Lead: To pay off the war debt run up by the colonies during the Revolution, the government of the United States in the 1790s passed an excise tax on whiskey. Farmers on the western frontier of Pennsylvania rose in rebellion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Unable to ship their grain to eastern markets, farmers in the hill counties south of Pittsburgh distilled the grain into fine whiskey. They used it for medicine and to trade for all sorts of goods almost like cash. It was their medium of exchange. When the government began to tax whiskey the first protests were peaceful. Six months after the passage of the Excise Act of 1791, delegates met in Pittsburgh to draft a protest. The delegates were very concerned to keep the peace and nothing significant was accomplished at this meeting.

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