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William Batchelder Greene

William Batchelder Greene


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William Batchelder Greene was born in Haverhill on 4th April 1819. His father, Nathaniel Greene, was the postmaster of Boston and the founder of The Boston Statesman, the leading progressive newspaper in Massachusetts.

After attending West Point Greene took part in the Florida War against the Seminoles. He left the army and studied at Harvard Divinity School before serving as pastor of the Unitarian Church in West Brookfield, Massachusetts.

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who encountered Greene at this time, described him as the "handsomest and most distinguished looking person I had ever met... he had eyes that transfix you with their blackness and penetration."

After reading the work of Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Greene became a socialist and published the influential work, Mutual Banking. According to Benjamin Tucker it was "the most important work on finance ever published in the country." Greene also became a strong advocate of women's suffrage and the abolition of slavery.

In 1853 Greene moved to Paris and remained there until the outbreak of the American Civil War. Returning to America he joined the Union Army and Governor John Andrew appointed him as colonel of the Fourteenth Massachusetts Infantry and had the responsibility of defending Washington against the Confederate Army. One of his men recalled that Greene had "the keenest black eyes ever put in a head... he was kind, patient, forgiving, and fatherly to his enlisted men."

Greene resigned his commission in October 1862 and returned to Boston where he joined with Ezra Heywood and Josiah Warren to develop America's first anarchist movement. Greene became increasingly involved in the struggle for trade union rights and became president of the Massachusetts Labor Union and was an active member of the International Workingmen's Association (the First International).

Greene also worked closely with Benjamin Tucker, the editor of the anarchist journal, Liberty. Both men were leading figures in the New England Labor Reform League, an organization that campaigned for: "the abolition of class laws and false customs, whereby legitimate enterprise is defrauded by speculative monopoly, and the reconstruction of government on the basis of justice and reciprocity."

William Greene died on 30th May 1878.

Greene served as a Union officer for little more than a year. He resigned his commission in October 1862, after a quarrel with Governor Andrew, and thenceforth devoted his energies to economic and social reform. Returning to Boston, he emerged, together with Josiah Warren, Ezra Heywood, Lysander Spooner, and Stephen Pearl Andrews, in the forefront of the individualist anarchist movement in America, championing the cause of free speech, free credit, women's equality, and the amelioration of the condition of labor. In 1869 he became president of the Massachusetts Labor Union and was cofounder, with Ezra Heywood, of the New England Labor Reform League, an organization, thanks to Greene's efforts, permeated with Proudhonian ideas and dedicated, in the words of its charter, drafted by Heywood and Greene, to "the abolition of class laws and false customs, whereby legitimate enterprise is defrauded by speculative monopoly, and the reconstruction of government on the basis of justice and reciprocity."

By 1873 Greene was serving as vice-president of the league - whose members included Warren, Andrews, and Benjamin Tucker - and was active at the same time in the French-speaking section of the International Working Men's Association in Boston. An imposing figure, he was the center of attention in any group in which he took part, often accompanied by his wife, Anna, from the prominent Shaw family of Boston, a woman as fair as he was dark, nearly as tall as he and quite as distinguished in appearance.

Still devoted to Proudhon, who had died in 1865, Greene translated several of his writings, including an essay on "The State" and an extract from "What Is Property" in which Proudhon proclaimed himself an anarchist and condemned unearned property as "theft." Both translations appeared in Heywood's

magazine The Word during the early 1870s. In 1873, moreover, Greene, together with Heywood and Tucker, again petitioned the Massachusetts legislature for a mutual banking law. This duplication of his efforts of the 1850s met with the same lack of success. For the duration of his life, financial and labor reform remained Greene's overriding interests. He died, in England, in 1878, his last years clouded by the death of his daughter, Bessie, who was lost in a shipwreck.


TheRaconteuseExpose

W B Greene was 2nd lieutenant in the 7th infantry in July, 1839 second Seminole War, resigned in November 1841. Attended Harvard Divinity School---graduated 1845. Pastor at a Unitarian church in Brookfield, Massachusetts
Serve in the American Civil War and was a strong abolitionist
Colonel of the 14th Massachusetts Infantry and 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery and resigned his commission in October 1862.
Greene was a fine mathematician, and was versed in Hebrew literature and in Hebrew and Egyptian antiquities. below the publishers preface to Greene's book Mutual Banking


Preface
A Short Sketch of the Author of this Essay on Mutual Banking. WILLIAM B. Greene was a prominent figure among the Massachusetts idealists during the middle of the nineteenth century. He was more than six feet high, slender, somewhat high-shouldered, but with an erectness brought from West point, where he had been a cadet though not a graduate. He had served in the Indian wars in Florida, and his whole bearing was military and defiantly self-assertive.
"Greene became a Unitarian preacher and retired to a small country parish. He was a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, of 1853 later he left the ministry and went to Paris until the Civil War recalled him. Offering his services to Governor Andrew, he was made colonel of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery."
In 1849 he wrote a series of newspaper articles, which were afterwards published as a pamphlet under the name of Mutual Banking. They have been pronounced "the best exposition of finance ever written in the English language during that period". In the following pages this pamphlet appears somewhat reduced from the original. The reader is cautioned that Greene's use of the word "usury" designates not only the excess of interest permitted by law, but all interest whatsoever.
When the last edition of Greene's Mutual Banking was printed in 1895, several plans of currency reform had just been proposed by the three political parties, of. that time in U. S. A. and in the preface the question was asked of the leaders of those parties (which other followers of Proudhon had asked before). "Why is not the credit of a bank's customers as good a basis for currency as that of the bank itself?'' This question has been partly answered by that provision of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 by which Federal Reserve Currency can be issued in exchange for the re-discounted notes of the customers of member banks. “This is a distinct step forward, as it supplies the machinery for expanding mercantile credit, directly, and gives rise to, a hope that in future, a move would be made to decrease the cost of this credit.
The reader is requested to read the scheme and constitution of Proudhon's Bank of Exchange and People's Bank. Unfortunately these banks could not function because Proudhon was sent to gaol in connection with the defamation of President Bonaparte. We intend to publish these in future along with a short biography of Proudhon who is the originator of the Mutualistic idea.

