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Meetings of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Jersey

Standing Committee

Matthias Ogden, William Llovd, J. A. Pennington, R. D. Spencer, A. C. Hyer, L. Q. C. Elmer, J. L Beatty.

Delegates to the General Society

Colonel Scott, L. Q. C. Elmer, George C. Thomas.

Hereditary Members

The Standing Committee report that C. F. Hendry, who has made application to be admitted a member of this Society, and who has stated in his application, that he was admitted in 1834, and of which no evidence has been introduced, before the Committee, but which they think is the case, be considered for the present as a member of this Society, and recommend that a Committee be appointed to examine into the matter, and report thereon to the next annual meeting.


The Standing Committee report that they have examined the accounts of the Treasurer of the Society and find the same to be correct, by which it appears that there was a balance in the hands of the Treasurer on the 4th of July, 1853 of $169.08.

The Treasurer is charged with one year’s interest on the loan of the United States of $10,000, amounting to $600, which with the sum of $169.08 as above Stated makes the sum of $769.08 at the disposal of the Society.

They report that they have inspected the certificate of the loan of the United States, in which the funds of the Society are invested, and find the same safe in the hands of the Treasurer, amounting to $10,000.

The following disbursements have been made by the Treasurer:

Donations $285.00
Traveling expenses 73.60
Dinners 149.89
Col. J. W. Scott (for sexton) 8.00
General J. Cadwalader (for the use of the hall at Trenton) 1.00
Francis Barber, Secretary (for crape) 1.25
Total $518.74

They also report that the expenses of L. Q. C. Elmer, Esq., to the General Society be paid him.

Resolved, That L. Q. C. Elmer’s name be inserted in the certificate of the Loan of the United States to this Society for $10,000, instead of General Wall, deceased, and that he be Chairman of the Committee, consisting of himself now appointed. Gov. Pennington and the Treasurer to act on that subject.


The Standing Committee recommend that each of the following persons receive the sum of $22:

Miss Thomas, Miss Stout, Miss Reckless, Miss Ogden, Mrs. Barber, Miss DeHart, Mrs. Armstrong. Mrs. Hyer, Miss Lloyd, Miss Butler, Mrs. M. R. C. Williamson and A. G. Dayton (jointly). Miss Sally Dayton, Misses E. C. and P. A. O. Barber (jointly), and Mrs. Kollock. Recommendations adopted.


The President announced the death of Genl. Mahlon Dickerson, an Honorary Member of this Society, whereupon it was Ordered, that the usual badge of mourning for him be worn for thirty days.

Robert D. Spencer, Esqr., the Treasurer of this Society, handed in his resignation. It was moved and seconded that the same be accepted, as he firmly, but respectfully declines to hold the office any longer, he having served therein for sixteen years.

Resolved, that this Society tender its cordial thanks to Robert D. Spencer, Esqr., its late Treasurer, for his careful and prudent preservation of the funds of this Society, and for his great labor in performing the appropriate duties of the office for the last sixteen years, and beg leave to express their deep regret that he declines a re-election.

Resolved, that Messrs. Thomas, Spencer and Ogden be appointed a committee in relation to a resolution passed by the General Society, in regard to the admission of members into the Society, and report thereon to the next meeting.

Resolved, that this Society express to Congress their earnest application, that the law now pending for the relief of the heirs of the officers of the Revolution, be passed and that the President be requested to draw up such petition and cause the same to be signed by the proper officers of the Society and forwarded to Congress without delay.

The petition drawn up by the President in pursuance of the above resolution was in the words following, to wit:

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

The Society of the Cincinnati of the State of New Jersey beg leave most respectfully to approach the Supreme Legislature.

The Society of the Cincinnati of the United States was established at the close of the War of the Revolution, by the surviving officers of the American Army, and it was divided into Thirteen State Societies.

It has pleased Him, who ruleth from afar and who holdeth in his hands the destinies of Nations to give victory and success to the American arms.

After a severe and bloody conflict of eight years, the Thirteen Colonies, as they were called, were elevated to the rank of Free Sovereign and Independent States.

