Kate Waller Barrett Chapter at:

The Kate Waller Barrett Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) honors a remarkable American patriot and early leader for social justice and women's rights, Dr. Katherine Waller Barrett.

The Chapter was organized unofficially as the Arlington Chapter on February 21, 1925, and was confirmed on March 12, by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). The organizational meeting was held at the home of Dr. Kate Waller Barrett, who at that time was State Regent of Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution, 1919-1925. As a result of her sudden death two days later, the Chapter petitioned the National Board NSDAR to change the name of the newly organized Arlington Chapter to the Kate Waller Barrett Chapter in her honor. Permission was officially granted April 18, 1925.

Chapter History

The Chapter helped with the original restoration and furnishing of Gadsby's Tavern Museum in Alexandria, Virginia, and has continued its commitment to this local historical treasure. In addition, the Chapter marked the George Gilpin and Kate Waller Barrett houses in Alexandria. During the past administration, the Chapter dedicated five chairs in the Virginia State Box at Constitution Hall; donated manuscripts to the Americana Room and books to the NSDAR Library; organized a Flag Day Ceremony for retired veterans at the Belvoir Woods Healthcare Center; donated a flag, staff and base to the Kate Waller Barrett Library in Alexandria; and added a second scholarship fund for a worthy student at the Kate Duncan Smith School in Grant, Alabama.

Chapter Officers

Chapter Meetings

Chapter meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month, September to May, at 10:30 A.M., unless otherwise noted in the Chapter's Year Book.

Contact Information

Contact can be made with the Chapter by sending
e-mail to Kate Waller Barrett Chapter (NSDAR).

Karen Cardullo
Katherine Skalicky
Ruth Wilde Smith
Cathie Tinston

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) was organized in 1890. It is the largest lineage-based organization for women in the world, and larger than any of the other hereditary patriotic organizations in America. For many years and in many ways the organization strives to preserve the furnishings and ideals of American heritage.

More about the Society can be found at the NSDAR's Home Page.

Return to, or visit the website of the Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution.

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Katherine Waller was born at Stafford County, Virginia on January 24, 1855. She preferred to be known as "Kate." The Civil War forced the Wallers from the family's large estate on the Potomac's west shore, to which the family returned after the war. Kate eventually married an Episcopal minister, the Reverend Robert South Barrett. Accompanying her husband to his assignment in a slum area of Richmond, she was deeply moved with compassion for the cruel injustices society inflicted on unwed mothers. Kate Waller Barrett swore "a covenant with God" that as long as she lived she would lift her voice "in behalf of the outcast class," and that her hand would "always be held to aid them." She continued her special work in this area as the family moved to various assignments. She eventually led in the establishment of shelters for unmarried mothers.

During her husband's assignment in Atlanta, Kate attended The Woman's Medical College of Georgia, and in three years received her M.D. in 1892. Two years later, she was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science. Her husband's last assignment was General Missioner of the Protestant Episcopal Church and brought them to Washington, D.C. She was widowed in 1896. She accepted the position of General Superintendent of the recently founded National Florence Crittenton Mission.

Dr. Barrett's leadership abilities drew her into various National activities. She was involved with the rehabilitation of Arlington Mansion, improvement of Arlington Cemetery, and the establishment of the Shenandoah Valley National Park. She served as vice president of the Virginia Equal Suffrage (1909­1920), and was a charter member of the League of Women Voters and a member of the Board of Trustees, College of William and Mary. In 1923, she was the National President of the American Legion Auxiliary. She was appointed by President Wilson as one of ten women to attend the Versailles Conference. This was one of many U.S. diplomatic missions in which she participated.

Kate Waller Barrett was elected State Regent of the Virginia Society Daughters of the American Revolution in 1919. Dr. Barrett died February 23, 1925, at the age of 70, in her home on Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia. Upon her passing, the Flag over the State Capitol in Richmond was flown at half-staff, the first time this honor had been given to a woman. She was buried in the Aquia Church cemetery.

Kate Waller Barrett is featured in Mrs. Rice M. Youell, Jr.'s article: "Women Worthy of Honor," Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, June/July 1991, pp. 399-402, 461.

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Page last edited 30 August 2000.
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