From A glimpse of William B. Greene in 1854

“For Turkey.—A Paris correspondent of the New York Tribune says, that upon the proposal of a medical student, twenty young American students volunteered in ten minutes to aid the Turks with their unpracticed skill. The same writer states that Americans were leaving every day for the Turkish camp. Among those who had gone, were Col. Macgruder, of Mexican war celebrity Mr. Quincy Shaw, of Boston, and the Rev. William B. Greene, late Unitarian clergyman at Brookfield.” [Boston Investigator, April 26, 1854]

“We are gratified (says the Transcript,) that the Commonwealth has secured the services of Mr. William B. Greene as Colonel of the Essex (14th) Regiment. Mr. Greene is a native of Essex County, and is forty-two years of age. He left West Point at the end of two years on account of ill health, but after regaining his strength, was selected to drill troops for many months upon Governor’s Island. He then procured active service as a Lieutenant in 7th U. S. Infantry in the Florida war. He distinguished himself in that severe service, having, most of the time, the command of two companies, and at one time a Major’s command. He is not only a thorough-trained, modest, brave, and high-toned officer, but is a man of marked intellectual capacity. He has shown that he has the “born gift” of leading men. He will know how to temper strict discipline with kindness, and stern command with courtesy. Mr. Greene has resided with his family for several years in Paris, but as soon as he heard of the attack upon our troops in Baltimore, he sold his country-place, shut up his house in Paris, and came to offer his services to his native state. We congratulate the 14th Regiment upon its good fortune.” [Boston Daily Advertiser, (Boston, MA) Saturday, June 29, 1861]

From New York Times June 3 1878 Obituary


Remarks on the Science of History ..

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AnceStory Archives

W B Greene was 2nd lieutenant in the 7th infantry in July, 1839 second Seminole War, resigned in November 1841. Attended Harvard Divinity School---graduated 1845. Pastor at a Unitarian church in Brookfield, Massachusetts
Serve in the American Civil War and was a strong abolitionist
Colonel of the 14th Massachusetts Infantry and 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery and resigned his commission in October 1862.
Greene was a fine mathematician, and was versed in Hebrew literature and in Hebrew and Egyptian antiquities. below the publishers preface to Greene's book Mutual Banking


Preface
A Short Sketch of the Author of this Essay on Mutual Banking. WILLIAM B. Greene was a prominent figure among the Massachusetts idealists during the middle of the nineteenth century. He was more than six feet high, slender, somewhat high-shouldered, but with an erectness brought from West point, where he had been a cadet though not a graduate. He had served in the Indian wars in Florida, and his whole bearing was military and defiantly self-assertive.
"Greene became a Unitarian preacher and retired to a small country parish. He was a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, of 1853 later he left the ministry and went to Paris until the Civil War recalled him. Offering his services to Governor Andrew, he was made colonel of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery."
In 1849 he wrote a series of newspaper articles, which were afterwards published as a pamphlet under the name of Mutual Banking. They have been pronounced "the best exposition of finance ever written in the English language during that period". In the following pages this pamphlet appears somewhat reduced from the original. The reader is cautioned that Greene's use of the word "usury" designates not only the excess of interest permitted by law, but all interest whatsoever.
When the last edition of Greene's Mutual Banking was printed in 1895, several plans of currency reform had just been proposed by the three political parties, of. that time in U. S. A. and in the preface the question was asked of the leaders of those parties (which other followers of Proudhon had asked before). "Why is not the credit of a bank's customers as good a basis for currency as that of the bank itself?'' This question has been partly answered by that provision of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 by which Federal Reserve Currency can be issued in exchange for the re-discounted notes of the customers of member banks. “This is a distinct step forward, as it supplies the machinery for expanding mercantile credit, directly, and gives rise to, a hope that in future, a move would be made to decrease the cost of this credit.
The reader is requested to read the scheme and constitution of Proudhon's Bank of Exchange and People's Bank. Unfortunately these banks could not function because Proudhon was sent to gaol in connection with the defamation of President Bonaparte. We intend to publish these in future along with a short biography of Proudhon who is the originator of the Mutualistic idea.

From A glimpse of William B. Greene in 1854

“For Turkey.—A Paris correspondent of the New York Tribune says, that upon the proposal of a medical student, twenty young American students volunteered in ten minutes to aid the Turks with their unpracticed skill. The same writer states that Americans were leaving every day for the Turkish camp. Among those who had gone, were Col. Macgruder, of Mexican war celebrity Mr. Quincy Shaw, of Boston, and the Rev. William B. Greene, late Unitarian clergyman at Brookfield.” [Boston Investigator, April 26, 1854]

“We are gratified (says the Transcript,) that the Commonwealth has secured the services of Mr. William B. Greene as Colonel of the Essex (14th) Regiment. Mr. Greene is a native of Essex County, and is forty-two years of age. He left West Point at the end of two years on account of ill health, but after regaining his strength, was selected to drill troops for many months upon Governor’s Island. He then procured active service as a Lieutenant in 7th U. S. Infantry in the Florida war. He distinguished himself in that severe service, having, most of the time, the command of two companies, and at one time a Major’s command. He is not only a thorough-trained, modest, brave, and high-toned officer, but is a man of marked intellectual capacity. He has shown that he has the “born gift” of leading men. He will know how to temper strict discipline with kindness, and stern command with courtesy. Mr. Greene has resided with his family for several years in Paris, but as soon as he heard of the attack upon our troops in Baltimore, he sold his country-place, shut up his house in Paris, and came to offer his services to his native state. We congratulate the 14th Regiment upon its good fortune.” [Boston Daily Advertiser, (Boston, MA) Saturday, June 29, 1861]

From New York Times June 3 1878 Obituary


William Batchelder Greene in “The Word”

The subjection of women has been a prominent topic in the debates of the Labor Reform League from the outset, opinion among its members seeming to be pretty nearly unanimous that it is bot unjust and impolitic to deny them a voice in framing laws they are compelled to obey. One of our most efficient co-adjutors, however, Col. Wm. B. Greene, objects strongly to the way in which the woman suffrage agitation is conducted, and we take the liberty to extract from a private letter the following explanation of his position:

1st. It goes on the ground that the majority has a right to govern the minority, that sovereignty naturally and rightfully inheres in the majority, which I deny. The woman suffrage talk sounds to me like black republicanism run into the ground. Mrs. Livermore tells me, from the platform, that she wants the ballot so that she may be able to stop my wine and tobacco, by legislation, and force me to be virtuous according to her pattern—which is not encouraging to me. I find the majority of the American legal voters too much for me as it is, and am not willing to increase its numbers, power or prestige.

