History of our Chapter

April 2, 1896

You are requested to meet at the residence of Mrs. Shine, Wednesday afternoon, 30 minutes after 4 o’clock to form a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Enclosed find application papers.

Dear Mrs. Dodge:

Truly your friend, M.J. Shine

102 Bridge Street


On April 2, 1896, it was the great-granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson, Maria Jefferson Eppes Shine, who delicately penned notes to some friends in St. Augustine, inviting them to her home for the purpose of forming a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Although a direct descendent, through her father, to Thomas Jefferson; through her mother, Susan Margaret Ware, she descended from colonial patriots as well. One of her maternal grandfathers was Colonel Thomas Carr, a Revolutionary War soldier. Her other maternal grandfather was Francis Bacon, who in 1776 carried important dispatches from General Clark in Georgia to General Greene in South Carolina, swimming the Savannah River on horseback and crossing the company’s line.

Mrs. Maria Jefferson Shine was appointed organizing regent by the State Regent, Mrs. Clarissa Coventry Ambler, and her appointment was confirmed by the National Board on May 7, 1896. Mrs. Shine’s group set to work to prove their descent from Revolutionary War soldiers, a task much less complex in those days than it is today.

However, before the organization of the chapter was completed, Mrs. Shine’s failing health took her away from St. Augustine; she died on September 2, 1896, with the dream of her chapter unrealized. With the loss of her guiding hand, there was a temporary pause in the process.  On February 3, 1898, Mrs. Anna S. Woodruff, who had been a long-time member of the National Society, was confirmed as Organizing Regent.  Our charter was granted on March 26, 1898, and the Maria Jefferson Chapter, NSDAR, became the second chapter in Florida. The names on the Charter are as follows: Mrs. Anna S. Woodruff, Regent; Mrs. Elizabeth Dismukes, Vice Regent; Miss Julia Dismukes, Secretary; Mrs. Emma Gailliard Westcott, Treasurer; Miss Ellen P. Sampson, Registrar; Mrs. Margaret W. Gibbs; Mrs. R.C. Galliard; Mrs. S.S. Hubble; Miss M.E. Alexander; Miss E.C. Eppes.

Maria Jefferson Chapter, NSDAR, First Chapter Daughters

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