Greer was a native of Belfast, Ireland, who emigrated to Charleston in 1826. In 1838 he owned a bookstore at 135 King Street, where Jackson occasionally exhibited his work. During the Civil War he served in the reserves. For some time the portraits of the Greers were thought to be by Bounetheau, but upon the discovery of a sketch of Greer in Jackson's scrapbook, the attribution was clarified.
Significantly, Jackson has posed Greer with a book in his right hand. Despite an attempt at casualness and the use of a landscape background, the portrait is reserved. Jackson tended toward the use of opaque pigments mixed with lots of gum arabic, which contributes to the slightly heavy quality.
This text is adapted from Martha Severens "The Miniature Portrait Collection of the Carolina Art Association" published by the Carolina Art Association, 1984