Membership Certificate, Society of Cincinnati, 1787

Officers from the Continental Army and Navy formed the Society of the Cincinnati in 1783. It was to be an honorific and hereditary society to support patriotic fellowship. Americans who prized social equality worried that the group was creating a new, hereditary privileged elite. Public controversy caused the society to temporarily abandon the requirement that membership be limited to descendants of original members in 1784. George Washington, president of the society, signed this certificate of membership for William Clark of Virginia in 1787.
Currently not on view
associated date
1787 03 01
associated person
Washington, George
associated institution
Society of the Cincinnati
Physical Description
skin, parchment (overall material)
overall: 15 1/4 in x 22 in x 1/2 in; 38.735 cm x 55.88 cm x 1.27 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Mr. and Mrs. George A. Chadwick
See more items in
Political History: Political History, General History Collection
Government, Politics, and Reform
American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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