Established just one month after the institution of the Society of the Cincinnati, the New Jersey Society was the third of the constituent societies formed and the first to be organized away from the main army cantonment in New York.
On June 11, 1783, Brig. Gen. Elias Dayton called a meeting of the officers of the New Jersey Line at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, to consider the proposals of the Society's institution. After some deliberation, they voted to become members and elected their state officers: General Dayton, president; Lt. Col. Jonathan Forman, vice president; Rev. Andrew Hunter, secretary; Maj. Richard Cox, treasurer; and Dr. Ebenezer Elmer, assistant treasurer.
From its earliest years, the New Jersey Society has sponsored an annual lecture on the history and legacy of the American Revolution. Selections of these lectures or speeches were published by the New Jersey Society in From Oratory to Scholarship: Two Centuries of Talks on the American Revolution Given before the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Jersey (2008). The New Jersey Society is one of only six of the constituent societies to have remained in continuous operation since its founding. It is incorporated as a non-for-profit corporation and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) entity.