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Volatile spirits

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Title:
Volatile spirits the historical archaeology of alcohol and drinking in the Caribbean
Portion of title:
Historical archaeology of alcohol and drinking in the Caribbean
Creator:
Smith, Frederick H
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English
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xi, 588 leaves : ; 29 cm.

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Alcoholic beverages ( jstor )
Alcohols ( jstor )
Bottles ( jstor )
Molasses ( jstor )
Plantations ( jstor )
Rum ( jstor )
Slavery ( jstor )
Sugars ( jstor )
Table sugars ( jstor )
Wines ( jstor )
Anthropology thesis, Ph. D ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Anthropology -- UF ( lcsh )
Drinking of alcoholic beverages ( fast )
Drinking of alcoholic beverages -- History -- Caribbean Area ( lcsh )
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History. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
History ( fast )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 2001.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 526-587).
Additional Physical Form:
Also available online.
General Note:
Printout.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Frederick H. Smith.

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VOLATILE SPIRITS: THE HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY OF ALCOHOL AND
DRINKING IN THE CARIBBEAN















By

FREDERICK H. SMITH














A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2001



























Copyright 2001 by

Frederick H. Smith




















To Jane and Rachel













ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I wish to thank my dissertation committee: Kathleen Deagan, David Geggus, Marley R. Brown, Steven Brandt, and Harry Paul. Their support, advice, and encouragement made this dissertation possible. I would also like to thank Norman Barka and Kathleen Bragdon, both of whom had a positive influence on my early academic career at the College of William and Mary.

Historical archaeology is a team effort and many people contributed to the success of this project. I wish to thank the Department of Archaeological Research at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which largely funded my historical and archaeological fieldwork in Barbados. In particular, Marley Brown was instrumental in securing that support. The A. Curtis Wilgus Foundation at the University of Florida, Center for Latin American Studies also provided seed money that made the early phase of my research possible.

Many people in Barbados played a prominent role in this project. Karl Watson encouraged me to pursue archaeological research in Barbados and located a number of potential archaeological sites in Bridgetown. Watson has dedicated his life to protecting the natural and cultural resources of Barbados and has made many valuable contributions to archaeology in the island. Watson was my constant companion throughout the excavations. I would also like to thank the students from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados who assisted in the excavations at Suttle Street; especially Frank Forde, who played a crucial role in later excavations at other sites in Bridgetown. I iv









am especially indebted to Anthony Bourne, our regular assistant throughout these excavations.

I wish to thank my friends at the Barbados Archives. Since 1995, Ephraim

Norville has helped me navigate through the collections. In 1998, Sherry Ann Burton managed my many requests and located little-known documents. I would also like to thank other friends and colleagues in Barbados who made this research possible. William Bain, Lindsey Corbin, Mary Archer, and Robert Boyd provided support and encouragement throughout my visits. I am especially indebted to Nicholas Forde, who provided the groundwork for many of my endeavors and, most importantly, taught me much about Barbados.

Jerome Handler has also been inspirational and supportive. Handler was helpful throughout the dissertation writing process and provided several important references to slave alcohol use in Barbados. Dan Mouer has also been a constant friend and supporter. In 1998, Dan and I collaborated on excavations at Mapps Cave, Barbados that led to the production of several substantive conference papers. Future work at Mapps will provide important insights into slavery and plantation life in Barbados.

I wish to thank David Riggs, the director of the Jamestown Island museum collection. David provided access to the materials from Jamestown Structure 115. Andrew Edwards and Audrey Homing, staff members at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Department of Archaeological Research, provided important background information that helped identify Jamestown Structure 115 as an appropriate site for this comparative study. I also wish to thank Christina Kiddie, who prepared and formatted several plan and profile drawings from the Bridgetown site.



V








Most of all, I am indebted to Jane Wulf. In 1995 and 1996, Jane assisted in the excavations at Suttle Street. In 1998, Jane searched the Barbados archives for plantation records and rum-making statistics. She also helped record tax information from Bridgetown. In 2000, Jane played a central role in analyzing and cross-mending artifacts from the Suttle Street site. Above all, Jane has supported me throughout my academic career and encouraged me to pursue this project. This dissertation would not have been possible without her assistance.






































VI
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOW LEDGM ENT S ........................................................................ iv
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............... .......................................iv

A BSTRACT .......................... ......................................................... x

CHAPTERS

1 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................... I

2 SEARCHING FOR THE ORIGINS OF SUGAR CANE-BASED
A LCO HO L .......................................................................... .. 7

3 EMERGENCE OF CARIBBEAN RUM ........................................... 25

4 AT THE MARGINS OF THE ATLANTIC WORLD: RUM IN THE
SEVENTEENTH CENTURY ....................................................... 44
Seventeenth Century Rum Making ................................................. 44
Destination of Seventeenth Century Rum ...................................... 58

5 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY RUM MAKING .................................... 74
Setting the W ash ...................................... ................... 81
Rum Yields and Rum Making Efficiency in Barbados and Jamaica ............ 90
Rum Quality .................................................................... 98
Conclusion ............................................................................ 111

6 CONTAINING A VOLATILE SPIRIT: RUM IN THE EIGHTEENTH
CENTURY ........................................ 113
Aguardiente de Cafia ........................................ 113
Tafia ....................................... 121
Rum ........................................ 135
Conclusion .............. ..... ..................................... ....... 164

7 RUM AND ECONOMIC SURVIVAL IN THE NINETEENTH AND
TWENTIETH CENTURIES ....................................................... 166
Nineteenth Century Expansion of Rum Making ................................. 167
British Caribbean Rum in the Nineteenth Century ............................. 172
Rise of French Caribbean Rum in the Nineteenth Century ................... 183
Aguardiente in the Nineteenth Century ....................................... 191
Expanding African Rum Trade ..................................... .... .... 199


