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Taverns & Drinking

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Life & Times:Taverns & Drinking

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In Public Houses: Drink & the Revolution of Authority in Colonial Massachusetts, David W. Conroy.

1 In Public Houses: Drink & the Revolution of Authority in Colonial Massachusetts
David W. Conroy.
368 pages, 6 x 9 1/4, 8 illus., 2 maps, paperback, University of North Carolina Press
In this study of the role of taverns in the development of Massachusetts society, David Conroy brings into focus a vital and controversial but little-understood facet of public life during the colonial era. Concentrating on the Boston area, he reveals a popular culture at odds with Puritan social ideals, one that contributed to the transformation of Massachusetts into a republican society. Public houses were an integral part of colonial community life and hosted a variety of official functions, including meetings of the courts. They also filled a special economic niche for women and the poor, many of whom turned to tavern-keeping to earn a living. But taverns were also the subject of much critical commentary by the clergy and increasingly restrictive regulations. Conroy argues that these regulations were not only aimed at curbing the spiritual corruption associated with public houses but also at restricting the popular culture that had begun to undermine the colony's social and political hierarchy. Specifically, Conroy illuminates the role played by public houses as a forum for the development of a vocal republican citizenry, and he highlights the connections between the vibrant oral culture of taverns and the expanding print culture of newspapers and political pamphlets in the eighteenth century.

About Author
David W. Conroy is an independent scholar living in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Winner of the 1996 Herbert Feis Award, American Historical Association
A 1995 Choice Outstanding Academic Book
A revealing look at the vital role taverns and drink played in the development of Massachusetts society. Concentrating on the Boston area, David Conroy unveils a popular culture at odds with Puritan social ideals, one that contributed to the transformation of Massachusetts into a republican society.

"In Public Houses is an extraordinary work of history that gracefully traces the origins, growth, and functions of these centers of collective drink during the first two centuries of American history. . . . Challeng[es] conventional wisdom on the rigid distinction between oral and print culture, the anglicization of Massachusetts, and the influence of the Puritan ethic during the Revolution."--Choice

"Elegantly written, closely argued, and well supported."--American Historical Review

"Informed by careful use of concepts and methods from political and cultural anthropology, as well as from the new social and cultural history, this excellent book reveals the complexities of New England's social and cultural development as well as the themes of literacy and evolving modernity in their formative era."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"A fascinating and important book. . . . Conroy's solid research effort and fine writing provide an extra measure of confidence in his excellent book."--Journal of Social History

"This is a book one completes with a mounting sense of excitement that the author has brought a subject to life. . . . For historians of popular politics, Conroy through his luminous examination of the taverns has established not merely a site where events took place but a source of egalitarian, democratic values with rich implications for others to explore."--William and Mary Quarterly

"Everyone knows that taverns were colorful and important in colonial life. But not until David Conroy's book have we understood how the dynamics of tavern life and the phenomenon of drinking reveal changing patterns of power--the sources of power, how power was used, and how it was contested. In Public Houses is a brilliant blending of social, political, institutional, intellectual, and cultural history. Among this generation's scholarly outpouring on colonial and revolutionary New England, Conroy's book is one of the most fascinating and important."--Gary B. Nash, University of California, Los Angeles

"Conroy insightfully recreates struggles over the context and meaning of drink, the controversial role of poor and female tavernkeepers, and the nature of public order in the eighteenth century."--Barbara Clark Smith, National Museum of American History

"Offers an entirely new dimension to the uneasy connection--and competition--between the elite and plebeian worlds of eighteenth-century Massachusetts, where social hierarchy, economic distress, and political opportunism accompanied the Revolution into the modern era."--David Konig, Washington University
Price: 27.50 USD



