Green was born in Utica, NY on February 5, 1830. After preparing at Utica Academy, he entered Union as a sophomore in 1846. In the winter of 1846 - 1847, Theodore B. Brown recruited Green to join the other founders in organizing a fraternity. Green quickly took a leading role in the organization, and played a significant role in writing the constitution of Theta Delta Chi. He is also credited with being the author of the fraternity ritual.
Academically, Green was a very successful student, and he was elected into Phi Beta Kappa after his graduation from Union.
After graduating from Union College in 1849, Green remained active in Theta Delta Chi, assisting in the founding of the fraternity's second Charge, the short-lived Beta Proteron Charge at the State and National Law School in Ballston, New York. Green also attended several fraternity conventions through the mid-1850s.
Professionally, Green practiced law after being admitted to the bar in Virginia in 1851. After a brief stint from 1854 until 1856 as the Advocate of the U.S. Pacific Squadron, during which he spent a significant amount of time in California, Green returned to New York to practice law until 1905.
After being recruited to attend the Semi-Centennial Convention in 1898, Green renewed his interest in his college fraternity, and spoke at many fraternity engagements during the first two decades of the 20th century. At the Gamma Deuteron Charge (University of Michigan) Initiation Banquet in 1910, Green gave the following stirring address:
Gentlemen, though you may have a fine house here, and it may be costly, thousands and tens of thousands of dollars may have been expended upon it, yet its wealth, its real riches, its greatest riches are in its men, its members.
I see sometimes a disposition in the press to depreciate the character of college fraternities. It is said, and I hope it is not true, and there were no specifications made anywhere, that the fraternity men are not equal in the studies or literary progress, in the obtaining an education, to non-fraternity men. But I do not believe it and trust it will never be true. If I could be allowed the privilege from my age and the kindness with which you treat me, I can say to every Theta Delt, let it never be true that you have given so much time to your Fraternity, unless in an extreme case, that you have been required to neglect the duties for which you come here primarily. Don't forget that the time of your college life will never come to you again. If you do not avail yourself of the opportunities then you will have lost time and opportunities that will never come again. I would be sorry to think that I had any part in organizing a fraternity that was injurious to any of its members; let it never be so. Let the young men who come to this home be encouraged to higher and nobler character. That is the greatest riches that can be acquired by any of us. It is men of higher character, of sincere and truthful lives, kind to each other, kind to all the world, it such men that makes character and fame and true worth in a fraternity.
If I could bless this Charge, if I could invoke from Heaven the blessing upon it, I would like to do so and say it will produce now and forever such men as are found in the best men in the community; men, not necessarily cold and formal and wanting in love, but records in all relations of life of men of character and sobriety and determination to do their duty as it may come to them here and everywhere and throughout their lives.
That Gentlemen, is my wish for you all, and begging your pardon that I have been so serious when I perhaps ought to have complied with the directions of my friend, I beg you to regard charitably what I have said.
Green died eight years after giving this address, in 1918, in New Hartford, New York.