debate over which Rutherford cadet he descends, but it's clear that his ancestors were the Rutherford’s of Roxburghshire. Initially he came to America through New Jersey and Pennsylvania, perhaps having lived in New Castle, Delaware. The details of his early life are not well documented. He was an orphan who was raised by his relatives the Weakleys. Griffith is thought to have lived in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and after 1745, in Halifax Co and Lunenburg Co, Virginia. His parents, John Rutherford and Elizabeth Griffith, both died at sea coming from Ireland to America.
Griffith later came to North Carolina influenced by the good climate, soil and relative peacefulness of the Catawba Indians. Another factor which encouraged his migration to North Carolina was the laxity of North Carolina laws in comparison with those of Virginia on the subject of religion. In this way, Griffith and other Scots-Irish passed through the vacant lands in Virginia and made homes for themselves in western North Carolina. As early as 1740, a few families were already located on the Hico, Eno, and Haw rivers in the territory just east of Rowan. By the year 1745, the Scots-Irish had established themselves in the fertile and well-watered area between the Yadkin and the Catawba. Previous to 1750 their settlements were scattered throughout the region from Virginia to Georgia. The Scots-Irish settled mainly in the country west of the Yadkin. Among these emigrants were Griffith's near kin and friends; the Nesbits, Davidsons, Moores and Rutherfords all originally from the Roxburghshire area of Scotland. Griffith Rutherford married Mary Elizabeth Graham in 1754 in Rowan Co., North Carolina.

General Griffith Rutherford was a member of the North Carolina Assembly as early as 1769. In 1775, he was elected as a member of the Provincial Congress and served in all of its subsequent sessions. On April 12th, 1776 General Rutherford was among the signers of the Old North State Resolution in favor of declaring the independence of the Colonies. This document pre-dated the Declaration of Independence by three months. The name of George Washington headed this list.

General Rutherford was elected in October 1776 as a delegate to attend the 5th Provincial Congress at Halifax to help frame a state constitution. He was termed a "radical" as he advocated a "simple democracy" in which there would be a strong legislative branch with a weak executive branch and religious freedom with no established church. He was elected state Senator from Rowan County and served successive terms, 1777 - 1788.

Griffith and the Rutherford clan had been well connected politically and socially back in Virginia. Griffith had many influential family connections and did not come to North Carolina with "his hat in his hand". His near cousins, the Edgerston Rutherfurds had significant land holdings in Virginia and in North Carolina. His cousin Robert Rutherford, who was to become US Congressman from the state of Virginia, was an old friend of George Washington's. This would account for the amazing political success of orphaned Griffith in the class and finance charged arena of "plantation politics". Doubtful, he would have been rubbing elbows with George Washington in Virginia or Governor Tyron in North Carolina if he weren't socially and economically suitable.

Six brigadier generals were appointed by the provincial Congress of North Carolina at Newbern on 4/22/1776, including General Griffith Rutherford, who was commissioned for the District of Salisbury. In the summer of 1776 he raised an army of 2,400 men and marched on the English forces of the Cherokee nation. This expedition laid waste to 36 Cherokee towns. The Cherokee were forced to sue for peace and in the Treaty of Long Island of 7/20/1777, the Cherokee ceded all lands east of the Blue Ridge, as well as, lands along the Watauga, Nolichucky, Upper Holston and New River.

In 1777 General Griffith Rutherford marched his brigade to Savannah to aid General Lincoln. In the partisan warfare which developed, The Revolutionary War became a civil war - Whigs against Tories, and brother against brother. In Griffith's case, it was cousin against cousin. Griffith obviously was confident in the American cause. At the same time he was fighting a war with the world's dominant military power, General Griffith Rutherford entered a claim on 200 acres of land on the south side of Muddy Creek, North Carolina in 1778. After all, the odds were in the favor of those, who like himself, knew and loved the land for which they were fighting.

