George Washington Papers

Enclosure: From Arthur St. Clair, 9 July 1784


From Arthur St. Clair

Philadelphia July 9. 1784


The circular letter from the General Society of the Cincinnati addressed to the several State Societies on the 15th of May 1784 has been received,1 and laid before the Society of this State, and they have at their annual meeting held on the 5th of July, and continued by adjournment, agreed to accept the Institution, as altered and amended, that accompanied the said letter: But Sir, it is their opinion that the ground of the Society has been too much narrowed, and that without some farther alterations, the Society itself must necessarily, in the course of a few years, reach its final period. they have therefore directed me to lay before the General Society, the following additions and amendments, which they wish may take place, and which, they, with great deference are of opinion would not only tend to render the Institution more permanent, but more extensively useful.2 I have the Honor to be with the greatest Respect Sir Your most obedient and very humble Servant,

Ar. St Clair
President of the State Society of Pennsylvania

LS, in William Jackson’s hand, DLC:GW.

By oversight, this letter was not sent to GW until over a year after it was written, at which time St. Clair enclosed it in his letter to GW of 21 July 1785. Writing from Mount Vernon on 31 Aug. 1785, GW responded in these terms: “The letter which you did me the honor to write me in behalf of the Society of the Cincinnati of the State of Pennsylvania, has been received. The Additions & amendments proposed by it shall be laid before the General society at its next meeting” (LB, DLC:GW).

2St. Clair noted at the bottom of this letter these “additions and amendments”: “That this be added to the 2nd Section.

“‘And where any vacancy or vacancies are occasioned by the death or expulsion of any member or members belonging to any of the State Societies such State Society shall have power to fill said vacancy or vacancies at the annual meeting next, after such vacancies may happen, or some subsequent meeting.’

“The second Clause of the 4th section, after each State:

“add ‘The expences of which to be borne from the State funds respectively, and that on all questions, each State shall have but one vote.’

“Section 10h after the words ‘Widows and Orphans’ add ‘and their distressed descendants.’”

Index Entries