Have you picked up your copy of the March/April issue of The Golden Link? The Golden Link is the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council's official publication. It's full of upcoming events, our newest Gold Award recipients and loads of other great resources including the GSSJC news!
In this issue, we explore what Julliette Gordon Low was like as a girl in an article written by Margaret Sheriff.
Let’s take a close look at
Juliette Gordon Low, the
founder of Girl Scouting in
the United States. Indeed,
she was a Daisy! You
probably know that she was
from Savannah, Ga., that
she married an Englishman
and she had no children. This lady had an extraordinary life and
family and was very talented. There are many fascinating stories
about Juliette that girls and women of today enjoy.
Juliette was born on Halloween in 1860, the second child
and second daughter of a well-to-do family. Her full name was
Juliette McGill Kinzie Gordon. When an uncle commented that
she’d be a daisy, her family promptly dubbed her “Daisy.” Her
mother, Eleanor Kinzie, was from a prominent family in early
day Chicago. Juliette’s grandfather, McKinzie, a Native American
agent for the federal government, was well-respected among
Native Americans he knew.
While Juliette was still an infant, the Civil War broke out.
Her father served as an officer in the Confederate Army. She saw
very little of him during her early years. Her mother’s brothers
were officers in the Union Army. Juliette’s mother remained in
Savannah with her young family living in the Gordon family
home, which is now a Girl Scout National Center. Another
daughter was born to the
family during this time.
The Gordons, along
with other Southerners,
suffered from the
many privations of war
food. After Savannah was
occupied by Union troops
under General Sherman,
Juliette’s life changed.
General Sherman, a
friend of Mrs. Gordon’s
Chicago family, called
upon Daisy’s mother in
Savannah, and Daisy
was given her first taste
of sugar by the soldiers. When Daisy asked a one-armed Union
soldier what had happened, he said a Rebel had shot it off. Daisy
announced it was probably her father because he’d shot lots of
Yankees! At that point, 4-year-old Daisy was whisked away.
General Sherman arranged safe transportation for Mrs.
Gordon with her three young daughters to Chicago so they could
leave the war-ravaged south. They set off by boat and train for
New York, and then on to Chicago. It was a long, hard journey.
After arriving at her grandparents’ home in Illinois, Daisy
became seriously ill with what was then known as “brain fever.”
During her recovery, the doctor told Daisy’s mother that nothing
should be allowed to upset Daisy and to allow her to do anything
she wanted until fully recovered.
After the Civil War was over, the Gordon family resumed
their life in Savannah. Juliette’s father rebuilt his business as
his family grew. Three more children were born: two boys and
another girl. Daisy and her older sister started school just a few
blocks from their home. Daisy learned to draw, and her artistic
talents blossomed. Sometimes she neglected her other studies,
and that got her into trouble with her teacher and parents.
Spelling and arithmetic were always problem areas for her.
In the summer, the Gordon children joined numerous
cousins on a plantation in northern Georgia. There the 20 boys
and girls spent most of their time outdoors. Daisy learned to
swim, play hide and seek, climb trees and ride a horse. She
also wrote plays and put on theatrical
performances with her cousins.
One winter evening when the
children were making candy and enjoying
pulling taffy, a cousin commented the taffy
was just the color of Daisy’s hair. He then
suggested braiding the taffy with her hair
just to make sure! Daisy was willing, so the
hair and candy were braided together. The sticky mess slowly
hardened and no matter how everyone tried, they could not get
the candy out of the hair. Daisy’s mother had to cut her long,
lovely hair. For quite some time, Daisy was the only girl she
knew with short hair.
For more stories like this, go to www.gssjc.org and find the March/April issue of The Golden Link.