You are on page 1of 62

AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY SYSTEM

Charles Town, West Virginia

Alcohol, Liberty, and Virtue: How the American Revolution was Fueled and Enfeebled by Booze

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the


requirements for the degree of
MASTER OF ARTS
in
American History
by
C. William Eno

Department Approval Date:


10/12/14

The author hereby grants the American Public University System the right to display
these contents for educational purposes.
The author assumes total responsibility for meeting the requirements set by United States
Copyright Law for the inclusion of any materials that are not the authors creation or in
the public domain.

Copyright 2014 by C. William Eno


All rights reserved.

DEDICATION
I dedicate this to my wife Erin, who continues to bring out the best in me.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I want to thank my family for the countless hours sacrificed weight pulled over the last
few years. We all worked on this in some capacity, and I am indescribably grateful. I am also
greatly indebted to my colleagues, who always find a way to uplift, support, and inspire me.

ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS


ALCOHOL, LIBERTY, AND VIRTUE: HOW THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION WAS
FUELED AND ENFEEBLED BY BOOZE
by
C. William Eno
American Public University System, September 2014
Charles Town, West Virginia
Professor Nick Ceh, Thesis Professor
This study explains the role of alcohol played in creating a successful coalition of
insurrection as well as how it stirred fears of a mobocracy that had the potential to undermine the
foundation of virtuous republican government. It will examine the ways in which alcohol
brought diverse groups of colonists together both physically and ideologically. It will look at the
motivations that tied those groups to common goals against trade restrictions, taxes, and
violations of understood liberties. It will also study the way in which those same coalitions
quickly divided, and how anxieties about social behavior led to a kind of conservative
counterrevolution in the form of the temperance movement. It concludes that while issues of tax
and money policy may have played a central political role in the class tensions of the critical
period, it was this embryonic temperance movement (however ineffective) that served as the
social catalyst in the dispute between conservative founders and the masses.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER

PAGE

INTRODUCTION .7
I.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE ...12

II.

CHAPTER I NURSERIES OF VICE AND DEBAUCERY: ALCOHOL, TAVERNS,


AND REBELLION15

III.

CHAPTER II MOBS WILL NEVER DO: THE CONSERVATIVE BACKLASH TO


SOCIAL REVOLUTION.33

IV.

CONCLUSION.

BIBLIOGRAPHY...

INTRODUCTION
Alcohol has a long and storied history in the United States. It has been distilled, brewed,
poured, sipped, chugged, spilled, traded, sold, prohibited, scorned, smuggled, and studied.
Americans have toasted to celebrate, remember, hope, and mourn. They have also abused,
misused, enjoyed, and abstained from alcohol as a result of fear, pride, anger, pain, ignorance,
and erudition. Alcohol and its related controversies are about as American as the Fourth of July,
and booze flows through the nation's history with powerful currents and undertows. In fact, an
analysis of the business and pleasure of alcohol in the Revolutionary era is critical to our
understanding the American genesis. W.J. Rorabaugh thought that drinking patterns are "not
random, but reflective of a society's fabric, tensions, and of psychological sets of its people."1
Because alcohol consumption was central to colonial life, and personal liberty was not
universally defined, alcohol proved to be both the social glue for rebellion and the fuel for the
conservative fears that curbed the American Revolution.
The study of the American Revolution has predictably provided some of the most
thorough historical analysis. Its causes and consequences can be used to inform political
movements from the banal to the revolutionary. Understandably, the founding has been an issue
of contention among scholars with various political and social perspectives who were no doubt
influenced by the theoretical framework of their own time. While study of the revolution has
ranged from polemics on national greatness to questions about its very nature, 20th century
historians laid a foundation for understanding the motives of everyday Americans; from the
Rorabaugh, William J. The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition. (New York: Oxford Univ.
Press, 1979), 4.
1

complex roles played by women to the overall zeitgeist of the period. As historians question the
more nuanced causes of the revolution, they are led down the trails blazed by the scholarship of
social history completed in the last fifty years, and begun by the Progressive historians of the
dawn of the twentieth century. Whether the movement was ideological or socio-economic, and
whether it was more radical or conservative (as revolutions go) are problems that have been
tackled by mainstream scholarship. More specifically, what factors led to a cohesive
independence movement across a diverse population?
Collective outrage at the violations of English civil liberties by Parliament and King
George III is perhaps the most well known catalyst for the revolution. While outrage was
definitely evident, the cause of colonial ire is more difficult to pin down. Virtual representation
by parliament clearly agitated those who held home rule dear, and those with local power were
indignant when faced with the erosion of their sovereignty. The Stamp Act of 1765 threatened to
erode colonial autonomy when it came to levying taxes. The epicenter of resistance throughout
the revolutionary period tended to be Boston, but in 1765 Virginia provided a salvo of her own.2
The Virginia Resolves articulated the rights and liberties colonial Virginians expected and the
rationale for them. Perhaps the most telling line in Patrick Henry's vocal dissent is in the fifth
resolve, which was retracted after it was passed: "every Attempt to vest such Power in any
person or persons whatsoever other than the General Assembly aforesaid has a manifest
Tendency to destroy British as well as American Freedom."3 This reference to "American"

Richard Archer, As If An Enemy's Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of
Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), xiv, https://www.questia.com/read/121296310.
2

"The Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions 1765." Ushistory.org. Accessed October 28, 2014.
http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/vsa65.htm.
3

freedom betrays a culture that had already developed deeply by 1765. The Stamp Act crisis no
doubt led to political action and additional converts to the patriot faith, and it can be seen as a
catalyst for resistance to oppression of multiple civil liberties.4 Moreover, there was something
that pervaded the culture in every colony, and thus existed under the nose of revolution.

Figure 1.1 Annual Consumption of Alcohol contained in ALL Alcoholic Beverages per
Capita, in U.S. Gallons

Mellen, Roger P. The Origins of a Free Press in Prerevolutionary Virginia: Creating a Culture of
Political Dissent. (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2009), 173.
4

10

In 1770, Americans consumed an average of 3.5 gallons of alcohol.5 In 2009 (the latest
date for which data are available), Americans drank 2.3 gallons. The revolution was actually the
start of what Rorabuagh called America's "great alcoholic binge."6 This decades long party
packed its biggest punch bowl in 1830 when consumption hit an all-time high of 3.9 gallons.7
Before the Revolution disrupted the sugar trade with the West Indies, New England rum was the
most common drink in English North America.8 Thus, the American Revenue Act (Sugar Act of
1764) provided an earlier impetus for colonial concern, as it "virtually halted the rum industry."9
The libertine nature of colonial cities and the social behavior of the masses centered on alcohol,
and consumption was the driving force behind the unrest that fueled the revolution. Trade
restrictions, taxes, and the search and seizure that accompanied customs duties all united a
diverse group of smugglers, merchants, tavern operators, dock workers, and drinkers. As the
revolution became a reality, revolutionary leaders worked to craft a republic of virtue to stamp
out the social behaviors that they saw as a hindrance to a virtuous society. Chief among their
concerns was the consumption of alcohol.
Alcohol brought diverse groups of colonists together both physically and ideologically. It
tied those groups to common goals against trade restrictions, taxes, and violations of understood
liberties. It will also study the way in which those same coalitions quickly divided, and how

Rorabaugh, 8.

Ibid, 25.

Hamson, Darryl. "The Rise and Fall of Alcohol Consumption in Early America." Suite. Accessed
October 21, 2014. https://suite.io/darryl-hamson/3c8j2n0.
7

Rorabaugh, 7.

Russell, Thaddeus. A Renegade History of the United States. (New York: Free Press, 2010), 24.

11

anxieties about social behavior led to a kind of conservative counterrevolution in the form of the
temperance movement.
The American political system is arguably as fractious as it has ever been.10 The nation is
divided over war, immigration policy, the economy, police militarization, surveillance, social
issues like equality of gender, race, and religion, and of course the extent of basic civil liberties.
The information age and twenty-four hour news cycles have contributed to a nation of constant
anxiety and change. These conditions are nothing new, but they are certainly more accessible.
Technology has not only changed what we know and how we know it, but it has begun to change
our understanding of basic civil liberties like privacy, press, and speech. As our reliance on
advanced technologies continues, potential violations of those rights become more plausible (by
government and private entities). In studying the colonial understanding of some basic rights and
the specific factors that brought a stratified society together over what appear to be high-minded
political ideals, perhaps one can learn how to find universal values or shared grievances in order
to make more cohesive political and social progress in the future. As T.H. Been put it, we return
to the years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence not to reaffirm myths about
national origins but rather to discover something about our own ability to transform political
society through collective imagination."11

Cohn, Nate. "Polarization Is Dividing American Society, Not Just Politics." The New York Times.
June 11, 2014. Accessed September 28, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/upshot/
polarization-is-dividing-american-society-not-just-politics.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0.
10

11

Breen, xiv.

12

REVIEW OF LITERATURE
The founding generation left a remarkable written record. The literacy rates in the
colonies were notably high.12 While this gives the historian plenty to work with, Kenneth
Lockridges 1974 Literacy in Colonial New England: An Enquiry into the Social Context of
Literacy in the Early Modern West suggested that only the faintest origins of modernity can be
seen in the worldview of the colonists; thus the social implications of that literacy should be
arrived at cautiously.13 When studying the influence of alcohol on the socio-political
development of the colonies, this caution is exceptionally important. Edmund Morgans 1956
work, The Birth of the Republic, relied on the philosophical literacy of men and women who
were uncommonly expressive. He contended that progressive historians like Charles Beard had
neglected the ideas that drove the revolution in favor of a class driven view that was a product of
the era.14

Notable exceptions like John Adams left us with painstakingly articulate

representations of their social perspectives. He wrote to James Warren, Indeed, there is one
enemy, who is more formidable than famine, pestilence, and the sword, and he made his
thoughts quite clear, I mean the corruption which is prevalent in so many American hearts, a
depravity that is more inconsistent with our republican governments than light is with
darkness.15 Thaddeus Russells A Renegade History of the United States deftly married such

12

"History.org: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website." Every
Man Able to Read : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site. Accessed October 03,
2014. http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Winter11/literacy.cfm.
13

Kenneth A. Lockridge, Literacy in Colonial New England: An Enquiry into the Social Context of Literacy
in the Early Modern West (New York: W. W. Norton, 1974), 7, http://www.questia.com/read/101076334.
14
15

Morgan, Edmund Sears. The Birth of the Republic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956.

