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04-01-2014


Sons of the American Revolution present historical treasure at UC

 


Williamsburg, KY.,- On March 26-28, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) visited University of the Cumberlands (UC) to speak with several groups of elementary and middle school children. As wide-eyed students from Whitley County, Barbourville, Williamsburg, Corbin, and surrounding areas filled the pews of the Gatliff Chapel on UC’s campus, men from the SAR, dressed in 1770’s attire, stood proudly at the front of the chapel.

“The University the Cumberlands is delighted to partner with the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Steele Reese Foundation to provide learning opportunities for our local youth,” said UC Vice-President of Student Services, Dr. Michael Colegrove.

 


After all the kids arrived, Sons of the American Revolutions’ Bob Anderson from the Tennessee Valley Chapter of the Alabama Society and Rick Wells from the Alabama Society introduced themselves and explained the SAR group, gave a brief overview of their itinerary for the day, and a short history lesson that seemed to intrigue the kids.

The program was put into effect so that eastern Kentucky students could have the opportunity to learn about the American Revolution and Colonial Times. It was set up as an evaluative program that tested students before and after to see what information they had been able to obtain.

The students were split up into groups and taken to seven different stations to learn about various things during the time of the American Revolution. One station taught the students about the evolution of the American flag, another built compasses, a different station let the students practice writing with a quill pen, another one let them dress up in clothing of that time period, and several other interesting stations including the most popular station which shared the newfound piece of American history, the Articles of Association.

SAR Executive Director, Don Shaw, introduced SAR president Bill Stone who presented to the children an amazing piece of American history and told the story of how the Alabama SAR had obtained it. The piece was the fourth page to the Articles of Association, dated October 20, 1774. This original document included 53 signatures and listed 12 colonies. The Articles of Association was signed by John Adams, George Washington, Samuel Adams, the first president of the colonies, Peyton Randolph and many more legendary American figures. The Articles of Association was a system created by the First Continental Congress in 1774 for implementing a trade boycott with Great Britain. The outbreak of the American Revolutionary War was brought on by the attempt to boycott British goods.

“I hope you understand the importance of this document,” said Stone, Elmore Chapter. “You may never be this close to a piece of American history ever again. There are four major documents and four national treasures; this one was just left out of your history books.”

A friend of Stone’s who is an amateur historian was looking for an antique book and found it in a bookstore near Knoxville, Tennessee. The book was rare and published in 1857 and the man paid $500.00 in 1978 but the book is worth near $5,000.00 today. The man bought the book and was sitting at home one morning skimming through the old pages of his new book when an unfamiliar, folded document fell to his lap. He took the document to Vanderbilt University to have it studied to find out if it was an original piece of American history. He then received the shocking news that it was, indeed, the fourth page of the Articles of Association.

After the public heard of the man’s historical findings, the story hit several newsstands and television stations and the lucky founder then decided it would be safer to place the document in a vault. The man then began using the document in the Educational Outreach Program of the South, teaching children important facts of history and using this document to show as artifact. He put it on loan to SAR for one year.

“University of the Cumberlands is actually the only place in Kentucky in which Alabama’s Sons of the American Revolution travel to do our educational program,” said Anderson. “We have been here a few times and it is always a pleasure working with UC.”

“This article was completely found by chance,” said Shaw. “This is probably as close as we will ever be to American history. I want these kids to realize how special and important this document truly is. It is such an interesting story. Getting to see this, and things like George Washington’s original signature, is a once is a lifetime experience.”

SAR is a historical, educational, and patriotic non-profit, United States Corporation that seeks to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, an appreciation for true patriotism, a respect for our national symbols, and the value of American citizenship. SAR does this by perpetuating the stories of patriotism, courage, sacrifice, tragedy, and triumph of the men who achieved the independence of the American people in the disbelief that these stories are universal ones of man’s eternal struggle against tyranny. They inspire and strengthen each succeeding generation as it too is called upon to defend our freedoms on the battlefield and in public institutions.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit www.ucumberlands.edu.