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Rum Making in the Twentieth Century ....................................... 201
British Caribbean Rum in the Twentieth Century ............................ 202
French Caribbean Rum in the Twentieth Century ............................ 205
Spanish Caribbean Rum Making in the Twentieth Century ..................... 208
Marketing Rum ............................................. 213
Conclusion ......................................... 218

8 RUM AND THE AFRICAN TRADES ......................................... 219

9 VOLATILE SPIRITS: ANCESTORS, ALCOHOL, AND AFRICAN
SLAVE SPIRITUALITY .......................................................... 240

10 ALCOHOLIC MAROONAGE: IDENTITY, DANGER, AND ESCAPE IN
CARIBBEAN SLAVE SOCIETIES .......................................... 265
Identity Defining Role of Drink in Caribbean Slave Societies ................ 265
Anxiety and Drunkenness ....................................... 274
Rum and Health ........................................ 293
Rum and Vulnerability ....................................... 309
Alcohol, Resistance, Violence, and Accountability ............................ 315

11 TAMING A VOLATILE SPIRIT: THE BATTLE BETWEEN TEMPERANCE
AND TRADITION IN THE MODERN CARIBBEAN ...................... 330
Tropical Wave of Temperance ....................................... 331
New Migrants and Old Anxieties ...................................... 345
Temperance and African-Oriented Traditions .................................. 352
Price of Indulgence ........................................ 360
Rum Shop .............................................................................. 366
Conclusion ........................................................................ 369

12 HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY OF ALCOHOL ......................... 371
Spirits in the Modem World ...................................... 371
Trade and Transport ........................................ 380
Alcohol and Foodways ....................................... 383
Sociability........................... ............................................... 386
Alcohol and the Material Culture of Social Class ............................ 393
Alcohol Use and the Survival of Old World Cultural Traditions ............ 403
Alcohol and Health ................................................................. 408
Anxiety, Alcohol, and Archaeology .................................................. 412
Alcohol-Related Artifacts and Archaeological Methods ...................... 415
Conclusion ........................................................................ 422

13 BACKGROUND TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS AT A
SEVENTEENTH CENTURY DOMESTIC SITE IN BRIDGETOWN,
BARBADOS ..... .... .................... ........................................ 425
European Exploration and Settlement of Barbados ........................... 428
The Bridge ....... ....... .......................................................... 431



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14 SEVENTEENTH CENTURY URBAN DOMESTIC SITE ON BACKSIDE
CHURCH STREET ........................................ 440

15 FOODWAYS, ALCOHOL, AND SOCIABILITYIN THE SEVENTEENTH
CENTURY BRITISH ATLANTIC WORLD .................................... 470
Foodways in Barbados and the Chesapeake ....................................... 472
Alcohol, Anxiety, and Sociability ........................................... ...... 483

16 CONCLUSION ............ .................................498

APPENDICES

A MASTER CONTEXT RECORDS AND ARTIFACT LISTS FROM THE
BACKSIDE CHURCH STREET SITE ........................................... 508

B MINIMUM VESSEL COUNTS FROM CONTEXT 11 AT BACKSIDE
CHURCH STREET AND JAMESTOWN STRUCTURE 115.................. 516

GLOSSARY ........................................ 524

REFERENCES ..................................................... ....... .............. 526

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .................................................................. 588






























ix















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in
Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

VOLATILE SPIRITS: THE HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY OF ALCOHOL AND DRINKING IN THE CARIBBEAN By

Frederick H. Smith

December 2001

Chair: Kathleen Deagan
Major Department: Anthropology

This dissertation explores the role of rum and other forms of alcohol in the

Caribbean from the sixteenth century to the present using an interdisciplinary approach that combines historical and archaeological evidence. This evidence was collected during summer fieldwork in Barbados between 1995 and 2000.

Rum making emerged in the Caribbean to meet the alcoholic needs of colonists who sought to escape the many anxieties they encountered on the Caribbean frontier. Archaeological material from a seventeenth century domestic site in Bridgetown, Barbados also shows that alcohol played a central role in sociability. However, rum quickly became a commercial product. In the seventeenth century, merchants and sugar planters exported rum to marginal markets in the Atlantic world. Rum fostered the growth of American trade and brought Carib Indians into the growing market economy.

In the eighteenth century, rum penetrated northern European markets. It became a profitable commodity that supplemented sugar plantation revenues. Rum also found large



x








markets in Africa. Many African ethnic groups valued the novelty of rum and incorporated it into existing social and spiritual alcohol-based traditions. These rituals survived the violence of the middle passage and flourished in the slave societies of the Caribbean. In the diverse ethnic mix of the Caribbean, alcohol became a universal substance for interactions with the ancestral worlds. Alcohol also provided a temporary means of escape from the coercive structures of slavery and a shield with which to challenge the dominant classes. However, excessive drinking and lead contaminated rum hastened the demise of many in the Caribbean and exacerbated the anxieties already rampant in this unpredictable social climate.

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rum became a means of economic survival. European sugar beet industries and the rise of new sugar producers in the Caribbean glutted world sugar markets and reduced the profitability of sugar making. However, Christian temperance reformers streamed into the Caribbean after slave emancipation and reduced the large internal rum market. Despite reform efforts, alcohol continued to play a central role in Caribbean sociability. At the beginning of the twentyfirst century, rum is a symbol of Caribbean identity.



















xi














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

In the summer of 1996, 1 went to Barbados to prepare a historical archaeological field school in Bridgetown with my colleague Karl Watson and his students from the department of history at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. On the morning of Saturday, July 13, Watson called to say that construction workers in a part of the city known as the "pierhead" had unearthed skeletal remains while preparing the site for the expansion of a local shopping mall. The remains turned out to be human, and further investigation revealed more burials at the site. We spent the day mapping and recording information about this cemetery. Based on the unmarked nature of the graves, the cemetery's location at the periphery of town, and the presence of a mid-eighteenth century white kaolin clay tobacco pipe, which had been placed in the crook of the right arm of one the deceased, we determined the graveyard was the final resting place of Bridgetown's slaves.

