Proclamation Honoring the Life and Legacy of Nathan "Nearest" Green, the Godfather of Tennessee Whiskey

Publication Date: Friday, January 10, 2020
Nathan "Nearest" Green (1820 – ?), incorrectly spelled "Nearis" in an 1880 census, was a black head stiller, commonly referred to now as a master distiller. Born into slavery and emancipated after the Civil War, he 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 master distiller for Jack Daniel Distillery, but not until after his death was he recognized as the first. During his time he was not given the proper titles on the account he was a black man and he was the first African-American master distiller on record in the United States.  Introduced by State Rep. Karen Camper (TN), this proclamation was adopted by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) at its 43rd Annual Legislative Conference held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, December 2019.
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