2d. I go for the minority representation and for checks whereby the minority may offer successful resistance to the majority. The Democrats of Massachusetts ought to have one-third of the State representation in Congress, instead of having none at all, for they throw one-third of the votes. The present unjust legislation in Washington would be impossible if the Democratic and other minorities had their full and just proportional representation. As soon as we have proportional representation in the federal, State and municipal governments, that is, as soon as the ballot becomes of a weapon of defense in the hand of minorities, instead of being as it is now, a weapon of injustice and tyranny in the hand of the majority, I am willing that women should also have it for women need protection as much as men do. When the women vote, I would have both men and women vote in sealed envelopes, with signed votes, so that cheating would be impossible, and would have the voting done through the post office. I think that if some women, say you wife for example, would get out a new programme for the woman-suffrage agitation, connecting it with minority representation, should would make a ten stroke. I think there are many men who, like me, are unwilling to surrender their sovereignty to Mrs. Livermore, would like to see the women vote.

Col. Greene was the originator of the Working Women’s Convention, held in Boston, in April, 1869, the revelations of which produced a profound impression throughout the nation, awakening discussion and inspiring other movements still in progress. We think the Boston school of woman-suffrage advocates deserve the contempt he feels for them, on account of the indifference, not to say patronizing insolence, with which they have treated the righteous claims of the working women.

“Woman’s Suffrage,” The Word 1 no. 1 (May, 1872): 2.

The Blazing Star . We shall print an explanatory communication from the author of this Book, Col. Wm. B. Greene, in our next. Also the translation of a passage from Proudhon which he has kindly furnished us.

The Word 1 no. 3 (July, 1872): 2.

Correspondence

Col. Wm. B. Greene. Jamaica Plain, Mass.

[who will see, by our prospectus, that we are not to be taken as indorsing anybody’s opinions unless we say so.]

“I read ‘The Word’, with great satisfaction, but regretted to see that one writer attributes to you a purpose to dethrone the christian’s God. I was not aware that the Labour Reform League intends to dethrone anybody’s God. When a man sees clearly that the religious prejudices in which he was educated, are mere prejudices and nothing mores some allowance must be made for his virtuous and indignant intolerance of error. But a slight accession of further light ought to make him tolerant of ignorance and prejudice, for he will have to.accept the universe as it is, and the universe contains many things distasteful to most of us. In my opinion infidel bigotry and sectarianism is just as bad as any other bigotry and sectarianism. I hope ‘The Word’ will argue against religious fallacies in a temperate way, and in a spirit of charity and candor, abstaining from contemptuous flings, insulting language and unprovoked slurs.

I am not willing to enter upon a crusade against anybody’s God. I do not think, as Labor Reformers, that we can afford to refuse the support which the cause finds in the proper interpretation of the Old and New Testaments. It has been my lot to attend divine service in the Jewish Synagogue, the Catholic churches and the Mahometan Mosque and I have never’ found any. difficulty in joining sincerely in the worship. I confess that I entertain an instinctive prejudice against the form, and spirit of the worship of our protestant churches but I also trust that grace will be given me to effectually conquer that repugnance.”

In regard to the recent strike, in Cincinnati, for 25 per cent increase of wages of the German Tailors Union composed of 132 boss tailors who employ about 1300 women and girls and take work from large clothing houses, Col. Greene pertinently asks, “Is it in the interest of the 1300 tailoresses, or in the interest of the 132 piece-masters?. The ideal dream of many jer-tailors is this: to have fall prices for themselves and to employ -girls at reduced prices, the jer-tailor presenting the product of the women’s labor as his own, and getting full prices for it. A well organized jer-tailor’s shop, with a plenty of girls in it, realises to the jer-tailor the aspiration of “more time”, and enables him to pass leisure moments in drinking lager beer and in playing billiards. Not that I have anything to say against lager beer and billiards but, if the jer-tailor is to have “more time” he ought to have it as the result of his own exertions, not that of the girls. Is the strike a strike of workingmen against employers, or is it a strike of the employers, flying workingmen’s colours against workingwomen, or is it a true and just movement of workingmen in defence of workingwomen?

William B. Greene, “Correspondence,” The Word 1 no. 3 (July, 1872): 3.

The State

Translated from Proudhon by William B. Greene

Louis Blanc asks himself, What Is the State?

And he answers himself thus:

“The State, under monarchical rule, is the power of one person only, the tyranny of a single man.

“The State, under oligarchical rule, is the power of a few men, the tyranny of certain ones.

“The State, under aristocratic rule, is the power of a class, the tyranny of several persons.

“The State, under anarchical rule is the power of the first comer who happens to be the stronger and more intelligent it is tyranny in chaos.

“The State, under democratic rule, is the power of the whole people, served by elect delegates: it is the reign of liberty.”

Among Louis Blanc’s twenty-five thousand, or thirty thousand, readers, perhaps there are not ten to whom this definition does not appear to be rigorously demonstrative, and who do not repeat, after the master:—the State is the power of one, of several, of many, of all or of the first comer, according to the qualification of the word State by the adjectives monarchial, oligarchical, aristocratic, democratic, or anarchical.

Louis Blanc’s readers were never, we presume, taught Greek. Otherwise they would know that their friend and leader, Louis Blanc, simply translates the Greek words monos, one aligoi, certain ones aristoï, the upper crust demos, the people and a, which simply means no. Now mark the artifice! Louis Blanc finds it sufficient, in his translation to employ the word tyranny four times, tyranny of a single person, tyranny of several, etc. and to suppress it once, power of the people served by its elect delegates, to obtain universal applause. Every State that is not democratic is according to Louis Blanc, tyranny. But anarchy is singled out to be treated with special severity it is the power of the first-comer who happens to be the stronger and more intelligent: it is tyranny in chaos. What an intolerable beast that first-comer must be, who first-comer as he is finds himself to be the strongest and most intelligent, and who exercises his tyranny in chaos! Who, after this, will prefer anarchy to the amiable government of the people, served so well (as we know by painful experience) by its elected delegates? This is triumphant! Here we are, all of us, knocked flat at the first lick! * * * What is the State? The question must be answered.

