• Shadow Lounge,  Pittsburgh PA. Official launch of the 2nd Whiskey Rebellion.  August 12, 2010,

  1. Miller’s Tavern, 5 Hope St. at the corner of Roebling St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn  September 16, 2010

  2. Election Night November 2, 2010, Capitalist Karaoke, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, NYC

  3. Max Fish Bar, 178 Ludlow Street, NY, NY, Tuesday December 21, 2010, the Winter Solstice

  4. Parsons School of Design, NYC, for the book launch of Greg Sholette’s book Dark Matters

  5. the Brooklyn backyard of Noah Fisher, a member in good standing, on the Vernal Equinox, March 20, 2011

  6. Tompkins Square, 23rd Anniversary of the 1986 Police Riot, August 6, 2011

In February of 2010 the Aaron Burr Society began distilling whiskey without a license. This act of civil disobedience is in commemoration of the original Whiskey Rebellion of 1791 to 1794; a rebellion that was centered in Western Pennsylvania but was supported throughout the western territories. The 2nd Whiskey Rebellion is about the local autonomy and the environment, echoing the cause of the original rebellion of 1794 and updated to fit our times. We will never have a clean environment without international economic and social justice. As Whiskey Rebel John Skull wrote, “the peace and prosperity of the human race.

The labels for the Society’s whiskey bottles [center foto top] are printed on a letterset press. The back label states that the label’s paper was made from Hemp followed by our motto:


In August of 2010 the Society went through the archives of the Pittsburgh Gazette at the Carnegie Library while doing a residency at Carnegie Mellon University’s Studio for Creative Inquiry. Our research revealed that the Rebellion was caused by the Constitution’s imposition of Minority Rule, privileging Property Rights over Human Rights, as well as Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s two tiered economic system and tax policies that created a new class of aristocratic Bankers, Speculators & Merchants at the expense of Common Citizens. A situation different, yet similar to our current conundrum.

Two weeks after President Washington’s inauguration, John Skull the printer of the Pittsburgh Gazette, wrote that the Constitution was unfair, unjust and you can’t do nothing about it. Of course he used the formal, convoluted language of the period [see below]. The Whiskey Rebellion ended when President Washington lead an army of 13,000 troupes into Pennsylvania; this was larger then his army during Revolution. The Rebels, most of whom served under Washington during the War of Independence, surrendered without a fight because of their respect for their General . Upon their surrender Washington left the army in the command of General Lighthorse Harry Lee [Robert E. Lee’s father], not Alexander Hamilton as some historians claim.

By the time of the Whiskey Rebellion, Hamilton was the most hated man in America and the trajectory of the Rebellion would have been different if Hamilton was in charge. Hamilton didn’t believe in democracy.[1] Twice he tried to have Washington declared emperor for life and twice Washington refused, one of the main reason’s why he is considered great. Hamilton also wanted senators to serve life time appointments like England’s House of Lords. Those who praise Hamilton never address fact that he was always the courtier. Despite his lust for power, Hamilton never ran for congress or the senate but always tried to be the power behind the throne because he knew that he could never win an election. This worked to a degree with Washington, but President John Adams saw him as a war monger and intriguer. In fact the reason that Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr had an equal vote count in the presidential election of 1800, was because Hamilton engaged in nefarious political maneuvering to split the Federalist Party vote in order to have his surrogate usurp Presidency Adams’ position.

When General Lee arrived at Fort Pitt [later the city of Pittsburgh], he declared Marshal Law and John Skull’s name was removed from the masthead of the Gazette. Months later after President Washington and General Lee ended marshal law, Skull’s name reappeared on the masthead and he wrote:


True liberty, like true religion, is known by its fruits. Liberty, the daughter of Heaven, and the best gift of God to a favored people, a generous principle, whose object is the peace and prosperity of the human race; must produce fruits worthy of the divine origin; meekness, justice and love of one another. Licentiousness, the offspring of hell, and the scourge of an offending nation, selfish in its nature, and seeking the degradation of all but itself, bears fruits of an opposite nature; sedition, fury, hatred, malice and mischief. By its fruits judge, whether our insurrection proceeded from a spirit of liberty, or of licentiousness; whether it was the work of God or the Devil.

Deists, like John Skull, did not believe in religious gods but rather the Universal Spirit, similar but different than Karl Jung’s Collective Unconsciousness. They used the words “god” and “devil” as metaphors and often refereed to the Great Builder.

[1] Something That Will Surprise The World: the Essential Writings of the Founding Fathers, edited by Susan Dunn,  foreword by Joseph J. Ellis, Basic Books, NY NY,  2006.

Whiskey Rebellion FLAG circa 1794

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A Distillation of the American Spirit

of Economic and Social Justice with a Sustainable Environment