Born to Greatness: The Daughters of the First Patriots 

A surprising number of daughters of America’s first Patriots were still alive when the Daughters of the American Revolution was formed in 1890.  Chapters enthusiastically sought out the Real Daughters’ residing in their midst.  The DAR acknowledged Real Daughters’ status by presenting each of the women with a gold souvenir spoon engraved   with her initials and her national number. Ottawa Chapter embraced the DAR National Project in locating and re-dedicating these women,  and has located, Elmina Sutlief Fraser the only "Real Daughter" buried in St. Clair County. A daughter of Revolutionary War Soldier, Janner Sutlief, was admitted to the St. Clair Ot-si-ke-ta Chapter in1902 she was presented with the Gold Spoon.

Today this first generation of American women is still revered, respected and remembered by the DAR. In our research we learned her life made a difference in her family and in the community, installing the fundamentals of God, Home, and Country, leading by example. She serves as a lesson for all Daughters helping them appreciate and take pride in our organization and our patriotic heritage.

Elmira Sutlief was born in Johnstown New York, 28 November1808 and departed     this life, 20 June 1907 aged 98 years 7 months and 22 days. The family moved to Michigan and settled on Cottrellville, her husband died March 6, 1864. Her father and grandfather served in the Revolution under Washington, her father being an aide-de-camp to the general.  Elmina give many reminiscences of the days during the War of 1812 when her father went to Sackets Harbor to enlist under General Putnam.  She and her mother rendered valuable aid in nursing the sick and wounded.  It was of this latter work, when she grew older, that many in St. Clair had cause to rejoice. 

from her  obituary... Elmina Fraser June 20, 1907
.....”She was a remarkably smart and active woman-long after she was 80 years old she could drive her own horse and hitch it up too if there was no one else handy to do it for her. Some years ago she heard of the forming of a society called the Daughters of American Revolution, and how every own daughter would be presented by the government with a gold spoon. Her ambition was at once aroused to become a member and secure the spoon, not so much for the money value as what it represented, but the hardships her father endured to help secure the nation’s independence. Some five years ago she joined the chapter here in St. Clair and with their assistance obtained the spoon, which she prized very highly. …….. Ot-si-ke-ta Chapter of that organization always took considerable interest in the old lady and sent her flowers on many occasions, that she might know that she was remembered”

        We remember... Elmina Sutlief Fraser




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Last updated 08/15/2016

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