The first organization for descendants of Revolutionary War Patriots was the Society of the Cincinnati, formed May 10, 1783, by George Washington and officers of the Continental Army. The Centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1876 fostered a patriotic resurgence and on October 22, 1875, in San Francisco, Dr. James Cogswell organized the second society of Revolutionary War descendants, the California "Sons of the Revolutionary Sires."
The Maryland Society was organized on April 20, 1889, when thirty-six charter members met in the Old Senate Chamber in the State House in Annapolis. It was in that very same room that General George Washington had resigned his commission as Commander of the Continental Army. It is the eighth oldest state society. Since it was organized, over 4000 have become members.
Three "Real Sons" were members, two were clergymen: Rev. John G. Morris, charter member No. 20, and Rev. Samuel Kramer, charter member No. 42. Maryland's third "Real Son" was Captain Edward Bassett Waples, charter member No. 555. Seven Maryland Society members have been National Presidents: General. Gov. Edwin Warfield, Henry Stockbridge, Mayor James H. Preston, Henry F. Baker, G. Ridgely Sappington, Judge Wilson K. Barnes, and Carl F. Bessent.
Finally, the various Societies held a Congress in New York City. The National Society Sons of the American Revolution was organized at Fraunces Tavern on the 100th Anniversary of the Inauguration of George Washington as First President of the United States. The date was April 30, 1889. Marylanders at that Congress included Lt. James C. Cresap, USN elected Secretary General and the Vice-President.
The Maryland Society promoted the adoption of the American’s Creed written by William Tyler Page, No. 675. The Maryland Society erected a monument to the "Maryland 400" in Brooklyn, NY; the Revolutionary War Monument in Mount Royal Plaza, Baltimore; placed large stone markers at the graves of Governor William Paca, General William Smallwood, and General Mordecai Gist; marked the graves of General John Edgar Howard, John Paul Jones, and John Hanson. It has also marked "Mann's Tavern," site of the Annapolis Convention in 1786.