Bootleggers convene in Seattle for a week beginning on March 1, 1922.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 2/25/1999
  • Essay 940
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From March 1 to March 7, 1922, a bootleggers' convention is held in Seattle. More than 100 “booze runners and wholesale dealers” meet for the first time since 1916 when Prohibition outlawing the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages went into effect in Washington state.

A Cheerful Future

Nearly all of the good liquor smuggled into Puget Sound was from British Columbia, where alcoholic beverages were legal. The smugglers held three sessions in three downtown Seattle hotels and agreed on rules and regulations for their trade. They also standardized prices.

It was reported that “the organization is expected to be helpful in keeping the liquor runners and dealers within the limits of approved business methods. Disregarding the provisions of the Sherman [Antitrust] act against price fixing and trade restraints, the leaders in the movement face the future cheerfully with the will to keep the stuff coming across the [Canadian] line and getting much better prices for it then they have in the past” (Oregonian).

Bootleggers Say No to Drugs

The bootleggers agreed to increase their selling prices of a case of liquor by $10 to $20. In the past they had purchased most of their liquor from Vancouver, British Columbia wholesalers. They agreed to procure more booze from Victoria wholesalers, probably to increase price competition between Vancouver and Victoria.

And finally, by unanimous consent, they agreed to boycott drug smugglers and to aid law enforcement agencies in apprehending them.


Oregonian (Portland), March 10, 1922, p. 7.

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