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Forget the Boston Tea Party...not that it isn't of historical significance...but we weren't a sovereign country yet.  After the American Revolution, when this country was still in its infancy, a second "tea party revolt" took place, and the object of its ire wasn't the British was the not yet coalesced government of We The People.  Known as Shay's Rebellion, this uprising took place in rural Massachussetts.  Six years later another uprising would challenge the first president of a young nation...George Washington, a national hero, found that his stature didn't cut him much slack in the (then) far flung region of Western Pennsylvania during the Whiskey Rebellion.

The last shots of the American Revolution were fired in 1781, more or less.  It wouldn't take more than another year before Americans began to chafe again, not under the yoke of King George, but under the tax and fiscal policies of the States and nation they had fought to give birth to.

Immediately following the conclusion of the American Revolution, the newly independent States were deeply in debt.  Their foreign creditors were uninclined to accept paper currency, and the nation was in the midst of a depression.  In our country's first real taste of the theory of "Trickle down economics", foreign creditors demanded hard currency for trade goods.  East Coast Merchants passed that demand on to their customers.  The banks did the same.  As this new economic reality spread into the hinterlands, which were still almost entirely getting by on subsistence agriculture and bartering for goods, the shit hit the fan.

Farms and personal possessions were being taken from debtors or those who couldn't pay their taxes, and the State became the enforcer for private merchants, banks, or simply "the tax man."  People who had only a couple years ago set down their muskets in defense of of America began to grumble amongst themselves and say "WTF???"  I fought the British, and I can damned well take care of the local IRS agent or sherrif.  

And for a brief time, they did just that.  They didn't occupy parks and pitch tents.  They didn't hold drum circles or engage in face painting.  They didn't waste their time with general counsels that couldn't agree upon anything of substance, or get high and party together in a sense of shared "experience."

They took the bull by the horns.  Ultimately, they lost, or were at least defeated...but their was nothing symbolic about their actions.  

It's an old saw that those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it.  I think the wisdom of that adage has never been more valuable than it is in this moment....this time.

In the Aftermath of the American Revolution, which was fought by State Militias, and not a federal army, it should be remembered...the individual states were left deeply in debt.  Yeah...they won the war.  But they did it by enlisting volunteers on what were largely promises of some future recompense.  After the last shots were fired, and the British retreated, there was a moment of reckoning amongst the former do we pay these soldiers who we enticed to join the cause?  Another moment of reckoning came when foreign creditors, who had politically and philosophically supported our War of Independence, rubbed their hands together and said, collectively, "Now that that nastiness is behind us...there's just this little matter of the bill you have run up."

The States were completely broke.

The Shay's Rebellion officially occurred between 1785 and 1786.  But its antecedents go back to 1782.  Who was Shay?  What did he do?  And why did he do it?

Shay was a farmer, and a former Revolutionary soldier.  He never got paid his due.  He was just one of many.  But when Massachussetts started foreclosing on simple people who couldn't afford to pay their least not in silver or gold...Shay stood up.

He raised a militia to fight back.  And fight back they did.  They occupied and shut down local court houses, whose officials were empowered with apprehending peoples property, farms and possessions in order to satisfy private debts.  The State tax collector entered into central or western Massachussetts at his own risk. Chances were, he would be set upon and mugged.  Badly beaten.  Maimed even.  It wasn't like tax collectors were paid much, so word quickly got around as to where one should and shouldn't go in the course of one's work.

But let's bang on some drums, shall we?  That'll surely get their attention, and make them know that we are a force to be reckoned with.

Massachussetts was strapped by the American were most of tye Colonies.  When Shay's Rebellion reared it's head, and challenged the 1% in America at the time...Mass.  did what any Capitalist state would turned to its Merchant Class and asked "Who will step forward to put these Ruffians down?"  The Merchants did step forward, and put up a collective fund, since the State of Mass had no money, to hire goons to suppress Shay and his followers.  And they did just that.

The ones they didn't kill, they injured.  These were goons hired by private merchants.  The beginning of the modern day police force.  I wonder if their motto was "to serve and protect"?  

