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Friday, December 18, 2009

Enough Rum to Build a Meeting House - Northampton, 1737

In 1737, some fellows building a new meeting house in Northampton in the western part of the Massachusetts colony, consumed 69 gallons of rum, 36 pounds of sugar, and several barrels of beer and cider in one week, presumably on their union-mandated breaks and lunchtime. Okay, no union. Not yet.

This likely would have been the Third Meeting House in Northampton, the Congregational Church under Reverend Jonathan Edwards at the time, just a few years away from his famous and frightening sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

After listening to that, it’s likely one would have needed a drink. Hopefully, they had some left.


John Hayes said...

69 gallons of rum in a week! It's a wonder the meeting house would have stood up to Edwards' sermonizing!

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Hi, John. I suppose it was a large, thirsty crew. They drank spirits more than water in the those days. But I like to imagine it was a two-man stumblebum crew, kind of like an 18th century Laurel and Hardy who managed all that building and all that drinking between them. Then sleeping it off in the back pew.

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