Nathanael Greene

General Nathanael GREENE (1742 – 1786) (wiki) A major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War.  George Washington’s most gifted and dependable officer, his friend and comrade-in-arms.  Nathanael’s first two children were named George Washington Greene and Martha Washington Greene.

Major General Nathanael & Catharine Littlefield

Family legend  says Josiah Harvey FOSTER’S wife, Mary Ann Turk (1811 – ?), was  related to General Greene of the Revolution.  My grandmother’s second cousin Lydia Smith Townsend (1869 – 1946)  remembered seeing a family silver tray that had belonged to him.  She didn’t know what had become of it.  I have worked Nathanial Greene’s family tree up to grandparents and down to grandchildren and have lately even added his siblings, nephews and nieces, all to no avail.

Lydia Smith (1869 – 1946) who remembered the Greene Silver Tray-  My grandmother wrote on the back of this photo “Popa’s Cousin 27th Wedding Anniversary”

So far, I have only found that our ancestor Edmund LITTLEFIELD was Caty Littlefield Greene’s 3rd great grandfather. While this is surely not the relationship  Lydia Smith Townsend was talking about, I’ve included the relevant Littlefield family tree.

I’m still looking for the silver tray owner. Our ancestor Jonah PALMERs daughter Mary married Dr. Joseph Doggett in 1668.  Their home, the Daggett House is an historic house in Slater Park in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The house is the oldest house in Pawtucket, and one of the oldest surviving buildings in the state. It opened as a museum in 1905. Furnished with unusual period antiques, including Colonial pewter used in Revolutionary War and china owned by Gen. and Mrs. Nathanael GREENE and the Daggett Family.  Built 1685. House may be rented for small parties. So we know where to find the china, still working on the silver.

Nathanael Greene was born in 27 Jul 1742 in Warwick, Rhode Island.   His parents were Nathaniel GREENE  and Mary MOTT. He married  20 July  1774 Greene Farm, East Greenwich, Rhode Island to Catherine LITTLEFIELD.  Nathanael died of sunstroke 19 Jul 1786  in Savannah, Georgia.

Catherine  (Caty) Littlefield was born in 17 Dec 1753 in Block Island, Newport, Rhode Island.  Her parents were John LITTLEFIELD and  Phebe RAY.  Caty,” as she was known by friends, had been living in East Greenwich with her aunt and uncle (William and Catharine [Ray] Greene of Greene Farm, East Greenwich, R.I.) since her mother died when she was ten years old. Her uncle was a Whig Party leader and governor of Rhode Island. Her aunt and namesake, Catherine Ray, was a close friend and correspondent of Benjamin Franklin from 1751-1784.

Nathanael Greene and Catherine Littlefield were married in the “best parlor” at Greene Farm, East Greenwich, R.I. After Nathanael died, she married Phineas Miller on June 13, 1796 in Philadelphia’s First Presbyterian Church.  President and Mrs. Washington served as witnesses to the wedding. While operating Mulberry Grove, she hired another tutor, Eli Whitney. While in her employ he invented the Cotton Gin which was to revolutionize the cotton industry. Phineas and Eli went into business manufacturing the machines. However, it appears they over invested in the venture and shortly thereafter, Caty was forced to sell Mulberry Grove. Catherine died 2 Sep 1814 in Cumberland Island, Dungeness, Georgia.

Catherine Littlefield Greene

Phineas Miller was born 22 Jan 1764 in Middlefield, Middlesex, CT. His parents were Isaac, Miller Esqr(1737 – 1817) and Hannah Coe (1743 – 1833). Phineas died 7 Dec 1803 in Dungeness, Georgia.

Children of Nathanael and Catherine:

Name Born Married Departed
1. George Washington Greene Feb 1776,
Coventry, Kent, Rhode Island
28 Mar 1793 Mulbery Grove, Dungeness, Georgia
2. Martha Washington Greene 14 Mar 1777 Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island John Nightingale
12 May 1795 Mulberry Grove, Harris, GA
Henry Edmund Turner
15 Oct 1810
3. Cornelia Lott Greene 23 Sep 1779 Coventry, Kent, Rhode Island Peyton Skipwith
22 Apr 1802
Cumberland Island, Dungeness, GA
Edward Brinley Littlefield (Catherine’s Nephew)
May 1810
Cumberland Island, Dungeness, GA
1865 Potowomut, Kent, Rhode Island
4. Nathaniel Ray Greene 29 Jan 1780 Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island Anna Marie Clarke
9 Sep 1808
East Greenwich, Kent County, RI
11 Jun 1859 Middletown, Newport, RI
5. Louisa Catherine Greene 1782
Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island
James Shaw
Mar 1814
24 Apr 1831 Cumberland Island, Camden, Georgia
6. Kate Greene 1786

Caty was instrumental in the invention of the cotton gin, an invention that changed the face of the South forever. Without the cotton gin, slavery would have been nowhere near as profitable.

In an 1883 article in The North American Review titled “Woman as Inventor”, the early feminist and abolitionist Matilda Joslyn Gage claimed that Greene suggested to Whitney the use of a brush-like component instrumental in separating out the seeds and cotton.  ]To date there has been no independent verification of Greene’s role in the invention of the gin. However, many believe that Eli Whitney received the patent for the gin and the sole credit in history textbooks for its invention only because social norms inhibited women from registering for patents.

Neither Whitney nor Greene made much money. Despite previous success and their best efforts, Mulberry Grove fell upon hard times by 1798. Catharine and Phineas, in financing the cotton gin firm of Whitney and Miller, had lost a great deal of money in a land scam. Caty was forced to sell the plantation along with many of Mulberry Grove‘s slaves, moving her family to Cumberland Island. There she and Phineas established a new home on land that had been given to Nathanael. The plantation, called “Dungeness,” thrived. They held a total of 210 slaves to work the plantation. In 1803 Phineas died. Catharine stayed at the plantation until she died in 1814 and is buried there..

