New York society founded in 1868 and officially incorporated in 1869 to "conduct investigations and researches in regard to matter affecting public welfare, to disseminate correct views on Literature, Art and Science, and to promote intercourse among those engaged therein."
From the description of Proceedings of the first regular meeting of the National Institute of Letters, Arts, and Sciences [microform]: 1868 Jun. 12. (United States Naval Academy). WorldCat record id: 279173224