The State is the exterior constitution of the social power. By this external constitution of its power and sovereignty, the people never governs itself. Sometimes an individual, sometimes several individuals, either by elective or by hereditary title, govern the people, and with such responsibility to the people as we are perfectly aware from our experience. The Greeks called this exterior constitution of the people arche, principality, authority, government. The existence of this arche is logically grounded on the hypothesis that the people—the collective entity that is called society—can neither govern itself, or thing, act, or express itself, from its own spontaneity that is requires, in order that it may do either of these things, to be represented by one or more individuals, clothed with elective or hereditary authority, who may act as depositories of the power of the people, or as its agents. According to this theory, the collective society is an abstract entity only, without power to manifest itself directly, and which must, in order to render itself efficacious, incarnate itself in a monarchy, in an aristocratic usurpation, or in a democratic mandate.

Now, it is precisely this notion of a collective entity of its life, of its activity, of its unity, of its individuality, of its personality,—do you hear that,—which cause us to repudiate the State, to repudiate the government, to repudiate all incarnation of the popular power, outside the mass, whether hereditary royalties, feudal institutions, or democratic delegations.

We affirm, on the contrary, that the people, that society, that the mass, can and ought to govern itself, and to think, act, rise up, and stand, like a single man, without the instrumentality of any of those appliances which formerly were despotic, which now are aristocratic, and which, from time to time, have been pretended delegates, or representatives, tools or servants of the Crown. These last we simply characterize as agitators of the people, or demagogues,.

We repudiate both the government and the State, because we affirm (what no Statesman ever yet believed or affirmed) the spontaneity and self-action of the masses.

We go therefore, for anarchy, which expresses, as it is evident from what has already been said, the highest limit of liberty and order to which humanity can attain. Anarchy the government of the people by itself, without the intervention of kings, aristocrats, or demagogues self-government is the true formula of the Republic.”—Voix du Peuple, Dec. 3, 1849

P.-J. Proudhon, “The State,” The Word 1 no. 4 (August, 1872): 1-2.

Correspondence

Wm. B. Greene, Jamaica Plain, Mass. “The Blazing Star, the Jewish Kabbala, etc.” has been, so far as I can learn, generally misinterpreted. Let me explain— I wrote a book, which ou republished, in favor of Mutual Money. Now Money is the concrete embodiment, in the region of industrial exchange, of the solidarity. Interpreting: th, principle of solidarity as you and Mr, Warren, and the socialists generally interpret it, I concluded that the. circulating media, as it now exists, is a murderous instrument, by which the few fatally and inevitably (whatever their intentions may be) slaughter the many, by reducing them to poverty, and by condemning them to a straightened mode of life which induces despondency of mind with famine and disease of body. Of course, I wrote my book from the practical, not from the metaphysical point of view. I demonstrated my points by facts taken from the ordinary routine of business, and the demonstration Stands. My book has been now about twenty-five years before the public, four separate editions of it having been printed, and no business man has as yet, to my knowledge, been able to show any fallacy or flaw in the demonstration.

Now for ‘the Blazing Star, etc.’ My attention was called about two years ago, to the so named ‘new philosophy’ of Mr. Herbert Spencer, Mr. Huxley, Mr. John Fiske, and their associates. I saw at once on reading their books, that their ‘philosophy’ is the philosophy of what Josiah Warren calls. ‘civilized: cannibalism.’ What is the ‘Darwinian’ theory,’ as applied to the relations of human society, if it be not the philosophy of cannibalism? If Spencer, Darwin, Mr. Huxley, and the rest, are right we labor reformers are all wrong our currency doctrine of mutual money is all wrong, and the position of the malthusian plutocracy is unattackable.

I seem to see clearly that Mr-Spencer, Mr. Darwin and the rest, hold absolutely erroneous theories of the human soul. and consequently, absolutely erroneous theories of human solidarity. I therefore, in ‘the Blazing Star etc.,’ go up with them into the seventh heaven of pure metaphysics, and there fight the battle of labor reform, in the thin ether, on the question of the human soul and the question of human solidarity. If Mr. Spencer is right, human society, as it stands, is rightly organized, and requires reform in its details only. If I am right, the existing organization of society is radically wrong. and requires gradual and peaceable evolutionizing and I am happy to say that I have the New Testament clearly on my side. Until my arguments are refuted, I shall continue to believe, as I believe now, that I have inflicted on Spencer and his associates, a Waterloo defeat.

The Boston “Daily Globe” of May 16th, 1872, acknowledges in along and courteous notice of the book, that I have defeated Spencer, but complains of my eccentricities, and says nothing at all of the ‘socialism’ that is embodied in every page of my book. If my intention had been to refute Spencer on the ground that he is innovator, and to vindicate the position of the conservative religious sects, the criticism would be to the point but as it happens that I attack Spencer, not because he is an innovator, which he is not, but because he is, in my opinion, the most dangerous extant champion of the existing social cannibalism it also happens that the drift of my purpose is to be found in what the critic calls my eccentricities. “The Golden Age” of May 25 1872, says Mr. G. has written ‘a little book which is also great,’ which I take to be a compliment. He says that the book is ‘able, trenchant and brilliant, but full of the author’s caprices.’ which is, at once, complimentary and the contrary. He says, ‘Though an old stager, the author continually kicks out of the traces like an untamed colt.’ All that I say in defence of the profound metaphysics which underlie the labor reform movement and which are also the metaphysics of John’s Gospel, is obviously regarded as a simple ‘kicking out of the traces.’ The critic concludes by saying, ‘The chairman of the philosophical congress will doubtless decide that Mr. Greene is out of order in every motion he rises to make.’ A malthusian chairman would certainly so decide, but a socialist chairman would give me the floor and as our side is coming up, the chairman will probably be a social On the whole, I am perfectly contented with the criticisms the book has received for they are evidently kindly and well-intended. You know as well as I do—perhaps better—that when a man launches a socialistic hook upon a sea of Malthusianism, he ought to be thankful if his book is not immediately swamped, and has no right to complain of-unintentional misinterpretations.”

William B. Greene, “Correspondence,” The Word 1 no. 4 (August, 1872): 3.

Wm. B. Greene, Boston, Mass.: “Please tell me what you mean by ‘the abolition of death’ what method you propose to take to accomplish your purpose what persons have taken (or are now taking) stock in the enterprise. I may be able—if made to understand what you are after—to put you on the track of some information of value to your project. How do you propose to go to work to “abolish death?” Are you sure it would be a good thing to have death abolished? I have my doubts.”

