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OLD COLONIAL DRINKS AND DRINKERS
THE English settlers who peopled our colonies were a beer-drinking and ale-drinking race as Shakespeare said, they were "potent in potting." None of the hardships they had to endure in the first bitter years of their new life caused them more annoyance than their deprivation of their beloved malt liquors. This deprivation began even at the very landing. They were forced to depend on the charity of the ship-masters for a draught of beer on board ship, drinking nothing but water ashore. Bradford, the Pilgrim Governor, complained loudly and frequently of his distress, while Higginson, the Salem minister, accommodate himself more readily and cheerfully to his changed circumstances, and boasted quaintly in 1629, "Whereas my stomach could only digest and did require such drink as was both strong and stale, I can and ofttimes do drink New England water very well." As Higginson died in a short time, his boast of his improved health and praise of the unwonted beverage does not carry the force intended. Another early chronicler, Roger Clap, writes that it was "not accounted a strange thing in those days to drink water," and it was stated that Winthrop drank it ordinarily. Wood, in his "New England Prospects," says of New England water, "I dare not preferre it before good Beere as some have done, but any man would choose it before Bad Beere, Wheay or Buttermilk." It was also praised as being "farr different from the water of England, being not so sharp, but of a fatter substance, and of a more jettie colour; it is thought there can be no better water in the world."
But their beerless state did not long continue, for the first luxury to be brought to the new country was beer, and the colonists soon imported malt and learned to make beer from the despised Indian corn, and established breweries and made laws governing and controlling the manufacture of ale and beer; for the pious Puritans quickly learned to cheat in their brewing, using molasses and coarse sugar. Molasses beer is frequently mentioned by Josselyn.
By 1634, when sixpence was the legal charge for a meal, an ale-quart of beer could be bought for a penny, and a landlord was liable to ten shillings fine if he made a greater charge, or his liquor fell below a certain standard of quality. Perhaps this low price was established by the crafty Puritan magistrates in order to prevent the possibility of profit by beer-selling, and thereby reduce the number of sellers. It was also ordered that not more than an ale-quart of beer should be drunk out of meal-times. This was to prevent "bye-drinking." Josselyn complained of the petty interference of the law in drinking, saying:
"At the houses of entertainment called ordinaries into which a stranger went, he was presently followed by one appointed to that office who would thrust himself into his company uninvited, and if he called for more drink than the officer thought, in his judgment, he could soberly bear away, he would presently countermand it, and appoint the proportion beyond which he could not get one drop."
The ministers, also, who chanced to live within sight of the tavern, had a very virtuous custom of watching the tavern door and all who entered therein, and going over and "chiding them" if they remained too long within the cheerful portals. With constables, deacons, the parson, and that lab-o'-the-tongue the tithing-man each on the alert to keep every one from drinking but himself, the Puritan had little chance to be a toper an he would.
The colonists were fiercely intolerant of intemperance among the Indians. Laws were made as early as 1633 prohibiting the sale of strong waters to the "inflamed devilish bloudy salvages," and persons selling liquor to them were sharply prosecuted and punished. New Yorkers thought these laws over-severe, saying, deprecatingly, "to prohibit all strong liquor to them seems very hard and very turkish, rumm doth as little hurt as the ffrenchmans Brandie, and in the whole is much more wholesome." But the Puritans knew of the horrors to be dreaded from drunken Indians.
So plentiful had the sale of ale and beer become in 1675 that Cotton Mather said every other house in Boston was an ale-house, and a century later Governor Pownall made the same assertion. The Puritan magistrates in New England made at a very early date a decided stand not only against excessive drinking by strangers, but against the habit of drunkenness in their citizens. Drunkards were in 1636, in Massachusetts, subject to fine and imprisonment in the stocks, and sellers were forbidden to furnish the tippler with any liquor thereafter. An habitual drunkard was punished by having a great D made of "Redd Cloth" hung around his neck, or sewed on his clothing, and he was disfranchised. In 1630 Governor Winthrop abolished the "Vain Custom" of drinking healths at his table, and in 1639 the Court publicly ordered the cessation of the practice because "it was a thing of no use, it induced drunkenness and quarrelling; it wasted wine and beer and it was troublesome to many, forcing them to drink more than they wished." A fine of twelve shillings was imposed on each health-drinker. Cotton Mather, however, thought health-drinking a usage of common politeness. In Connecticut no man could drink over half a pint of wine at a time, or tipple over half an hour, or drink at all at an ordinary after nine o'clock at night.
