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Friends,

The replicas of George Washington’s flintlock pistol are on their way to the winners of our September drawings, and I am pleased to announce we have another drawing planned for October. But before we get there, let’s take a moment to talk about history. Specifically, the history of whiskey.

In the early 1770’s, our nation’s first president, George Washington, began setting up stills at his Mount Vernon estate. Initially, Washington distilled rum, but after his plantation manager convinced Washington to plant rye, his stills began producing whiskey.

Washington was a big fan of alcohol, to the point of advocating for the not-very-libertarian idea of building public distilleries to provide alcohol to the newfound country’s troops, saying, “The benefits arising from the moderate use of strong liquor have been experienced in all armies and are not to be disputed.”

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When Washington died, he left behind an estimated 150+ gallons of whiskey on his estate.

But that is not the complete history of Washington and whiskey. As our first president, Washington introduced one of the first taxes in the new United States of America, a tax on whiskey to pay off the country’s Revolutionary War debts.

This, in turn, kicked off what is known as the Whiskey Rebellion

When distillers in western Pennsylvania were summoned to court in Philadelphia – hundreds of miles away through very dangerous territory – for not paying taxes, the distillers revolted. Tax collectors became popular targets of the distillers’ ire, having their houses burned and themselves tarred and feathered. At one point, over 5,000 men marched on Pittsburgh and threatened to burn down the city.

Ultimately, the federal government stepped in and sent about 13,000 men to crush the uprising and, though the days of the Whiskey Rebellion are long over, alcohol and other “sin” taxes remain high.

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img_5344But today you too can enjoy Washington’s whiskey. A generous benefactor donated a bottle of whiskey produced using Washington’s recipe at Mount Vernon that will go to the winner of a drawing of all donors who contribute $100 or more to the Stonegait Institute. Additionally, we have a limited number of flags signed by yours truly for the first donors who contribute $25 or more.

The Stonegait Institute cannot succeed without your support. They are working hard to expose abuses of power by state and local governments, and, with your contribution, will be launching our new program to provide model legislation about important issues to liberty-minded elected leaders.

Let’s make sure our voices remain heard!

Your friend in liberty,

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