A Guide to the Society of the Cincinnati Papers, 1783-1861 Society of the Cincinnati Papers, 1783-1861 24646

A Guide to the Society of the Cincinnati Papers, 1783-1861

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 24646


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© 2003 By the Library of Virginia.

Processed by: Alex Lorch

Repository
Library of Virginia
Accession number
24646
Title
Society of the Cincinnati Papers, 1783-1861
Physical Characteristics
.225 cubic feet
Creator
Society of the Cincinnati
Physical Location
Organization Records Collection, Accession 24646
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Society of the Cincinnati Papers, 1783-1861. Accession 24646, Organization Records Collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

This collection was loaned to The Library of Virginia by the Library of Congress for photostat copying in July 1957.


Historical Information

The Society of the Cincinnati was formed on 10-13 May 1783 by American Revolutionary Army officers who met at Mount Gulian, the American Army's cantonment on the east bank of the Hudson River. After resigning his post as General, George Washington (1732-1799) accepted an invitation to become the society's first president. Major General Henry Knox (1750-1806) was the secretary and for years the guiding spirit of the organization. Membership extended to those officers of the Continental Army and Navy who had served to the end of the war or had resigned with honor after three years of service and to those who had been rendered supernumerary because of regimental reorganization by Congress. In addition, the institution provided that officers who had died in service could be represented in the Society by their eldest male descendants. The society was named in honor of Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus, who after a distinguished military career in the service of the Roman republic, had returned to civilian life. The Society of the Cincinnati was the first patriotic society organized in the United States. Today the Society is a not-for-profit organization supporting educational, cultural, and literary activities that promote the ideals of liberty and constitutional government.

Scope and Content Information

Papers, 1783-1861, of the Society of the Cincinnati principally consisting of correspondence of society leaders, state societies, the French chapter of the Society, and Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the designer of the society insignia. There are also two proceedings for meetings held by society members, membership certificates, receipts, and minutes. These are the papers of the general Society of the Cincinnati and not the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia.

Arrangement

Arrangement

Series I-III and V arranged choronologically within the series and Series IV arranged by state and then chronologically.

Organization

The collection is organized in five series:
Series I. Proceedings, 1783, 1788.
Series II. Correspondence, 1783-1861.
Series III. Pierre Charles L'Enfant Papers, 1783-1790.
Series IV. State Societies' Papers, 1783-1812.
Series V. Society of the Cincinnati, French chapter, Papers, 1783-1826.

Related Material

Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia, Records, 1783-1941 [bulk 1783-1848], Accession 26102
Henry Lee, Membership certificate, 10 October 1785, Accession 20007a

Contents List

Series I: Proceedings, 1783, 1788
Folder: 1

Consists of proceedings, 10 May 1783 and 13 May 1783, for the institution of the society and a circular letter, 8 May 1788, to the state societies and the president of the general society from Thomas Mifflin (1744-1800) stating that a general meeting of the society could not be held due to a lack of members present.

  • Folder 1
    1
    Proceedings and institution of the Society of the Cincinnati, 10-13 May 1783
  • Folder 1
    2
    Letter from Thomas Mifflin to the state societies and the president of the general society, 8 May 1788
Series II: Correspondence, 1783-1861
Folder: 2-4

Principally contains letters and circular letters exchanged between leaders and members concerning the society. Consists of correspondence by, to, and concerning George Washington (1732-1799), Henry Knox (1750- 1806), and Alexander W. Johnston.