Adams, John, Samuel Adams, and James Warren. Warren-Adams Letters, Being Chiefly a
Correspondence among John Adams, Samuel Adams, and James Warren. (New York: AMS Press, 1972).

13

language with analysis of the social character of colonial cities. Where Adams saw debauchery,
there was social cohesion taking place. T.H. Breen argued that the politics and economics of
consumption brought a very large number of ordinary Americans to the striking conclusion
that it was preferable to risk their lives and property against a powerful British armed force than
to endure further political oppression.16 The colloquial interests of consumers created a
significant bonding agent for such a diverse array of people.
Perhaps the most thorough historical analyis of alcohol consumption in America is W.J.
Rorabaugh's 1979 work, The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition. He explored the taboo
subject of alcohol for the first time in the American historical tradition. His invaluable research
shed light on who was drinking, what they drank, where they drank it, how much they drank, and
most importantly what their consumption can tell us.
The relationship between alcohol, taverns, and socio-political development is well
documented. Social historians like Sharon Salinger and Peter Thompson argued that taverns were
inclusive places, with a diverse array of class and race gathering in one place.17 Salinger
inspected the social and political sites that served as hotbeds of revolution.18 Thompson argued
that taverns fostered a sense of citizenship.19 Such an environment was ripe for the exchange of
everything from STDs to political ideas. I argue that Edmund Morgans contention that ideas did

. H. Breen, The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American


Independence (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), xiii, http://www.questia.com/read/
103549757.
16

Salinger, Sharon V. Taverns and Drinking in Early America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University
Press, 2002.
17

18

Ibid, 7.

Thompson, Peter. Rum Punch & Revolution: Taverngoing & Public Life in Eighteenth Century
Philadelphia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.
19

14

matter in the revolution was is true in essence, but that Breens emphasis on practical economic
foundations for that ideology shows why the movement was successful.20
Wayne Curtiss And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails is a wry and
pleasantly meandering history of Rums pervasive influence. Curtis deftly weaves the cultural
shifts in revolutionary America with the political and economic realities of the New World at
large. As he put it, Rum has always had a distinctly American swagger. It is untutored and proud
of it, raffish, often unkempt, and a little bit out of control.21
Arthur Schlesingers argument that the merchant classes acted as a check on popular
rebellion supports the assertion that class consciousness played a role in the direction of the
revolution.22 This, of course, rests on work by Charles Beard. His influential 1935 book, An
Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, is the foundation for an
argument that a conservative counterrevolution occurred during and after the war.23 Thaddeus
Russell explained, The Founding Fathers fought simultaneous wars against the British and the
renegade impulses of Americans.24

20

Morgan, Edmund Sears. The Birth of the Republic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956.

Curtis, Wayne. And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails. (New York:
Crown Publishers, 2006), Kindle Location 114..
21

Schlesinger, Arthur M. The Colonial Merchants and the American Revolution, 1763-1776. New
York: F. Ungar Pub., 1957.
22

23

Beard, Charles A. An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. New York:
Macmillan Company, 1935.
24

Russell, Thaddeus. A Renegade History of the United States. (New York: Free Press, 2010), 24.

15

CHAPTER I
NURSERIES OF VICE AND DEBAUCERY: ALCOHOL, TAVERNS, AND REBELLION

Alcohol in the Colonies


Colonial Americans drank a lot relatively speaking, of course. Alcohol was remarkably
central to colonial life. While plenty of pious and pithy teetotalers made up the embryonic nation,
and plenty of colonists shared Franklins view that drunkenness is a very unfortunate vice,
consumption skyrocketed in the half-century before the shot heard round the world.25 From a
height of 3.6 gallons per capita, Americans saw a sharp decrease during the War for
Independence and a guzzling increase at the turn of the nineteenth century before reaching a
zenith in 1830.26 To offer perspective, the colonies drank less than the Swedes, and the same as
the French and Scots.27 W.J. Rorabaugh explained why:
These nations were agricultural, rural, lightly populated, and geographically isolated
from foreign markets; they had undercapitalized, agrarian, barter economies; they were
Protestant. In all three cheap, abundant grain fed the distilleries. By contrast,
consumption was low in Ireland and Prussia because their economies lacked surplus
grain and, hence, could not support a high level of distilled spirits production.28

Franklin, Benjamin, William Franklin, and William Duane. Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin.
(New York, NY: Harpers & Bros., 1843), 495.
25

26

Rorabaugh, 8.

27

Ibid, 10.

28

Ibid, 10.

16

Late seventeenth-century Barbadians had just about everyone beat. They consumed about
ten gallons per capita each year of rum. Let that sink in. Wayne Curtis opined that this is a feat
not to be underestimated.29
Modern Americans should not conflate pilgrims and puritanism with the founding, and
thus underestimate the debauchery of their seventeenth and eighteenth century counterparts.
Settlers in the New World were no strangers to vice, and alcohol was the most prevalent.
Benjamin Franklin collected over two hundred different phrases for drunkenness, and published
them in an alphabetic list. Like many in his day, Franklin saw alcohol as a beneficial brew, one
that could improve health. But he saw drinking to excess as a vice with no reciprocal virtue.30

FIGURE 1.2 THE DRINKERS DICTIONARY FROM THE MEMOIRS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.

29

Curtis, Loc 402.

30

Franklin, 495.

17

Increase Mather, the Massachusetts Puritan minister, called alcohol a good creature of
God, and contended that, wine is from God, but the drunkard is from the devil.31 This moral
distinction between alcohol and the user was a key factor in shaping colonial attitudes on the
subject. Mathers son Cotton, also an influential voice worried about the effects of excessive
drinking among the elite, as the poor and middling classes had been less likely to be able to
afford such tippling. In 1708, he expressed alarm when he worried that Flood of RUM would
Overwhelm all good Order among us.32 While he thought that rum could provide nutrition and
healthful benefits, Mather thought that upper class drinkers were poor models for a burgeoning
mass of people in the New World who were suddenly faced with declining prices as the West
Indies molasses and rum trade began to blossom.33 The Quakers and Methodists were among the
Americans that condemned the use and abuse of strong drink at the same time, but they were
well outside the mainstream. Alcohol would carry with it undertones of good medicine for the
rest of the century, until Dr. Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia began serious inquiry into the
biological effects of the what the greeks called a fifth element.34 Rush would lead the charge
Against Spiritous Liquours, and begin to convince some elites like Franklin that moderation
(and even abstinence) were the only sensible path.35 However, most Americans continued to
drink without hesitation for social and economic reasons.

Mather, Increase. Wo to Drunkards Two Sermons Testifying against the Sin of Drunkenness,
Wherein the Wofulness of That Evil, and the Misery of All That Are Addicted to It, Is Discovered from
the Word of God. Cambridge: Printed by Marmaduke Johnson and Sold by Edmund Ranger, 1673.
31

32

Mather, Cotton. Sober Considerations (Boston, 1708), 5.

33

Rorabaugh, 30.

34

Curtis, Loc 290.

35

Rorabaugh, 31.

18

Rorabaugh concluded that the typical American was drinking heartily, but not all
Americans drank their share.36 While men were by far the most frequent and enthusiastic
drinkers, and well-to-do white men had more access to liquor than others, this does not mean that
drinking was greatly limited demographically. While women were more likely to drink privately
because of social expectations, they were know to drink publicly in mixed company and on the
frontier, the whiskey bottle was . . . passed pretty briskly from mouth to mouth, exempting
neither age nor sex.37
Slaves drank regularly if their masters were agreeable to it. While the finest liquor, cider,
and beer was not made available to slaves, they were often given rations in the field, with a
midday meal, or after work. More likely slaves who were given time off on weekends or
holidays would imbibe to the point of drunkenness. Slave masters attempted to strike a delicate
balance between using alcohol to placate an oppressed and potentially spiteful labor force and
avoiding the negative impact of excessive drinking on their bottom line.38 Moreover, white
society linked alcohol use by blacks in the colonial era with not only unruly behavior, but even
outright insurrection. When New York City witnessed a rash of fires in 1741, a supposed
conspiracy of slaves, servants, free black men, ruffians, and a tavern owner was the consensus
culprit. A slave named Caesar was the alleged ringleader, and the scheme was said to be hatched
at Hughsons tavern, where to the horror of many elites in Gotm, all manner of race, gender, and

36

Ibid, 11.

37

Ibid, 12.

38

Ibid, 13.