With less than 400 men under his command, General Rutherford defeated 1,000 Tories at Ramseur's Mills on June 20th, 1780. With a force of 700 North Carolina men under his command, he aided the South Carolina Whigs in suppressing a large number of "Scovellites" or Tories in December of 1780.
Three weeks after Charleston fell and the English started toward the Waxhaw settlements, General Griffith Rutherford assembled nine hundred militiamen in Charlotte. The situation in the South, he told them, was desperate. "Go home, boys," he said, "and get all the powder and balls and flints you can find, and be ready when I call you."

Rutherford was watching closely the advance of English General Rawdon toward upper South Carolina when he learned that a force of perhaps more than a thousand Tories was assembling across the Catawba at Ramsour's Mill. At once he sent orders to Colonel Francis Locke to plan to attack the Tories; he would join him shortly, and they would fall on the Loyalists. But Locke did not get the message; instead, he notified the general that he was marching to attack the Tories. And before Rutherford could reach the battleground, Locke's men had fought the Loyalist, killed many, utterly defeated the others

. General Rutherford had been badly wounded and was imprisoned. Nearly a year later a prisoner exchange was made with the English which affected the release of General Rutherford, as well as, Declaration of Independence signers Thomas Heyward Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge. A few months after his

release tragedy struck the General when James Rutherford, his oldest son, was killed at the Battle of Eutaw Springs, South Carolina on Sep. 8, 1781. The Battle of Eutaw Springs was the last important engagement in the Carolina campaign of the American Revolution

Following the war, General Rutherford hosted a dinner for General George Washington at the Guilford Court House on June 2, 1791. General Washington presented General Rutherford with a silver snuff box containing Washington's favorite brand of snuff in thanks and as a token of their friendship.

Once General Rutherford returned to North Carolina, he and other relatives began to see the great future for the infant states of North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. Griffith was already well established in North Carolinian political and social life.



Wow! What a great three months.

New officer installation, three great meetings, Oration Contestants, and Knight Essay entries.

We could not find an Oration Contestant, but the Dallas Chapter had an extra which we sponsored. He won second in the state competition. We had two entries in the Knight Essay Contest Zoe Thanawala from Clear Springs High School and Jessica Crawford from the Odyssey Academy in League City.

Seven members attended the Texas SAR Convention in Richardson, Texas. Our Chapter won many awards including 1st place for our 2015 Year Book. A big SHOUT OUT to Carolyn De La Houssaye for her great work on it. We do appreciate it.

Our officers have taken 4 or 5 local names to call and hopefully get more people to our meetings.

On a personal note: The Texas SAR asked me to serve as Vice President of Awards, Medals and Contests. The compatriots at the Convention voted on me unanimously. My thanks to them.


Jessica Crawford of Odyssey Academy in League City receives her cash prize for her entry in the Knight Essay Contest.

April 16 General Meeting Fish Tales in Galveston

May 21 General Meeting Fish Tales in Galveston

May 31 Parade in Seabrook

June 18 General Meeting Fish Tales in Galveston

July 8 – 13 NSSAR Congress in Boston, Mass.

July 16 General Meeting Fish Tales in Galveston


The Granaderos y Damas de G'alvez Houston chapter held an informative symposium on our namesake on April 2 at Rice University. About 175 guests were in attendance.  I set up our exhibit and raised almost $400.  In addition, while guests registered for the event, they were given the option of donating to the statue project.  Over $600 was raised from that.  In all, we brought in a little over $1000

We also met some influential people and rekindled some friendships.

Rice University has hosted numerous events in the past for culturally diverse organizations.  I met the President and chair of the cultural studies department.

BBVA Compass bank donated $10,000 to defray expenses of the Symposium, and I visited at length with the SW regional VP about our project.

One of the members of the Granaderos is a professor at Rice, and she has made cash donations and donated paintings for the last Granaderos fundraising event. We discussed our grant applications, and she knows George Strake very well.  We have two grant applications pending, total $150,000 to organizations where he is on the board.  She will talk to him about our project. 

There are others that I visited with who are interested in helping us.

It was a very worthwhile event.



