Society of the Cincinnati Medal, ca. 1784
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The Society of the Cincinnati was formed in 1783 by a group of American and French Revolutionary War officers, with George Washington as its first president. The fraternal organization was formed to promote ongoing friendships among the officers that had met during the war, as well as their male descendants, and to provide financial assistance to veterans and their families. The insignia was designed by Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant. This particular medal was owned by Major General Henry Knox, one of the major forces in founding the society and a close friend of Washington. When Knox retired from public life, he moved to his estate in Thomaston, Maine, called Montpelier.