Posts Tagged ‘Bettie Smith’

Tennessee Mountain Dew Queen

January 21, 2009

whiskey_jug

Tennessee’s Mountain Dew Queen.
From the Arkansaw Traveller.

Miss Bettie Smith, of Fentress county, Tenn, who was arrested on the charge of illicit distilling is said to be handsome and accomplished, and is supposed to have written that wild and stirring romance, The Blue Headed Sapsucker, or The Rock Where the Juice Ran Out. Colonel Harvey Mathes editor of the Memphis Ledger says that Miss Smith is undoubtedly the author of the story. This is a startling revelation. At one time Colonel Mathes offered $3,000? for the discovery of the author.

When Miss Smith was arraigned before the United States court at Nashville she conducted her self with such grace and dignity that the polite old judge deeply impressed arose and made her a profound bow.

‘Miss Smith,’ said the judge, ‘to see you in this awful predicament seriously touches me.’

‘It does me too judge.’

‘How old are you?’

‘Judge you should not ask such a question but I will tell you I am two years older than my married sister who was married before she was as old as I am. She has been married eighteen months, and still speaks well of her husband. Now, how old am I?’

‘I cannot tell.’

‘I am not to blame for your mathematical inefficiency.’

‘Why did you go into the distilling business?’

‘Because I wanted to make whisky.’

‘How long have you been a distiller?’

‘Ever since I was sixteen years old.’

‘When were you sixteen years old?’

‘The year my father died.’

‘When was that?’

‘The year my uncle Henry moved to Texas.’

‘Miss Smith, you are a woman but I insist that you shall answer my questions. Remember that if convicted of this awful charge you will be sent to the penitentiary. What did you do with the whisky you made?’

‘Sold it.’

‘Who bought it?’

‘Well judge, it would be rather hard to tell who bought it all. Sometime ago a party of gentlemen came out into my neighborhood to hunt deer. The party got out of whisky but found it difficult to buy any. After a while I told a man if he would put his jug down on a dollar and go away he might when he came back find the jug full of whisky. He did so.’

‘Would you know the man?’

‘Oh, yes sir. I recognized him in a moment. You are the man, judge.’

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 27, 1888