Federal Presidential Pardon

A Study of Noteworthy Presidential Pardons

Whiskey Rebellion

Posted on | November 3, 2009 | No Comments

After the American Revolution, many states were deeply in debt. To reduce the hardship, the federal government took over the debt. A national debt resulted. To payoff the debt, in 1791, the feds taxed distillers. All distillers were not treated equally. Larger distillers were taxed at a lower rate then small batch distillers. President Washington owned a large distillery.

By 1794, south of Pittsburgh, the first shots were fired. Washington lead the federal troupes to the area and quelled the rebellion. Two men were arrested; Philip Vigol was convicted of treason and sentenced to death by hanging. Washington pardoned Vigol and the other man because one was a simpleton and the other insane. United States v. Vigol, 29 Fed. Cas. 376 (No. 16621) (C.C.D. Pa. 1795).

This pardon is noteworthy because it has many built in trivia questions. Washington is the only president in our nations history to lead the troupes in battle while sitting as president. After the passing of the federal constitution, the Whiskey Rebellion is the first time where the federal government asserted its power with actual force. When the taxed was passed by congress, Tennessee and Kentucky were not states, thereby not taxed. Many high quality, small batch distillers moved (where did they move?). Who is Tom the Tinker?

Whiskey Rebellion

Washington at Fort Cumberland, MD, going to quash the Whiskey Rebellion, Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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