  • Folder 2
    3
    Return of the different promotions of the officers of the division commanded by Ormand Marquis de la Rouerie, 1 October 1783
  • Folder 2
    4
    Letter from George Washington to Henry Knox, 16 October 1783
  • Folder 2
    5
    Partial letter from George Washington to the state societies, 24 October 1783
  • Folder 2
    6
    Letter from George Washington to Henry Knox, 3 November 1783
  • Folder 2
    7
    Letter from Segond to Henry Knox, 18 November 1783
  • Folder 2
    8
    Letter from De Brahm to Henry Knox, 14 December 1783
  • Folder 2
    9
    Partial letter from Henry Knox to Alexander McDougall, 17 December 1783
  • Folder 2
    10
    Circular letter from George Washington to the presidents of the state societies, 1 January 1784
  • Folder 3
    11
    Membership certificate issued to Claude Antoine Villet de Marcellin, 20 March 1784
  • Folder 3
    12
    Letter from John Allison to George Washington, 26 April 1784
  • Folder 3
    13
    Letter from Ormand Marquis de la Rouerie to Henry Knox, 4 May 1784
  • Folder 3
    14
    Letter from George Washington to Henry Knox, 27 April 1787
  • Folder 3
    15
    Letter from Thomas Mifflin to George Washington, 8 May 1788
  • Folder 3
    16
    Letter from Turner to George Washington, 11 May 1788
  • Folder 3
    17
    Letter from Paul Bentalon to Henry Knox, 26 November 1789
  • Folder 3
    18
    Letter from George Washington to state societies' general convention delegates, May 1790
  • Folder 3
    19
    Letter from Thomas Mifflin to Henry Knox, 27 April 1791
  • Folder 3
    20
    Letter from Lear to Henry Knox, 10 July 1791
  • Folder 4
    21
    Letter from Henry Knox to General McPherson, 6 November 1798
  • Folder 4
    22
    Letter from Alexander W. Johnston to Charles Graham, 1 June 1822
  • Folder 4
    23
    Letter from James Glentworth to Alexander W. Johnston, 13 November 1845
  • Folder 4
    24
    Letter from Charles S. Daveis to Alexander W. Johnston, 15 October 1847
  • Folder 4
    25
    Letter from Edward P. Marcellin to Alexander W. Johnston, 18 October 1847
  • Folder 4
    26
    Letter from H. A. DeSaussure to Thomas McEuen, 9 May 1856
  • Folder 4
    27
    Letter from Fish to Thomas McEuen, 25 January 1861
Series III: Pierre Charles L'Enfant Papers, 1783-1790
Folder: 5-8

Contains certificates, letters, and receipts of and concerning Pierre Charles L'Enfant. Correspondence is principally exchanged with George Washington, Henry Knox and state society leaders. Also contains the minutes of L'Enfant's transactions in France, L'Enfant's membership certificate, and a letter, 7 January 1786, from Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) to George Washington.

  • Folder 5
    28
    Letter from L'Enfant to Friedrich William Steuben, 10 June 1783
  • Folder 5
    29
    Letter from L'Enfant to Henry Knox, 27 September 1783
  • Folder 5
    30
    Letter from L'Enfant to Henry Knox, 1 October 1783
  • Folder 5
    31
    Certificate noting an appropriation of society monies to L'Enfant, 15 October 1783
  • Folder 5
    32
    Letter from Henry Knox to George Washington, 16 October 1783
  • Folder 6
    33
    Receipt noting an appropriation of society monies to L'Enfant, 15 October 1783
  • Folder 6
    34
    Partial letter from Henry Knox to George Washington, 29 October 1783
  • Folder 6
    35
    Membership certificate issued to L'Enfant, 1 November 1783
  • Folder 6
    36
    Letter from Henry Knox to George Washington, 29 April 1784
  • Folder 6
    37
    Minutes of L'Enfant's transactions in France, May 1784
  • Folder 6
    38
    Letter from L'Enfant to George Washington and the general society convention, 10 May 1784
  • Folder 6
    39
    Letter from L'Enfant to George Washington, 4 August 1784
  • Folder 6
    40
    Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 7 January 1786
  • Folder 7
    41
    Extract from L'Enfant's memorial, 17 October 1786
  • Folder 7
    42
    Envelope for L'Enfant's memorial, 1 December 1786
  • Folder 7
    43
    Letter from L'Enfant to Henry Knox, 2 May 1787
  • Folder 7
    44
    Letter from Turner to Henry Knox, 8 July 1787
  • Folder 7
    45
    Letter from Fenner to Henry Knox, 12 July 1787
  • Folder 7
    46
    Letter from George Weedon to Henry Knox, 16 November 1787
  • Folder 7
    47
    Letter from James Tilton to Henry Knox, 22 December 1787
  • Folder 8
    48
    Letter from L'Enfant to George Washington, 15 April 1788
  • Folder 8
    49
    Letter from George Washington to Henry Knox, 28 April 1788
  • Folder 8
    50
    Letter from L'Enfant to Henry Knox, 3 May 1788
  • Folder 8
    51
    Letter from G. Turner to Bloomfield, 25 May 1788
  • Folder 8
    52
    Receipt noting payment from Henry Knox, 22 January 1790
  • Folder 8
    53
    Circular letter to the state societies requesting payment of the their quotas, 4 June 1790
  • Folder 8
    54
    Accounts of the payments made to L'Enfant by the state societies, ca. July 1790
  • Folder 8
    55
    Letter from L'Enfant to Henry Knox, 11 September 1790
Series IV: State Societies' Papers, 1783-1812
Folder: 9-10

