Taverns and Drinking in Early America / Edition 1

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Overview

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.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

William and Mary Quarterly
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.

— Simon Middleton

Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
Salinger gives us the best description yet available of the nature of tavern life and the efforts of colonial governments to manage it.

— Elaine Frantz Parsons

South Carolina Historical Magazine
Salinger's book offers the broadest study yet of the role of taverns in colonial life, and readers will find a good deal of useful information presented in clear and accessible prose.

— Matthew Mulcahy

Journal of Southern History
This important book offers the first recent attempt at a comparative synthesis combined with a general interpretation of tavern life.

— Richard P. Gildrie

American Historical Review
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.

— Mark Edward Lender

Journal of American History
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.

— Paul G. E. Clemens

North Carolina Historical Review
A thorough overview of this often overlooked institution in early America.

— George Brown

Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
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.

— Daniel B. Thorp

William and Mary Quarterly - Simon Middleton

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.

American Historical Review - Mark Edward Lender

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.

Journal of American History - Paul G. E. Clemens

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.

Virginia Magazine of History and Biography - Daniel B. Thorp

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.

North Carolina Historical Review - George Brown

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

Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography - Elaine Frantz Parsons

Salinger gives us the best description yet available of the nature of tavern life and the efforts of colonial governments to manage it.

South Carolina Historical Magazine - Matthew Mulcahy

Salinger's book offers the broadest study yet of the role of taverns in colonial life, and readers will find a good deal of useful information presented in clear and accessible prose.

Journal of Southern History - Richard P. Gildrie

This important book offers the first recent attempt at a comparative synthesis combined with a general interpretation of tavern life.

Carole Shammas
Without question,Salinger has gone beyond the existing research in this comprehensive look at the role drinking and the tavern played in the lives of colonial Americans. She provides new insights into the ubiquity of public houses,the rules governing the drinker and their enforcement, and the many functions taverns served for their principal clientele, free white adult men.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801878992
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

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

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

1 Dutch and English origins : for the "receiving and refreshment of travaillers and strangers" 8
2 Inside the tavern : "knots of men rightly sorted" 48
3 Preventing drunkenness and keeping good order in the seventeenth century : "a hard of planters on the ground/O'er-whelmed with punch, dead drunk we found" 83
4 Eighteenth-century legislation and prosecution : "lest a flood of rum do overwhelm all good order among us" 121
5 Licensing criteria and law in the eighteenth century : "sobriety, honesty and discretion in the ... masters of such houses" 151
6 Too many taverns? : "little better than nurseries of vice and debauchery" 182
7 The tavern degenerate : "rendezvous of the very dreggs of the people" 210
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