All these rigid laws had their effect, and New Englanders throughout the seventeenth century were sober and law-abiding save in a few communities, such as that at Merrymount, where "good chear went forward and strong liquors walked." Boston was an especially orderly town. Several visiting and resident clergymen testified that they had not seen a drunken man in the Massachusetts Colony in many years. The following quotation will show how rare was drunkenness and how abhorred. Judge Sewall wrote in 1686:
"Mr. Shrimpton and others came in a coach from Roxbury about nine o'clock or past, singing as they came, being inflamed with drink. At Justice Morgans they stop and drink healthy and curse and swear to the great disturbance of the town and grief of good people. Such high-handed wickedness has hardly before been heard of in Boston."
It is well to compare the orderly, decorous, well-protected existence in Boston, with the conditions of town life in Old England at that same date, where drunken young men of fashion under the name of Mohocks, Scourers, Hectors, Muns, or Tityriti, prowled the streets abusing and beating every man and woman they met "sons of Belial flown with insolence and wine;" where turbulent apprentices set upon those the Mohocks chanced to spare; where duels and intrigues and gaming were the order of the day; where foot-pads, highwaymen, and street ruffians robbed unceasingly and with impunity. Life in New England may have been dull and monotonous, but women could go through the streets in safety, and Judge Sewall could stumble home alone in the dark from his love-making without fear of molestation; and when he found a party of young men singing and making too much noise in a Fortavern, he could go among them uninsulted, and could get them to meekly write down their own names with his "Pensil" for him to bring them up and fine them the next day.
Still, the Judge, though he hated noisy revellers, was no total abstainer. He speaks of "grace cups" and "treating the Deputies," and sent gifts of wine to his friends. I find in his diary references to these drinks: Ale, beer, mead, metheglin, tea, chocolate, sage tea, cider, wine, sillabub, claret, sack, canary, punch, sack-posset, and black cherry brandy.
Sack, the drink of Shakespeare's day, beloved and praised of Falstaff, was passing out of date in Sewall's time. Winthrop tells of four ships coming into port in 1646 with eight hundred butts of sack on board. In 1634 ordinaries were forbidden to sell it, hence the sack found but a poor market. Sack-posset was made of ale and sack, thickened with eggs and cream, seasoned with nutmeg, mace, and sugar, then boiled on the fire for hours, and made a "very pretty drink" for weddings and feasts.
Canary wine was imported at that time in large quantities. In the first year's issue of the News Letter were advertised "Fyall wine sold by the Pipe; Passados & Right Canary." The Winthrops in their letters make frequent mention of Canary, as also of "Vendredi" and "Palme Wine." Wait Winthrop said the latter was better than Canary. Tent wine also was sent to the colonists.
It is interesting to find that the sanguine settlers aspired, even in bleak New England, to the home production of wine. "Vine planters" were asked for the colony in 1629. The use of Governor's Island in Massachusetts Bay was granted to Governor Winthrop in 1634 for a vineyard, for an annual rental of a hogshead of wine, which at a later date was changed to a yearly payment of two barrels of apples. The French settlers also planted vineyards in Rhode Island.
Claret was not much loved by the planters, who had a taste for the sweet sack. Morton tells that for his revellers he "broched a hogshead, caused them to fill the Can with Lusty liquor Claret sparklinge neat which was not suffered to grow pale & flat but tipled off with quick dexterity." Mumm, a fat ale made of oat-malt and wheat-malt, appears frequently in early importations and accounts. The sillabub of which Sewall speaks was made with cider and was not boiled:
"Fill your Sillabub Pot with Syder (for that is best for a Sillabub) and good store of Sugar and a little Nutmeg, stir it wel together, put in as much thick Cream by two or three spoonfuls at a time, as hard as you can as though you milke it in, then stir it together exceeding softly once about and let it stand two hours at least."
Other mild fermented drinks than beer were made and drunk in colonial days in large quantities. Mead and metheglin, wherewith the Druids and old English bards were wont to carouse, were made from water, honey, and yeast. Here is an old receipt for the latter drink, which some colonists pronounced as good as Malaga sack.
