NSDAR’s Memorial Continental Hall houses 31 Period Rooms. Each room is sponsored by a state society, and is a historically inspired scene that displays pieces from the NSDAR Museum Collection.
The Tennessee Period Room represents a parlor in a wealthy American home during 1828-1836, the years of Andrew Jackson’s presidency. Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, is pictured in the 1830-32 portrait by painter Ralph E. W. Earl. After the British burned the White house in 1814, it was rebuilt and all its furnishings replaced. The gilded armchair in Jackson’s portrait was part of this refurnishing and is identical to the armchair beneath his portrait in the photograph above. This armchair, part of a 53 piece set, was ordered from the French master craftsman, Pierre Antoine Bellangé, by President James Monroe for the Oval Room of the White House in 1817. This gilded set drew much criticism from Congress who felt they were too ornate and not of domestic manufacture. They were not used until the Jackson years. In 1818, President Monroe ordered a second set of chairs made by Georgetown cabinetmaker William King. Two chairs of this set are at the center table in the photograph above.
The Tennessee Society contributes toward the maintenance and improvement of the Tennessee Room and its furnishings. The Tennessee Society recently presented a needlework treasure to the DAR Museum, the first Tennessee sampler for the collection. The sampler maker, Margaret Ann Campbell, was born December 12, 1822, in Davidson County, Tennessee. The sampler was presented as a memorial to Patricia King Rhoton, TSDAR Honorary State Regent and NSDAR Vice President General.
Several changes await Tennessee Daughters’ viewing of the Tennessee Room at Continental Congress 2013. A new gate to the room has been installed as a memorial to Martha Summers Willis, TSDAR Honorary State Regent and NSDAR Vice President General. A new sensor light has been installed, and the TSDAR Board voted to replace the chandelier on recommendation of the NSDAR Curator General.
The Tennessee Room is available for viewing by Daughters and guests at Continental Congress, and Daughters and the public any time the NSDAR buildings are open.