Throughout the day, construction workers and residents from the nearby

neighborhoods monitored our excavation and pondered our work. Some mentioned the ghosts of those buried at the site and the restlessness of duppies, the mischievous, and sometimes malicious, spirits of the dead. At the end of the day, we removed the skeleton with the tobacco pipe and began packaging it for proper storage at the University of the West Indies. Someone in the crowd shouted that we needed to pour libations to those buried at the site and, within minutes, a bottle of rum was produced for that purpose. The rum was poured on the ground and the pouring was punctuated by requests that the duppies "rest in peace" and "leave us alone." This event was a major turning point in my academic career.





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Since 1991, I have participated in archaeological investigations in several parts of the Caribbean and, during these visits, had the opportunity to observe the central place of rum and other forms of alcohol in Caribbean society. In 1994, I was interested enough to write a short paper on the social history of Caribbean rum for a course on Caribbean history at the University of Florida. During the excavations at the pierhead cemetery in Bridgetown, however, I was an actual participant in an event that embodied and expressed centuries of alcohol-related traditions in the Caribbean, which inspired me to pursue further study.

This dissertation explores the social, political, and economic history of rum and other forms of alcohol in the Caribbean using an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses documentary, archaeological, and ethnographic evidence. Much of the material was collected during ten months of field study in Barbados. As the probable cradle of Caribbean rum, that island receives special emphasis within what is otherwise a panCaribbean study that ranges across the region and seeks to provide a comprehensive overview. Although the social history of alcohol has been addressed in a variety of historical and cross-cultural settings, this is the first comprehensive study of alcohol in the Caribbean.

Caribbean researchers have embraced commodity studies and the focus on exotic luxuries has provided insights into the broad trends that helped shape the Atlantic world. Anthropologist Sidney Mintz (1985), most notably, popularized the commodity-based approach to culture history in his study of the changing meaning of sugar in Europe. Other research has emphasized the impact of sugar on Atlantic economies. The study of rum offers similar possibilities, but presents a special opportunity to highlight the Caribbean. The study of rum and other forms of alcohol, for example, provides a unique prism through which to view the rise and fall of slavery and colonialism, two of the most profoundly influential forces in Caribbean history. This potential is one of several that will be explored in the following chapters.








Various factors have hampered academic interest in alcohol in the Caribbean. Rum, the principal alcoholic beverage produced and consumed in the Caribbean, is a by-product of sugar. Early sugar planters largely treated rum as a fortuitous afterthought and it held a secondary position in Caribbean trade. Moreover, rum catered to peripheral markets at the margins of the Atlantic world. North and South America, the Caribbean, Ireland, and Africa imported huge amounts of rum, while Europe, especially southern Europe, had relatively little exposure to rum until the late eighteenth century. In addition, rum consumption was concentrated among poorer classes. Soldiers, seamen, Indians, poor whites, and slaves were the primary consumers of rum and, despite the efforts of West Indian lobbyists, it remained the drink of common folk well into the twentieth century.

Negative western attitudes toward drinking, however, have probably been the

greatest obstacle to scholarly interest in alcohol studies in the Caribbean. Alcohol enhances sociability, yet drinking also has the potential to disrupt otherwise stable social situations. In order to cope with this inherent contradiction, societies have created cautionary tales and instituted complex rules to govern drinking, which reflect the simultaneously feared and celebrated status of alcohol. For example, although the prophet Mohammed described heaven as a place where wine flows freely, he stressed the importance of a rational mind and urged followers of Islam to refrain from drink. Positive notions about wine in JudeoChristian belief are also tempered with warnings about excessive drinking and vulnerability (Genesis IX:20). Because alcohol is a social adhesive with the potential to dissolve social stability, the use of alcohol is often controversial. Historians Susanna Barrows and Robin Room (1991:3) argued that the emotional discourse emanating from nineteenth and twentieth century temperance campaigns prompted many scholars to avoid alcohol studies and impeded the growth of the field. Overcoming the passionate rhetoric surrounding alcohol use has been a challenge for alcohol studies researchers.

Modern social fears continue to shape notions about the field of alcohol studies. College binge drinking, drunk driving, alcoholism and other problems associated with






4


alcohol overshadow the more objective culture history-oriented research. While the negative impact of alcohol on society is certainly an important facet of alcohol studies, decades of research have shown that drinking is more than simply a social ill or the basis for aberrant behavior. Alcohol has helped revolutionize world trade and shape the course of global politics. Drinking patterns distinguish social boundaries, reinforce group identities, and define the parameters of masculinity and femininity. Alcohol use enhances sociability, defines periods of leisure, and provides a temporary avenue of escape from various social pressures. Drinking reduces personal accountability and drunken comportment is often exempt from punishment. The dual nature of drink also produces a complicated dichotomy whereby drunkenness is profane, yet alcohol has strong spiritual associations.

Explaining the impact of alcohol in different societies provides fertile ground for

interdisciplinary research. Some anthropologists and social historians were quick to discern the scholarly potential of alcohol studies and embrace the complexities of drink. For example, anthropologist Mac Marshall (1979:1) wrote, "The cross-cultural study of alcohol presents a classic natural experiment: A single species (homo sapiens), a single drug substance (ethanol), and a great diversity of behavioral outcomes." However, alcohol studies have emerged slowly. In 1976, Dwight Heath (1976:42) identified numerous instances in which anthropologists had addressed patterns of alcohol use, but believed "there can scarcely be said to exist any constituency of specialists or any sub-discipline of 'alcohol studies."' According to Heath, ethnographic studies of alcohol production, distribution, and use were "unexpected by-products of broadly conceived research." However, anthropological interest in alcohol grew and by 1987 Heath (1987:17) could happily claim that alcohol studies were no longer just offshoots of other research designs. In the 1970s and 80s, alcohol studies also became an important subfield within history departments. According to Barrows and Room (1991:2), alcohol studies coincided with the rise of social history and were closely tied to the social historians' interest in "reconstructing the lives and collective experiences of ordinary people."






