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Tribute to the General Frelinghuysen Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution

Location: Washington, DC


* Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor The General Frelinghuysen Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. On May 10, 2006, the General Frelinghuysen Chapter of the ``Daughters of the American Revolution will be celebrating their 110th anniversary.

* In 1896, sixteen ladies formed the General Frelinghuysen Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution with Mrs. E.E. Batcheller as the first Regent. The Chapter was named for a native of Somerset County who held the highest military rank in the state, that of Major General and Commander-in-Chief of New Jersey and Pennsylvania state troops under

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George Washington--Frederick Frelinghuysen. He was born at the First Dutch Reformed Church Parsonage at Somerville, then Raritan, New Jersey, on April 13, 1753. He was sent to Continental Congress in 1775 and was later a United States Senator. He fought at the Battles of Trenton and Monmouth. He is buried in the Weston cemetery, which is maintained by the Chapter.

* Through the years, this chapter has been a very hardworking group of ladies who held their meetings first in various members' homes in the Somerville area, later at the Wallace House, and then at the Old Dutch Parsonage. The gavel used by the Chapter was made from a locust tree grown on the grounds of the home of General Frelinghuysen at Millstone, New Jersey.

* Restoring the Wallace House was one of the major projects early in the chapter's history. Former members also contributed to the Continental Hall in Washington, D.C., including a chair presented by Senator Frelinghuysen in honor of his mother, Victoria, in 1927. In 1932, a 103 year old painting, painted by Elizabeth Frelinghuysen when she was 13 years old, was presented to the chapter and placed on display in the Wallace House.

* Also in 1896, it became known that a real live daughter was to become a member of the chapter: Miss Elizabeth McIlroy, daughter of William McIlroy, a Soldier of the American Revolution. She lived to be more than 100 years old, but died soon after having been made a member of the Chapter.

* In 1932, U.S. Senator Joseph S. Frelinghuysen made a gift of the Old Dutch Parsonage to the General Frelinghuysen Chapter. The Old Dutch Parsonage was built by the Reverend John Frelinghuysen in 1751, of bricks brought from Holland. The first class of the Theological Seminary of Rutgers University was held in this building. When the railroad was being put through, the Frelinghuysen family saved the parsonage from being demolished by moving it a short distance to its present site. In 1947, the Old Dutch Parsonage was deeded to the State of New Jersey as a historic shrine, as was the Wallace House.

* In 1995, The General Frelinghuysen Chapter merged with the Old White House Chapter to become the Old White House-General Frelinghuysen Chapter. Philanthropic works, in addition to caring for the Wallace House and The Old Dutch Parsonage, have included providing scholarships to students of local high schools who have demonstrated knowledge and insight concerning historic events, supporting Native Americans, placing markers along Washington's line of march from Princeton to Morristown (after the Battle of Princeton), and contributions of books to the Somerville Public Library, the Library of Memorial Continental Hall in Washington and to the New Jersey Historical Society.

* The objectives of the General Frelinghuysen Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution continue to be: To perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence, and To promote as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge, and To cherish, maintain, and extend the institution of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of Liberty.

* Mr. Speaker, I urge you and my colleagues to join me in congratulating the members of the General Frelinghuysen Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution on the 110th anniversary of the chapter and for their continuing good works.

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