Rhode Island Reading Room
These documents are made available free to the public by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project
This section contains articles of genealogical and historic interest on Rhode Island in general, from old Rhode Island books and newspapers. If you would like to contribute please e-mail me with information.

   Welcome Arnold Greene, descendant of John Greene of Kings Town

   Descendants of John Greene, surgeon, immigrant ancestor of the Warwick Greenes

   Hon. Charles J. Greene, descendant of John Greene of Kings Town

   Arnold Green's lineage: Thomas (2), Samuel, Thomas (3), John, Timothy
            and Timothy Ruggles Green
 


  THE HISTORY OF RHODE ISLAND 

The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical, by the American Historical Society, Inc., 1920. For an unknown reason there are two copies of the book with the same title page, but with different contents. Articles will be added from these books regularly. 


The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical
Pages 180-182 from the larger volume  
Welcome Arnold Greene

There were among the early settlers of Rhode Island three men who bore precisely the same name -- John Greene -- who were the founders of eminent Rhode Island families, but who were, so far as is known, unrelated by birth to each other.  One of these immigrant settled in Newport, one at Warwick, and the other at Quidnesett Neck in North Kingston.  All were founder of families which have figured prominently in the history of Rhode Island, and which to the present day rank among the foremost in the State.  Welcome Arnold Greene, a prominent figure in business life in Providence in the latter half of the nineteenth century, was a descendant of the famous Dr. Greene, surgeon, founder of the well-known Warwick family of Greene, through his maternal ancestry, and of John Greene, of Kings Town, paternally.  The coat-of-arms of the family is as follows:

(I)  John Greene, known in the records as John Greene of Kings Town, came to Narragansett about the year 1639, living in the family of Richard Smith, as his testimony shows.  In 1663, he with others of Wickford, declared themselves in favor of being under jurisdiction of Connecticut, rather than of Rhode Island.  On May 20, 1670, having changed his allegiance to the Colony of Rhode Island, he took the oath.  On January 1, 1672, he with five others bought of Awashuwett, Chief Sachem of Quoheset, in Narragansett, certain land there.  In 1678-79 he served as conservator of the peace.  He was the owner of considerable land in the early settlement of Kings Town, and was prominent in affairs.  He married Joan _____, and they were the parents of four children, sons, all of whom settled in the vicinity of and about Kings Town.

(III)  John Greene, grandson of John Greene, the founder, was of West Greenwich, R. I., where he was a prosperous farmer, and the owner of considerable landed property.  He married, and among his children was Caleb, mentioned below.

(IV)  Caleb Greene, son of John Greene, was of East Greenwich, R. I.  He married, November 26, 1741, Mary Greene, daughter of Jabez and Grace V. (Whitman) Greene.  (see Greene, of Warwick, IV).  She was half-sister of Nathanael Greene, father of the famous Revolutionary hero, General Nathanael Greene.  Caleb Greene died September 3, 1743, and his widow married (second) a Mr. Atwood.

(V)  Nathan Greene, only child of Caleb and Mary (Greene) Greene, was born in East Greenwich, R. I., November 2, 1742, and died there May 19, 1809.  He was a farmer on a large scale, and a prominent citizen of East Greenwich all his life.  He married (first), January 14, 1764, Hannah Greene, daughter of James Greene, and a descendant of John Greene, surgeon.  She was born October 5, 1743, and died May 11, 1789.  He married (second) Abigail Arnold, who was born in May, 1754, and died in 1838, daughter of Jonathan and Abigail (Smith) Arnold, and a descendant in the fifth generation of Thomas Arnold, of Providence, founder of the family of Rhode Island.

(VI)  Welcome Arnold Greene, son of Nathan and Abigail (Arnold) Greene, was born in East Greenwich, R. I., November 17, 1795, and died at Providence, R. I., in 1871.  On completing his education he entered the employ of his mother’s brother in Providence.  For many years he went as supercargo for the firm on boats engaged in the coastwise trade, and subsequently was employed in the counting room of the firm in Providence.  He was advanced to a position of great responsibility and trust, and in the course of his connection with the firm was sent on mission to Russia and South America.  At the time of his retirement from business life, he was a man of considerable means and property.  Mr. Greene was well known in business and social circles in Providence.  His home until his death was on Prospect Hill.  In his latter years he gave much time and attention to historical research, and was a member and treasurer of the Rhode Island Historical Society.  Like many of his ancestors he was a member of the Society of Friends.

