The Washington Literary Society and Debating Union (also known as "the Washington Society" or "the Wash") is a literary and debating group at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. While its current incarnation is modern, the society has roots back to the first decade of operation of the University and was founded in the mid-1830s.
The Washington Society operates under the constitution of the original Society and asserts its status as legitimate successor. The constitution, as it existed in 1929, required that the induction of new members be conducted by existing members. The refounding of the Society was made possible by Mr. R. E. Heischman of Charlottesville, an active member of the Washington Society from 1923 until 1925, who administered the oath of membership on the night of November 16.
The Washington Society was founded sometime in the years from 1834 to 1836 from the merger of two earlier societies, the Academics and another nameless literary society.