Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A little bit more on coach travel.

From a letter by Benjamin Franklin re December 1764
"You wonder how I did to travel 72 Miles in a short winter Day...But the Roads here are so good, with Post Chaises and fresh Horses every ten or twelve Miles, that it is no difficult Matter. A Lady that I know has come from Edinburgh to London, being 400 Miles, in three Days and half"

Ben Franklin on breakfast

He's not specifically talking about breakfast, but there's interesting information there about the range of foods eaten.

 This is from  History Caper

I've added the paragraphing to make it easier to read.

The Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser

January 1766

"Homespun" Celebrates Indian Corn

VINDEX PATRIAE, a writer in your paper, comforts himself, and the India Company, with the fancy, that the Americans, should they resolve to drink no more tea, can by no means keep that resolution, their Indian corn not affording "an agreeable, or easy digestible breakfast."

Pray let me, an American, inform the gentleman, who seems quite ignorant of the matter, that Indian corn, take it for all in all, is one of the most agreeable and wholesome grains in the world; that its green ears roasted are a delicacy beyond expression; that samp, hominy, succatash, and nokehock, made of it, are so many pleasing varieties; and that a johny, or hoe-cake, hot from the fire, is better than a Yorkshire muffin --

But if Indian corn were as disagreeable and indigestible as the Stamp Act, does he imagine we can get nothing else for breakfast? -- Did he never hear that we have oatmeal in plenty, for water-gruel or burgoo; as good wheat, rye, and barley as the world affords, to make frumenty; or toast and ale; that there is every where plenty of milk, butter, and cheese; that rice is one of our staple commodities; that for tea, we have sage and bawm in our gardens, the young leaves of the sweet white hickery or walnut, and, above all, the buds of our pine, infinitely preferable to any tea from the Indies; while the islands yield us plenty of coffee and chocolate? --

Let the gentleman do us the honour of a visit in America, and I will engage to breakfast him every day in the month with a fresh variety, without offering him either tea or Indian corn.

-- As to the Americans using no more of the former, I am not sure they will take such a resolution; but if they do, I fancy they will not lightly break it. I question whether the army proposed to be sent among them, would oblige them to swallow a drop more of tea than they chuse to swallow; for, as the proverb says, though one man may lead a horse to the water, ten can't make him drink. Their resolutions have hitherto been pretty steadily kept.

They resolved to wear no more mourning; -- and it is now totally out of fashion with near two millions of people; and yet nobody sighs for Norwich crapes, or any other of the expensive, flimsey, rotten, black stuffs and cloths you used to send us for that purpose, with the frippery gauses, loves, ribbands, gloves, &c.;thereunto belonging. --

They resolved last spring to eat no more lamb; and not a joint of lamb has since been seen on any of their tables, throughout a country of 1500 miles extent, but the sweet little creatures are all alive to this day, with the prettiest fleeces on their backs imaginable.

Mr. VINDEX's very civil letter will, I dare say, be printed in all our provincial news papers, from Nova Scotia to Georgia; and together with the other kind, polite, and humane epistles of your correspondents PACIFICUS, TOM HINT, &c.;&c. contribute not a little to strengthen us in every resolution that may be of advantage, to our country at least, if not to yours. HOMESPUN.
The Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, January 2, 1766