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Michigan Society of the Sons of the American Revolution records

Identifier: 00126

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the materials documents the M-SAR's activities during the first two decades of the 20th century as well as the period from 1945 to 1962. More extensive documentation for the latter era results from the activities of Jackson Towne, who held various posts in the M-SAR during his membership and collected the material that was subsequently donated.

The collection contains incoming and copies of outgoing correspondence, constitutions of various SAR societies, membership rosters, yearbooks and report of numerous state societies, as well as bulletins, publications, pamphlets and programs collected by the M-SAR.

The correspondence deals with such business activities of the M-SAR as the processing of membership applications, annual dues collections and annual meetings. The constitutions of the various societies, also found in many of the yearbooks, arranged alphabetically by state, also list annual activities, meetings and in some cases speeches and reports made to the society. The two groups, publications and pamphlets, were left unchanged, but the distinction between the groups should be noted.These materials range from family genealogies to general histories as well as material of historical interest. The bulletins and programs announce and record the various social functions and other events of the member societies.


  • Creation: 1792 - 1963
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1886 - 1963


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

The Michigan Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (M-SAR) was instituted February 22, 1896 and organized April 12, 1896. According to its constitution, the M-SAR had a threefold purpose: 1) to celebrate and institute more patriotically-orientated national holidays, 2) to commemorate and celebrate the memory of George Washington, and 3) to honor and commemorate the significant events that transpired during the American struggle for independence. The M-SAR was part of a nation-wide movement to organize such societies. It was felt by the organizers that male, American citizens, 21 years old or older who were direct descendants of individuals who had participated in the War for Independence were well suited for achieving the three purposes.

As a result, the principle activities of the M-SAR during the first three decades of the 20th century were the celebration of Washington's birth, the celebration of the 4th of July and the recruitment of new members. From the late 1930s to the 1950s the Sons of the American Revolution, including the M-SAR, also concerned itself with the quality of the teaching of American History and Political Science at all levels of education. The material in the collection reveals that some state societies were more adamant in this task than was the M-SAR.


8 Cubic Feet (157 shelved volumes)

Language of Materials


Organization of the Records

These records are organized into 10 series:

Series Titles

  1. Correspondence
  2. Speeches and Constitutions
  3. Membership Rosters and Yearbooks
  4. Minutes
  5. Newsletters
  6. Bulletins
  7. Publications
  8. Pamphlets
  9. Programs and Letter Press Correspondence
  10. Volumes


Some of the materials are stored off-site. Advance notice of 24 hours is required for use.

Custodial History

Gift of Jackson Towne, 1971-08-03.

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Michigan Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Records
4 Published And Cataloged
March 1979
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US