Saturday, May 30, 2015

Summer Nears



Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935). Summer Sunlight 1892



Claude Monet (1840-1926). On the Beach at Trouville. 1870.



Edouard Manet (1832-1883). Boating. 1874.



Edvard Munch (1863 - 1944). Girl on the Beach. 1896


An early icon of Mary



Advocata Nostra, said to be the oldest icon of Mary in Rome, at the Dominican Sisters Convent on Via Trionfale on Monte Mario. Reportedly, this icon can be traced back to its origin in Jerusalem, where tradition holds, that it was painted by St Luke after the Resurrection, at the request of the apostles. Further tradition states that after St Luke had sketched the outline, the image of Our Lady appeared on it. No human hand was involved. Such works are referred to as achiropita—"made without hands." c 500s?


Drinking in Early America - 1811 Philadelphia's Dr Benjamin Rush writes of the harmful effects of drinking


An Inquiry into the effects of Spirituous Liquors upon the Human Body, and their influence upon the happiness of society ... Originally published at Philadelphia in 1811



1768 A Caricature Group of Drinkers by John Hamilton Mortimer (British painter, 1740-1779)

The Effects of Ardent Spirits upon the Human Body & Mind by Benjamin Rush, MD Philadelphia, 1816.


By ardent spirits, I mean those liquors only which are obtained by distillation from fermented substances of any kind. To their effects upon the bodies & minds of men, the following inquiry shall be exclusively confined.


The effects of ardent spirits divide themselves into such as are of a prompt, & such as are of a chronic nature. The former discover themselves in drunkenness; & the latter in a numerous train of diseases & vices of the body & mind.


I. I shall begin by briefly describing their prompt or immediate effects in a fit of drunkenness.


This odious disease—for by that name it should be called—appears with more or less of the following symptoms, & most commonly in the order in which I shall enumerate them.


1. Unusual garrulity.


2. Unusual silence.


3. Captiousness, & a disposition to quarrel.


4. Uncommon good-humor, & an insipid simpering, or laugh.


5. Profane swearing & cursing.


6. A disclosure of their own or other people’s secrets.


7. A rude disposition to tell those persons in company whom they know, their faults.


8. Certain immodest actions. I am sorry to say this sign of the first stage of drunkenness sometimes appears in women, who, when sober, are uniformly remarkable for chaste & decent manners.


9. A clipping of words.


10. Fighting; a black eye, or a swelled nose, often mark this grade of drunkenness.


11. Certain extravagant acts which indicate a temporary fit of madness. Those are singing, hallooing, roaring, imitating the noises of brute animals, jumping, tearing off clothes, dancing naked, breaking glasses & china, & dashing other articles of household furniture upon the ground or floor. After a while the paroxysm of drunkenness is completely formed. The face now becomes flushed, the eyes project, & are somewhat watery, winking is less frequent than is natural; the under lip is protruded—the head inclines a little to one shoulder—the jaw falls—belchings & hiccough take place—the limbs totter—the whole body staggers. The unfortunate subject of this history next falls on his seat—he looks around him with a vacant countenance, & mutters inarticulate sounds to himself—he attempts to rise & walk: in this attempt he falls upon his side, from which he gradually turns upon his back: he now closes his eyes & falls into a profound sleep, frequently attended with snoring, & profuse sweats, & sometimes with such a relaxation of the muscles which confine the bladder & the lower bowels, as to produce a symptom which delicacy forbids me to mention. In this condition he often lies from ten, twelve, & twenty-four hours, to two, three, four, & five days, an object of pity & disgust to his family & friends. His recovery from this fit of intoxication is marked with several peculiar appearances. He opens his eyes & closes them again—he gapes & stretches his limbs—he then coughs & pukes—his voice is hoarse—he rises with difficulty, & staggers to a chair—his eyes resemble balls of fire—his hands tremble—he loathes the sight of food—he calls for a glass of spirits to compose his stomach—now & then he emits a deep-fetched sigh, or groan, from a transient twinge of conscience; but he more frequently scolds, & curses every thing around him. In this stage of languor & stupidity he remains for two or three days, before he is able to resume his former habits of business & conversation...



Toby Phillpot 1786 by Carrington Bowles

It belongs to the history of drunkenness to remark, that its paroxysms occur, like the paroxysms of many diseases, at certain periods, & after longer or shorter intervals. They often begin with annual, & gradually increase in their frequency, until they appear in quarterly, monthly, weekly, & quotidian or daily periods. Finally, they afford scarcely any marks of remission, either during the day or the night. There was a citizen of Philadelphia, many years ago, in whom drunkenness appeared in this protracted form. In speaking of him to one of his neighbors, I said, “Does he not sometimes get drunk?” “You mean,” said his neighbor, “is he not sometimes sober?”


It is further remarkable, that drunkenness resembles certain hereditary, family, & contagious diseases. I have once known it to descend from a father to four out of five of his children. I have seen three, & once four brothers, who were born of sober ancestors, affected by it; & I have heard of its spreading through a whole family composed of members not originally related to each other. These facts are important, & should not be overlooked by parents, in deciding upon the matrimonial connections of their children.



1773 Human Passions - Greed for liquor by Thomas Sanders after John Collier (Tim Bobbin) (British artist, 1708-1786)

II. Let us next attend to the chronic effects of ardent spirits upon the body & mind. In the body they dispose to every form of acute disease; they moreover excite fevers in persons predisposed to them from other causes. This has been remarked in all the yellow-fevers which have visited the cities of the United States. Hard-drinkers seldom escape, & rarely recover from them. The following diseases are the usual consequences of the habitual use of ardent spirits:


1. A decay of appetite, sickness at stomach, & a puking of bile, or a discharge of a frothy & viscid phlegm, by hawking, in the morning.


