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Archiver > KIMMEL > 1999-02 > 0919654275

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Subject: [KIMMEL-L] Re: Philip Kimmel and the Whiskey Rebellion 1794/95, Bedford Co.,PA
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 22:31:15 EST

>From Two Centuries of Brothersvalley: In 1791 Alexander Hamilton, Sec. of the
Treasury suggested that a bill be written and passed to levy an excise tax of
four pence on all distilled spirits. On March 3, 1791, this bill was passed,
though with strong opposition by many members, especially from the Senators
and Representatives from the areas which manufactured the ardent spirits.
This tax was designed to raise funds to pay for the growing army of soldiers
being placed on the frontier to guard against uprisings and trouble with the

This taxation brought great tension among the people of southwestern PA. The
tax was reduced but the tension grew especially in the Berlin area where it
broke out in open rebellion. A "Liberty Pole" was raised in Somerset. In the
summer of 1794, President George Washington called up 12,000 troops to go to
Western PA to quell the Whiskey Insurrection, or as it has also been called
"The Whiskey Rebellion."

One of the most terrible things that could have happened to a Brethren in that
day (and still today, according to the order of the Church), was for her
members to be brought to the civil courts for actions not considered within
the law.

Of the thirty some offenders brought before the court in Bedford in the spring
of 1795, eleven were Brethren, and one elder was among the list. For the most
part these men were sons of elders or deacons in the church. The following
list is given, not to show that these men were brought to trial for
punishment, but to show that by the former reasons set forth in previous
treatment of this problem, that they thought they were in the right as far as
they went. On the other hand the Church was undivided in her decisions, from
a Biblical and moral stand on opposition to this practice.

The eleven names appear following for they point out the stand that Annual
Meeting took toward members being engaged in this practice: (These are known

Peter Martin, son of Elder George Adam Martin -- two stills
Elder Philip Kimmel -- two stills
Michael Miller -- two stills
John Miller -- one still
Abraham Cable, Jr., son of deacon Abraham Cable -- one still
Jacob Huff -- one still
Abraham Miller -- one still
John Martin, son of Elder George Adam Martin -- one still
Jonathan Pollard -- one still
Nicholas Miller -- one still
George Sill (Sell) -- one still

This was the final and complete limit for the Brethren and there was no other
way out of their acts except to pay a heavy fine meted out by the law which
was from sixty cents for the small offenders to three hundred dollars for the
greatest offenders. The Church applied the ban or excommunication for all
these offenders. As far as present research shows only one brethren made
restitution for his acts and after several years of probationary membership,
was reowned as a member. Following this sad experience among the
congregations of the Brethren in the area, many of these families left the
church and joined other churches which were not as hard on enforcing the
"strict letter of the law of the Scriptures." as one member told this author
in 1954. [all of the above is a direct (in part) quote from pp 133 - 138]

I have more than ancestor on this list. Perhaps someone else knows what
happened afterwards to Philip. I know that Berlin celebrates The Whiskey
Rebellion annually.

Janet C.

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