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Boston Tea Party and Samuel Cooper Honored at 250th Anniversary
(Alexandria, Virginia, Saturday, December 16, 2023)
 – Members of the George Washington Chapter, Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) honored the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party with a commemoration of the date and the participation of Samuel Cooper, who is buried in Alexandria at his gravesite at Christ Church Episcopal Cemetery.

When only 16 years old, Mr. Cooper participated in the Boston Tea Party in December 1773. He told the story of his assistance in destroying "three hundred and forty-two chests of tea" in the Boston Harbor. Additionally, he authored an almost unknown account of the Tea Party; this is only the fourth known description of events written or told by participants. Like many other participants of that day, Samuel was a member of the Sons of Liberty. The Bostonian branch of the Sons of Liberty was responsible for organizing and executing the famous Boston Tea Party of 1773 in response to the Tea Act.

SAR members and guests honor Samuel Cooper at 25th anniversary of Boston Tea Party

While living in Boston, he saw firsthand the British enemy's attack and damage inflicted at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775, which began the war. So by 2 May 1775, Samuel states he enrolled in Henry Knox's Regiment of Artillery and, shortly thereafter, participated in the Battle of Bunker Hill (17 June 1775). He remained in the Boston area during the winter of 1775–1776 before departing for New York and engaging in the Battle of White Plains (28 October 1776). Next, his regiment marched to the Philadelphia area and was a part of the American forces that saw George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas evening (25 December 1776) to surprise British forces and capture nearly 900 troops as prisoners of war.

By age 19, he was serving as 2nd Lieutenant of the 3rd Continental Artillery Regiment, also known as Crane's Continental Artillery Regiment of the Continental Army, on 1 February 1777, led by Colonel John Crane, who was also at the Boston Tea Party. Within three months, on 14 May 1777, Samuel was promoted to serve as the Regimental Quartermaster of the unit while serving in such action as the Philadelphia Campaign (July 1777–July 1778), including such battles as the Battle of Saratoga (19 September and 7 October 1777), which resulted in a decisive American victory and the surrender of British General John Burgoyne. His regiment participated in the difficult colonial defense during the British siege of Mud Island Fort (now named Fort Mifflin) in October 1777 before passing several months of brutal winter in 1777–1778 at Valley Forge encampments, then seeing more action at the Battle of Monmouth (June 1778). Crane's Continental Artillery Regiment traveled north and engaged with additional French and American forces in the Battle of Rhode Island (29 August 1778). 

On 10 August 1779, the unit was re-designated as the 3rd Continental Artillery Regiment and shifted from twelve to ten companies, but still remained with the Main Department during this time, including during the artillery power his regiment brought to bear during the Battle of Springfield (23 June 1780). Captain Samuel Cooper led his company in the Battle of Parker's Ferry (1781).

On 24 August 1782, the unit was reassigned to the Highlands Department and shifted to four companies; Samuel continued serving as the regimental Quartermaster until June 1783, when the war nearly came to an end. 

In June 1783, Crane was appointed commander of the newly formed Corps of Artillery, succeeding Henry Knox as the head of all American artillery forces. Samuel was promoted to Major to serve as the Adjutant, Corp of Artillery under Crane, who received a brevet promotion to Brigadier General in September 1783 at the end of the war and with the newly formed U.S. Army. Crane resigned from the U.S. Army less than two months later, and by 20 June 1784, so did Samuel ending his nine-year military career.

Before his own retirement, Samuel was present on 4 December 1783, when future President George Washington, then commanding general of the Continental Army, summoned his military officers to Fraunces Tavern in New York City to inform them that he would be resigning his commission and returning to civilian life.

The Patriot died on 19 August 1840 in Alexandra, Virginia, at the age of 83. From the age of 16 until his last days, he served his fellow man, his community, and his Nation with distinction in supporting the cause of liberty and played a major role in American Independence. He is buried at Christ Church Episcopal Cemetery, a cemetery within the Wilkes Street Cemetery complex of the City of Alexandria. Medallions that accompany his gravestone include the Sons of American Revolution (SAR), Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and the Society of the Cincinnati.

Essay and Oration Contests Open to Alexandria and Fairfax County Students

(Alexandria, Virginia, Friday, October 6, 2023) – Students in Grades 9 through 12 are welcome to participate annually in the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) George Washington Chapter Essay and Oration Contests. Both of these prestigious contests include the opportunity for multiple cash awards and notable acclaim. The deadline for submission of each contest is December 15, 2023. 

The George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest and the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest are open to all students attending 9th through 12th grades in public, parochial and private schools as well as home-school students studying at the same grade levels, in the Alexandria, Va. and Fairfax County, Va. areas.  For each contest, cash prizes are progressively awarded at the chapter, state, and national levels, with prizes potentially totaling more than $7,000. Medals and recognition certificates are also awarded as winners progress. Additionally, National SAR’s first-place essay winner is published in SAR Magazine and its oration contest winner’s video is posted on National SAR’s YouTube channel.

Essay contest medal with yellow ribbon in blue SAR box

Winners of the George Washington Chapter contests proceed to the Virginia state level. Virginia’s winners have a long history of success in the essay contest with five national winners since 1995. In the oration contest, Virginia has supplied nine national winners since 1953 – the most of any state in both national contests.

Contest winners at every level carry with them the esteemed reputation of the George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest and the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest which could propel them into the next generation of leaders and experienced public speakers.

To learn more about the contests, and how to apply to one or both, please contact the George Washington Chapter’s Youth Activities Committee Chairman, Martin Johnson, at (703) 675-4866 or at to begin the process.

George Washington Birthday Parade is Fitting Kick-off for George Washington Chapter’s America 250 Program

(Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday, April 5, 2023) More than 40 members from 10 chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), including 24 members of the George Washington Chapter, Virginia SAR, proudly participated in the 2023 George Washington Birthday Celebration activities held in February. The George Washington Chapter captured the Third-Place prize in the Historical Units category, while the SAR Color Guard also took the bronze in the Honor Guards and Color Guards category.

The 2023 GW Birthday Celebration Parade in Alexandria, Virginia, served as a fitting kickoff event for the chapter’s American 250 – a multi-year celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution.  Our chapter’s America 250 Committee, led by compatriot Edgar Bates, will be raising awareness of the SAR as a Patriotic Organization and reenergize America’s sense of patriotism thru a series of signature events and community outreach leading up to the premier activities in 2026.  Visit us at to learn more.

About the George Washington Chapter, Virginia SAR

This proud chapter serves the City of Alexandria, the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County and surrounding communities since 1954.  We seek to recognize compatriot members, veterans, public servants, and the community in commemorating their service and that of the patriots of the American Revolution who helped form the United States through our patriotic, educational and historical programs and activities.

About the America 250 SAR Committee

The America 250 SAR Committee works at the national, state, and local levels to promote the commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution and the formation of the United States. It develops educational programs, maintains a list of events, publishes articles and booklets, and publicizes the anniversary through media, education, and government contacts. The committee also helps the International Sons of the American Revolution Societies of Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom in planning their special celebrations.

Learn more at  

America 250 SAR Resources, Affiliates and Partners
User Community:  SAR Compatriots / Chapters
Virginia American Revolutionary Commission
U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission
User Community:  Events, Public Media

Sons of the American Revolution
Virginia SAR
George Washington Chapter

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