2. Obstructions of the liver. The fable of Prometheus, on whose liver a vulture was said to prey constantly, as a punishment for his stealing fire from heaven, was intended to illustrate the painful effects of ardent spirits upon that organ of the body.


3. Jaundice, & dropsy of the belly & limbs, & finally of every cavity in the body. A swelling in the feet & legs is so characteristic a mark of habits of intemperance, that the merchants in Charleston, I have been told, cease to trust the planters of South Carolina as soon as they perceive it. They very naturally conclude industry & virtue to be extinct in that man, in whom that symptom of disease has been produced by the intemperate use of distilled spirits.


4. Hoarseness, & a husky cough, which often terminate in consumption, & sometimes in an acute & fatal disease of the lungs.


5. Diabetes, that is, a frequent & weakening discharge of pale or sweetish urine.


6. Redness, & eruptions on different parts of the body. They generally begin on the nose, & after gradually extending all over the face, sometimes descend to the limbs in the form of leprosy. They have been called “rum-buds,” when they appear in the face. In persons who have occasionally survived these effects of ardent spirits on the skin, the face after a while becomes bloated, & its redness is succeeded by a death-like paleness. Thus, the same fire which produces a red color in iron, when urged to a more intense degree, produces what has been called a white-heat.


7. A fetid breath, composed of every thing that is offensive in putrid animal matter.


8. Frequent & disgusting belchings. Dr. Haller relates the case of a notorious drunkard having been suddenly destroyed, in consequence of the vapor discharged from his stomach by belching, accidentally taking fire by coming in contact with the flame of a candle.


9. Epilepsy.


10. Gout, in all its various forms of swelled limbs, colic, palsy, & apoplexy.


11. Lastly, madness. The late Dr. Waters, while he acted as house-pupil & apothecary of the Pennsylvania hospital, assured me, that in one-third of the patients confined by this terrible disease, it had been induced by ardent spirits


Drinking in Early America - 1733 Molasses Act & Rum Production in the British American colonies.


Europeans introduced sugarcane to the New World in the 1490s. Cane plantations soon spread throughout the Caribbean & South America & made immense profits for planters & merchants. By 1750, British & French plantations produced most of the world’s sugar & its byproducts, molasses & rum.  At the heart of the plantation system was the labor of millions of enslaved workers, transplanted across the Atlantic like the sugar they produced.  The establishment of the 13 British American colonies, with their surplus of raw materials, made it possible for Great Britain to engage in highly lucrative trading via the Triangular Trade routes across the Atlantic. Sugarcane plantations slave labor. Ships from England traded goods for slaves in Africa. The ships then took the slaves to the sugar plantations in the West Indies. The West Indies sent molasses to the colonies who used the molasses to manufacture rum.


William Clark, Ten Views In the Island of Antigua, in Which are Represented the Process of Sugar Making.... From Drawings Made by William Clark, During a Residence of Three Years in the West Indies (London,1823). "Holeing a Cane-Piece, on Weatherell's Estate." Shows first gang of enslaved men and women using long-handled hoes to dig cane holes; others are marking the field for where the holes will be placed. A black driver is supervising the work. 

In the hot Caribbean climate, it took about a year for sugar canes to ripen. At nine or ten feet high, they towered above the workers, who used sharp, double-edged knives to cut the stalks. Once cut, the stalks were taken to a mill, where the juice was extracted.  Caribbean islands became sugar-production machines, powered by slave labor. In pursuit of sugar fortunes, millions of people were worked to death, & then replaced by more enslaved Africans brought by still more slave ships.


William Clark, Ten Views In the Island of Antigua, in Which are Represented the Process of Sugar Making.... From Drawings Made by William Clark, During a Residence of Three Years in the West Indies (London, 1823)  "Cutting the Sugar Cane, on Delap's Estate," men and women in first gang, black driver supervising; white manager/overseer on horseback. 

Blocks of sugar were packed into hogsheads for shipment. Workers rolled the barrels to the shore, & loaded them onto small craft for transport to larger, oceangoing vessels.  And, in the early 1600s sugar planters in the Caribbean began converting the waste products from sugar making into rum. Rum was first produced to meet the local demand for alcoholic beverages & to supplement the diet of plantation slaves. After the juice was squeezed from the sugarcane in mills, it was boiled in large cauldrons. Impurities rose to the surface & were skimmed off. The juice was transferred to smaller cauldrons & then to wooden barrels or earthenware molds. The remaining impurities became molasses, which was processed & distilled to make rum. The entire enterprise—making sugar, molasses, & rum—relied on the labor of slaves.  Before long, rum was an important export. Like tobacco, rum was used as currency by some merchants. Like sugar, it was easily packed & shipped in barrels. But, unlike sugar, it could be warehoused for long periods of time & age increased its value.


William Clark, Ten Views In the Island of Antigua, in Which are Represented the Process of Sugar Making.... From Drawings Made by William Clark, During a Residence of Three Years in the West Indies (London,1823)  "Interior of a Boiling House," this shows the process of sugar making and the coppers (large vats) in which the cane juice was boiled and crystallized into sugar. 

The Navigation Act of 1733, also known as the Molasses Act, levied heavy taxes on sugar from the West Indies to the American colonies in an attempt to force colonists to purchase the more costly sugar from Britain. The Molasses Act of 1733 was never fully enforced because of the British policy of Salutary Neglect, which basically allowed British officials to turn a 'blind eye' to trade violations.

