Society of the Cincinnati Articles and Essays

The rich history of the Society of the Cincinnati has been the subject of numerous articles and essays, exploring the organization’s founding and other important events in its history, the lives and contributions of prominent members, and documents and objects associated with the Society. A selection of these articles is presented below, adapted from pieces published in the Society's journal, Cincinnati Fourteen. This scholarship continues today, with new research highlighting additional aspects of more than two hundred years of Society history.

Benjamin Franklin and the Society of the Cincinnati

In January 1784, Benjamin Franklin drafted a critique of the Society of the Cincinnati disguised as a letter to his daughter, but the Society was merely a convenient foil for an attack on the pretensions of Europe’s hereditary aristocracy.

The Society of the Cincinnati Chinese Export Porcelain

Porcelain bearing the Eagle insignia of the Society of the Cincinnati is among the most recognizable Chinese export porcelain patterns of the eighteenth century.

Once in Every Three Years

Since May 1784, delegates from the constituent branches have met “at least once in every three years” to conduct business and hold ceremonial events. These Triennial Meetings reflect the Society’s challenges and successes over the centuries, as well as its leaders’ remarkable continuity of purpose.

"A Plea for a House": The First Campaign for a Society Headquarters

In the 1920s, several prominent members began a campaign to purchase a row house near the White House as the Society’s first permanent headquarters, to manage and encourage growth in the organization’s activities.

Cincinnatus on Downing Street: Winston Churchill Joins the Society

With several direct maternal ancestors who fought on the American side during the Revolutionary War, Winston Churchill became a hereditary member of the Connecticut branch of the Society in 1947.