|George Washington reviews the troops near Fort Cumberland, Maryland, before their |
march to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Our Famous Cousin, David Bradford of the Whiskey Rebellion - Part Two
From http://www.whiskeyrebellion.info/rebell.htm we read:
“On July 18 or 19th at a meeting at Mingo Creek Meeting house, David Bradford, a successful attorney, businessman and Deputy Attorney General assumed leadership of the rebels (some claim he did so because he was blackmailed and "forced" to take an active role). Shortly there after occurred series of meetings at
Bradford's home to consider the problem of the
easterners knowing what was happening almost before it happened. As a result of
these meetings, the mail from Pittsburg to Philadelphia was robbed on July 26th and
taken to the Blackhorse Tavern in Canonsburg to
“Because of the knowledge gained from the mail, Bradford and his group sent a letter to the local militias requesting a gathering on Aug 1, 1794 on Braddock's field to begin a possible four day military excursion. Five to seven thousand troops gathered at Braddock's field, eight miles from
on the first. Brackenridge convinced
leaders to warn Pittsburg to banish all
obnoxious characters within eight days or face destruction The farmers and
militia marched through Pittsburg
in protest with no problems or damage done. The lack of problems during the
march was influenced by the 379 residents of Pittsburg supplied the "invading
army" with food and whiskey. The "army", as many of the
easterners termed it, crossed the Monongahela and torched Kirkpatrick's barn
near as they were leaving the
city. Mt. Washington
“By August 7, 1794, George Washington began mobilizing 12,950 troops from eastern Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey under Gen. Harry Lee, the Governor of Virginia and father of Robert E. Lee.
“Amnesty was offered to those involved in the various acts of defiance by a presidential commission on August 21, 1794. The required number of signatures was not obtained, in part, because that many felt that by signing they would be admitting guilt. The terms required that the leaders openly declare their submission to the laws in general, and the excise law in particular. A member of the President's commission, by the name of General William Irvine, sent a note to Washington after examining the facts in western Pennsylvania in which he stated "I do not mean now either to condemn of justify the proceedings here, but I may safely venture to say, that people on the west of the mountains labor under hardships, if not grievances that are not known, or at least not understood, in other parts of the United States, in more instances than the excise; but in this particular it can be demonstrated that they labor under particular hardships, for instance, carrying a man to Philadelphia or York to be tried for crimes, real or supposed, or on litigations respecting property, perhaps under the value or forty shillings: THIS IS INTOLERABLE."
“At the urging of Hamilton, George Washington determined that troops would be needed to put down the, so called, insurrection. The troops, largely from
New Jersey, arrived in Carlisle
Pennsylvaniain late September 1794. Washington and his troops arrived
Pennsylvania on October 19th. By early and mid November the
"Watermelon Army" began rounding up suspects in western
Pennsylvania. These people, suspects and witnesses together, many of the
barefoot and lacking winter clothing, were then marched to Philadelphia to stand trial. David Bradford, one of the leaders of
the insurrection, escaped and fled to a location near what is today
called St. Francisville, LA
(about one hundred miles from New
Orleans) where he built [his] second home and
moved his family. Most of the army began the trek home on November 19th with
the suspects and their guards following six days later. It is often rumored
that the remaining troops spent the winter on the campus of Washington Academy,
now known as Washington and .
The school closed down during this short time, in part, because a number of the
students and the trustees of the college were known sympathizers with the
rebels. Jefferson College
“Secretary of State Edmund Randolph 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. The dispatch apparently implied that
Randolph was the source of the information.
Because the letter refereed to the repressive means that the U.S. Government
was using to put down the rebellion and the referral to Washington as a puppet of Alexander
Hamilton, George Washington was noticeable upset. Randolph was offended by the accusations and
immediately resigned from his position (the letter may have been fairly
truthful). These factors were reasons enough for the people of Western
Pennsylvania to be unhappy with the new United States government.
“Because of their unwillingness to submit to the federalist principles of a strong central government, we may thank the independent people west of the mountains for our present day democratic society. Thomas Jefferson resigned his post of Secretary of State in 1793, in part, in protest because George Washington was agreeing too much with Hamilton and the Federalists. He [Jefferson] may have been a fellow member of the Virginia House of Burgess with David Bradford of
and it is thought that this
insurrection may have been strongly influenced by Jefferson and his friends.” Washington
Labels: Canonsburg, David Bradford, Fayette County PA, James Bradford, Washington County PA, Whiskey Rebellion
Email me at: email@example.com My love of genealogy started when I was a child. I remember spending hours looking through my parents' bottom dresser drawer filled with old family photos. Dad would come in and sit down on the floor with me. He would tell me of the people and places, stories of his childhood in New Braunfels, Texas, and memories of his parents and grandparents. I felt so close to these people, and this naturally flowed into a love of genealogy in later years. Thanks Dad!