Prior to the passage of the 1733 Molasses Act British American colonists would get molasses from all islands of the West Indies, including those possessed by the French, Dutch, Spanish & Portuguese.  Molasses was an important ingredient in the colonial era. It is a byproduct of sugar cane refinement & has many uses. It was the number one source of sweetener in the world, up until the 1880's & essential for the distillation of rum. The rum industry in the West Indies was one of its major sources of income, & the rum industry in New England was growing. It was essential in the slave trade between the Colonies, the Indies, & Africa.


William Clark, Ten Views In the Island of Antigua, in Which are Represented the Process of Sugar Making.... From Drawings Made by William Clark, During a Residence of Three Years in the West Indies (London,1823). "Exterior of a Distillery, on Weatherell's Estate." Shows slaves feeding cane trash into the furnaces, people rolling hogsheads of rum, cattle carts hauling the hogsheads, white overseers/managers; in background windmills used for grinding the cane.

The problem with molasses was created due to the fact that the non-British West Indian islands were better producers of sugar cane, & therefore molasses. Those islands were able to produce more molasses & thus were capable of selling it at a lower cost to the American colonists. The non-British West Indian islands were also better trading partners. The British islands refused to purchase colonial exports such as fish, lumber & flour because they did not need it, the non-British islands were in need of these items. The colonist were also prohibited from trading with the British West Indies in grain or livestock because it would compete with Great Britain's market, therefore they were sold to the non-British islands. Due to these factors; refusal to buy products; outlawing the sale of others; & the higher price of molasses; the purchase of molasses from the British West Indies became virtually non-existent.


William Clark, Ten Views In the Island of Antigua, in Which are Represented the Process of Sugar Making.... From Drawings Made by William Clark, During a Residence of Three Years in the West Indies (London,1823). "Shipping Sugar, Willoughby Bay"; shows slaves rolling hogsheads of sugar, brought to shore by ox carts, aboard lighters for transport to ocean- going vessels. 

After complaints about this the British passed the Molasses Act of 1733 which, did not forbid the purchase of molasses from non-British isles, but levied a tax upon all molasses imported into the colonies from non-British isles.  The enforcement of the Molasses Act was difficult, if not non-existent. The colonist found numerous loopholes in the way the tax was enforced. Such ways around the law included going to ports off route & unloading the products bought in the non-British West Indies prior to reaching their destination, & thus avoiding the tax collector. The colonists would also alter markings on products indicating their point of origin & even bribe tax collection officers. This law proved to be completely unmanageable but remained in effect until 1763 when the Act expired.


An anonymous satire on the Excise Bill 1733 shows the Prime Minister Robert Wapole seated astride a wine barrel. His government's taxes on wine and tobacco were seen as an infringement of British liberty, especially in the British American colonies



Drinking in Early America - 1743 Benjamin Franklin on making American wine from local grapes




Poor Richard, 1743. An Almanack For the Year of Christ 1743,... By Richard Saunders, Philom. Philadelphia: Printed and sold by B. Franklin, at the New Printing-Office near the Market. (Yale University Library)

Friendly Reader,

Because I would have every Man make Advantage of the Blessings of Providence, and few are acquainted with the Method of making Wine of the Grapes which grow wild in our Woods, I do here present them with a few easy Directions, drawn from some Years Experience, which, if they will follow, they may furnish themselves with a wholesome sprightly Claret, which will keep for several Years, and is not inferior to that which passeth for French Claret.



British gentlemen drinking and smoking pipes round a table in an interior, a servant bearing a bowl of punch by an unknown artist

Begin to gather Grapes from the 10th of September (the ripest first) to the last of October, and having clear’d them of Spider webs, and dead Leaves, put them into a large Molosses- or Rum-Hogshead; after having washed it well, and knock’d one Head out, fix it upon the other Head, on a Stand, or Blocks in the Cellar, if you have any, if not, in the warmest Part of the House, about 2 Feet from the Ground; as the Grapes sink, put up more, for 3 or 4 Days; after which, get into the Hogshead bare-leg’d, and tread them down until the Juice works up about your Legs, which will be in less than half an Hour; then get out, and turn the Bottom ones up, and tread them again, a Quarter of an Hour; this will be sufficient to get out the good Juice; more pressing wou’d burst the unripe Fruit, and give it an ill Taste: This done, cover the Hogshead close with a thick Blanket, and if you have no Cellar, and the Weather proves Cold, with two.


1730 Gentleman with a Glass of Wine by an unknown British artist

In this Manner you must let it take its first Ferment, for 4 or 5 Days it will work furiously; when the Ferment abates, which you will know by its making less Noise, make a Spile-hole within six inches of the Bottom, and twice a Day draw some in a Glass. When it looks as clear as Rock-water, draw it off into a clean, rather than new Cask, proportioning it to the Contents of the Hogshead or Wine Vat; that is, if the Hogshead holds twenty Bushels of Grapes, Stems and all, the Cask must at least, hold 20 Gallons, for they will yield a Gallon per Bushel. Your Juice or Must† thus drawn from the Vat, proceed to the second Ferment.


William Redmore Bigg (British artist, 1755–1828) A Bottle of Wine

You must reserve in Jugs or Bottles, 1 Gallon or 5 Quarts of the Must to every 20 Gallons you have to work; which you will use according to the following Directions.  Place your Cask, which must be chock full, with the Bung up, and open twice every Day, Morning and Night; feed your Cask with the reserved Must; two Spoonfuls at a time will suffice, clearing the Bung after you feed it, with your Finger or a Spoon, of the Grape-Stones and other Filth which the Ferment will throw up; you must continue feeding it thus until Christmas, when you may bung it up, and it will be fit for Use or to be rack’d into clean Casks or Bottles, by February.