Welcome Arnold Greene married (first), November 11, 1826, Sarah, daughter of Zenas and Hannah (Hussey) Gardner, of Nantucket; she died October 30, 1833.  He married (second), December 13, 1838, Caroline Austin, daughter of Daniel and Rachel (Gardner) Austin.  The living children of the second marriage are:  Sarah, Nathan, John J., Carver, and M. Louise Greene.  Sarah married, in 1868, Gustav Adlof Lenz, a native of Strutgart, Germany, who died in Providence, in 1879.  Mr. and Mrs. Lenz were the parents of the following children:  i. Charles Howard, deceased, a wool broker of Providence.  ii.  Arnold Bechter, one of the foremost monumental designers of New York City, also a well-known composer of music.  iii.  Oscar Louis, a sculptor of note; studied under St. Gaudens.  iv.  Gustav Radeke, well-known singer.  v.  George Collins, connected with the Providence Ice Company.  vi.  Howard Greene, manager of one of the Liggett stores of Providence.  Mrs. Lenz, who survives her husband, is well known in Providence.  She is a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, and of the Rhode Island Historical Society. 

Greene of Warwick

(I)  John Greene, surgeon, immigrant ancestor of the Warwick Greenes, was born in 1597, probably at Bowridge Hall, Gillingham, County Dorset, England, where his father and grandfather resided.  He was a surgeon at Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, where he married (first) in 1619.  He sailed for this country from Southampton, England, in the ship “James,” April 6, 1635, arriving in Boston, June 3 of the same year.  He lived first at Salem, Mass., for a short time, and in 1637 was of New Providence, where he was brought before court for speaking contemptuously of the magistrates, and fined twenty pounds and ordered to remain outside the jurisdiction of Massachusetts.  In 1638 he sent a letter to the court charging it with usurping the power of Christ and men’s consciences, and again was ordered not to come within the jurisdiction under penalty of imprisonment.  On October 8, 1638, he was one of the twelve to whom Roger Williams deeded land purchased of Canonicus and Miantonomi, and the following year he was one of the twelve original members of the Baptist church.

In 1642-43 he was made purchases of land.  In the latter year he and others were summoned to Massachusetts court to hear the complaint of Pomham and Socconocco as to “some unjust and injurious dealing toward them by yourselves.”  The Warwick men refused to appear, declaring they were subjects of England and not under Massachusetts authority, and soldiers were sent to take them.  They were besieged and all but Greene was taken to Boston, he fortunately escaped imprisonment.  In 1644 he and two others went to England to obtain redress for their wrongs and were successful in their purpose.  He served as commissioner in 1654-55-56-57; was made freeman in 1655.  His will was dated December 28, 1658, and was proved January 7, 1659.  In 1668 his widow deeded the house and estate to her step-son, John Greene.  John Greene married (first) in Salisbury, England, November 4, 1619, Joan Tattersall; (second) Alice Daniels, widow, who died in 1643.  He married a third time.

(II)  James Greene, son of John Greene, was born in 1626, and died April 27, 1698.  He lived in Warwick, R. I., where he was made a freeman in 1655.  Hew was commissioner in 1660-61-62-63; deputy to the General Court in 1664-65-66-67-68-69-70-72-74-75-85-86-90, and assistant in 1670-71.  In 1697 he deeded land to his son James.  He was great-grandfather of Major-General Nathanael Greene.  His will, dated March 22, 1698, was proved May 2, 1698.  He married (first) Deliverance Potter, born about 1637, died about 1664, daughter of Robert and Isabel Potter.  He married (second), August 23, 1665, Elizabeth Anthony, who died after 1698, daughter of John and Susanna Anthony.

(III)  Jabez Greene, son of James and Elizabeth (Anthony) Greene, was born in Warwick, R. I., May 17, 1673.  He inherited the Potowomut homestead, and was admitted a freeman of Warwick, May 5, 1696.  He was a Quaker and a meeting of the Society of Friends was held at his home, December 3, 1699.  He inherited also the forge at Potowomut, where his six sons and his grandchildren carried on the successful industry of manufacturing anchors and other iron work as late as 1820.  Jabez Greene married (first) March 17, 1697-98, Mary Barton, daughter of Benjamin and Sussanna (Gorton) Barton, and granddaughter of the Warwick pioneer, Samuel Gorton.  She died March 6, 1712-13.  He married (second), May 23, 1716, Grace Valentine, daughter of Valentine Whitman, of Providence.  Jabez Greene was the grandfather of Major-General Nathanael Greene.

