The Quassaick Chapter, NSDAR, received its charter from Louise Ward McAllister, the New York State Regent, on December 27, 1893, in the “musket room” of Washington’s Headquarters (also known as The Hasbrouck House) in a patriotic ceremony attended by the Washington Headquarters trustees, members of the Historical Society of Newburgh, and the Regent of Wiltwyck Chapter, Miss Forsyth.
Writing for The American Monthly Magazine, Vol V. (January-June, 1894), Chapter Historian Mary Scott Boyd provided a rich, vivid description of our chapter’s origins:
Additionally, in The American Monthly Magazine, Vol. IV (January-June, 1895), pages 82-83, Cornelia Wolcott Rankin, Corresponding Secretary, and Alice Hasbrouck, Recording Secretary, give us a glimpse into what occurred during their first official meeting:
The Quassaick Chapter (Newburgh, New York) has instituted a series of “afternoons of history,” to be held monthly during the season. These gatherings are designed to create an interest in historical matters and are not intended for the transaction of business.
The first meeting was pleasantly inaugurated at the house of Mrs. Charles Caldwell on the 6th of November. An article was read entitled “Last Days of Washington at Newburgh.” This paper was written by the Hon. Joel T. Headley, and was published in Harper’s Monthly April, 1883, and was especially enjoyed by those present on account of its local interest. Miss Burt, of Warwick, sang very acceptably several selections of a patriotic character.
” Virtute, dignus avorum,” the chapter motto, was adopted by mutual agreement rather than by a formal vote. The same was the case with the chapter colors, the Continental buff and blue.
Our aim is to prevent business meetings from degenerating into dry, dull routine. To insure this, it is proposed to introduce on the slightest pretext original poems, recitations, articles prepared by members, or selections from historical works.
If you’re wondering, “Virtute, dignus avorum” means “in virtue worthy of one’s ancestors.” Quite fitting, wouldn’t you say?
Nostalgic history buffs can still read the Hon. Joel Tyler Headley’s paper, The Last Days of Washington at Newburgh, that was featured in Harper’s Monthly and read at the chapter’s inaugural meeting. Mr. Headley was an American clergyman, historian, author, newspaper editor, and New York Secretary of State. He died in Newburgh in 1897 after living there for many years.