A Wine Drinker by an unknown British artist

n.b. Gather the Grapes after the Dew is off, and in all dry Seasons. Let not the Children come at the Must, it will scour them severely. If you make Wine for Sale, or to go beyond Sea, one quarter Part must be distill’d, and the Brandy put into the three Quarters remaining. One Bushel of Grapes, heap Measure, as you gather them from the Vine, will make at least a Gallon of Wine, if good, five Quarts.


Drinking in Early America - Rules for Drinking by Peter Stuyvesant c 1592-1612-1672, the Dutch Governor of the New Netherlands


Peter Stuyvesant c 1592-1612-1672 
Dutch Governor of the New Netherlands
Rules For Drinking Responsibly



One of Governor Peter Stuyvesant's first edicts upon arriving in New Amsterdam included new restrictions regarding drinking & selling alcohol in the chaotic Dutch settlement of New Netherlands. The documents note that New Amsterdam's excessive alcohol consumption "causes not only the neglect of honest handicraft and business, but also the debauching of the common man and the Company’s servants and what is still worse, of the young people from childhood up, who seeing the improper proceedings of their parents and imitating them leave the path of virtue and become disorderly."

And so the following list of edicts laid out rules on such diverse topics as bar fights, drinking on Sunday, & providing liquor to Indians:

1. "Henceforth no new taproom, tavern or inn shall be opened."

2. "The taverns, taprooms and inns, already established, may continue for at least four consecutive years, but in the meantime the owners shall be obliged to engage in some other honest business at this place."

 3. "The tavern-keepers and tapsters are allowed to continue in their business for four years at least, but only on condition, that they shall not transfer their former occupation."

4. "The tavern keepers and tapsters shall henceforth not be allowed, to sell or give beer, wine, brandy or strong waters to Indians or provide them with it by intermediaries."

5. "To prevent all fighting and mishaps they shall daily report to the Officer, whether anybody has been hurt or wounded at their houses, under the penalty of forfeiting their business and a fine of one pound Flemish for every hour after the hurt or wound has been inflicted and been concealed by the tapster or tavern-keeper."

6. "The orders, heretofore published against unseasonable night tippling and intemperate drinking on the Sabbath, shall be obeyed by the tavern-keepers and tapsters with close attention."

7. "They shall be held, not to receive any beer or wine or distilled waters into their houses or cellars, directly or indirectly, before they have so reported at the office of the Receiver."

8. "Finally, all tavern-keepers and tapsters, who intend to continue in their occupation, shall eight days after the publication hereof present themselves in person and give their names to the Director General and Council and there solemnly promise, that they will faithfully obey what rules have been or may be made."


Portrait of Peter Stuyvesant attributed to Henri Couturier

Peter Stuyvesant (also known as Pietrus Stuyvesant), the son of a clergyman of Friesland, was born in the Netherlands.  Stuyvesant served in the Dutch Army before receiving his appointment as director-general of New Netherland in 1646. He had served in the West Indies & was governor of the colony of Curacoa. He lost a leg during the unsuccessful assault on the Portuguese island of St. Martin, after which he returned to the Netherlands in 1644.

Two years later he was appointed director-general of New Netherlands, & took the oath of office in July, 1646. He sailed to the new world & reached New Amsterdam on May 11, 1647. Soon after his inauguration on 27 May, he organized a council & established a court of justice.

In deference to the popular will, he ordered a general election of 18 delegates, from whom the governor & his council selected a board of 9, whose power was advisory & not legislative. A dictatorial leader, Stuyvesant was unpopular with the other settlers. However, during his 18 year administration, the population grew from 2,000 to 8,000.

Peter Stuyvesant immediately after his arrival he tried to reorganize the colony: he ordered the strict observance of Sunday rest & prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages & weapons to the Indians. He also tried to increase state-income by heavier taxation on imports. To improve the quality of the colony he stimulated the colonists to build better houses & taverns, & established a market & an annual cattle-fair. He also showed interest in founding a public school.

He tried to settle an old problem: the question of the boundaries with other colonies. However, the government of the New England colony could not accept his terms. Because of the Dutch claim of jurisdiction in Connecticut, he also became involved in a controversy with Governor of that colony.

The first 2 years of his administration were not successful. He had serious discussions with the patroons, who interfered with the company's trade & denied the authority of the governor, & he was also embroiled in contentions with the council, which sent a deputation to the Hague to report the condition of the colony to the states-general. This report was published as "Vertoogh van Nieuw Netherlandt" (The Hague, 1650). The states-general afterward commanded Stuyvesant to appear personally in Holland; but the order was not confirmed by the Amsterdam chamber, & Stuyvesant refused to obey, saying, " I shall do as I please."

In September, 1650, a meeting of the commissioners on boundaries took place in Hartford, whither Stuyvesant traveled in state. The line was arranged much to the dissatisfaction of the Dutch, who declared that "the governor had ceded away enough territory to found fifty colonies each fifty miles square." Stuyvesant grew haughty in his treatment of his opponents, & threatened to dissolve the council. A plan of municipal government was finally arranged in Holland, & the name of the new city of New Amsterdam--was officially announced on 2 February, 1653. Stuyvesant made a speech on this occasion, knowing that his authority would remain undiminished. The governor was now ordered to Holland again; but the order was soon revoked on the declaration of war with England. Stuyvesant prepared against an attack by ordering his subjects to make a ditch from the North river to the East river, & to erect breastworks. In 1665 he sailed into the Delaware with a fleet of 7 vessels & about 700 men & took possession of the colony of New Sweden, which he called New Amstel.

