Flora Adams Darling was born in New Hampshire in 1840, a descendant of Henry Adams who settled in Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1636. She married Col. Edward Irving Darling, 22 years her senior, in 1860, and went with him to live at his Louisiana home. He died of wounds received in battle, December 2, 1863. Her only son was Edward Erving Darling, a minor musician-composer, who died July 13, 1894. Mrs. Darling suffered from repeated attacks of malarial fever and, after 1876, from deafness. Her years of widowhood were spent in writing Mrs. Darling's Letters, or Memoirs of the Civil War, A Social Diplomat, and other books.
From 1889 to 1896 her major interests and efforts were devoted to the founding of women's patriotic societies. Mrs. Darling's obsession for organizing and ruling patriotic societies, and her willingness to abandon one when her opinion or desires were thwarted, is illustrated by the rapid succession with which the societies followed each other: Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) founded October 11, 1890; Daughters of the Revolution (D.R.) founded June 18, 1891; Daughters of the United States of the War of 1812, founded January 8, 1892; founded because of disagreement over policies of the D. A. R., policies adopted over the protest of Mrs. Darling. This collection is composed almost entirely of letters written to her during these years of controversy. There are some delightful, pithy and well-written letters in the group. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: http://scrc.swem.wm.edu/wiki/index.php/Flora Adams Darling.