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The holistic-type of inquiry that the study of alcohol in society demands has led to interdisciplinary research that often blurs the line between anthropology and history. The publication of several edited volumes on drink in a variety of cross-cultural and historical settings highlights the breadth of alcohol studies and the need for collaboration with colleagues in cultural, historical, psychological, economic, and health fields (Barrows and Room 1991; Blocker and Warsh 1997; de Garine and de Garine forthcoming; Douglas 1987; Everett, Waddell, and Heath 1976; Gefou-Madianou 1992; Heath 2000; MacAndrew and Edgerton 1969; Marshall 1979; McDonald 1994). Alcohol studies have been strengthened by the exchange of ideas among members of the Alcohol Temperance History Group (ATHG), through its journal, Social History of Alcohol Review, and electronic listserv. The ATHG is an international group of scholars who represent a broad range of academic disciplines. Moreover, an increasing number anthropology and history departments now offer alcohol-related courses, which suggests that alcohol studies research has become a more widely recognized subfield that will continue to grow in the future.

The use of archaeological evidence in this dissertation is meant to enhance and expand the growth of alcohol studies by firmly placing it within the realm of historical archaeology. Archaeological methods provide opportunities to explore the production, distribution, and use of alcohol in the past; and a number of archaeological studies have already addressed alcohol-related themes. Yet, as with Heath's characterization of early ethnographic research, archaeological investigations of alcohol are frequently serendipitous by-products of fieldwork that had other emphases. Despite the rich body of archaeological evidence for alcohol production, distribution, and use, archaeologists have generally overlooked the impact of alcohol on society. Moreover, few archaeologists have rigorously applied historical and anthropological theories to help them explain their alcohol-related discoveries, and an overview of archaeological approaches to alcohol has never been produced. A survey of the way alcohol has been examined in major, and some minor,





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historical archaeological studies provides a foundation for constructing an archaeology of alcohol in the Caribbean.

The interdisciplinary model developed in this dissertation highlights the role of

alcoholic beverages in the Caribbean and uses them as a prism through which to view the underlying tensions that helped shape the social, political, economic developments of the region. The first section (chapters 1-7) explores the economic and technological history of rum and other forms of alcohol in the Caribbean. Rum making has been central to the economies of many Caribbean sugar colonies and alcohol fueled the growth of Atlantic trade. As a result, alcoholic beverages were readily available. Understanding the widespread availability of alcohol in the Caribbean provides a foundation for exploring the social history of alcohol in the region.

A second section (chapters 8-11) examines specific patterns of alcohol use among Caribbean peoples. Drawing on documentary and ethnohistorical sources, as well as anthropological theories related to alcohol use, this section identifies forces that shaped the particular drinking patterns of different social groups. The need to escape anxiety and the desire for sociability largely spurred alcohol use in the region.

The first two sections of this study establish the historical, economic and social

contexts for alcohol and drinking in the Caribbean, and permits an archaeological approach to the study of colonial drinking patterns. The third section of this study does this through a case study of British colonial drinking behaviors as revealed at a seventeenth century urban domestic site in Bridgetown, Barbados. Chapters 12-15 explore the role of alcohol in both Barbados and the larger British colonial world, building on traditional foodway models in historical archaeology. Evidence from seventeenth century domestic sites in the Chesapeake provides a comparative perspective that highlights distinct drinking patterns in different parts of the British colonial world. The interdisciplinary approach used in this study seeks a comprehensive understanding of the role of alcohol in the Caribbean and we begin with an exploration of the origins and earliest days of rum and rum production.














CHAPTER 2
SEARCHING FOR THE ORIGINS OF SUGAR CANE-BASED ALCOHOL

An enormous amount of academic scholarship has been devoted to understanding the origins and development of world sugar industries, while rum, the alcoholic by-product of sugar production made in sugar cane-growing regions of the world, has attracted relatively little attention. Rum was first made in Brazil, Mexico, and the Caribbean in the early years of European colonial settlement in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Yet, the alcoholic potential of sugar cane was exploited much earlier and some Old World societies produced fermented varieties of sugar cane juice before the age of European exploration and settlement of the Americas. However, sugar cane never became the basis for an alcohol industry until the rise of New World sugar production. Identifying the challenges faced by rum's fermented predecessors provides a foundation for understanding the various influences that later shaped the emergence of New World rum making.

The production of sugar cane-based alcohol obviously follows the historical

migration of sugar cane. Botanists believe that sugar cane was first domesticated in New Guinea about 8,000 years ago and spread to the Pacific islands in several migrations reaching Hawaii around 600 AD (Artschwager and Brandes 1958 cited in Mintz 1985:19; Brandes 1956 cited in Barnes 1964:1-2). Early European explorers recorded the presence of sugar cane in the Pacific. For example, during the westward circumnavigation of the world in 1519-1521, Magellan's expedition procured sugar cane at Saipan. In 1777-1778, Captain Cook found sugar cane flourishing throughout the South Pacific. In Hawaii, Cook's landing party reported ascending a hill beyond the shore "which was covered in every direction with plantations of sugar-cane" (Ellis 1782;11:91). According to William Ellis (1782;11:142), assistant surgeon on the Cook voyage, "the sugar-cane too is by far the largest we ever saw, and yields a great quantity of juice."


