Whiskey Insurrection Time Line

Causes of the Whiskey Rebellion

1610 - British Parliment became concerned that inland or interior taxes (excise taxes) may become a general practice

1643 - British Parliment leavied first English excise tax to finance its army during the Civil War

1647 - Riots against the excise tax throughout England

1752 - Washington inherits an interest in a 500,000 acre Ohio Company grant from his older brother

October 31, 1753 - George Washington travels through western Pennsylvania while delivering a warning letter to the French Commander Joncaire at Venango and looking for land to buy.

December 15, 1764 - Armed settlers killed and scalped about twenty Indians protected by the government at Conestoga Manor near Lancaster PA

December 27, 1764 - Sixteen more Indians brutely slain by the same settlers at Lancaster PA where they had been taken for their own protection

March 18, 1770 - Massy Harbison and her children captured by the Indians

1770's (late) - Hamilton (treasurer of the United States) believed in a monarchy and continually worked toward it
- Federalist Party - Aristocrats tried to decrease state powers
- Federalists, mainly west of the mountains - Democratic Society (Democracy)

March 6, 1782 - The Pittsburg militia marched to Ohio and moved nearly one hundred Christian Indians to Gnadenhutten where they were later slaughtered.

Sept 13, 1782

- Last battle of the American Revolution fought on Dutch Fork, Washington, Cty. PA (Company of British Rangers and 238 Indians against 6 settlers-British retreated)

- western peoples basically self-sufficient, used to fighting their own battles with the Indians with no support from the east

September 19, 1784 - George Washington, an absentee landlord, begins to takes action to remove Scottish settler from his land on Miller's Run, a branch of Chartiers Creek, in Washington, Cty. PA.

April 1786 - State excise officer confronted by Washington Cty, PA frontiersman

August 1786 to February 1787 - Shay's Rebellion

May 14, 1787 - Constitutional Convention

- States considered themselves separate entities
- This bickering and competition between states decreased somewhat after the convention
- Western region tended to retain the separatist feelings longer
- Little loyalty between east and west in Virg. and Pa.

Jan 15, 1788 - British send John Connolly to W., PA to talk to John Neville and others sympathetic to the British cause to determine the likelihood of the west separating from the east

1789 - Excise taxes still not enforceable in rural England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales

Aug 27, 1789

- Letter to Lord Sydney, advising him to aid the west in separating from the union - British encouraged separation from the East 1789

1790 - First eastern expedition against the Indians under Gen. Josiah Harmer - Indians won

1790 - Eastern, rich(friends of Hamilton) buy western, revolutionary scrip at a fraction of the value and later they receive face value of the scrip, cost the government 21 Million

1791 - Second expedition against the Indians under Gen. Arthur St. Clair

- Indians won
- Tax on whiskey 1780's

March 3, 1791 - Excise tax passed by Congress

March 22, 1791 - Massacre of the Russ household by the Indians on the banks of the Allegheny River

July 27, 1791 - First "illegal" meeting at Redstone Old Fort in Brownsville, Pa.

September 6, 1791 - First incidence of violence occurred when Robert Johnson, an excise collector was tarred and feathered.

September 7, 1791 - Delegates from four counties meet in Pittsburg and pass a number of resolutions against the excise.

1792 - Tax to pay for the 21 million was a tariff on spirits imported to the east 1791

Washington Cty - whiskey sold for .25/gal tax=.07
eastern whiskey - sold for .50 tax = .07
tax collected at the source not upon sale
- Offices open only during June for whiskey still registration - one/county
- No office in Washington Cty because of the anti-aristocratic feelings
- Land bought by outsiders even though already occupied 1792
- Agricultural society, mainly whiskey for export 1700's - early 1800's
- Trials for crimes in either Philadelphia or York

August 22, 1792 - Second Pittsburg meeting with resolutions sent to Congress.

September 15, 1792 - Washington issues a proclamation to desist from all unlawful proceedings.