"Take all sorts of Hearbs that are good and wholesome as Balme, Mint, Fennel, Rosemary, Angelica, wilde Tyme, Isop, Burnet, Egrimony, and such other as you think fit; some Field Hearbs, but you must not put in too many, but especially Rosemary or any Strong Hearb, lesse than halfe a handfull will serve of every sorte, you must boyl your Hearbs & strain them, and let the liquor stand till to Morrow and settle them, take off the clearest Liquor, two Gallons & a halfe to one Gallon of Honey, and that proportion as much as you will make, and let it boyle an houre, and in the boyling skim it very clear, then set it a cooling as you doe Beere, when it is cold take some very good Ale Barme and put into the bottome of the Tubb a little and a little as they do Beere, keeping back the thicke Setling that lyeth in the bottome of the Vessel that it is cooled in, and when it is all put together cover it with a Cloth and let it worke very neere three dayes, and when you mean to put it up, skim off all the Barme clean, put it up into the Vessel, but you must not stop your Vessel very close in three or four dayes but let it have all the vent, for it will worke and when it is close stopped you must looke very often to it and have a peg in the top to give it vent, when you heare it make a noise as it will do, or else it will breake the Vessell; sometime I make a bag and put in good store of Ginger sliced, some Cloves and Cinnamon and boyl it in, and other time I put it into the Barrel and never boyl it, it is both good, but Nutmeg & Mace do not well to my Tast."
In the list of values fixed by the Piscataqua planters in 1633, "6 Gallons Mathaglin were equal to 2 1b. Beauer." In the middle of the century metheglin was worth ten shillings a barrel in the Connecticut valley.
Though mild, these drinks were intoxicating. One could "get fox'd e'en with foolish matheglin." Old James Howel says, "metheglin does stupefy more than any other liquor if taken immoderately and keeps a humming in the brain which made one say he loved not metheglin because he was wont to speak too much of the house he came from, meaning the hive."
Bradford tells of backsliders from Merrymount who "abased themselves disorderly with drinking too much stronge drinke aboard the Freindshipp." This strong drink was metheglin, of which two hogsheads were to be delivered at Plymouth. But after it was transferred to wooden "flackets" in Boston, these Friendship merrymakers contrived to "drinke it up under the name leackage" till but six gallons of the metheglin arrived at Plymouth.
"Cyder famed" was made at an early date from the fruitful apple-trees so faithfully planted by Endicott, Blackstone, and other settlers. Cider was cheap enough; Josselyn wrote, "I have had at the tap houses of Boston an ale-quart of cyder spiced and sweetened with sugar, for a groat."
This was not the New England nectar or Passada which he praised so highly and which was thus made
"Take of Malligo Raisins, stamp them and put milk to them and put them to a Hippocras Bag and let it drain out of itself, and put a quantity of this with a spoonful or two of Syrup of Clove Gully-flowers into every bottle when you bottle your Syder, and your Planter will have a liquor that exceeds Passada, the Nectar of the Country."
Cider was made at first by pounding the apples by hand in wooden mortars; sometimes the pomade was pressed in baskets. Rude mills were then formed with a hollowed log, and a heavy weight or maul on a spring-board. Cider soon became the common drink of the people, and it was made in vast quantities. In 1671 five hundred hogsheads were made of one orchard's produce. One village of forty families made three thousand barrels in 1721. Bennet wrote in 1740, "Cider being cheap and the people used to it they do not encourage malt liquors. They pay about three shillings a barrel for cider." It was freely used even by the children at breakfast, as well as at dinner, up to the end of the first quarter of the present century, when many zealous followers so eagerly embraced the new temperance reform that they cut down whole orchards of thriving apple-trees, conceiving no possibility of the general use of the fruit for food instead of drink.
Charles Francis Adams says that "to the end of John Adams's life a large tankard of hard cider was his morning draught before breakfast."
Cider was supplied in large amounts to students at college at dinner and "bever," being passed in two two-quart tankards from hand to hand down the commons table. It was given liberally to all travellers and wanderers who chanced to stop at the farmer's door; to all workmen and farm laborers; and an "Indian barrel," whose contents were for free gift to every tramp Indian or squaw, was found in many a farmer's cellar.
A traveller in Maine just after the Revolution said that their cider was purified by the frost, colored with corn, and looked and tasted like Madeira.