Here’s the story from the Eli Whitney Museum

Sea Island cotton, so named because it grew only in very sandy soil along the coast, was a recent crop and within a short time was being cultivated wherever it found favorable conditions. Tobacco was a land waster, depleting the soil within very few years. Land was so cheap that tobacco planters never bothered to reclaim the soil by crop rotation — they simply found new land farther west. The other crops — rice, indigo, corn, and some wheat — made for no great wealth. Slaves cost something, not only to buy but to maintain; and some Southern planters thought that conditions had reached a point where a slave’s labor no longer paid for his maintenance.

In his early twenties, Whitney determined to attend Yale College, so unusual a step for anyone not preparing for either the law or theology that his parents objected. He was twenty-three before he got away from home and twenty-seven when he received his degree, almost middle-aged in the eyes of his classmates. Again the most serious drawback facing him was that no profession existed suited to a man of his talents. Whitney settled for teaching (he had taught while attending Yale), and accepted a position as a tutor in South Carolina that promised a salary of one hundred guineas a year.

He sailed on a coasting packet that took a few passengers, among whom was the widow of the Revolutionary general, Nathaniel Greene. The Greenes had settled in Savannah after the war. When Whitney arrived, he found to his disgust that the promised salary was going to be halved. He not only refused to take the post, but decided to give up teaching as well. Mrs. Greene invited him to accompany her to her plantation and read law. In the meantime, he could make himself useful in one way or another helping the plantation manager, Phineas Miller, whom she intended to marry. Miller was a Yale alumnus, a few years older than Whitney. Whitney accepted the offer.

Shortly after he settled down, some neighbors visited the plantation and, as usual, fell to discussing the bad times. There was no money crop; the only variety of cotton that would grow in that neighborhood was the practically useless green seed variety. Ten hours of handwork was needed to separate one point of lint from three pounds of the small tough seeds. Until some kind of machine could be devised to do the work, the green seed cotton was little better than a weed.

“Gentlemen,” said Mrs. Greene, “apply to my young friend, Mr. Whitney. He can make anything.”

At the urging of Mrs. Green and Phineas Miller, Whitney watched the cotton cleaning and studied the hand movements. One hand held the seed while the other hand teased out the short strands of lint. The machine he designed simply duplicated this.

To take the place of a hand holding the seed, he made a sort of sieve of wires stretched lengthwise. More time was consumed in making the wire than stringing it because the proper kind of wire was nonexistent.

To do the work of the fingers, which pulled out the lint, Whitney had a drum rotate past the sieve, almost touching it. On the surface of the drum, fine, hook-shaped wires projected which caught at the lint from the seed. The restraining wires of the sieve held the seeds back while the lint was pulled away. A rotating brush, which turned four times as fast as the hook-covered drum cleaned the lint off the hooks. Originally Whitney planned to use small circular saws instead of the hooks, but the saws were unobtainable. That was all there was to Whitney’s cotton gin; and it never became any more complicated.

Whitney gave a demonstration of his first model before a few friends. In one hour, he turned out the full day’s work of several workers. With no more than the promise that Whitney would patent the machine and make a few more, the men who had witnessed the demonstration immediately ordered whole fields to be planted with green seed cotton. Word got around the district so rapidly that Whitney’s workshop was broken open and his machine examined. Within a few weeks, more cotton was planted than Whitney could possible have ginned in a year of making new machines.

The Cotton Avalanche

The usual complaint of an inventor was that people were reluctant to give his machine a chance. Whitney’s complaint was just the opposite. Before he had a chance to complete his patent model, or to secure protection, the prematurely planted cotton came to growth. With harvests pressing on them, the planters had no time for the fine points of law or ethics. Whitney’s machine was pirated without a qualm.

Whitney had gone into partnership with Miller. The agreement was that Whitney was to go north to New Haven, secure his patent, and begin manufacturing machines, while Miller was to remain in the South and see that the machines were placed. Having no precedent of royalty arrangement to go on, the partners’ first plan was that no machine was to be sold, but simply installed for a percentage of the profit earned. Since they had no idea that cotton planting would take place in epidemic proportions, they did not know that they were asking for an agreement that would have earned them millions of dollars a year. It had been Miller’s idea to take one pound of every three of cotton, and the planters were furious. Cotton, one of the easiest growing crops, was coming up out of the ground in white floods that threatened to drown everyone.

By the time Whitney and Miller were willing to settle for outright sale or even a modest royalty on every machine made by someone else, the amount of money due them was astronomical. He and Miller were now deeply in debt and their only recourse was to go to court; but every court they entered was in cotton country. At length in 1801, eight years after the holocaust started, Miller and Whitney were willing to settle for outright grants from cotton-growing states in return for which the cotton gin would be public property within the boundaries. Even at that, only one state made a counter offer of half the asking price. Whitney accepted the price of $50,000 for which he received a down payment of $20,000 and no more.

The following year, North Carolina followed along in a slightly different fashion, levying a tax on every gin in the state. This sum, less 6 per cent for collection, went to Whitney and Miller; it came to another $20,000. Tennessee paid about $10,000, and there was another $10,000 from other states. The gross income was $90,000, most of which was owed for legal costs and other expenses. In 1803, the states repudiated their agreements and sued Whitney for all the money paid to him and his partner. That year alone the cotton crop earned close to ten million dollars for the planters. The price of slaves had doubled, and men’s consciences no longer troubled them. Manumission was a forgotten word.

The following year, 1804, Whitney applied to the federal Congress for relief and, by one vote, was saved from total ruin. He was penniless, and his patent worthless, he was thirty-nine years old, and most of the past ten years had been wasted either in courtrooms or in traveling from one court to another.

He turned his back on cotton, the cotton gin, and the South forever. He went on to invent interchangeable gun part which changed the face of the North forever.

Back to genealogy ….

Children and Grand Children

1. George Washington Greene 

George received his education in Paris, all expenses paid by the Marquis de LaFayette. He returned to Georgia and was enjoying the life of a Southern gentleman, when he drowned in the Savannah River on 28 Mar 1793. It is said that Caty never recovered from that loss.

