The story of how Jack Daniel’s began his distillery through the help of an enslaved African-American, Nearest Green is no longer an open “secret”. Fawn Weaver, Owner and CEO was in Singapore and read a New York Time article written by Clay Risen (who has some amazing articles btw) that forever changed Fawn’s life and the landscape of the whisky industry. Fawn is an American investor, historian, relationship blogger, and best-selling author. Seems it was destiny for her to share Nearest Green’s story.
Jack Daniel was apprenticed in his youth to a Tennessee-based Lutheran preacher, grocer, and distiller named Dan Call. Green was a master distiller who was on “loan” by Call as you will hear from Fawn in our interview. Green would go on to teach Jack Daniel everything he knew about the art of distillation and the operation of a whiskey still.
Though Jack publicly praised his mentor, the brand that lived on long after ignored him. Green was written out of the Jack Daniel’s brand backstory—even though he was mentioned in Daniel’s official biography over 50 times. Fawn uncovered thousands of documents, traced Daniel and Green’s histories and came to a formal conclusion—with the help of a couple of members of Green’s lineage and supporting documents: Nathan Green, once freed, was the first master distiller of the Jack Daniel’s brand and the first African-American known to do it.
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