Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Remembering Nathanael Greene

The Providence Journal has been running a series (including sources!) on the life of Rhode Island's Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene (it's now up to part 10). The series coincides with the recent completion of publication of the Greene Papers (it took 34 years and $4 million) by the Rhode Island Historical Society. Further, the ProJo is distinguishing itself as a very history-friendly paper. The Greene series comes on the heals of an impressive series about Rhode Island and the slave trade.

Finally, it appears as if General Greene may well be the next subject for a David McCullough book. First, there was a story in a small local newspaper--the Warwick Daily Times, story not available on line--that reported that McCullough had been in contact with a research librarian at Providence College concerning General Greene. McCullough was also the keynote speaker at the RIHS History Makers gala and had used the Greene Papers for his recent book on George Washington. Could he be turning to them again to write a biography of Greene? Alexander Hamilton would have thought Greene deserved such recognition:

"For as high as this great man stood in the estimation of his country, the whole extent of his worth was little known," said Alexander Hamilton, the country's first secretary of treasury, in 1789.

Greene, the Warwick native who had fought back the British armies in the South during America's fight for independence, would be remembered, as "this consummate general, this brave soldier, this steady patriot, this virtuous citizen," Hamilton said.

One final note: the RIHS also stated that they would like to put the papers online at some time in the future.

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