By Jeremy Agnew
This publication explores the position and impression of drink and medicine (primarily opium) within the previous West, which for this booklet is taken into account to be the US west of the Mississippi from the California gold rush of the 1840s to the ultimate of the Western Frontier in approximately 1900. this era used to be the 1st time in American historical past that heavy ingesting and drug abuse grew to become an incredible social difficulty. consuming used to be thought of to be an permitted pursuit for males on the time. Smoking opium used to be thought of to be deviant and linked to teams at the fringes of mainstream society, yet opium use and habit by means of girls was once usual. This booklet offers the heritage of either components and the way their use unfold around the West, first and foremost for medicinal purposes--but how overuse and abuse resulted in the Temperance stream and at last to nationwide Prohibition. This ebook studies the ancient truth of alcohol and opium use within the outdated West with out bias.
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Extra info for Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence
The making of illicit alcohol was called “bootlegging” because the illegal product was carried in bottles hidden in the tops of the boots of whiskey smugglers. The alcohol was also called “moonshine,” because the illegal liquor was made in the dead of night, by the light of the moon, to avoid local law enforcement agents. 46 During the Revolutionary War, bootleggers were called “blockade runners” because they shipped their illegal products through and around coastal blockades. 30 Alcohol and Opium in the Old West In the West, illegal stills became the source of running battles — sometimes literally — between moonshiners and law enforcement ofﬁcials who sought to shut them down.
On June 22, 1881, a bartender inspecting the inside of a barrel of whiskey at the Arcade Saloon on Allen Street in Tombstone, Arizona, inadvertently brought a lighted cigar too close to the fumes. The whiskey must have been good stuff because it ignited. 41 Unfortunately a frequent recipient of many of these strange “whiskeys” was the Native American. S. Cavalry, who were supposed to prevent the sale or trade of whiskey to the Indians. Because liquor was legally banned on Indian reservations, the demand was often met by illegal producers who smuggled their so-called whiskey to an eager and lucrative market.
The name “mescal” has been variously applied to the agave plant, the peyote-producing cactus plant, and to any clear, ﬁery liquor made from the agave cactus. Most dictionaries will give these three meanings to the word. Some authors use the names mescal, pulque, and tequila interchangeably for the fermented and distilled maguey sap, which leads to even more confusion. ” Other uses were for soap and ﬁbers for making sandals and cloth. Agave also served as a medicine and was commonly used by the Indians to treat arthritis.
Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence by Jeremy Agnew