19

class could be found mingling and conspiring.39 The danger was starkly simple, The Negroes
were rising.40 This fear was not isolated. A rebellion in Barbados the same year as King Philips
War in New England (1675), and the Stono Rebellion in South Carolina in 1739 had both ignited
popular fears of uprising from the bottom of the cultural and social ladder throughout the
colonies. In New York, there had been a slave revolt in 1712.
Thus, regulation of drinking betrayed a hypocrisy of the elite political class. There were
restrictions on the sale of alcohol to slaves, women, indians, and minors.41 These limitations
would be mirrored in official tavern policy as well. While policy gives us a record of the
attempts to control alcohol use and the peripheral issues that surrounded it, it is naive to think
that these laws were followed or even enforced with any regularity. Americans of every rank,
size, and age, including children, drank often and in quantity.42
And children did. Besides the wholesomeness it could offer to those in health, hooch
was seen as a cure for many of the minor ills of childhood.43 Water was notorious for its
danger to ones health, and alcohol was something of an elixir, and even a form of sustenance.44
But parents did not just pickle their children in the name of good health; there was a certain

Horsmanden, Daniel. A Journal of the Proceedings in the Detection of the Conspiracy Formed
by Some White People in Conjunction with Negro and Other Slaves, for Burning the City of New-York ...
Containing, I.A Narrative of the Trials ... II. An Appendix ... III. Lists of the Several Persons ...
Committed on Account of the Conspiracy ; ... By the Recorder of the City of New-York. (London: Printed
at New-York, 1747).
39

Walker, Jesse. The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory. (New York: Harper Collins,
2013), 123.
40

41

Salinger, 22-30.

42

Ibid, 2.

43

Krout, John A. The Origins of Prohibition. (New York: A.A. Knopf, 1925), 38.

44

Salinger, 3-5.

20

cultural rite of passage associated with drinking, much as there is now. Early Americans
intended this early exposure to accustom their offspring to the taste of liquor. 45 Thus
alcohol consumption was wholly engrained in the fabric of English colonial life.
One cannot fail to address the tragic and remarkable impact of alcohol consumption on
Native American communities. In the colonial and revolutionary periods, indians had a presence
in American life. The sale of alcohol to Native Americans was the subject of controversy many
times over, but the pattern of interaction seemed to repeat itself. Indian leaders complained of the
ill effects that booze had on their people, and blamed it for their troubles and conflict with
settlers. Authorities would pass laws to restrict the sale to native peoples, but those laws were
seldom followed, enforced, or renewed.46 In any event, depending on the region, indians were
consumers of alcohol like most other Americans, and they were just as likely to be involved in its
trade.
As Nicholas Cresswell discovered, Americans had a drinking habit. In his journals, one
can find the transformation of a man; a giving way to excess (See Figure 1.3). Cresswell imbibed
and consorted with his fellow British subjects in America when he visited in 1776. At one point,
they "set the house on fire three times," in their altered state. This dedication to drink was
common throughout the colonies, and from quite an early time. In 1686, John Dunston recounted
his journey to Salem. He was visiting from London, but his day's ride was punctuated with a pint
of wine when he stopped in on a Captain Marshall, and concluded with a glass of wine when he

45

Rorabaugh, 13-14.

46

Salinger, 24-29.

21

reached Mr. Herrick's house in Salem. The two then moved on to the tavern where they drank "a
kind remembrance in wine."47
Until cheap, plentiful New England rum was available in the eighteenth century, alcohol
was limited to the middle classes: lawyers, doctors, clergy, etc.48 Their consumption consisted of
brandy, wine (including Madeira port), and beer. Once rum flowed into the colonies, though,
things changed quite a bit. Rums origins are difficult to track, but some consensus exists for its
formal introduction to the New World through Barbados, a tiny British sugar colony in the West
Indies one-seventh the size of Rhode Island.49 Molasses had always been an unfortunate waste
product of sugar refining. The dark, sticky, matter was seen as more of a nuisance than a
resource. It could be used as pig fodder, a somewhat effective mortar, or even injected into the
urethras of both men and women as a cure for syphilis.50 While savvy plantation owners no
doubt tried to market their waste product to variously skeptical clientele, their was no real market
for exporting a product with little practical use. And their was a great deal of this waste: one
pound of molasses for every two pounds of marketable sugar.51
The wealth of the British sugar kings in the West Indies was unrivaled, even impressing
King George III himself.52 That wealth would see new heights when planters began to offset
their costs with rum. Adam Smith noted that planters expected that rum and molasses would

47

Salinger, 48-49.

48

Rorabuagh, 14.

49

Curtis, Loc 185.

50

Curtis, Loc 332.

51

Ibid, Loc 334.

52

Ibid, Loc 257.

22

defray the whole expense of his cultivation.53 Running a still was not easy, and well organized
plantations might have had up to four stills, but by 1655, 900,000 gallons of what the locals
called kill-devil was being produced on Barbados alone.54 No wonder the sugar islands could
drink their Northern colonial counterparts under the table. One visitor in 1640 called Barbadians
declared them, such great drunkards.55 Their saturation in rum was not to last, though, as the
trade with the transatlantic world picked up in the latter half of the century. While wine and
brandy producing nations like France prohibited molasses imports as a means of protecting those
producers, and the Spanish banned exports from their sugar islands for similar reasons, the North
American colonies were a fertile market for both rum and molasses. Ninety percent of rum
exports from Barbados, and upwards of one hundred percent from other islands went to the
North American colonies in the early eighteenth century; hence Franklins inclusion of Been to
Barbados in his list of euphemisms.56 It was a roundabout route, though pirates and royal
sailors, but it made landfall just the same. The modern image of pirates and rum owes some debt
to the rapid rise of the liquor during the heyday of Caribbean piracy. But on the other side of the
law, Edward Vernon (the honorary namesake of Mount Vernon) began the practice of diluting the
generous royal navy rations for rum, and consequently gave the world grog, and the English
sailors their moniker: limeys.

53

Smith, Adam, and Andrew S. Skinner. The Wealth of Nations. (London: Penguin Books, 1999),

54

Curtis, Loc 400.

66.

Parker, Matthew. The Sugar Barons: Family, Corruption, Empire, and War in the West Indies.
(New York: Walker &, 2011) 47.
55

56

Curtis, Loc 619.

23

FIGURE 1.3 EXCERPT FROM THE JOURNALS OF NICHOLAS CRESWELL57

Wayne Curtis argued that in the first half of the eighteenth century, The British North
American colonies had become a Republic of Rum.58 Further, he contended that this shift was
cultural, and it was a symbol of the new order displacing the old in the colonies.59 This shift
was driven by the economic reality that cheap rum became plentiful. Earlier generations had
been drinking cider (especially north of Virginia), beer, wine, brandy, and gin. For obvious
reasons, luxury products like quality alcohol were hard to come by in the early colonies.
Colonists certainly made their own versions of what we now refer to as bathtub gin: hardscrabble
57

Curtis, Loc 919.

58

Ibid, Loc 951-952.

59

Ibid, Loc 955-956.

24

innovations using everything from dried pumpkin to peaches. But until rum lost its scarcity in the
late seventeenth century, drinking regularly remained an activity of the middle and upper classes.
By 1700, rum supply had increased so much that it cost half what it does today.60 As Increase
Mather put it in 1687, A penny or two would get someone drunk on rum.61
Rum was big business in the American colonies. Trade in rum stretched westward to the
frontiers as settlers, foreign traders, and Native Americans alike showed an appetite for it. The
superintendent of Indian affairs in the southeast estimated in 1776 that ten thousand gallons of
rum was moving in trade to the Indians every month, and nearly 4/5 of all trade with the
Choctaw was in rum.62 In 1770, a tavern in Philadelphias receipts showed that rum outsold beer
and wine combined. Rum would become the publicans drink, as opposed to the brandy and
Madeira port wines favored by the upper classes. As John Adams put it, If the ancients drank
wine as our people drink rum and cider, it is no wonder we hear of so many possessed with
devils.63 Of course Mr. Adams also had another opinion of rum:
Witts may laugh at our fondness for Molasses & we ought all join in the
laugh with as much good humour as General Lincoln did, Genal Washington
however always asserted & proved that Virginians loved Molasses as well as
New Englandmen did. I know not why we should blush to confess that Molasses
was an essential Ingredient in American Independence. Many great Events have
proceeded from much smaller causes.64

60

Ibid, Loc 990.

Mather, Increase, and James Morgan. A Sermon Occasioned by the Execution of a Man Found
Guilty of Murder. (Boston: Printed for Joseph Brunning, 1686), 25-26.
61

62

Ibid, Loc 1058

63

Ibid, Loc 1124.

Adams, John, and Charles Francis Adams. The Works of John Adams, Second President of the
United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations. Vol. 10. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1850),
349.
64

25

Americans loved their booze. It was a way to start the day to shake of the night chills, a
digestive aid in the evening, and thereafter a cement for the bonds of friendship.65 Rum was
the second largest industry in the northern colonies, behind shipbuilding.66 While the vast
majority of drinking occurred in the home (about 13 qt./year) and the majority of alcohol was
sold in general stores, taverns and public houses gave drinking its social role, norms, and values.
The existence of public spaces for community drinking helped spread the culture of alcohol in
the colonies. In Rhode Island, taverns were a regular stop of laborers on their way to work, and
in Georgia, James Oglethorpe had found it difficult to make progress when laborers were
working one day a week to receive wages that amounted to six days worth of drinking.67
Drinking in America (like many of the European cultures that influenced it) part of the fabric of
daily life. Taverns and Public Houses were adjoined to courthouses in Virginia and to churches in
New England.68 The public nature of drinking led to upper class monitoring of the activity in
colonial society, with judges and ministers becoming the watchers and keepers of morality.69 As
we will see, taverns were a peculiar mix of free public space and regulated entity. More
importantly, Rum's chief channel of distribution was the tavern.70

65

Curtis, Loc 996.

66

Ibid, Loc 1350.

67

Rorabaugh, 16-19.

68

Ibid, 22-27.

69

Ibid, 28.

70

Curtis, Loc 1117.

26

FIGURE 1.4 JULIUS CAESAR IBBETSON - SAILORS CAROUSING. NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM

Taverns
Taverns were everywhere in the North American colonies. Massachusetts mandated in
1656 that each colony had one, as they were seen as essential to travelers and as public spaces.71
Sharon Salinger cautioned historians not to paint tavern culture with a broad brush. She found
that while taverns in New England tended to raise alarm from local elites, those in colonial
Philadelphia marked change, and were more likely to be cosmopolitan centers.72

71

Ibid.

