Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Phineas Miller, 3 May 1793

From Phineas Miller

Mulberry Grove (Georgia) May 3d 1793


The keen and afflicting grief of the Sisters and the inconsolable distress of Maternal sensibility at the late untimely death of Master George W. Greene, induced me to open and answer your obliging letter to him, of March 12th. rather than risk adding a wound to their feelings by shewing it to them. It came alas! too late to meet that attention he would have gladly given it, and to excite that gratitude of which his heart was sufficiently susceptible.

The letter you mention to have sent by Mr. Peale I am sure was never received, as it must have been shewn to one, who from a long residence in the family had his particular friendship and confidence.

The correspondence with which you wish to be furnished is at present in Charleston, but will be brought here some time in the ensuing summer—when, a regard to the gratification I should be sure of giving to the feelings of Mrs. Greene and family, as well as my own wishes, will lead me to a particular attention to your request. With the most perfect respect I am Sir, your very Obedient & humble Servant

Phins. Miller

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “The Honbe. Thos. Jefferson Esqr. Secretary of State”; endorsed by TJ as received 31 May 1793 and so recorded in SJL.

Phineas Miller (1764–1803), a native of Connecticut and a 1785 Yale graduate, tutored the children of General Nathanael Greene, whose widow Catharine Littlefield Greene he married in 1796. He became a Georgia planter, justice, and state senator, and the sponsor and business partner of Eli Whitney in his invention of the cotton gin (Dexter, Yale description begins Franklin B. Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College with Annals of the College History, New York, 1885–1912, 6 vols. description ends , iv, 430–1; Jeannette Mirsky and Allan Nevins, The World of Eli Whitney [New York, 1952], esp. 54–5, 66, 96; Miller to TJ, 27 May 1793).

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