7








Alcohol was a treasured provision on the Cook voyages to the Pacific and concerns about alcohol stores during the long treks may have encouraged the Captain to employ "brewers" as part of the crews. According to Johann Reinhold Forster (1773:266), naturalist and scientist on the Cook voyage to New Zealand in 1772-1773, these brewers made "a salutary and palatable potion from the decoction of spruce and New Zeeland Tea mixed with the essence of Malt and Melasses." Ellis (1782;1:26,195,295,303) also noted the production of spruce beer. Sugar historian Noell Deerr (1949:252) argued that Cook attempted to make "sugar-cane beer" for his sailors in Hawaii but that his sailors found it "impalatable." Yet, neither Ellis nor Forster identified sugar cane as the basis for any alcoholic concoction and Deerr seems to have misinterpreted their references to spruce beer. Although Forster noted the use of molasses in the beer, it appears to have been part of the ship's store and not evidence of indigenous molasses or alcohol production among Pacific islanders. Deerr's misunderstanding may reflect confusion concerning the original quote or a misinterpretation of the word "Tea." Ellis wrote that "Tee" was the indigenous Hawaiian word for sugar. However, Forster (1773:266) clearly identified "New-Zeeland Tea" as the shrub Leptospernum scoparium (see also Ellis 1782;11: 128). Deerr (1911:1) probably confused Leptospernum scoparium with Leptosacchrum a sub-genus of sacchrum and, therefore, believed the concoction was made from sugar cane.

Ellis continually fretted over the ships' dwindling supply of grog, an alcoholic beverage consisting of rum and water. Despite his concerns, Ellis never mentioned the possibility that the ship could replenish its alcohol needs from any fermented alcoholic beverage produced by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific. Neither Ellis nor Forster identified the use of sugar cane in alcohol production among the Pacific islanders. Instead, Ellis (1782;II: 135) reported that, in Hawaii, sugar cane was used only as a "vegetable plant." In fact, according to Mac Marshall (1976:103), one of the leading anthropologists to examine the history of alcohol and drinking in the Pacific, it is generally accepted that "Oceania is one of the major culture areas known not to have had alcoholic beverages at the





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time of European contact" (see also Marshall and Marshall 1975,1979; Lemert 1964:363,1976). Thus, although Pacific islanders could have exploited the alcoholic potential of sugar cane, there is no evidence that they used sugar cane to produce an alcoholic beverage. Instead, the pre-contact peoples of the Pacific islands, especially Tahitians, altered their minds and bodies with the kava root. Ellis (1782;1:39,97) described "a'wa Ikaval, a species of pepper, with which they Ithe Tahitians intoxicate themselves." However, kava is "neither fermented nor alcoholic" (Marshall 1976:112). The absence of an alcoholic beverage made from sugar cane at the time of European contact suggests that kava met Oceanians' consciousness-altering needs.

From the South Pacific, sugar cane spread to India and China and it is here that we find the earliest evidence for the production of a sugar cane-based alcohol. In his search for the origins of sugar, anthropologist Sidney Mintz (1985:20) argued that the earliest datable mention of sugar cane came from Alexander the Great's general, Nearchus, during his conquest of the Indus river region in 327 BC. Nearchus (cited in Mintz 1985:20) stated, "a reed in India brings forth honey without the help of bees, from which an intoxicating drink is made though the plant bears no fruit." Deerr (1949:15) interpreted the same passage: "He INearchusl states also concerning the reeds that they produce honey, although there are no bees, and in fact that there is a fruit-bearing tree from the fruit of which honey is compounded, but that those who eat the fruit raw become intoxicated." Ironically, both interpretations refer, not to sugar, but to an alcoholic beverage made from sugar cane.

There are numerous other references to the use of sugar cane in the production of

alcohol in ancient India. For example, the laws of Manu, dating to 200 BC-200 AD, placed restrictions on the use of alcohol among Hindus, including alcoholic drinks made from sugar cane (Doniger and Smith 1991). The laws assert, "Three kinds of liquor should be distinguished: made from sugar, made from ground rice, and made from honey; just as priests should not drink the one so Ithey should not drink] any of them" (Doniger and Smith 1991:260). The Caraka Samhita, possibly written as early as 78 AD, identified





10


sugar as one of the nine sources for wine (Chandra-Kaviratna and Sharma 1996:191-192). Ye-lu Ch'u ts'ai, Chinese minister to Chingez Khan, wrote during his travels to the Indus Valley that sugar cane was cultivated and from its juice "people make wine" (Bretschneider 1967;I:23). Fermented sugar drinks were also described in the Arthasastra of Kautilya, which may have been written as early as the third century BC (Deerr 1949;1:48; Allchin 1979:58).

The Muslim expansion in the 700s spread sugar cane across the Mediterranean, yet its use as an alcoholic beverage waned. By the 900s, the sugar industry reached as far west as the island of Sicily and southern Spain confirming the saying that "sugar followed the Koran" (Lippmann 1929:239-240). The Crusades helped introduce sugar to Christian Europe and, by the 1100s, Crusaders themselves became sugar producers in some parts of the conquered Arab world (Mintz 1985:28). For almost six hundred years, until the fifteenth century, the supply of sugar to the Muslim and Christian worlds came almost exclusively from the Levant and Mediterranean sugar industries.

There is some evidence that sugar cane was used in the production of alcohol in the Arab world. In 1200, Marco Polo (1958:315) wrote that, in Zanzibar, "They have no grape vines, but make a sort of wine from rice and sugar, with the addition of some spicy drugs, very pleasant to the taste, and having the intoxicating quality of the other." Yet, despite the breadth of the Arab sugar industries, especially in the Levant and Mediterranean, as well as the knowledge, at least in some parts of the Arab world, that sugar cane could be used to produce alcohol, there is no evidence of any concerted or commercial effort to advance the production of sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages.

Several factors account for the absence of sugar cane-based alcohol in the Arab world. First, although the decline of the Levantine and Mediterranean sugar industries in the sixteenth century is generally attributed to competition from the developing sugar industries in Madeira, the Canaries, and the Americas, research also suggests that environmental constraints, technological inefficiency, and local bureaucratic corruption








restrained the growth of Levantine and Mediterranean sugar production. For example, historian J.H. Galloway (1977:182) argued that the short growing season of sugar cane in these more temperate regions prevented crops from reaching maturity. This short growing cycle reduced the amount of cane juice produced and limited sugar yields. Galloway (1977:187) also noted that deforestation led to fuel shortages, which impeded the growth of a variety of developing industries in the Mediterranean, including sugar. Moreover, sugar mills and presses were inefficient and "adapted from those already used around the Mediterranean to mill flour, to extract oil from olives, or to crush grapes and other fruits" (Galloway 1977:184).

