There wasn't the Net. There wasn't Twitter. Facebook didn't exist, Whatsup just an expression used by people for asking what was going on and people, mainly men, in 1634 or something if seriously wanted to meet someone else, had to go out, they had to go in a tavern during the cold winter-nights of the East Coasts of the USA. Face to face with other friends, a pint of beer close to them.
Taverns have been for a long long time the protagonists of political changes in the USA and first of all of the American Revolution.
Taverns of the American Revolution written by Adrian Covert and published by Insight Editions last June 26, will explore the taverns that largely contributed at the American Revolution. This book is a precious jewel in terms of history, passion and devotion.
Can a public place become the center of something more important than just an innocent chat?
Of course it can, and taverns the best places for speaking of policy and current events.
After all taverns were populated by merchants, business men, politicians and moods were all on the table exactly like alcohol was.
The author visited a large quantity of taverns. You will find all the 171 still existing taverns all listed in the book.
They became with the time: seventy-two restaurants or bars, forty-nine museums, thirty-six inns, twelve community buildings, and a smattering of offices and cafés.
Other 140 colonial taverns became private residences and they are not listed in the book.
But if you want to explore the USA through these 13 States for searching for these special place, this one is your book!
Covert at first started the research following the indications of a book written by Elise Lathrop, "Early American Inns and Taverns" published in 1926.
Adrian Covert worked hardly for giving a name and a location at these special places that made with the main political protagonists the history of the USA.
Most of these ex taverns are not listed on the net, and they don't have any kind of website. They have maintained where possible their own originality, serving just typical dishes and producing their own beer.
According to the author these taverns not only made the history of the USA but "These are 250 years old conversations about politics, culture, food, and life."
What it is more impressive is that when you will stop by in these places you will enter in the History, because it was in these taverns that Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson created the America as Americans know that.
After a historical reconstruction of the first taverns, the problems taverns sometimes could give. Of course they weren't all the times great places, morality sent to hell, a lot of people drunk, politicians worried for youngster, lost in these places for too much time.
In particular Adams advanced these perplexities, but although taverns couldn't be the best place of this world they have been the engine of the change.
Puritans the ones who had in their hands the control of alcohol and so starting from the end of 1600 prohibited in some places of the East Coast alcohol or it had to be drunk with moderation.
These restrictions for using largest quantities of alcohol in ships and vessels.
Other fines invested also sexual behaviors of men and women and other sphere of their life as well.
It was a custom to believe that a moderate consumption of alcohol accepted, tolerated because it was good for health according to the Puritans.
The same George Washington invented his own beer.
Franklin passed at the story also for this saying: "In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria."
The 71% of tavern keepers, you think were men considering the environment, isn't it true?
Women, in particular if their beloved husband had left this world for good.
They could obtain in case they were widows a license for keeping a tavern.
It happened in Massachusetts, where the 71% of women kept a tavern. The 25% only in Boston.
At the same time close to the taverns brothels started to born vivaciously and later closed to Boston.
How much cost to a client spending some time in a tavern? Let's see. The author discovered that The Wayside Inn kept records of that old times.
Lodging 4 pence, a normal dinner 12 pence, an abundant dinner 20 pence. We are in 1748.
22 shillings per gallon on July 19 1769.
The book includes also a dictionary of words used by the clients of the taverns, recipes, many many other historical facts and every tavern visited by the author described enchantingly with so many historical facts, anecdotes, specificity. This one a superlative, historical trip in places that contributed to change the USA. The author built bridges with the present and what these places became with the time.
It is a wonderful gift for birthday, for Christmas if you know someone in love for History.
There are beautiful pictures, old illustrations, newsmagazines pages of the time.
I thank Netgalley and Insight Editions for this book.
Anna Maria Polidori