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Taverns and Drinking in Early America

Sharon V. Salinger

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Sharon V. Salinger's Taverns and Drinking in Early America supplies the first study of public houses and drinking throughout the mainland British colonies. At a time when drinking water supposedly endangered one's health, colonists of every rank, age, race, and gender drank often and in quantity, and so taverns became arenas for political debate, business transactions, and small-town gossip sessions. Salinger explores the similarities and differences in the roles of drinking and tavern sociability in small towns, cities, and the countryside; in Anglican, Quaker, and Puritan communities; and in…

Sharon V. Salinger's Taverns and Drinking in Early America supplies the first study of public houses and drinking throughout the mainland British colonies. At a time when drinking water supposedly endangered one's health, colonists of every rank, age, race, and gender drank often and in quantity, and so taverns became arenas for political debate, business transactions, and small-town gossip sessions. Salinger explores the similarities and differences in the roles of drinking and tavern sociability in small towns, cities, and the countryside; in Anglican, Quaker, and Puritan communities; and in four geographic regions. Challenging the prevailing view that taverns tended to break down class and gender differences, Salinger persuasively argues they did not signal social change so much as buttress custom and encourage exclusion.

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Taverns and Drinking in Early America

Sharon V. Salinger

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Reviews

The most comprehensive survey to date of this curiously underinvestigated aspect of early American social life... [Contains] a wealth of illustrative and amusing anecdotes... Well researched and informative.

Offers a fresh perspective on one of the colonial period's most important social institutions and the drinking behavior that was central to it... Salinger's work is compelling throughout... A significant and satisfying book.

A richly detailed study that helps us understand popular and genteel culture in early America, the place of drink in everyday life, and the relationship between law and perceptions of disorderly behavior.

Taverns and Drinking in Early America pulls together the results of many other works focused more narrowly on particular colonies or regions and provides a much greater synthesis than we have ever enjoyed before... A well-written, very entertaining overview of an important subject.

A thorough overview of this often overlooked institution in early America.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
328
ISBN
9780801878992
Illustration Description
6 halftones, 10 line drawings
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. Dutch and English Origins: For the "receiving and refreshment of travaillers and strangers"
Chapter 2. Inside the Tavern: "Knots of Men Rightly Sorted"
Chapter 3

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. Dutch and English Origins: For the "receiving and refreshment of travaillers and strangers"
Chapter 2. Inside the Tavern: "Knots of Men Rightly Sorted"
Chapter 3. Preventing Drunkenness and Keeping Good Order in the Seventeenth Century: "A Herd of Planters on the ground / O'er-whelmed with Punch, dead drunk we found"
Chapter 4. Eighteenth-Century Legislation and Prosecution: "Lest a Flood of Rum do Overwhelm all good Order among us"
Chapter 5. Licensing Criteria and Law in the Eighteenth Century: "Sobriety, honesty and discretion in the...masters of such houses"
Chapter 6. Too Many Taverns?: "Little better than Nurseries of Vice and Debauchery"
Chapter 7. The Tavern Degenerate: "Rendezvous of the very Dreggs of the People"
Conclusion
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Sharon V. Salinger

Sharon V. Salinger is chair of the Department of History at the University of California, Riverside.