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 as 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 insignia, of the Society was also designed by Major L'Enfant. The New York Eagle, as used now and pictured on this website under Insignia, was adapted in 1919.
Members of the New York 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 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.