It’s a competition in its fifth 12 months in 2021 for 13,000 causes.
The Fifth Annual Whiskey Riot Pageant
In case you assume modern-day politics are dramatic and divisive, it’s best to been dwelling in Allegany County in 1791. Demonstrations and protests have been round since this nation started – and the very first one on file has a Cumberland connection.
The Whiskey Riot, also called the Whiskey Revolt, was a tax protest towards a brand new regulation that required whiskey makers and whiskey distilleries to pay a payment. This “whiskey tax” was the primary tax imposed on a home product by the newly fashioned federal authorities. It turned regulation in 1791, and was meant to generate income to assist cut back the nationwide debt. It was believed cash could possibly be generated to assist pay payments incurred by the Revolutionary Battle.
The tax was instantly resisted by farmers within the western frontier areas — extra particularly in Appalachian Mountain states like Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky who had been lengthy accustomed to distilling their surplus grain and corn into whiskey. In these areas, whiskey was sufficiently widespread that it usually served as a medium of change. Lots of the residents had been additionally conflict veterans who believed the brand new regulation was offensive to their years of service.
Whiskey was a well-liked drink, was simply produced from extra grains and farmers had been recognized then to complement their meager incomes by working small stills and promoting their bottled libations. And many of the farms taking an instantaneous hit on the brand new federal regulation had been proper right here in Allegany County. Farmers right here had been distilling their extra grain into whiskey, which was simpler and extra worthwhile to move over the mountains than the grain itself.
All through counties in Pennsylvania and Western Maryland primarily, protesters used violence and intimidation to forestall federal officers from amassing the tax. Resistance got here to a climax in July 1794, when a U.S. Marshal arrived close to Bedford, Pa. to serve warrants to distillers who refused to pay the tax. As an alternative, greater than 500 armed males attacked the fortified dwelling of tax inspector Common John Neville. President George Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to barter with the rebels, whereas on the identical time calling on governors to ship a militia to implement the tax.
As soon as the governors had assembled the militia, Washington then traveled with troops in tow to evaluation the progress of the navy expedition. This might be the primary and solely time a sitting American President led troops into the sector. And that occurred proper right here in Allegany County. Washington first met with representatives in Bedford (on the positioning of what’s now the Jean Bonnet Tavern) after which travelled into Cumberland to evaluation the southern wing of the military. As information of Washington’s armed go to unfold from county to county, the revolt collapsed. Twenty folks had been arrested, nonetheless, and finally, a federal grand jury indicted 24 males for top treason.
With 13,000 militiamen offered by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Washington then rode into Cumberland to suppress the insurgency. He stopped to examine the troops he had assembled when he arrived in Allegany County. Nonetheless, information of the military’s arrival had already unfold and the rebels Washington thought he could be assembly had all dispersed and there was no confrontation.
The Washington administration’s suppression of the Whiskey Riot was truly met with widespread widespread approval. The episode demonstrated the brand new nationwide authorities had the willingness and skill to suppress violent resistance to its legal guidelines. It was subsequently considered by the Washington administration as successful, a view that has usually been endorsed by historians to today.
As for the Whiskey Tax? It was repealed by an Act of Congress in 1801.
As a toast to Cumberland’s historic connection to the Whiskey Riot of 1791, the Whiskey Riot Pageant was based in 2016. Usually the competition coincides with the town’s Heritage Days Celebration and when that celebration was rescheduled so was this one. The Whiskey Riot Pageant this 12 months will probably be held on September 10.
Now in its fifth 12 months and sponsored by the Neighborhood Belief Basis, the Whiskey Riot Pageant has change into a significant fundraiser for the Allegany Museum, which is keen to showcase some renovations and additions to the general public on the occasion.
“We have now to begin listening to what our guests and vacationers right here need and what they need is extra high quality issues to do when they’re right here. This occasion will present what tourism and historical past can do once they work collectively,” says Allegany Museum director, Gary Bartik “This space is the roots of our founding fathers. That is the place all of it started. American historical past actually does begin right here.”
We’ll elevate a glass to that!
For extra details about the occasion, go to https://whiskeyrebellioncumberland.com Tickets to the competition will also be bought at Predominant Road Books in Frostburg or The E book Middle on North Centre Road in Cumberland.