In his absence New Amsterdam was ravaged by Indians, but his return inspired confidence. Although he organized militia & fortified the town, he subdued the hostile savages chiefly through kind treatment. In 1653, a convention of two deputies from each village in New Netherlands had demanded reforms, & Stuyvesant commanded this assembly to disperse, saying, "We derive our authority from God & the company, not from a few ignorant subjects." The spirit of resistance nevertheless increased, & the encroachments of other colonies, with a depleted treasury, harassed the governor. In 1664, Charles II ceded to his brother, the Duke of York, a large tract of land, including New Netherlands; & 4 English war vessels bearing 450 men, commanded by Captain Richard Nicholls, took possession of the harbor. 



On 30 August Sir George Cartwright handed the governor a summons to surrender, promising life, estate, & liberty to all who would submit to the king's authority. Stuyvesant read the letter before the council, &, fearing the concurrence of the people, tore it into pieces. On his appearance, the people who had assembled around the city-hall greeted him with shouts of "The letter ! the letter ! " &, returning to the council-chamber, he gathered up the fragments, which he gave to the burgomasters to do with the order as they pleased. He sent a defiant answer to Nicholls, & ordered the troops to prepare for an attack, but yielded to a petition of the citizens not to shed innocent blood, & signed a treaty at his Bouwerie house on 9 September, 1664. The burgomasters proclaimed Nicholls governor, & the town was called New York.

In 1665, Stuyvesant went to Holland to report, & labored to secure from the king the satisfaction of the 6th article in the treaty with Nicholls, which granted free trade. During his administration commerce had increased greatly, the colony obtaining the privilege of trading with Brazil in 1648, with Africa for slaves in 1652, & with other foreign ports in 1659. Stuyvesant endeavored unsuccessfully to introduce a specie currency & to establish a mint in New Amsterdam. He was a thorough conservative in church as well as state, & intolerant of any approach to religious freedom. He refused to grant a meeting-house to the Lutherans, who were growing numerous; drove their minister from the colony; & frequently punished religious offenders by fines & imprisonment.


The Surrender

Stuyvesant's Houses & Slaves

On his return from Holland after the surrender, he spent the remainder of his life on his farm outside the city, called the Great Bouwerie, beyond which stretched woods & swamps to the little village of Haarlem.  A colonial bouwerie was a complete self-sustained farm, with crops, orchards, & livestock.  A colonial plantation, might concentrate on growing a specific cash crop such as tobacco. 


Peter Styvesant's Town House, N.Y.C., 1658 as imagined in the 19C

At the time, the farm sat in the area in today’s Greenwich Village & East Village which was then mostly virgin wilderness, dotted with swamps, ponds, hills, & rocks. There was one other Dutch farm in that location & several others that belonged to quasi-freed slave families. Earlier in 1644, the Dutch West India Company had granted partial freedom to 9 slaves who had been petitioning to be released. Despite appearing to grant some liberty to the slaves, it was a decision that mostly benefited the Company.  The slaves were emancipated & given plots of land outside of the city proper, for which the freedmen paid an annual tax in wheat, beans, maize, or a pig. This way, the freedmen could provide for their families, & in turn the Company would not have to care for children or the elderly.  Stuyvesant took advantage of the fragile situation. In addition to the land he was granted by the Dutch West India Company, he quickly began purchasing these "Negro Lots" wherever possible, & in some cases, he simply issued decrees that transferred the land back to the Company and into his hands.  In addition to his own 550 acres that he consolidated, his son-in-law Nicholas Bayard managed to accumulate another 200 acres nearby. Stuyvesant himself kept about 40-50 slaves, by far the largest amount in New Netherlands.  These slaves kept his town home & his bouwerie in order.

Peter Styvesant's Bouwerie as imagined in the 19C

Stuyvesant continued to live on his country estate on Manhattan Island which was maintained by slaves, until his death in 1672.


Drinking in Early America


During the colonial period it was a commonly held belief, that drinking ground water in the British American colonies could possibly make one sick.  To combat this real or imagined danger, colonists of every rank, age, race, & gender drank alcohol often - from fermented, homemade, aged cider to distilled liquors.  Generally, families drank with every meal, while at work, and at every social & public gathering except church. Almost everyone was something of a tippler.  (In the 14C, a tippler was a seller of liquor rather than an avid consumer.  It came to mean a habitual drinker 200 years later. Tipsy was used to describe the slightly intoxicated as early as 1577.)




By 1612, the Dutch in New Amsterdam established the 1st brewery. Breweries began to supply ordinaries and taverns. In larger population centers, this worked well, because beer did not keep. Cities had enough drinkers to consume the beer before it spoiled.  And colonials gathered together to drink.  Indoor & garden taverns became the scene for political debate, business transactions, gossip, and even romance, because women were more often allowed in garden taverns than in indoor taverns.  (First appearing in print in 1286, the word tavern initially meant a wine shop.  It didn’t become a proper place to drink until around 1440.)

The small space of most indoor tavern public rooms furnished with a few tables & many more chairs physically drew people closer together. Sharing a bowl of punch became an 18th century symbol of congeniality & fellowship, even a prelude to a conversation between strangers. The scarcity of punch bowls & the absence of punch cups in early American tavern inventories imply the bowls were shared. A Frenchman reported that, “One who is thirsty drinks himself and (then) passes it to his neighbor. . .”  Except for the owner, a woman, all of the guests at this, and at most, indoor taverns were men.

Men and women alike shared the intoxicating pleasures in many early outdoor garden taverns. In the 1730s, Hannah Callender visited the New York City's mead houses along the Hudson River. At Bowling Green Garden she found "a row of neat wooden houses a little within the palisadoes called the Mead houses, where it is customary to drink this liquor and eat cakes."  Hannah explained that mead was a liquor made of honey "which is weak and has a pleasant taste." Two weeks later she returned to the Bowling Green Garden, where she "sat in a bower and drank some sangaree."


