Greene County Arkansas
Centennial Edition Section 1
5--Section 1, Centennial Edition Paragould Daily Press, Monday, August 29, 1983
|.. Was county named for General Greene..........................|
Nathanael Greene by Rembrandt Peale after the original by C.W. Peale.
This photograph of the Peale portrait was
*** ==================== ***
Top photo courtesy of: Mrs. Thomas Casey Greene Jr./On loan to the Rhode Island Historical Society.
| Ever since Greene County was
created by the 8th Arkansas Territorial General Assembly in 1833, there's been some disagree-ment about the spelling and deriva-tion of the county's name. Even the 1833 legislators disagreed.
On Oct. 18, 1833, 11 days after the assembly had convened in Little
Rock, J.B. Hammond, one of two
Lawrence County representatives,
presented a petition from a group of his constituents seeking the cre-ation of a new county.
On Oct. 22, a bill was introduced to divide Lawrence County and under the name, "An Act to Estab-lish the County of Green," it passed the House on Oct. 28.
The bill was sent to the upper
chamber, then called the Legislative
Council, on Oct. 29 and two days later that body adopted an act "for the creation of Greene County."
Gov. John Pope approved "An Act
to Erect and Establish the County of Green" on Nov. 5, 1833. It was the 28th county to be formed in the Territory of Arkansas.
The majority opinion holds that the
county was named for Nathanael
Greene, a Revolutionary War general known as "the Savior of the South" because of his successful campaign against the British in the southern colonies. Greene was a brilliant military strategist, consid-ered second only to George Wash--ington.
Celebrated in his day as a war hero, especially by grateful South-erners, Greene died only a few years after the fighting ended. "Nathanael Greene has always been considered among the great of the American Revolution," a modern biographer wrote.
"Time, however, has dimmed remembrance of the part he played in the winning of independence and the forging of the new nation." Even British historians have lauded him as a skillfull general, citing his "patience, reslution and profound common sense."
Greene died in 1786 on the Georgia plantation given him as reward for his military service; most of the residents of nearby Savannah and the surrounding countryside turned out for his funeral procession.
Benjamin Crowley, who was 63
when he settled here in 1821, was born in Virginia in 1758 but raised in Georgia, moving later to Ken-tucky and then to Arkansas by way of Missouri, according to his grand son, Benjamin H. Crowley. One Crowley genealogy says the family's Georgia plantation was four miles south of Savannah.
These Crowleys would surely have known all about their illustrious neighbor and Benjamin Crowley, who would have been 28 at the
|time, may have even observed the impressive
funeral procession. And in 1820, shortly before the ridge was settled,
the folks back in Sav-annah were busy raising money for a civic memorial
under which Greene's remains were later placed.
Greene, a fifth-generation American, was born Aug. 7, 1742, in Warwick Township, Rhode Island, and worked as an anchor-smith at his family's forge.He was only 26 in 1768 when he publicly sided with rebel colonists by cir-culating petitions against the Townshend duties and helping organize boycotts of British goods. Soon after, he was elected to the colonial assembly.
Self-taught, he acquired a large personal library, a rarity in those days, and even his military strategy was first learned from books.
Although he was raised a Quaker
and hampered by a limp, Greene organized a local militia unit in 1774 and joined the Continental cause as soonas he heard of the battles at Lexington and Concord. He immediately rose to the rank of brigadier general and other pro-motions quickly followed.
Greene was active in the Revo-lution from beginning to end. He crossed the Delaware with Wash-ington and shared the winter at Valley Forge, presided at the trial and execution of British spy John Andre, Benedict Arnold's accom-plice, and set up Cornwallis for
his final defeat at Yorktown. His
battle service reads like a map of the war: Boston, Trenton, Brandy-wine, Monmouth, Guilford Court House, Eutaw Springs, among many others.
He was 38 when he assumed command of the southern army and skillfully frustrated the British with classic guerrilla tactics. "We fight, get beat, rise and fight again." he wrote his friend Lafayette. His fellow general Henry Knox said of Greene, "Without an army, without means, without anything, he has performed wonders." And Wash-ington himself praised Greene continually.
Greene, who once wrote that he was "ready at all times to bleed in my country's cause," lost most of his personal fortune when he un- derwrote a contract in order to keep his soldiers from starving. After the war, an appreciative South Carolina legislature award-
ed him a large sum of money, but most of it was used to pay the army's debts.
He died June 1786, apparently of
sunstroke, at age 43.
Nathanael Greene's name is often
misspelled, both names actually. Arkansas history books constantly refer to "Nathaniel Greene."
or Greene County, Kentucky?
This book, listing criminal and civil legal
Page 6 Section 1
Transcribed from the 1983 Centennial Edition by : PR Massey
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