American Spirit*, the national magazine of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), has a strong track record of spotlighting unique preservation efforts of DAR members and others dedicated to restoring the nation’s iconic places.
For the January/February 2016 issue, our cover subject is Ferry Farm, the site of George Washington’s boyhood home. After spending almost a century as an endangered site, Ferry Farm is rising again, as a team of archaeologists, historians and volunteers with the George Washington Foundation work to reconstruct the circa-1740 house and uncover new information about the early life of America’s first commander in chief. DAR members have so far raised more than $125,000 for the restoration.
Because of American Spirit’s focus on the lives of Patriots, we don’t often talk about the lives of Loyalists. Some faced mob violence and property seizures because of their allegiance to the Crown, and others changed their allegiances throughout the war depending on their treatment. Fearing persecution after the Revolutionary War, thousands of Loyalists fled to Canada, where they faced new hardships before becoming a vital part of the fabric of their new country.
Our African-American History Month feature illuminates the life of Maryland’s Benjamin Banneker, a remarkable, but little-known individual who made major achievements in astronomy, mathematics, surveying and publishing. Largely self-educated, Banneker’s accomplishments were all the more impressive because he was a free African-American in a slave state. Though he took no part in the Revolution, he later upbraided Thomas Jefferson and fellow Founders for allowing slavery to continue.
For six years, American Spirit* has dedicated its March/April issue to Women’s History Month. The magazine staff’s goal with this special issue is to shed light on noteworthy, brave women in our past whose engaging life stories haven’t always gotten sufficient attention.
For the 2016 edition, our cover spotlights Elizabeth Monroe, who accompanied her husband, James, to France when he served as U.S. Minister, then served as first lady during his terms as president from 1817–1825, playing a role in the Era of Good Feelings. Either because she appeared aloof, or because she was constrained by illness, she was more appreciated in France than in her own country; Parisians referred to her as la belle Américaine.
Another feature details the fascinating life of American rebel Frances Wright. She left Great Britain for America in 1817 to advocate for women’s rights and emancipation. She cultivated friendships with Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette, and created a utopian society near Memphis called the Nashoba Community to prepare slaves for emancipation. It lasted for three years, after which she continued her activism for women’s causes.
We feature another crusader, Sarah Parker Remond, who was a mid-19th-century African-American abolitionist, suffragette and medical doctor. The Pax Romana DAR Chapter in Rome is working to place a historical marker at her former Italian residence.
The 4th Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island, S.C., is the only place in the world where young women come for basic training to become enlisted U.S. Marines. The battalion will celebrate 30 years of operation in November 2016, but its historical roots are much deeper.
The Our Patriots department profiles Prudence Wright, who led a group of women to guard the Nehemiah Jewett Bridge in Pepperell, Mass., against British spies after many of the town’s men had marched away to Boston following the battles at Lexington and Concord. The women actually did capture two suspected Loyalist spies—one of them Wright’s brother—as the Revolutionary War flared to life near Boston.
From now until June 1, the DAR is offering a limited-time, three-year offer to subscribe to American Spirit—while saving 33 percent off the cover price! During this limited-time offer, you may subscribe, renew or gift a three-year subscription for just $45—that’s a savings of more than $26 off the cover price — so you essentially enjoy the third year for free. Subscribe here today.
*For more than 12 years, Hammock has been honored to assist our friends at DAR in publishing their award-winning magazine. For samples of covers and editorial features in issues since 2007, visit the Hammock Portfolio on Flickr.