(IV)  Mary Greene, daughter of Jabez and Grace V. (Whitman) Greene, married, November 26, 1741, Caleb Greene, of East Greenwich, R. I. (see Greene IV).


These documents are made available free to the public for non-commercial purposes by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project.
The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical
Pages 260-262 from the smaller volume

Hon. Charles J. Greene

The place of Mr. Greene's birth was South Kingston *, R. I., but the town of Richmond has been the scene of his life work since he attained the age of twenty-one years.  In educational lines and the public service he has gained a worthy reputation.  Descendant maternally from a long list of schoolmasters, his choice of the profession was one most natural, and his town has profited largely from his devoted, able service in the cause of education.  He is a member of the Greene family of Southern Rhode Island, who settled in this part of the country during the period of its earliest settlement, and is descended from the old Quidnesset branch or North Kingstown* family of the same name.

(I)  This branch of the family was founded in Rhode Island by one John Greene, who came from England in 1635, and was at Quidnesset in the Narragansett country about 1639, where he made his home with the family of Richard Smith, a friend of Roger Williams, the builder and owner of a trading post with the Indians, near the present village of Wickford, in the town of North Kingstown.  He rapidly became prominent in the affairs of the town and colony, and in 1678-79 was conservator of the peace.  He died about 1695, having survived his wife by about thirteen years.  John Greene married Joan Beggarly, and they were the parents of the following children:  John, born June 6, 1651; James, born in 1655; Daniel, Edward, and Benjamin, of whom further.

(II) Benjamin Greene, son of John and Joan (Beggarly) Greene, was born about 1660, and made his home at Kings Town and East Greenwich, R. I.  He was vary prominent in the affairs of these places, and was deputy to the General Court in 1698, 1700-01-03.  He was also surveyor of highways in 1701, a member of the Town Council in 1701-03-04, and was ratemaker in 1702.  His death occurred in 1719, and that of his widow in the following year.  Benjamin Greene married Humility Coggeshall, who was born January, 1671, daughter of Joshua and Joan (West) Coggeshall, and they were the parents of the following children:  John, of whom further; Benjamin, Henry, Caleb, Joshua, Mary, Ann, Phebe, Catherine, Sarah, Diana, and Deborah.

(III)  Lieutenant John Greene, son of Benjamin and Humility (Coggeshall) Greene, was born at Kings Town, about 1688.  He was prominent in the affairs of the community, and was twice married, first about 1708, to Mary Aylsworth, daughter of Arthur and Mary (Brown) Aylsworth, of Quidnesset.  He married (second) in August, 1741, Priscilla Bowen (or Barney), of Swansea.  He was the father of the following children:  Philip, Benjamin, Thomas, Elizabeth, Ruth, William, Josiah, and Amos, of whom further; Jonathan, Caleb, Joseph and Joshua.

(IV)  Amos Greene, son of Lieutenant John and Mary (Aylsworth) Greene, was born January 18, 1717, probably at West Greenwich, R. I.  He engaged in farming at Charlestown, in this State, where he resided until the time of his death, on May 13, 1777.  Amos Greene married, June 19, 1740, Amey Knowles, both being at that time residents of Charlestown, and they were the parents of the following children, all born at that place:  Amos Knowles, born March 25, 1741; William, born Feb. 13, 1744; Hannah, born May 7, 1751; John, born Aug. 13 1754; and Amey, born Sept. 14, 1756.  After moving away from Charlestown, other children were born to them, as follows:  Thomas born April 23, 1759; Nancy, born Aug. 17, 1761; Catherine, born Dec. 8, 1763; Jeffrey, of whom further; and Henry, born April 5, 1769.  The mother of these children lived to be more than one hundred years of age, and thee is still an heirloom in the family, a purse, which was made by her at the age of one hundred years.  The skillful work upon this indicates her well-preserved condition.

