The Sulgrave Institution takes its name from Sulgrave Manor, the home of George Washington’s ancestors in Northamptonshire, England, which Manor property includes a house, out—buildings and about ten acres of land, was purchased in 1913 by a public-spirited body of English men and women, who, to show their good-will for their kindred of America, turned the estate over to a Board of Trustees to be forever maintained as a place of pilgrimage for all who venerate the name of that Colonial Englishman who became the Father of the American Republic.
At a meeting of the Trustees of Sulgrave Manor, held at the American Embassy in London in March 1914, a resolution was approved authorizing the creation of "The Sulgrave Institution," a society to center in Sulgrave Manor. On November 8, 1917, the Sulgrave Institution of America was incorporated by charter under the laws of the State of New York.
Coincident with the purchase of the Manor, which was an item in the program formulated by an International American and British Committee organized to celebrate, in 1914-1915, one-hundred years of peace among English-speaking peoples following the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent in 1815, the plan was conceived of creating ultimately a society to take up permanently the work of "furthering friendship and preventing misunderstanding among the English-speaking Peoples and as between them and other peoples of good-will."
(Extracts from the Year Book of the Centenary Committee.)
"The movement adequately and properly to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the ratification of the Ghent Treaty in 1915, which began informally in 1906, assumed a public status on February 20, 1910, through the organization of the American Committee for the Celebration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of Peace Among English-Speaking Peoples."
"The celebration movement derives its inspiration and impetus from the fact that, for one hundred years, all disputed questions between America and Great Britain have been settled one by one by means of diplomacy, or arbitration. This achievement is all the more striking when there is taken into consideration the unfortified frontier of over 5,000 miles which separates the United States from its Northern neighbor and friend - Canada."
"It is natural, therefore, that spontaneously there should have grown up a desire in America and throughout the British Empire to celebrate this century of peace between two peoples who are kindred in language, law and institutions."
"And it is desirous that all American memorials shall, in sentiment and purpose, be less a commemoration of the past than covenants for the future of amity and good-will."
It has been said in very truth that: "The celebration of this anniversary offers the best opportunity our age will see for the cultivation of world-wide good-will."
The celebration of the Pilgrim Tercentenary was probably more extensively observed than either the Jamestown tercentenary in 1907 or the Hudson tercentenary in 1909. The Jamestown celebration had a more elaborate exposition and the Hudson commemoration had more brilliant pageantry and public spectacles, but the Pilgrim anniversary had a more widely-spread recognition by small local observances all over the country. Much of this popularity was due of course to the intrinsic importance of the event commemorated and to the poetic interest with which the coming of the Mayflower has been invested in history and poetry. But it was also due in large measure to the strong sentiment of international friendship engendered by the World War and to the quickened appreciation of the historical ties which bind England, the Netherlands and the United States.
One of the organizations most active in stimulating the observance of the Pilgrim Tercentenary throughout the country was the Sulgrave Institution.
,as a part of the proposed celebration in 1915 of One Hundred Years Peace Among English-speaking Peoples and was composed equally of Americans and British, In 1914 the Sulgrave Institution was created to promote the friendship among English—speaking peoples and between them and the other peoples of good will.
With the approach of the Pilgrim Tercentenary, the Sulgrave Institution conceived the idea of linking together the celebration of the first representative legislative assembly at Jamestown in 1619 and the signing of the Mayflower compact in 1620 as two events marking the beginning of free institutions in America. The Institution therefore invited and secured the cooperation of the following sixty—one organizations in promoting the joint celebration, including the civic and religious services at Cape Henry, Virginia on October 5, 1920, which highlighted the first official pilgrimage to the birthplace of both American heritage and the British Empire:
Aero Club of America.
Alden Kindred of America (Midwest Chapter).
Alumni Association of American Rhodes Scholars.
American Automobile Association.
American Civic Association.
American Defense Society.
American Federation of Labor.
American Mayflower Council.
American Political Science Association.
American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society.
American Seamen’s Friend Society.
American Unitarian Association.
Archaeological Institute of America.
Army and Navy Club of America.
Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities.
Baptist Young People’s Union of America.
Better America Movement.
Brotherhood of St. Andrew in the United States.
City History Club of New York.
Colonial Dames of America.
Community Service (Incorporated).
Daughters of the Cincinnati.
Federal Council Churches of Christ in America.
Fifth Avenue Association. -
General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA.
General Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church.
General Society of Mayflower Descendants.
Hereditary Order Descendants of Colonial Governors, pre-1750.
Huguenot Society of America.
Knights of King Arthur.
Merchants Association of New York.
Methodist Federation for Social Service.
Military Order of Foreign Wars.
Minnesota Historical Society.
National Council of Congregational Churches.
National Council Junior Order of United American Mechanics.
National Institute of Social Sciences.
National Rifle Association.
National Society Colonial Dames of America.
National Society Dames of the Loyal Legion.
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
National Society Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America.
National Society Sons of the American Revolution.
National Society United States Daughters of 1812.
New Jersey Annual Conference of Methodist Episcopal Churches.
New York Historical Society.
New York State Historical Association.
Old Guard Veteran Battalion of New York.
Order of Founders and Patriots of America.
Presbyterian Church in the United States.
Saint Andrew’s Society.
Saint David’s Society.
Saint George’s Society.
Society of Colonial Wars.
Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The People’s Institute.
United Spanish War Veterans.
United States Junior Naval Reserve.
Women’s Educational and Industrial Union.
-Theodore Roosevelt to a friend shortly before his death in 1919.