2. Martha Washington Greene

Martha’s first husband John Nightingale was born 28 Jan 1771 in Providence, Providence, RI. His parents were Joseph Nightingale and Elizabeth Corliss.  John  died 1805.

Children of Martha and John:

i. Catherine Greene Nightingale b. 1796 Cumberland Island, GA, d. 13 Jun 1833, Maury County, TN ; m.  Dr. John Littlefield on New Years Day, 1823 at Dungeness (“Caty’s” former estate) Catherine was 1st cousin once removed to John. He was born  6 Jul 1800, Mulberry Grove, Georgia; d. 21 Feb 1848, Mt Pleasant, Maury County, TN. His parents were Capt Littlefield and Elizabeth Brinley. He prospered, had an office in Columbia and lived all his life in Maury Ct., TN. His second wife, Elizabeth Kercheval, was 21 years his junior; she bore him a son William John

ii. Joseph Corlis Nightingale, b. 1798 Cumberland Island, GA;  d. 1798 Cumberland Island, GA

iii. Ebenezer Nightingale, b. 1800 Cumberland Island, GA d. 1801  Cumberland Island, GA

iv. Phineas Miller Nightingale, born 1803 in Cumberland Island, GA  d. Bef. 28 Jun 1880 Georgia m. Mary King 1836

Martha’s second husband Dr. Henry E. Turner was born 1787 in E Greenwich, Kent, RI and died 1861 in Savannah, Chatham, GA,

Children of Martha and Henry:

i. Martha Washington Turner, b. 1811; d. 1861.

ii. Jula B Turner, b. 1813; d. 1861.

iii. Emily Greene Turner, b. 1815  m. George Houstoune Johnston 1840

iv. Louisa Shaw Turner, b. 1817 in TN  m. Bryan McQueen Morell 1837

3. Cornelia Lott Green

Cornelia’s first husband Peyton Skipwith was born in 1780 in Prestwould, Mechlenburg Co, Virginia. His parents were Peyton Skipwith Sr. (1740 – 1805) and Anne Miller (1742 – 1779) Peyton died Sep 1808 in Maury, Tennessee.

Children of Cornelia and Peyton

i. George Greene Skipwith b. 24 Jan 1803 – VA  d. 24 Dec 1852 – Hinds, MS m.  Mary Ann Newsum

ii. Peyton H. Skipwith b. 6 Dec 1805 – Maury, TN d. 13 Mar 1898 – Lafayette, MS  m1. Kate Anderson 27 Jul 1843  – Maury, TN  m2. Frances Devereux Polk 27 Nov 1866  – Maury, TN

iii. Grey Skipwith b. 20 May 1807 – Newport, RI d. 1841  m. Virginia Randolph Cary 5 Oct 1836

Cornelia’s second husband Edward Brinley Littlefield was born in 1785. His parents were Capt. William Littlefield (1753 – ) and Elizabeth Brinley (1763 – 1822). Capt. William Littlefield was Catherine’s brother and was also the son of John Littlefield and Phebe Ray. Edward died in 1836.

Bitterness Between Mother and Daughter – Since her marriage in 1810, a conflict existed between Cornelia and her mother Catharine.  Cornelia and Edward wanted Catharine to give Cornelia her share of the Estate from her father General Nathaniel Greene.  Catharine finally stopped all communication with Cornelia.  In 1813 Edward and Cornelia secretly planned to emigrate from Savannah to Tennessee, taking with them plantation equipment, furniture, and negroes.  In 1810 Cornelia had voluntarily signed an agreement with Catharine regarding her share of the slaves from General Greene’s Estate. Cornelia was to receive twenty-nine slaves.  The 1810 Agreement stated all the children would not take their slaves until all debts from the Estate were paid.  Taking the slaves would have been a violation of that agreement.  Catharine happened unexpectedly to pass through Savannah, where she saw and talked with certain slaves from Dungeness.  Realizing what was happening, Catharine called the sheriff and had her daughter Cornelia arrested.  Before going any futher with their plans, the Littlefields were required to sign bonds guaranteeing payment for the slaves, whom they had hand picked for relocation to Tennessee.  Catharine died in 1814.  When her will was read in 1815 Catharine had left Cornelia only $50.00.

Children of Cornelia and Edward Brinley

i. William Littlefield b. 12 Dec 1812 – Savannah; d. Young

iii. Elizabeth Littlefield b. 1810, Rhode Island; d. Young

iv. Francis Brinley Littlefield b. 2 Jun 1811 d. Tennessee

v. Cornelia Littlefield b. 27 Apr 1818 – Maury City, TN  d. 25 Mar 1873 – New Madrid, MO  m. Wilson Cary Newsum 27 Apr 1837 – Maury County

vi. Edward Brinley Littlefield b. 1820

vii. Martha Phillips Littlefield  b. 27 Jan 1822  d. 16 Feb 1847  m. C M Newman

4. Nathaniel Greene

Nathaniel’s wife Anna Marie Clarke was born on 8 Nov 1783 in Rhode Island. Her parents were Ethan Clarke (1745 – ) and Anna Ward (1750 – 1789) Anna Marie died 17 Jan 1886 in Middletown, Newport County, RI.

Children of Nathaniel Ray and Anna Marie

i. Dr. Nathaniel S. Greene (22 Jun 1809, Dungeness Cumberland Island, GA – 8 Jul 1899, Greenedale Middletown, RI)  m 17 Dec 1827 in Rhode Island, Mary Jane Moore (1810 – 1897) Parents William Moore (1780 – ) and Harriet Gibbs (1782 – 1872)

ii. Polly Greene  b. 1809 Georgia

iii. George Washington Greene  (8 Apr 1811, East Greenwich, Kent, RI – 2 Feb 1883, Greenedale Middletown, RI) m. Catharine Van Buren Porter (1823 – ) parents John Addison Porter and Anne [__?__]

iv. Alexander Greene

5. Louisa Catherine Greene

Louisa’s husband, James Shaw, was born in 1780 and  died in Georgia.  I haven’t been able to identify any children.