To perpetuate as well the remembrance of that vast event, as the mutual friendship that has been formed, under the pressure of common danger, and in many instances cemented by the blood of the parties, the officers of the American Army, on the eve of their separation, did constitute and combine themselves into one enduring society of friends and did assume the name of


They adopted and declared as immutable principles, and as the basis of their Institution, “An incessant attention to preserve inviolate the exalted rights and liberties of human nature, for which they fought and bled, and without which the high rank of a rational being is a curse instead of a blessing.

An unalterable determination to promote and cherish between the respective States that Union and National Honor, so essentially necessary to the happiness and the future dignity of the American Empire.

To render permanent the cordial affection subsisting among the officers. This spirit (they add) will dictate brotherly kindness in all things, and particularly extend to the most substantial acts of benevolence according to the ability of the Society, towards those officers and their families who unfortunately may be under the necessity of receiving aid.

To the end that they might in some degree be enabled to exert their benevolence towards the widows, orphans and families of their slaughtered or impoverished brothers in arms, a fund was created. Each officer advanced from his own scanty portion one month’s pay and the little fund was husbanded with care, and regarded as sacred.

On this day, the Seventy-Eighth Anniversary of American Independence, the Society of the Cincinnati of the State of New Jersey, assembled according to ancient custom, and in obedience to the precept and example of our fathers, and we did meet as they oft times had met, to give to the bereaved widows and children of our brethern, the interest and proceeds of our funds, and to tender to them the sympathies of our hearts.

This benevolence instituted by our fathers is of a nature too delicate to mortify, or to humble any recipient.

The advance is not of large amount, but it is received with pride and exultation. It is a payment rather than a donation. It is paid as a just and honorable debt.

Its effects have been correspondent with its original benevolent design. It has soothed many a sigh, it has wiped away many a tear. While engaged in this office, we received a communication from a valued brother at a distance, to the effect that a bill is now actually pending before the Congress, the object of which is the relief of the old officers of the American Army, if there be any still surviving, and of the families of those who have departed this life. This communication claimed our concurrence. Of the particulars of the bill we know nothing. What, then, shall we say? What can we do? We are humble, unobtrusive individuals, but we are the sons of those who fought the battles of their country and breasted the furious storm when the tempest raged. Yes, when the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot shrunk to their hiding places, and responded not to the trumpet’s call.

But these fathers of whom we cannot but be proud, are all dead, not one of them remains to tell his grievances. They thought, and they have taught their sons to think that their country owed to them a large and heavy debt. That in her service and her defence, they had sacrificed everything but their honor. That debt has not been paid. The inability of our Government to pay compelled a recurrence to paper promises. These again were redeemed by other paper promises, and the time of fruition was again and again postponed and deferred. Dire necessity compelled a forced sale of these pledges of deferred hope, at a price almost nominal. At that time our Country was greatly embarrassed. The Government had not then the power to bring her resources into action. Now she is rich and powerful, prosperous and happy. Long, very long, may she so remain, the peculiar care of an indulgent Providence.

Our fathers and our mothers have told us that the time will assuredly come, when the slumbering justice of our country shall awake from this supineness and lethargy.

From their hallowed lips we have recollections and we have confidences that neither time nor circumstances shall efface. We do, and we will believe them. We do and we will believe that their words were prophetic. We do and we will rely upon the Equity and Wisdom of the Supreme Legislature of the Union.

And respectfully we ask relief.

Done in full Society and by unanimous vote at New Brunswick, this fourth day of July in the year of our Lord, 1854.

The Society then, joined by a body of Citizens, and escorted by the Military, marched in procession to the Presbyterian Church, when, after a prayer by the Revd. Dr. Davison, and the reading of the Declaration of Independence by him, an oration was delivered by the President. The services being concluded, the Society returned to their place of meeting and proceeded to business.

Resolved, that the thanks of this Society be presented to the President for his appropriate and eloquent oration and that he be requested to hand the same to the Secretary, to be deposited among the archives of the Society.