Biography of our Namesake: Caesar Rodney was one of Delaware’s three delegates to the Second Continental Congress. He was in Dover when the critical vote for independence was brought up. When he heard that Delaware’s other two delegates were divided on the issue, he traveled from Dover to Philadelphia overnight through a thunderstorm on July 1-2, 1776, so that he could cast a tie-breaking vote and make the state-by-state vote for independence unanimous. Rodney was named Brigadier General of the Kent County Militia in 1776 and Major General of the Delaware Militia in 1777. He relinquished his military post when elected President [Governor] of Delaware in 1778 and had a distinguished career in government. After a fifteen-year bout with facial cancer, he died June 28, 1784 and was buried in a grave on his farm, Poplar Grove. The grave was not well marked and several searches for it were unsuccessful. In 1889 remains thought to be his were moved to the Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery in Dover and interred under a monument. Further study indicated the remains were not his.
History of the Chapter: In October 1994, Compatriot John C. (Jack) Lewis, a newly inducted member was elected Vice President for Kent County and requested to form an SAR chapter in Dover. Using the list of members-at-large from Kent County and responses to notices placed in area newspapers, he developed a list of about forty men in the area. On November 12, 1995 a petition to form an SAR chapter in Kent County was submitted to the Delaware Society Board of Managers. On January 16, 1996 an organizational meeting to establish the chapter was held in the Dover Library. The group decided the most appropriate name for the chapter would be Caesar Rodney Chapter in honor of the most famous Kent County Revolutionary War hero.
About the Chapter: As of December 31, 2021, membership reached 170. Chapter meetings with lunch convenes at 11:30 AM at Maple Dale Country Club, Dover, the third Saturday in January, March, May, September, and the Annual Meeting in November.
Awards Presented: Each year the Chapter presents flag certificates, JROTC medals to high school students in Kent and Sussex Counties, an Eagle Scout award, medals and certificates for Compatriot veterans’ service as well as fire fighters, EMT personnel, and law enforcement officers. A scholarship is presented to a senior high school student.
Commemorations: A Patriotic Celebration and wreath presentation ceremony is conducted each July 4th at Christ Episcopal Church and Cemetery in Dover as well as participation in Memorial Day services and Veterans Day services in Rehoboth Beach and Dover.
Chapter Initiatives: Sponsors a food drive for a Veterans home, marks Patriot graves, documents Patriot grave locations in Kent and Sussex Counties, participates in the Wreaths Across America project which places wreaths on graves in Veteran Cemeteries, and submits biographies of Revolutionary War Patriots to the Delaware Society and National Society of the SAR. Last but not least is increase memberships.
President – Darryl John Hudson
Vice President – Richard Loring Johnson
Secretary – John Linn Sheets
Treasurer – James King Blakeslee
Registrar – James Booth McClure II
Historian – William Edward Rogers, Jr.
Chancellor – William Charles Wagner II, Esq.
Chaplain – Rev. Dr. John Richard Riley
Surgeon – Open
1995-1996 – William Howard Willis*
1997-1998 – Steven Ross Alexander*
1999-2000 – Roger Milton Keister*
2001-2002 – John Caulk Lewis*
2003-2004 – Arthur Swain Lewis, Sr.
2005-2006 – Joseph Emmanuel Gates, II*
2007-2008 – Charles Van Nuis Wilkerson*
2009-2010 – Frederick Townsend Lewis, Sr., DVM*
2011-2013 – Troy Lee Foxwell
2014-2015 – George Nicholas Locke
2016-2017 – Matthew John Barlow, Jr., MD
2018-2019 – William Byrd Richardson
2020-2021 – Lawrence Edwin Josefowski
*Deceased as of 3/30/2022