Many distinguished citizens have been and are now members of the Saint Andrew’s Society.
- Philip Livingston, our fist president, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence as were his fellow members, Lewis Morris and the Rev. John Witherspoon. Livingston was also a founder of King’s College (Columbia University).
- Rev. John Witherspoon, a founder and President of the College of New Jersey (Princeton University) was the only clergyman to sign The Declaration of Independence. He was directly responsible for removing an ethnic slur-the reference to “Scotch and foreign mercenaries” from an early draft of the Declaration. The Society erected a memorial plaque at his birthplace in Yester, East Lothian.
- Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States was an active member of the Society.
- Dr. Peter Middleton, President 1767-1770, performed the first dissection in America and was the founder of King’s College (now Columbia University) Medical School.
Royal Governors - Several members served as Royal Governors of colonies:
- Cadwallader Colden and Alexander Robertson of New York;
- Lord Dunsmore of New York and Virginia;
- James Glen of South Carolina; and
- William Livingston of New Jersey.
- John Loudon McAdam, was a member of the Society who made a fortune while in New York. He returned to his native Scotland in 1783 and there he invented a process for paving roads, still called macadam or tarmac after him. He became general supervisor of roads in Great Britain and paved the streets of many cities and hundreds of miles of roads.
- Alexander McGillivray, this member was of partly Native American ancestry and was Chief of the Creek Nation. He negotiated a treaty for the Creek with President Washington, which was signed in an elaborate Creek ceremony, the last official act of the United States Government with New York City as the Capitol.
- Hon. Robert R. Livingston, while President of the Society in 1789, was called upon as Chancellor of the State of New York to administer the Oath of Office to George Washington as the first President of the United States. A kilted Vice President of the Society, Brig. Gen. William Malcolm, commanded the military escort to the ceremony, held on Wall Street. As minister to France, Livingston increased the size of the United States by one hundred percent as he master minded The Louisiana Purchase in 1803, cannily horse-trading Napoleon out of the Midwest for a mere fifteen million dollars.
- Archibald Gracie, Sr., President of the Society 1818-1823, was a fabulously rich shipping merchant and immigrant from Scotland. His country home, Gracie Mansion, on the East River at 88th Street was built in 1799 and is now the official residence of the Mayor of the City of New York.
- Washington Irving, son of a Scottish fisherman and author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle” was a member of the Society. He gave New York and its people the nicknames “Gotham” and “Knickerbocker.”
- John Johnston, President 1831-1832, was one of the three principal founders of New York University. His son, John Taylor Johnston, President 1867-1869 was a founder and the first President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- John Sloane, President 1889-1893, was the first President of W. & J. Sloane, once New York’s best furniture store.
- John Reid, the “Father of Golf in America” and the first President of the St. Andrew’s Golf Club, the oldest in the United States, was the Society’s President in 1898-1899.
- Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, Elected an Honorary Member, 1916. World-renowned educator and inventor. Developed the universal language of the Deaf “American Manual Alphabet.” First man to receive a patent for the Telephone.
- Andrew Carnegie, President 1899-1902, in his day “the richest man in the world.” His bequests increased our Permanent Fund by hundreds of thousands of dollars, allowing the Society to substantially expand its charitable works. Carnegie’s many other beneficences, particularly his support of libraries and literacy, have become world famous.
- Ward Melville, under this member’s leadership with the Melville Shoe Company, the Thomas McAn Shoe store chain was founded. The company evolved into the present day CVS Drug Store chain.
In recent years the Society’s membership has included many of the heads of some of New York’s largest enterprises, including, William S. Spencer, Chairman of Citicorp and Citibank; Thomas J. Watson, Jr., Chairman of IBM and Ambassador to the former USSR; Malcolm S. Forbes, publisher of Forbes Magazine; Edmund Vick, CEO, Young & Rubicam; former Mayor John V. Lindsay; Cliff Robertson, Stage and Screen Actor; and Hugh Downs, Television Journalist.