Founding – March 15, 1921
The origin of the Atlanta Chapter cannot be separated from that of the Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution (GASSAR) as the Georgia Society was founded in the Atlanta area with no specific chapters designated at its founding. The founding came about as a vision of Compatriot William L. Doughtry, a charter member of the Georgia Society. Compatriot Doughtry related that while he was stationed in Europe during World War I, he was in the company of some other men from the New England area who were having a party to which he was not allowed to attend because the party was restricted to members of the Sons of the Revolution or Sons of the American Revolution. Compatriot Doughtry knew he was eligible for membership in such an organization by his descent from Patriot John Pope, a Captain in the North Carolina State Militia. Thus he was determined to become a member as soon as he returned to Atlanta. It was under his urging and direction that the Georgia Society was formed with 16 charter members.
As the chapter and society were one and the same in the beginning, the Atlanta Chapter considers the charter date of the Georgia Society of March 15, 1921, as the charter date of the chapter. The Georgia Society reported in volume 22, issue #2 (1928-1928), of the National Society’s “The Minute Man,” that, “The first local chapter to which the Georgia Society has given a charter has been formed at Milledgeville.” From this point, reference was made to chapters within the society, distinguishing the Atlanta Chapter from the John Milledge Chapter and other later chapters. Lacking a formal charter, to more formally document the existence of the Atlanta Chapter itself, a certificate was signed on April 7, 1984, by chapter officers President John W. Loud and Secretary Leeward L. Dunn that the Atlanta Chapter was a chapter of the Georgia Society.
President Generals and Other Notable Members
Two members from the Georgia Society have served as President General of the National Society — PG James Roger Westlake, Sr. (1989-1990), and PG Col. Robert Bell Vance, Sr. (1993-1994). Both were members of the Atlanta Chapter at the time. Long-time U.S. Senator Herman Talmadge was also a member of the Atlanta Chapter.
National Congress Sites
Metropolitan Atlanta served as the site of the National Congresses in 1983 and 2009. In the 1970s when the National Society relocated from its location in Washington, DC, a building on Peachtree Street in Atlanta was considered for the site of the National Society before Louisville, Kentucky, was finally selected.
The Atlanta Chapter has spun off numerous chapters since the late 1920’s which themselves have spun off new chapters, thus continuously changing the general boundaries of responsibility of the Atlanta Chapter, usually defined in terms of county coverage. Those counties adjacent to the north side of the City of Atlanta have in particular become the home territory of strong, active SAR chapters of the Georgia Society. Currently, the Atlanta Chapter generally serves DeKalb County and the Fulton County cities of Atlanta, East Point, Hapeville, and College Park.