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Dr. Elisha Dick Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)

Originally published 5 Jan 2014

Yesterday I attended the January meeting of the Dr. Elisha Dick Chapter of the DAR. The program topic was The DAR Schools - Growing Young Minds and Their Communities presented by Regent, Roberta Cole Lader. We learned that the South Carolina DAR founded the Tamassee school in 1919 and the Alabama DAR founded the Kate Duncan Smith school in 1924. Both schools are located in remote areas of Appalachia to help children there receive education. The DAR supports four other schools by providing donations for scholarships and material items. More information about DAR schools is located on the DAR site at:

Dr. Elisha Dick graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1782. He lived in Alexandria, Virginia where he engaged in medicine, politics, and real estate speculation. He is probably best known as having been George Washington's doctor. He recommended against bleeding Washington who was on his deathbed as was a common practice at that time to relieve ill patients from bad "humors." (The practice continued into the mid-19th century, at least for horses, as my second great grandfather Ebenezer Robbins recorded in his 1850 diary that his horse was not feeling well, and thus he had it bled.) Dr. Dick recommended against bleeding the former president, but the procedure was still conducted by another attending physician. The physician later wrote about Dr. Dick that "I have often thought that if we had acted accordingly to his suggestion, when he said, "he needs all his strength - bleeding will diminish it", and taken no more blood from him, our good friend might have been alive now. But we were governed by the best light we had: we thought we were right, and so we were justified."

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