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By the Institution the officers entitled to become members of the Society were declared to be as follows:
“All the Officers of the American Army, as well as (1) Those who have resigned with honor after three years’ service in the capacity of Officers, or (2) who have been deranged by the Resolutions of Congress upon the several reforms of the army, or (3) those who have continued to the end of the war, have the right to become parties of this Institution; provided that they subscribe one month’s pay, and sign their names to the general rules in their respective State Societies, those who are present with the Army immediately and others within six months after the Army shall be disbanded, extraordinary cases excepted; the rank, time of service, resolution of Congress by which any man may have been deranged, and place of residence must be added to each name; and as a testimony of affection the memory and the offspring of such officers as have died in the service, their eldest male branches have the same right of becoming members as the children of the actual members of the Society.”
The officers hereinafter called Propositi, who were elected members of the Society under the Institution as above given, became the Original Members of the Society.
In 1854 the General Society passed the following resolution, making descendants of officers (Propositi) who did not become Original Members eligible to membership:
“Resolved, That each State Society shall have the full right and power to regulate the admission of members, both as to the qualification of the members and the terms of admission; provided that admission be confined to the male descendants of Original Members, or of those who are now members (including collateral branches as contemplated by the original constitution); or to the male descendants of such officers of the Army or Navy as may have been entitled to admission, but who failed to avail themselves thereof within the time limited by the constitution; or to male descendants of such officers of the Army or Navy of the Revolution as may have resigned with honor or left the service with reputation; or to the male collateral relatives of any officers who died in service without leaving issue.”
Every applicant to be eligible must have either the qualifications stated in the Institution or under the Rule of 1854.
Eligibility may also be claimed from an officer who was permanently incapacitated by wounds or illness while serving in the Continental Army or Navy between April 19, 1775 and April 19, 1783, inclusive.
The succession and admission to membership in the New Hampshire Society descends from the ancestor, who was an officer, in the eldest male line to the eldest male descendant, according to the rules of primogeniture at the common law.
Only one person at a time shall be competent to be elected as the hereditary representative of a Propositus, who was either an Original Member, or who was entitled to become an Original Member of the Society, according to the Rule of 1854.
The following rules and principels are ordinarily observed in considering applications.
I. Direct descendants shall be preferred to collaterals.
II. Among direct descendants the male line is to be preferred to the female line.
III. When the direct male line is extinct, and there are male descendants through intervening female lines, the Society may elect the representative from among such male descendants.
IV. When there are no direct descendants the eldest collateral branch is chosen according to the rules of primogeniture at the common law.
V. The claims of descendants in the female line shall be determined according to the same rules which govern priority in the male line, as far as applicable.
VI. Waivers from those having prior right to the applicant may be accepted, and the failure of any eligible person having reasonable time may be treated as a waiver thereof.
VII. Where a vacancy has existed for many years, or the officer has never been represented, The Society may select a representative from among the descendants.
VIII. There shall be two classes of Associate Members, to wit:
(a) Successor Members, and (b) Life Associate Members.
(a) A Successor Member shall be the eldest son of a member in the Society or such other person, apparently or presumptively, entitled to succeed to the right of membership.
(b) A Life Associate Member shall be a brother, a younger son, nephew, or a cousin of an Hereditary Member of this Society who approves the applicant (approval by the hereditary member may be waived when said member does not respond to related correspondence from the Membership Committee within three months, or said hereditary member has been inactive for at least five years). A life member shall continue to be a life associate member during his lifetime, without the right of succession.
IX. Both Successor Members and Life Associate Members shall be entitled to vote and hold office, but not have any interest in funds or property of the Society. No son or brother of a heredtiary member shall be admitted to Associate Membership until that member has been a member in good standing for a period of two years.
X. Except for the election to membership of hereditary successor members or life associate members as herein provided only one person at a time shall be competent to be elected as the hereditary representative of a Propositus who was either an Original Member or was entitled to become an Original Member of the Society, according to the Rule of 1854.
XI. The right of admission and succession to membership is not absolute, but subject to the judgment of the Society, as to whether the applicant is deemed “worthy of becoming its supporter and member.” The law of inheritance confers only the privilege to be voted for, and the Society reserves the right to choose such on as it seems to it best fitted to promote its ends, according to the Institution.