ALCOHOL and its intoxicating effects are more than one way responsible for the rise of America. Take a look at how the founding fathers drank first and pioneered second.
Jefferson certainly discussed ideas for the Declaration of Independence with friends and associates over alcoholic beverages. He even wrote parts of it in a tavern, with a glass of wine next to his ink.
Alcohol, at one time, played an important role on Election Day. Washington lost his first bid for elective office (to the Virginia Assembly) in part because he didn’t buy enough booze for voters. Two years later, he won with the help of 144 gallons of rum, wine and beer.
Franklin wrote about the ill effects of alcohol, but remember, this is the same guy that tied a key to a kite and went out playing in a lightning storm – clearly he got shitfaced. He was concerned with excess drinking in the colonies, but he never had any objections to it himself.
During Lincoln’s stint in the White House, the American temperance movement was starting to get fired up, but Lincoln supported a man’s right to drink. He regarded abstinence as fanaticism, and therefore evil, and before freeing the slaves, Honest Abe freed people’s inhibitions with his liquor license and ownership of several taverns.
(Source: “The Spirits of America” by Eric Burns)