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    Description

    George Washington Society of the Cincinnati Membership Certificate Signed "G Washington" as the society's president and countersigned by Henry Knox ("Knox") as secretary. One page, 20" x 13.75", Philadelphia, May 5, 1784. This document announces "...Ensign Elisha Horton is a Member of the Society of the Cincinnati; instituted by the Officers of the American Army, at the Period of its Dissolution, as well to commemorate the great Event which gave Independence to North America..." Elisha Horton was a participant in the Boston Tea Party, one of 116 men who boarded three East India Company ships and dumped 45 tons of tea into Boston Harbor in 1773, and served during the war in the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment.

    A patriotic organization with strict entrance rules, the Society of the Cincinnati only allowed entrance to officers from the Continental and French armies who served at least three years, or were officers at the time of the war's end. After that, membership was passed down to the eldest son. Washington was the society's first president and Knox, who likely originated the concept of the society, was its first secretary. The society took its name from the Roman farmer Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus, who secured complete control of Rome during a military emergency. Once that emergency was over, Cincinnatus returned control to the Roman Senate and went back to his farm. The motto of the society - "He gave up everything to serve the Republic" - reflects this tradition.

    Washington's signature is bold and clear. This certificate, with attractive patriotic vignettes, is moderately toned and the edges are chipped in places. With a print of Rembrandt Peale's 1853 portrait painting of Washington.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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