Phineas Miller came to tutor the Greene children and after General Greene's death, Catherine Green hired him on as plantation manager. Now, she wasn't idle, after Greene's passing she was robustly active in both the rearing of the children and assuring the success (which was not to be) of the plantation. All while saddled by extraordinary debts her husband incurred while shoeing and coating and feeding his troops. His (her) debts at the time of his passing were 90 some thousand lbs. sterling... in 1786. She fought, wrote letters, and traveled to the Capital, and with the aid of Alexander Hamilton and her own tenaciousness (I read that she brought a steamer trunk of papers to back up the veracity of the transactions incurring the legitimate debt to win the war) --- the debt was erased. (They were dear friends of the Washingtons, but George, not wanting to seem impartial and not wanting to exhaust political capital and cause rifts, stayed neutral).
So Miller is helping her run the plantation, their only hope of survival in the years until the debt is erased. A young-ish Eli Whitney comes aboard and within a year invents the cotton gin. The same year, Miller and Catherine are married.. a good ten years after Greene's death. Mulberry Grove ends up falling, eventually sold, and they relocate to a smaller property, where they remain married, with her children, to the end. So somewhere around a kitchen table, the workings of a home turned into the pulse of a home - a prescient Americana love letter: seeds for the land and a salmon v. roses.
In the fall of 1785, after Revolutionary War service, Greene and family settled to Mulberry Grove in Chatham County, Georgia, near Savannah, where land had been gifted from the State of Georgia and the Carolinas, yet Nathanael's time there would be short -within one year, Greene was dead. The children's tutor, Phineas Miller, took up the role of plantation manager. It is within this time period that this letter was written,
I have sent you the best assortment of garden seeds I am now able to procure - They are from a retailer, who received them put up, mark'd and warranted from Col. Wadsworth's gardener. [Col. Jeremiah Wadsworth was a friend of General Greenes]. I intended to have had a larger assortment selected by himself but he went out to West Division early this morning with the intention of putting them up this evening, and Capt. Sweet sails today so that I had no alternative but to get them of the retailer - I have put on board a salmon for your family and Mrs. Ward, with very particular directions to Capt. Sweet, to take care of it, and hope it may arrive good and prove agreeable -
Please to present my most respectful compliments to the Governor and family and permit tme to to be Madam your Most Obedient and Very Humble Servant. -- Phins. Miller.
In 1792, after passionate and active work on the part of the widow, the crushing debt that General Greene amassed during the Revolutionary War was erased. In this same year, Eli Whitney came aboard the plantation to assist. Within the year, the cotton gin was fully developed.
On March 14, 1794, Whitney received a patent for the cotton gin - it was debuted on the plantation grounds. By some reports, she was in partnership with Miller in the financial and logistical support of the process of patent and production of the gin. [In an 1883 article in The North American Review titled "Woman as Inventor", the early feminist and abolitionist Matilda Joslyn Gage claimed that Mrs. Greene suggested to Whitney the use of a brush-like component, which was instrumental in separating the seeds from the cotton.]
In 1796, Phineas and Catherine were married, but Mulberry Grove would not outlast the duo. By 1798, it was sold, and the Millers moved to Cumberland Island, to land given to Gen. Greene.