Ceremony celebrates history, you decide
York Township held a ceremony honoring Lt. Dan Throop, a Revolutionary War veteran, today at Judd Road Cemetery despite arguments by Martha Churchill, a historian from Milan, that her research shows that there are no Revolutionary War heroes buried in Judd cemetery. In a story we published last week, York Township Supervisor Joe Zurawski said reputable researchers with ties to the military have verified that the unmarked grave contains Throop, a soldier who fought in the Battle of Lexington.
Zurawski said that the Michigan Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and the National Sons of the American Revolution have assisted in certifying the validity of Throop's war record and a polished granite monument has been donated for both Throop and his son. But Churchill says representatives from the Sons of the American Revolution told her that they do not verify or check historical facts. They leave this up to the applicants.
A Milan attorney and member of the Washtenaw County Historical Society, Churchill checked with a military researcher and learned that a Revolutionary War veteran by the name Throop died in New York in 1824. He is the real one, she says, and is known to the Daughters of the American Revolution. However, DAR will add additional soldiers at the request of applicants, she says, without verifying through additional research. Churchill said that's what's happened here.
Zurawski said when someone applies for membership in the DAR of SAR, what the group cares about is lineage. "These ladies had nothing to gain by making a false claim" back in the 1880s, he said in our story.
The Dan Throop buried in the Judd Road Cemetery is said to have been born in 1748 and died in 1833 in York Township. But Churchill said she couldn't find any record of it in "History of Washtenaw County," published by Chapman and Company and dated 1881. He and his son are missing from the Register of Deeds office, as well and didn't own any land in the township, she said.
Included in the ceremony was Revolutionary War re-enactors, as well as a bagpiper. There also was a flag ceremony and reading of the famous Ralph Waldo Emerson poem "Concord Hymn," which contains the famous line "The shot heard round the world."
From Reporter Lisa Allmendinger, who covered the event:
As I listened to the historical renditions of the start of the Revolutionary War at a ceremony for Capt. Daniel Throop in Judd Cemetery this morning, I tried to imagine what it might have been like to be there as the shot heard round the world went off.
I closed my eyes and looked for lamps in windows signaling “one if by land and two if by sea.”
I looked at the horses standing in the back of the cemetery and listened for the clip-clop of Paul Revere’s horse as word spread that “The British Are Coming.”
The Revolutionary War re-enactors marched into the ceremony, carrying flags with 13 stars and one that read “Don’t Tread on Me,” it took me back to the many Revolutionary War sites I visited with my mother as a child.
Because of her love for the Revolution, I, too, became interested in Colonial Times. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been to Williamsburg, Va.
Some of my favorite books involve stories about the men who helped create this great nation.
So, it was an honor to meet the family of this Revolutionary War hero and take their photo.
I was given an opportunity to look at the thick red book that chronicled the Throop family back to England, where they were known as the Scroope family.
Happy Fourth of July Throop family and Americans everywhere.