15 October 2007

The Allegheny Address

Ten score and 13 years ago, our fathers brought forth a new notion, conceived in a distillery, and dedicated to the proposition that all men deserve a good drink.

Tax free.

1794 is given as the "date" of The Whiskey Rebellion, which actually took place over several years. Allegheny County in western Pennsylvania was a hotbed of sedition, but the hatred of an internal excise tax was as American as apple pie in those days, and folks all over, not just the rural west, opposed the federal effort. Big Daddy George and his buddy Alex had to pay the War debts, and taxing the hillbilly whiskey-men was as good a source of revenue as any other. After all, drinking is sin, and these blue-blood Virginia aristocrats just couldn't abide the notion that free folks could make all they wanted and barter with it up and down the rivers of commerce the young nation enjoyed. (Never mind that Washington was a brewer and a distiller.) Maybe Aaron Burr shot Hamilton because they never sat down and had a drink together. Real men can settle their differences over a few jars, eh?

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