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The Society of the Cincinnati was originally created as an organization for veterans of the Revolutionary War, in part to help collect pay and pensions. George Washington served as the first President of the Society. It offered hereditary membership from father to eldest son, which caused some consternation amongst citizens who thought the organization might become aristocratic—a type of American knighthood. After heavy public criticism the society dwindled in size and influence. In the early 1900s the Society of the Cincinnati reemerged as a patriotic and genealogical society.


Hünemörder, Markus. “Society of the Cincinnati.” In Encyclopedia of the New American Nation, edited by Paul Finkelman, 3:213–14. Detroit, MI: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2006.

Kilbourne, John D. “Cincinnati, Society of The.” In Dictionary of American History, edited by Stanley I. Kutler, 3rd ed., 2:174. New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003.