Meeting Minutes

Governor Paul Hamilton Chapter

Minutes of the Third Quarter Chapter Meeting

September 22, 2017

Dataw Island Clubhouse, the Tabby Room

President Claude Dinkins called the Governor Paul Hamilton Chapter meeting to order at 12:00 Noon. Chaplain Bill Sammons gave the invocation and blessing of the meal. Color Sgt. Michael Keyserling gave the pledge to the flag of the United States of America. The pledge to the flag was followed by the pledge to the SAR.

Vice President Frank Gibson recognized guests by asking members to introduce them at each table. Among the guests were: Sandi Atkins accompanied by Randy and Connie Atkins, Susan Bennett, Charletta Case, Nancy Chesnutt, Gladys Cousar, Nancy Crowther, Anita Henson, Ann Holden, Ann Monaghan, Arlene Peck, Kellen Pollard, Tom Moody, Kathy Sammons, Kay Wilson, Jeremy Breland and our keynote speaker Dr. Brent Morris. A total of 44 were in attendance with 26 members present.

After lunch, the Chapters History Award Winner Jeremy Breland introduced the guest speaker, Dr. J. Brent Morris of USCB Department Chair and Assoc. Professor of History. His topic was “The U.S. Constitution”. This topic was chosen this week because the Birthday of the Constitution was September 7th. Dr. Morris received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2010, and has been awarded recent grants or fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Association for Documentary Editing, the USC Institute for Southern Studies, the USC Institute Institute for African American Research, Cornell University,  Oberlin College, the Sea Islands Institute, and the New York Humanities Council. His book “Oberlin, Hotbed of Absolutism: College, Community, and the Fight for Freedom and Equality in Antebellum America” was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2014, and won the Henry Howe Prize for outstanding historical monograph. He is also the author of “Yes Lord I know the road: A Documentary History of African Americans in South Carolina 1526-2008” published this year by the University of South Carolina Press. Brent was the 2010 recipient of the South Carolina Historical Society’s Malcolm C. Clark Award, and was the 2015-2016 University of South Carolina Breakthrough Star for Research and Scholarship.

Brent began his address referencing Thomas Jefferson. A sub title of his address could be “What if.” When the Constitution  was drafted, Thomas Jefferson was in France as the US Minister to France. When the Virginia draft of the constitution was drafted, Thomas Jefferson was in Philadelphia. About that time a letter from George Mason was sent asking for ideas for the Constitution. The letter was too late and never made its destination. Thomas Jefferson was not pleased with the first drafts.

A  new Constitution Convention was called for in 1783. Thomas Jeffersons notes on the State of Virginia, a letter to Wayne Smith explaining articles on the Constitution and a letter to James Madison explaining the proper frame of the government organization should an executive, judicial, and legislative branches, never made it to the Constitutional Convention. Thomas Jefferson did not like the idea of not providing for a Bill of Rights. He wanted term limits on the legislators.

Thomas Jefferson published a draft of the Virginia Constitution in the Richmond Enquirer. It turned up in the Lexington, MA papers. Again it was too late though and his preamble did not get submitted. His Declaration of Independence Preamble and the Virginia Constitution Preamble had a lot in common. The delegates to the House of Representatives were chosen by the people and the Senate members were chosen by the state. The concept of freedom of religion and liberty to all were similarities. The electoral college were in both. Property rights were spelled out in both. Right to bear arms were included but only on your own land, was included.

Thomas Jefferson had 250 slaves. It was uncomfortable for him to write about slavery, but not to the point of changing it. He was a man of many compromises.

In summary this is a story of “what if”. What if Thomas Jefferson was in Philadelphia at the drafting of the Constitution? What if Thomas Jefferson was in person and sitting at the table of drafting the Constitution? The answer is that the Constitution we know today would have been very different .

Following the presentation, President Claude Dinkins inducted, with the assistance of Secretary Bennett, three new members: Jim Atkins, Pete Peck, and Peter Somerville. President Dinkins presented Maj. John Simpson with the SAR Military Service Medal with Certificate and the SAR 25 year service pin.

Certificates of appreciation were commuted to Dr. Brent Morris. There were no streamers for the Sgt. Of Arms Michael Keyserling.
Reports from Registrar Tom Wilson were heard asking for members to recruit new members for him to approve. Report from Secretary Ivan Bennett, asking for approval of the June 30 minutes, announcement of the attendance today and the 71 members currently on the roster including Peter Somerville.

Wayne Cousar was asked to explain the Heritage Society of Beaufort meeting on October 5, 2017. It will be starting at 5:30 with a silent auction and later a live auction. Wine and beer will be served. If members want mixed drinks, it is BYOB. President Jim Atkins after this Chapter Meeting will be available for reservations and questions of the event.

Old Business: None

New Business:  President Claude Dinkins asked Secretary Ivan Bennett to explain the Boards decision for new name tags for the Membership. Secretary Bennett recited a decision made during a recent Board meeting where Claude suggesting with the large treasury, that as we are a nonprofit organization should spend dollars. He suggested purchasing new name tags for all members of the Chapter. Between now and the December 7th meeting, every active member should notify Secretary Bennett if their name is unacceptable as it appears in the directory and suggest their change. Those names in the 2017 Directory, will be submitted to Merchandising at SAR and an order will be submitted with payment. Hopefully all tags will arrive by the December meeting. Secretary Bennett asked the membership how they felt about this expenditure? There were no signs of disapproval. President Dinkins, Vice President Gibson, Secretary Bennett and Jody Henson already have their name tags. A box a la Rotary Club, will be purchased to carry the tags from Meeting to Meeting.

President Dinkins announced the next Chapter Meeting is Thursday, December 7th at the Carolina Room. Black Tie is required for members. George and Martha Washington will be the program.

Moments in History: Tommy Burnett highlighted two quick moments 1) a British soldier got his britches shot off in the Siege of Charleston and 2) a sandbar off of the coast of Charleston kept a British ship from getting any closer to Charleston. If it had gotten closer, the outcome of the Battle of Sullivan Island and the consequence would have been a total different story that it is today.

Tommy cited the Latin phrase for, “events in war results of trivial causes”

The state of South Carolina is divided into three geographical areas, the coastal plain, the hard rock plain (Piedmont) and the mountains plain.

In the Revolutionary War three Members of the Militia are dominate figures  in the war. The Coastal had Francis Marion or Swamp Fox, the Central (Piedmont) area had Thomas Sumter and the UpState mountains had Andrew Pickens. It was an interesting analogy of personalities and geographical areas of our state.

Everyone enjoyed the moment both humorous and serious by Tommy Burnett.

The Benediction: Chaplain Bill Sammons

SAR Recessional : Vice President Frank Gibson

Adjourn at 1:30 pm

Respectfully Submitted,
Ivan Bennett, Secretary Gov Paul Hamilton Chapter SAR


Additional Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes are also available in pdf format by selecting from the list below:

March 25, 2016 Minutes

June 24, 2016 Minutes

September 30, 2016 Minutes

December 8, 2016 Minutes

March 24, 2017 Minutes

June 30, 2017 Minutes

September 22, 2017 Minutes