Indoor taverns were alternately called public houses, ordinaries, and inns.  Some outdoor drinking gardens were attached to these facilities for fair weather use.  At outdoor garden taverns attached to established inns the colonial usually could swill meads, beer, wine, rum, and brandy.  (The verb swill is a derivative of the Old English swillan (to gargle), and came to mean “to drink greedily” at the beginning of the 16th century. In 1553, to call beer swill was to compare it to “liquid refuse fed to pigs.”)


By the way, rum was not initially popular with all colonials.   Originally dubbed rumbullion in 1651, by Richard Ligon, an American who happened upon the stuff in Barbados. His review wasn’t exactly glowing: “Rumbullion alias Kill-Devill . . . is made of suggar cane distilled, a hott, hellish and terrible liquor . . . will overpower the senses with a single whiff.”  It was shortened to rum 3 years later, but its reviews didn’t get any better - in 1654, a General Court Order was issued in Connecticut to seize and destroy “whatsoever Barbados liquors, commonly called rum, Kill Devill or the like.”  James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, feared rum would ruin his venture & tried to ban it.


But by the 18C rum had emerged as the drink of choice, after cider and beer before the Revolutionary War. Both were simple to make. For cider, the raw material, apples, was readily available. For beer, the colonists turned to corn, wheat, oats, persimmons, and green cornstalks.  Rum was made from molasses imported from Caribbean sugar plantations. 


By 1770, the British American colonies were making about 4.8 million gallons annually. That was on top of the 3.78 million gallons imported each year. Rum production was concentrated in the Northeast.  New England distilleries 
took off, especially in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. By 1763, there were 159 distilleries making rum in New England. 

Domestic rum, although inferior to Caribbean rum, was cheap and available. A gallon of American rum cost 1 shilling and 8 pence in Philadelphia in 1740. The smoother, better Caribbean variety went for 2 shillings and 5 pence. International demand for rum became a foundation of colonial trade & the importation of slaves. Distillers exported their wares to England, Ireland, southern Europe, and Africa.   

One historian estimates that during the 1770s, the average adult male may have consumed as much as 3 pints of rum weekly.  In 1790, United States government figures showed that annual per-capita alcohol consumption for everybody over 15 amounted to 34 gallons of beer and cider, 5 gallons of distilled spirits, and 1 gallon of wine.


Indoor and garden taverns serving rum & other alcohol closely followed their English & Dutch Old World models. The goals of colonial officials who eventually set regulations for these taverns, were to maintain public order; to prevent extreme drunkenness; to attempt to prevent public drinking on the Sabbath; and to establish rules for tavern keepers to try to enforce these objectives. Generally, these laws were not enforced with any regularity. 


As early as 1622, the Virginia Company of London wrote to Governor Francis Wyatt at Jamestown complaining that colonist drinking hurt the colony. It was still a concern to Royal Governors 130 years later.  The Governor of Virginia said to his legislative body in 1752, "I . . . recommend to you, as far as possible, to discourage Gaming, Swearing, and immoderate Drinking . . . . The first of these crimes, I am informed, has been pretty general in this Country, and is now much practised ...among the lower Class of our People: I mean Tradesmen and inferior Planters . . . who follow the Examples of their Superiors."


One Sunday during Jasper Danckaerts' visit to New York City in 1679, his hosts took him to an outdoor garden to sample the "beer of New Netherland."  Danckaerts was appalled by the "sorts of revellers" he found there on a holy day and called the simple garden tavern a "low pot house." In order to regain some semblence of Sabbath day self-respect, he turned on his heels and immediately walked out into the adjoining garden & orchard "to seek pleasure in contemplating the innocent objects of nature."


Eighteenth century gentry lawmakers tried to keep the "low pot house" revellers from mixing with the more elite gentlemen of the community.  Drinking venues sometimes became more segregated by race, class, & status, but generally a variety of people met in colonial garden taverns.  The garden tavern was a place where social divisions were still in flux & negotiation was possible.


Most entertainments in garden taverns were open to both men & women.  Gentlemen began to form "clubs" and societies in the 18C, however, and only white gentry could attend these functions, which met at both indoor & outdoor venues.  So the normally open public space in the outdoor garden could be turned into a site for an expression of white male power.  But, for the most part, outdoor garden taverns were still open networks of communication between a variety of folks.


Other New Yorkers shared Danckaerts' reservations about drinking on Sundays, so the Common Council of the City of New York declared in 1676, that "Every Wine and Rum or Beare Sellas who shall Permit any Person Upon the Sabbath day to Drinke or Game In their houses Gardens or Yards Shall for ye first offense forfiet Five and Twenty Guilders."


During the 18C evangelical awakenings, traveling preachers William Tennent & George Whitefield stressed the values of thrift & sobriety as components of the new piety. In 1734, a convinced Philadelphia versifier warned the artisan and farmer,

But citizens oft reap a slender crop
For that the tavern stands near the shop.
And such as do that costly liquor follow
In a little time a good estate may swallow.

Religion was not the only reservation about drinking alcohol. Fifty years later, Americans began to worry about the medical effects of alcohol abuse. In 1784, Philadelphian Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote his Inquiry into the Effects of Ardent Spirits upon the Human Body and Mind, with an Account of the Means of Preventing, and the Remedies of Curing Them.  The physician described certain symptoms of excessive alcohol consumption including, "singing, hallooing, roaring, imitation the noise of brute animals, jumping, tearing off clothes, dancing naked, breaking glass and china and dashing other articles of household furniture upon the floor or ground."


