George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the South Carolina Society of the Cincinnati, 20 October 1798

To the South Carolina Society of the Cincinnati

Mount Vernon 20th Octr 1798.


I have been honored with your favor of the 30th of August communicating the resolve of the Cincinati of the state of South Carolina respe[c]ting the propriety of altering the Ribband to which the badge of the Society was directed by the constitution to be appendant, as indicative of the union, between the United States and France, and have transmitted it to the Secretary General, to be laid before the Society at the next general meeting of its Delegates.1 With very great Esteem & regard I have the honour to be Gentlemen Your most Obedt Hble Servt

Go: Washington

LB, DLC:GW; copy, MHi: Society of the Cincinnati Papers.

1The letter of the South Carolina Society of the Cincinnati, dated 30 Aug. at Charleston, reads: “At a late meeting of the Cincinnati of this State convened for the purpose of addressing the President of the United States on the critical Situation of this Country, It was resolved that a Committee be appointed to write to the General society requesting that they would at their next meeting take into consideration the propriety of altering the Ribband to which the Badge of the society was directed by the Constitution to be appendant as indicative of the Union between the United states and France. It was thought that such a distinction was no longer applicable to the relative Situations of the two Countries and that it became incumbent on us at such a moment to renounce every military Badge or appearance of Connection with a nation whose civil and political Union by Treaty had been declared by the Legislative authority of our Country to be void and no longer binding on Us. We do therefore in obedience to the abovementioned resolve communicate to you the wish of our state Society and request you will lay the same before the General society at their next meeting for the consideration of the members thereof. We are with Esteem and Respect Sir Your Most Obedient Servants John F[aucheraud] Grimké Lt Colo. Arty Thomas Pinckney Major Infy Adam Gilchrist Captn Infy” (DLC:GW).

On 23 Oct. GW wrote Henry Knox: “My dear Sir The enclosed, although of old date, is just come to hand. and believing you are still the Secretary Generl of the Society of the Cincinnati, I transmit it to you; to be laid before the next General meeting of its Delegates; as there is no probability that I shall be at it myself.

“Since my letter to you of the 21st I have received one from the Secretary of War, informing me of General Pinckney’s arrival, and acceptance of his Appointment in the army of the United States; and his request that the Majors General of the Augmented force would be at Trenton, or Philadelphia by the 10th of next month; expressing at the sametime, an earnest wish that I would be present. Inconvenient as it will be to me, and perhaps hazardous, I will make exertion to be there at that time—and I need not add, that it would give me pleasure to find you among them; as many important points will come before them. I am always Yrs Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, DLC:GW).

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