2 On the Road North of Boston: New Hampshire Taverns and Turnpikes, 1700-1900
Donna-Belle Garvin, James L. Garvin.
236 pages, 8 1/2 x 11, maps, illus., paperback, University Press of New England
A favorite regional history is back in print.
First published in 1988 by the New Hampshire Historical Society, and long since sought after, On the Road North of Boston is back in print. This richly illustrated, entertaining book is an invaluable resource for New Hampshire residents and students of the state's history alike. Nine extensively researched and meticulously prepared chapters depict historic taverns and tavern society of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century New England. Donna-Belle and James Garvin vividly reconstruct the physical landscape: the taverns themselves, the network of roads, travel conditions, traffic and commerce. They immerse the reader in the contemporary tavern atmosphere: encounters with fellow travelers, food, drink, entertainment, and hospitality in its earliest incarnations "on the road north of Boston."
On the Road North of Boston contains rare and wonderful black-and-white illustrations of authentic tavern signs and furnishings, broadsides advertising tavern entertainments, early photographs and drawings of tavern buildings, road signs, vehicles, and bridges, portraits of tavern keepers, stage drivers, and itinerant performers. This book offers modern New England residents and travelers rich chronicles and visions of an age long past.

About Author
DONNA-BELLE GARVIN is the editor of New Hampshire Historical Society’s journal Historical New Hampshire. She has co-authored and edited books and exhibition catalogues on New Hampshire history, including Jerald E. Brown’s The Years of the Life of Samuel Lane (UPNE, 2000). JAMES GARVIN has served as State Architectural Historian for the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources since 1987. He is the author of the best-selling A Building History of Northern New England (UPNE, 2001).

"Their book is not one to pick up and read the way you might a novel, and yet once you start it is hard to put down. There is a lot of history in the Garvin book, comments from newspapers, travelers' tales, diaries, official documents, all with ample footnotes. Yet the most fascinating features of the book are the illustrations. . . a blend of text and illustration, worth a slow and careful reading but that is instructive and exciting even when scanned hastily." -- The Cabinet (Milford, NH)
Price: 29.95 USD

Yellow Tavern and Beyond, From Family Letters and Journals, Dorothy Francis Atkinson

3 Yellow Tavern and Beyond, From Family Letters and Journals
Dorothy Francis Atkinson
2006, 5˝x8˝, paper, index, 454 pp, Heritage Books
On memorial days in the 1930s, the author helped her father with the decoration of J. E. B. Stuart's monument on the Yellow Tavern battlefield in Virginia. The area called Yellow Tavern cannot be located on any modern map. Yellow Tavern is now defined by the action that took place there, along the roads that passed through it, the railroads that encircled it, and by the lives of the families who lived there during the eighteenth century. It is the author's intention by this treatise to try to look at the strife through the eyes of the women as they wove the threads of their lives and those of their loved ones through the events that transpired there. Yellow Tavern and Beyond preserves the story of this region during its grimmest years. Mrs. Atkinson uses a diverse selection of first person sources - many not publicly available - as she follows the area's families during the course of the war. Her collection begins with the author's grandfather, Tom Francis, his three brothers, and their brother-in-law, Charles Terrell who left home to serve in the Fifteenth Virginia Regiment. Out of their concern for those left behind, they wrote letters telling of their experiences during the Civil War. Some of them did not live out the war, but their letters have been cherished by the women in the families and passed down as tangible evidence of their personalities and the times in which they lived. In those letters and other journals, often written in the dialect of Virginians, the words spelled phonetically, this generation who never knew them, can still hear their ancestors speaking. A full index, with subjects, names, and places, adds to the value of this book.
Price: 43.00 USD



4 The Tavern at the Ferry
Edwin Tunis.
120 pages, 96 silhouetted halftones, paperback, Johns Hopkins University Press
At first the ferry was just a hollowed-out log canoe in which Henry Baker carried wayfarers across the Delaware River from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to New Jersey. Horses had to swim and tired travelers were put up in the Baker home. Nearly a century later, in December 1776, General George Washington set up headquarters in a mansion near the prosperous tavern that had replaced Baker's house. In The Tavern at the Ferry, Edwin Tunis recreates the people, houses, and artifacts-indeed, the whole way of life-of a vital period in our country's history with his lively text and more than 100 meticulous and evocative pencil-and-wash drawings. He depicts the rhythms of daily life in pre-Revolutionary America, from cooking, eating, and drinking to farming and fishing, and describes how such enterprises as flax oil mills and ironworks operated.
Through Henry Baker and his family, Tunis tells the story of America's growth in the colonial period and the growing dissatisfaction of its citizens with British rule. More than just set the scene, The Tavern at the Ferry chronicles the dramatic story of the events leading up to Washington's crossing of the Delaware and the ensuing Battle of Trenton, a turning point in the War of Independence. The weeks and days before the crossing were full of intrigue, and Tunis follows the stories of such men as John Honeywell, the patriot double-agent, and Moses Doan, the would-be betrayer, as well as those of the tired but determined troops who turned the tide of war under Washington's leadership. Whether illustrating a dance at a country tavern or soldiers marching across a snow-covered field, The Tavern at the Ferry provides the small, vivid details that bring history to life.

