Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Cheer Founding-style

My favorite Yuletide Founding factoid is George Washington's contract with his gardener:

"In consideration of these things being well and truly performed on the part of said Philip Bater, the said George Washington doth agree to allow him. . . four dollars at Christmas with which he may be drunk 4 days and 4 nights, two dollars at Easter to effect the same purpose; two dollars also at Whitsuntide, to be drunk two days, a Dram in the morning and a drink of Grog at Dinner or at Noon."

As pointed out elsewhere here at American Creation, Christmas wasn't that big a religious holiday back in the day. But it was twice as important as Easter or Whitsuntide [Pentecost] for getting good and loaded.

Four days drunk and four whole dollars to do it with! Now, that's a verrrrrrry Merry Christmas, and Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. [Or four of them!]

[And don't miss GWash's eggnog recipe, which'll clean out half your liquor cabinet!]


secular square said...

They were were not only loaded, but "locked and loaded as well. I seem to remember Philip Fithian, a tutor from New Jersey living in the home of Robert Carter III, recorded being awakened by gunfire from his hosts and their neighbors to celebrate the arrival of Christmas.

Anonymous said...

merry christmas and happy new year brother