.....in 1787, two days before their work was done, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention "adjourned to a tavern for some rest, and according to the bill they drank 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of claret, 8 of whiskey, 22 of port, 8 of hard cider and 7 bowls of punch so large that, it was said, ducks could swim around in them.
Then they went back to work and finished founding the new Republic. Note the 55 delegates and 54 bottles of Madeira. Which founder was slacking?
Well, you can't blame Jefferson, he was in Paris.
no training as a historian, just some slight experience on both sides of bars.....
.PDF of the NYT review is here.
For those of you keeping score at home, that's 136 bottles of wine. Red wine I might add. Looks like the Founding Fathers were taking Jefferson's admonition to heart. Okay, at 136 bottles of wine, maybe not. But you see what I mean.
I rejoice as a moralist at the prospect of a reduction of the duties on wine, by our national legislature. It is an error to view a tax on that liquor as merely a tax on the rich. It is a prohibition of its use to the middling class of our citizens, and a condemnation of them to the poison of whiskey, which is desolating their houses. No nation is drunken where wine is cheap; and none sober, where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage. It is, in truth, the only antidote to the bane of whiskey. Fix but the duty at the rate of other merchandise, and we can drink wine here as cheap as grog; and who will not prefer it? Its extended use will carry health and comfort to a much enlarged circle. Everyone in easy circumstances (as the bulk of our citizens are) will prefer it to the poison to which they are now driven by their government. And the treasury itself will find that a penny apiece from a dozen, is more than a groat from a single one. This reformation, however, will require time.
And, I'm certain that you are correct, Wise and Gentle Reader. Jefferson's admonition likely came later, but the point is well taken.
The Wine Commonsewer
tip of the glass to Del Mar Dave
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