Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Golden Link: Getting to Know Julliette Gordon Low as a Girl

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.


Image result for juliette gordon lowLet’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 including inadequate 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.