Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our Glorious Banner

A painted wood plaque honoring Florence Earle Payne, president in 1905 of the Gouverneur, N.Y., chapter of the Woman's Relief Corps, an organization established in 1883 whose mission is to "perpetuate the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic." Edward John Noble, the co-founder of Life Savers who bought the formula for the candy in 1913, also was from Gouverneur, in case you didn't know. In 1906, Mrs. Payne wrote to the New York State Senate: "When the last veteran has unbuckled his knapsack and laid down to rest beneath the bright stars and broad stripes of our glorious emblem of freedom, then the Woman's Relief Corps will mark his resting place with fragrant garlands and carry on the work of patriotic education so well founded by the Grand Army." In February, Antiques Roadshow aired an appraisal of a circa 1910 quilt made up of about 100 W.R.C. convention ribbons. It was valued at $1,000-$1,500. The W.R.C. still exists. The current national president is Cindy Norton of Wellington, Ohio. The plaque honoring Mrs. Payne is dated Nov. 18, 1905. In 1917, Mrs. Payne wrote the 16-page historical treatise "Souvenir of Black Lake: A story of the past and present."  Black Lake is a remote area in upstate New York near the St. Lawrence River and Canada.

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