(V)  Jeffrey Greene, son of Amos and Amey (Knowles) Greene, was born September 7, 1766, at Charlestown, R. I.  The greater part of his life was spent in his native place, but in his latter years he removed to South Kingstown, R. I., where his death occurred, March 8, 1818.  He married, in 1792, Frances Congdon, a native of Charlestown, where she was born, March 9, 1771, and a daughter of John and Sarah Congdon of that place.  They were the parents of the following children:  Sarah, born Jan. 14, 1793; John C., born Oct. 26, 1794; Nathaniel, born Sept. 4, 1796; Catherine, born Nov. 19, 1798; Mary, born Dec. 10, 1800; James C., of whom further; Eliza, born Sept. 19, 1805; Martha, born Feb. 16, 1809; and Frances, born Sept. 26, 1818.

(VI)  James C. Greene, son of Jeffrey and Frances (Congdon) Greene, was born March 22, 1803, at Charlestown, R. I.  Mr. Greene's childhood was spent as Charlestown and South Kingstown, amid the rural surroundings of his father's farm, where he worked during such hours as he could spare from his studies in the local schools.  His education was limited to the courses to be had in the common school, but he was a man of unusually keen powers of observation and the type of mind which readily absorbs and assimilates knowledge.  After his marriage he engaged in farming on his own account, at South Kingston, until 1870, when he removed to the Samuel Clark farm at Richmond, and there spent the remainder of his life.  His death occurred May 18, 1877, and that of his wife December 26, 1887.  James C. Greene married, March 4, 1841, at South Kingston, Susan Hull, born May 12, 1810, a daughter of Benjamin and Sally Hull, and related to Mary Dyer, who was hung on Boston Common, a victim of religious intolerance.  They were the parents of the following children:  Charles J., with whose careen we are here especially concerned; Sarah Fannie, born Jan. 20, 1853, and married, Dec. 20, 1875, George R. Clarke, son of Reynolds H. Clarke.

(VII)  Charles J. Greene, son of James C. and Susan (Hull) Greene, was born in South Kingston, R. I., December 16, 1848. In boyhood his strong mental characteristics were plainly marked and he evinced an unusually practical grasp upon general affairs. His education was obtained in the public schools and the East Greenwich Academy, and upon the completion of his course, he returned for a time to the home farm and became his father’s assistant. During the winters, when farm work was slack, he taught in the neighborhood schools and became known as an able instructor. Determining upon pedagogy as his life work, he took a course in what was then the National Normal University, at Lebanon, Ohio, then returning to Rhode Island, and for twenty terms taught in the schools of South Kingston and Richmond. His love of the work, his native ability, and his wide acquaintance in the region were contributing factors to his success as a teacher, and he held the confidence of the communities.

Eventually he retired from active teaching but has retained his close interest in all educational matters. From April, 1877, to September, 1917, more than forty years, he served as a member of the school committee o f Richmond, for several years as chairman, and for the greater part of the period as clerk of this body. At the same time he was superintendent of the Richmond schools, resigning his office on the board when a change of the school law made it impossible to continue in both capacities. He has served as superintendent since 1881, with the exception of three years, is still serving, and has rendered invaluable service to the town in this capacity. From March 9, 1874, to January 1, 1904, thirty years, he was trustee and clerk of the village school district at Kenyon, districts being abolished by law throughout the State on the latter date. He represented Washington county on the board of managers of the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts from 1888 to 1897, the first nine years of its existence, and during most of his term was auditor of accounts and clerk of the board. His educational ideas have been progressive, and the high standard of the institution with which he has been identified is evidence of the efficiency of his administration.

In 1881, when elected as a Republican to represent his town in the State Legislature, he definitely withdrew from the teaching profession. He was a member of the Lower House of the Legislature until 1884, when he was elected State Senator from the same town, filling a seat in the Senate until 1891. In 1896 he was again elected to the House of Representatives of Rhode Island and after a two years’ term was once more placed in the State Senate. He had represented Richmond in the Legislature longer than any other man, and throughout his long continuance in office, served his constituency diligently and well. Among his duties were those of member of the committee on agriculture for one year; the committee on unfinished business for three years; the committee on education for three years, of which he served as clerk one year; the committee on public health for three years; the committee on engrossed acts for nine years; and as chairman of the committee on charities and corrections for one year or more.

