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Moonshiners and ProhibitionistsThe Battle over Alcohol in Southern Appalachia$
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Bruce E. Stewart

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813130002

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813130002.001.0001

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“This Country Improves in Cultivation, Wickedness, Mills, and Still”: Distilling and Drinking during the Antebellum Period

“This Country Improves in Cultivation, Wickedness, Mills, and Still”: Distilling and Drinking during the Antebellum Period

Chapter:
(p.8) (p.9) 1 “This Country Improves in Cultivation, Wickedness, Mills, and Still”: Distilling and Drinking during the Antebellum Period
Source:
Moonshiners and Prohibitionists
Author(s):

Bruce E. Stewart

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813130002.003.0002

During the antebellum period, alcohol manufacturing was a thriving industry in Appalachian North Carolina and liquor distillers were well-respected members of a community that enjoyed drinking alcohol, especially at social gatherings such as militia musters and election days. Alcohol distilling was first introduced in the piedmont of North Carolina by Scots-Irish migrants who travelled from Pennsylvania down the Great Wagon Road during the early eighteenth century. Homemade whiskey, especially corn whiskey, became the most popular drink in western North Carolina because it was readily available and cheaper than wine or other alcoholic beverages. Like other antebellum Americans, western Carolinans subscribed to the notion that spiritiuous liquors were healthful and nutritious. As such, antebellum distillers saw themselves as entrepreneurs who were merely responding to the demands of the marketplace.

Keywords:   North Carolina, antebellum period, homemade whiskey, alcohol distillation, Great Wagon Road

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