In 2016 the makers of Jack Daniel’s revealed an enslaved person from Africa was instrumental in creating the recipe and method for its famous Tennessee whiskey. For 150 years the formula and process were attributed to the Reverend Daniel Call, a white Lutheran minister from Lynchburg (pictured here holding a guitar). Reverend Call was said to have instructed the young Jasper Newton ‘Jack’ Daniel on the ins and outs of distilling alcohol.
In reality, a man called Nathan “Nearest” Green, who was actually Call’s slave, taught the rooky booze-maker how to produce the drink. Indeed Call is quoted as saying “Uncle Nearest is the best whiskey maker that I know of”, but Green’s achievement was swept under the carpet, and the old Reverend unfairly got the credit. These days, 13.3 million cases of the drink are sold each year and Jack Daniel’s is regarded as one of the world’s most valuable brands. Last year a new whiskey brand called Uncle Nearest was launched in Tennessee in honour of the real whiskey maestro. There are no known photographs of Nearest Green but pictured is his son George Green (left) sat next to Jack Daniel.