The Tennessee Daughters of the American Revolution are represented in Washington, D.C., by the Tennessee Room of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Museum. It is located in Memorial Continental Hall, a National Historic Landmark constructed between 1904 and 1910 to house the offices and auditorium of the fledgling heritage society. State and local organizations raised money for the new building, with architectural elements named for each supporting group. The Tennessee Room was originally the office of the society’s chief financial officer.
By 1920 the DAR had outgrown its original building. A new office building and a new auditorium, Constitution Hall, replaced the original offices, which were returned to the sponsoring societies to be furnished as period rooms. Since 1937, the state period rooms have been part of the DAR Museum.
Today the Tennessee room represents a parlor of the Jacksonian era and includes several objects that were in the White House during Andrew Jackson’s administration. Two armchairs by Georgetown cabinetmaker William King and another by French cabinetmaker Pierre Antoine Bellangé were purchased for the White House by James Monroe. The King chairs, of undecorated mahogany, contrast sharply with the elaborately carved and gilded French example. Monroe apparently never used the American chairs for they were not upholstered until Jackson’s administration. Jackson himself may have considered the Bellangé chairs to be more “presidential,” as he posed for portraitist Ralph E. W. Earl seated in one. This portrait now hangs in the Tennessee Room.