Matthew Costello: "The Founding Generation and their Spirits: How Consumption Shaped American Politics and the Presidency."

Friday, September 13, 2019 - 7:30pm

The Senior Historian of the White House Historical Association will describe how alcoholic beverages played a pivotal role in the founding of the United States and the defining of its institutions. Beer, hard cider, wine, and champagne were used in a variety of ways for different reasons -- even on Election Day to bolster voter turnout. In colonial taverns, intoxicants provided “liquid courage” to debate independence, and during the Revolutionary War, soldiers were provided with rations of alcohol to maintain morale. President Washington and his successors were shaped by these patterns of consumption, and their experiences molded presidential hospitality during the Early Republic.