Although it’s taken forever and three days, the former slave behind the epic Jack Daniel’s Whiskey is being honored with several accolades. Here are the details.
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — Nathan “Nearest” Green was his name. He was a master distiller, according to the Nearest Green Foundation.
***You would think that’s him in the feature photo, above. However, according to his granddaughter, that’s his brother (her uncle), George Green.***
— NBC Charlotte (@wcnc) July 21, 2017
While neither Nathan nor his wife could read or write, Green was the go-to guy for whiskey. The source says he was a master distiller for Dan Call, in the mid-1800’s. This was in Lynchburg — also where Jack Daniels received his business training.
According to PR Newswire, the story of “Nearest Green” was uncovered by New York Times journalist Clay Risen in 2016. Pretty much, Green taught Daniel everything.
Nathan "Nearest" Green, a slave and master distiller, ultimately taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. https://t.co/mHdkWHDKV7
— LocdPhD 🥀 (@locd_doc) July 26, 2017
The source reports as follows.
“When he was growing up, Daniel did chores for his neighbor, Call, and he took an interest in distilling. Call instructed Green to teach Daniel everything he knew, and in the 1967 official biography of Daniel, titled ‘Jack Daniel’s Legacy,’ Call described Green as ‘the best whiskey maker that I know.'”
The source notes that the Nearest Green Foundation’s development plans include, “street renaming, museum, memorial park, book and a scholarship fund.”
— Uhuru Times (@uhurutimes) July 20, 2017
Author Fawn Weaver has delved deep into the history of Nearest Green and his affiliation with Jack Daniel’s family.
According to Weaver, Call eventually turned over his still to Daniel. After then, Daniel’s and Green’s families “worked together for decades, including original paychecks from Daniel’s descendants to several of Green’s children and grandchildren, some of whom still work in the whiskey industry to this day.”
The author mentions that she interviewed over 100 people — “more than 20 archivists, genealogists, conservators, archaeologists and researchers” — including Nathan Green’s 106-year-old granddaughter.
Weaver is responsible for the Nearest Green Foundation.
Nathan "Nearest" Green was a distiller in Lynchburg, TN during the mid-1800s. https://t.co/67K9ID4s2Z
— WATE 6 On Your Side (@6News) July 20, 2017
She even purchased Call’s 313-acre farm and is transforming it, as mentioned above. As part of the give-back, she wants the foundation to pay for any college expenses for Nathan “Nearest” Green’s descendants. The source quotes her as follows.
“Nearest and his wife, Harriet, could not read or write. Neither could their children. Most of their grandchildren were pulled out of school as early as the sixth grade to work. With a heritage like that, we thought one of the best ways to honor Nearest Green would be to ensure each of his descendants who gets accepted into college need not worry about how it will be paid for and can just think about succeeding and then paying it forward.”
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[Featured Photo via Twitter]