FOUNDER OF THE DAR - Daughters of the American Revolution
Flora was born on July 25, 1840 in Lancaster, Coos Co., New Hampshire. She was a descendant of Henry Adams of Braintree, MA (1636), and thus remotely related to the second and sixth presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Her brother also was named John Quincy Adams. He was father to Capt. Francis Adams.
Flora married Col. Edward Irving Darling, 22 years her senior, on March 12 or 15, 1859, and went with him to live at his Louisiana home. Edward I. Darling - the only son of C. Irving and Marie Dumas (Lafitte) Darling. He became a Brigadier General with the Confederate Army. He died of wounds at Dalton, received in battle, December 2, 1863 during the Civil War.
Their only son was Edward Irving Darling, JR., a minor musician-composer, who married Susan Beatrice Klingle (b. 1867) in 1885, and died Feb. 14, or July 13, 1894 in Mt. Clemens, Chicago, Michigan. Edward Jr.'s ashes were taken to be buried in Lancaster, NH on July 2, 1898.
In 1864, just after her husband’s death, Flora was arrested in New Orleans while she was returning to NH. She needed safe passage signed by General N. P. Banks. Jewelry, Confederate bonds and banks notes were taken from her.
Mrs. Darling suffered from repeated attacks of malarial fever and, after 1876, from deafness.
Over the years Flora wrote books like: MEMOIRS OF THE CIVIL WAR, MRS. DARLING’S LETTERS. She also wrote short stories for magazines.
In May 1888, Flora received payment of $5,673 from US Treasury for compensation of property while she was under a flag of truce during the Civil War.
By 1889 - Flora A. Darling became director in Manhattan, NY - the Lamberti School of Music. Also founded Edward Erving Darling Musical Society in honor of her son later.
To help preserve American hertiage, Flora Adams Darling started on Oct. 11, 1890 the Daughters of the American Revolution.
From June 18, 1891 to Aug. 20, 1891 - Flora founded Daughters of the Revolution (D. R.) in NYC. This would be a rival group to the DAR.
By July 1891 - The National Board of DAR removed Flora as Vice President of DAR in charge of chapter organization in the USA. The conflict was over organization issues and who truly was to have 'credit' for beginning the DAR.
Jan. 8, 1892 - Flora founded Daughters of the United States War of 1812 - found on Jan 8th - the anniversary date of Battle of New Orleans.
There continued years of controversy between Flora Darling and the DAR national Board.
In 1908, Florence Darling was an active member of Women’s Democratic Club - she was a supporter of William Jennings Bryan for President.
On Jan. 6, 1910 - Flora A. Darling died. She died of apoplexy in NYC at her brother’s (John Q. Adams) home.
Flora had two grandchildren: Charles Tiernon Darling and Nancy (Nannie) Darling of Washington DC.
Flora’s collection: Flora Adams Darling Papers, 1862-1908
There are seven boxes of correspondence, documents, etc.
Donated to College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA (Earl Gregg Swem Library).