General David Humphreys Branch #1
Chartered: 22 May 1891
Home Area: New Haven
Namesake: David Humphreys
News: Feb 2005;
The idea of forming a local organization in New Haven as an auxiliary to the State Society of the SAR was suggested
by Nathan Esterbrook, Jr., on the occasion of the second annual banquet of the State Society, held in New Haven on
Feb. 23, 1891. The suggestion met with instant approval, and as a result, the formation of local branches
was incorporated into the constitution of the State Society on May 10, 1891.
On May 15, 1891, a petition was submitted to the Board of Managers and the General David Humphreys Branch
Number 1 was organized on May 22 of that year. This Branch has the distinction of being the first local branch or
chapter formed as an auxiliary to any State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Among the charter members of the Branch was one real son of the American Revolution, Alfred
William Phelps. He was born July 12, 1818, in Hebron, Connecticut, the son of Erastus Phelps, a Revolutionary
soldier. Alfred moved to New Haven in 1837, and became a joiner. He was one of the founders of the Mechanics
Lyceum in New Haven and was its president for many years. He was a member and officer of Independent Order of Odd
Fellows and represented New Haven in the State Legislature in 1867-68. He became a member of SAR in April
1889 as the 47th member of the State Society and died August 9, 1896. He was noted for his reminiscences of
Revolutionary times told to him by his father.
Branch No. 1 in the Present
Today Branch Number 1 is the most active of Connecticuts branches. With more than 115 members, the
General David Humphreys Branch Number 1 meets at 6:30 pm on the second Monday of every month, September through June,
in the New Haven area. Meetings include dinner, and usually a program relating to Revolutionary
War history. For the past three years, the October meeting is held jointly with the 2nd Company, Governors Foot
Guard, at their headquarters in the Goffe Street Armory in New Haven. In 1996, the 2nd Company Governors
Horse Guard joined the October meeting for the first time.
A highlight of the years Branch activities is the 4th of July honoring of the Signers of the Declaration
of Independence at Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven. Other activities
include recognition of outstanding citizens, outstanding Law Enforcement Officers, Veterans, Eagle Scouts, ROTC
participants, local Heroes, and the support of the precepts of the National and State
Society efforts and programs. Naturally, Branch Number 1 recognizes the importance of having a good time, and each
December and June meeting includes wives and families of members.