"I have related in a former chapter, the curious account given by the Delawares and Mohicans of the scene which took place when they were first made to taste spiritous liquors by the Dutch who landed on New York Island. I have no doubt that this tradition is substantially founded on fact. Indeed, it is strongly corroborated by the name which, in consequence of this adventure, those people gave at the time to that island, and which it has retained to this day. They call it Manahachtanienk, which in the Delaware language, means, "the island where we all became intoxicated." We have corrupted this name into Manhattan, but not so as to destroy its meaning, or conceal its origin. The last syllable which we have left out is only a termination, implying locality, and in this word signifies as much as where we. There are few Indian traditions so well supported as this.
How far from that time the dreadful vice of intoxication has increased among these poor Indians, is well known among many Christian peoples among us. We may safely calculate on thousands who have perished by the baneful effect of spiritous liquors. The dreadful war which took place in 1774 between the Shawanese, some of the Mingoes, amd the people of Virginia, in which so many lives were lost, was brought on by t he consequences of drunkenness. It produced murders, which were followed by private revenge, and ended in a most cruel and destructive war.
The general prevalence of this vice among the Indians is in a great degree owing to unprincipled white traders, who persuade them to become intoxicated that they may cheat them the more easily, and obtain their land or peltries for a mere trifle. Within the last fifty years, some instances have even come to my knowledge of white men having enticed Indians to drink, and when drunk, murdered them. The effects which intoxication produces among the Indians are dreadful. It has been the cause of an infinite number of murders among them, besides biting off noses and otherwise disfiguring each other, which are the least consequences of the quarrels that inebriation produces between them. I cannot say how many among them have died of colds and other disorders, which they have caught by lying upon the cold ground, and remaining exposed to the elements when drunk; others have lingered out their lives, in excruciating rheumatic pains and in wasting consumptions, until death came to relieve them from their sufferings.
Reflecting Indians have keenly remarked, "that it was strange that a people who professed themselves believers in a religion revealed to them by the Great Spirit himself; who say that they have in their houses the WORD of God, and his laws and commandments textually written, could think of making a beson (This word means liquor, and is also used in the sense of a medicinal draught, or other compound potion.), calculated to bewitch people and make them destroy one another."
I once asked an Indian at Pittsburgh, whom I had not before seen, who he was? He answered in broken English: "My name is Blackfish; when at home with my nation, I am a clever fellow, and when here, a hog." He meant that by means of the liquor which the white people gave him, he was sunk to the level of that beast.
"HISTORY, MANNERS, AND CUSTOMS of THE INDIAN NATIONS WHO ONCE INHABITED PENNSYLVANIA AND THE NEIGHBOURING STATES."
BY THE REV. JOHN HECKEWELDER, OF BETHLEHEM, PA 1876
This was written when patriots were the colonists of a King
... and still this goes on...
to us all...
from Afghanistan to your streets.
Institutionally, legally, politically...
The trio of cheap, fruity wines is produced by Ernest and Julio Gallo. The Gallo brothers inherited their family's vineyard in the mid-'30s after their father murdered their mother and then committed suicide. In the 1950s, 40-proof port mixed with lemon juice became a popular urban drink, and Gallo set out to emulate the flavor. The result, Thunderbird, became the high-alcohol wine of choice on the street, with an ad campaign to match: "What's the word?
How's it sold?
Good and cold!
What's the jive?
Ripple went on to become Fred Sanford's beverage of choice, and many a teenager in the '70s got his or her first taste of liquor from the sickly-sweet fruit flavors of Boone's Farm. In the '80s, Ernest and Julio Gallo went on to create that most insidious of concoctions, the Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler. However, frustrated by this low-rent reputation, Ernest Gallo turned his attention to creating finer wines and today produces a large number of wines under classier names such as Marcelina, Frei Brothers Reserve and Ecco Domani.
There is another verse to that ad jingle, it has become a sort of folksong at this point...
it changes depending on who you are, i guess... the way i learned it was
"Who drinks the most?
Us white folks."