Guest blogger Janet Tuhlar shares Part Two of her research on Nathanael Greene, giving us insight to the founding of our country and the South. (Part One, click here.)
Properties gifted to General Greene
The tragic, premature death of General Nathanael Greene robbed the fledgling nation of an outstanding leader. His enormous debt for the supply of his troops now fell on Caty, his thirty-two year old widow, as she struggled to raise five young children.
At the close of the War, properties had been given to General Greene in appreciation for his delivery of the South from British occupation. Before his death, Nathanael had decided what would be done with the properties.
North Carolina had given 25,000 acres upon its frontier (now Maury County, Tennessee). This property was sizeable indeed, but of no use to the general at the time. He did nothing with it, but stated in his will that it was to be divided among his children.
Georgia also gifted the general with a 2,500 acre plantation along the Savannah River, known as the Mulberry Grove Plantation. He moved his young family to Savannah, Georgia, to begin his new life as a gentleman farmer -- hoping for success with the plantation and the petition he was attempting to present before the United States Congress to have the debt for the supply of the troops in the Southern Campaign paid.
Mulberry Grove is where Nathanael Greene fell victim to a stroke and died at the age of forty-four. It is where President George Washington twice paid a visit to Widow Caty Greene, to pay his respects, and, in all likelihood to counsel her in the preparation of her own petition to Congress -- for, Congress had ignored Nathanael’s attempt. Caty, with the help of the Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton (who drafted the twenty page petition), Congressman (General) Anthony Wayne (who argued the case vehemently before Congress), and President Washington (behind the scene, no doubt) by a very narrow margin, was success in receiving the indemnity of her late husband’s estate. (It was also at Mulberry Grove Plantation that, with Caty Greene’s help, Eli Whitney would invent the Cotton Gin.
Her name is on the original patent).