BY ALEXANDER B. JACOBS
On Thursday, December 2nd, 2021, the Illinois society of the General Society of Colonial Wars held its 128th annual Winter Court. This year, the society was pleased to host over fifty members for its traditional white-tie stag evening.
Winter Court began with a business meeting and the election of officers for the coming year. The assembled appointed Edward K. Rutledge as the Illinois Governor, Alexander B. Jacobs as Deputy Governor, Edmund H. Lester as Deputy Governor General for the State of Illinois, James M. Kinney as Lieutenant Governor, Noel Jackson as Secretary, Robert W. Jackson IV as Treasurer, and J. Andrew Langan as Registrar. In addition, the society presented the distinguished War Cross Medal to former Illinois Governor Robert L. Burell for his service in the United States Navy.
During Winter Court, the guests enjoyed a presentation on heraldry used by lineage societies in New York in the nineteenth century by John McConville Shannon. In his presentation titled “Creating a Heraldic Identity: The Great Seal of the General Society of Colonial Wars,” Mr. Shannon described the approaches taken by various societies in the creation of their coats of arms. Of particular interest to the assembled was his interpretation of the great seal of the General Society of Colonial Wars founded in 1892. The seal is one of the more complex, including references to nine colonies from British North America, and unusual for being granted by the College of Arms.
Following the presentation and dinner, guests retired for a heated backgammon tournament, ultimately won by Ryan R. Ruskin.
In 2022, the Illinois society will host the 43rd General Assembly of the General Society of Colonial Wars in Chicago on June 9th-12th. The assembly will be chaired by Brian D. White and Robert L. Burell and will include a series of events, luncheons, and dinners, including a white tie gala dinner dance with the Alex Donner Orchestra.
Photos by Jesus Santos.