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In 1791, President George Washington signed the “Whiskey Tax” into law and appointed General John Neville as the collector of the revenues.
In the summer of 1794, Major James Mcfarlane and his band of whiskey rebels descended on Bower Hill, General Neville’s majestic West Pennsylvanian Estate, in protest of the tax. On the second day of the standoff, a white flag was waved from Neville’s mansion, and Macfarlane, assuming the government had surrendered, stepped out in the open and was shot dead. Mcfarlane’s death further radicalized the resistance, inciting additional violent clashes with the Government, which ultimately quelled the whiskey rebellion in the fall of 1794. Mcfarlane’s brave stand, however, is a lasting tribute to American passion and our intimate and storied history with our native spirit.
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