General Edward Hand Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution

General Edward Hand Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, was organized November 24, 1899, the fourth in the state.  The chapter’s name was selected because two of the charter members, Mrs. Alexina Davis and Mrs. Jane Gilley, were direct descendants of General Edward Hand.

Edward Hand (1744-1802) was a physician who came to Pennsylvania Colony in 1767 under a commission of George III.  He resigned from British service in 1774, and took up residence in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to practice medicine. In July 1775, he joined the Continental Army as Lt. Colonel of the 1st Battalion of Pennsylvania Riflemen. He led troops at Boston, Long Island, White Plains and Trenton, becoming Adjutant General to George Washington in 1781. At war’s end Hand returned to Lancaster and entered politics as a Federalist. He served in Congress, the State General Assembly, and was elected Burgess of Lancaster. He purchased the properties near Lancaster that became Rock Ford Plantation in 1785 and 1792 and took up permanent residence there in 1794.  He died at Rock Ford on September 3, 1802.  The house that he built in 1794 opened to the public in 1960.  It is one of the most important examples of Georgian domestic architecture surviving in Pennsylvania and is the most intact building predating 1800 in Lancaster County.  Hand is said to be depicted in the painting, “Washington Crossing the Delaware.”  A rendering of this well-known painting, said to have been painted by the original artist, Emanuel Leutze, on commission of General Hand’s family, was presented to the chapter by the family of Mrs. Davis following her death.  The painting now hangs in Ottawa Library.

The local chapter works to further the National Society’s historic, educational, and patriotic objectives.  Members are involved in local preservation efforts, historic and patriotic events are commemorated, a scholarship is presented annually to the county’s outstanding DAR Good Citizen, and awards are presented in the Ottawa school system to the top American history scholars.  There are currently 46 members and the group meets on the second Saturday of most months.

Website of General Edward Hand’s home near Lancaster, PA

Click on the first image in the gallery below to read the individual’s caption.  You can then view all of the remaining images and their captions by clicking the forward arrows.

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