Thomaston Historical Society wants to publicly thank The Society of the Cincinnati for its generosity and for their continued works in spreading the history of our country’s beginnings and the special role Henry Knox played in that effort.
The Society has recently awarded the Thomaston Historical Society a significant contribution towards its goal of $20,000 needed to repair the Knox grave stone and re-establish a wrought iron fence and gates around the family burial plots similar to the fence erected in 1806 following the untimely death of General Knox.
“The Society of the Cincinnati is the nation's oldest patriotic organization, founded in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army and their French counterparts who served together in the American Revolution. Its mission is to promote knowledge and appreciation of the achievement of American independence and to foster fellowship among its members. Now a nonprofit educational organization devoted to the principles and ideals of its founders, the modern Society maintains its headquarters, library, and museum at Anderson House in Washington, D.C.”
This is the definition taken from the Society’s web pages that explains its good works and purposes. The idea to form the fraternal organization was the creation of Major-General Henry Knox who served as its first secretary while General George Washington became its first president. Gen. Knox saw it as a way for the officers to keep in touch once the War for Independence was over as well as a way to give financial and emotional support to the widows and orphans of the men who died in battle.
To continue their good works, membership in the Society was passed from father to first born son or, if no male heir was conceived, from grandfather to grandson. Eventually, membership was open to all male heirs of the original people who qualified.
Because of his significant work establishing The Society of the Cincinnati, Henry Knox has always played an important role and has been a revered figure who is recognized by its membership annually when a representative is sent to Thomaston to place a wreath on General Knox’s grave during the ceremony held each July to honor General Knox and his important role during the early years of our nation’s formation.