Recruitment Corner

Why should I become a member?  Membership in the Sons of the American Revolution honors and preserves the legacy of your Patriot ancestor. Two hundred and forty years ago, American Patriots fought and sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy today. As a member of SAR, through participation in the Society's various programs and activities, you can continue this legacy by actively supporting American History, promotion of education, and patriotic endeavors.
SAR provides the opportunity to...
* contribute to important service projects
* honor and preserve the legacy of patriot ancestors
* make lifelong friends
* participate in unique social and service-oriented programs within your community
* be involved in a variety of programs that provide something for everyone
* gain valuable leadership experience
* establish a network of contacts in your community and all over the world


  1. Supplementals and Applications submitted as of 16 April 2016.

Supplementals submitted – 15

John Loper – 1 – Sent to state Registrar

Austin Loper – 2 National Registrar

Caleb Loper – 2 “

Henry Loper – 2 “

Jarrod Loper – 2 “

Jonah Loper – 2 “

Thomas Loper - 2 “

George Loper – 2 State Registrar

Membership Applications submitted – 1

George Keller Cheney, IV – Sent to National Registrar

  1. Regular applications being worked on

Zachary Adriance – pended and working

Robert Bear - Problem

Bill Mayo – Problem

Richard Persohn – working

Mark Knight - working

  1. Approved applications – 2016 - 0

  2. Approved Supplements -2016 - 0

Medals and Certificates

  1. Certificates of Appreciation – SAR – 1

  2. Certificates of Appreciation – Non SAR – 6

  3. Eagle Scout Recognition Certificates –

  4. Flag Certificates –

  5. SAR Members – Medals and Certificates – 4

  6. Non SAR Medals and Certificates – 6

  7. Memorial Certificates –

  8. ROTC – Senior Medals and Certificates – 2 Jr. ROTC –

Stark Report

151 Toiletries and 89 magazines –

121st Texas SAR convention

Richardson, Texas

March 31 - April 3, 2016

Most of the delegates arrived at the Hyatt Hotel in Richardson, Texas on Thursday March 30th. There were a total of seven members from the Bernardo de Galvez Chapter #1. They were: President Larry Stevens. Treasurer Gene Shaner, Secretary John Hamlin, Past Presidents Pete Lenes, Bill Whatley and James Mitchell and Compatriot Dalton Redman. The Convention started with a Genealogy Research Information Session.

The main part of the Convention began on Friday with Committee meetings, a General Session and the Presidents Reception. Compatriot James Mitchell who is the State Chairman of the Patriots Grave Committee and Larry Tidwell his Secretary had a very informative committee meeting attended by John Hamlin, Bill Whatley and Gene Shaner. John Hamlin and Bill Whatley went to the Veterans and Contests Committee meetings. Morning committee meetings were followed by a salad lunch where Compatriots visited with old friends and made new ones.

The afternoon was taken up by the First General Session. After numerous Committee and Officer report’s President Larry Stevens presented awards to individuals and chapters.

The Bernardo de Galvez Chapter received awards for most Flag Certificates handed out. Also, they received the Outstanding Chapter Award. President Tidwell and Secretary John Hamlin were presented with State Meritorious Service Medals for their work on the Board of Managers meeting and Knight Essay Contest respectively.

The second General Session began at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. After more

Committee and Officer reports the body moved to the Nomination of Officers. The Bernardo de Galvez Chapter’s Secretary John Hamlin was nominated for the position of State Vice President-CM&A (Contests, Medals and Awards). After the reports the election was held with the Nominating Committee’s slate of officers were elected. The session was followed by the Youth Awards Luncheon. The Bernardo de Galvez Chapter co-sponsored an Oration Contestant out of the Dallas area named

Galen Garza who won the Oration Contest. Secretary Hamlin, who is the Knight Essay Contest Chairman, was honored to present Bianca Ritter from the Alexander Hamilton Chapter the medal for the 1st place Essay.

The youth luncheon was followed by a Memorial Service. This service is always moving, as we remembered those whom we lost over the past year.

