Many St. Andrew’s Societies exist in this country and throughout the world, but such was not the case as the eighteenth century ended in America. The histories of the pioneer St. Andrew’s Societies instituted during the colonial and revolutionary periods tell the story of cornerstones of benevolence and worthy causes laid by Scots as they played a prominent role in the shaping of the nation.
Immediately following the Revolutionary War, among European colonists in the original thirteen states, approximately 30 percent were Scots. Beginning with the St. Andrew’s Society of Charleston, SC in 1729, benevolent societies formed to assist those in need. Soon thereafter, St. Andrew’s Societies in Philadelphia, New York, Alexandria, VA (later established as the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington, DC), and others followed.
In 1806, the city of Baltimore was but nine years old when our Society was born on November 29, offering help and fellowship to their fellow countrymen. From the time of our first President, Robert Gilmor, an immigrant and lowlander, an established merchant, politician and landowner, our Society has championed a philanthropic community. This philanthropy continues today through annual grants, our Past President’s college scholarship program, and significant sponsorship of the U.S. Piping Foundation.
Our history is one recorded by our members – patriots, businessmen, politicians, and everyday citizens. It is a story of over 200 years of contributions to Scots in need, made by a Society whose hand is guided by the preamble to its constitution which states:
“…every institution for a charitable relief of our fellow
creatures in distress must certainly claim the approbation
and encouragement of benevolent minds. That such is
the design of the St. Andrew’s Society of Baltimore.”
(Henry C. McDonald, 49th President, 2003-2005)