The Nation’s Oldest Patriotic Organization and the Museum’s Founder.
Many of the Founding Fathers’ convictions about republican government came from the Greco-Roman world. Cincinnatus was the archetypal virtuous republican to both the Romans and American Revolutionaries. Consequently, the parallels between Cincinnatus and George Washington were not lost on his peers. Washington, once the Revolutionary War concluded, relinquished his authority and became a private citizen and returned to his farm. Although he was exceedingly popular, as president he refused to run for a third term and once again returned home. Washington and Cincinnatus also led their respective armies without pay.
In the tavern, the New Hampshire Society elected its first president general of the chapter, Brigadier General John Sullivan. Sullivan served as governor of the state of New Hampshire, as well as New Hampshire’s first federal judge. Although a member since 1783, it was not until 1790 that he received his certificate of membership to the Society of the Cincinnati.
Another original member of the New Hampshire Society was Nicholas Gilman, Jr. As a captain in the Revolutionary War, Gilman served on Washington’s staff. After the war, Gilman participated in the Constitutional Convention in 1787. He was also a New Hampshire congressman, senator, and signee of the Constitution.