Nathanael’s Siblings, Nephews and Nieces

Children of Nathaniel and Phebe Greene

1. Benjamin Greene b. 7 Jul 1734 in Kingstown, Rhode Island; d. 16 Sep 1762
Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; m. 1752 to Freelove Tillinghast (b. 1733 in Rhode Island – d. 8 Nov 1787 in Newport, Rhode Island) No Children

2. Thomas Greene b. 11 Nov 1735 in Old Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 14 Feb 1760 Old Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; m1. 1765 to Susannah Harris (1735 – 1765); m2. Hannah Tompkins; No Children

Children of Nathaniel and Mary Mott:

3. Jacob Greene b. 7 Mar 1740 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 1809
Coventry, Kent, Rhode Island; m. 26 Mar 1761 in Warwick to Margaret Greene (b. 28 Apr 1740 in Potowomut, Warwick, Rhode Island – d. 13 Dec 1802 in Coventry, Kent, Rhode Island) Her parents were Jabez Greene and Susannah Arnold.

Children of Jacob and Margaret

i. Polly Greene b. 1762 in Coventry, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 7 Aug 1832 Coventry; m. 27 Dec 1787 to Benjamin Summer (b. Oct 1763 in Boston – d. 31 Jan 1811 in Coventry)

ii. Thomas Greene b. 27 May 1767 in Coventry, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 7 Aug 1832 Dalton, Berkshire, Mass.; m. 27 Sep 1792 in Dalton, Berkshire, Mass to Jane Dean (b. 1774 in Taunton, Bristol, Mass. – d. 19 Aug 1854 in Dalton, Berkshire, Mass.) Her parents were Josiah Greene and [__?__].

iii. Jabez Greene b. 1770 in Coventry, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 7 Feb 1808 Coventry

iv. Margaret Greene b. 1772 in Coventry, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 1786 Coventry

v. Jacob Varnum Greene b. 1773 in Coventry, Rhode Island; d. 5 Jul 1815 Coventry; m. 1814 to Patience Cox (b. 13 Apr 1779 in Dorchester, Suffolk, Mass. – d. 29 Sep 1866 in Coventry, Rhode Island) Her parents were Samuel Cox and Elizabeth Bird.

vi. Julia Greene b. 1775 in Coventry, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 1830 Dalton, Berkshire, Mass; m. 12 Dec 1804 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island to Theodore A Foster (b. 22 Mar 1778 in Brookfield, Worcester, Mass. – d. 1820) His parents were Theophilus Foster and Susanna Packard. (No relation to our Fosters)

4. Phebe Greene b. 20 Mar 1741 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. Oct 1741 Warwick

5. Nathaniel Greene b. 27 Jul 1742 (See this page)

6. William Greene b. 1 Nov 1743 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 26 Sep 1828
East Greenwich, Kent, Rhode Island; DID NOT marry Catherine Ray (1730-1777) Her husband was the Gov. William Greene (wiki) born on 6 Aug 1731 in Warwick Rhode Island to William Greene and Catherine Greene.

7. Elihu Greene b. 10 Dec 1746 in Potowomut, Rhode Island; d. 1 Aug 1827
Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; m. 5 Dec 1775 in Rhode Island to Jane Flagg (b. 22 Jan 1757 in Boston – d. 6 Apr 1782 in Potowomut, Rhode Island) Her parents were William Flagg and Sarah Mecom.

Children of Elihu and Jane:

i. Celia Greene b. 27 Jan 1777 in Potowomut, Rhode Island; d. 26 Mar 1777 Potowomut, Rhode Island

ii. Sarah Greene b. 16 Mar 1778 in Potowomut, Rhode Island; d. 10 Oct 1795 Potowomut

iii. Franklin Greene b. 3 Sep 1780 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 2 Oct 1864 Providence, Providence, Rhode Island; m1. 29 Jun 1806 in Rhode Island to Emily Greene (10 Oct 1787 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island – d. 22 Aug 1814 in Warwick) Her parents were Christopher Greene and Deborah Ward; m2. Dec 1817 in Warwick to Elizabeth Bowen (d. 1797 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island – d. 1889 in East Greenwich, Kent, Rhode Island) Her parents were Pardon Ward and Pardon Bowen and Elizabeth Ward.

iv. Jane Greene b. 24 Dec 1781 in Potowomut, Rhode Island; d. 27 Apr 1783 Potowomut


8. Christopher Greene b. 3 Jul 1748 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 22 Dec 1830
Potowomut, Warwick, Rhode Island; m1. 23 Dec 1773 in Warwick to Catherine Ward (b. 21 Oct 1752 in Westerly, Kent, Rhode Island – d. 1781 in Warwick) Her parents were Samuel Ward and Anna Ray ; m2. 12 May 1782 in Warwick to Catherine’s sister Deborah Ward (b. 12 Oct 1758 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island – d. 1835 in Warwick)

Children of Christopher and Catherine Ward:

i. Anne Greene b. 1 Apr 1776 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 14 Nov 1857 North Kingston, Washington, Rhode Island; m. 1800 to William Peter Maxwell (b. Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina – d. North Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island)

ii. Catherine Greene b. 3 Oct 1780 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island ; d. 1840 Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island

Children of Christopher and Deborah Ward:

iii. Christopher Greene b. 8 Dec 1783 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 1814

iv. Celia Greene b. 10 Jan 1786 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 9 Aug 1829 East Greenwich, Rhode Island; m. 12 Jan 1804 by Elder Samuel Littlefield to Ray Clarke (b.13 Feb 1782 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island – d. 1847 in Oxford, New York) His parents were Ethan Clarke and Anna Ward.

v. Emily Greene b. 10 Oct 1787 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 22 Aug 1814 Warwick; m. 29 Jun 1806 in Rhode Island to her cousin Franklin Greene (b. 3 Sep 1780 in Warwick – d. 2 Oct 1864 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island) His parents were Elihu Greene and Jane Flagg.

vi. Nathaniel Greene b. 9 Oct 1789 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 1841; m. 14 Jun 1814 to Abby Sophia Casey (b. 1794 in East Greenwich, Rhode Island – d. 1838 )

vii. Richard Ward Greene b. 21 Jan 1792 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 14 Mar 1875 Providence, Providence, Rhode Island; m. his cousin Catharine Celia Greene (b. 25 May 1816 East Greenwich, Kent, Rhode Island – d. 26 Oct 1887 Providence) Her parents were Albert Collins Greene and Catherine Celia Greene. She first married 1 Oct 1837 to Samuel Larned (b. 22 Jun 1788 in Providence – d. 10 Dec 1846)

viii. Samuel Ward Greene b. 18 Jan 1794 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 21 Apr 1872 Chile, South America

Samuel never married and spent most of his time in Chile. He operated flour mills and was successful in his various mercantile pursuits.

