The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Tennessee

About The National Society of The Colonial Dames of

America in the State of Tennessee

Board Visitation MemphisA group of Nashville ladies founded the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Tennessee in 1896. From its beginning the mission of the Society has been to actively promote our national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service, and educational projects. Our projects are chosen to support our mission.
Membership in the organization is by sponsorship only. Members must be lineal descendants of an ancestor who rendered significant service to his or her country during the Colonial period before July 5, 1776.  Each NSCDA-TN member belongs to one of four town committees: the Chattanooga Town Committee, the Knoxville Town Committee, the Memphis Town Committee, or the Nashville Town Committee. Each town committee is governed by a Board responsible for its meetings and projects. The State Society is governed by a Board of Managers which has general management and control of the business affairs of the NSCDA-TN. The Board of Managers sponsors state-wide projects, and its officers and committee chairmen also provide assistance and organization for the town committees as they participate in state-wide and national projects.

"Young Dames" are encouraged to participate in regular meetings and events, but they also plan gatherings that are more suited to their schedules with work and young families. They may meet in the evening for a weekday dinner or have weekend get-togethers.
Examples of local projects carried out by town committees include: supporting museums by sponsoring a room or providing docents; creating memory books and video histories of members of the town committees; greeting new citizens at naturalization ceremonies; collecting supplies for active duty military personnel and veterans; and hosting parties to benefit museum properties owned by and supported by the national society. The town committees also encourage students to participate in the National Society's essay contest. The State Society sends the state winner of the essay contest to the Washington Congressional Workshop Seminar held annually in June, and provides for tuition, travel, and board.
Travellers RestA major project of the State Society is "The Tennessee Portrait Project" with its own website, This project dates back to 2002 when members began collecting information about portraits housed in Tennessee in private and in public collections. As of 2014 there are 2,730 portraits documented on the website. The website is updated and added to regularly. This information can be accessed at any time and in any place by individuals with an interest in Tennessee history and culture.

The NSCDA-TN provides two grants-in-aid of $1200 each year for students in Tennessee colleges and universities who are pursuing degrees in American History or in a field related to American History. The State Society owns Travellers Rest Historic House in Nashville and manages this museum house, now in its fourth century, in cooperation with a community board of directors. The State Society also provides financial support for projects of the National Society, including the Indian Nurse Scholarship; Dumbarton House, the NSCDA headquarters in Georgetown; Gunston Hall in Virginia, the colonial home of George Mason; and Sulgrave Manor, the ancestral home of George Washington in England.

This brief introduction to the Tennessee Dames provides a sample of the many ways that the NSCDA-TN and our town committees carry out our mission of supporting historic preservation, patriotic service and education.

Values Through History's Why America is Free Curriculum Brochure PDF can be downloaded here.

America Free Curriculum


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Travellers Rest Historic House Museum
Headquarters of
The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Tennessee

636 Farrell Parkway
Nashville, TN 37220

Tennessee State Pin

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