Sugar historians Edmund Oskar von Lippmann (1929) and Noell Deerr (1949)

claimed that, in 1449, Sicilian political official Pietro Speciale invented the three-roller mill: a major technological innovation in the pressing of sugar cane. This invention, they believed, was evidence of the advanced state of Mediterranean sugar production. However, Galloway challenged the Sicilian origin of the three-roller mill and argued, instead, that the three-roller mill had a seventeenth century New World origin. Furthermore, Galloway (1977:191) blamed warfare, plague, and the corrupt policies of the Mamiuk sultans of Egypt for the inefficiency and decline of Mediterranean sugar production. Historian Eliyahu Ashtor (1986) noted similar technological stagnation in the Levant. Ashtor contended that Levantine emirs and sultans placed tough restrictions on private enterprise, which resulted in technological conservatism on the part of the emerging bourgeois sugar planters. In short, environmental constraints, technological stagnation, and bureaucratic controls inhibited the growth of the sugar industry in the Mediterranean and Levant and prevented the development of industrial structures that would have efficiently turned sugar cane juice and sugar industry waste into alcohol.

The profitability of sugar also inhibited the rise of a sugar cane-based alcohol

industry. During the Mediterranean phase of sugar production, sugar was an expensive luxury item in both the Muslim and Christian worlds. Ashtor described the wide variety of





12


sugars produced in Egypt and Syria ranging from thrice-boiled refined sugars to molasses. Even the low grades of once-boiled sugar and molasses were expensive and in high demand in European and Mediterranean markets. In fact, according to Ashtor, Levantine sugar producers had such difficulty meeting local demand in the fifteenth century that they were forced to import molasses from Cyprus, Sicily, and possibly Spain. The limited supply and high demand for sugar and molasses kept prices high, which made it unlikely that Mediterranean sugar producers would siphon profits from the lucrative sugar and molasses trades in order to produce alcohol. This argument is strengthened when we consider attitudes toward alcohol in the Mediterranean and Europe.

Muslim prohibitions against alcohol probably guaranteed that Mediterranean sugar producers would not turn their sugar cane juice and molasses into alcohol. The basis for Islamic proscriptions against alcohol derive from the following three passages in the Koran:

They ask you about wine and gambling. Say: 'there is great sin in both, although
they have some profit for men; but their harm is far greater then their profit.'
(Sura II. 219)

Believers, wine and games of chance, idols and divining arrows, are abominations
devised by Satan. Avoid them so that you may prosper.
(Sura V. 90)

Satan seeks to stir up enmity and hatred among you by means of wine and
gambling, and to keep you from the remembrance of Allah and from your prayers.
Will you not abstain from them?
(Sura V. 91)

Although Islamic prohibitions refer to the fermented juice of grapes, they applied to all forms of alcohol, or anything that interfered with the ability to reason and communicate rationally with Allah. Islam not only prohibited the consumption of alcohol, but also the production and sale of alcoholic beverages. Despite other, more positive references to wine in the Koran, as well as in the poetic gleanings of Omar Khayyam's Ruba'iyat, the prohibition against alcohol remained strong in the Orthodox Muslim world. For example, in the eleventh century, Caliph Al-Hakim ordered destroyed all raisin and grape vineyards that could be used to produce wine (Unwin 1991:151). Ironically, Mesopotamia was the birthplace of beer and wine 10,000-12,000 years ago and some archaeologists believe the






13


desire for alcohol was the impetus for the Neolithic revolution (Braidwood et al. 1953; Katz and Voigt 1986; Badler, McGovern, and Michel 1990; Katz and Maytag 1991). Beer and wine had been staple beverages in Mesopotamia since the Sumerian empire around 3000 BC and they were also widely used in the eastern Mediterranean in ancient times. Yet, despite the long history of alcohol use in the region, prohibitions against the consumption, production, and sale of alcohol after the rise of Islam dissuaded Mediterranean sugar planters from fermenting their excess sugar cane juice or molasses into alcohol. Further, if alcohol was clandestinely produced and consumed in the Islamic world on any large scale, the beverage of choice would have likely been traditional grain beers or the romanticized grape wines, since, according to Khayyam (1981:80), "Drink wine, this is life eternal."

Alcoholic beverages made from sugar cane would have also had difficulty

penetrating European markets. Medieval Christian Europe developed a fixation for grape wine. As early as the Mycenean period (1400-1100 BC), wine was the common drink in Greece (Unwin 1991:94-133; Hyams 1965:66). Phocaeans cultivated the vine in the region of Marseille in the sixth century BC and the Greek wine trade reached the Upper Sa6ne valley and the Jura in France during the same period (Unwin 1991:101). The treatise of Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 BC) revealed that viticulture was well established in Italy by the second century BC and Italian wines were sought throughout the Roman Empire. During the first century AD, the vine spread through Gaul as far north as the Vienne River and Bordeaux. The emperor Constantine made the earliest reference to wine in Burgundy in 312 AD. However, viticulture may have begun in the region at least a century earlier (Unwin 1991:117). In the first century AD, Diodorus Siculus wrote,

The Gauls are exceedingly addicted to the use of wine and fill themselves with the
wine which is brought into their country by merchants, drinking it unmixed, and
since they partake of this drink without moderation by reason of their craving for it,
when they are drunken fall into a stupor or state of madness.
(cited in Unwin 1991:124)





14


The Mediterranean and southern European wine trades also fed the demand for wine in England before the Roman conquest and it is even possible that the Romans introduced viticulture to England in the first century AD (Unwin 1991:118).