Six years later, George Washington was president.  What could go wrong with a national hero at the helm of the Ship of State?  The same old shit.

A country still mired in Depression, and a newly formed national government that took upon itself the debt that each colony had incurred in fighting the Revolution.  That relieved the States, but made the federal government the grim reaper.

One of the first things it occurred to Washington, and the Congress, to do was tax whiskey.  Yeah...that's the ticket.  But they miscalculated, a little bit.  People living in Western Pennsylvania, mostly Germans but also a hell of a lot of Scots Irish, grew rye.  It was an old world grain that grew well in Pennsylvania.  They knew how to grow it from before they came here, and they continued to grow it after they arrived.  Only problem was that, in 1790, Western Pennsylvania was far away from the Eastern Seaboard and the major markets.  It took a long time to get your rye crop to market.  Some of it didn't make it.

It didn't take them long to figure out that you could distill your rye into whiskey, and transport it in barrels to the East...and it never lost it's market value or deteriorated en route.  In fact, it was worth more than if you shipped it as pure grain.

Frontier farmers routinely turned their rye crops into whisky, and sent it on down the river.  Enter George Washington.  "We gotta raise some revenue, here."

GW decided to tax whisky.  It is just the first cut in a death of a thousand cuts for anyone who enjoys a sip of was a tax born of both necessity and America's Puritan immigrants.  "Fuck 'em...they drink whisky?  Fuck 'em.  And tax their ass."  Except for the Big Guys in the East...the Big Distillers, and importers of whiskey...we'll cut them some slack, sense they are friends and associates, and stick it to the rest of those yokels out in the hinterland.

In 1791, the Whiskey Rebellion unfolded.  Washington was ensconsced in the White House, and this was his first challenge to the new federal government.  He sent in the army.  It might have been circumvented had the rules been equal across the board, but as is always the case in capitalist studies...the rules are never applied equally.

The Whisky tax was levied upon Eastern, commercial whisky producers, and importers, at half the rate that it was upon individual, Western distillers.  Or farmers.
If you belonged to the class that, already at the early date of 1791, had purchased and controlled the new federal government...Eastern Merchants and were okay.  If you lived on the frontier...the writing was already on the wall.  This government doesn't represent you.  Just shut up and fall in line.

Washington sent in federal troops and eventually put down the Whisky Rebellion.  Thomas Jefferson, who was then Governor of Virginia, had an untintended influence upon the course of American Spirits and mixology.  He recognized the rabble rousing Scots Irish firebrands behind the Whisky Rebellion and Shay's Rebellion for what they were...a cantankerous lot, largely accumulated in Western Pennsylvania.

His solution was to offer the veterans of the Revolution free land in Kentucky, then a part of Virginia.  The only stipulation was that you had to plant corn.  Hundrteds of Revolutionary vets took the offer up, and moved to Kentucky, and planted corn, in accordance with the terms of the land grants.

It didn't take them long...not long at all, to figure out that you could make whisky from corn just as you could from rye.

Thus, Kentucky Bourbon Whisky was borne.  The Scots Irish who relocated from PA, upon Jefferson's behest, and others who immigrated from North Carolina, had a tradition of making whisky from grain.  A still is a still.

In Kentucky's case, two things intervened to influence the birth of "Bourbon".  First, Virginia named a major area of Kentucky after the Bourbon Family of France, in recognition of its support during the Revolution.  Once sufficient numbers of Scots Irish had immigrated to Kentucky, and taken to making whisky from corn, instead of rye...they still had to get it to market.  That was always the impetus to turning grain into alcohol...the length of time it took to get the product to market, and the bulk.

Bourbon County, Kentucky was originally a huge county area.  Almost all of the small time corn farmers turned their crop into pot stilled whisky, which was sent by wagon down to the Ohio River port of Louisville.  Merchants would take old barrels, that had held who knows what beforehand...and they would burn and char the insides as a way to clean them and remove any remnant of whatever the barrel once contained.  They would then fill the charred barrels with clear, Kentucky corn whisky...and send them on down the Miss River towards New Orleans.  The barrels were stamped "Bourbon County Whisky."  That quickly became abreviated to just Bourbon.

