The Social History of Bourbon
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The distinctive beverage of the Western world, bourbon is Kentucky's illustrious gift to the world of spirits. Although the story of American whiskey is recorded in countless lively pages of our nation's history, the place of bourbon in the American cultural record has long awaited detailed and objective presentation. Not a recipe book or a barman's guide, but a fascinating and informative contribution to Americana, The Social History of Bourbon reflects an aspect of our national cultural identity that many have long suppressed or overlooked. Gerald Carson explores the impact of the liquor's presence during America's early development, as well as bourbon's role in some of the more dramatic events in American history, including the Whiskey Rebellion, the scandals of the Whiskey Ring, and the "whiskey forts" of the fur trade. The Social History of Bourbon is a revealing look at the role of this classic beverage in the development of American manners and culture.
blood boil at seeing General Neville along to pilot the sheriff to my very door," Miller said afterward. "I felt myself mad with passion." As Neville and the marshal rode away, a party from the county militia which was mustered at Mingo Creek fired upon them, but there were no casualties. When the General reached Bower Hill, his country home above the Chartiers Valley, another party under the command of John Holcroft awaited him there and demanded his commission and official papers. The demand
of the citizens who bought the flasks, filled or unfilled." The number of such whiskey bottles still in existence suggests again the extent of use of alcoholic beverages, while the pictorial flasks with their ingenious designs, the McKearins say, "would seem to indicate a state of keen competition between glassmakers and also between purveyors of hard liquor." Not all of the bottles dedicated to recording our history depicted national heroes or dealt with great events and elevated themes.
And pack it so it wont wratle for they are gitin very strick . . . if I can git it heare it will bring me good too hundred dollars the minet I get it if yo cant git hy wines git what yo can eny thing that is licker when yo Send it Direct it to Doctor Sawin Just as yo have the rest." * The ingenious author of this letter came to a sudden end. Before his enlistment expired he fell off a hospital boat and drowned. The most famous anecdote of the Civil War period involving whiskey is undoubtedly
the earth who L 2 THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF BOURBON did not know how to obtain alcohol. In any event, they made up for lost time once they became acquainted with the Frenchman's brandy and the cheap, fiery rum of the Bostonnais. Fermented drinks and social development advanced together. Alcohol may have stimulated the beginning of agriculture and a settled way of life. Alcohol entered into religious observances at a very early date, for it seemed to possess a spirit, or perhaps it was itself a
company incorporated under New Jersey's hospitable laws. But always it was monopolistic in its operations and usurped powers not conferred by its charter. And the stock went up and down. It is no exag- THE HIGHWINE TRUST 135 geration to say that the resentment which the public felt toward the Trust for its arrogance, its tactics of bribery and political lobbying and its association with the chain saloon system, tended to strengthen the anti-whiskey vote which brought on Prohibition. Despite