Numbered among the leaders of his party in his town, he has been prominent in local affairs and continues his activity to the present time. Beginning in 1881, he served a fifteen years’ term on the town committee, becoming chairman of the committee when the new system went into effect and filling that office to this time. He has been assessor of taxes three years, and since 1884 has filled the office of treasurer of the town of Richmond. Among the special offices he has filled and the special committees on which he has served in Richmond is the committee which was appointed at a special town meeting in 1883, for the erection of the new town hall. Mr. Greene was clerk of that body. In 1901 he was a member of the committee appointed by the corporation of the Second Baptist Church of Richmond, for the erection of a new church edifice, replacing the building that had recently been destroyed by fire.

In addition to his educational and political connections, Mr. Greene has been identified with numerous business interests in the locality. He was chosen a member of the board of directors of the National Landholders’ Bank of Kingston in 1884, and served until the bank surrendered its charter in 1905 to become the Kingston Trust Company, then being elected a member of the board of trustees of this company. He became vice-president in 1905, president in 1908, and is now serving as trustee and president. He was elected a member of the board of trustees of the Kingston Savings Bank in 1889; president in 1908, and served until the bank was absorbed by the Peoples’ Savings Bank of Providence, in 1912.

In the course of his business life Mr. Greene has been entrusted in many instances with the duties of executor, administrator and conservator of numerous estates, also guardian. of many persons and estates. These services have been performed in six different towns of Washington county, R. I., once as administrator in Boston, and once as executor in the State of Connecticut. He has a number of times acted as guardian to boys and girls, and young people and their interests for years have had a large share of his sympathy and concern. He has for many years been a member of the board of trustees of the Shannock Free Library, and in his many relations to the general life of the neighborhood, has contributed generously and willingly of his best to all propositions promising the common good. Until 1905 Mr. Greene resided on the property known as the Samuel Clarke farm, in Richmond, which came into his possession on the death of his father, but since that year has resided at Kenyon.

* All spelling variations of Kingstown are as they appear in the original.


These documents are made available free to the public for non-commercial purposes by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project.
The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical
Pages 425-28 from the larger volume  
Arnold Green

Descended from families tracing to earliest Colonial days in New England, Mr. Green numbers among his ancestors these men worthy of mention: John Carver, the “Mayflower” emigrant and first governor of Massachusetts Colony (also several other “Mayflower” emigrants); Thomas Dudley, governor of Massachusetts (1634 and later); Walter Clarke, governor of Rhode Island Colony (1676 and later); William Greene, governor of Rhode Island (1743 and later); Samuel Gorton, founder of Warwick; and General Timothy Ruggles, leader of the American Royalists, Chief Justice of Massachusetts, and president of the Stamp Act Congress. Through the two direct lines, Green and Arnold, his first American ancestors were Thomas Green, of Malden, Mass., who came to America from Leicestershire, England, about 1636; and Thomas Arnold, of Cheselbourne, Dorsetshire, England, who came to America in 1635 in the ship “Plain Joan,” and soon settled at Watertown. Thomas Arnold was the son of Richard Arnold, whose descent, it is claimed, was through Richard Arnold, of Somersetshire, England, from the ancient and illustrious Arnold family, which, according to a pedigree recorded in the College of Arms, was one of great antiquity, having its origin among the ancient Princes of Wales, tracing from Ynir, King of Gwentland, who flourished after the middle of the twelfth century.

From Thomas Green, the American founder, Mr. Green’s lineage is through Thomas (2), Samuel, Thomas (3), John, Timothy and Timothy Ruggles [Greene].

Arnold Green was born in New York City, with which city the name is identified through the service of his father’s cousin, the Hon. Andrew Haswell Green, of Worcester and New York, a prominent lawyer of New York, who is called the “Father of Greater New York,” and who, in 1868, conceived the plan for the amalgamation of the cities and towns which, in 1897, were constituted Greater New York, and for this he was presented by the city with a gold medal in 1899. Arnold Green was born in New York City, February 27, 1838, and died in the old Arnold homestead in Providence, R. I., February 17, 1903.

