Nathan Brownson letter
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Nathan Brownson letter

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Brownson, Nathan, 1742-1796.
Title: Nathan Brownson letter
Dates: 1781
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 1586

Biographical/Historical Note

Nathan Brownson (1742-1796) was born in Woodbury, Connecticut. He studied medicine at Yale University, where he graduated in 1761. Around 1764, Dr. Brownson moved to Georgia and purchased a plantation of 500 acres in St. John's Parish (in what is now Liberty County). There he cultivated rice. He was the first physician to practice south of the Ogeechee River. Brownson was elected to represent St. John's Parish at the Provincial Congress that met in Savannah, Georgia on July 4, 1775. He was a delegate from Georgia to the Continental Congress from 1776 to 1778. On March 28, 1781, Congress appointed him Deputy-Purveyor of the hospitals. On August 16, 1781, he was elected Governor of Georgia by the state legislature. He served as Governor of Georgia until January 8, 1782. After the Revolutionary War, he served in various public offices. He died on his plantation in Liberty County. Georgia on October 18, 1796 at the age of 55.

Nathanael Greene (1742-1786) was born in Potowomut (Warwick), Rhode Island. He worked his way up to the rank of General in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. At the time of this letter, Greene was marching through South Carolina. By December of 1781, he had cleared the British out of every post in that state, except for Charleston. Greene and his army besieged the British at Charleston, South Carolina until they finally evacuated on December 14, 1782. After the war, he moved to a plantation in Georgia, which had been given him by the citizens of Georgia in gratitude. He went back and forth between Georgia and Rhode Island every year for the remainder of his life. In 1785, he established himself at Mulbery Grove near Savannah. He died there and was buried in the cemetery of Christ Episcopal Church, Savannah. In 1902, his remains were removed from the cemetery and reinterred beneath the Greene monument in Johnson Square located in downtown Savannah, Georgia.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains a letter written to Nathanael Greene from Governor Nathan Brownson on December 1, 1781. It was written from Augusta, Georgia. In it, Brownson describes the perilous condition of the citizens in Augusta and asks Greene for help. He mentions the threat of Creek Indian and British attacks and Augusta's lack of supplies. He states that South Carolina will not help them and he asks Greene for help because he believes that Greene has a "propencity to relieve distress." A typescript of the letter is included. The paper mentions various enclosed items, but these items were not with the letter.

Index Terms

Augusta (Ga.)
Brownson, Nathan, 1742-1796.
Creek Indians.
Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786.
Letters (correspondence)
South Carolina.
Southern States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Acquisition Information

Gift of Joseph Rubinfine, 1997.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Publication note

This letter is excerpted in Volume 9 of The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. Showman, Richard. ed. 1976. The papers of General Nathanael Greene. Vol. 9. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Letter, 1781