Constitution of the New York State Society
At the first meeting of the New York State Society of the Cincinnati, a group of officers of the New York Regiments of Infantry gathered on June 9, 1783 at the Cantonment on the Hudson River, near New Windsor, New York, and adopted the following resolution: "Resolved, that as the officers of the New York line are on the point of separating, and will not have an opportunity of meeting for the election of officers of the State Society of the Cincinnati, Lieutenant-Colonel Benjamin Walker be directed to collect the ballots of the members present, and to request the officers of the artillery to send him their ballots as soon as possible, and that when the whole are collected, he do call in the assistance of any two officers who may be present to count the said ballots, and declare the election."
In pursuance of this resolution, on the 5th of July, 1783, Lt-Col. Benjamin Walker, Capt. Israel Smith, and Capt. Caleb Brewster, having met, counted the ballots for officers of the New York State Society of the Cincinnati, and declared and certified the Election to have fallen on: Major-General McDougall, President; His Excellency Governor Clinton, Brigadier-General, Vice President; Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, Secretary; Colonel Cortlandt, Treasurer; Major Fish, Assistant Treasurer.
Meetings During the First Century
On February 3, 1784, a committee consisting of Col. Philip Van Cortlandt; Lieutenant-Colonels Edward Antill, William S. Smith, Benjamin Walker; Majors Nicholas Fish, Richard Platt; Captain Edward Dunscomb; Lieutenant James Fairlie; and Dr. John Cochran, were appointed to prepare for the Society a set of by-laws, which were submitted and adopted on the 9th of February following.
On the January 21, 1786, at a meeting held at the New York Coffee House, Baron Steuben, Col. Samuel B. Webb, and Davis Brooks, Assistant Clothier-General, were appointed to draw up a plan of the proper ceremonials to be observed in the delivery of diplomas to the members of the Society. The plan was presented and adopted on the 21st of June following.
On the July 4, 1788, Commodore Nicholson was invited to attend the Society meeting as a member. In the minutes of that meeting it was expressed that naval officers of similar rank, were entitled to be members of the New York Society.
At a meeting on February 1, 1790, it was determined to celebrate in the future the anniversary of the birth of George Washington.
On the January 23, 1792, at a meeting of the Society at Corre's Hotel, it was resolved that the Standing Committee be directed to hold a meeting on the first Monday in every month, for transacting such business as may appear to them proper, and that it be the duty of the secretary to give notice thereof to the members.
At a meeting in January 1801, a committee consisting of Maj. James Fairlie and Lt. John Stagg, Jr., Secretary, were appointed to present a design for a suitable standard for the Society. At a later meeting the following report was approved as follows: That a banner be adopted instead of a standard, of the form hereunto annexed, to be made of silk, and to measure about forty-one inches in length, and twenty-eight inches in breadth. That the stars be silver embroidered on a blue field. Thirteen stripes, light blue and white alternately. Fringe, silver, about two inches in length. On the top of the staff - which is to be painted white, and to be about ten feet in length - to be represented an eagle - the order the Society - to be made of brass, or cooper, and gilt - from its beak a gilt chain, suspending the banner.
On July 13, 1804, a special meeting of the Society was called to announce the death of New York Society member and current President-General Alexander Hamilton. A committee of the Common Council of the City of New York requested the New York Society to organize the funeral procession and to appoint a committee for that purpose. The Society subsequently erected a tablet in honor of Hamilton in Trinity Church, New York City.
On July 4, 1806, the Society adopted a form of certificate of membership that was to be endorsed on the back of the original member diploma in cases where a hereditary member was admitted to represent the original member.
On April 8, 1829, Maj. William B. Crosby, Secretary, was appointed to acquire a new eagle for the Standard of the Society. The Society acquired an elegantly gilt upon copper eagle made by Nel West, a mechanic of New York City. A new and lighter chain to suspend the banner of the Society to the eagle was also authorized and acquired.
On July 4, 1857, the Society adopted its rules and regulations in regard to the qualifications and admission of members into the New York Society known as the Rule of 1854, which was recommended by the General Society on May 17, 1854 at its Anniversary Meeting Triennial in Baltimore. Our New York State Society of the Cincinnati membership diploma was also introduced and adopted at this meeting.
On December 14, 1883, at a meeting of the Society's Standing Committee, a history of the Society was commissioned to be written by John Schuyler, Secretary of the Society. The book was completed and published in1886, with a second printing issued by the New York Society in 1998.
From their inception, the various state societies of the Cincinnati have been autonomous: each has maintained its own rules of order, requirements for membership and, in most instances, designs of certificates of membership and well as insignia of the society, commonly known as Eagles. At a general meeting of the Society in May 1784, Maj. Pierre L'Enfant presented for approval an engraved copper plate for use in printing copies of the diploma of membership. The design was approved and early prints were produced in 1785. At a meeting of the New York Society on March 1, 1790, it was resolved that a sufficient number of certificates be printed for distribution to members. The present diploma exactly reproduces the design of these early certificates.