About Author
Edwin Tunis (1897–1973) was born in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, and spent much of his life in Maryland. A well-known artist, illustrator, and muralist, his work appeared at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Society of American Etchers, the National Academy of Design, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. His other books include Colonial Craftsmen; Colonial Living; Weapons; Oars, Sails and Steam; and Wheels, all available in paperback from Johns Hopkins.

"We should become familiar with this widely read book, which has served as the introduction to colonial inland transportation and industry for many of the spectators attending our events. The story of Washington's crossing of the Delaware, centered on The Tavern At The Ferry, is especially interesting and instructive."--John Austen, Dispatch
Price: 25.00 USD

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Maryland, Frederick Philip Stieff

5 Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Maryland
Frederick Philip Stieff
354 pages, 50 illus, paperback, Johns Hopkins University Press
Frederick Philip Stieff, son of the piano-making Baltimore family, was a celebrated amateur chef and a sort of menu historian. He made a personal crusade of collecting-mainly using hand-written family papers and the memories of aged cooks-old Maryland recipes. This volume, he declares in his foreword, offers merely "a generalization, a diversification of the receipts [as he calls them] which have for decades contributed to the gastronomic supremacy of Maryland."
Cooking and mixing instructions cover, in separate chapters, everything from oysters, a specialty of the counties bordering on the bay, to buckwheat and maple syrup, indigenous to western Maryland. Stieff fills out the stories behind many of the recipes in accompanying headnotes: the recipe for Ellin North Pudding, for example, was handed down by Ellin North, born in Baltimore in 1740 and later married to John Moale, the Colonel of the Baltimore Town Militia, to her great-grandson, Walter de Curzon Poultney. There are also several interesting appendices: one gives us the menu for a traditional hunt breakfast at Elkridge; another spells out what was served at the Maryland Institute's "Grand Banquet of the Railways Celebrations" in 1857; yet another itemizes the food that George Mann (of Mann's Tavern, Annapolis) procured in December 1783 to stage a dinner celebrating the end of war with Britain.
"Eating in Maryland was a continuous feast, not alone because of the prodigality of its table, but because of the warmth of its ever welcoming hospitality. And certainly it seems to be that in this book. . . the traditions of Maryland's hospitality, no less than those merely of its kitchens, will be preserved for all time."-Emily Post

About Author
Frederick Philip Stieff is the author of Baltimore, Annapolis Sketchbook, and Unleash the Dogs of War.

"First published in 1932 and now available in paperback, Stieff's book compiles hundreds of traditional Maryland recipes (or, as Stieff call them, 'receipts'), many drawn from hand-written family papers and the memories of aged cooks . . . Includes preparation instructions for everything from stuffed ham to 'Dolly in the Blankets,' a dessert."--Waterman's Gazette
Price: 19.95 USD

Stage-Coach Days in the Bluegrass: Being An Account of Stage-Coach Travel and Tavern Days in Lexington and Central Kentucky, 1800-1900, J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; foreword by Thomas D. Clark.

6 Stage-Coach Days in the Bluegrass: Being An Account of Stage-Coach Travel and Tavern Days in Lexington and Central Kentucky, 1800-1900
J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; foreword by Thomas D. Clark.
304 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, illus.; map, cloth, University Press of Kentucky
Along with his focus on the development of stage-coach travel, Coleman covers details such as pioneer roads, taverns, travelers' experiences, mail carriers, and the coming of the railroad. This fascinating look at an age gone by is truly a work of regional culture.
Price: 19.96 USD


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