From Salem to Nashville 

Old Glory

The Life and Times of Patriot Captain William Driver

The true story of a young boy who goes to sea at age 14, becomes captain at 21, and experiences adventure in the South Pacific, as told by his great-great-grandson from information inherited, personally researched and collected for over 50 years.

Captain Driver’s uniqueness is best described in his patriotism, as evidenced by his fierce defense and reverence for Old Glory, feared, honored, and respected around the world.

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Captain William Driver

Captain William Driver was born in Salem, MA in 1803 to puritan parents with a heritage of seafarers. His homes were ports and vessels that sailed the oceans in the early 19th century, seeking fame and fortune trading rare spices and other prized commodities.

By age 21, he captained ships that circled the world on odysseys experiencing dangerous encounters at sea, horrific storms, and waves over 50 feet high. Ashore, he confronted challenges in the lands of cannibals, giants, pirates, savages, and scantily clad island women. In a famous episode, he rescued families of the survivors of the original mutineers of the ship HMS Bounty and delivered them to their adopted home on Pitcairn Island.

Upon the death of his wife in Salem in 1837, he retired young and wealthy and moved to Nashville, Tennessee with his three children. As an activist Union sympathizer and staunch abolitionist living where even the city owned slaves, he was generally shunned by the largely Confederate citizenry at a time when civil war was imminent. He and his home often were vilified because of his views and irritating practice of displaying Old Glory, his ship’s legendary flag. The residents viewed him as a cantankerous rabble-rouser, supporting unpopular causes on behalf of the downtrodden, exploited, and uneducated, primarily Native Americans, Negroes, women, the sick and the infirmed.

From Salem to Nashville: Old Glory is Captain Driver’s true story of adventure, high drama, heroism, patriotism, and incomparable public service during his later life on behalf of the helpless.

Captain William Driver was born in Salem, MA in 1803 to puritan parents with a heritage of seafarers. His homes were ports and vessels that sailed the oceans in the early 19th century, seeking fame and fortune trading rare spices and other prized commodities.

By age 21, he captained ships that circled the world on odysseys experiencing dangerous encounters at sea, horrific storms, and waves over 50 feet high. Ashore, he confronted challenges in the lands of cannibals, giants, pirates, savages, and scantily clad island women. In a famous episode, he rescued families of the survivors of the original mutineers of the ship HMS Bounty and delivered them to their adopted home on Pitcairn Island.

Upon the death of his wife in Salem in 1837, he retired young and wealthy and moved to Nashville, Tennessee with his three children. As an activist Union sympathizer and staunch abolitionist living where even the city owned slaves, he was generally shunned by the largely Confederate citizenry at a time when civil war was imminent. He and his home often were vilified because of his views and irritating practice of displaying Old Glory, his ship’s legendary flag. The residents viewed him as a cantankerous rabble-rouser, supporting unpopular causes on behalf of the downtrodden, exploited, and uneducated, primarily Native Americans, Negroes, women, the sick and the infirmed.

From Salem to Nashville: Old Glory is Captain Driver’s true story of adventure, high drama, heroism, patriotism, and incomparable public service during his later life on behalf of the helpless.

About the Contributors

Jack Benz

Author and Publisher

Jack is the great-great-grandson of Captain Driver and a lifelong Tennessean currently living in Goodlettsville, Tennessee along with his wife, the former Noroma Carr of Madison and his Shih Tzu buddy, Bentley. He is the proud father of two daughters, Penney Jones and Kelley Benz, both of Sumner County, Tennessee. Jack attended Tennessee Tech and later graduated from Belmont University in its first graduating class in 1955 with a degree in Business Administration. He is an avid supporter of basketball programs at Belmont where he played his last two years. Presently in retirement, he continues to serve the University as a Trustee Emeritus and is seen regularly at courtside for home and away basketball games.

Garrett Williams (John “Ed” Garrett)

Co-Author and Editor

Ed was born and nurtured in Springfield, Tennessee, and has lived most of his adult years in the Madison Community of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee. He was a four-decade career educator with the Metro Public School District as a classroom teacher, supervisor and H.R. Director for the Secondary Schools. Ed’s talents beyond the classroom have awarded him U.S. patents and copyrights for intellectual property creations including a public television media production, two personal books, and ghost writings resulting in four additional published books and several magazine articles. Ed’s pseudonym as a writer is Garrett Williams in honor of his father and mother.

Nancy Adams Arnold

Graphic Design and Production

Nancy’s artistic gifts and creative talents became apparent to all observers during her pre-teen years in Cedar Hill, Tennessee. At age 12, formal lessons began, followed by teacher recommended summer employment preparing art for silk-screening stadium cushions. Next, were stints with the Newspaper Printing Corporation, Design Graphics, Inc., and the Baptist Sunday School Board facilitating ad and mechanical layouts, as well as preparing camera-ready art. She worked at BSSB, now LifeWay Christian Resources for 17 years fulltime and freelance for a total of 40 years. Nancy lives in Springfield, Tennessee, with husband Eddie and Lucky, everyone’s favorite Chihuahua.