By Lizzy Alps, tennessean.com
The substantial contribution of a former slave on Jack Daniel’s history is being thrust into the limelight as Tennessee’s whiskey industry explodes.
New York Times best-selling author Fawn Weaver was struck by the story of Nathan “Nearest” Green, a slave from Lynchburg, Tenn. who taught Jack Daniel the craft of whiskey distilling, after a New York Times article about Green went viral last year.
After thousands of hours spent researching the topic, Weaver announced this week the launch of the Nearest Green Foundation, an organization dedicated to honoring Green’s involvement in the Tennessee whiskey industry.
“The idea that there were positive stories out there of whites’ and blacks’ working side by side, through and beyond the Civil War, resonated with me,” Weaver said in a statement. “I liked the story of Jack Daniel, but Nearest Green’s story and the community at large really stayed with me.”