And Thomas Jefferson is at least partly to blame or thank for this most American of spirits.  But at the time, I suspect he was just trying to disperse a bunch of rabble rousers, and send them forth in directions that would dilute their voice, and render them less potent.  To which, they came up with Wild Turkey 101.

Originally posted to Keith930 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 06:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by History for Kossacks and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  In the Southern states (13+ / 0-)

    many of those militiamen were "paid" with land, mostly parcels that were stolen from the natives.  If you fought in the Revolutionary War you got a land grant.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 06:15:03 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the history lesson (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    palantir, caul, salmo, US Blues, HeyMikey

    I especially enjoyed the history of Bourbon.

    Yes Bourbon is truly the most American of spirits.  And in more than one way: It is whiskey whose sweetness is taken up a couple notches by the corn content.

    I refer American Rye in my whiskey cocktails ... in Manhattans for instance.  Bourbon makes a Manhattan cloyingly sweet IMHO.  Maybe it's the Irish in me.

    "Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry."

    by Glinda on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 06:26:31 PM PDT

    •  refer=prefer (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, salmo, HeyMikey

      "Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry."

      by Glinda on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:14:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the whisky tip. I'm learning... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        After decades of drinking and loving beer, I'm starting to develop my whisky palate to try to cut down on calories. I've started with bourbon, because that's what my brother drinks. He says Maker's Mark is significantly better than cheaper bourbons, but above Maker's you have to spend a lot more to get a little better.

        I recently bought a bottle of Buffalo Trace and a bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel 2002, both recommended by the dude at the liquor store as high quality for the price, for my own taste-off. I was just thinking last night that the Evan Williams was a little sweet for me.

        Any particular American ryes you recommend?

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 08:49:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ezra Brooks is my favorite tipple these days. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

          by pengiep on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 12:58:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Taste is in the end indisputable. But Maker's Mark (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is too "hot" for the price premium it commands. Frankly there are better bourbons for a lot less money.

          "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

          by pengiep on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 12:59:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Any you recommend besides Ezra Brooks? (0+ / 0-)

            I'm eager to do this research!

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 01:57:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Corn Makes It Sweet (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Just keep in mind that the corn ratio makes the bourbon sweeter.  Some of the distillers will reveal what their formulas are for their bourbons, which just need to reach a corn ratio threshold to qualify as bourbon.  So, if a particular brand proves too sweet for your palate, try to find a brand which uses a higher ratio of wheat or rye.  Wheat whiskeys tend to be pretty mild, while ryes are considered "spicy."  Sazarac Rye is generally considered a better than average rye whiskey, although I've been known to quaff Old Overholt and Pikesville Supreme ryes when the budget demands it.

              "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

              by PrahaPartizan on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 04:45:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'm an Old Granddad man, myself (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I've just always drank it, from the 70's until today.  No reason to switch.  I like it.

            Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

            by Keith930 on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 04:44:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I used to drink (0+ / 0-)

      a variety of bourbons, but lately just buy Makers. Love me some Manhattans!

      An ancient evil. An immortal warrior. The Tears of Ishtar by Michael Ehart

      by IsraelHand on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 08:53:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hmmm. Note to self, hammer down a shot or two of (7+ / 0-)

    bourbon before bed...

  •  a bit o' bone to pick... (9+ / 0-)
    ...the American Revolution, which was fought by State Militias, and not a federal army...
    I think the folks who served in the Continental Line would prob'ly disagree.

    The issues around "land warrants" or "bounty land" are also a bit more complicated, tho' it's interesting to see some of those issues here.

    Cheers, K...

    •  still...there was no federal govt prior to the Rev (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PrahaPartizan, caul

      and so the bill for putting together an army fell upon the individual colonies...soon to be states.  There was no federal entity to whom those expenses could be charged, until many years later...and then it was the first debt that the federal government took upon itself, thus relieving the states.

      Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:56:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that doesn't turn the Continental Army into... (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dbug, caul, kovie, bluedust, HeyMikey, PrahaPartizan

        ...militia or a collection of militia.

        The Continental Congress established a national army in June 1775. While there were additional iterations of this first establishment, there was a clear and recognized difference between the national army and the militias. There's no lack of info available on the matter, at your fingertips...


        •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, PrahaPartizan

          There were "regulars" and "militia men." Usually the regular army would stand behind the militia. The militia (often local farmers or volunteers from town) would be instructed to fire their muskets once or twice, then they could retreat if they wanted. The men in the regular army would stand their ground and fire multiple times. It took time to pour the gunpowder into the barrel and stick a wad and a ball in it, then fire it with a flint. It took up to a minute to reload and fire a single shot.

          If the opposing army charged, you could fire your weapon a few times, then you'd have to use your bayonet or sword because you wouldn't have time to reload.

          There was a battle in Greensboro, NC (named after Nathaniel Greene, a Revolutionary general) called the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. The British won and beat the Americans, but they lost a lot of soldiers. It was a Pyrrhic victory.

          From Wikipedia:

          The battle had lasted only ninety minutes, and although the British technically defeated the American force, they lost over a quarter of their own men.

          The British, by taking ground with their accustomed tenacity when engaged with superior numbers, were tactically victors. Seeing this as a classic Pyrrhic victory, British Whig Party leader and war critic Charles James Fox echoed Plutarch's famous words by saying, "Another such victory would ruin the British Army!"

          Cornwallis was the British general.

          There's a national park (or national battlefield park or something like that) there. I visited it. There was a guy that showed how to reload a musket. Yeah, you can fire at the enemy, but when they're running at you and it takes you 60 seconds to reload, you're gonna have to use your bayonet.

          I just wish that guy in Aurora, CO, had a gun that took 60 seconds to reload.

          But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

          by Dbug on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 02:07:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  SHAYS' Rebellion (6+ / 0-)

    As in Christopher Shays, who may or may not be a descendant but who spells his name the same way. Otherwise, great diary, which I'll republish to History for Kossacks.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 08:47:51 PM PDT

  •  Original Off-Books War Financing (7+ / 0-)

    The Whiskey Tax which prompted the Whiskey Rebelllion gets even more interesting.  The excise tax on whiskey was imposed in order to pay off the national government's and absorbed state governments' debts.  Of course, much of that had been incurred either during the Revolutionary War or during the continuing fighting with the Native American tribes in the Northwest Territory or along the southern states' frontiers.  Of course, the Whiskey Tax structure was flawed, which sponsored conspiracy theories that it was intended to help monied interests and bankers, but no real proof existed on this.  Oddly, the center of the rebellion was Washington Country, PA, which lies just south of Pittsburgh and was the stomping ground for former US Representative John Murtha.

    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

    by PrahaPartizan on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 09:18:07 PM PDT

    •  This area also happened to be (6+ / 0-)

      where a much younger GW first made his mark in arguably starting the French and Indian war in 1754 as a young British officer sent there to tell the French to get the hell out of what was officially British land. When they refused to go, hostilities inevitably ensued, leading to the war that created the conditions that ultimately caused the revolution itself to break out. So there's an ironic aspect to Washington's taxing this area to help pay for a war that he helped start was prompted by another war that he helped start nearly 40 years prior.

      In fact there's tons of irony in the first century or so of US wars, when you consider that the War of 1812 was partially caused by various outstanding issues left unresolved at the conclusion of the revolutionary war, the Mexican War was motivated by the spirit of manifest destiny (not known as such at the time of course) created by the victory over the British, the Civil War was largely caused by the failure of the founders to end slavery and the framers to make it sufficiently clear that the federal government was preeminant, and the various Indian wars were largely motivated by the vast territories opened up to white settlement and the decision to reward veterans with land at the conclusion of each of these wars. Wars, whether justified or not, tend to lead to other wars.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 05:12:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Washington purchased and owned several (0+ / 0-)

        tracts of land throughout Fayette County, PA, including the site of his first battle (a defeat) and a grain mill in Perrypolis. Squatters and collecting rents were his biggest headaches.