Samuel and his first cousin, Franklin Greene, formed the partnership of F. & S. W. Greene in December 1815. They were commission merchants using harbors at Providence and East Greenwich, Rhode Island, and New York City, New York. They conducted their business locally, as well as up and down the east coast. Among their accounts of significance to Rhode Island were the Potowomut Manufacturing Company, a family-owned cotton manufactory in Rhode Island; the Kent Manufacturing Company; the Union Dyeing Company; Hope Manufacturing Company; and the Georgia Cotton Manufacturing Company.

The personal bankruptcy of Franklin Greene may have been the cause for the dissolution of the partnership in 1817. Samuel Ward Greene continued to take personal responsibility for the liabilities of the company, which seem to have been satisfied by 1819.

ix. John Ward Greene b. 8 Dec 1795 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 1820 Georgia; m. 1820 in Dungeness, Cumberland Island, Georgia, to Margaret Clarke (b. 13 Apr 1798 in Dunhaven, Inverness-Shire, Scotland – d. 28 May 1861 in NYC)

x. Elihu Greene b. 12 Oct 1802 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 15 Dec 1878 Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio; m. 9 Nov 1830 in Brookline, Mass. to Matilda Ray Sumner (b. 2 Dec 1810 in Brookline, Suffolk, Mass.)


9. Perry Greene b. 9 Nov 1749 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 1791 Warwick; m. 1783 in Rhode Island to Elizabeth Belcher (b. 1758 in Newport, Rhode Island – d. 15 Apr 1791) Her parents were Joseph Belcher and Hannah Gladding.

Children of Perry and Elizabeth

i. William Perry Greene b. 10 Jun 1784 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island; d. 24 Apr 1855 Philadelphia; m1. 1804 in New Orleans to Mary Olney (d. 1804); m2. 5 Oct 1818 to Susan Elizabeth Mumford (b. 13 Dec 1792 in East Greenwich, Kent, Rhode Island – d. 24 Mar 1834 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island) Her parents were John Fry Mumford and Abby Brenton.

ii. Albert Collins Greene (wiki) b. 15 Apr 1791 in East Greenwich, Kent, Rhode Island; d. 8 Jan 1863; m. 16 May 1814 to his cousin Catherine Celia Greene (01 May 1794 – 09 Jan 1826). Her parents were Col. William Greene and Celia Greene.

Albert was a was a United States Senator and Attorney General from Rhode Island. He graduated from Kent Academy, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1812, and commenced practice in East Greenwich. He was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1815 to 1825, serving as speaker from 1821- to 1825. He was brigadier general, and then major general, of the Fourth Brigade of State Militia from 1816 to 1823 and was attorney general of Rhode Island from 1825 to 1843.

Greene was a member of the Rhode Island Senate in 1843-1844, and was elected as a Whig to the U.S. Senate, serving from March 4, 1845 to March 4, 1851; he was not a candidate for reelection, and was elected to the Rhode Island Senate in 1851 and 1852. In 1857 he was again a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives. He retired from public life, and died in Providence; interment was in Grace Church Cemetery.

Caty’s Siblings, Nephews and Nieces

Children of John Litchfield and Phebe Ray

1. Lt. Simon Ray Littlefield b. 19 Dec 1751 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island; d. 31 Mar 1780 New Shoreham, Rhode Island; m. Margaret Paine (b. 21 Feb 1750 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island)

Child of Simon and Margaret Paine:

i. William Littlefield; b. Abt. 1776, New Shoreham, Block Island, Washington Co., Rhode Island; d. April 13, 1842, East Lyme, New London, CT; m. Mary Clarke

2. William Littlefield b. 8 Dec 1753 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island; d. 1 Nov 1822 Newport, Rhode Island; m1. 10 Mar 1785 in Newport, Rhode Island to Elizabeth Brinley (b. 11 Jun 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island – d. 19 Aug 1822 in Newport)

Children of William and Elizabeth Brinley:

i. Simon Ray Littlefield b. 1780;

ii. Edward Brinley Littlefield b. 1 Feb 1785 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island; d. 18 Feb 1836 Nashville, Tennessee; m. May 1810 in Cumberland, Island, Georgia to his cousin Cornelia Lott Greene (b. 23 Sep 1779 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island – d. 1865) Her parents were Nathanael Greene and Catherine Littlefield. See above for her story.

iii. William Littlefield b. 27 Dec 1792 in Newport, Rhode Island; d. 12 Apr 1866 Newport, Rhode Island; m. 3 Oct 1825 to Martha Fowler (b.1805)

iv. Nathanael Greene Littlefield b. 1789; d. 20 Aug 1797

v. John Littlefield b. 6 Jul 1800 in Mulberry Grove, Georgia; d. 21 Feb 1848 Mt Pleasant, Maury, Tennessee; m1. 1 Jan 1823 in Dungeness, Georgia to his cousin Children Nightingale (b. 1802 – d. 13 Jun 1833 in Maury, Tennessee) Her parents were John C. Nightingale and Martha Washington Greene; m2. Elizabeth Kercheval (b.1821)

3. Catherine Littlefield b. 17 Dec 1753 (See this page)

4. Phebe Littlefield b. 29 Jan 1757 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island; d. 27 Mar 1848 New Shoreham; m. 12 Jan 1775 New Shoreham, Block Island, Washington Co., Rhode Island. to John Sands (b. Abt. 1756)

Child of Phebe and John Sands:

i. Nathaniel Green Sands b. 28 Jul 1778 in New Shoreham, Rhode Island; d. 9 Apr 1857; m. Frances M Hunting (b . 1779 – d. 1806 in New Shoreham).

ii. Phoebe Ray Sands b. 22 Jul 1780 in New Shoreham, Rhode Island; d. Jul 1796 New Shoreham

iii. Catherine Sands b. 11 Oct 1782 in New Shoreham, Rhode Island; m. 27 Aug 1807 to William Pitt Sands (b. 28 Aug 1774 – d. 18 Dec 1846) His parents were Edward Sands and Deborah Niles.