William B. Greene, “Correspondence,” The Word 5 no. 1 (May, 1876): 3.


Ancestor Digest

W B Greene was 2nd lieutenant in the 7th infantry in July, 1839 second Seminole War, resigned in November 1841. Attended Harvard Divinity School---graduated 1845. Pastor at a Unitarian church in Brookfield, Massachusetts
Serve in the American Civil War and was a strong abolitionist
Colonel of the 14th Massachusetts Infantry and 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery and resigned his commission in October 1862.
Greene was a fine mathematician, and was versed in Hebrew literature and in Hebrew and Egyptian antiquities. below the publishers preface to Greene's book Mutual Banking


Preface
A Short Sketch of the Author of this Essay on Mutual Banking. WILLIAM B. Greene was a prominent figure among the Massachusetts idealists during the middle of the nineteenth century. He was more than six feet high, slender, somewhat high-shouldered, but with an erectness brought from West point, where he had been a cadet though not a graduate. He had served in the Indian wars in Florida, and his whole bearing was military and defiantly self-assertive.
"Greene became a Unitarian preacher and retired to a small country parish. He was a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, of 1853 later he left the ministry and went to Paris until the Civil War recalled him. Offering his services to Governor Andrew, he was made colonel of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery."
In 1849 he wrote a series of newspaper articles, which were afterwards published as a pamphlet under the name of Mutual Banking. They have been pronounced "the best exposition of finance ever written in the English language during that period". In the following pages this pamphlet appears somewhat reduced from the original. The reader is cautioned that Greene's use of the word "usury" designates not only the excess of interest permitted by law, but all interest whatsoever.
When the last edition of Greene's Mutual Banking was printed in 1895, several plans of currency reform had just been proposed by the three political parties, of. that time in U. S. A. and in the preface the question was asked of the leaders of those parties (which other followers of Proudhon had asked before). "Why is not the credit of a bank's customers as good a basis for currency as that of the bank itself?'' This question has been partly answered by that provision of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 by which Federal Reserve Currency can be issued in exchange for the re-discounted notes of the customers of member banks. “This is a distinct step forward, as it supplies the machinery for expanding mercantile credit, directly, and gives rise to, a hope that in future, a move would be made to decrease the cost of this credit.
The reader is requested to read the scheme and constitution of Proudhon's Bank of Exchange and People's Bank. Unfortunately these banks could not function because Proudhon was sent to gaol in connection with the defamation of President Bonaparte. We intend to publish these in future along with a short biography of Proudhon who is the originator of the Mutualistic idea.

From A glimpse of William B. Greene in 1854

“For Turkey.—A Paris correspondent of the New York Tribune says, that upon the proposal of a medical student, twenty young American students volunteered in ten minutes to aid the Turks with their unpracticed skill. The same writer states that Americans were leaving every day for the Turkish camp. Among those who had gone, were Col. Macgruder, of Mexican war celebrity Mr. Quincy Shaw, of Boston, and the Rev. William B. Greene, late Unitarian clergyman at Brookfield.” [Boston Investigator, April 26, 1854]

“We are gratified (says the Transcript,) that the Commonwealth has secured the services of Mr. William B. Greene as Colonel of the Essex (14th) Regiment. Mr. Greene is a native of Essex County, and is forty-two years of age. He left West Point at the end of two years on account of ill health, but after regaining his strength, was selected to drill troops for many months upon Governor’s Island. He then procured active service as a Lieutenant in 7th U. S. Infantry in the Florida war. He distinguished himself in that severe service, having, most of the time, the command of two companies, and at one time a Major’s command. He is not only a thorough-trained, modest, brave, and high-toned officer, but is a man of marked intellectual capacity. He has shown that he has the “born gift” of leading men. He will know how to temper strict discipline with kindness, and stern command with courtesy. Mr. Greene has resided with his family for several years in Paris, but as soon as he heard of the attack upon our troops in Baltimore, he sold his country-place, shut up his house in Paris, and came to offer his services to his native state. We congratulate the 14th Regiment upon its good fortune.” [Boston Daily Advertiser, (Boston, MA) Saturday, June 29, 1861]

From New York Times June 3 1878 Obituary


William Batchelder Greene - History


WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE QUOTES

Without doubt, matter is unlimited in extent, and, in this sense, infinite and the forces of Nature mould it into an innumerable number of worlds. Would it be at all astonishing if, from the universal dice-box, out of an innumberable number of throws, there should be thrown out one world infinitely perfect? Nay, does not the calculus of probabilities prove to us that one such world out of an infinite number, must be produced of necessity?

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Remarks on the Science of History

Faith is reason denying absurdity in the face of the unknown.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, The Blazing Star

For man, the death of the body is inevitable, and is determined by time and circumstance but, with proper precaution, the death of the soul may be totally avoided.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments

Some men -- not all men -- see always before them an ideal, a mental picture if you will, of what they ought to be, and are not. Whoso seeks to follow this ideal revealed to the mental vision, whoso seeks to attain to conformity with it, will find it enlarge itself, and remove from him. He that follows it will improve his own moral character, but the ideal will remain always above him and before him, prompting him to new exertions.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, The Blazing Star

He who thoroughly understands the present epoch, must have reproduced, and lived through, in his private experience, all the religions, dispensations, and civilizations that preceded it.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Remarks on the Science of History

Truth was truth, whether I darkened my eyes to it or not.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Remarks on the Science of History

If it be true that God and man are in one image or likeness (and the affirmation that they are so is not unplausible) then it is the duty of man to bring out into its full splendor that Divine Image which is latent, on one side, in the complexity of his own nature.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, The Blazing Star

What is it to be rich? It is to have an assured income in excess of expenditures, and to have no occasion for anxiety for the morrow. It is to be above the necessity of living from hand to mouth. It is to be able (or to have grounds to insanely suppose one's self to be able) to live outside of God's providence.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments

God -- if he really exist -- is good, alive, self-conscious, and governs all things according to his benevolent and holy providence but the world shows no indications of such a benevolent and holy Providence. This earth appears to be a hell, or at best a planet condemned -- a sort of purgatory: it is filled with violence, tyranny and injustice, and yet God, if he exist, is absolute sovereign, and has willed that things should be as they are! -- Therefore there is no God.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Remarks on the Science of History

