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Constitution Day: 136 Bottles of Red Wine Later, A Republic is Born
Good Morning Gentle Readers,
It is said that our revolution was born and raised in taverns.
.....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.
55 delegates and 54 bottles of Madeira. Coincidence? I think not and I wonder which founder was the slacker? Certainly not Jefferson, he was in Paris.
For the ladies at MADD, the Temperance Union, and those of you keeping score at home, that's 136 bottles of wine.
Red wine I might add, because that's what Real Men drink. Apparently, the Founding Fathers took
Jefferson's admonition to heart.
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.
Of course you are correct, Wise and Gentle Reader. Jefferson's
admonition likely came later, but his point remains well taken.