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Presidents General

The Office of the President General

The presiding officer of the Society of the Cincinnati, as specified by the Institution, is the president general. George Washington was named the first president general of the Society at a meeting of the founding officers on June 19, 1783, and he was reelected to the office at each general meeting of the Society until the time of his death in 1799. When Alexander Hamilton was elected to succeed Washington in 1800, Martha Washington sent him her husband's Diamond Eagle, which has subsequently been worn by every president general as the official badge of the office.

Seven original members of the Society served as president general in succession until 1847, when the last Revolutionary War veteran to hold the office, William Popham, died and Henry A. S. Dearborn became the first hereditary member to be elected to the position. By tradition, the early presidents general held the office for life; Hamilton Fish was the Society's longest serving president general with a tenure of thirty-nine years. Since 1950, each president general has been elected for no more than one three-year term.

Today, the president general is the senior general officer of the Society of the Cincinnati. He presides over its Standing Committee, Board of Directors, and Executive Committee; appoints officials; coordinates the management of the Society's affairs with the executive director; and serves as the Society's chief ceremonial official.

Presidents General

from 1783 to the present

  • 1783

    George Washington,
    member at large
  • 1800

    Alexander Hamilton,
    New York Society
  • 1805

    Charles Cotesworth Pinckney,
    South Carolina Society
  • 1825

    Thomas Pinckney,
    South Carolina Society
  • 1829

    Aaron Ogden,
    New Jersey Society
  • 1839

    Morgan Lewis,
    New York Society
  • 1844

    William Popham,
    New York Society
  • 1848

    Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn,
    Massachusetts Society
  • 1854

    Hamilton Fish,
    New York Society
  • 1896

    William Wayne,
    Pennsylvania Society
  • 1902

    Winslow Warren,
    Massachusetts Society
  • 1932

    John Collins Daves,
    North Carolina Society
  • 1941

    Bryce Metcalf,
    Connecticut Society
  • 1950

    Isaac Anderson Pennypacker,
    Maryland Society
  • 1950

    Edgar Erskine Hume,
    Virginia Society
  • 1952

    John Fulton Reynolds Scott,
    Delaware Society (acting president general)
  • 1953

    Richard Hooker Wilmer,
    New Jersey Society
  • 1956

    Catesby ap Catesby Jones,
    Virginia Society
  • 1959

    Blanchard Randall,
    Maryland Society
  • 1962

    Francis Whiting Hatch,
    Massachusetts Society
  • 1965

    Charles Warren Lippitt,
    Rhode Island Society
  • 1968

    Frank Anderson Chisholm,
    Georgia Society
  • 1971

    Armistead Jones Maupin,
    North Carolina Society
  • 1974

    Harry Ramsay Hoyt,
    Pennsylvania Society
  • 1977

    John Taylor Gilman Nichols,
    New Hampshire Society
  • 1980

    John Sanderson du Mont,
    New York Society
  • 1983

    Catesby Brooke Jones,
    Virginia Society
  • 1986

    Reuben Grove Clark, Jr.,
    Georgia Society
  • 1989

    Frank Mauran,
    Rhode Island Society
  • 1992

    Frederick Lorimer Graham,
    Massachusetts Society
  • 1995

    William McGowan Matthew,
    South Carolina Society
  • 1998

    William Russell Raiford,
    North Carolina Society
  • 2001

    Jay Wayne Jackson,
    Connecticut Society
  • 2004

    Robert Fillmore Norfleet, Jr.,
    Virginia Society
  • 2007

    George Forrest Pragoff,
    Delaware Society
  • 2010

    Kleber Sanlin Masterson, Jr.,
    Massachusetts Society
  • 2013

    Ross Gamble Perry,
    Connecticut Society
  • 2016

    Jonathan Tufts Woods,
    New Hampshire Society