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Forest Conservation Makes Strange Bedfellows: Moonshiners and the Forest Service in Southern Appalachia

Shifren, Andrew (2017)
Honors Thesis (79 pages)
Committee Chair / Thesis Adviser: Allitt, Patrick
Committee Members: Crais, Clifton C ; Gunderson, Lance
Research Fields: American history; Forestry
Keywords: Forest Service; Appalachia; Moonshine; Prohibition
Program: College Honors Program, History
Permanent url: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/s09sw

Abstract

What happens when the goals of a U.S. federal agency are at odds with state and national rules prohibiting alcohol? This thesis will explore the Forest Service's purchases and activities in the Southern Appalachian region of the United States between 1908 and 1936, while situating the narrative within the context of state and local Prohibition. This project aims to shed light on the seemingly paradoxical relationships that sprung up between local Forest Service administrators and illicit whiskey distillers before, during, and after local and federal Prohibition. In a broader sense, this thesis argues that as much as Forest Service bureaucracy shaped the lives of local Appalachian peoples, those peoples equally transformed the goals and actions of the Forest Service.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Southern Appalachia, the Industrial Revolution

and the Foundations of the Forest Service:

1800s-1911 5

The Weeks Act, State Prohibition,

and Southern Appalachian Transformation:

1908-1920 25

National Prohibition and an Unlikely Alliance:

1920-1936 47

Conclusion 64

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