In Philadelphia, Harrogate Gardens attempted to rival its famous neighbor Gray's Gardens at the end of the 18C. To attract patrons, the Harrowgate's owner offered the latest garden fashions in ice creams, concerts, promenades, special exhibitions, transparent paintings, fireworks, and illuminations "in the Chinese style."  But primarily, Harrowgate Gardens was reknown for its drunken revelers. In 1794, Henry Wansey noted that Harrowgate was, "a place of entertainment and relaxation, for the tradesmen of Philadelphia to partake of."


One Harrogate Garden neighbor recalled, "Rosey-cheeked, fair-haired German lads and lasses...resorted thither weekly. They usually arrived in the morning, drank beer, danced and...had a...happy time...In the afternoon an Irish contingent...would appear, previously fortified...by sundry repeated imbibings of whisky. Their aim was to cut out the 'Dutchies'...gain for themselves the smiles and favour of the Teuton maids, and supplant the German waltz on the dancing floor by the Irish jig. Confusion and heartburnings, if nothing worse, always resulted--worse did almost invariably follow and added the testimony of broken pates to the unwisdom of mixing drinks."


Ed Crews writing for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation relates that, "Whiskey began to gain ground during and after the Revolution. Whiskey was made in America before the conflict, though its production typically was limited to farmers who had surplus grain. This began to change when war and the Royal Navy made molasses imports expensive and irregular. Denied large quantities of rum's raw material, Americans turned to domestic whiskey. Whiskey gained popularity after the conflict as a new sense of American identity flourished and patriots sought a beverage devoid of English ties.


"The new nation's whiskey makers tended to be Scotch-Irish immigrants. Their settlements in Pennsylvania, Maryland, western Virginia, and western North Carolina become hot spots of alcohol production that used a mix of rye and corn. By the late 1700s, Kentucky began developing a reputation for its distillers' skill. Nobody knows if one person can take credit for this, but the whiskey of Bourbon County, Kentucky, gained a national reputation and following. The state had the right resources for making a quality drink. It was blessed with a ready supply of corn, limestone-filtered water, and hardwood for barrels. "Before the 19C, Kentucky producers started shipping barrels of their whiskey by river to New Orleans. At the end of the long trip, the contents had taken on a distinctive reddish color from the charred barrels in which they were stored. By the early 1800s, Kentucky whiskey resembled modern bourbon.


"Early on, George Washington recognized whiskey's moneymaking potential. After his presidency, he was casting about for a way to increase Mount Vernon's cash flow. James Anderson, his plantation manager, suggested a distillery. By 1798, the father of our country had a solid building in which several stills were bubbling away. Mount Vernon's whiskey production went from 600 gallons in 1797 to 4,500 gallons in 1798 to 11,000 gallons in 1799. Washington died that year, and, at the time, he was one of the largest distillers in the United States."


Philadelphian Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) had taken note public intoxication as early as 1737, when he published his Drinker's Dictionary in a local paper.



The Drinker’s Dictionary
by Benjamin Franklin Posted on January 13, 1737 The Pennsylvania Gazette  There was a similar list published in the New England Weekly Journal of July 6, 1736.

Nothing more like a Fool than a drunken Man.  Poor Richard.


 A

 He is Addled,
 He’s casting up his Accounts,
 He’s Afflicted,
 He’s in his Airs.


1658 Belgium Tavern Scene by David Teniers the Younger (Flemish artist, 1610–1690)

B

 He’s Biggy,
 Bewitch’d,
 Block and Block,
 Boozy,
 Bowz’d,
 Been at Barbadoes,
 Piss’d in the Brook,
 Drunk as a Wheel-Barrow,
 Burdock’d,
 Buskey,
 Buzzey,
 Has Stole a Manchet out of the Brewer’s Basket,
 His Head is full of Bees,
 Has been in the Bibbing Plot,
 Has drank more than he has bled,
 He’s Bungey,
 As Drunk as a Beggar,
 He sees the Bears,
 He’s kiss’d black Betty,
 He’s had a Thump over the Head with Sampson’s Jawbone,
 He’s Bridgey.


England 1730 A Club of Gentlemen by Joseph Highmore (English painter, 1692-1780)  Note:
Since 1633, a round of drinks has meant “a quantity of liquor served to a company at one time;” probably because it was customary for gentlemen to drink at these round tables in a circle facing one another.

C

 He’s Cat,
 Cagrin’d,
 Capable,
 Cramp’d,
 Cherubimical,
 Cherry Merry,
 Wamble Crop’d,
 Crack’d,
 Concern’d,
 Half Way to Concord,
 Has taken a Chirriping-Glass,
 Got Corns in his Head,
 A Cup to much,
 Coguy,
 Copey,
 He’s heat his Copper,
 He’s Crocus,
 Catch’d,
 He cuts his Capers,
 He’s been in the Cellar,
 He’s in his Cups,
 Non Compos,
 Cock’d,
 Curv’d,
 Cut,
 Chipper,
 Chickery,
 Loaded his Cart,
 He’s been too free with the Creature,
 Sir Richard has taken off his Considering Cap,
 He’s Chap-fallen,


England 1730-35 The Brothers Clarke with Other Gentlemen Taking Wine by Gawen Hamilton (British painter, c 1698-1737)

D

 He’s Disguiz’d,
 He’s got a Dish,
 Kill’d his Dog,
 Took his Drops,
 It is a Dark Day with him,
 He’s a Dead Man,
 Has Dipp’d his Bill,
 He’s Dagg’d,
 He’s seen the Devil,

E

He’s Prince Eugene,
Enter’d,
Wet both Eyes,
Cock Ey’d,
Got the Pole Evil,
Got a brass Eye,
Made an Example,
He’s Eat a Toad & half for Breakfast.
In his Element,


England 1730-50 Joseph Highmore (English painter, 1692-1780) Figures in a Tavern or Coffeehouse

F

 He’s Fishey,
 Fox’d,
 Fuddled,
 Sore Footed,
 Frozen,
 Well in for’t,
 Owes no Man a Farthing,
 Fears no Man,
 Crump Footed,
 Been to France,
 Flush’d,
 Froze his Mouth,
 Fetter’d,
 Been to a Funeral,
 His Flag is out,
 Fuzl’d,
 Spoke with his Friend,
 Been at an Indian Feast.