Why was wine so popular in Europe? Much has to do with marketing strategies of Italian merchants. Wine historian Tim Unwin argued that the increased demand for wine in Italy in the first century BC was due to the increasing population of Roman towns. Urban growth led to an economic shift from a peasant-style agrarian subsistence that met local wine needs to an economy based on slave labor and the commercial export of wine. In fact, Italian wine merchants acquired slaves in Gaul using profits from the wine trade. The Italian market for slaves was soon saturated, which resulted in the decline of the Italian wine trade to slave markets in western and northern Europe. Increased production of wine in southern France and the development of the Spanish viticulture further diminished the Italian wine trade to western and northern Europe. Italian exports continued to decline in the first century BC as Italian viticulturists struggled to meet the local alcoholic demands of the growing urban populations in Roman towns. As wine became the common drink of all classes in Roman towns, wine makers found that selling cheaper varieties of wine to the masses was more profitable than producing vintage wine specifically for the wealthy. The demand for wine grew so rapidly in Italy that by the end of the first century BC, Italians were forced to import wine from Gaul and Spain (Unwin 1991:123-131).

Urban centers in Europe contracted after the fall of the western empire but began to expand again between 1000 and 1300. By 1300, the largest cities in Europe included Paris, Milan, Florence, and Venice and urban centers were beginning to develop in northern Europe. Wine became the common drink of the masses in the wine-growing regions of southern Europe, especially in France, Spain, and Italy. Southern European wine producers faced the challenge of opening potentially huge markets in the newly emerging towns and cities in northern Europe, such as London and Flanders, where the vine did not grow and where the wine trade had been relatively small. For the most part, the masses in





15


northern Europe drank beverages with relatively low alcohol contents, such as beer and ale. For example, in 98AD, Tacitus stated that the Germanic tribes

drink a liquor made of barley or other grains, which is fermented to produce a
certain resemblance to wine. Those who dwell nearest the Rhine or the Danube also
buy wine. Their food is plain wild fruit, fresh game, and curdled milk. They satisfy their hunger without any elaborate cuisine or appetizers. But they do not
show the same self-control in their slaking their thirst. If you indulge their
intemperance by plying them with as much drink as they desire, they will be as
easily conquered by this besetting weakness as force of arms.
(cited in Unwin 1991:145)

Beer was also considered a dietary supplement in northern Europe and an important substitute for potentially tainted water.

Wine, with its higher alcohol content, was an expensive novelty. In the emerging merchant economies of medieval Europe, beer and ale were the drink of common folk while wine became the drink of the aristocracy and new merchant elites. Wine was a symbol of wealth and high social status throughout northern Europe. The wine trade to northern Europe flourished in the late medieval period and, eventually, found more of a mass market. This was particularly true of the wine trade between Gascony and England, which began in the late 1100s (Simon 1907:72-73). In the first decade of the fourteenth century, well over 20 million gallons of wine were annually exported to England from Gascon ports. Worth roughly 300,000, the wine trade was a lucrative business and one that Gascon wine merchants were eager to control (Unwin 1991:198; Simon 1907).

Ideological forces also encouraged the use of wine in medieval Europe. The cult of Dionysus flourished in Greece in the sixth century BC and raised wine consumption to a spiritual level. Dionysian philosophy in Greece developed into Bacchanalian philosophy in second century BC in Rome. Dionysus and Bacchus symbolically linked wine to the afterlife and fertility and, thus, to the world of the gods (Unwin 1991:85-93). Medieval Christianity adopted much of the Greco-Roman wine symbolism and the New Testament is loaded with spiritual references to wine adapted from Dionysian and Bacchanalian philosophy. For example, Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into wine at a wedding in Cana. Similar accomplishments were attributed to Dionysus in ancient Greece. In contrast





16


to the Islamic prohibitions, wine in medieval Christian Europe was an integral part of spirituality. Consuming wine in the Eucharist helped forge a path to God. Wine merchants exploited Christian wine symbolism in order to expand their trade (Unwin 1991:141-142).

Another factor spurring the European preoccupation with wine was the belief in its medicinal qualities. In the New Testament, Paul recommended wine as a cure for stomach ailments (I Timothy, V:23). Galen (130-201 AD) promoted wine as a treatment for a wide range of physical disorders. In fact, Galenic principles shaped the medieval European diet and, according to food historian Rachel Laudan (2000), one of the basic assumptions about health "involved maintaining a proper equilibrium of bodily fluids by eating a suitably balanced diet." Warm hypocras wine, named after the Greek physician, was believed to counteract cold and dry forces (Laudan 2000:79). Amaldus de Villanova's (1235-1311) Liber de Vinis also "firmly established the medicinal use of wine in Europe during the late Middle Ages" (Unwin 1991:179). In particular, Villanova considered red wine good for the blood and believed it aided digestion (Laudan 2000:79). The names given distilled wine, including aqua vitae and eau de vie [water of life highlight European beliefs about wine's salubrious qualities. Modern medical research continues to identify links between the moderate use of wine and good health.

The technological inefficiency of Arab sugar production, Muslim prohibitions

against alcohol, and the profitability of sugar combined to impede the development of sugar cane-based alcohol industries in the Mediterranean. The marketing strategies of southern European merchants helped make wine a preferred drink of the masses in Europe. These wine merchants probably enhanced their trade by manipulating wine's symbolic links to wealth, spirituality, and healing. By the end of the medieval period, wine was central to the European economy and merchants were supplying wine to emerging urban centers in northern Europe. The wine trade also generated government revenues, which helped finance kingdoms throughout medieval Europe and, thus, ensured the protection of the wine industry. Had a sugar cane-based alcohol been produced in the Mediterranean, it





17


would have had to overcome enormous odds, especially competition from a grape wine trade that had connected disparate parts of Europe since before the Roman Empire.