72

Salinger, 5.

27

Cities were definitely more likely to see demographic melting pot than rural areas. In
these public houses, especially in New York and Philadelphia, there was likely to be a mixing of
class, race, and gender. The Pennsylvania Gazette complained in 1787 that, All the loose and
idle characters of the city, whether whites, blacks, or mulattoes indulge in riotous mirth and
dancing till the dawn.73

FIRGURE 1.5 TYPICAL EARLY AMERICAN TAVERN SCENE74

73

Russell, 11.

74

Russell, 5.

28

Taverns were not only nurseries of vice and debauchery, as Adams said, but they served
as the center for socializing and communication, and provided space for political debates."75
Indeed, colonists in New England cut their teeth by sharpening their skills for oratory and
politics in local taverns:
They were more often a place of constant low-grade conflict, where wildly
clashing ideas ricocheted around the room. Colonists learned when to keep quiet,
when to speak up, when to go along for the sake of consensus, and when to make
a stand and defend itwith loggerheads, if needed. The taverns, in short, offered
training in policy debate and the grooming of future leaders. Commerce and
politics were so inextricably mingled that rum and liberty were but different
liquors from the same still, wrote historian Frederick Bernays Wiener in 1930.76

Thus taverns provided the perfect atmosphere for the political development of the lower and
middle classes. Quite simply, rum provided an increase in status for everyone, from laborers and
farmers, to lawyers and politicians. One Philadelphia tavern, The One Tun, showed rum to be the
"particular preference" of tab holders, they indulged in the form of "punch and toddy."77 Taverns
gave them a remarkably egalitarian setting in which to mix up ideas just as frequently as they
mixed their drinks. This new challenge to the social order would be a powerful cultural force
in the decades long march to revolution.78 This was in part because taverns fostered a culture

75

Salinger, 5.

76

Curtis, Loc 1260.

Thompson, Peter. Rum Punch & Revolution: Taverngoing & Public Life in Eighteenth Century
Philadelphia. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 71.
77

78

Ibid, Loc 1208.

29

that, repelled authority and discipline, choosing instead to provide a forum for all manner of
vices.79
The taverns of Philadelphia provided the best exemplar of this cultural force, as the
nature of the revolution did vary by region. As Peter Thompson noted in Rum Punch &
Revolution, "Within a year of the first Quaker settlers' arrival in the Delaware Valley, two
Philadelphians were keeping tavern in caves dug into the Delaware riverbank."80 By the time of
the American Revolution, that number had swollen considerably. There was 1 tavern for every
158 residents of the fine city, or 178 taverns serving a population of just over 28,000.81 Moravian
settlers outside of Philadelphia said that a community that lacked a tavern was like Hamlet,
without the Ghost.82 This popularity of pubs, as evidenced by taverns per capita, is part of a
deep connection to social heritage. While drinking occurred everywhere, and most often at home,
taverns offered something those other venues did not: a marketplace of ideas.

Rebellion
Molasses to supply a burgeoning New England rum distilling industry was practically
free for the taking if you but troubled to stop by one of the French islands in the early
eighteenth century.83 And cheap french molasses was incredibly important to the economy of the

79

Russel, 7-8.

80

Thompson, 2

81

Ibid, 27.

Cited in [William Reichel], A Red Rose from the Olden Time: Or, A Ramble through the Annals
of the Rose Inn of the Barony of Nazareth, in the Days of the Province, 1752-1772. (Bethlehem, PA: H.T.
Clauder, 1883), 35.
82

83

Ibid,Loc 1499.

30

Northern colonies; especially in New England. One authority estimates that by the time of the
Revolution, more than half the rum consumed in the northern colonies was produced by local
distillers.84 Boston was the hub of colonial rum, with at least 25 distilleries by 1750, and it was
followed closely by Rhode Island, New York, and Philadelphia.85 With smaller numbers in more
southern colonies, the industry truly spanned the Atlantic coast and reached a dominance by the
time of the revolution.
The West Indies planters had enjoyed a lifestyle that was unrivaled in the colonial world.
Their substantial wealth gave them a strong voice in Parliament. In the mercantilist British
empire, the benefits reaped from the lucrative sugar islands created a symbiosis between imperial
planners and Caribbean plantation owners. The problem they faced was foreign molasses.
Because it supplied New England rum, it contributed to competition with the rum lords of
Barbados and Jamaica. This competition led to lobbying, and lobbying led to the Molasses Act of
1733. Because the act banned all importation of molasses from foreign islands, the colonial
distilleries were faced with a shortage . This cause some outrage in the colonies, but was widely
ignored.86 Smuggling became the norm, and free trade was used interchangeably to express a
belief that such laws were unjust.87 The crown then followed up with a heavy tariff on French
molasses, but that duty appears to have been widely ignored as well. Records show that during
the entire three-decade period in which the act was on the books, the Crown collected just

84

Ibid, Loc 1351-1354.

85

Ibid, Loc 1375.

Wiener, Frederick Bernays. "The Rhode Island Merchants and the Sugar Act." The New England
Quarterly 3, no. 3 (July 01, 1930): 464-500. Accessed November 02, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/
10.2307/359398?ref=no-x-route:8bfd4316c729bd329774b55c45dc2504.
86

87

Ibid, 465.

31

13,702 on a half-million gallons of officially imported foreign molasses.88 The extralegal


mechanisms of the rum and molasses trade remained intact into the French and Indian War, when
French trade actually opened up for a short while. It was after the war that the real crackdown on
trade began, and this is why 1763 is considered to be the end of the first true world war and the
beginning of the American Revolution.
Under Grenville, England looked to extract revenue from the colonies to help ease her
mounting war-driven debt. While the Molasses Act of 1733 had been a trade barrier that resulted
in widespread smuggling, the Sugar Act of 1764 attempted to capitalize on the scope of the rum
market by taxing imported foreign molasses at the tax of six pence per gallon.89 New England
roused to action in the fall of 1763 when word of the forthcoming act reached the colonies. A
substantial majority of the molasses used by New England distilleries was foreign, and in
Massachusetts, it was said that the act caused greater alarm than the taking of Fort William
Henry did in 1757.90
Smuggling and further evasion of British trade law was the order of the day, and
merchants like the Brown family in Rhode Island continued to do so in the face of what they saw
as an affront to free trade, or at least an affront to their profits. Nicholas Brown even showed
himself to be well-acquainted with the art of smuggling.91

88

Curtis, 1492.

"Sugar and Molasses Act of 1733 Original Text." Sugar and Molasses Act of 1733 Original
Text. Accessed November 02, 2014. http://www.stamp-act-history.com/molasses-act/sugar-andmolasses-act-of-1733-original-text/.
89

90

Curtis, Loc 1510.

91

Weiner, 472/

32

Most importantly, the act sparked a unity in the colonies, laying the groundwork for
committees of correspondence, and eventually more organized rebellion. In a letter to the Boston
Post in 1763, one writer made a plea to open a correspondence with the principal merchants in
all our sister colonies, endeavoring to promote a union, and a coalition of all their councils.92
Their efforts culminated in a rash of circulations and petitions. One such list of grievances was
titled: Reasons Against the Renewal of the Sugar Act as It Will Be Prejudicial to the Trade Not
Only of the Northern Colonies But to Those of Great Britain Also.93 They were successful in part
because of their arguments about the effect of the duty on purchases of English manufacturers,
and they were able to gain revision of the act in 1766. A new tariff on foreign molasses was set at
the incredibly low rate of one penny per gallon, making smuggling a more expensive pursuit than
paying the tax man.94 The Declaratory Act of 1766 is widely seen as a supplement to the repeal
of the 1765 Stamp Act, declaring the right of parliament to bind the colonies and their inhabitants
in all cases whatsoever. In addition, it was a shot across the bough in response to colonial
violence and social unrest. The harassment of customs officers and other colonial officials, as
well as a general lack of deference among colonists led to an antagonistic relationship which
England was very inclined to squash. The Declaratory act should be seen as a reaction to the
most binding of actions Britain had attempted to force on the colonies without representation:
trade restrictions. It was the fear of disruption in the molasses trade, among others, that most
alarmed merchants. Their consumers likely would have felt the sting of rum in their pockets
92

Ibid, Loc 1534.

Trent, William P., John Erskine, Stuart Pratt Sherman, and Carl Van Doren. The Cambridge
History of American Literature. A Short History of American Literature Based upon the Cambridge
History of American Literature. (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1922), 435.
93

94

Curtis, Loc 1523.

33

rather than their throats, and a general spirit of rebellion was rampant in the Northern colonies at
the time. The tavern owners themselves were known patriots; twenty of Bostons ninety licensed
taverns were owned by members of the Sons of Liberty.95 David Conroy was more forthright,
saying, The manufacturers and importers of the most controversial commodity in the province
and the colonial world stood at the very helm of the resistance movement.96 The restraints of
mercantilism on American trade, which reduced potential output for commodities such as rum (a
major export of New England, and especially Rhode Island), put the colonies at odds with their
imperial masters and came with smuggling as an associated cost of policy. Thought their
concerns were chiefly economic. Social concerns about privacy were also present. To be sure, the
American understanding of privacy rights developed out of the British tradition and revolved
almost universally around tax and trade conflicts as a result of the Navigation, Sugar, and
Molasses Acts. George Bancroft understood this conflict to be "the first in the chain of events
which led directly and irresistibly to revolution and independence.97
The roots of the fourth amendment are deeply founded in the history of general warrants
under the British crown. These allowed agents to search anywhere and seize anything, and
colonial writs of assistance were used to invoke this power in order to sniff out smugglers and
import tax evaders. James Otis, a Boston lawyer, lost a case in which he argued against these

95

Ibid, Loc 1559.

