Born into slavery and emancipated after the Civil War, Nathan “Nearest” Green is known as the master distiller who taught distilling techniques to Jack Daniel, founder of the Jack Daniel Tennessee Whiskey distillery. Green was hired as the first head stiller (now, referred to as master distiller) for Jack Daniel Distillery, and he was the first African American master distiller on record in the United States.
Nathan Green was the master distiller for Jack Daniel Distillery until it moved to its current location sometime between 1881-1884. Although it appears Nearest chose not to move to the new Distillery, he did live nearby at County Line.
- Bigger, R. Jeanne. 1972. “Jack Daniel Distillery and Lynchburg: A Visit to Moore County, Tennessee.” Tennessee Historical Quarterly. 31 (1): 3–21. JSTOR 42623278.
- Alfs, Lizzy. 2017. “Ex-slave who trained Jack Daniel gets new recognition.” USA Today.
- Risen, Clay. 2016. “Jack Daniel’s Embraces a Hidden Ingredient: Help From a Slave.” The New York Times.
- Nearest Green Foundation. 2020. “About Nearest Green.”
- “The Story of Nearest Green,” Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, Vimeo video, 10:17.