He was reared to manhood in the city of Providence, attended school in that city, and was graduated from Brown University in the class of 1858, salutatorian of his class, with John Hay, the former Secretary of State, and Colonel R. H. I. Goddard of Providence. He studied abroad in Germany and Greece, and was later a law student at Harvard University. He held the degree of LL. D., and was authority in many branches of learning. Greek was his special hobby, and he was a student of both ancient and modern tongues. He was the author of “Greek and What Next,” an address, and “Solomon’s Hymn to Liberty,” a poem read before the Alumni of Brown University, at the First Baptist Church in Providence, June 17, 1884. In college he was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity. Botany and conchology were studies of special interest to him, and he was quite widely known as a naturalist.

In 1861, Mr. Green went out with the First Regiment, Rhode Island Volunteers, and served three months. He was in the battle of Bull Run. He was a member of the Veteran Association of the regiment, and was its president for two years. After the war, he settled down to the practice of law in Providence, which was afterward his chief occupation. For many years he was counsel for the old Boston & Providence Railroad, and he became a recognized authority on difficult points of law.

Mr. Green’s literary tastes were manifested in a number of addresses that won a measure of fame. He delivered the address at the opening of the new Public Library in Providence, and spoke on other occasions of similar importance. He was president of the board of trustees of the Public Library, and was a trustee of Brown University and the Rhode Island Hospital.

In may respects Mr. Green was a remarkable man. “He was not to be ranked as a specialist,” said one of the court officials, “in any particular branch of legal lore, because he was so sound in every branch. And not along as a lawyer was he preeminent among his fellows; he was skilled as a botanist, made the study of the higher mathematics a pastime, possessed a deep and broad knowledge of rare languages, and was so proficient in modern Greek that he subscribed for a daily Greek newspaper, which he read for years with much interest. He also had a profound knowledge of Roman law.”

For many years Mr. Green was the official reporter of the opinions handed down by the Supreme Court. An eminent jurist and close friend of Arnold Green at the time of Mr. Green’s death related several characteristics incident in his career, and spoke of his attainments and qualities at some length. “It was said that when he was graduated from Brown University the authorities had great difficulty in deciding between Arnold Green and one of his classmates as to which was entitled to become valedictorian of his class. Finally the deeper generosity of his nature arose to the surface, and he somewhat gruffly ended the controversy by saying, ‘Give it to the other fellow; he expects to teach and it will help him at the start to get a good position.’ And so Mr. Green became salutatorian.” This same authority continued: “If it were possible for a man to become over-educated, perhaps he was. He was preeminent among his associates in the versatility and profundity of his knowledge. Possibly it was owing to this fact that he sometimes seemed to lose their sympathy. He had no patience with littleness or ignorance. He was like a chestnut burr--one first felt the superficial harshness without seeing the meat inside. He never pursued popularity or position, but rode rough-shod over obstacles that presumed to interfere with his desire to gather knowledge. He used the English language with directness and without gloss. He wrote but little, although no one who knew him doubted his qualifications and ability to treat almost any subject he might choose with the pen of a master. His fame, though great, will be legendary, as he left little in the shape of preserved writings for men to look upon.”

On January 14, 1865, Mr. Green married Cornelia Burges, born March 21, 1837, daughter of Judge Walter S. Burges, of Rhode Island Supreme Court, and Eleanor Burrill, the daughter of Hon. James Burrill, Chief Justice and United States Senator of Rhode Island, after whom the town of Burrillville, R. I., was named. Mrs. Green died January 8, 1901. Seven children were born of this marriage, namely: Arnold Burrill, born Aug. 21, 1866, died Feb. 18, 1872; Theodore Francis (see forward); Eleanor Burges, born March 3, 1870, a resident of Providence; Cornelia Elizabeth, born March 20, 1874, a resident of Indianapolis, Ind.; Erik Hastings, born Jan. 16, 1876, a resident of Providence; Herlwyn Ruggles, born Feb. 22, 1877, a resident of Palo Alto, Cal.

