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Record 1 of 1

  • William Greene (1731-1809) Papers
  • Greene, William, 1731-1809
Call Number:
  • MSS 468
Record Level:
  • Collection
Physical Description:
  • 0.5 ft.
  • AB, OF
Inclusive Dates:
  • 1757-1809
Bulk Dates:
  • 1757-1809
Cataloged By:
  • Karen Eberhart, 2003
  • Governor of Warwick, RI

  • Papers and correspondence of Governor William Greene including Revolutionary War materials.

Historical Note:
  • William Greene (1731-1809) was born August 16 in Warwick, R.I. to Governor William and Catharine (Greene) Greene. He spent much of his life in public service and also ran a farm in Warwick. Greene started in public service as a Deputy in the General Assembly in 1773. He was intimately involved with Rhode Island's efforts during the Revolutionary War, first as a member of the Council of War and then as Governor. He also served as a Justice in the Superior Court. In 1762, he married Catharine, daughter of Simon and Deborah (Greene) Ray of Block Island. They had four children: Ray (Feb 1765-1849) who married Mary M. Flagg; Samuel who married Mary Nightingale; Phebe who married Col. Samuel Ward; and Celia who married her cousin Col. William Greene. He died in Warwick on November 29, 1809. Public offices held by William Greene: Deputy, 1773-1777, Council of War, 1776-1777, Speaker of the House, May 1777, First Associate Justice of Superior Court, 1776-1778, Chief Justice of Superior Court, 1778, Governor, May 1778 - May 1786
Bibliographic References:
  • Rogers, L.E., ed. Biographical Cyclopedia of Representative Men of Rhode Island, p. 82-83, 108-109. Providence, R.I.: National Biographical Publishing Co., 1881. Clarke, Louise Brownell. The Greenes of Rhode Island with Historical Records of English Ancestry, 127-128 and 210-211. New York, 1903. Autograph Letters and Documents of George Washington now in Rhode Island Collections. Providence, RI : State Bureau of Information, 1932.
Scope and Content:
  • This collections contains documents revealing the personal and public life of William Greene. There are several letters from his children Phebe and Samuel as well as correspondence from business associates regarding farm accounts. Two account books show the transactions on his farm in Warwick and include items entered by his son Ray. The public side is shown in the numerous letters sent to him as Governor of RI. Of note are the letters and circulars from George Washington which appear here as photographs of originals. Washington's letters primarily explain in urgent terms the need for more troops, supplies and money in order for the war for independence to be successful.
Accession Number:
  • 1901.4
  • 1960.29
  • 1977.118.2
  • 1977.118.4-17
  • 1983.74.5.1-21
  • The items in this collection have come from a wide variety of sources. The accession number is noted beside each document when known. The photographs of George Washington letters were made by photographer Willis A. Dean of Providence from originals at the Rhode Island State Archives. Transcriptions of the Washington letters are published in the book "Autograph Letters and Documents of George Washington" now in Rhode Island Collections, 1932.
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