The Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Georgia
Assembled by the call of General Lachlan McIntosh to meet at Captain John Lucas’s headquarters in Savannah, the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Georgia was organized there by the officer of the Georgia Continental Line on August 13, 1783. The Georgia Society was the seventh constituent society to organize.
General McIntosh was elected its first president; Colonel Samuel Elbert, vice president; Captain John Milton, secretary; Lieutenant Colonel John McIntosh, treasurer; and Major John Habersham, assistant treasurer. About forty Georgia Continental Line officers joined the Georgia Society as Original Members. Their numbers nearly doubled when members of other constituent societies who settled in the state after the war transferred their memberships to the Georgia Society.
The Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Georgia was a vibrant organization in the years after the American Revolution. However, as its Original Members aged, the Georgia Society became less and less active. Although the last recorded meeting was held on March 2, 1822, surviving members of the Georgia Society took part in festivities celebrating the marquis de Lafayette’s visit to Savannah in 1825.
The Georgia Society, along with the New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, and the French Society ceased functioning in the early part of the nineteenth century. The Societies in the other six states have met continually since they were founded in 1783.
The Georgia Society was revived by descendants of the Original Members in Savannah on March 4, 1899 and was readmitted to the General Society on October 18, 1902. The Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Georgia has been extremely active since that time.
The Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Georgia today:
• The Georgia Society currently has 115 members.
• The Georgia Society meets twice a year at Savannah: (1) a Fall Meeting in early October with a meeting and social function on Friday evening, a business meeting on Saturday morning and a luncheon and (2) an Annual Meeting the weekend in February nearest to George Washington’s birthday with a meeting and social function on Friday evening, a business meeting on Saturday morning, a Saturday luncheon, a black tie dinner Saturday night and an oyster roast on Sunday. Spouses are invited to attend both meetings. The various committees of the Georgia Society function throughout the year to carry out their respective responsibilities.
• The Georgia Society works to educate the public on the principal values set forth by our nation’s founding fathers during the American Revolutionary period. It supports the General Society’s French Scholar Program, Family Exchange Program, Historical Activities and McCabe Scholarships.
• The Georgia Society owns a beautiful mansion, the Harper Fowlkes House, which is located at 230 Barnard Street in Savannah. The house is open to the public as a house museum and for hosting events. The Georgia Society’s Fall Meetings and Annual Meetings are usually held at the Harper Fowlkes House.
• When the Society was founded in 1783, one of the “Immutable Principles” of the Society was the desire to perpetuate and render permanent the sense of brotherly affection that had developed among the Continental officers during eight long years of war. The Society became known as the “One Society of Friends”. It is still the desire of the members of the Society to maintain that sense of brotherly affection among its current members. In order to achieve that, members are expected to actively participate in the meetings, functions and/or work of the Georgia Society, their State Association or the General Society.