Albert Gallatin and John Russell Bartlett founded the American Ethnological Society in New York City in 1842. Their goal was to promote research in ethnology and all inquiries involving humans. The early meetings of the AES took place in the homes of the members, where they discussed all aspects of human life, from history and geography to philology and anthropology. The AES was a scholarly institution, in which papers were presented that were later published.
In the late 19th century, the AES's focus changed from the evolutionary concerns of ethnology to the academic discipline of anthropology. The AES remained small, due to financial difficulties until the 1920s.
In 1916, the AES became the American Ethnological Society, Inc. During this time, it also became associated with Columbia University and linked to the American Anthropological Association. In the 1930s, the AES and AAA jointly published the American Anthropologist, which concerned itself with all four fields of anthropology.
In the early 1980s the American Ethnological Society became incorporated into the American Anthropological Association as a sub-section.
Today the AES, a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), is a thriving group of nearly 4,000 anthropologists who organize an annual meeting, publish the journal American Ethnologist, and carry on a variety of activities to promote scholarship on 'ethnology in the broader sense of the term.'
According to en.wikipedia and anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com