History of The National Society United States Daughters of 1812
The United States Daughters of 1812 was founded by Mrs. Flora Adams Darling on January 8, 1892. The date of January 8 was chosen as it marks the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, which was a huge American victory and the last major battle of the War of 1812.
The present Society is the outcome of the General Society United States Daughters of 1812, which was the Society’s original name at its founding. Mrs. Stephen Adams Webster, Mrs. A. Ramon Salas, and Mrs. Edward Irving Darling Jr., were the trinity who aided Mrs. Darling.
The initial meeting of the General Society United States Daughters of 1812 was held at the home of Mrs. Darling’s son, Edward Irving Darling Jr., in Detroit, Michigan on January 8, 1892. At this meeting, the seal of the Society was adopted; Liberty Enlightening the World ; — as were the motto, Liberty and Unity; the colors of the Society, blue and gray; and the badge, or Insignia, a star and anchor. In recognition of her service the Society made Mrs. Flora Adams Darling an Honorary Life member of the Society.
The General Society United States Daughters of 1812 was incorporated in the State of Ohio, and the first known headquarters of the General Society was at the Everett House in New York City. It is believed that during this time period the Everett House may have been where Mrs. Darling resided while in New York.
The following names were listed on the early Charter:
- Mrs. Flora Adams Daring, New York City
- Mrs. William Gerry Slade, New York City
- Mrs. Edward Roby, Illinois
- Mrs. M. A. Ludin, New York City
- Mrs. Helen Bailey, New Hampshire
- Mrs. Alfred Russell, Michigan
- Mrs. William Todd Helmuth, New York
- Mrs. Nelson V. Titus, Massachusetts
- Mrs. LeRoy Sunderland Smith, New York
Our founding officers:
Mrs. Flora Adams Darling
1st Vice-President General
Mrs. Stephen Adams Webster
2nd Vice-President General
Miss Georgine Campbell
3rd Vice-President General
Mrs. Celestia B. Waldron
Director-General of State Societies
Mrs. Augustus Ramon Salas
Mrs. M. A. Ludin
Mrs. Edward Irving Darling
Mrs. LeRoy Sunderland Smith
Private Secretary to President-General
Miss Florence L. Adams
Rev. Dr. Charles DeWitt Bridgman
During the 1892 to 1897 time period, the following state societies were organized:
New York – 1892, Mrs. William Gerry Slade, President;
Louisiana – 1893, Mrs. John B. Richardson, President;
Michigan – 1894, Mrs. Alfred Russell, President;
Pennsylvania – 1896, Mrs. Louis W. Hall, President; and
Massachusetts 1896, Mrs. Nelson V. Titus, President.
Recognizing the importance of securing the future of the Society, Mrs. Darling began efforts to re-organize the Society, and in 1897, she appointed Mrs. William Gerry Slade of New York, as General Organizer. Mrs. Slade became the President of the now re-organizing Society. She used her home as the headquarters for the National Society; she resided at 332 West Eighty-Seventh Street, New York City.
The work of re-organizing the Society continued for many years and was successfully carried out by Mrs. Slade. On February 25, 1901, the Society was incorporated by an Act of the United States Congress and approved by President William McKinley as the National Society, United States Daughters of Eighteen Hundred and Twelve. This was one of the first women’s organizations to receive such a national charter and was also possibly the last bill signed by President McKinley.
The following names are listed on our current Charter:
Mrs. Flora Adams Darling, of New York
Mrs. William Gerry Slade, of New York
Mrs. Louis W. Hall, of Pennsylvania
Mrs. Edward Roby, of Illinois
Mrs. M. A. Ludin, of New York
Mrs. LeRoy Sunderland Smith, of New York
Miss Helen G. Bailey, of New Hampshire
Mrs. Alfred Russell, of Michigan
Mrs. William Lee, of Massachusetts
Mrs. William Tod Helmuth, of New York
Mrs. Nelson V. Titus, of Massachusetts
332 West 87th Street, NY City
Home of Mrs. William Gerry Slade
The early Headquarters of the
United States Daughters of 1812
During this time-frame when the Society developed into the Society of today. At the close of the administration of Mrs. William Gerry Slade in 1915, thirty-five State Societies had been organized, with an enrollment of 3,758 members.
Emma Hardy Slade, a dear friend of Flora Adams Darling, recognized and shared the vision that Mrs. Darling had for the Society. With much work and perseverance, she succeeded in bringing that vision, to fruition. Mrs. Slade served as President of the National Society for a total of eighteen years, 1897-1915, making her the longest running President in the history of the Society.
On January 4, 1928, the National Society United States Daughters of 1812 purchased a three-story brick, Queen Anne style house at 1461 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington D.C., to serve as the permanent headquarters of the National Society. In 1992, the Society purchased the late-Victorian house immediately next door, at 1463 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., to serve as a War of 1812 museum and library.
Members of the National Society United States Daughters of 1812, between the ages of 18 to 35, are termed “Flora Adams Darling Daughters” (FADD) in memory of our Founder.