The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) was founded in 1890. This, its official insignia, represents a spinning wheel. The platinum or white gold distaff represents flax. The Society’s name is enameled on the blue rim of the pin, which is surrounded by thirteen stars representing the thirteen original colonies. The blue and white colors of the Society come from the colors of General Washington’s military staff. The insignia was designed by Dr. George Goode and adopted by the society on May 26, 1891. Dr. Goode had sketched the spinning wheel motif from a wheel used by his mother in the early 1800s, which wheel now is housed at the DAR Museum in Washington. Each insignia pin is engraved on the reverse side with the Daughter’s membership number and is worn attached to a ribbed and watered ribbon of DAR blue and white. The ribbon is worn on the Daughter’s left shoulder, with the insignia placed at the bottom, closest to her heart.
The back of this pin is inscribed “E 4037″ which indicates that this pin was originally owned by NSDAR member Cornelia Anna Deyo SHERMAN, wife of Daniel D. SHERMAN, of New York. Mrs. Sherman’s Revolutionary War ancestor was her great grandfather, Colonel LEWIS DuBOIS (1728-1824) of New York. I found “Cornelia A. SHERMAN” on the 1910 and 1920 censuses of New York with her husband Daniel. The censuses reveal her birth-date as 1861, in New York, and the date of her marriage as 1888. She and Daniel SHERMAN were living at Orangetown, Rockland, New York. Further investigation told me that Cornelia DEYO was the daughter of Dr. Nathaniel DEYO and his wife Cornelia DuBOIS, who was a daughter of Lewis DuBOIS born 1774, and a granddaughter of Lewis DuBOIS the patriot.
An interesting thing about this pin is that it may be one of the first DAR pins manufactured for the Society. I glean this from the fact that this pin insignia was first approved by the society on May 26, 1891, and the reverse of this pin shows the manufacturer’s name and patent, Caldwell, and “9.22.91 PATE”, which seem to be dated just four months later. Indeed, Mrs. Sherman was one of the earliest Daughters, the 4,037th Daughter to join the Society to be exact.
Now the old pin rests in my keeping. I found it on the Internet, very tarnished and missing its center stone. Somewhere along the way, someone apparently believed its stone should be in another setting, as it had been ever so carefully removed from the prongs. I measured the distance between those prongs and ordered a new stone on the Internet. I then took it to my local jeweler to mount, all the while being cautious that the tiny gem would not slip off onto the carpet and be forever hidden. It actually cost more to mount than I paid for the stone. However, it seems to be restored to its former sparkling glory and ready for someone to wear somewhere, once again. Recycling is always a good thing.