The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR, sometimes referred to as DAR), founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children.
The Henry Downs Chapter NSDAR enthusiastically promotes the DAR mission. Our chapter was founded in 1901 and named for patriot Henry Downs, Jr. The chapter meets on the first Friday of the month, October through April, we enjoy a Saturday luncheon during Constitution Week and the first weekend in May.
Henry Downs, Sr., of England and his wife, Lady Jane Douglas of Scotland, emigrated to America early in the eighteenth century. In 1728, he received a land grant of 1000 acres in Virginia, signed by Robert Carter. He eventually received approximately 57,000 acres in Virginia and the Carolinas. He served as vestryman and church recorder of St. Thomas Church, Orange County, Virginia.
In 1728, his son, Henry Downs, Jr., was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. In 1750, Henry Downs, Jr., married Frances Chew, daughter of Thomas Chew and Martha Taylor. Henry Downs, Jr., and his wife moved to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where they raised a large family. He was captain of colonial militia and fought against the Cherokee Indians in 1763. He served as justice of the peace in his district, was a signer of the famous Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence on May 20, 1775, and was also a member of the Committee of Safety.
He had four brothers who fought in the American Revolution, one of whom, William, was adjutant colonel in the Revolutionary Army, serving under General Gates, and was also one of the officers who founded the Order of the Cincinnati. Henry Downs, Jr., died in 1798; he and his wife are buried in the Providence Presbyterian churchyard, twelve miles from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Josie Downs Marshall, charter member and first regent of Henry Downs Chapter NSDAR, represented the fifth generation from this illustrious patriot. Peggy Scott Duty, a current member of the chapter, is a seventh generation descendant of Henry Downs, Jr.