I took a short break from working on my book to drive up to Pinehurst, North Carolina, with my mother to attend the 20th anniversary meeting of the Temperance Smith Alston chapter of the D.A.R.

Why, you ask ( or maybe you don’t)?

My certificate

My certificate

Because I am the 6th great granddaughter of Temperance and my mother is the 5th and we were the honored guests at their meeting. What did Temperance do to warrant an entire DAR chapter named for her?

Well, during the Revolutionary War (obviously), Temperance negotiated a surrender with Colonel David Fanning when he was involved in a skirmish at her house (now known as “The House in the Horsehoe,” an historic site in North Carolina.

The House in the Horseshoe

The House in the Horseshoe

As the bullets were flying back and forth between her husband, Philip, and his comrades, and the Colonel and his “troops,” Temperance was trying to protect her children and see to the wounded men. As a matter of fact, you can still see the bullet holes in the house.

Anyway, I like to think that my 6 times great grandmother was worried about her 6 children–two of her sons old enough to be fighting and the youngest not even six months old. Several of the kids she had were standing in the chimney to block the bullets. As a mother, I know I would have done anything to save my child (or, in this case, children) and so–the surrender–to save her children and her beloved husband.

And thus she becomes a woman worthy of Revolutionary recognition by saving her family. And, for her very great granddaughter, it is really cool to have a female ancestor who was willing to face off with a notorious Englishman and win.

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