Theodore Francis Green, son of Arnold and Cornelia (Burges) Green, was born in Providence, R. I., October 2, 1867.  His mother’s ancestry was equally distinguished.  Cornelia (Burges) Green was a daughter of the Hon. Walter S. Burges, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, a son of Abraham and Rhoda (Caswell) Bruges, born in Rochester, Plymouth county, Mass., Sept 10, 1808.  Judge Burges had excellent educational advantages, and entered Brown University in 1827, graduating with honors in 1831.  He immediately became principal of the Thaxter Academy at Edgar Town, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and taught four years.  Meanwhile pursuing legal studies, he was admitted to the Rhode Island bar in 1835, and began practice.  In 1845 he was appointed United States District Attorney for Rhode Island and served four years.  He served in both branches of the Legislature, and was elected Attorney-General of Rhode Island in 1851--reelected in 1852-53-1854, and again in 1860-61-62-63.  In 1868 he was chosen Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, which office he filled until his resignation, June 1, 1811 [probably supposed to be 1891].  His death occurred July 26, 1892.  He married, June 1, 1836, Eleanor Burrill, daughter of Hon. James Burrill, of Providence, Chief Justice of Rhode Island and United States Senator, and after whom the town of Burrillville, R. I., was named.  Mrs. Burges died May 21, 1865.

Walter S. Burges was the nephew of Hon. Tristram Burges, eminent statesman, son of John and Abigail Burges, who was born in Rochester, Mass., February 26, 1770, graduated at Brown University with highest honors in the class of 1796.  Possessed of remarkable oratorical powers, a brilliant future was predicted for him.  He studied law, was admitted to the Rhode Island Bar in 1799, and established an extensive practice.  In 1801 he married Mary, daughter of Welcome Arnold.  In 1811 he was elected a member of the General Assembly, and in Mar, 1815, was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the state, holding office one year, when he resumed practice of law.  From 1815 to 1828, he was professor of oratory and belleslettres at Brown University.  In 1825 he was elected to Congress from Rhode Island, and filled this office for ten years.  He made his mark in Congress, and his encounters with the eccentric and sarcastic John Randolph form an interesting part of Congressional debates.  He returned to Rhode Island in 1835 and died October 13, 1853.

Theodore Francis Green attended private schools and the Providence High School, later entering Brown University, whence he was graduated A. B. in 1887, and A. M. in 1890.  From 1890 to 1892 he was student at the Harvard Law School, afterwards in 1892 to 1894 pursuing studies in the universities of Bonn and Berlin, Germany.  In 1892 he was admitted to the Rhode Island bar, in 1894 to the United States District and Circuit courts, and in 1905 to the Supreme Court of the United States.  From 1894 to 1897 he was instructor in Roman law at Brown University.  He practiced law with his father until the latter’s death.  Since 1906 he has been the senior member of the law firm of Green, Hinckley & Allen.  Mr. Green is of the fifth generation in direct line in his family who have followed the profession of law, and has given his principal attention to his legal practice.  However, his relations to his community are in many respects those of his distinguished father, differing as the period has changed, but closely interwoven with its political, business, educational, and philanthropic life, one of this offices, that of trustee of Brown University, having been held by his father, Arnold Green, and his grandfather, Timothy Ruggles Green, and two great-grandfathers and tow great-great-grandfathers.

Mr. Green was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives in 1907, and made the speech placing in nomination Colonel R. H. I. Goddard for United States Senator.  While a member, he drafted and procured the passage of an act to prevent bribery and corrupt practice in elections.  Mr. Green  later drafted and procured the passage of the first law in any State in the Union prohibiting exclusion from places of amusement of men in the army and navy because of their uniform, the necessity at that time of such a law contrasting strangely with the present honored place of service men.  In 1912 he was Democratic candidate for governor of the State, and was defeated by a very small margin.  He was alternate and later delegate to the National Democratic Convention at Baltimore in 1912, and the same year was a Presidential elector.  In 1918 he was the Democratic nominee for Congress in the First District, but was not elected.  He was also delegate to the National Democratic Convention at St. Louis in 1916.  He was a member of the special committee of the Providence Chamber of Commerce on Permanent Tariff Commission.  In October, 1914, he was chairman of the Democratic State Convention.

Mr. Green’s business interests are numerous and important.  Since January, 1912, he has been president of J. & P. Coats (Rhode Island) Incorporated, a leading thread manufacturing concern.  In October, 1914, he was appointed one of the five trustees of the Rhode Island trolley lines by decree of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York in the case of the United States vs. the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company, et al; and in March, 1919, was appointed one of its receivers.  Since 1914 he has been director and secretary of the Rhode Island Company, also secretary and treasurer of the Sea View Railroad Company, and since 1915 a director of the Providence & Danielson Railroad Company, and since 1919 vice-president of said company.  He is also chairman of the board of directors of the Morris Plan Company of Rhode Island.  He is president and director of the West Providence Land Company, and a director of the Cheapside Land Company.  He was a director of the National Exchange Bank, 1904-1909.

