Founded in 1783, the Society of the Cincinnati is the oldest patriotic organization in the United States. Now a nonprofit educational organization, the group was founded by officers of the Continental Army and their French counterparts who served together in the American Revolution. The Society maintains its headquarters, library and museum at Anderson House in Washington, D.C.
Last week marked the end of an exhibit at the museum, “Revolutionary Reflections: French Memories of the War for America.” The display explored how French officers remembered their experiences of fighting in the American War of Independence as shared through their personal journals and memoirs.
The perspectives that were presented were drawn from the Society’s collections as well as loans from private collections. Items in the exhibit included the original manuscript memoir of General Rochambeau, oil portraits, and examples of the Society of the Cincinnati’s Eagle insignia and membership certificate owned by the French officers – symbols of their participation in the fight for American independence.
French-American Cultural Foundation team members viewed the exhibit with a group of French high school students from Lycée Polyvalent Sébastien Vauban who recently visited Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. to discover the strong relationship and history between France and the United States. Their focus throughout the trip was on the history and values that our two countries share, and how our past is shaping our future.
Visit the Society of Cincinnati website to learn more about their collections and upcoming exhibits.