Beverige also was drunk by the colonists. This name was applied to various mild and watery drinks. In the West Indies the juice of the sugar-cane mixed with water was so called. In Devonshire, water which had been pressed through the lees of a cider-mill was called beverige. In other parts of England water, cider, and spices formed beverige. In New England the concoction varied, but was uniformly innocuous and weak the colonial prototype of our modern "temperance drinks." In many country houses. a summer drink of water flavored with molasses and ginger was called beverige. The advertisement in the Boston News Letter, August 16th, 1711, of the sale of the captured Neptune with her lading, at the warehouse of Andrew Fanueil, had "Wine, Vinegar and Beveridge" on the list. This must have been stronger stuff than molasses and water, to have been worth barrelling and sending across the water.
Switchel was a drink similar to beverige, but when served out to sailors was strengthened by a little vinegar and rum. The name was commonly used in New Hampshire and central Massachusetts. Ebulum was made of the juices of the elder and juniper berries mixed with ale and spices.
Perry was made to some extent from pears, and was advertised for sale in the Boston News Letter, and one traveller told of "peachy" made from peaches. Spruce and birch beer were brewed by mixing a decoction of sassafras, birch, or spruce bark with molasses and water, or by boiling the twigs in maple sap, or by boiling together pumpkin and apple-parings, water, malt, and roots. Many curious makeshifts were resorted to in the early days. One old song boasted
"Oh we can make liquor to sweeten our lips
Of pumpkins, of parsnips, of walnut-tree chips."
Fiercer liquors were not lacking. Aqua-vitae, a general name for strong waters, was brought over in large quantities during the seventeenth century, and sold for about three shillings a gallon. Cider was distilled into cider brandy, or apple-jack; and when, by 1670, molasses had come into port in considerable quantity through the West India trade, the forests of New England supplied plentiful and cheap fuel to convert it into "rhum, a strong water drawn from the sugar cane." In a manuscript description of Barbadoes, written in 1651, we read: "The chief fudling they make in this island is Rumbullion alias Kill Divil a hot hellish and terrible liquor." It was called in some localities Barbadoes liquor, and by the Indians "ahcoobee" or "ockuby," a word of the Norridgewock tongue. John Eliot spelled it "rumb," and Josselyn called it plainly "that cussed liquor, Rhum, rum-bullion, or kill-devil." It went by the latter name and rumbooze everywhere, and was soon cheap enough. Increase Mather said, in 1686, "It is an unhappy thing that in later years a Kind of Drink called Rum has been common among us. They that are poor, and wicked too, can for a penny or twopence make themselves drunk." Burke said, at a later date, "The quantity of spirits which they distil in Boston from the molasses they import is as surprising as the cheapness at which they sell it, which is under two shillings a gallon; but they are more famous for the quantity and cheapness than for the excellency of their rum." In 1719, and fifty years later, New England rum was worth but three shillings a gallon, while West India rum was worth but twopence more. New England distilleries quickly found a more lucrative way of disposing of their "kill-devil" than by selling it at such cheap rates. Ships laden with barrels of rum were sent to the African coast, and from thence they returned with a most valuable lading negro slaves. Along the coast of Africa New England rum quite drove out French brandy.
The Irish and Scotch settlers knew how to make whiskey from rye and wheat, and they soon learned to manufacture it from barley and potatoes, and even from the despised Indian corn.
Not content with their own manufactured liquors, the thirsty colonists imported strong waters, gin and aniseseed cordial from Holland, and wine from Spain, Portugal, and the Canaries. Of these, fiery Madeiras were the favorite of all fashionable folk, and often each glass of wine was strengthened by a liberal dash of brandy. Bennet wrote, in 1740, of Boston society, "Madeira wine and rum punch are the liquors they drink in common." Though "spiced punch in bowls the Indians quaffed" in 1665, I do not know of the Oriental mixed drink in New England till 1682, when John Winthrop writes of the sale of a punch-bowl. In 1686 John Dunton had more than one "noble bowl of punch," during his visit to New England. The word punch was from the East Indian word pauch, meaning five. S. M. (who was probably Samuel Mather) sent these lines to Sir Harry Frankland in 1757, with the gift of a box of lemons:
"You know from Eastern India came
The skill of making punch as did the name.
And as the name consists of letters five,
By five ingredients is it kept alive.
To purest water sugar must be joined,
With these the grateful acid is combined.
Some any sours they get contented use,
But men of taste do that from Tagus choose.
When now these three are mixed with care
Then added be of spirit a small share.
And that you may the drink quite perfect see
Atop the musky nut must grated be."
