“Whiskey and Geography”: “Spirits of Just Men” Excerpts Featured on Southern Spaces

Hosea Thomas' still workers in Endicott, (Franklin County) Virginia, 1915. The Martin, Rake, and Thomas families trace their origins to Ireland where local residents learned to make liquor (known in Ireland as "potchin") to supplement farm income. Photo courtesy of the Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College.

The online journal Southern Spaces, produced at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, recently published two excerpts from Charles Thompson’s new book, Spirits of Just Men: Mountaineers, Liquor Bosses, and Lawmen in the Moonshine Capital of the World. The first excerpt, a video produced by Marissa Katarina Bergmann, offers glimpses of modern-day Shooting Creek juxtaposed with historical images, remembrances of Thompson’s grandfather, and the music of Charlie Poole. The second excerpt, previously published on Southern Spaces, sketches the origins of whiskey-making in the backcountry and recalls the resistance to Alexander Hamilton’s efforts to impose a whiskey tax.

Read the full feature Whiskey and Geography on Southern Spaces.

A Reading by Charles Thompson (Historical Photo Edit) from Marissa Katarina Bergmann on Vimeo.

Shooting Creek. Video reading of an excerpt from Spirits of Just Men by Charles D. Thompson, Jr. Produced by Marissa Katarina Bergmann. Images courtesy of Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College. Shot and edited for southernspaces.org.

Southern Spaces is an interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the American South and their global connections. Learn more at the website http://southernspaces.org.

Read more about Spirits of Just Men: Mountaineers, Liquor Bosses, and Lawmen in the Moonshine Capital of the World.

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