George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Nathanael Greene, 16 February 1784

From Nathanael Greene

Newport [R.I.] Feby 16th 1784

Dear Sir,

I had the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 28th of December last,1 and having had the Honor of being appointed President of the Cincinnati of Rhode Island, I embrace the earliest opportunity of giving you an Answer. General Varnum, Major Lyman, and myself, are in the appointment to attend the annual General meeting of the order. It is not expected more than One will attend the meeting. I intend to be in South Carolina before that time.2

General Varnum or Major Lyman will attend, and I have the pleasure to communicate to your Excellency that the measures necessary for the establishment of the Order is fully gone into, and all the officers appointed agreeably to the Institution. With esteem and affection, I am, dear Sir, Your most obedient humble servt

Nath. Greene

LS, DSoC; ADfS, RHi.

Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene (1742–1786) was GW’s most valuable general during the recent war. He was a Rhode Islander but was soon to return to the South where he had fought his greatest campaign. Greene died at Mulberry Grove, his plantation near Savannah, on 19 June 1786.

2GW wrote Greene on 20 and 27 Mar. 1784 protesting the decision that only one of the three Rhode Island delegates should go to Philadelphia to the May meeting of the Society of the Cincinnati. Greene responded on 22 April that his health made it impossible for him to travel to Philadelphia. On 6 May he wrote that he was still too ill to travel and that neither of the other elected delegates, Gen. James Mitchell Varnum (1748–1789) and Maj. Daniel Lyman, were going to the meeting but that he had persuaded Col. Samuel Ward (1756–1832) to represent Rhode Island. Ward arrived at the general meeting on 12 May.

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