Founding spirits: George Washington and the beginnings of the American whiskey industry

Join the East Tennessee Historical Society on Wednesday, June 4 at noon for brown bag discussion of a little known part of George Washington's life as a whiskey distiller, in the auditorium of the East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay Street. 

Dr. Dennis J. Pogue will discuss the history of the whiskey industry in early America, with a concentration on George Washington’s largely unknown career as a distiller. Washington played a leading role in the whiskey industry’s growth into a major business by the early 1800s, and in 1799 owned the largest distillery in the country, producing 11,000 gallons of clear, un-aged whiskey. 

Dr. Pogue is the former director of restoration at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, and Garden. He is now an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland and the author of Founding spirits : George Washington and the beginnings of the American whiskey industry.

The lecture is presented in partnership with Wheatlands Plantation, established by Revolutionary War veteran Timothy Chandler, located at Boyds Creek, Sevier County.

The program is sponsored by 21st Mortgage and is free and open to the public.  Guests are invited to bring a “brown bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available for purchase. For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website.