Faith is from within it is the outbreaking of human spontaneity it is force of soul, grandeur of sentiment, magnanimity, generosity, courage. Its formulas are naturally unintelligible in their literal tenor for, otherwise, they would represent that which is scientifically known, and would not be the mere provisional clothing of that which is not objectively given, but subjectively projected from the inmost depth of the soul.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, The Blazing Star

Society established gold and silver as a circulating medium and as a legal tender in order that exchanges of commodities might be facilitated but society blundered in so doing for, by this very act, it gave to a certain class of men the power of saying what exchanges shall, and what exchanges shall not, be facilitated by means of this very circulating medium. The monopolizers of othe precious metals have an undue power over the community: they can say whether money shall, or shall not, be permitted to exercise its legitimate functions.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments

The Ideal is the invisible Sun which is always on the meridian of the soul.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, The Blazing Star

The rule of God is not tyranny, for it does not partake of a political or governmental character -- it is not a rule of authority. God is not a governor of the universe, for a governor rules over those of a like nature with himself, and exercises a political and judicial power, while God exercises a creative, a preserving, and a determinative power of an altogether different kind. If I am a servant of God, I am under no tyranny for God does not govern, but supports, sustains, and directs me.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Remarks on the Science of History

Jesus and the apostles nowhere speak of wealth as a thing to be prayed for. They nowhere characterize wealth as a blessing, or the accumulation of it, by enterprise and industry, as praiseworthy. The new dispensation nowhere promises either riches or long life to the righteous: it promises eternal life and treasures in heaven. The "poverty" which Jesus calls "blessed" consists, not in penury and the lack of the necessaries of life, but in abundance or non-abundance, with a knowledge that the abundance, if there be abundance, is the gratuitious gift of God and also the knowledge, if there be non-abundance, that "whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth."

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments

The theory of evil being merely permitted by God, is unspeakably absurd for, if he permits any act, he either does the act himself, or some other power, who is not God, does it but no other power, which is not God, can possibly do anything whatever for then there would exist an operative power, acting from itself, independently of God, a power of the Divine Order, only weaker -- which is absurd by the hypothesis that God is absolute.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Remarks on the Science of History

Marriage may be polygamic, monogamic, polyandric, complex according to the Oneida pattern, or other, and is true marriage (I do not say perfect marriage) so long as it promotes the happiness of the persons married, and the procreation, support, and education of children, and so long as it is founded on the joint free contract of the persons married, and remains under the sanction of the organic society of which those persons are members.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments

The Federal Government is rendered weak to do wrong, and powerful to do right: for, as soon as it begins to go wrong, it naturally begins to be divided against itself, and the three great wheels of its machinery exhaust their momentum, or wear each other out, in their friction against each other while, as soon as it begins to go right, all the parts work harmoniously, and exhaust their full strength on the object of their action.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments

You say you will never believe in God until the fact of his existence is proved to you! Then you will never believe in him at all for, in the face of positive knowledge, faith is no longer possible. Faith affirms in the presence of the unknown. If science should ever demonstrate the existence of God (which it never can) faith would become lost in sight, and men would no longer believe, but know. The reason why science is intrinsically incompetent to either prove or disprove the existence of God, is simply this, that the subject-matter transcends the reach of scientific instruments and processes. The dispute is, therefore, not between faith and science, but between faith and unbelief. Unbelief is a disease, not of the human understanding, but of the human will, ans is susceptible to cure.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, The Blazing Star

Man, having an ideal before him of that which he ought to be, and is not, and acting as though he possessed the character he ought to have, but has not, comes, by the very virtue of his aspiration, to possess the character he imagines.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, The Blazing Star

Society is older than government. But every persisting society implies the existence of government and laws for a society without government and laws is at once overturned by its madmen and scoundrels and lapses into barbarism.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments

Faith may always be acquired. Whoso is devoid of faith, and desires to have it, may acquire it by living for a few days (sometimes for a few hours only) as though he already possessed it. It is by practical, not theoretical, religion, that men transform their lives.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, The Blazing Star

In theory, the government of a free people is not one which shall in all circumstances govern, but one that shall effectually govern while it is maintaining right against wrong, and shall begin to fall in pieces as soon as it begins to maintain wrong against right. No country is truly free whose constitution does not furnish the citizen with protection against the wrong-doing of other citizens, and also guarantee him against the wrong-doing of the government itself. No oppressor is so intolerable as an oppressive government for the private oppressor acts with his own force only, while the governmental oppressor acts with the irresistible force of the whole people.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments


Mutual Banking

Greene is best known for the works Mutual Banking which proposed an interest-free banking system and Transcendentalism, a critique of the New England philosophical school. In 1850 and 1851, he organized citizens of Brookfield, Warren and Ware, Massachusetts to petition the state's General Court for a charter to establish a mutual bank. Upon all the petitions and after hearing the arguments of the petitioners, the Committee on Banks and Banking reported simply: "Leave to withdraw!" (The Radical Deficiency of the Existing Circulating Medium, 1857). Similar attempts by the New England Labor Reform League in the 1870s met with similar results. Greene's mutualist banking ideas resembled those of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon as well as the land banks of the colonial period. He had an important influence on Benjamin Tucker, the editor of the anarchist journal Liberty.


William Batchelder Greene

This is an extract from an American advocate of the ideas of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. His views are now more relevant than ever because of the presence of technological tools that would allow an easy implementation of his proposals. What is still missing is the awareness that it is necessary and possible to gain full control of the managing of our means of exchange.

THE DISADVANTAGES OF A SPECIE CURRENCY

The governments of the different nations have made gold and silver a legal tender in the payment of debts. Does this legislation change the nature of the transactions where gold and silver are exchanged for other desirable commodities? Not at all. Does it transform the exchange into something other than barter? By no means. But the exchangeable value of any article depends upon its utility, and the difficulty of obtaining It. Now, the legislatures by making the precious metals a legal tender enhance their utility in a remarkable manner. It is not their absolute utility, indeed, that is enhanced, but their relative utility in the transactions of trade. As soon as gold and silver are adopted as the legal tender, they are invested with an altogether new utility. By means of this new utility, whoever monopolizes the gold and silver of any country - and the currency, as we shall soon discover, is more easily monopolized than any other commodity - obtains control thenceforth over the business of that country for no man can pay his debts without the permission of the party who monopolizes the article of legal tender. Thus, since the courts recognize nothing as money in the payment of debts except the article of legal tender, this party is enabled to levy a tax on all transactions except such as take place without the intervention of credit.