Aug 20, 1794 - First successful expedition against the Indians - Tax on whiskey supplied the money

The Whiskey Insurrection

August(mid) - Armed men painted as Indians were reported to be lurking in bushes between Pittsburg and Washington, supposedly to waylay Neville

December 1791 - Neville wrote Clymer that the people were threatening to close the Pittsburg excise office as soon as Wayne's army moved down river.

Summer 1792 - Captain Faulkner tarred and feathered for trying to open a Washington county office

1792 - David Bradford applies for a grant of land in Spanish West Florida

July 15 1794 - Confrontation of Marshall Lennox and Gen. Neville at William Miller's home in Allegheny County. Shot fired by Miller's (Allegheny County) group after visit by Neville (serving writs)

July 16 1794
- Thirty men approach Neville's home demanding interview. After being greeted at the door, they were met with a volley of shots from the house and Negro quarters. Fire was returned but Oliver Miller was killed and a number of others wounded

July 17 1794

- James McFarlane in command of 500 met at Couche's fort and advanced on Bower Hill (Neville's home)
- Attack began after Gen. Neville and the women and children left
- Farmers thought the troops guarding the Neville homestead wanted to surrender
- McFarlane ordered firing stopped, in the process exposing himself
- someone in the house shot and killed James McFarlane (thought to be Kirkpatrick)
- barn, home and several outbuildings were burned
- people in the house were released unharmed
- McFarlane buried in cemetery at Mingo Creek Presbyterian Church

July 18,19 1794

  - Meeting at Mingo Creek Meeting house

- David Bradford, a successful attorney, businessman and Deputy Attorney General, assumed leadership after saying that he would not attend the meeting

July 1794 - Meetings at Bradford's home to consider the problem of the Easterners knowing what's happening almost before it happens

July 26 1794

- Mail from Pittsburg to Philadelphia was intercepted under Bradford's orders - mail taken to Canonsburg and examined

July 28 1794 - Bradford's group sent letter to the local militias requesting a gathering on Aug 1, 1794 on Braddock's field to begin a possible four day military excursion

August 1-2, 1794

- five to seven thousand troops gathered at Braddock's field, eight miles from Pittsburg

- Brackenridge convinced leaders to warn Pittsburg to banish all obnoxious characters within eight days or face destruction

- army marches through Pittsburg with no problems or damage done, in part, because the 379 residents of Pittsburg supplied the "invading" army with food and whiskey

- army crossed the Monongahela and torches Kirkpatrick's barn near Mt. Washington (Kirkpatrick is the one thought to have killed James MacFarlane)

August 7, 1794

- George Washington mobilizes 12,950 troops from eastern Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey under Gen. Harry Lee, the Governor of Virgina and father of Robert E. Lee.

August 8, 1794 - U. S. Commissioners appointed to confer with the representative from west of the Alleghenies

August 14, 1794

- Meeting at Parkinson's Ferry "to take into consideration the condition of the western country"

- Presidential commission attends meeting

August 19, 1794

- Secretary of State Edmund Randolf asked by President Washington to defend himself in relation to a letter from the French Minister to the French Government which analyzed the causes of the Whiskey Rebellion.

- Randolph resigned ( the letter may have been fairly truthful)

August 20, 1794

- 1st Pittsburg Conference between Parkinson Ferry Committee, U.S. Commissioners and Pennsylvania Commissioners

- Presidential commission meets with insurgent leaders to negotiate terms of peace and offer amnesty

- required that they openly declare their submission to the laws in general and the excise law in particular

- the required number of signatures was not obtained

August, 1794 - Attorney General William Bradford argues for war August 28-29,

1794 - Meeting at Redstone Old Fort, at which Albert Gallatin moderates the revolutionary fervor of the rebels.

August (late) 1794 - President decides to send an army to western Pennsylvania

September 11-12, 1794 - Western inhabitants vote whether or not to submit to the laws of the United States.