Conroy, David W. In Public Houses: Drink & the Revolution of Authority in Colonial
Massachusetts. Chapel Hill, NC: (Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture,
Williamsburg, Virginia by the University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 257.
96

Lasson, Nelson B. The History and Development of the Fourth Amendment to the United
States Constitution. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1937), 52.
97

34

offensive searches and seizures, even resigning from a royal post in order to do so.98 Actually,
lost does not fully explain the results of the case. The court could find no justification for writs
of assistance, but became essentially mute on the subject following the ruling. It was believed by
some, including John Adams, that the writs were be clandestinely authorized by the court in
ensuing years. Adams famously declared of Otiss oratory: Then and there the child
independence was born.99 The two major British general warrant cases that provide the
historical background for search and seizure philosophy are Wilkes v. Wood (1763), and Entick v.
Carrington (1765). In Wilkes, the plaintiff brought suit because officials had broken into his
home, broken his locked, and seized his papers in pursuit of libel charges for pamphlets critical
of royal authority. Chief Justice Pratt was concerned that if such a power was granted, it
certainly [might] affect the person and property of every man in this kingdom, and [was] totally
subversive of the liberty of the subject.100 This same line of thinking was reinforced by the
same judge (the Lord Camden) in Entick. Entick contested the destruction search of his home by
royal agents seeking evidence of libel. Camdens ruling warned that allowing this action by
officials would mean that the secret cabinets and bureaus of every subject in this kingdom will
be thrown open to the search and inspection of a messenger.101 It is worth noting that this

98

Monk, Linda R. The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution. (New York:
Hyperion, 2003), 158.
99 Adams,

John, and Daniel Leonard. Novanglus and Massachusettensis; or, Political essays published in
the years 1774 and 1775 on the principal points of controversy between Great Britain and her colonies.
(New York: Russell & Russell, 1968), 246.
100

Clancy, Thomas. "The Framers' Intent: John Adams, His Era, and the Fourth Amendment." Indiana
Law Journal Summer, no. 86 (2011): 1002.
101

KERR, ORIN S. "THE CURIOUS HISTORY OF FOURTH AMENDMENT SEARCHES." Supreme


Court Review 2012, no. 1 (January 2012): 67-97. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed
August 4, 2013).

35

tradition of opposition to unreasonable search and seizure reaches back to the common law
articulations of Sir Edward Coke, who was the victim of just such an order on his deathbed in
1634 as a result of a search for seditious and dangerous papers.102 His writings heavily
influenced colonial legal theory, and he was seen as the foremost authority on English law.103
British authorities responded to criticism by Coke, Robert Beale, and later the Wilkes case by
stating that even those general searches that were seemingly gratuitous did not violate the
liberty of the subject... so long as Parliament had laid down the law.104 Students of the
revolution are no doubt familiar with the way in which this sort of absolute authority by way of
virtual representation outraged many of the colonists, and the extent to which colonial protests
were often in response to invasions of privacy and property that were seen as outright abuses.
Writs of assistance, which dated back to 1662, drew some of the most intense responses from
those colonists. Due to the lack of judicial authority to issue these writs in all but Massachusetts
and New Hampshire, the majority of the colonies did not feel the brunt of controversy until a
provision of the Townshend Acts authorized the highest court in each colony to issue them in
1767.105 Customs duties were at the heart of most general warrant case, and in the years leading
to the Boston Massacre, mob violence directed at customs officers spread quickly and grew more
frequent. According to Andrew Taslitz, no fewer than twenty customs riots occurred before
March of 1770, many in protest against the Townshend Acts, in which mobs liberated seized

102

Taslitz, Andrew E. Reconstructing the Fourth Amendment a History of Search and Seizure, 1789-1868.
(New York: NYU Press, 2006), 18.
103

Ibid, 18.

104

Ibid, 22.

105

Ibid, 33.

36

goods, typically molested informants or low-level customs officials, and protected contraband
items from seizure.106
This binding of independence to protection of property and privacy was nothing new to
the colonists, especially educated men like Adams and Otis. Lockean political philosophy held
that free people transfer authority to use force in order to protect natural rights. These writs of
assistance were clearly out of step with this notion. Further, republican political theory vested
that same power to use force, and founded itself on the virtue of its citizens. Nowhere in this
code did innocent people forfeit their rights to privacy and property in order to enforce
compliance with a tax code. The unreasonable nature of these dragnets would become a central
tenet in the doctrine of individual liberty.
And rum manufacturers would have shared status with a class of frustrated and fuming
wealthy and middle-class merchants. These men were a driving force in the political and
economic aspects of the revolution. Marc Egnal and Joseph Ernst argued that progressive
historians were too limited in their economic analysis. The incredible expansion of the Atlantic
economy in the three decades before the revolution led to circumstances that united a diverse
array of Americans, from a class of self-concious elite, to the active and self-conscious
involvement of the lower orders.107 A deep depression during the early years of the
revolutionary movement was in part the result of surplus goods forced on colonial merchants.
English storehouses continued to export, despite what local conditions called for. Consequently,
these merchants faced a debt-ridden countryside as well as their overstocked inventories,
106

Ibid, 33.

Egnal, Marc. "An Economic Interpretation of the American Revolution." The William and Mary
Quarterly 29, no. 1 (January 01, 1972), 9-10.
107

37

leading to the virtual disappearance of profits.108 The Currency Act restricted local control
over monetary policy, leaving importers and consumers at the hands of artificial market forces
that were seen as destructive in the colonies. In combination with the trade restrictions enabled
by the Molasses and Sugar Acts this control bred resentment. These policies dealt a harsh blow
to colonial autonomy.109 Nonimportation agreements and other political action were the chosen
tool of merchants to begin to sell off their surplus, and some Americans eagerly supported it for
what they saw as a spirit of protest. But, as they traded the days gossip at the taverns, many of
the so-called lower orders began to spread the fire of rebellion. Thanks to smuggling, and
domestic production, alcohol never ceased to be the lubricant of revolution. While the
nonimportation movement began as a merchants device wherewith to obtain a redress of trade
grievances, it ended as an instrument in the hands of political agitators and radicals for the
enforcement of their claims of constitutional liberty and freedom.110
Thus merchants and importers, and their consumers, found unity in the loss of economic
control. Compounded with slurred grievances about natural rights as Englishmen, which echoed
in taverns up and down the British North America, an American cultural identity had formed that
carried the colonies headlong into revolution.
Alcohol, and rum in particular continued to have impact. After the Sugar Act, which
mainly affected New Englands rum production, the British legislative avalanche buried more
and more colonists from diverse regions and occupations. The wider net brought the colonies

108

Ibid, 17.

109

Ibid, 18.

Andrews, Charles McLean. The Boston Merchants and the Non-importation Movement. (New
York: Russell & Russell, 1968), 101.
110

38

together, but it did not soothe the malady of political factions. Alcohol was better suited for that.
Taverns continued to play the role of revolutionary hotbed, but they also played Loyalist
stronghold. Tavern keepers often stayed out of the politics of the war, but some were not so shy.
At the very least, taverns provided for lively discourse, and at their worst they churned out angry
mobs of pickled patriots looking to assert their autonomy in new and dangerous ways. From the
fires set in the Stamp Act riots to the Boston Massacre, colonial residents conspired and
fomented rebellion and action from their local dens of iniquity.
Distillers were hit hard by the conflict, as rum production and the West Indies trade was
all but halted by British blockades.111 As a result, rum rations for the Continental Army had to be
donated by men like donated 150 hogshead of rum to raise a militia.112 This led the to the
acquisition of rum becoming a priority for the provision of fighting men. They typically expected
a halfpint of rum per man per day.113 But, the rum did not come. Eventually, the thriving rumproducing town of Medford, Massachusetts (once the rum capital of New England) began to
sputter until, by 1830, there was only one distillery left.
While alcohol would continue to be the toast of America until its zenith in 1830, the
mechanisms of temperance were at work even as the revolution blazed on. The distinctions of
social class which were going out of style among the masses were still held dearly by the
colonial elites that had helped secure a revolution. Their idea of beginning the world anew did
not include the vicious debauchery that was on display in taverns and public houses daily.

111

Curtis, Loc 1559.

112

Ibis, Loc 1559.

113

Ibid, Loc 1577.

39

CHAPTER II
MOBS WILL NEVER DO: THE CONSERVATIVE BACKLASH TO SOCIAL
REVOLUTION

Conservative Fears
During the revolution, John Adams confided to his wife that he secretly wished defeat for
the new nation:
[ I] f it should be the Will of Heaven that our Army should be defeated, our
Artillery lost, our best Generals killd, and Philadelphia fall into Mr. Howes
Hands, It may be for what I know be the Design of Providence that this should
be the Case. Because it would only lay the Foundations of American
Independence deeper, and cement them stronger. It would cure Americans of
their vicious and luxurious and effeminate Appetites, Passions and Habits, a more
dangerous Army to American Liberty than Mr. Howes.114

While this was obvious hyperbole from the founder, he was quite obsessed with
the moral decay in America, and he was not quiet about it. He feared that anything gained in a
war of independence would be lost in a torrent of vice, and that his country would become a
Spectacle of Contempt and Derision to the foolish and wicked, and of Grief and shame to the
wise among Mankind, and all this in the Space of a few Years.115 And he was not alone. The

114

Russell, 4.

115

Ibid, 3.

40

political leadership of the revolution was typically horrified at the vulgar behavior of their
compatriots, and it is not difficult to understand why: During the War of Independence,
deference to authority was shattered, a new urban culture offered previously forbidden pleasures,
and sexuality was loosened from its Puritan restraints.116 Americans engaged in excessive
drinking, dancing, singing, sex, and violence. In the teeming cities of the period - Boston,
Philadelphia, New York, and Charleston - such licentiousness was on display more than ever
before. Moreover, the cities were densely packed with taverns; Philadelphia boasted one for
every hundred residents.117 In the taverns, the excess of vice was topped only by an excess of
democracy. The denizens of these establishments would have been a cross-section of American
life: men, women, whites, African Americans, Native Americans, prostitutes, sailors, drunkards,
gamblers, and musicians. The good order that Cotton Mather had shown such concern about in
1708 was practically in shambles by 1777. While public houses in all regions were subjects of
attempted control, it seems as though restrictions on who could drink or receive services at
taverns were seldom recognized or enforced in reality. Americans over 15 were drinking the
equivalent of 5.8 shot glasses of 80-proof liquor a day, during the revolutionary war, so
demand only grew during the time period and judges were not inclined to prosecute what few
laws there were against drinking.118 Regardless, the revolutionary spirit was accompanied by one
of temperance. This movement did not come to fruition until the 1830s, but it was launched and
found strong allies in some of the founding elites. Mark Lender and James Kirby argued that
The bitterest denunciation of distilled spirits came in the immediate aftermath, and as part of the
116

Ibid, 4.

117

Ibid, 5.

118

Ibid, 6.

41

zeitgeist, of the Revolution.119 This is because drinking - including its associated activities and
spaces - challenged the social order in such a profound way.
There had always been a repugnance associated with heavy drinking among elites in
American society. Moderation was the word many used, but moderation is, of course, relative.
Habitual drinking was held as sinful, as it was in Increase Mathers day.120 As the licentiousness
of tavern life was emboldened by the wave of democracy that ushered in revolution, elites began
to feel the walls close in on a deeply social level. Alcohol was not the only vice that worried
these men and women. Sexual freedom may not have come with social approval, but it came
nonetheless. Prostitution was hardly criminalized in some places, and the social stigma was
surprisingly light.121
Women great license in cities, and the social order of the old world seemed as though it
might begin to crumble. Between 1767 and 1776, one in every thirty-eight adults in the colonies
was a parent to an illegitimate child; more illegitimate children per capita than at any other time
since in America.122 In Philadelphia, more than one-third of women were not only unmarried,
but also living with non relatives.123 Further, women were not strangers to alcohol. While they
imbibed more privately then men, this was not always the case. Women were essential to tavern
culture, particularly in cities. Prostitution is one reason, but another is that women were in some
places just as likely to be tavern owners as men were. Almost forty percent of Bostons taverns,
Lender, Mark Edward, and James Kirby Martin. Drinking in America: A History. (New York:
Free Press, 1982), 9.
119

120

Thompson, 1.

121

Russell, 12.

122

Russell, 13.

123

Ibid, 15.

42

and a majority of Charlestons, were owned by women in the decades before the American
Revolution.124
Colonists from all racial, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds met in taverns and
created a community far more democratic that the one planned by the founding elite. The 1741
New York fire spree had instilled fears of uprising in white, wealthy colonists. Taverns
(especially in New York and Philadelphia) continued to present a threat to the social order
because of their multi-racial character. Franklin worried in 1744 that these nurseries of vice and
debauchery were under great temptation to entertain apprentices, servants, and even
Negroes.125
Founders like John Adams could feel the fabric of the social order tearing asunder. He
was concerned that violent actions and a false sense of liberty would lead to more occasions like
the Boston Massacre; seeing the agitators as a motley rabble of saucy boys, Negroes and
molattoes, Irish leagues, and outlandish jack tarrs.126 Adams doubted whether there was virtue
enough in to establish a Republic, and his fears were reinforced every time he walked to
Congress along the Philadelphia streets. As early as the Sugar Act crisis, it was suggested by
some that drinking might be curtailed by the act, and thus might have a positive effect on society.
Charles Thomson wrote to Benjamin Franklin of his concern that vice would consume and
distract the American people, leading to their ruin. As he put it, the more debauched a people

124

Ibid, 16.

125

Ibid, 9.

Adams, John. "Boston Massacre Historical Society." Boston Massacre Historical Society.
Accessed November 13, 2014. http://www.bostonmassacre.net/trial/acct-adams3.htm.
126

43

are, the more they are fitted for an absolute or tyrannical government.127 In fact, the founders
were stirred to form a republic because of these fears. An excess of democracy would never do.
Liberty was essential in restraining the people. Thaddeus Russell argued in Renegade History of
the United States, that men like Adams understood that democracy forced the people to shed
their pleasures and surrender their personal freedom, because they alone would shoulder the
responsibility of managing society.128 A critical factor in the formation of a healthy republic is
the existence of civic virtue. The founders believed this to entail much more than the honesty and
character of civic leaders, or the avoidance of corruption. They believed that the masses had to
regulate their own behavior in order to produce a successful and peaceful country. During the
war, this fear caused some leaders to wish for increased hardship and losses, if only to spur the
industry of the people. Adams wrote in 1778 that the Furnace of Affliction produces
Refinement, wishing for the national character to be forged through war. He went onto lament
that Virtue is not in Fashion, and Vice is not infamous, even in that infant Age of our
Republic.129 Fears of disorder due to a wave of license taken by the great unwashed led leaders
to exalt fear the democracy they had so skillfully propagated. There is even some evidence that
criminals themselves saw punishment as a means of maintaining virtue in a crumbling republic
during the war.130 More importantly, the educated elite in America was beginning to see alcohol
and luxury as a path to destruction long before the lower classes and the common man and

Thomson, Charles. "Founders Online: To Benjamin Franklin from Charles Thomson, 18


December 1764." To Benjamin Franklin from Charles Thomson, 18 December 1764. Accessed November
14, 2014. http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-11-02-0151.
127

128

Russell, 21.

129

Ibid, 28

130

Ibid, 28.

44

woman would. The dichotomy that this encouraged, was one that flew in the face of the
egalitarian sentiment of the day. As many leaders foresaw disaster, they began to find ways to
tighten a grip on the unwieldy masses. Drinking excessively, and public drunkenness, were
always upper crust faux pas, but new information about their effects on the body made ignoring
reason at the edge of the enlightenment much more difficult. Even fomenters of revolution like
Thomas Jefferson, who applauded the necessity of blood as nourishment for the tree of liberty,
spoke critically of the same spirits he imported and produced so heavily at Monticello. While
moderation and temperance were important virtues to Jefferson, he believed that they served a
higher calling during the war. He would later speak of the pleasure culture of the cities, stating
that he worried the culture would make Americans as corrupt as their counterparts in Europe.131
But during the war, he spoke of intemperance as more baneful than toryism.132 No one,
however, did more to strike a blow to alcohols healthful and beneficial reputation than Dr.
Benjamin Rush from Philadelphia. While Rush is a celebrated patriot and physician, one of his
greatest contributions was his study of the effects of alcohol during and immediately following
the American Revolution.

Jefferson, Thomas. "To John Page Paris, May 4, 1786." Accessed November 16, 2014. http://
www.let.rug.nl/usa/presidents/thomas-jefferson/letters-of-thomas-jefferson/jefl45.php.
131

Jefferson, Thomas. "To John Page Paris, May 4, 1786." Accessed November 16, 2014. http://
www.let.rug.nl/usa/presidents/thomas-jefferson/letters-of-thomas-jefferson/jefl45.php.
132

45

FIGURE 2.1 FROM BENJAMIN RUSHS INQUIRY INTO THE EFFECTS OF SPIRITOUS LIQUORS (1784)

46

To Your Health
Rush was Americas foremost authority on medicine, one of the first to take a scientific
approach to the understanding of alcohol. More importantly, he was one of the first to see
alcoholism as an affliction or disease, rather than a result of poor character. The other founders
may not have shared his humanitarian approach to drink, but they were certainly educated by
Rush on the negative effects that alcohol had on the body. Through scientific analysis, Rush
determined what modern Americans know all too well; drink is a poison. In his Inquiry, he
wrote:
My observations authorize me to say that persons who have been addicted to them should
abstain from them suddenly and entirely, Rush declared. Taste not, handle not, touch
not should be inscribed upon every vessel that contains spirits in the house of a man who
wishes to be cured by habits of intemperance.133

This clear warning would not be observed by the masses, but other learned men began to
take notice. Many of them had been assailing personal liberty for decades. Adams attempted to
get his town of Braintree, Massachusetts to limit the number of tavern licenses in 1760. He
reasoned that taverns might have served a purpose for travelers, but they were otherwise
corruptive.134 There is evidence that some fought such regulation as a hinderance to personal
liberty, feeling that those in the upper classes used licensing and regulation as a means of control.
Hunters Virginia Gazette published an editorial in 1752 declaring just as much.135 The author
warned that the low people would be crushed by authority, leaving their necks bended to
the Yoke with our Prospects of relaxation, and their nerves slackened in the Pursuit of

133

Cited in Russell, 29.

134

Rorabaugh, 34.

135

Virginia Gazette, Hunter, ed., July 24th, 1752, 3.

47

Independence.136 So two decades before the revolution, their was an understanding of the social
tensions that alcohol and taverns inflamed. As a result, the yoke that many felt they had cast off
as a result of revolution by time of the Treaty of Paris was a hard sell at the very least. Rush
found allies in many colonial leaders like Franklin and Adams, but persuading the nation to give
up strong drink would prove to be a much more lofty goal. W.J. Rorabaugh found that the
revolution increased the prestige of public houses, making it difficult to argue for increased
regulations.137 Association of such regulations with British authoritarianism contributed as well.
Regardless, some upper class citizens began to denounce liquor. This was in part because
rationalism and science were displacing custom and tradition, and in part because of
enlightenment ideas that urged responsible use of independence.138 Religious leaders, especially
in the Quaker and Methodist denominations, had condemned alcohol for some time, but the
revolution accelerated their efforts. Everywhere, there was concern that there were evils which
were the results of an excess of democracy, and a leveling spirit, as Elbridge Gerry put it.139
The social concerns inflamed by alcohol use spread to all sectors. Disapproval of social behavior
had made leaders more inclined to question the capacity of their countrymen for selfgovernment, but anxieties over the harsh economic realities of a postwar depression would lead
to a constitutional overhaul and a conservative buttressing of property and capital.

136

Ibid, 3.

137

Rorabaugh, 34.

138

Ibid, 36.

Gorgoglione, Robert. Essays on Foundations of American Constitutional Government By the


Chains of the Constitution. (Xlibris, 2010), 299.
139

48

Whiskey and Rebellion


Woody Holtons Unruly Americans both presented and cut through the confusion of the
critical period, showing a nuanced understanding of the people and policies that touched off the
debate to form a more perfect union. Central to his argument was the assertion that the taxpayers,
bondholders, debtors, and creditors formed a matrix of political opinion and that any one citizen
could belong to any one of those categories. What was even more pertinent, was that any
individual citizen could belong to all four of those categories. Holton transitioned between
economic, political, and social issues; weaving them into a coherent explanation of what plagued
the men and women of 1780s America. Not only did taxpayer and bondholder alike have
theories for explaining the financial straits that both state governments and the Confederation
found themselves in, but those theories varied from an overall democratic licentiousness, to
indulgence by women in feathers and fripperies.140 In fact, Americans frequently engaged in
arguments over the source of their economic woes, and Holton thoroughly explored those
debates. The role of the role of the clergy, for example, showed that religious attitudes toward tax
and debt relief drew distinctions between the people and the pulpit.141 Th elite in some cases
engaged in frugality, not simply out of their own financial prudence, but out of a sense that they
were setting an example for the common masses whom they thought to be living beyond their
means.142 Frequently, this accusation of frivolity was launched at women. Holton ably discussed
the social tensions that created anxiety among men who felt domestic sovereignty slipping away.

140

Holton, Woody. Unruly Americans and the origins of the Constitution. (New York: Hill and Wang, 2007),
5, 49.
141

Ibid, 91.

142

Ibid, 48.

49

More important than the battle of the sexes was the increasingly complicated battle
between the taxpayers and the bondholders. By 1787, few who originally held bonds, or were
issued them as payment, were still in possession of the depreciating currency. Paying at least the
interest of those bonds at face value would immediately enrich the speculators, but in the long
term, they would also benefit from the increase in value to those bonds as a result of the stability
that came with prompt payment. This situation put pressure on state legislatures to not only pay
off the public debt through heavy taxation, but also to do so at the expense of federal securities.
Congress had found revenue competition in the federal system, and it is not surprising that this
scenario prompted concern over the lack of taxing power. The new Constitution would remedy
that. Taxes and alcohol would once again come to the forefront of rebellion.
After the debates over the Constitution subsided, and the Washington administration
began to mold the new republic, the first controversies of authority surfaced almost immediately.
Alexander Hamilton had argued for a high tax on alcohol in order to reduce consumption in
Federalist #12.143 The Philadelphia College of Physicians had asked Congress for a tax on
distilled spirits, hoping it would be effectual to restrain their intemperate use in our country.144
When he introduced the first excise tax on whiskey in 1790, he made clear that he had no qualms
about the potential effect the law might have on alcohol consumption:
The consumption of ardent spirits particularly, no doubt very much on account of their
cheapness, is carried to an extreme, which is truly to be regretted, as well in regard to the
health and the morals, as to the economy of the community. Should the increase of duties
tend to a decrease of the consumption of those articles, the effect would be, in every

Hamilton, Alexander. "The Federalist #12." The Federalist #12. Accessed November 16, 2014.
http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa12.htm.
143

144

Rorabaugh, 50.

50
respect, desirable. The saving which it would occasion would leave individuals more at
their ease, and promote a more favorable balance of trade.145

The following year, Benjamin Rush published a jeremiad against excessive


drinking called The Drunkards Emblem. Several others like George Washington, James
Madison, and Robert Morris joined Rush and Hamilton in a belief that excise taxes could be used
to curb drinking.146 This program did little to curb drinking, but it did raise public ire. The
spirit that fueled the revolution was alive and well, particularly in the West. Hamilton had
ignored both the popular sentiments against regulation of alcohol and the fact that the specie
required to pay the tax was sparse in a region where whiskey was a currency itself. Hamilton
could barely hire enough tax collectors, and in Kentucky, he found it impossible to organize the
state as an excise jurisdiction.147 When the rebellion was suppressed (by Hamilton on
horseback, no less), a hostility toward eastern elites remained. It is no surprise that Jefferson,
who repealed the tax in 1802, and later Andrew Jackson, built a party that catered to the interests
of western and southern farmers and the booze-guzzling common man. The height of this
democratic and bacchanal revelry is best symbolized by the bowls of punch lead out on the
White House lawn for Jacksons inauguration in 1829. Alcohol consumption would peak in
America the next year, and never see those heights again.

Hamilton, Alexander, and Henry Cabot Lodge. The Works of Alexander Hamilton. (New York:
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1904), 95.
145

146

Russell, 32.

147

Rorabaugh, 53.

51

CONCLUSION
Drunkenness was bound to lead to a different form of politics than coffee-drinking, since
alcohol had a fundamentally different effect on the psyche. As philosopher and
psychologist William James put it, the sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably
due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature, usually crushed to
earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour. Sobriety, James continues,
says no; drunkenness expands, unites, and says yes.

FROM CHRISTINE SISMONDOS AMERICA WALKS INTO A BAR: A SPIRITED HISTORY OF TAVERNS AND SALOONS,
SPEAKEASIES AND GROG SHOPS (2011)

When revolutionary-era Americans drank alcohol, they most likely showed the same
aptitude for dependency as those in the modern age. Regardless, they also imbibed in habits of
custom, tradition, fraternity, and community. Taverns and drinking became social hallmarks
when more and more Americans gained access to alcohol through cheap rum and the
proliferation of public houses. Whether it was toasting to each others health, or drowning their
mournful sorrows over the death of a loved one, there was a central place in American life for
alcohol.
The revolution was born of disputes over the nature of liberty itself. Taverns represented
a social and political forum for the effervescence of enlightenment ideals to gin up discontent,
idealism, and action. The great majority of the people jealously guarded their rights to control
their own destinies, and alcohol fueled those sentiments ably in the crises that followed British
legislative oppression and restrictions on trade. More remarkably, the social divide that deepened
with the revolution was exposed most publicly by aristocratic disdain for the behavior of the
democratic masses. As leaders scrambled to find means of economic, social, and political
control, they never quite dulled the spirit of revolution that produced an egalitarian wave
unparalleled in history. In fact, that democratic impulse was so strong by the 1830s that

52

Americans joined temperance movements en masse in order to better direct their virtuous
republic. This was, of course, the point of democracy all along; the founding fathers had
redefined freedom as self-control and built a political system around it called democracy.148
But in Americas earliest years, the founders did not know there would be success. Their protests
were few and fell on deaf ears. Further, their fears were based on a broader assumption about the
ability of the people to rule themselves and for them to avoid acting in temporary and narrow
self-interest. A glimpse at the American landscape after the revolution revealed a people devoid
of deference and swollen with personal pride and autonomy. In order to avoid the pitfalls of past
Sodom and Gomorrahs, the founders urged moderation and temperance, while simultaneously
attempting regulation of social behavior by economic means. It would not be the last attempt to
check the masses and their vices; prohibition holds a long and storied history in the United
States. The regulation of personal behavior continues to be a source of controversy in a twentyfirst century America where were federal agencies are militarized and well-funded. From turn of
the twentieth century progressives to modern proponents of sin taxes and a continued drug war,
the ideals of democracy and personal liberty continue to be in question. There is no doubt,
however, that when Americans discuss these issues today, they will do so in various states of
sobriety.

148

Russell, 21.

53

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Adams, Henry, and Earl N. Harbert. History of the United States during the Administrations of
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. New York, NY: Literary Classics of the United
States, 1986.
Adams, John, and Charles Francis Adams. The Works of John Adams, Second President of the
United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations. Boston: Little,
Brown, 1850.
Adams, John, and Charles Francis Adams. The Works of John Adams, Second President of the
United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations. Vol. 10. Boston:
Little, Brown, 1850.
Adams, John, and Daniel Leonard. Novanglus and Massachusettensis; Or, Political Essays
Published in the Years 1774 and 1775 on the Principal Points of Controversy between
Great Britain and Her Colonies. New York: Russell & Russell, 1968.
Adams, John. "Boston Massacre Historical Society." Boston Massacre Historical Society.
Accessed November 13, 2014. http://www.bostonmassacre.net/trial/acct-adams3.htm.
Adams, John, Samuel Adams, and James Warren. Warren-Adams Letters, Being Chiefly a
Correspondence among John Adams, Samuel Adams, and James Warren. New York:
AMS Press, 1972.

54

Agresto, John T. "Liberty, Virtue, and Republicanism: 17761787." The Review of Politics 39,
no. 04 (1977): 473. doi:10.1017/S0034670500024979.
Alderman, Ellen, and Caroline Kennedy. The Right to Privacy. New York: Knopf, 1995.
Andrews, Charles McLean. The Boston Merchants and the Non-importation Movement. New
York: Russell & Russell, 1968.
Archer, Richard. As If an Enemy's Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of
Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Beard, Charles A. An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. New
York: Macmillan Company, 1935.
Bradley, Craig. "The Middle Class Fourth Amendment." Buffalo Criminal Law Review 6, no. 2
(2003): 1123-161. doi:10.1525/nclr.2003.6.2.1123.
Breen, T. H. The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American
Independence. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Cohn, Nate. "Polarization Is Dividing American Society, Not Just Politics." The New York
Times. June 11, 2014. Accessed September 28, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/
2014/06/12/upshot/polarization-is-dividing-american-society-not-just-politics.html?
_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0.