When a man is obliged to barter his commodity for money in order to have money to barter for such other commodities as he may desire, he at once becomes subject to the impositions which moneyed men know how to practice on one who wants and must have money for the commodity he offers for sale. When a man is called upon suddenly to raise money to pay a debt, the case is still harder. Men whose property far exceeds the amount of their debts in value — men who have much more owing to them than they owe to others — are daily distressed for the want of money for the want of that intervening medium, which, even when it is obtained in sufficient quantity for the present purposes, acts only as a mere instrument of exchange.

By adopting the precious metals as the legal tender in the payment of debts, society confers a new value upon them, which new value is not inherent in the metals themselves. This new value becomes a marketable commodity. Thus gold and silver become a marketable commodity as A MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE. This ought not so to be. This new value has no natural measure, because it is not a natural, but a social value. This new value is inestimable, it is incommensurable with any other known value whatever. Thus money, instead of retaining its proper relative position, becomes a superior species of commodity — superior not in degree, but in kind. Thus money becomes the absolute king and the demigod of commodities.· Hence follow great social and political evils. The medium of exchange was not established tor the purpose of creating a new, inestimable, marketable commodity, but for the single end or purpose of facilitating exchanges. Society established gold and silver as an instrument to mediate between marketable commodities but what new instrument shall it create to mediate between the old marketable commodities, and the new commodity which it has itself called into being? And If it succeed in creating such new instrument, what mediator can it find for this new instrument itself, etc.? Here the gulf yawns! No bridge save that of USURY has been thrown, as yet, over this gulf. Our exposition is evidently on the brink of the infinite series we are marching rapidly forward to the abyss of absurdity. The logicians know well what the sudden appearance of the infinite series in an investigation signifies it signifies the recognition of a phenomenon and the assigning to it of a mere concomitant, to stand to it in the place of cause. The phenomenon we here recognize is circulation or exchange, and we ignore its cause, for we endeavor to account for it by the movement of specie which movement is neither circulation nor the cause of circulation. But more of this hereafter. Let us return to the subject with which we are more immediately concerned noting, meanwhile, that a specie currency is an absurdity.

THE EVILS OF A SPECIE CURRENCY — USURY.

Society established gold and silver as a circulating medium, in order that exchanges of commodities might be FACILITATED but society made a mistake in so doing for by this very act it gave to a certain class of men the power of saying what exchanges shall, and what exchanges shall not, be FACILITATED by means of this very circulating medium. The monopolizers of the precious metals have an undue power over the community they can say whether money shall, or shall not, be permitted to exercise its legitimate functions. These men have a VETO on the action of money, and therefore on exchanges of commodity and they will not take off their VETO until they have receIved usury, or, as it is more politely termed, interest on their money. Here is the great objection to the present currency. Behold the manner in which the absurdity inherent in a specie currency — or, what is still worse, in a currency of paper based upon specie — manifests itself in actual operation! The mediating value which society hoped would facilitate exchanges becomes an absolute marketable commodity, itself transcending all reach of mediation. The great natural difficulty which originally stood in the way of exchanges is now the private property of a class, and this class cultivate this difficulty, and make money out of it, even as a farmer cultivates his farm and makes money by his labor. But there is a difference between the farmer and the usurer for the farmer benefits the community as well as himself, while every dollar made by the usurer is a dollar taken from the pocket of some other individual, since the usurer cultivates nothing but an actual obstruction.

The monopoly of the currency

You cannot monopolize corn, iron and other commodities, as you can money for to do so, you would be obliged to stipulate in your sales that payment shall be made to you in those commodities. What a commotion would exist in the community if a company of capitalists should attempt permanently to monopolize all the corn! But money, by the nature of the case, SINCE IT IS THE ONLY LEGAL TENDER, is ALWAYS monopolized. This fact is the foundation of the right of society to limit the rate of interest.

We conclude, therefore, that gold and silver do not furnish a perfect medium of circulation that they do not furnish facilities for the exchange of ALL commodities. Gold and sliver have a value as MONEY a value which is artificial, and created UNINTENTIONALLY by the act of society establishing the precious metals as a legal tender. This new artificial value overrides all intrinsic actual values, and suffers no mediation between itself and them. Now, money, so far forth as it is mere money, ought to have NO VALUE and the objection to the use of the precious metals as currency is, that as soon as they are adopted by society as a legal tender, there is superadded to their natural value this new, artificial and unnatural value. Gold and silver cannot facilitate the purchase of this new value which is added to themselves "a mediator is not a mediator of one." USURY is the characteristic fact of the present system of civilization and usury depends for its existence upon this superadded, social, unnatural value, which is given artificially to the material of the circulating medium. Destroy the value of this material AS MONEY (not its utility or availability in exchange) and you destroy the possibility of usury. Can this be done so long as material is gold or silver? No.

Whatever is adopted as the medium of exchange should be free from the above-named objections. It should serve the purpose of facilitatIng ALL exchanges it should have no value AS MONEY it should be of such a nature as to permit nothing marketable, nothing that can be bought or sold, to transcend the sphere of its mediation. It should exist in such a quantity as to effect all exchanges which may be desirable. It should be co-existent in time and place with such property as is destined for the market. It should be sufficiently abundant and easy of acquirement, to answer all the legitimate purposes of money. It should be capable of being expanded to any extent that may be demanded by the wants of the community for if the currency be not sufficiently abundant, it retards instead of facilitating exchanges. On the other hand, this medium of exchange should be sufficiently difficult of acquirement to keep it within just limits.

Can a currency be devised which shall fulfill all these conditions? Can a currency be adopted which shall keep money always just plenty enough, without suffering it ever to become too plenty? Can such a currency be established on a firm, scientific foundation, so that we may know beforehand that it will work well from the very first moment of establishment? Can a species of money be found which shall possess EVERY quality which it is desirable that money should have, while it possesses NO quality which it is desirable that money should not have? To all these questions we answer, emphatically, YES!

