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Chapter History - In the Beginning……

By Fletcher H. Shaw, CDR., USN (Ret)


The Fairfax Resolves Chapter, Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution was formally established and the first officers installed on October 25th, 1979. The Chapter Charter was presented by Doctor Howard L. Hamilton, President, Virginia Society, in the oldest courtroom of the FairfaxCounty Courthouse, erected in 1800.


The name, Fairfax Resolves, was selected for the new chapter's name to honor the actions of the citizens of Fairfax County and the great resolutions that they unanimously approved at a public meeting chaired by George Washington at the Court House in the town of Alexandria on July 18th, 1774. The Fairfax Resolutions, known today as the Fairfax Resolves, was the strongest documented stand against British oppression to be formally and officially stated by a group of citizens up to this time in America. George Washington carried the Fairfax Resolves to Williamsburg in August 1774, and from there to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. In a matter of weeks the Fairfax Resolves had been revised and approved as the Continental Association of October 20th, 1774.


The Fairfax Resolves, written by George Mason, were approved by the citizens of Fairfax County weeks before the battle of Point Pleasant, October 1774, months before the battles of Lexington and Concord, and almost two years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. These resolves identified American rights as citizens under the British Constitution, with grievances, proposed means to force a redress of grievances, reaffirmed loyalty to the King, and made implied threats of other measures if the Sovereign did not help to reduce the colonial state of desperation. The ideas of freedom, liberty, the rights of man and constitutional rights were themes that was to be found again in the Virginia Bill of Rights, the Virginia Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence.


Compatriot George S. Knight, a member of the Virginia Society SAR Board and Past President of the George Washington Chapter, conceived the idea of establishing a new chapter in Fairfax County. With Compatriot Knight's guidance, support and assistance Stephen P. Halbrook proceeded to develop adequate interest to make a new chapter possible. In January 1979 and informal meeting was held and a number of chapter names were proposed. At that meeting two were selected for final consideration. These were "Fairfax Resolves" and "Light Horse Harry Lee".


In early February 1979, a meeting of prospective members was held and the name "Fairfax Resolves Chapter" was selected, and interim officers were elected with Stephen P. Halbrook as President. In February 1979, the proposal to establish the Fairfax Resolves Chapter was presented to and approved by the Virginia Society SAR membership at the annual meeting in Richmond. Final approval was given by the Virginia Society membership at the semi-annual meeting in Alexandria in September 1979. This final act led to the formal chapter establishment in October 1979.


Charter members of the Fairfax Resolves Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution were: C. Michael Brotton; William Brewster Cockrell; Stephen P. Halbrook; Michael G. Harlow; Stephen C. Pearsall; Lawrence D. Pratt; Fletcher H. Shaw; Charles P. Shephard; Andrew J. Wagner; Col. John O. McElvey; John F. DePue; Robert N. Kenney; Douglas A. Roderick; Michael S. Lupfer; Augustus O. Stanley,Jr.; Nathaniel Young; R. Michael Walker; Charles M. Simpson, III; William Alden Lee and Truman H. Walrud. Chapter Associate members were: George S. Knight; Judson P. Mason and Braxton H. Tabb, Jr.





2018 Fairfax Resolves Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution