J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Friary on Punch Drinking, 29 Sept 2008

Here’s a lecture announcement from the New England Historic Genealogical Society that caught my eye—and my tastebuds:

One Bowl More and Then: Punch Drinking in Colonial America
Monday, September 29, 2008, 6:00 PM
Donald Friary, president of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and director emeritus of Historic Deerfield, will present an entertaining and informative talk on the history of punch drinking in Colonial America.
This talk will take place at the N.E.H.G.S.’s headquarters at 101 Newbury Street in Boston, and is free to the public.

The punch bowl above belonged to Ebenezer Stevens and is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Read about it here.

I’ll close with a quote from David Hansen’s article on “The First Corps of Cadets of Boston,” published by the Bostonian Society in 1944. The Cadets were an upper-class militia unit that reconstituted itself in the mid-1780s.
Parading on the unpaved streets of those days meant clouds of dust and the white uniforms worn by the Cadets required cleaning. This was usually done with bread crumbs by lady friends, and as kid gloves were scarce, a pair of gloves was the usual reward. One lady remarked that after cleaning a uniform she usually smelled of brandy punch.

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