5. Nancy Littlefield b. 26 May 1760 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island; m. 16 Sep 1779 in New Shoreham to John Paine (b. 22 Jan 1751 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island – d. 13 Oct 1832 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island) His parents were John Paine and Bathsheba Rathbone.

Children of Nancy and John Paine:

i. Phebe Ray Paine b. 1782; d. Apr 1816; m. James Carruthers

ii. Nancy Paine b. 31 Jan 1785; d. 7 Oct 1835 Block Island, Rhode Island; m. 1808 to John E Sands (b. 25 May 1785 – d.23 Apr 1855 in Block Island, Rhode Island) His parents were Col. Ray Sands and Anna Niles.

Children of John Litchfield and Sarah Gardiner

6. Hannah Littlefield b. 1773 in New Shoreham, Rhode Island; d. 10 Feb 1859 South Kingstown, Rhode Island; m. 19 Dec 1793 in New Shoreham to Robert Hull (b. 1771 – d. 29 Dec 1854) His parents were Captain Edward Hull and Mary Weeden

Children of Hannah and Robert:

i. Edward Hull
ii. Alice Hull

iii. Wager Hull
iv. William Hull
v. John Hull
vi. Sarah Hull
vii. Joseph Hull

7. Deliverance Littlefield b. 1775 in New Shoreham, Rhode Island; d. 1802 Stamford, Connecticut


Nathanael’s father Nathaniel Greene Sr. was born 4 Nov 1707 Potowomut, Kent, Rhode Island.  His parents were Jabez GREENE and Mary BARTON He first married 13 Sep 1733 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island to Phebe Greene (b. 1710 in Old Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island – d. 3 May 1737 in Old Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island). Phebe’s parents were Benjamin Greene and Phebe Arnold.  After Phebe died, he married  18 Feb 1739 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island to Mary Mott.   After Mary Mott died, he married 28 Nov 1754 in Rhode Island to Mary Collins (b. 29 Jul 1713 Newport, Newport, Rhode Island). Her parents were Samuel Collins and Elizabeth Thurston. Nathaniel died Oct 1768 East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

Nathanael’s  mother Mary Mott was born 25 Apr 1708 in New Shoreham, Washington, Rhode Island.  Her parents were Jacob MOTT and Rest PERRY. Mary died 7 Mar 1753 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island.

Caty’s father John Littlefield was born in 1 Mar 1718 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island. His parents were Caleb LITTLEFIELD and Mercy MOTT. John died on 13 Jun 1795 in New Shoreham, Newport, Rhode Island.

Caty’s mother Phebe Ray was born 10 Sep 1733 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island.  Her parents were SIMON RAY and Deborah GREENE. Phebe died 30 Apr 1761 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island.

Caty’s second father-in-law, Isaac, Miller Esqr. was born 31 Jan 1737 in Middlefield, Middlesex, CT. Isaac died on 27 Jul 1817 in Middlefield, CT.

Caty’s second mother-in-law Hannah Coe  was born 9 May 1743 in Middletown, Middlesex, CT. Hannah died 16 Dec 1833 in Middlefield, Middlesex, CT.


Nathanael’s paternal grandfather Jabez  Greene was born 17 May 1673 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island. He married 17 Mar 1698 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island to Mary Barton. Jabez died 1 Oct 1741 in E Greenwich, Kent, Rhode Island.

Nathanael’s paternal grandmother Mary Barton was born 1 May 1678 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; Mary died 6 Mar 1712 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island

Nathanael’s maternal grandfather Jacob Mott was born in 1661.  Jacob died in 1737

Nathanael’s maternal grandmother Rest Perry was born in 1675.  Rest died in 1709

Caty’s paternal grandfather Caleb Littlefield Jr  was Edmund LITTLEFIELDs  great grandson.

Edmund LITTLEFIELD was baptized on 27 Jun 1592 in Titchfield, Hampshire, England.   His parents were Francis LITTLEFIELD and Mary E. FRENCH.  He married Annis (Anne or Agnes) AUSTIN on 16 Oct 1614 in Titchfield, England.  He emigrated in 1637 with his oldest son still living Francis and, settled at Exeter, NH and later was one of the first settlers in Wells, Maine. His wife Annis and six other children came a year later.  Edmund died 12 Dec 1677 in Wells, Maine

Child of Edmund and Annis

  • Anthony Littlefield bapt. 7 Oct 1621 Litchfield, England d. 11 Dec 1661; m. Mary Page 1648 Wells, Maine;

Child of Anthony Littlefield and Mary Page: (Edmund Littlefield’s grandson)

  • Caleb Littlefield Sr., b. 4 Sep 1659, Braintree, Suffolk, Mass, d. 1741, Block Island, Rhode Island.; m. Lydia Mott on Abt. 1690 in Braintree, Norfolk, Mass, daughter of Nathaniel Mott and Hanna Shooter. Lydia died in 1705.