That evening was the formal Dinner Banquet and Cash bar. Compatriot Pete Lenes was made a George Washington Fellow and also received the Silver Good Citizen Medal. Sue Lenes was awarded the Daughters of Liberty Medal for her work as the Texas Ladies Auxiliary President the past three years and her service to our chapter. President General of the NSSAR Tom Lawrence was the featured speaker. New officers were sworn in including new President Michael Radcliff of the Plano Chapter and our own John Hamlin as Vice President- CM&A.

On Sunday morning a Board of Managers Meeting was held by President Radcliff.

Texas SAR Patriot Graves Chairman James Mitchell leads the Patriot Graves Committee meeting. AT THE 121ST TEXAS SAR Convention





Bernardo de Galvez Chapter #1 meets upstairs at Fish Tales on the Third Saturday of each month at noon except September and December

Genealogy Corner.

Beginners Corner.

Check out RootsMooc.  It is a free, open, online course and a friendly introduction to family history research in the U.S. using commonly available sources. The course and discussions will be open from March 23 to June 1. Website  

Research Tips:

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On this day in 1775, British troops march out of Boston on a mission to confiscate the American arsenal at Concord and to capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, known to be hiding at Lexington. As the British departed, Boston Patriots Paul Revere and William Dawes set out on horseback from the city to warn Adams and Hancock and rouse the Minutemen.

By 1775, tensions between the American colonies and the British government had approached the breaking point, especially in Massachusetts, where Patriot leaders formed a shadow revolutionary government and trained militias to prepare for armed conflict with the British troops occupying Boston. In the spring of 1775, General Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, received instructions from Great Britain to seize all stores of weapons and gunpowder accessible to the American insurgents. On April 18, he ordered British troops to march against Concord and Lexington.

Chapter Secretary John Hamlin receives the state Meritorious Medal for his work with the Knight Essay Contest

The Boston Patriots had been preparing for such a British military action for some time, and, upon learning of the British plan, Revere and Dawes set off across the Massachusetts countryside. They took separate routes in case one of them was captured: Dawes left the city via the Boston Neck peninsula and Revere crossed the Charles River to Charlestown by boat. As the two couriers made their way, Patriots in Charlestown waited for a signal from Boston informing them of the British troop movement. As previously agreed, one lantern would be hung in the steeple of Boston’s Old North Church, the highest point in the city, if the British were marching out of the city by Boston Neck, and two lanterns would be hung if they were crossing the Charles River to Cambridge. Two lanterns were hung, and the armed Patriots set out for Lexington and Concord accordingly. Along the way, Revere and Dawes roused hundreds of Minutemen, who armed themselves and set out to oppose the British.

Revere arrived in Lexington shortly before Dawes, but together they warned Adams and Hancock and then set out for Concord. Along the way, they were joined by Samuel Prescott, a young Patriot who had been riding home after visiting a lady friend. Early on the morning of April 19, a British patrol captured Revere, and Dawes lost his horse, forcing him to walk back to Lexington on foot. However, Prescott escaped and rode on to Concord to warn the Patriots there. After being roughly questioned for an hour or two, Revere was released when the patrol heard Minutemen alarm guns being fired on their approach to Lexington.

Compatriot Pete Lenes becomes a George Washington Fellow with President Larry Stevens and Compatriot Tom Green

About 5 a.m. on April 19, 700 British troops under Major John Pitcairn arrived at the town to find a 77-man-strong colonial militia under Captain John Parker waiting for them on Lexington’s common green. Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation, the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead and 10 others were wounded; only one British soldier was injured. The American Revolution had begun..

Compatriot Sam Massey a duel member to Bernardo de Galvez Chapter receives an award from President Larry Stevens

1st Vice President John Loper, Parliamentarian Gordon Robinson and Third Vice President Bill Whatley attend a Executive Board meeting in February

The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I Am Not A Virginian, But An American!”
Patrick Henry

Bernardo de Galvez Chapter #1 meets upstairs at Fish Tales on the Third Saturday of each month at noon except September and December

It is yet to be decided whether the Revolution must ultimately be considered as a blessing or a curse: a blessing or a curse, not to the present age alone, for with our fate will the destiny of unborn millions be involved.

George Washington Circular to the States





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