July 4, 1994 |
Two hundred years ago today, western Pennsylvania was acting altogether too independent. It was up in arms and jeopardizing what had been accomplished in eastern Pennsylvania at the Constitutional Convention seven years earlier. On this Independence Day, let us remember the Whiskey Rebellion, with its interesting echoes. In exchange for Hamilton's agreement to a national capital where Washington now is, Jefferson and Madison agreed to federal assumption of state debts. An excise tax on whiskey was considered the least objectionable means of financing assumption.
September 20, 1987 |
Seven years after the Constitution was written, with a new government wobbling on untested legs, scrappy farmers rebelled over taxes on their home- brewed whiskey by tarring and feathering bureaucrats. To show the roughnecks who was boss, President Washington squeezed into his old general's duds and led 12,950 federal soldiers to crush the Whiskey Rebellion in four backwoods counties of western Pennsylvania. It was the first lament by belligerent American taxpayers about a meddling U.S. government, and the first time U.S. troops marched against their own countrymen to enforce federal laws enacted by Congress.
May 14, 2012 |
Philip Wigle (a.k.a. Vigol) was one of the first heroes of Pennsylvania's storied "Monongahela rye," a convicted instigator in the Whiskey Rebellion sentenced to hang, then pardoned by a reluctant George Washington. It's only fitting that one of the new distilleries now reviving Pennsylvania's rightful place as a rye capital should be named in his honor. Wigle Whiskey, opened just two months ago with a visitor-friendly distillery in Pittsburgh's Strip District, is a family affair — retired lawyer Mark Meyer running the still with son Eric, daughter Meredith Grelli doing marketing, and mother Mary Ellen Meyer spiking the marshmallow treats with booze for her signature "Wigle Krispies.
June 27, 1995 |
The members of the civilian paramilitary groups who testified in Senate hearings have their history wrong. While denying any connection with the Oklahoma City bombing, some compared themselves to the colonists who fought the Revolutionary War. They rightly claim a precedent more than two centuries old. But they have less in common with the American Revolution than with two upheavals that came afterward: Shays' Rebellion, an uprising of...
March 12, 2012 |
PITTSBURGH - A new state law allows small whiskey distilleries to give samples to visitors and sell bottles directly to the public, and that's big news for Wigle Whiskey. The distillery, which opened Friday, is named after Philip Wigle, who burned down the home of a federal tax collector in the 1790s and helped lead the Whiskey Rebellion, a test of George Washington's presidency. The rebels objected to one of the first federal taxes - on distilled spirits. "We were Kentucky before Kentucky," said Eric Meyer, one of an extended clan that's trying to bring back a once-flourishing Pennsylvania tradition.
April 11, 1990 |
Tom the Tinker, who made his fame in life as a frontier enforcer, is about to gain renewed notoriety in death - as a peaceable tourist attraction. The same federal government that struggled mightily two centuries ago to crush Tom and his Pennsylvania neighbors is now spending $130,000 to resurrect their memories. Tom - whose real name was probably John - was a Whiskey Rebel. He was one of the United States' first tax protesters, a shadowy figure on the fringes of history. His life was briefly intertwined with those of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, and before he was laid to rest here on the banks of Mingo Creek in Washington County, he and his fellow frontier farmers shook the foundations of the new nation.
April 25, 1986 |
The director of CBS's George Washington sequel intentionally shot the first three weeks of location photography indoors, to give spring a chance to unfurl its leaves and unleash its sunshine. Bad move. When the company finally ventured outdoors at Ridley Creek State Park on Wednesday to shoot its first action scenes, Mother Nature gave the Hollywood visitors a cold shoulder: 39 degrees and snow. George Washington: The Forging of a Nation, with Barry Bostwick and Patty Duke reprising their George and Martha Washington roles from the 1984 mini- series, is being filmed entirely on location in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia.
February 9, 1996 |
In the summer of 1794, Pennsylvanians rebelled to protect their way of life and the price of their favorite product: whiskey. In that more rugged time, when "gun control" denoted a man's ability to bull's-eye a chipmunk at 30 yards, a group of our ancestors, many of them Revolutionary War veterans, took up arms to fight the 6 percent tax. Things have changed. Today, Pennsylvanians live under a government-controlled liquor monopoly. They flee like cowards across the border to restock their bars and wine cellars.
September 23, 1989 |
There were just minutes to show time, and Morton Silver, the director, winced as the actors rehearsed the opening chorus of the play. "Almost perfect," the semiretired real estate lawyer called out yesterday in the empty auditorium. "What did I do wrong?" asked Stephen I. Kasloff, an attorney for City Council. "Charley," Silver said to Chief Assistant City Solicitor Charles E. Rainey Jr., "you were a little off rhythm there. " They tried it again. It was better. It had to be. Soon the red upholstered seats in the auditorium of WHYY-TV would be filled with other lawyers and judges and schoolchildren and parents.
July 30, 2013
TO: GOV. CORBETT RE: Operation Comeback First, I hope you enjoyed your getaway weekend at Bedford Springs Resort, and may I say what an excellent venue to meet with donors and advisers to start your "operation comeback. " Anything 100 miles from Harrisburg must seem pleasant to you, no? Plus, the history! Bedford was George Washington's headquarters during the "Whiskey Rebellion. " You used the setting to reset your own "Whiskey Rebellion," right? Pretty clever.