Dennis Conrad, Roger Parks, Richard Showman

Beginning in 1971, the National Historical Publications Commission chose the Rhode Island Historical Society to compile the papers and letters of General Nathanael Greene, with historian Richard Showman serving as the lead editor. Originally slated to take five years and be a part of the bicentennial celebrations of 1976, the project took over 30 years to complete and the original five-volume set ballooned to an impressive thirteen volumes. 

Showman was known as the editor of the Harvard Guide to American History, and while he had no official experience compiling historical papers, he was adept at making connections with other historians who gave him guidance during his time on the project. Showman often traveled to Washington D.C. or other parts of the country to access Greene’s papers, making contracts with institutions and private collectors to access and reproduce the papers.

In 1982, Showman took Dennis Conrad on as associate editor of the project, Conrad having written his Ph.D.dissertation on Greene. Once Showman retired from the project in 1993, Conrad became senior editor serving in that role until 2001. Roger Parks, who joined the project in 1988, was the last person to serve as senior editor, taking on the role in 2001. While Richard Showman did not live to see the project’s completion in 2005, the Papers of Nathanael Greene was hailed as a significant accomplishment in the field of history and a major accomplishment of the RIHS.