Green, Benjamin E.

Born: 1822-02-05 Todd County, Kentucky

Died: 1907-05-12 Georgia

Benjamin E. Green, son of Duff Green, was a lawyer, businessman, diplomat, and writer. Born in Elkton, Kentucky, Green attended Georgetown University, graduating in 1838. He then studied law at the University of Virginia. After admission to the bar, he began practicing law in New Orleans. In 1843, with the help and influence of John C. Calhoun, President John Tyler appointed Green secretary to the legation of the United States at Mexico, where he served as chargé d'affaires (a temporary diplomatic official) until September 1844. Upon his return to the United States, Green resumed his law practice in Washington, DC. He also invested in railroads, won a contract via the Gosport Iron Works in Virginia to repair ships and build the U.S.S. Powhatan, and wrote articles for newspapers on politics and the economy. He signed at least one of these articles "Democrat." In 1849, President Zachary Taylor secretly appointed Green a special agent to the West Indies and minister to the Dominican Republic. Green successfully persuaded Haiti to grant formal recognition to American consular officials. After a colonization scheme he and his father were involved with in the Dominican Republic failed, Green returned to the United States in 1850 and became involved in railroad and industrial development in northwest Georgia. He founded the Dalton City Company, and invested in the Dalton and Morgantown and the Dalton and Jacksonville railroads, the Central Transit Company, the Cherokee Iron Foundry, and the Texas Land Company. In 1855, he moved to Dalton, Georgia. As of 1860, he had a personal estate valued at $3,000, real estate valued at $70,000, and owned at least five enslaved people. During the Civil War, he managed the Washington County Iron Works in Tennessee for the Confederate government. Green died in Dalton, Georgia after a week of illness.

Thomas Schoonover, "Green, Benjamin Edwards," American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 9:479-80; The North Georgia Citizen (Dalton, GA), 16 May 1907, 1:7; Fletcher M. Green, “Ben E. Green and Greenbackism in Georgia,” The Georgia Historical Quarterly 30 (March 1946), 2-3; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Dalton, Whitfield County, GA, 575; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Slave Schedules, Dalton, Whitfield County, GA, 444; Gravestone, West Hill Cemetery, Dalton, GA.