Print Books

Sharon V. Salinger, in her book Taverns and Drinking in Early America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002; newly released in paperback) argues that the cultural and political implications of the public house were fundamental to our development as a nation. Her book is a social history that shows that in the colonial period, the frequent intermingling of social classes within the tavern setting (most often rural taverns) was coupled with an inherent fear of this trend by the colonial elites who formulated legislation and handed out tavern licenses.
Alice Morse Earle wrote Stage-Coach & Tavern Days, a comprehensive study of the enormous role of taverns and modes of travel in colonial culture. This was orginally printed in 1900.
David Alan Woolsey has written Libations of the Eighteenth Century: a Concise Manual for the Brewing of Authentic Beverages from the Colonial Era of America and of Times Past, Universal Publishers, 2002. The author is both a re-enactor (living historian) and a beer brewer. He writes of the history and the techniques for making the various drinks. Here you can find the medicinal qualities of spruce and hemlock beer, the history of hops and much else.
Edwin Tunis has written and illustrated The Tavern and the Ferry, published by Thomas Y. Crowell Co., New York, 1973. This entertaining book describes the development of settlements, taverns, and ferry crossings along the Pennsylvania and New Jersey shores of the Delaware River and the events leading up to Washington's crossing of this river in 1776 on the way to the victorious battle at Trenton. The chapter headings illustrate typical tavern signs and many sketches throughout show life in the colonial era.
W. Harrison Bayles, Old Taverns of New York, published by Frank Allaben Genealogical Co., 1915, republished by Gordon Press, 1977.
Kym S. Rice organized an exhibition at Fraunces Tavern Museum which was open from December 1982 through June 1983. The name of the exhibition was also the name of her book: Early American Taverns: For the Entertainment of Friends and Strangers, Regnery Gateway, Chicago, 1983. The book is both scholarly and a "good read" with many contemporary illustrations.
Susan P. Schoelwer (Editor), Connecticut Historical Society (Contributor), In 1998, The Connecticut Historical Society  began a comprehensive effort to document and conserve its collection of sixty-five tavern and inn signs, the largest collection of its kind in the nation.
In the year 1704 a Boston widow named Sarah Kemble Knight journeyed by land on horseback from Boston to New York, and returned a few months later. She kept a journal of her trip [The Journal of Madam Knight, originally published by Theodore Dwight, New York, 1825]. She was a shrewd woman with a sharp eye and sharper tongue so her record is very interesting.











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