Every buffet of people of fashion contained a punch-bowl, every dinner was prefaced by a bowl of punch, which was passed from hand to hand and drunk from without intervening glasses. J. Crosby, at the Box of Lemons, in Boston, sold for thirty years lime juice and shrub and lemons, and sour oranges and orange juice (which some punch tasters preferred to lemon juice), to flavor Boston punches.
Double and "thribble" bowls of punch were commonly served, holding respectively two and three quarts each, and many existing bills show what large amounts were drunk. Governor Hancock gave a dinner to the Fusileers at the Merchants' Club, in Boston, in 1792. As eighty dinners were paid for I infer there were eighty diners. They drank one hundred and thirty-six bowls of punch, besides twenty-one bottles of sherry and a large quantity of cider and brandy. An abstract of an election dinner to the General Court of Massachusetts in 1769, showed two hundred diners, and seventy-two bottles of Madeira, twenty-eight bottles of Lisbon wine, ten of claret, seventeen of port, eighteen of porter, fifteen double bowls of punch and a quantity of cider. The clergy were not behind the military and the magistrates. In the record of the ordination of Rev. Joseph McKean, in Beverly, Mass., in 1785, these items are found in the tavern-keeper's bill:
30 Bowles of Punch before the People went to meeting 3
80 people eating in the morning at 16d 6
10 bottles of wine before they went to meeting. 1 10
68 dinners at 8s 10 4
44 bowles of punch while at dinner. 4 8
18 bottles of wine. 2 14
8 bowles of Brandy 1 2
Cherry Rum. 1 10
6 people drank tea 9d
The six mildest drinkers and their economical beverage seem to put a finishing and fairly comic touch to this ordination bill. When we read such renderings of accounts we think it natural that Baron Reidesel wrote of New England inhabitants, "of the males have a strong passion for strong drink, especially rum and other alcoholic beverages." John Adams said, "if the ancients drank wine as our people drink rum and cider it is no wonder we hear of so many possessed with devils."
The cost of these various drinks was thus given about Revolutionary times in Bristol, R. I.:
"Nip of Grog 6d.
Dubel bole of Tod 2s 9d
Dubel bole of punch 8s
Nip of Munch 1s
Brandi Sling 8d
Flip was a vastly popular drink, and continued to be so for a century and a half. I find it spoken of as early as 1690. It was made of home-brewed beer, sweetened with sugar, molasses, or dried pumpkin, and flavored with a liberal dash of rum, then stirred in a great mug or pitcher with a red-hot loggerhead or hottle or flip-dog, which made the liquor foam and gave it a burnt bitter flavor.
Landlord May, of Canton, Mass., made a famous brew thus: he mixed four pounds of sugar, four eggs, and one pint of cream and let it stand for two days. When a mug of flip was called for, he filled a quart mug two-thirds full of beer, placed in it four great spoonfuls of the compound, then thrust in the seething loggerhead, and added a gill of rum to the creamy mixture. If a fresh egg were beaten into the flip the drink was called "bellows-top," and the froth rose over the top of the mug. "Stone-wall" was a most intoxicating mixture of cider and rum. "Calibogus," or "bogus," was cold rum and beer unsweetened.
"Black-strap" was a mixture of rum and molasses. Casks of it stood in every country store, a salted and dried codfish slyly hung alongside a free lunch to be stripped off and eaten, and thus tempt, through thirst, the purchase of another draught of black-strap.
A terrible drink is said to have been popular in Salem a drink with a terrible name whistle-belly vengeance. It consisted of sour household beer simmered in a kettle, sweetened with molasses, filled with brown-bread crumbs and drunk piping hot.
Of course many protests, though chiefly on the ground of wasteful expense, were made, even in ante-temperance days, against the drinking which grew so prevalent with the opening of the eighteenth century. Rev. Andrew Eliot wrote in 1735, "'Tis surprising what prodigious sums are expended for spirituous liquors in this one poor Province more than a million of our old currency in a year." Dr. Tenney lamented that the taverns of Exeter, N. H., were thronged with people who seldom retired sober. Strenuous but ineffectual efforts were made to "prevent tippling in the forenoon," and between meals; but with little avail. The temperance-reform of our own century came none too soon.
Tea was too high priced in the first half-century of its Occidental use to have been frequently seen in New England. Judge Sewall mentioned it but once in his diary. He drank it at Madam Winthrop's house in 1709 at a Thursday lecture, but he does not note it as a rarity. In 1690, however, when not over-plentiful in old England, Benjamin Harris and Daniel Vernon were licensed to sell it "in publique" in Boston. In 1712 "green and ordinary teas" were advertised in the apothecary's list of Zabdiel Boylston. Bohea tea came in 1713, and in 1715 tea was sold in the coffee-houses. Some queer mistakes were made through the employment of the herb as food. In Salem it was boiled for a long time till bitter, and drunk without milk or sugar; and the tea-leaves were buttered, salted, and eaten. In more than one town, the liquid tea was thrown away and the carefully cooked leaves were eaten.
The new China drink did not have a wholly savory reputation. It was called a "damned weed," a "detestable weed," a "base exotick," a "rank poison farfetched and dear bought," a "base and unworthy Indian drink," and various ill effects were attributed to it the decay of the teeth, and even the loss of the mental faculties. But the Abbé Robin thought the ability of the Revolutionary soldiers to endure military flogging came from the use of tea. And others thought it cured the spleen and indigestion.
As the day drew near when tea-drinking was to become the great turning-point of our national liberty, the spirit of noble revolt led many dames to join in bands to abandon the use of the unjustly taxed herb, and societies were formed of members pledged to drink no tea. Five hundred women so banded together in Boston. Various substitutes were employed in the place of the much-loved but rigidly abjured herb, Liberty Tea being the most esteemed. It was thus made: the four-leaved loose-strife was pulled up like flax, its stalks were stripped of the leaves and boiled; the leaves were put in an iron kettle and basted with the liquor from the stalks. Then the leaves were put in an oven and dried. Liberty Tea sold for sixpence a pound. It was drunk at every spinning-bee, quilting, or other gathering of women. Ribwort was also used to make a so-called tea strawberry and currant leaves, sage, and even strong medicinal herbs likewise: Hyperion tea was made from raspberry leaves. An advertisement of the day thus reads:
"The use of Hyperion or Cabrador tea is every day coming into vogue among people of all ranks. The virtues of the plant or shrub from which this delicate Tea is gathered were first discovered by the Aborigines, and from them the Canadians learned them. Before the cession of Canada to Great Britain we knew little or nothing of this most excellent herb, but since that we have been taught to find it growing all over hill and dale between the Lat. 40 and 60. It is found all over New England in great plenty and that of best quality particularly on the banks of the Penobscot, Kennebec, Nichewannock, and Merrimac."
The proportion of tea used in America is now less than in England, and the proportion of coffee much larger. This is wholly the result of national habits formed through patriotic abstinence from tea-drinking in those glorious "Liberty Days."
The first mention of coffee, as given by Dr. Lyon, is in the record of the license of Dorothy Jones, of Boston, in 1670, to sell "Coffe and chuchaletto." At intervals of a few years other innkeepers were licensed to sell it, and by the beginning of the eighteenth century coffee-houses were established. Coffee dishes, coffee-pots, and coffee-mugs appear in inventories, and show how quickly and eagerly the fragrant berry was sought for in private families. As with tea, its method of preparation as a beverage seemed somewhat uncertain in some minds; and it is said that the whole beans were frequently boiled for some hours with not wholly pleasing results in forming either food or drink. After a few years "coffee-powder" was offered for sale.
Chocolate became equally popular. Sewall often drank it, once certainly as early as 1697, at the Lieutenant-Governor's, with a breakfast of venison. Winthrop says it was scarce in 1698. Madam Knight took it with her on her journey in 1704. "I told her I had some chocolate if she would prepare it, which, with the help of some milk and a little clean brass kettle, she soon effected to my satisfaction." Mills to grind cocoa were quickly established in Boston, and were advertised in the News Letter.
Even in the early days of our Republic there were reformers who wished to establish the use of temperance drinks, which were not, however, exactly the same liquids now so called. A writer in the Boston Evening Post wrote forcibly on the subject, and a Philadelphia paper published this statement on July 23d, 1788:
A correspondent wishes that a monument could be erected in Union Green with the following inscription.
"In Honour of
American Beer and Cyder.
It is hereby recorded for the information of strangers and posterity that 17,000 Assembled in this Green on the 4th of July 1788 to celebrate the establishment of the Constitution of the United States, and that they departed at an early hour without intoxication or a single quarrel. They drank nothing but Beer and Cyder. Learn Reader to prize these invaluable liquors and to consider them as the companions of those virtues which can alone render our country free and reputable.
Learn likewise to Despise
Spirituous Liquors as Anti Federal
and to consider them as the companions of all those vices which are calculated to dishonor and enslave our country."