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“To our Inn we March’d Away”: Public Contexts for Consuming Alcohol and Tobacco in a Small Chesapeake Town, 1690-1720

Title“To our Inn we March’d Away”: Public Contexts for Consuming Alcohol and Tobacco in a Small Chesapeake Town, 1690-1720
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLucas, MT
JournalJournal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology
Volume32
Pagination93-115
Abstract

Historical archaeology has been interested in public drinking houses since its beginnings. Even with the support of years of archaeological case studies, significant challenges remain in making a connection between the material culture recovered from the archaeological record and the operation of a drinking house. Most scholarship accepts the importance of drinking houses, or ordinaries, in the Chesapeake, in the social, political, and economic development of the region. In many ways the experience and social fabric of early Chesapeake towns are synonymous with the ordinary. A constructive approach to defining the place of ordinaries in the early modern Chesapeake requires considerable interpretive flexibility. Contrasting the historical and archaeological data on the ordinaries in Charles Town (1684-1721), Prince George’s County, Maryland, illustrates the methodological difficulties in triangulating among these sources, but also the capacity for archaeology to tangibly demonstrate how social drinking and smoking structured the broader landscape of public interaction in the early modern Chesapeake region.