Our plan for a Mutual Bank is as follows:

1st. Any person, by pledging actual property to the bank, may become a member of the Mutual Banking Company.
2nd. Any member may borrow the paper money of the bank on his own note running to maturity (without endorsement) to an amount not to exceed one-half of the value of the property by himself pledged.
3rd. Each member binds himself in legal form, on admission, to receive in all payments, from whomsoever it may be and at par, the paper of the Mutual Bank.
4th. The rate of interest at which said money shall be loaned shall be determined by, and shall, if possible, just meet and cover, the bare expenses of the institution. As for interest in the common acceptation of the word, its rate shall be at the Mutual Bank precisely 0.
5th. No money shall be loaned to any persons who are not members of the company that is, no money shall be loaned, except on a pledge of actual property.
6th. Any member, by paying his debts to the bank, may have his property released from pledge, and be himself released from all obligations to the bank, or to the holders of the bank's money, as such.
7th. As for the bank, it shall never redeem any of its notes in specie nor shall it ever receive specie in payments, or the bills of specie-paying banks, except at a discount of one-half of one per cent.
Ships and houses that are insured, machinery, in short, anything that may be sold under the hammer, may be made a basis for the issue of mutual money. Mutual Banking opens the way to no monopoly for it simply elevates every species of property to the rank which has hitherto been exclusively occupied by gold and silver. It may be well (we think It will be necessary) to begin with real estate we do not say it would be well to end there!

PETITION FOR A GENERAL MUTUAL BANKING LAW

To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

This prayer of your petitioners humbly showeth, that the farmers, mechanics and other actual producers whose names are hereunto subscribed, believe the present organization of the currency to be unjust and oppressive. They, therefore, respectfully request your honorable body to republicanize gold, silver and bank-bills, by the enactment of a GENERAL MUTUAL BANKING LAW.

A law, embracing the following provisions, would be eminently satisfactory to your petitioners:

1. The Inhabitants or any portion of the inhabitants, of any town or city in the Commonwealth may organize themselves into a Mutual Banking Company.
2. Any person may become a member of the Mutual BankIng Company of any particular town, by pledging REAL ESTATE situated in that town, or in its immediate neighborhood, to the Mutual Bank of that town.
3. The Mutual Bank of any town may issue PAPER-MONEY to circulate as currency among persons willing to employ it as such.
4. Every member of a Mutual Banking Company shall bind hImself, and be bound, in due legal form, on admIssion, to receive in payment of debts, at par, and from all persons, the bills issued, and to be issued, by the partIcular Mutual Bank to which he may belong but no member shall be obliged to receive, or have in possession, bills of said Mutual Bank to an amount exceeding the whole value of the property pledged by him.
5. Any member may borrow the paper money of the bank to which he belongs, on his own note running to maturity (wIthout endorsement), to an amount not to exceed one-half of the value of the property pledged by him.
6. The rate of interest at which said money shall be loaned by the bank, shall be determined by, and shall, if possible, just meet and cover the bare expenses of the institution.
7. No money shall be loaned by the bank to persons who do not become members of the company by pledging real estate to the bank.
8. Any member, by paying his debts to the Mutual Bank to which he belongs, may have his property released from pledge, and be himself released from all obligations to said Mutual Bank, and to holders of the Mutual-Bank money, as such.
9. No Mutual Bank shall receive other than Mutual-Bank paper-money in payment of debts due to it, except at a discount of one-half of one per cent.
10. The Mutual Banks of the several counties in the Commonwealth shall be authorized to enter into such arrangements with each other as shall enable them to receive each other's bills in payments of debts so that, for example, a Fitchburg man may pay his debts to the Barre Bank in Oxford money, or in such other Worcester-county money as may suit his convenience

The existing bank reproduces the aristocratic organizations it has its Spartan element of privileged stockholders, its Laconian element of obsequious speculators, and, on the outside, a multitude of Helots who are excluded from its advantages. Answer us, reader: If we are able, at this time, to bring forward the existing banking system as a new thing, and should recommend its adoption, would you not laugh in our face, and characterize our proposition as ridiculous? Yet the existing system has an actual and practical being, of the present civilization of the Christian world it has substituted itself, or is now substituting itself, in the place of monarchies and nobilities. Who is the noble of the present day, if not the man who lends money at interest? Who is the emperor, if not Pereire or the Baron Rothschild? Now, if the present system of banking is capable of actual existence, how much more capable of actual existence is the system of mutual banking! Mutual banking combines all the good elements of the method now in operation, and is capable of securing a thousand benefits which the present method cannot compass, and is moreover, free from all its disadvantages.


HISTORY

Williams and Batchelder, LLP has played a prominent role in providing expert and diverse legal services to Medina and the wider community for more than 140 years.

The firm traces its history back to Frank Heath (1852-1931), who was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1880 by the Ohio Supreme Court and established a law practice on the public square in Medina. He was subsequently joined by Attorney John Weber (1895-1958) of Liverpool Township, a 1917 graduate of Western Reserve Law School. Harold Williams (1907-1981), a graduate of Western Reserve Law School, joined John Weber in the practice of law in 1932, and they practiced under the name of Weber and Williams. William G. Batchelder, Jr., a 1939 University of Cincinnati Law School Graduate who had been in private practice in Medina County, as well as its former Prosecuting Attorney, joined Harold Williams in 1957, and the firm name changed to Williams and Batchelder. To this day, Williams and Batchelder, LLP, is recognized as one of Northeast Ohio's leading small law firms representing individuals, companies, and charitable organizations.

The firm members have always been known for their public service. Harold Williams served Medina County as a State Representative. John Weber and William G. Batchelder, Jr. both served as Medina County Prosecuting Attorneys. William G. Batchelder, III (formerly State Representative and Speaker of the House) was a partner in the firm until he was elected Common Pleas Judge and later became an appellate judge for Ohio&rsquos Ninth Appellate District. Hon. Alice M. Batchelder, now Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, was a member of the firm until her appointment as a U.S. Bankruptcy judge in 1983 and subsequent service to the nation as a federal judge for the Northern District of Ohio.

Robert Bux succeeded his late partner Nevada Johnson (1938-2018) to serve as a Trustee of Medina Hospital, which had a member of the firm on its board since its incorporation in 1942. William Young is a community director for Hospice of the Western Reserve. Elizabeth Bux is a director for the Children's Center of Medina County and was appointed to the Medina County Port Authority.


Watch the video: William Batchelder Greene. Wikipedia audio article (May 2022).