Homestead OverviewIn 1770, this house was built by 27 year-old Quaker and iron-master, Nathanael Greene. The building is a well-preserved 18th Century structure of simple, yet refined design. The iron forge, which was located on the Pawtuxet River behind the house, manufactured ship's anchors and chains. As part of various industries owned and managed by the Greene family, it served as the primary source of employment for the men of Coventry.Greene's sense of responsibility to his employees and his respect of formal education (which he lacked) prompted him to open the doors of his home and provide a teacher for the local children. Thus, the Homestead became known as "Spell Hall."Nathanael married Catharine "Caty" Littlefield, of Block Island, in 1774. They envisioned a quiet married life, but that was not to be, as Nathanael was already involved on the political stirrings between the American Colonies and Britain.Immediately following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, militia Private Nathanael Greene was promoted by the Rhode Island General Assembly to the rank of Brigadier General and given command of the Rhode Island militia regiments. General Greene quickly marched his troops to the aid of Massachusetts. During the war, Nathanael's brother Jacob, and his wife Peggy, moved into the house with Caty.The Continental Congress promoted Greene to the rank of major general. Nathanael Greene, a former Quaker, self-educated, with no military experience became known as the Strategist of the American Revolution. His sense of duty and discipline saved the Continental Army: · At Valley Forge, in the winter of 1777/78, Major General Greene accepted a 'demotion' to Quartermaster General, bringing stability to that office and provisions to an army in the throes of certain death. · In autumn of 1780, with the focus of the British Army in the South, Congress and General Washington assigned Major General Nathanael Greene command of the Southern Campaign to subdue the British. Greene, through keen tactics, including guerilla warfare and planned retreats, was able to weaken the British and gradually pull them into Washington's snare, and ultimate defeat at Yorktown in 1782. Though the new nation rejoiced in the victory, Major General Greene continued to lay siege to the British in the South for another year, and, was forced to personally take on the financial responsibility of supplying his troops when all other means of obtaining sustenance for them failed.Shortly after the war ended, Nathanael signed the house and forge over to Jacob, and in 1785 moved his family to Savannah, Georgia.On June 19, 1786, Nathanael Green died at the age of forty-four. Some believed the cause was sunstroke - others questioned whether it was due to the hardships of the Southern Campaign, and the stress of the enormous financial burden he was under. It was not until 1791 that Catharine Greene was able to successfully petition Congress and receive money toward repayment of the debt incurred by Nathanael to supply his troops, during the war.The house remained in the Greene family for two more generations, before it was sold in 1915.In 1919, four members of the Kent County Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution purchased the home, restored it and gave it the name we know it as today - the Nathanael Greene Homestead.