Cincinnati, Society of the

Cincinnati, Society of the

[Lat. pl. of CincinnatusCincinnatus
(Lucius or Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus) , fl. 5th cent. B.C., Roman patriot. He was consul in 460 B.C. and dictator twice (458 and 439). According to tradition, in his first dictatorship he came from his farm to defeat the Aequi and Volscians, who were threatening
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], organization formed (1783) by officers of the Continental Army just before their disbanding after the American Revolution. The organization, with a constitution drafted by Gen. Henry KnoxKnox, Henry,
1750–1806, American Revolutionary officer, b. Boston. He volunteered for service and went, in 1775, to Ticonderoga to retrieve the captured cannon and mortar there for use in the siege of Boston.
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, was founded for fraternal, patriotic, and allegedly nonpolitical purposes. George Washington was made president of the national society, and auxiliary state societies were organized. Membership was limited to officers of the Continental Army, certain officers of the French army that assisted the Continentals, and the eldest male descendants of both. The society provoked much opposition among the zealous Republicans of the time, who attacked it as the beginning of an aristocratic military nobility. The TammanyTammany
or Tammany Hall,
popular name for the Democratic political machine in Manhattan. Origins

After the American Revolution several patriotic societies sprang up to promote various political causes and economic interests.
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 societies of New York, Philadelphia, and other cities were founded partly in opposition to it. Beginning in 1893 a successful revival of many of the defunct state organizations was made, and the society is still active as a patriotic service organization. It has about 3,500 members in one French and 13 U.S. branches (representing the original states).


See W. S. Thomas, The Society of the Cincinnati, 1783–1935 (1935); E. E. Hume, ed., General Washington's Correspondence concerning the Society of the Cincinnati (1941).

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