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America 250 looks back at Jan. 1, 1776

TEMECULA – Two hundred-forty-seven years ago, the first of January was a day to rejoice. Just as Americans today look toward a new year with new resolutions, new dreams, and new desires, on Jan. 1, 1776, General George Washington hoisted the Continental Union Flag. (

In Washington's General Order of Jan. 1, 1776, he wrote, "I hope that the Importance of the great Cause we are engaged in, will be deeply impressed upon every Man's mind, and wishes it to be considered, that an Army without Order, Regularity & Discipline, is no better than a Commission'd Mob; Let us therefore, when every thing dear and valuable to Freemen is at stake; when our unnatural Parent is threat'ning of us with destruction from every quarter, endeavour by all the Skill and Discipline in our power, to acquire that knowledge, and conduct, which is necessary in War – Our men are brave and good; Men who with pleasure it is observed, are addicted to fewer Vices than are commonly found in Armies; but it is Subordination & Discipline (the Life and Soul of an Army) which next under providence, is to make us formidable to our enemies, honorable in ourselves, and respected in the world; and herein is to be shewn the Goodness of the Officer." ("General Orders, 1 January 1776," Founders Online, National Archives,

In the same month, the political pamphlet "Common Sense" was published by author Thomas Paine who "convincingly argued for American independence and sold more than 500,000 copies in a few months." Within months, citizens' support for independence swept the colonies, and the Continental Congress called for states to form their own governments, and a five-man committee was assigned to draft a declaration. (

This is American history! As the U.S. approaches the 250th year since these events took place, the Daughters of the American Revolution America250 committee encourages Americans to draw closer to their roots, and to realize the impact that the knowledge of those historic actions can have on Americans today.

One of "our men ...brave and good" is Patriot George Daugherty. He served as a sergeant in the 5th Pennsylvania Battalion which was led by Captain Henry Miller and Colonel Robert Magau. During his time with the 5th, he was taken prisoner and transported by the British to Elizabeth Town, Pennsylvania. A prisoner exchange followed which gave Daugherty his freedom. He knew that "every thing dear and valuable to Freemen [was] at stake," so he re-enlisted in 1777. At the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, he received 200 acres in Carpenters Run, Pennsylvania, for his service.

George was born in April of 1750 in Virginia, and remained a bachelor throughout the war. He married Julia Holshopel in 1786 in Greenbrier County, Virginia, and they had one child, Mary. George died in June 1831 in Greenbrier County, not knowing that 192 years later he would be celebrated for his heroism.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is grateful for his contribution to freedom. NSDAR Luiseño Chapter's America250 Committee will honor another Patriot with the publication of his/her story in February.

For more information about the Luiseño Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, visit their public Facebook page "Luiseño Chapter DAR – Temecula Valley, CA." Luiseño Chapter has 104 members living in Riverside and San Diego counties.

Submitted by the Luiseño Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.


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