September 19, 1794 - Federal troops leave Philadelphia for the west.

September 24, 1794 Report of U.S. Commissioners that force will be necessary to make western inhabitants comply with the excise law.

September (late) 1794

- Troops reach Carlisle, Pennsylvania

- two Carlisle inhabitants killed

October 2, 1794

- Meeting of those who attended the Aug, 14 meeting at Parkinson's Ferry

- Resolved unanimously to submit to the laws of the United States and agree to peace terms of August 14 and 21

- Resolved unanimously to appoint two representatives (William Findley and David Redick) to wait on the president of the United States and the Governor of Pennsylvania

October 9 and 10, 1794 - William Findley and David Redick presented the resolutions to President Washington and Alexander Hamilton, at Carlisle PA, agreeing to comply with all the laws of the United states and the agreement of August 14, 21 and Oct 2, 1794 (surrender)

October, 14 1794

- President Washington, General Henry Knox, and General Alexander Hamilton review the troops at Carlisle, PA

October 19, 1794 - Washington and branches of the army arrive in Bedford, Pennsylvania

October 20 1794

- President Washington addresses General Lee in Bedford prior to returning to the east

- President Washington stays at Espy House in Bedford, Pa

October 24, 1794 - Army arrives in Washington County, Pa. to "subdue" the inhabitants

Late October, 1794 - Hamilton's legal council arrived and stayed at a red house at 63 South Main, Washington, PA for two days

October 1794

- David Bradford escapes and heads for New Orleans

- Bradford goes to the Ohio River at Mckee's Rocks and then a coal barge to New Orleans

November 13, 1794 - A "Dreadful Night" 150 men herded to prison quarters

November 19, 1794

- Main army begins the return march driving a string of prisoners with them

- General Morgan and 1500 men remain through most of the winter

- a large contingent of this remaining army, camps on the campus of Washington College (removing all the virgin timber for fuel)

- Headquarters were on South Main in Washington, Pa where the Donnan building now stands

November 25, 1794

- Seventeen prisoners removed from the guard house at Fort Fayette (Pittsburg) and marched to Greensburg

- Three Westmoreland county prisoners added to their number

December 25, 1794

- Entry of part of the army of 13,800 men into Philadelphia
- twenty prisoners taken to Philadelphia from the following Pennsylvania counties

9 - Washington Cty,
6 - Allegheny Cty
3 - Westmoreland Cty
1 - Fayette Cty
1 - Ohio Cty Virginia (W. Virg)
- six prisoners were already in jail for related crimes
4 - Bedford Cty
1 - Northumberland Cty
1 - Cumberland Cty


December 1794 - Washington's annual message to congress contains a scathing denunciation of the Democratic Societies as dangerous to the public welfare

January 13-March 23, 1795 - eight prisoners released on bail due to ridiculousness of the charges as seen by the people in the east

Jan-Feb, 1795

- John Mitchell gave himself up to General Morgan (he was mentally handicapped)

- Edward Wright (Allegheny Cty) was arrested and taken to Philadelphia

May 1795 - Trial in Philadelphia - eight more were acquitted by the grand jury

July 10, 1795

- President Washington issued a proclamation releasing all those not under indictment

- five remained for trial

- Two found guilty, the other 3 released for one reason or another

- Vigol -- verdict not accepted

- Mitchell -- later pardoned due to citizen indignation and protest

1796 - David arrives in Spanish west Florida, gets a grant of land and begins to build a home for his family

1797 (spring) - Elizabeth Bradford and the six children go down the Ohio River and Join David inBayou Sara, Louisiana Territory

1799 - David Bradford pardoned by John Adams

1801 - David Bradford returns to PA to officially buy his property

1802 - Thomas Jefferson repeals the excise tax

1803 - David Bradford sells the Bradford house in Pennsylvania

1808 - David Bradford dies in New Orleans, Louisiana

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