55

Conroy, David W. In Public Houses: Drink & the Revolution of Authority in Colonial
Massachusetts. Chapel Hill, NC: Published for the Institute of Early American History
and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia by the University of North Carolina Press, 1995.
Curtis, Wayne. And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails. New York:
Crown Publishers, 2006.
Egnal, Marc. "An Economic Interpretation of the American Revolution." The William and Mary
Quarterly 29, no. 1 (January 01, 1972): 3-32. Accessed November 13, 2014. http://
www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/1921325?ref=no-x-route:
424783e410f1794ac98f76788caf2404.
Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Ben Franklin. Sioux Falls, SD: Nu Vision
Publications, 2009.
Franklin, Benjamin, William Franklin, and William Duane. Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin. New
York, NY: Harpers & Bros., 1843.
Gilje, Paul A. Liberty on the Waterfront: American Maritime Culture in the Age of Revolution.
Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.
Gorgoglione, Robert. Essays on Foundations of American Constitutional Government By the
Chains of the Constitution. Xlibris, 2010.
Hamilton, Alexander, and Henry Cabot Lodge. The Works of Alexander Hamilton. New York:
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1904.

56

Hamilton, Alexander. "The Federalist #12." The Federalist #12. Accessed November 16, 2014.
http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa12.htm.
Hamson, Darryl. "The Rise and Fall of Alcohol Consumption in Early America." Suite. Accessed
October 29, 2014. https://suite.io/darryl-hamson/3c8j2n0.
"History.org: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website."
Every Man Able to Read : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History &
Citizenship Site. Accessed October 03, 2014. http://www.history.org/Foundation/
journal/Winter11/literacy.cfm.
Horsmanden, Daniel. A Journal of the Proceedings in the Detection of the Conspiracy Formed
by Some White People in Conjunction with Negro and Other Slaves, for Burning the
City of New-York ... Containing, I.A Narrative of the Trials ... II. An Appendix ... III.
Lists of the Several Persons ... Committed on Account of the Conspiracy ; ... By the
Recorder of the City of New-York. London: Printed at New-York, 1747.
Hunter. "Virginia Gazette, Hunter, July 24, 1752, Page 3." Virginia Gazette. Accessed November
16, 2014. http://research.history.org/DigitalLibrary/VirginiaGazette/
VGImagePopup.cfm?ID=1225&Res=HI.
Jefferson, Thomas, and Frank Robert Donovan. The Thomas Jefferson Papers. New York: Dodd,
Mead, 1963.
Jefferson, Thomas. "To John Page Paris, May 4, 1786." Accessed November 16, 2014. http://
www.let.rug.nl/usa/presidents/thomas-jefferson/letters-of-thomas-jefferson/jefl45.php.

57

Jefferson, Thomas. "To John Page Paris, May 4, 1786." Accessed November 16, 2014. http://
www.let.rug.nl/usa/presidents/thomas-jefferson/letters-of-thomas-jefferson/jefl45.php.
Kerr, Orin S. "The Curious History of Fourth Amendment Searches." The Supreme Court Review
2012, no. 1 (2013): 67-97. doi:10.1086/670228.
Kerr, Orin S. "The Curious History of Fourth Amendment Searches." The Supreme Court Review
2012, no. 1 (2013): 67-97. doi:10.1086/670228.
Krout, John A. The Origins of Prohibition. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1925.
Lasson, Nelson B. The History and Development of the Fourth Amendment to the United States
Constitution. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1937.
Lender, Mark Edward, and James Kirby Martin. Drinking in America: A History. New York:
Free Press, 1982.
Lender, Mark Edward, and James Kirby Martin. Drinking in America: A History. New York:
Free Press, 1982.
Linebaugh, Peter, and Marcus Rediker. The Many-headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners,
and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. Boston: Beacon Press, 2000.
Linnekin, Baylen J. "Tavern Talk and the Origins of the Assembly Clause: Tracing the First
Amendments Assembly Clause Back to Its Roots in Colonial Taverns." Hastings
Constitutional Law Quarterly 39, no. 3 (Spring 2012): 593-628.

58

Lockridge, Kenneth A. Literacy in Colonial New England: An Enquiry into the Social Context of
Literacy in the Early Modern West. New York: Norton, 1974.
Mather, Cotton. Sober Considerations, on a Growing Flood of Iniquity. Or, An Essay, to Dry up a
Fountain Of, Confusion and Every Evil Work; and to Warn People, Particularly of the
Woful Consequences, Which the Prevailing Abuse of Rum, Will Be Attended Withal.
Boston: Printed by John Allen in Pudding-Lane, for Nicholas Boone at the Sign of the
Bible in Corn-hill, near the Corner of School-Street., 1708.
Mather, Increase, and James Morgan. A Sermon Occasioned by the Execution of a Man Found
Guilty of Murder. Boston: Printed for Joseph Brunning, 1686.
Mather, Increase. Wo to Drunkards Two Sermons Testifying against the Sin of Drunkenness,
Wherein the Wofulness of That Evil, and the Misery of All That Are Addicted to It, Is
Discovered from the Word of God. Cambridge: Printed by Marmaduke Johnson and
Sold by Edmund Ranger, 1673.
Meiklejohn, Donald, and Glenn Abernathy. "The Right of Assembly and Association." American
Sociological Review 26, no. 6 (1961): 946. doi:10.2307/2090593.
Mellen, Roger P. The Origins of a Free Press in Prerevolutionary Virginia: Creating a Culture of
Political Dissent. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2009.
Monk, Linda R. The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution. New York:
Hyperion, 2003.

59

Morgan, Edmund Sears. The Birth of the Republic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956.
Namier, L. B. The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III. London: Macmillan, 1957.
National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism, Division Of Epidemiology And
Prevention Research, and Alcohol Epidemiologic Data System. SURVEILLANCE
REPORT #92 APPARENT PER CAPITA ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION: NATIONAL,
STATE, AND REGIONAL TRENDS, 19772009. Accessed October 29, 2014. http://
pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Surveillance92/CONS09.pdf.
Parker, Matthew. The Sugar Barons: Family, Corruption, Empire, and War in the West Indies.
New York: Walker &, 2011.
Pegram, Thomas R. Battling Demon Rum: The Struggle for a Dry America, 1800-1933. Chicago:
Ivan R. Dee, 1998.
Reichel, William Cornelius, and John W. Jordan. A Red Rose from the Olden Time: Or, A Ramble
through the Annals of the Rose Inn of the Barony of Nazareth, in the Days of the
Province, 1752-1772. Bethlehem, PA: H.T. Clauder, 1883.
Rorabaugh, William J. The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition. New York: Oxford Univ.
Press, 1979.
Rush, Benjamin. "An Inquiry into the Effects of Spirituous Liquors on the Human Body : To
Which Is Added, a Moral and Physical Thermometer : Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813 :

60

Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive." Internet Archive. Accessed


November 16, 2014. https://archive.org/details/2569022R.nlm.nih.gov.
Russell, Thaddeus. A Renegade History of the United States. New York: Free Press, 2010.
Salinger, Sharon V. Taverns and Drinking in Early America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press, 2002.
Sawers, Larry. "The Navigation Acts Revisited." The Economic History Review 45, no. 2 (May
01, 1992): 262-84. Accessed September 28, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/
10.2307/2597623?ref=no-x-route:0425b306e96b9d6eff2b42d00ec75fa0.
Schlesinger, Arthur M. The Colonial Merchants and the American Revolution, 1763-1776. New
York: F. Ungar Pub., 1957.
Sismondo, Christine. America Walks into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons,
Speakeasies, and Grog Shops. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Smith, Adam, and Andrew S. Skinner. The Wealth of Nations. London: Penguin Books, 1999.
"Sugar and Molasses Act of 1733 Original Text." Sugar and Molasses Act of 1733 Original
Text. Accessed November 02, 2014. http://www.stamp-act-history.com/molasses-act/
sugar-and-molasses-act-of-1733-original-text/.
Taslitz, Andrew E. Reconstructing the Fourth Amendment: A History of Search and Seizure,
1789-1868. New York: New York University Press, 2006.

61

Thompson, Peter. Rum Punch & Revolution: Taverngoing & Public Life in Eighteenth Century
Philadelphia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.
Thomson, Charles. "Founders Online: To Benjamin Franklin from Charles Thomson, 18
December 1764." To Benjamin Franklin from Charles Thomson, 18 December 1764.
Accessed November 14, 2014. http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/
01-11-02-0151.
Trent, William P., John Erskine, Stuart Pratt Sherman, and Carl Van Doren. The Cambridge
History of American Literature. A Short History of American Literature Based upon
the Cambridge History of American Literature. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1922.
"The Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions 1765." Ushistory.org. Accessed October 28, 2014. http://
www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/vsa65.htm.
Walker, Jesse. The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory.
Walker, Jesse. The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory. New York: Harper Collins,
2013.
Wiener, Frederick Bernays. "The Rhode Island Merchants and the Sugar Act." The New England
Quarterly 3, no. 3 (July 01, 1930): 464-500. Accessed November 02, 2014. http://
www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/359398?ref=no-x-route:
8bfd4316c729bd329774b55c45dc2504.

62

Wulf, Karin. "We Are Not All Wives": Women and the Emergence of Urban Culture in Colonial
Philadelphia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000.