The list of Mr. Green’s associations in many fields is a lengthy one.  Since 1900 he has been a trustee of Brown University, a member of the Green family having served in the relation to the university for many years, as previously noted.  Mr. Green was the organizer of the Brown Union, and was chairman of its board of management from 1903 to 1907.  He was chairman of the general committee for the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Women’s College of Brown University.  Since 1914 he has been a member of the corporation of the Lincoln School of Providence.  he had been a trustee of the Rhode Island School of Design since 1900, and its vice-president since 1907.  He has been trustee of the Providence Public Library since 1905, and secretary since 1908, and was a director of the Providence Athanaeum, 1898-1901.  He was trustee of Butler Hospital from 1900 to 1919.  He was secretary of the Rhode Island branch of the American Red Cross from 1911 to 1918.  He is a member of the corporation of Federal Hill House Association, of the Home for Aged Colored Women, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence Institution for Savings, Rhode Island Library Association, Providence Young Men’s Christian Association, Charitable Baptist Society, Public Park Association, American Trust Society, and American Free Art League.

The termination of war work released him from duty as a member of the Rhode Island State Council of Defense, a member of the War Council of Providence Defense, a member of the War Council of Providence Chamber of Commerce, a “four-minute man” of Rhode Island, a member of the Rhode Island Committee of Nation Security League, and a member of the Rhode Island Committee of the War Service Committee of the American Library Association; member of Psi Upsilon Fraternity Advisory War Council, member of the committee of Brown University Corporation which planned and recommended reorganization for war work, member of the executive committee of the Rhode Island School of Design which reorganized the school for war work, and a member of the War Camp Community Service Committee of Providence.  He also served in 1919 as a member of the State of Rhode Island and Providence “Welcome Home’ committees.  He is also a member of Brow University War Memorial Committee, and of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee on war Memorial.

From early in 1917 to early in 1919, Mr. Green was chairman of the American Citizenship Campaign in Rhode Island.  He was also chairman of the committee on citizenship of the Providence Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Rhode Island branch of the National Security League Committee on Citizenship.  He was vice-president of the Rhode Island Branch, League of Enforce Peace.  Since June, 1914, he has been a member of the Rhode Island Advisory Council of the George Washington Memorial Association, Washington, D. C.

In 1911, in opposition to a plan which had been proposed for a trolley approach by viaduct to the East Side of Providence, he formulated an alternative plan for a tunnel under College Hill, and organized a movement known as the Citizens’ Plan,” and carried it through to success, as a result of which the Arnold block was raised and the present East Side tunnel was built.  He was a member from 1912, and chairman from 1917 of the City Plan Commission of Providence until 1919.  In 1908 he organized a movement for the preservation of the Old Market building, now known as the Chamber of Commerce, which saved it from threatened destruction.

In the Spanish-American War, Mr. Green received a lieutenant’s commission from Governor dyer, commanding a provisional company of infantry, with instructions to recruit, which he did.  During the great war hew as very active.  On November 15, 1917, he was appointed by Secretary McAdoo State Director of War Savings for Rhode Island, and acted as such until February, 1919.  He was one of the organizers and until 1918 commander of the First Platoon of the First Company of Providence Constabulary.

Mr. Green is a member of the Rhode Island Historical Society, of the Rhode Island Society for Mental Hygiene, of the American Federation of Arts, Providence Marine Corps of Artillery, Providence Chamber of Commerce, American Bar Association, Rhode Island Bar Association, Providence Bar Club, Academischer Juristen-Verein zu Bonn, Psi Upsilon fraternity (Sigma chapter), and Psi Beta Kappa.  His clubs are the following:  Hope, Agawam Hunt, Providence Art, Psi Upilon, Turk’s Head, University, Town Criers of Rhode Island, all of Providence; Chomowauke Lodge, University of New York, and the Metropolitan, of Washington, D. C.

The above paragraphs constitute the merest outline of Mr. Green’s usefulness and activity in his city and in his State.  They are indicative of the scope of his interests and of the many channels in which his influence flows.  His business address is at No. 1310 Turk’s Head building, Providence, R. I., and his home address, No. 14, John street, Providence.


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