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About Catharine Greene (Littlefield)
Catharine Littlefield "Caty" Greene (17 February 1755 – 2 September 1814) was the wife of American Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene, a mother of five, and noted for being a supporter of inventor Eli Whitney.
Catharine Littlefield was born on February 17, 1755, off the coast of Rhode Island on Block Island, which her family had helped settle in the 1660s. Her father, John Littlefield, served in the Rhode Island legislature, and her mother, Phebe Ray, was a descendant of the earliest settlers of Block Island. Caty's mother died when she was ten years old, and she was sent to live with an aunt and uncle, Catharine Ray and William Greene, in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
Greene learned to read and write while living with her aunt and uncle. Her uncle was a leader of the Whig Party and governor of Rhode Island. Nathanael Greene A notable visitor was Benjamin Franklin, who had been a close friend of Greene's Aunt Catharine. Another frequent caller was Nathanael Greene, a successful merchant who was a distant cousin of her Uncle William's. Nathanael, the son of Rhode Island Quakers, was fourteen years older than she. The two began a courtship in 1772 and were married on July 20, 1774.
Within a year of their marriage the first shots of the American Revolution (1775-83) were fired, and Greene's husband was selected by the Rhode Island Assembly as brigadier general, in charge of Rhode Island's three Continental regiments. During the war Greene was not content to sit at home awaiting word of her husband. Instead, she visited him at his headquarters and joined him at his various encampments. Although friends and family were critical of her conduct, she continued to travel to battle sites and witnessed many battles firsthand.
Greene's presence at her husband's encampments endeared her to the troops and to the other military leaders. George and Martha Washington became friends and supporters of Greene.