Mountain Spirits: A Chronicle of Corn Whiskey and the Southern Appalachian Moonshine Tradition

Mountain Spirits: A Chronicle of Corn Whiskey and the Southern Appalachian Moonshine Tradition

by Joseph Earl Dabney


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Originally published in 1974, Mountain Spirits "traces the history of whiskey making from its origins in Ulster, Ireland, through its arrival in the United States in the great waves of mostly Scotch-Irish settlers who traveled the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road into the Southern Appalachians, making illicit corn "likker" part of the southern way of life. Colorful interviews and stories relate the experiences and methods of the independent moonshiners who plied their craft in the hills, the revenue agents who tracked them down (often with respect and affection) and the wilder young men who hauled the product in the first hotrod cars. As legal distilling brings the tradition to a new generation, Joseph Dabney offers a glimpse of a time when crops were measured in gallons and families carried the secrets of their stills to their graves."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626196896
Publisher: The History Press
Publication date: 08/12/2014
Series: American Palate
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 657,023
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Award-winning author and retired editor and journalist Joseph Earl Dabney is a South Carolina native and lives in Atlanta. His nationally acclaimed books include Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread & Scuppernong Wine, " winner of the James Beard Foundation's 1999 Cookbook of the Year prize. For his folklore books, he received the 2005 Jack Daniels Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance."

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Foreword: A Case of Malum Prohibitum xiii

A Corn Whiskey Glossary xix

I The Craft

1 The ABCs of Pure Corn 3

2 The Taste of Corn 18

II The History

3 To Usquebaugh with Love 31

4 Of Pumpkins, Parsnips, and Walnut Tree Chips 42

5 The Excise Years 58

6 The "Revenue" Goes to War 74

7 Big Court Week and Uncle Amos 90

8 John Barleycorn's Death and Resurrection 102

III The Life

9 From Pure Corn to (Almost Pure) Sugar 117

10 The Moonshine Pockets 131

11 "Tripping" Moonshine 148

12 Fighting the Revenuers 166

13 Duff Floyd, Revenuer and John Henry Hardin 181

14 Moonshine Tales: Pure Corn, Unadulterated 199

IV The End

15 Metro Moonshine 215

16 Double and Twisted 227

Bibliography 233

Index 239

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