A 1791 federal tax on distilled beverages angered small distillers, especially those in western Pennsylvania. Many refused to pay the tax, and stood in armed rebellion against the new federal government. Tax collectors were attacked. On July 16 and 17, shots were fired at tax collector John Neville's home, and the event became known as the Battle of Bower Hill. Finally, in 1794, President George Washington authorized 12,950 federal militia from four states to be sent in to end the insurrection. Washington himself rode to Pennsylvania to review the troops.
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