1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

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 Papers of Christopher Greene (1748-1830)

 Lawyer and merchant of Warwick, R.I.

 Papers, 1782-1830.

 Size: 0.5 linear foot

 Catalog number: MSS 456

 Processed by: Harold Kemble ca. 1985 and finding aid by Lori Salotto, November 1999

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Christopher Greene (1748-1830) was born in Potowomut Neck, Warwick, Rhode Island to Nathanael Greene(1707-1768) and Mary (Mott) Greene (1708-1753). He had a sister, Phebe (b./d. 1741) and five brothers: Jacob (ca 1740-1808), Gen. Nathanael (1742-1786), William (1743-1826), Elihu (1746-1827), and Perry (b. 1749). He also had two step-brothers, Benjamin (1733-1762) and Thomas (1735-1760).

            He married his first wife, Catharine Ward (1752-1781) on December 23, 1773. She was born in Newport, Rhode Island to the Hon. Samuel and Hannah (Ray) Ward. They had two daughters: Anne (b. 1776) and Catharine (1780-1840). After Catharine died, Christopher married her sister, Deborah Ward (1758-1835), on May 12, 1782. Christopher and Deborah had eight children: Christopher (1783-1814), Celia (1786-1829), Emily (1787-1814), Nathanael (1789-1847), Richard W. (1792-1875), Samuel W. (1794-1872), John W. (1795-1820), and Elihue (1802-1878).

            Christopher was involved in the family iron manufacturing business at the Forge at Potowomut and had a mercantile partnership ( E&C Greene) with his brother Elihu. His close relationship with his brother Elihu is reflected in the name of their sloop, Two Brothers. Christopher died on December 22, 1830 and he is buried at the Old Forge Burying Ground in Warwick, Rhode Island.


Clarke, Louise Brownell. The Greenes of Rhode Island with Historical Records of English Ancestry. 127-128, 211-212 and 333-336. New York, 1903.

Rhode Island Cemetery Index.

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Scope and content:

            This collection contains mostly financial accounts and correspondence,1782-1830, between Christopher Greene and his children: John W., Samuel W., Richard W., Christopher, Elihue, and Celia (Greene) Clarke, and from other relatives: nephew Henry Ward; niece Louisa C. Shaw, son-in-law Ray Clarke, brothers-in-law Samuel Ward and John Ward, and brother William Greene. Also, found is a single piece of sheet music, his estate records, and several papers pertaining to his law practice. One of the letters from his son, Samuel Ward Greene, arrived in 1831, several months after his death. (box 1, folder 18).

            These papers contain several letters pertaining to the death of Christopher Greene's son, Christopher. There are two letters telling him of his son's death and another letter in which his obituary notice was sent, as well as a tribute that was written about him. These papers indicate that Christopher, the son, died on October 19, 1815. Due to this information his death has been indicated as 1815, even though "The Greenes of Rhode Island" listed his death as 1814.

            Records pertaining to his mercantile partnership with his brother, Elihu, can be found in the E. & C. Greene Records (Mss 459).

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            These records are believed to have arrived as part of the "Albert C. and Richard W. Greene Collection." The actual date of the accession is not known for sure, but the collection was in hand by the late 1940s. Therefore, the date of 1948 was assigned to the collection.

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Processing note:

            An 1831 letter addressed to Christopher Greene from Samuel Ward Greene was transferred from the Elihue Greene Papers (Mss 458).

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Series 1: Financial accounts

Box 1, folder 1. 1782-1792

Box 1, folder 2. 1793-1803

Box 1, folder 3. 1803-1813

Box 1, folder 4. 1814-1818

Box 1, folder 5. 1819-1823

Box 1, folder 6. 1824-1827

Box 1, folder 7. 1829

Box 1, folder 8. 1830

Box 1, folder 9. Estate,1830


Series 2: Letters and documents


Box 1, folder 10. Law practice papers, 1784-1816 and undated, including papers from the estate of Mary Gardner

Box 1, folder 11. Letters, 1796-1804

Box 1, folder 12. Letters, 1808-1814

Box 1, folder 13. Letters, 1815

Box 1, folder 14. Letters, 1816

Box 1, folder 15. Letters, 1817-1819

Box 1, folder 16. Letters, 1821-1825

Box 1, folder 17. Letters, 1829-1830

Box 1, folder 18. Letter from son received after his death, 1831

Box 1, folder 19. Letters, undated

Box 1, folder 20. Sheet music, undated (removed from daybook of E. &C. Greene, 1819-1827)

Box 1, folder 21. Will, undated

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Clarke, Celia (Greene) (1786-1829)

Clarke, Ray (1782-1847)

Greene, Christopher (1783-1815)

Greene, Elihue (1802-1878) 

Greene, Griffin

Greene, John (1795-1820)

Greene, Nathanael (1789-1847)

Greene, Samuel Ward (1794-1872)

Greene, Richard Ward (1792-1875)

Greene, William (b.1743)

Lawyers - R.I. - Warwick

Merchants - R.I. - Warwick

Music - R.I. - Warwick

Shaw, Louisa C.

Ward, Henry (b. 1784)

Ward, John (b. 1762)

Ward, Samuel II (1756-1832)

Warwick, R.I. - Social life and customs

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