Child of Caleb Littlefield Sr. and Lydia Mott (Edmund Littlefield’s great grandson)

  • Caleb Littlefield Jr. b. Jul 1692 in Braintree, Norfolk, Mass. d. 18 Dec 1769 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island; m. Mercy Mott

Child of Caleb Littlefield Jr and Mercy Mott (Edmund Littlefield’s 2nd great grandson)

  • John Littlefield b. 1 Mar 1718 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island; d. 13 Jun 1795 in New Shoreham, Newport, Rhode Island; m. Phebe Ray

Child of John Littlefield and Phebe Ray (Edmund Littlefield’s 3rd great granddaughter)

  • Catherine (Caty) Littlefield b. 17 Dec 1753 in Block Island, Newport, Rhode Island. d. 2 Sep 1814 in Cumberland Island, Dungeness, Georgia; m1. Nathanael GREENE (1707 – 1768); m2. Phineas Miller on June 13, 1796 in Philadelphia’s First Presbyterian Church

Caty’s paternal grandmother Mercy Mott was born 1695, of New Shoreham, Newport, RI, Her parents were John Mott (1659-1688) and Mercy Tosh. Mercy died 3 Apr 1761 New Shoreham, Rhode Island.

Caty’s maternal grandfather Simon Ray was born 09 Apr 1672 in New Shoreham, Block Island, RI. His parents were Simon Ray (1638 – 1737) and Mary Thomas (1645 – 1737) Simon died 19 Mar 1755 in New Shoreham, Block Island, RI.

Caty’s maternal grandmother Deborah Greene was born 28 Feb 1689 in Warwick, Kent, RI. Her parents were Job Greene (1656 – 1745) and Phebe Sayles (1658 – 1744) Deborah died in 1745 in Newport, RI.


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46 Responses to Nathanael Greene

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  3. Dorothy BeGell says:

    My grandfather was William Greene if Galeton,PA born July 18,1865in Newark valley,NY M Louisa Knickerbocker in Greenwood,NY
    diedNovember 14,1946in Galeton,PA They had 9 children Tinnie,Amy,William,Robert, LLewelyn,Ruth, Adelbert,Kenneth,Carl.
    I have several pictures of the family if anyone is interested I will galdly share them with you.

    • TOM ERDMAN says:

      hello, Our family has had a few artifacts of this historic period mentioned over time.We can trace our tree to a Mary Hallam Greene in coventry(KY)…..does this ring any bells?

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  5. Stacy says:

    Was wondering what your source was for Nathaniel Orson Green (1813-1861)? Seems odd that the family would have two sons named Nathaniel living at the same time, the first one from 1809-1899.

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Stacy,
      Several family trees on include Nathaniel Orson Greene as part of Nathan Ray Greene’s family, others don’t list parents. All these trees say he was born in Pennsylvania so I am removing him from my tree. As Nathaniel and Anna Marie didn’t marry until 1808, I’m also removing:
      i. Louisa Catherine Greene b. 1805 Georgia d. 1807 Georgia
      ii. Daughter Greene (1807 – 1807)

      Nathaniel Orson Greene (2 Jul 1813 in Wrightsville, York, PA – 27 Oct 1861 in Youngsville, Warren, PA) m. 9 Feb 1852 Brokenstraw Township, Warren, PA to Eliza Elsa Mead (1815 – 1893) parents John Mead and Sarah Or Sally Huffman

      Thanks for the catch, Mark

      • April Flynn says:

        Came across this page while writing an obituary for my Aunt. Very interesting and I will have to come back to re-read later. I am descendant of the Greene-Gladding Family of Rhode Island. I just want to mention that in my huge family, even in the day, it is not unusual to have multiple of the same name. My Grandmother was Rae Gladding and her brother was also Ray Gladding, as was their father, Raymond Greene Gladding. I also had several uncles and cousins all named Nathaniel Austin Gladding…. It is funny how they all used the same names or some variation there of 🙂

        Cheers from New England,

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  12. George Spencer says:

    What information do you have with respect the General Nathanael Greene’s siblings?

    • markeminer says:

      Hi George,

      I added Nathanael Green’s siblings, brothers and sisters-in-law as well as his nephews and nieces. Lots of examples of a Greene marrying a cousin Greene, but no ancestors of mine that I can tell, other than the original immigrant Edmund Littlefield.

      • George Spencer says:

        Everything that I have seen about Nathanael Greene is that he had 7 brothers but no sisters. Is that your understanding?


    • markeminer says:

      I found the same thing, except a sister Phebe who died young (Phebe Greene b. 20 Mar 1741 in Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island; d. Oct 1741 Warwick)

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  14. Gerald Johnson says:

    my great grandfather was Clenard Greene from watauga county,north carolina. His father was Solomon Greene who had a trading post at Deep Gap which is in watauga county also. I have heard grandpa talk about Elihu greene also. one of our family says that the way soomon greene aquired thelarge amount of property in watauga county was by a land grant from George Washington to General Nathaniel Greene .Also, Daniel Boone’s wife Celia who lived in Watauga County was said to be part of the greene family also.

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  17. laura greene says:

    I went through our lineage of the greenes. mary turk is not directly related by birth or marriage to general Nathaniel. guess is lydia may remember a silver tray of a very distant cousin.

    • markeminer says:

      Lydia’s offhand comment caused me hours of searching. Unfortunately, she passed 67 years ago so I can’t ask her directly. 😉 Luckily, Nathanael’s relations are interesting. Did you know Caty helped Eli Whitney invent the cotton gin?

    • Barbara Ellen Johnson DeMoss says:

      Do you have a piture of this tray is there a large turkey on it? I may have one like that ,as I’m a decent of Nathanael Greene, and the Anthony family.

  18. Sue nelson says:

    Looking for any info on Thomas Fosdick Greene 1780-1849 who was married to Ann Jenckes. Want to know who Thomas’ parents were. In RI.

  19. Lauren says:

    my bff Laura is a decendent of Nathanael!

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  21. harmony anthony says:

    my names harmony anthony. decendent of susan b. anthony my great grandma was alice greene. i dont know her parents names she married my gpa j.b anthony. any idea who alice greene or her parents were related to the general?

    • Barbara Ellen Johnson DeMoss says:

      Hi I’m also a decent of the Anthony, Greene family, I think my Grandmother Lillias Patrica Anthony , had Nathaniel Greene revolutionary war sword, donated to an Idaho museum, I remembering her tell me she burned the donation slip just to piss me off…we have no male decents for 5 generations so she gave it away after the birth of my son. Like I said not a nice lady at times. But I loved her.