The Order, or insigne, of the Society was also designed by Major L'Enfant. The New York Eagle, as used now and pictured on this website under Books and Insignia, was adapted in 1919.
Members of the New York State Society now meet, as noted on the Meetings page, at least three times a year. The dispersion of our members outside of New York led to the 1986 decision to hold our Evacuation Day meeting at Anderson House in Washington, D.C.as close to its November 25th anniversary as possible.
The New York State Society has been able, through the changing years since 1783, to remain an active and vibrant organization. The rules of order have remained as established in 1783 and the requirements for membership, with the 1854 modification, are also essentially unchanged through the centuries.
July 4th, 1784
REV. STEPHEN GANO
JAMES M'CLAUGHERY, Colonel
Major-General, U.S. Army
" THOMAS MOFFATT, Major
JONAS PLATT, Justice
Judge Advocate, U.S. Army
JOHN MORIN SCOTT, Brigadier-General
" PIERRE VAN CORTLANDT,
Lieutenant-Governor of New York
" DANIEL WILLIAMS, Captain
" ROBERT YATES, Chief Justice
July 4th, 1786 RICHARD MORRIS, Chief Justice
" ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON, Chancellor
" JAMES DUANE, Mayor of N.Y City
" WILLIAM DUER, Secretary of the
" JOHN SLOSS HOBART, Justice
July 4th, 1787 HENRY LIVINGSTON
" WILLIAM FLOYD, Colonel
April 19th, 1791 STEPHEN VAN RENSSELAER (the Patroon)
" JOHN HATHORNE, Colonel
July 4th, 1796 JACOB MORTON
" WILLIAM CONSTABLE
July 4th, 1800 JOHN BARKER CHURCH
" REV. WILLIAM LINN, D.D.
" THOMAS TRUXTON, Captain, U.S. Navy
July 4th, 1803 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS
July 4th, 1805 REV. JOHN MITCHELL MASON, D.D.
July 4th, 1813 STEPHEN DECATUR, Commodore, U.S. Navy
" JACOB JONES, Captain, U.S. Navy
" WILLIAM BAINBRIDGE, Commodore, U.S.
" OLIVER HAZZARD PERRY, Commodore, U.S.
" JAMES LAWRENCE, Captain, U.S. Navy
July 4th, 1815 THOMAS MACDONOUGH, Commodore, U.S. Navy
" ISAAC HULL, Captain, U.S. Navy
" JOHNSTON BLAKELEY, Captain, U.S. Navy
" LEWIS WARRINGTON, Captain, U.S. Navy
July 4th, 1818 JACOB BROWN, Major-General, U.S. Army
February 24th, 1819 ANDREW JACKSON, 7th President of the U.S.
July 4th, 1822 RUFUS KING
July 4th, 1825 BARON D'AURIER, Commander of the French Army
July 4th, 1827 EDWARD LIVINGSTON, Chief Justice
July 4th, 1847 STEPHEN W. KEARNEY, Major-General, U.S. Army
" MATTHEW C. PERRY, Commodore, U.S. Navy
" ZACHARY TAYLOR, 12th President of the
" WILLIAM J. WORTH, Major-General, U.S.
July 4th, 1849 WILLIAM G. BELKNAP, Major-General, U.S. Army
" JOHN E. WOOL, Major-General, U.S. Army
July 4th, 1859 JAMES BUCHANAN, 15th President of the U.S.
" JOHN ALSOP KING, Governor of New York
July 4th, 1862 ROBERT ANDERSON, Brigadier-General, U.S.
July 4th, 1866 ULYSSES SIMPSON GRANT, 18th President of the
" DAVID GLASGOW FARRAGUT, Rear Admiral,
July 4th, 1879 WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, General, U.S. Army
July 4th, 1881 WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK, Major-General, U.S.
prior to 1887 GROVER CLEVELAND, 22nd and 24th President
of the U.S.
prior to 1893 OLIVER OTIS HOWARD, Major-General, U.S.
HONORABLE JOSHUA MELANCTHON ADDEMAN, Late Captain U.S.
GEORGE CHAMPLIN MASON
HONORABLE WILLIAM PAINE SHEFFIELD
1896 EDWARD NICOLL DICKERSON
1897 NELSON APPLETON MILES,
Lieutenant-General, U.S. Army
1899 GEORGE DEWEY, Admiral of the U.S.
1905 ADNA ROMANZA CHAFFEE,
Lieutenant-General, U.S. Army
1902 THEODORE ROOSEVELT, 26th President
of the U.S.
1916 HUGH LEONARD SCOTT, Major-General, U.S.
1918 ELIHU ROOT, U.S. Secretary of State
1919 HIS MAJESTY ALBERT I, King of the
1921 ROBERT GEORGES NIVELLE, Commander-in-Chief,French
1925 EMILE DAESCHNER, French Ambassador to the
1934 FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, 32nd President
of the U.S.
