Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York

The Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York is a charitable organization in New York City of men who are descended from early inhabitants of the State of New York. The organization preserves historical and genealogical records of English ruled New York and Dutch ruled New Amsterdam. The society has helped preserve the oldest historically landmarked buildings in New York City. The Society is financing the digitization of its colonial historical archives to be made publicly available at the New-York Historical Society.

Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York
Saint Nicholas Day event held in 1892 by the Saint Nicholas Day Society in 1892
Saint Nicholas Day event held in 1892 by the Saint Nicholas Day Society in 1892
Headquarters150 East 55th Street


Washington Irving, with the financial backing of John Jacob Astor and other prominent New Yorkers, organized the society in 1835 for historical and social purposes.

The group continues to hold regular dinners and meetings[1][2] and to pay for newspaper announcements when one of their members dies.[3] The annual dinner is usually addressed by notable speakers, with reports of speeches appearing in The New York Times. Speakers such as Mark Twain, President Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Kissinger, John D. Rockefeller Jr. , Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, Mayor John Lindsay, Brooke Astor, David Rockefeller and Governor Thomas Kean. One famous speaker every year for 179 years. [4] In 1900 Mark Twain was an honored guest, he said "I find great improvement of the City of New York, some say it has improved because I have been away, Others and I agree with them, say it has improved because I have come back!" In 1852, Senator and Secretary of State Daniel Webster said, "Gentlemen, I deem it a great good fortune to pass a few minutes with you", "I am happy to be here", "I have raised my voice and swung my hat for forty years for Orange Boven." The colors of the society are orange and symbolic of the Dutch settlement of New York. The Society has held a spring dinner every year since 1848. The Paas Ball includes a presentation of Debutantes.


The Society has several Officers including President, four Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Historian, Genealogist, Assistant Genealogist, Chaplains, and Physicians. Members are appointed to a Board of Managers annually, and have three members for each Class or year who serve between a one and a five-year term.[5]


Members are men descended from men who lived in the State of New York prior to 1785.[6]

Notable members, speakers and award winnersEdit

Speakers and award winners - Governors, Mayors, Presidents, Authors, and Philanthropists.

Society members, past and present, include:

Medal of Merit Winners by Year 1937 The Hon Robert Moses, 1938 The Hon Thomas Dewey, 1939 Archer Milton Huntington, 1940 Senator Winthrop Aldrich, 1941 William Church Osborn, 1942 Col Arthur McDermott, 1943 General Hugh Drum, 1944 Hon Lee Smith, 1945 Mayor Fiorello Laguardia, 1946 Hon Herbert L. Satterlee, 1947 John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1948 Hon George McAnemy, 1949 Judge Learned Hand, 1950 Fairfield Osborn, 1951 Hon Frank Hogan, 1952 Howard Cullman, 1953 Frederick Ecker, 1954 Alfred Sloan, 1955 Clarence Michalis, 1956 David Rockefeller, 1957 Hon Myron Taylor, 1958 Jerimiah Milbank, 1959 Robert Dowling, 1960 Cleveland E. Dodge Jr, 1961 Lee Wood, 1962 Hon Edward Lumbard, 1963 James Rorimer, 1964 Michael Murphy, 1965 Whitney North Seymour, 1966 Reginald Townsend, 1967 James McNaughton Hester, 1968 Mayor John Lindsay, 1969 Hoyt Ammidon, 1970 Hon Bernard Botein, 1971 Helen Hayes, 1972 Rev Horace Donegan, 1973 Joseph Papp, 1974 Hon Francis Plimpton, 1975 Secretary Treasury Douglas Dillon, 1976 Dr William McGill, 1977 John DeButts, 1978 Thomas Murphy, 1979 Walter Hoving, 1980 [[Vincent Sardi Jr], 1981 Rev Norman Vincent Peale, 1982 Dr Henry Kissinger, 1983 Maestro James Levine, 1984 Hon Jean Kirkpatrick, 1985 Washington Irving (posthomous) 1986 Douglas Fairbanks Jr. , 1987 Brooke Astor, 1988 Thomas Watson Jr, 1989 Hugh Bullock, 1990 Rev David Read, 1991 Daniel Davison, 1992 Rev Hugh Hildesley, 1993 Walter Cronkite, 1995 John Elliott Jr, 1996 Kenneth Jackson, 1997 Rev Thomas Pike, 1998 Henry Luce III, 1999 Schuler Chapin, 2000 Henry Stern, 2002 Eleanor Thomas Elliott, 2003 William F Baker, 2004 [[[Vartan Gregorian]], 2005 Mirian Heiskell, 2006 Hon William Vanden Heuvel, 2007 E L Doctorow, 2008 Hope Preminger, 2009 John L Loeb Jr, 2010 Rev James Cooper, 2012 Hon Thomas Kean, 2013 Phillipe de Montebello, 2014 Gregory Long, 2015 Dr Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, 2016 Dr Louise Mirrer, 2017 Casey Kemper, 2018 Adele Chatfield-Taylor, 2019 Ian Wardropper


  1. ^ "Saint Nicholas Society". The New York Times. November 11, 1873. p. 8. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  2. ^ "DUTCH DESCENDANTS DINE.; They Join in Celebrating for the Saint Nicholas Society". The New York Times. December 7, 1911. p. 9. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  3. ^ "Died". The New York Times. August 13, 1913. p. 9. Retrieved 25 November 2009. "It is with deep regret that announcement is made of the death of Cortlandt Irving, a member of this society, at his late residence, 122 East 62d St., on Aug. 8th, 1913."
  4. ^ "Taylor Advocates Policy of Isolation; Tariff and Taxes, Not Dry Law …". New York Times. December 8, 1931. Retrieved 25 November 2009. "Myron C. Taylor, chairman of the finance committee of the United States Steel Corporation, declared last night at the ninety-seventh annual dinner of the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York..."
  5. ^ "Officers". Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  6. ^ Youngs, Florence Evenlyn Pratt (1914). Portraits of the presidents of the society, 1835-1914. The Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York. OCLC 682402324.

External linksEdit