Linda Whitener

The Capt. Henry Chapter, NSDAR held its September meeting at the Ozark Regional Library.

The meeting was called to order by Regent Claudia Horn. Our Chapter membership is increasing, and there are a number of applicants waiting for approval.

Members stated the weather for the DAR Hike "Bike for Healing fundraiser for the Fisher House Foundation was great. The Fisher House, is a great organization which provides Free lodging and food for families of veterans undergoing hospital care. Members Judy Mahal and Virginia Blaine did a great job representing our chapter. A number of issues were discussed. The Program was presented by member Linda Whitener.

Linda Whitener describes herself as a life-long student of the U.S. Constitution and of the history surrounding the founding of our country. For our September program, Linda stared information about the Founding Fathers that is not typically presented in history texts. She began her presentation by explaining that the term "Founding Fathers" describes those who contributed to the effort to gain independence, but who may or may not have crafted the documents that eventually culminated the U.S. Constitution (i.e., the "framers").

Linda said she chose facts about the Founding Fathers that showed their humanity, for example: George Washington (Virginia; signed the U.S. Constitution) was known to have a temper and reportedly swore at a subordinate at the Battle of Monmouth as one onlooker describe it, "till the leaves shook on the trees."

John Adams (Massachusetts Bay; signed the Declaration of Independence) was also known for his temper and was not well-liked. Adams served as the first Vice President and described the job as "...the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived." Despite his dedication to the creation of a new government structure, Adams thought the President should be addressed as "His Highness, the President of the United States of America, and Protector of the Rights of the Same." He was the second president elected and the first to live in the White House but lived there only four months, after being defeated in the election of 1800. In 1796, Adams signed an Act of Congress establishing the United States Marine Corps Band.

Benjamin Franklin (Pennsylvania; signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution) introduced the conception of cold-air baths, a practice he thought was more agreeable and less of a shock to the system than the English custom of cold-water baths. Franklin stated that it was his practice to sit unclothed for a half hour to an hour each morning in the cold air. Franklin correctly thought that proximity in close quarters and lack of fresh air in cold weather, rather than cold air itself, contributed to the spread of the common cold.

Thomas Jefferson (Virginia; signed the Declaration of Independence) was also a slave holder for his entire life but initially wanted to abolish slavery in the Declaration. However, because slavery was so entrenched, and because Jefferson did not wish to create division as the new nation was forming, he did not insist on his position.

Linda also discussed interesting facts about Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock and Samuel Adams.

Linda Whitener is a descendant of Captain Henry Whitener, a patriot for whom our chapter is named.

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