  22. Nathanael Greene Barn Raising.
    Please take a moment to read. The Nathanael Greene Homestead in Coventry RI is raising funds to replicate the lost barn for use as a classroom.

  23. Can someone clear something up? I am a descendent of Martha Greene Harris 1763 – 1790. She seems to be listed as a descendent of John Greene 1594 1658. Question is this the same bloodline as Nathanael Greene? Could Martha be a cousin or Aunt?

  24. Bill says:

    Do the names Polly Chttum or Malinda P. Greene mean anything to anyone? If so, I have a lot to fill in and can refer you to a third cousin of mine who has a lot of hard archival evidence bringing their lines forward. i stumbled onto this site and will probably miss it again, so respond via email please.

  25. Timothy Williams says:

    I have always been told I am a descendent of Nathanael Greene. My grandmother’s maiden name was Green. Apparently the ending “e” had been dropped. Her father, my Great Grandfather, was Benjamin McCulloch Green. He was a Primitive Baptist preacher. The family story is that he was born in 1861 as the Civil War was getting underway. He was the youngest of 17 children & they had never named him. They called him “Babe”. General Benjamin McCulloch of the Confederate Army came by their farm in southern Arkansas with him troops, took a liking to the boy & named him General Benjamin McCulloch Green. The “General” part of the name was never used. He went by “B.M.” all is life. I don’t know who his parents were or how they would have been kin to Nathanael, although I’m sure that information is documented in family papers.

  26. James Greene says:

    i believe i’am related to him

    • James Greene says:


      • James Greene says:

        could you see if i am?????????????/

      • Coach Collins says:

        Through Jabez Greene I am related to Nathanael Greene Jabez was a several times over great grandfather of mine and the Major General was Jabez’s grandson so Nathanael was a cousin many times removed

        Separate issue: does anyone know of any of Rufus Greene’s (Jabez son) sons who fought in the Revolution? There was Rufus jr, Caleb Stephen David Col Charles Abraham Russell Jonathan and Joseph. I’m SAR already via another branch but would like to know if I had any other patriot ancestors. Same for War of 1812 and Civil War Thanks Kevin Collins

  27. Pat Pondillo says:

    I went to school with an Alice Greene in bklyn NY,in the 1950s, she was the Great great niece Of the general! So she said I would like to find out!

  28. mrscarrey14 says:

    Hello, I am interested in genealogy and ran across this clipping that’s appeared twice. Do you have any idea who this person could have descended from from the Greene line. I am researching the “Molsberry” line and this is attached to Mrs Wiliam Molsberry (maiden name Mary Moore). Supposedly her b date is 1798 and her death date is 1889. William F Molsberry was her husband b 1801 and d 1878. This may have come from Maulsbury or Malsbury. Many family trees show Williams parents were Williams Molsberry (again) and Sarah Greene, but I cannot find any matching connection to a Sarah Green being a child of Nathanael. Do you have any ideas if this is true that by marriage, Mary Moore, she married the grandson of Nathanael? (I can’t find a way to attched a jpg, so it says “Mrs. William Molsberry. Mason City, Iowa, Jan 10. Grandma Molsberry died at her home in Plymouth yesterday at the age of 92. In 1820 she married William Molsberry, a grandson of Gen. Nathaniel Greene of Revolutionary fame.” Any help is appreciated!

    • Kevin Collins says:

      I am a distant cousin of Major General Nathanael Greene

      This is my bloodline:
      Grandfather Percy Shear 1891 – 1959
      His father:
      Herbert Clifford Shear 1862- 1928
      His father George Harris Shear 1834- 1924
      His MOTHER Eliza Harris 1804 -1854 Her Father Rufus Greene 1712-1784
      His father Jabez Greene 1673- 1741 who was General Greene’s (1742 -1786
      grandfather. And the father of Nathanael Greene sr. 17 07 -1768

      Sorry I can’t help you but I suggest that the man in Iowa might have been a step son and as such might not show up in standard bloodlines.
      Try marriage records of Colonial Rhode Island
      Best of luck
      Kevin Collins

      • mrscarrey14 says:

        Kevin, thank you! I am confused how this is possible? “His MOTHER Eliza Harris 1804 -1854 Her Father Rufus Greene 1712-1784.” Eliza would have been born after Rufus died? Like 20 years later? I am in the process of trying to sort out the tree now!

      • Kevin Collins says:

        I am a distant cousin of Major General Nathanael Greene This is my bloodline: Grandfather Percy Shear 1891 – 1959
        Percy Shear’s father: Herbert Clifford Shear 1862- 1928

        Herbert Cillford Shear’s father George Harris Shear 1834- 1924

        George Harris Shear’s MOTHER Eliza Harris 1804 -1854

        Eliza Shear Harris was the daughter of
        Rufus Greene 1712-1784

        Rufus Greene’s father was Jabez Greene 1673- 1741

        who was General Greene’s grand father and the father of General Greene’s father Nathanael Greene sr.

  29. Debbie Thompson says:

    My comments regard the person listed as Martha Phillips Littlefield in your genealogy above. I think people are confusing this Martha with a granddaughter of Cornelia and Edward. There was an article written for The Century Magazine that was published in 1898 that was written by a Mrs. Martha Littlefield Phillips (Phillips being her married name, not her middle name). The article starts by this Martha stating that she was “the adopted child, and constant companion, of my grandmother Cornelia.” Cornelia and Edward did have a daughter named Martha who married Dr. Newman, but she must also have had a granddaughter named Martha Littlefield (whether her birth name or the name given to her when she was adopted by Cornelia and Edward). The introduction to the article in The Century Magazine referring to this Martha as “Mrs. Phillips.” Towards the end of the article, Mrs. Phillips states that “some years after the death of Mr. Skipwith [Cornelia’s first husband], she was married to my grandfather, Mr. Edward Brinley Littlefield.”

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