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Metal and fabric badge of the Maryland Society of the Cincinnati, ca. 1783, designed by Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant (1754-1825), and owned by Brigadier General Otho Holland Williams (1749-1794). Following the Revolutionary War, the hereditary society was founded to continue the fellowship and ideals of officers of the Continental Army or Navy. The organization was formally established in May 1783. Major L'Enfant, a French officer who joined the Continental Army's Corps of Engineers in 1777, suggested the idea of adopting the eagle for the society's symbol. The medal features scenes of the Roman statesman Cincinnatus, and blue and white colors, which symbolizes the bond between the United States and France. Williams was a lawyer, originally from Prince George's County, who joined the Maryland Militia as a commissioned officer in 1775. He participated in numerous battles, was captured and imprisoned by the British for two years, and was promoted to Colonel of the 6th Maryland Regiment in 1778. Williams was an original member of the Maryland Society of the Cincinnati and was elected treasurer of the national organization on November 21, 1783.


circa 1783


Metal, fabric

Object ID


Resource ID


Credit Line

Gift of Miss Elizabeth Woodville

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.