      •  Globe's First World War Too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Washington's bumbling in that campaign is notable too because it kicked off the globe's first true world war.  The British and French went at it in every place they rubbed up against each other, not to mention the naval engagements which occurred.  It's not every day that a person can look back on a career and realize they are personally responsible for world war - and still have a subsequent career.

        The other irony of the French & Indian War (better known as the Seven Years War in Europe) is that Britain's total defeat of the French removed the American colonists fear of the French while leaving the British with the expense of trying to police half a continent alone.  That led to those oppressive taxes the British levied on the colonists, which were intended to defray some of the cost of those troops the British now needed to send to North America, because the British and their colonists had been successful in the war.  The irony just keeps piling up.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 04:20:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Also ironic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is that IMO the tax-based grievances used to justify the revolution were not really meritorious. The colonists were understandably being taxed to help pay for a war they helped start and benefited from. They really had an exaggerated sense of entitlement, which in yet another irony was partly due to overcompensation for a sense of inferiority to mother England. Of course, for many revolutionaries, like the nouveux riche social climber Washington, the real motivation was economic independance and opportunity, and the tax grievances were for PR purposes.

          I'm only partly hyperbolizing here. Our roots let alone history are not nearly as pure as some still believe them to be. I recently drove cross-country not far from Mount Rushmore and had no desire to see it (of course I'd already seen it 20 years ago and I was on a tight schedule). But yeah, tons or irony.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 06:27:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  How the rebellion was resolved is quite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      interesting. The youth Federal government called on several states to supply troops who were dispatched to Western Pa to put down the rebellion. Several leaders were jailed but freed by the 'mob'. Well, the troops stayed in Western Pa for some time and needed supplied (from local sources) and spent their pay on whiskey, gaming and prostitution ( what are idle soldiers to do?). Thus introducing cash into the local economy. The myth was that the tax wasn't the problem. How to pay it was.

  •  Samuel Wardwell (8+ / 0-)

    My ancestor, Samuel Wardwell was the last "witch" put to death as part of the Salem Witch Trials.  His crime, "bewitching" the daughter of a wealthy Salem merchant, marrying her and settling down to farm in the area.  He was hung, and his family was fined to pay for the cost of his execution.  It wiped them out.  They lost their home, their farm, and all their assets.  His grandchildren were Western Massachusetts subsistence farmers when the grandchildren of that same merchant sent their thugs to confiscate their farm.  My ancestor, Daniel, joined Shay's Rebellion.  This time the judge at his trial did not hang him, but his family lost everything again.  They moved to Maine, then a part of Massachusetts, and lead the movement to separate from the state where those same merchants still held sway.  

    The history of those Scotch/Irish farmers on the Pennsylvania frontier is very similar.  They got there through much the same process, except on a larger scale first in Scotland, then Ireland.  The British aristocracy used them, and abused them.  Rentiers, thieves, and their thugs mercilessly appropriated those farmers' property and seized their assets through the same combination of government power and mercantilist policies found in my ancestor's history.  

    Class warfare was always part of our nation.  Pay attention to your history, the odds are good that most of us are descended from victims of it.

  •  Shays' rebellion also played a big role (8+ / 0-)

    in leading to the constitutional convention of 1787, motivated by the desire of those who called for it (most prominently Hamilton, Washington and Madison) to create a much stronger federal government that would be better able on the one hand to prevent the sorts of conditions that led to Shays' rebellion, and on the other hand be better able to suppress them when they broke out.

    Ironically, of course, one of the first things that the new, much stronger federal government created by the convention did was to impose a tax that led to the Whiskey Rebellion--which it was able to supress handily. This tax, in turn, and the policies and approach to governance that inspired it, itself motivated the creation of the two party system, as their opponents (ultimately known as the Jeffersonian Republicans, which after various twists and turns become today's Democratic party) joined forces in order to combat them.

