The Caesar Rodney Chapter
Biography of our Namesake: Caesar Rodney was one of Delaware's three delegates to the Second Continental Congress. He was in Dover when the crucial 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 15 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 from notices placed in area newspapers, he developed a list of about forty men in area. On November 12, 1995, a petition to form an SAR chapter in Kent County was submitted to the DESSAR 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: At the November 18, 2017 Annual Meeting, the 138th active member was inducted. A copy of the Caesar Rodney Charter was presented at this meeting. Chapter meetings with lunch convene at 11:30 a.m. on the third Saturday in January, March, May, September and the November Annual Meeting.
Awards Presented: Each year the Chapter presents flag certificates, JROTC medals to high school students in Kent and Sussex Counties, an Eagle Scout award, certificates and medals for Compratiot veterans' service, as well as fire fighters, EMT personnel and law enforcement officers.
Commemorations: A Patriotic Celebration and wreath presentation ceremony is conducted at Christ Episcopal Church and Cemetery in Dover. The Chapter participates in Memorial Day services in Rehoboth Beach and Dover as well as Wreaths Across America at the Deleware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Millsboro.
Chapter Initiatives: The Chapter sponsors a food drive for a Veterans home, marks Patriot graves, and documents grave locations in Kent and Sussex Counties, and submits biographies of Revolutionary War Patriots to the Delaware Society and National Society, SAR.
President ~ William Byrd Richardson
Vice President ~ Thomas Urban
Secretary ~ Darryl J. Hudson
Treasurer ~ James King Blakeslee
Registrar ~ William Clement Regli
Historian ~ Lawrence Edwin Josefowski
Chaplain ~ Rev. Dr. John Richard Riley
Chancellor ~ The Honorable Henry du Pont Ridgely
Surgeon ~ Frederick Townsend Lewis, D.V.M.
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, D.V.M.
2011 - 2013 ~ Troy Lee Foxwell
2014 ~ 2015 ~ George Nicholas Locke
2016 ~ 2017 ~ Matthew John Barlow, Jr., M.D.