" JOHN HUSTON FINLEY, American Academy
of Arts and Letters
1935 CHARLES COOK PAULDING
" FREDERIC RENE COUDERT, U.S. Special
Asst Attorney General
" GEORGE CREIGTON WEBB
1937 SIR RONALD CHARLES LINDSAY, Great
Britain Ambassador to U.S.
" NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER, President of
" COMTE CHARLES-HYPPOLITE-MARIE de FERRY
FONTNOUVELLE, Consul General of France
1938 CORDELL HULL, U.S. Secretary of State
1939 FRANK PETER HOFFMAN
1950 DOUGLAS MacARTHUR, General of the Army
" OMAR NELSON BRADLEY, General of the
" ROBERT E. WOOD, Bridadier-General,
1955 JOHN EDGAR HOOVER, Director, Federal
Bureau of Investigation
1959 AMORY HOUGHTON, U.S. Ambassador to France
1964 ARLEIGH ALBERT BURKE, Admiral, U.S.
1970 JOHN HOWLAND GIBBS PELL, Commander, U.S.
1971 GILBERT DARLINGTON, Lieutenant Commander,
U.S. New York Naval Militia
May 13th, 1971 BACHE BLEECKER, President Mount Gulian Society
1973 SPRUILLE BRADEN, U.S. Ambassador to
Columbia, Cuba, Argentina
" JOHN WHELCHEL FINGER, Governor
NY Society of Colonial Wars
May 16th, 1975 THOMAS FLEMING, Author and Historian
1981 WILLARD LEE BRABY
" FRANÇOIS de LABOULAYE, French
Ambassador to the U.S.
1982 SHELBY CULLOM
DAVIS, U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland
November 4th, 1984 WILLARD W. SCOTT, JR., Lieutenant-
General; U.S. Army;
Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy at West Point 1988 EMMANUEL de MARGERIE, French
Ambassador to the U.S.
June 1st, 1989 DAVID RICHARD PALMER, Lieutenant-General,
Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy at West Point
November 3rd, 1990 FRANCIS LEONARD KELLOGG,
Ambassador and Special Assistant to
of State Rogers and Kissinger
June 1st, 1991 EDWARD NICHOLAS PENNINGTON GARDINER, Int'l
" THEODORE S. WILKINSON,
Lieutenant-Commander, U.S. Naval
President, American Foreign Affairs, Mexico and Brazil
June 6th, 1992 JACQUES ANDREANI, French
Ambassador to the U.S.
1994 IMMO FRIEDRICH HELMUT STABREIT,
Federal Republic of Germany
to the U.S.
November 18th, 2000 FRANÇOIS BUJON de l'ESTANG,
French Ambassador to the U.S.
November 17th, 2007
French Ambassador to the United States
French Ambassador to the United States
General Society of the Cincinnati Triennial
Celebrations Hosted by the New York State Society
1851, May 7th-8th Irving House, New York City
1863 May 13th New York Historical Society
"Conversation Room," New York City
1875, May 12th Delmonico's Restaurant & Union
Club House, New York City
1899, May 10th-12th New York City and on May
12th steamboat passage up the
Hudson River to the Verplanck
Mansion meeting and reception
1935, May 9th-10th Plaza Hotel, New York City
1944, May 10th-11th Metropolitan Club, New York
1983, May 5th-7th Tarrytown Hilton and on May
7th meeting and reception at
Military Academy, West Point
New York State Society Members Who Have Served as National Officers
1800-1805 MAJOR GENERAL ALEXANDER
1839-1844 MAJOR GENERAL MORGAN
1844-1848 BREVET MAJOR WILLIAM
1854-1896 HONORABLE HAMILTON FISH
1980-1983 JOHN SANDERSON du MONT
Vice Presidents General
1799-1800 MAJOR GENERAL ALEXANDER
1829-1839 MAJOR GENERAL MORGAN
1848-1854 HONORABLE HAMILTON FISH
1929-1932 HONORABLE FRANCIS KEY
1971-1977 STEPHEN CALDWELL MILLETT,
Assistant Secretaries General
1896-1905 HONORABLE NICHOLAS FISH
1968-1971 STEPHEN CALDWELL MILLETT,
1977-1980 JOHN SANDERSON du MONT
1783-1796 MAJOR GENERAL ALEXANDER
1875-1881 ALEXANDER HAMILTON, JR.
1881-1896 JOHN SCHUYLER
1950-1956 WILLIAM WICKHAM HOFFMAN
1881 REVEREND MANCUIS HOLMAS
Resources/Bibliography for all the above information was
from our Schuyler I book publication, the NY Society's 2005 Blue Roster
Book, the General Society's Roster Book publications for the New York
Society 1887 to date, and the General Scoiety's Roster Book "necrology"
publications for the New York Society 1890 to date. Prepared by Philip
Robert Livingston, Jr. and Joseph vanBeuren Wittmann, Jr. of the Standing
Committee of the New York State Society of the Cincinnati September 20th,