Includes papers for the state societies in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Principally consists of correspondence exchanged between the state societies and the general society leaders Henry Knox and Friedrich William Steuben (1730-1794). Also contains an extract from the minutes of a New Jersey society meeting and list of members and establishment notice, 7 April 1784, for the South Carolina society.

  • Folder 9
    Subseries A: New York
    • Folder 9
      56
      Letter from Loomis to Richard Varick 12 September 1812
  • Folder 9
    Subseries B: New Jersey
    • Folder 9
      57
      Extract from the minutes of the society, 4 July 1795
  • Folder 9
    Subseries C: Pennsylvania
    • Folder 9
      58
      Minutes for a meeting of the society, 17 August 1790
  • Folder 9
    Subseries D: Delaware
    • Folder 9
      59
      Letter from McKennon to Henry Knox, 6 November 1783
    • Folder 9
      60
      Circular letter to the other state societies, 6 November 1783
  • Folder 10
    Subseries E: North Carolina
    • Folder 10
      61
      Letter from Adam Boyd to Friedrich William Steuben, 20 November 1783
  • Folder 10 and oversize
    Subseries F: South Carolina
    • Folder 10
      62
      Letter from William Moultrie to Friedrich William Steuben, 13 October 1783
    • Oversize Box Oversize box 105
      63
      List of members and establishment notice for the state society, 7 April 1784
    • Folder 10
      64
      Letter from S. Drayton to Henry Knox, 20 July 1790
Series V: Society of the Cincinnati, French chapter, Papers, 1783-1826
Folder: 11-12

Consists of French officers' applications for membership, a list of French officers, and correspondence exchanged with general society leaders Henry Knox and George Washington.

  • Folder 11
    65
    Partial letter from George Washington to Marquis de Lafayette, 20 October 1783
  • Folder 11
    66
    Partial circular letter from George Washington to the state societies, 29 October 1783
  • Folder 11
    67
    Letter from the Count of Rochambeau to George Washington, 19 January 1784
  • Folder 11
    68
    Letter from the Count of Lilancour to George Washington, 22 February 1784
  • Folder 11
    69
    Letter from the County of Lilancour to George Washington, 20 February 1784
  • Folder 11
    70
    Partial letter from George Washington to Baron Viomenil, 15 May 1784
  • Folder 11
    71
    Etat de service (in French), 1 May 1785
  • Folder 11
    72
    Letter from James Perkins to Henry Knox, 20 April 1787
  • Folder 11
    73
    Letter from an unidentified source to Baron de la Voltiere, 11 June 1788
  • Folder 11
    74
    List of French officers who joined the American Revolutionary Army and became members of the Society, 1788
  • Folder 11
    75
    Order of the King of France (in French), 15 May 1785
  • Folder 12
    76
    Letter from Ormand Marquis de la Rouerie to Henry Knox, 2 January 1790
  • Folder 12
    77
    Letter from W. Eustis to Henry Knox, 14 March 1790
  • Folder 12
    78
    List of diplomas to be sent to France, November 1790
  • Folder 12
    79
    Letter from Ponteres Gien to Pinkney (in French), 17 September 1816
  • Folder 12
    80
    Membership application of Leaumont (in French), 20 October 1820
  • Folder 12
    81
    Letter from George De LaRoche to William Jackson, 27 August 1826