Founding of the National Society 

Harriett M. Lothrop (18441924), NSDAR member and well-known author, founded the N.S.C.A.R. in 1895 to instill patriotic values in the youth of America. During the 1895 NSDAR Continental Congress Mrs. Lothrop delivered a moving speech to its members urging them to join her in helping create a patriotic organization for their children. Mrs. Lothrop's vision was well received, and the Children of the American Revolution was founded on April 5, 1895. Below you will find excerpts of her speech to the Daughters.


"I think you will agree with me that the hope of this country is with her youth. All of us now convened in a few years will pass from the scene; those to follow us will be the ones who are now in their formative state under our guidance. Into their hands will be laid the important trusts, the weighty responsibilities, the affairs of government, the whole executive and moral forces that make or mar the country. Tremendous questions of moral, civil, and religious nature are to arise in the not distant future. Already some of them are overwhelming us. Face to face we as a nation are to be brought to issues, vital not alone in this country, but the whole world. America as a nation is yet in her infancy. It doth not yet appear what she is to become among the nations of earth. Certainly no one who reads the signs of the times can doubt that God has designed a mighty work to be achieved by her. Into her vast territories have been and are now pouring millions who "seek the home of the free." Evangelizing America means evangelizing the world. American institutions and principles means evangelization. Civil and religious liberty, built on the eternal principles of truth, honesty, and tolerance, means a God-fearing and God-loving nation."


"What a tremendous thought that some of our boys and girls may be growing up in our very midst with no adequate idea of what it is to be an American youth, claiming a heritage of these American principles. Can we as American women rest a moment while the impressible period is swiftly passing on with them?...."


"I would also advise most strongly the forming of historical societies, especially for young people, who should have their own society of this kind adapted to their age...."

"I would even say that the time is propitious for us convening here to form a young people's society to be called Children of the American Revolution...."

Introduction to Harriett M. Lothrop (Margaret Sidney), Author

Before Harriett Mulford Stone Lothrop founded the National Society Children of the American Revolution in 1895 while regent of the Old Concord Chapter of the Massachusetts DAR, she was a noted writer of articles and books for children under the pen name Margaret Sidney. She was a New Englander through and through, having been born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1844 and living most of her life in the region. As a child, she took little trips into the country with her family. On one such venture, she saw a little brown house which inspired her imagination. She began making up stories about that little house and the poor family of a mother and five children who lived there. Years later, as an adult, her imaginative stories came alive on paper when she wrote "Polly Pepper's Chicken Pie." She submitted it to Wide Awake, a children's magazine published by Daniel Lothrop and Company of Boston. She wrote thirteen more stories for the magazine because people expressed their enthusiasm and desire for more. The publisher himself was impressed and asked to meet with her. Her stories suited his purpose of "books which make for true, steadfast growth in right living." He encouraged Harriett to put her stories into book form, and The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew was published in 1881. That same year Harriett married Daniel Lothrop. They moved into The Wayside, a house built c. 1700 which had been home to a Minuteman. Some years later, Louisa May Alcott and her family lived there before it belonged to Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Lothrops also acquired Orchard House, next door to The Wayside, where Louisa May Alcott also lived and wrote Little Women. Harriett continued to write short stories and some forty books. When her husband died in 1892, Harriett ran the publishing company before eventually selling it to Lee and Shepard. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard continue to publish children's books today.


Senior National President (2004-2006) Karen Smith, National President (2005-2006) Rebecca Grawl and Maine State President (2005-2006) Samantha Duranko present a wreath at Harriet Lothrop's grave.


Harriett and Daniel had one child, daughter Margaret born in 1884, who was C.A.R. member #1. Margaret graduated from Smith College in 1905, earned a Masters Degree from Stanford and taught there for many years. Harriett Lothrop died in California in 1924 while staying with Margaret in San Francisco. She is buried among other well-known authors in Concord's Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Margaret moved back to Concord and The Wayside where she continued the preservation efforts of her parents. Her book, The Wayside: Home of Authors, was published in 1940. She opened the house for tours and lived there until her death in 1970. It is now part of Minute Man National Historical Park where you may visit it today.



Information for this introduction was gathered from the following:
Centennial Plus One by Eleanor Smallwood Niebell, 1997; article by Rita Smith, 2005; Harriett M. Lothrop, biographies of American authors from; Concord Magazine, July/August 2001 article by Jane Sciacca "The Wayside and Miss Margaret Lothrop;" Old Concord Chapter DAR Web site.

The Five Little Peppers Series, by Margaret Sidney, is available online (and for some e-readers) from Project Gutenberg


Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (1881)
Five Little Peppers Midway (1890)
Five Little Peppers Grown Up (1892)
Five Little Peppers and their Friends (1904)
Five Little Peppers at School (1903)