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Founders’ Day is an annual celebration honoring the Society’s long, distinguished history.

The 2022 Founders' Day celebration will take place on Wednesday, May 18, at the Colony Club (564 Park Avenue, New York City). NES members and their guests enjoyed cocktails, dancing, music and hors d’oeuvres.

The Tradition of Founders' Day

The New England Society (NES) was founded in 1805 when Thomas Jefferson was President of the U.S. and the population of New York was 75,770. One of the oldest social and charitable organizations in the country, NES was established to promote “friendship, charity and mutual assistance” among and on behalf of New Englanders living in New York.

NES honors the New England heritage through programs such as its scholarship fund for New York City students matriculating in New England, through its annual Book Award for books that celebrate New England, and through its social activities for members and guests. NES held its first official gathering on May 6, 1805 at the City Hotel. Seventy people attended and officers were duly elected, including the first President James Watson. The early activities were focused on two areas: social programs such as the Annual Festival commemorating the landing of the Pilgrims, and charitable works, such as distributing firewood to needy New England families in New York. Though these initiatives have evolved over time, the founding tenets of “friendship, charity and mutual assistance” have remained constant for over 200 years.

2018 Founders' Day Celebration

Photos from the 2018 Founders' Day Celebration are below. For photos from prior events, visit our event photos.