England 1732 A Midnight Modern Conversation” by William Hogarth (British painter, 1697-1764)

G

 He’s Glad,
 Groatable,
 Gold-headed,
 Glaiz’d,
 Generous,
 Booz’d the Gage,
 As Dizzy as a Goose,
 Been before George,
 Got the Gout,
 Had a Kick in the Guts,
 Been with Sir John Goa,
 Been at Geneva,
 Globular,
 Got the Glanders.

H

Half and Half,
Hardy,
Top Heavy,
Got by the Head,
Hiddey,
Got on his little Hat,
Hammerish,
Loose in the Hilts,
Knows not the way Home,
Got the Hornson,
Haunted with Evil Spirits,
Has Taken Hippocrates grand Elixir,


France 1735 Luncheon Party in the Park by Nicolas Lancret (French artist, 1690-1743)

I - J

He’s Intoxicated,
Jolly,
Jagg’d,
Jambled,
Going to Jerusalem,
Jocular,
Been to Jerico,
Juicy.

K

He’s a King,
Clips the King’s English,
Seen the French King,
The King is his Cousin,
Got Kib’d Heels,
Knapt,
Het his Kettle.


England 1735-45 Joseph Highmore (English painter, 1692-1780) Mr Oldham and his Guests

L

He’s in Liquor,
Lordly,
He makes Indentures with his Leggs,
Well to Live,
Light,
Lappy,
Limber,

M

He sees two Moons,
Merry,
Middling,
Moon-Ey’d,
Muddled,
Seen a Flock of Moons,
Maudlin,
Mountous,
Muddy,
Rais’d his Monuments,
Mellow,


Belgium 1750s A Merry Party” by Jan Jozef Horemans the Younger (Flemish artist, 1714 - 1790)

N

He’s eat the Cocoa Nut,
Nimptopsical,
Got the Night Mare,

O
He’s Oil’d,
Eat Opium,
Smelt of an Onion,
Oxycrocium,
Overset,


 American 1752-58 Sea Captains Carousing in Surinam by John Greenwood (American artist, 1727 - 1792)

P

He drank till he gave up his Half-Penny,
Pidgeon Ey’d,
Pungey,
Priddy,
As good conditioned as a Puppy,
Has scalt his Head Pan,
Been among the Philistines,
In his Prosperity,
He’s been among the Philippians,
He’s contending with Pharaoh,
Wasted his Paunch,
He’s Polite,
Eat a Pudding Bagg,

Q

He’s Quarrelsome,


England 1760  A Punch Party by Thomas Patch (English artist, 1725-1782) Dated 1760

R

He’s Rocky,
Raddled,
Rich,
Religious,
Lost his Rudder,
Ragged,
Rais’d,
Been too free with Sir Richard,
Like a Rat in Trouble.


America 1760-70 Peter Manigault and His Friends by George Roupell, Charleston, South Carolina

S

He’s Stitch’d,
Seafaring,
In the Sudds,
Strong,
Been in the Sun,
As Drunk as David’s Sow,
Swampt,
His Skin is full,
He’s Steady,
He’s Stiff,
He’s burnt his Shoulder,
He’s got his Top Gallant Sails out,
Seen the yellow Star,
As Stiff as a Ring-bolt,
Half Seas over,
His Shoe pinches him,
Staggerish,
It is Star-light with him,
He carries too much Sail,
Stew’d
Stubb’d,
Soak’d,
Soft,
Been too free with Sir John Strawberry,
He’s right before the Wind with all his Studding Sails out,
Has Sold his Senses.


England 1768 A Caricature Group by John Hamilton Mortimer (British painter, 1740-1779)

T

 He’s Top’d,
 Tongue-ty’d,
 Tann’d,
 Tipium Grove,
 Double Tongu’d,
 Topsy Turvey,
 Tipsey,
 Has Swallow’d a Tavern Token,
 He’s Thaw’d,
 He’s in a Trance,
 He’s Trammel’d,

V

 He makes Virginia Fence,
 Valiant,
 Got the Indian Vapours,


England 1785 A Tavern Scene by unknown British artist

W

 The Malt is above the Water,
 He’s Wise,
 He’s Wet,
 He’s been to the Salt Water,
 He’s Water-soaken,
 He’s very Weary,
 Out of the Way.

The Phrases in this Dictionary are not (like most of our Terms of Art) borrow’d from Foreign Languages, neither are they collected from the Writings of the Learned in our own, but gather’d wholly from the modern Tavern-Conversation of Tiplers. 

The Pennsylvania Gazette, January 13, 1736/7

See Ed Crews, Drinking in Colonial America, CW Journal, Holiday, 2007.


For further reading on drinking in early America see

W. J. Rorabaugh, The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition (New York, 1979).
David W. Conroy, In Public Houses: Drink & the Revolution of Authority in Colonial Massachusetts (Chapel Hill, 1995)
Peter Thompson, Rum Punch & Revolution: Tavern-going & Public Life in 18C Philadelphia (Philadelphia, 1999).
Sharon V. Salinger, Taverns & Drinking in Early America. Baltimore & London, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.