    Also ironic, I suppose, that the original formally organized "tea party" (as opposed to the more loosely organized Shays' and Whiskey rebellions that partly inspired it) ultimately became the party that today's more loosely organized tea party opposes. But then we're an ironic country if ever there was one, and over 200 years of history tends to turn things inside out.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 05:24:19 AM PDT

  •  Great reading and history (6+ / 0-)

    A nice follow up to the diary about knobs yesterday.

    Seems that war, guns and the taxation of the poor by the 1% are built into the DNA of America. Your diary gives a broad picture of our current dilemmas. Well done sir, I'll will lift a glass to you later.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 07:21:52 AM PDT

    •  DNA of humanity, not just America... (0+ / 0-)

      "War, guns and the taxation of the poor by the 1%" indeed have been all too prevalent in American history, and still are. Despite that, American society is more egalitarian than anything that came before, ever.

      Some European countries, especially the Nordic ones, are now more egalitarian, but that's a more recent development.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 08:44:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Considering the Tea Party is fighting FOR (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    prettyobvious, a2nite

    corporate dominance, I think you are engaging in a bit of revisionism by connecting the Tea Party to the Whisky Rebellion.  Yes, they have taxes in common (Tea Party and Whisky Rebellion), but I don't see the Tea Party protesting foreclosures.  They might not like the bailouts, but they are on the side of the banks when it comes to foreclosures.

    and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

    by ban48 on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 08:12:21 AM PDT

  •  The market for Western PA rye was new orleans. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7, Keith930

    The grain was too bulky to transport. Roads over the mtns (Braddock's & Forbes') were horrible, and the eastern market offered depressed prices. Distill the grain into whiskey, build a flatboat from the abundant timber and float down the Monongahela, Ohio and Mississippi to Spainish New Orleans - six weeks. Spainish gold coins were payment. A walk or horse-back ride through Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky and a chance to explore more fertile bottom lands.
    By the 1790's, the business and the transportation cycle was highly developed. Until the arrival of the railroads, the river commerce built Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville and many smaller river towns.
    The distillery business was big in Western PA until Prohibition. I can recall 2-3 distilleries still standing from the mid-19th century. Check out the Overholt homestead near Everson, in Fayette County. His Distillery in Broad Ford, I believe, is still standing.

    •  Old Overholt Rye Whiskey (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The brand is still available.  I pick it up whenever I can find a bottle or two.

      What initially distinguished "bourbon" from corn whiskey is the mellow brown color it exhibited.  Of course, that color, and the flavor differential it suggested, came from the aging the whiskey experienced traveling down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans in those fire-cleansed barrels.  The corn whiskey interacted with the char and oak of the barrel staves to pick up additional flavors of vanilla, which made it unique and eminently marketable.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 04:29:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice diary! But - George was never ensconced (0+ / 0-)
  •  I just started getting into bourbon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this year, so this was fascinating. Old Fashioneds have become my new favorite cocktail. Being "this most American of spirits" means I get a little dose of pseudo-patriotism with every sip.
    I just love these US history diaries. Thanks, and cheers!

    •  A real Old Fashioned, made from scratch and with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      muddled citrus and Angostura is a real pleasure, isn't it? Mmmm, bourbon!

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 01:03:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sitting down with mine right now. (0+ / 0-)

        Like a good liberal, I made it with an heirloom orange slice, an organic maraschino cherry, and of course Angostura bitters. I'm trying Wild Turkey, but I think Bulleit is my favorite so far.
        Now to watch Ezra ridicule Mitt Rmoney. So good.

  •  Commander-In-Chief (0+ / 0-)

    If I recall correctly, the Whiskey Rebellion is also the first and last time that the President used his role as Commander-In-Chief to actually lead the Army in person.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 05:29:27 PM PDT

  •  Shays rebellion created a revolutionary (0+ / 0-)

    Environment. The support for women's rights, support for birth control and the beliefs in abolition and universal suffrage were amazing with Shays Rebellion fighters and descendants. The progressive roots in central MA are worth looking up.

  •  If history books in school were this fun to read, (0+ / 0-)

    we'd know our history a lot better.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 08:05:01 PM PDT

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