Inside this Issue
Glimpse into the lives and passions of the diverse group of women who comprise today’s DAR membership.
Take a step inside the DAR Museum for a closer look at its fascinating collection.
Learn about the interesting historical articles from this issue.
To Come in Our Next Issue
Preview the exciting stories to be featured in the next issue of American Spirit.
Paving Her Own Way
By Lena Anthony
Photograph courtesy of Rep. Cindy Williams
Volume 149, Number 7, January/February 2016, Page 4
Hawaii State Representative Cindy Evans credits hard work for her path to success
The Hawaii House of Representatives is a part-time legislature, but Cindy Evans (D-HI) considers it her full-time job—and then some. When she’s not in session in Honolulu, Rep. Evans, who also serves as majority floor leader, is back in her home district meeting with community leaders, listening to the needs of constituents, researching issues and helping effect change one step at a time.
Originally from Illinois, Rep. Evans was introduced to the idea of public service early on. Her parents were both World War II veterans, and her father, who was a plumber, was an elected representative in his union.
After graduating from high school, Rep. Evans moved to Washington state to pursue a degree in oceanography, but ultimately studied business administration. She worked full-time at a phone company to pay her tuition bills.
“While there, I became a union steward, which taught me a lot about negotiation and finding common ground,” says the member of Hawai’i Loa Chapter, Kamuela, Hawaii.
Later, she took a state government job, representing the government’s interests in Washington’s ports and harbors.
Rep. Evans moved to Hawaii in 1999, after living in Malaysia where her husband, Rick, worked. She settled into life full-time on the Big Island, while Ricky commuted to Malaysia, coming home every three months.
“We did that for about 20 years,” she says. “He had a wonderful career there, and it was exciting for me to start my new life here.”
As part of getting in touch with her new community, Rep. Evans attended a town hall meeting in 2001, and realized public office might be a good match for her background, experience and skillset.
She ran against the incumbent the following year and won by 112 votes. In office since 2003, Rep. Evans has served seven consecutive terms representing the northwest corner of the Big Island.
Once elected, she got to work improving the West Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery, which is located in her district in Kailua-Kona. “It had sunken graves and looked terrible,” she says. “When I talked to veterans about it, they were really upset.”
She helped organize local veterans’ groups and secure funding from the state of Hawaii to create a master plan for the site. Once a plan was set, the federal government, along with private donors, helped fund the restoration.
“Fast forward many years later, and we now have a beautiful cemetery,” she says. “It’s considered one of the top veterans’ cemeteries in the United States.”
In addition to helping veterans, Rep. Evans is also passionate about women’s issues, including ensuring equal opportunity and pay in the workplace, and preventing domestic and sexual abuse.
“It is an honor to be at the table representing women, but it’s also a challenge, because our numbers are dropping in the Hawaii state legislature,” she says. “I think there should be equal numbers of men and women when we’re voting on any issue, and I’d certainly like to see more women believe that they need to be at that table.”
Rep. Evans also represents Hawaii as a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures. With the organization, she has traveled to Saudi Arabia and Japan, helping to represent American legislators on issues such as economic development and higher education.
In her free time, Rep. Evans enjoys gardening and Chinese brush painting, as well as donating her time and expertise to various community organizations.
“I’ve had good health, a good education and wonderful exposure to so many unique opportunities, so every day I try to find ways to give back for all that’s been given to me,” she says.
That includes the DAR, which she joined after members from across the country volunteered to help research her lineage.
“People whom I had never met in Illinois, Kentucky, even in Virginia were doing research, visiting courthouses and looking at old newspapers to help prove my lineage. Their passion and dedication impressed me so much that I knew the DAR was a special organization.”
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The Days of our Lives
Photography by Mark Gulezian
Volume 149, Number 6, January/February 2016, Page 5
The iconic timekeeping piece commonly known as an hourglass, often viewed as a symbol of death and the march of time, has been around since the late Middle Ages. Hourglass aliases include “sand clock,” “sand glass” and “time glass,” as well as “the poor man’s clock,” a reference to its affordability.
The earliest hourglasses employed glass spheres that were blown separately and connected by a doughnut-shaped seal of cording and wax. Technological improvements made later hourglasses more efficient. After 1760, the spheres were blown in one piece, eliminating the seal that often failed.
In March 1764 Peleg Thurston and Sons advertised hourglasses in the Newport (R.I.) Gazette, offering many sizes including “quarter and half-minute glasses; half-hour; one and two hour-glasses.” Made in England sometime between 1765 and 1800, this example is crafted from oak and glass. Though river sand likely fills this hourglass, powdered marble, silver powder, tin powder, ground cinnamon and powdered egg shells could also be used.
Hourglasses were commonly used on ships to determine time at sea, distance between ports in conjunction with the speed of a ship, and the calibration of watches. The granular material inside the glass spheres generally remained unaffected by moisture and the constant swaying of the ship, unlike other timekeeping devices. Clergy and scholars also used them to regulate sermons, meditations and study routines.
For more National Treasures, please visit the DAR Museum's Featured Objects.
Uncovering History at Ferry Farm by Lena Anthony
As archaeologists and architectural historians with the George Washington Foundation excavate and reconstruct Washington’s boyhood home, the team is learning and sharing more about the early life of the commander in chief.
From the Depths by Bill Hudgins
How did wood, metal and other materials from the British warship HMS Augusta find its way into the paneling, furniture and accessories of the New Jersey Room at DAR Memorial Continental Hall?
Honing Their Craft by Nancy Mann Jackson
Furniture makers became one of the first important American artisans, but their work wasn’t just creative; it was functional and necessary.
Benjamin Banneker by Bill Hudgins
Banneker, a free African-American living in a slave state, became an accomplished astronomer, mathematician, surveyor and author.
Our Loyalist Canadian Cousins by Deborah Cummings
Fearing increased persecution from the Patriots after the Revolutionary War, many Loyalists fled to Canada, where they faced different kinds of hardships.
Spirited Adventures: Indianapolis by Sharon McDonnell
Dubbed the “Crossroads of America,” this Midwestern city is a hub for life sciences and technology, as well as a haven for historic districts and thoughtful urban planning.
Historic Homes: The Paxton House and Inn by Megan Hamby
The Paxton Inn was a stagecoach stop for weary travelers in Washington, Ky. Today, it serves as a museum of Kentucky and Appalachian history.
Our Patriots: General Hugh Mercer by Dr. Daniel S. Marrone
A Scottish immigrant, Mercer opened a medical practice in Virginia at George Washington’s urging. He also fought in the battles of Trenton and Princeton, where he sustained fatal wounds.
Plus: The President General’s Message and Whatnot
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To Come in March/April 2016:
American Rebel: Frances “Fanny” Wright
4th Marine Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island
La belle Americaine: Elizabeth Kortright Monroe