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Caroline Scott Harrison 1832 ~ 1892


Caroline Scott Harrison

Mrs. Caroline Scott Harrison, the first president-general of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the wife of President Benjamin Harrison, was born in Oxford, Butler County, Ohio, the daughter of John Witherspoon Scott and Mary Scott; granddaughter of George McElroy Scott and Annie R. Scott, and great-granddaughter of Robert Scott, who was a member of the Scottish Parliament, before the union of the crown. Her great-grandfather, John Scott, was commissary general of the Pennsylvania line and rendered efficient service in the Revolutionary struggle for independence.

Her father. Dr. John Witherspoon Scott, was a pioneer minister of the Presbyterian Church, and an educator at Oxford, Ohio. He was the president of the well-known Young Ladies' Academy at that place, where his daughters were educated. It was here that Benjamin Harrison, then a student in Miami University, met Miss Caroline W. Scott. They were married at Oxford, October 20, 1853, and removed to Indianapolis, in 1854. Mrs. Harrison's life during her husband's struggles for success as a lawyer, legislator, soldier, and statesman was that quiet home life which is so characteristic of American homes. During all those years she showed herself the self-sacrificing, self-denying wife and mother. In every position she has filled, whether as the wife of the poor lawyer, the daring soldier, the senator, or the president of the United States, she has displayed rare adaptability. Mrs. Harrison met the demands made upon her as "first lady of the land" with wonderful success. She endeared herself to all who knew her by her unostentatious, natural womanliness. On October 11, 1890, she was unanimously elected as the first president-general of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and took great interest in the organization. During the early difficulties of the society, consequent upon the inexperience of the members and the perplexities of the organization, her advice and good judgment and kindly consideration of the feelings of others materially aided in bringing about a happy solution. At the Continental Congress, in February, 1892, she met delegates from all parts of the country, and by her courtesy and prompt decision, won the hearts of all. A Northern delegate asked one from the South: "What do you think of our Caroline?" "She is simply splendid," came the quick reply, and she voiced the sentiment of all. She was unanimously elected as president-general by a rising vote of the congress. Her patriotic feelings were intense, and the National Society will always have cause to be proud of its first president-general. Mrs. Harrison died October 25, 1892. At a meeting of the Board of Management of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, held in Washington, D. C, November 16, 1892, the following motion, made by Mrs. Walworth, was passed: 'Resolved, That to facilitate the collection of a fund of $1,500, for a portrait of Mrs. Harrison, wife of the president of the United States and first president-general of this society, the said portrait to be placed in the White House, the Board of Management of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, authorize the action of a national committee to be composed of all officers of the National Society, state regents, honorary officers, all of whom will be ex-officio members of the committee; and that the vice-president-general presiding shall be authorized to appoint a chairman and also a treasurer to receive, report upon, and receipt for contributions; and that any surplus moneys collected over and above the amount required for the portrait, shall be appropriated to the permanent fund for the house of the Daughters of the American Revolution, to be erected in Washington, D. C, a project in which Mrs. Harrison had taken an earnest and active interest.'

The Board of Management met October 25, 1892, for the purpose of expressing the feelings inspired by the sad dispensation which had deprived the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution of its honored president The following members were present: Mrs. Cabell, Mrs. Kennon, Mrs. Field, Mrs. MacDonald, Mrs. Alexander, Mrs. Boynton, Mrs. Clarke, Mrs. Keim, Mrs. St Clair, Mrs. Tittmann, Mrs. Cockrell, Mrs. Walworth, Mrs. Hamlin, Mrs. Blount, Mrs. Greely, Mrs. Devereux Miss Desha and Mrs. Rosa Wright Smith. On motion, a committee of three, composed of Mrs. Alexander, Miss Desha and Mrs. Rosa Wright Smith, was appointed to select a suitable floral offering, to be sent to the White House, in the name of the "National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution."

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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