It was during the wine-saturated late Middle Ages in Europe that the art of alcohol distillation developed. The exact origin of alcohol distillation is not entirely clear and research has identified several centers. For example, using recovered archaeological materials and ethnographic evidence from tribal groups in Northern India, F.R. Allchin (1979) argued that historians have overlooked textual references to distillation, which could indicate the practice in India as early as 500 BC. Allchin discovered pottery indicative of distilling activities at archaeological sites in Northwestern India and Pakistan dating to a period between 150 BC and 350 AD and believed that many of the artifacts were similar to "simple" distilling apparatuses that have been found among contemporary tribal groups in the region (Allchin 1979:55-56). Allchin also showed that a critical reading of ancient Sanskrit terms associated with the elephant are, in reality, analogous references to alembics and, therefore, the distillation process. For example, the Sanskrit word sunda (elephant's trunk) is often used in association with the manufacture of alcohol. Allchin believed that sunda is a metaphor for the trunk-like pipe of ancient alembics from which the distillate ran into the receiver. Allchin (1979:63) wrote, "India appears on present evidence to have been the first culture to exploit widespread distillation of alcohol for human consumption; and it may well be that the art of distillation was India's gift to the world." If Allchin's theory is correct, then the art of distillation developed in a region with the earliest references to the use of sugar cane in the production of alcohol.

Other evidence suggests that distillation in the Mediterranean and Europe developed out of alchemy where the original purpose was not the extraction of alcohol. For example, the Chrysopoea of Cleopatra, a treatise on gold extraction written at the beginning of the Christian era, included the earliest known illustration of a distilling apparatus (Underwood 1935:34). In the third century AD, Alexander of Aphrodisias described sailors distilling seawater to extract fresh water (Underwood 1935:35). According to industrial historian





18


A.J.V. Underwood (1935:36) the art of distillation was probably greatly advanced by a group of Hellenic Greek philosophers practicing alchemy in Alexandria in the first century AD. This group practiced distilling for centuries and much of their work was steeped in mysticism. For example, among their many contributions was a recipe for "divine waters," an elixir of life produced from distilled serpents collected on Mount Olympus, sulfur, and mercury. Once distilled the liquid was ground with the blood of shellfish and golden winged vultures captured near the cedars of Mount Lebanon (Underwood 1935:35-36). After the fall of Alexandria, the art of distillation was transferred to the Muslim world and Baghdad soon became a center of scientific thought. A treatise on alchemy, probably written in Baghdad between the ninth and eleventh centuries, contained writings about distillation and drawings of alembics that reflected the earlier Hellenic Greek tradition. The Arab world advanced the art of distillation and commonly produced rose water for medical purposes (Underwood 1935:37).

Crusaders learned about distilling from the Arabs and introduced the art to Europe. According Underwood, the famous medical school in Salerno, near Naples, probably had the greatest influences on distillation in Europe and was responsible for advancing the particular art of alcohol distillation. The medical school, founded by Benedictine monks, was a repository for Greek and Arab works and experiments. Underwood (1935:38) claimed that it was in Italy that "alcohol or spirits of wine were most probably discovered at some time between AD 1050 and 1150." The earliest reference to distilled alcohol is a twelfth century manuscript Mapp~ Clavicula, which described the process for distilling wine. Arnaldus de Villanova (1235-1312), at the famous Montpeilier medical school, improved the art of alcohol distillation and was the first to apply the name aqua vite to distilled wine. Around 1300, Raymond Lully introduced the art of alcohol distillation to England (Underwood 1935:39-41).

In the late Middle Ages, northern Europeans became technological and commercial innovators of spirit distillation. The cold climate of northern Europe was an important





19


stimulus for the production of beverages with high alcohol content. Also, because the vine did not grow in the cold climates of northern Europe, northern Europeans were forced to import expensive wine from southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Distillation offered northern Europeans an opportunity to distill beverages with high alcohol content from cheaper varieties of imported wines, as well as from local grains.

The Dutch embraced the art of alcohol distillation. The Netherlands became the main market for cheap wines from southern Europe and Dutch merchants and distillers produced brandy in France. In fact, the Dutch were so central in the distilling industry that the word for "brandy" derives from the Dutch meaning literally "burnt-wine." By the early sixteenth century, Dutch drinking was often perceived as pathological (Diderot 1876 cited in Schama 1987:189; Giucciardini cited in Schama 1987:190). In 1613, there were 518 alehouses in Amsterdam alone, or one for every two hundred inhabitants (Schama 1987:191). Unwin (1991:236-237) identified four reasons for the particular interests in brandy in the Netherlands. First, there was a demand for alcohol in the burgeoning towns of the northern Europe and the Dutch were already well-established wine traders. Second, the reduction of Spanish wine imports after the Dutch revolt (1567) left a gap in the alcohol market. Third, the Dutch, who were early merchant capitalists, had ready money available for capital investment. Fourth, the wider trade links of the Dutch allowed them to trade for such things as copper from Sweden, which was necessary for the construction of stills.

Historian John McCusker (1991, 2001) argued that the high cost of distilled spirits hindered the early growth of European distilling industries. Early stills were small and could not achieve economies of scale. In addition, technological stagnation slowed the geographical spread of alcohol distillation in northern Europe. Early alembics lacked an effective cooling apparatus for generating the quick and efficient condensation of alcohol. One of the most important technological innovations was the discovery that water-cooling speeded the condensation of alcohol. Although the use of cold water to speed the process of condensation probably occurred in an earlier era of distilling, Lully and Villanova





20


popularized the technique of using cold water to cool receivers. In the mid-sixteenth century, the water-cooled worm was introduced, which speeded the condensation process resulting in the more efficient extraction of alcohol (Underwood 1935:46). The watercooled worm, a coil running from the still head through a tank of cool water and into the receiver, was first illustrated in Biringuccio's De la pirotechnia in 1540 (Underwood 1935:43). In the early seventeenth century, distillers began the first serious experiments with fractional distilling, a slow distilling process based on the discovery that differences in the boiling points of particular liquids could be used to remove unwanted impurities from the distillate (Underwood 1935:53).

Another important shift occurred when distillers began to experiment with different ingredients. The art of alcohol distillation originally centered on the extraction of a purer alcohol from wine, but distillers soon began to experiment with new ingredients. For example, grain distillation probably began in the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries. However, the distillation of grain created new problems. In the sixteenth century, the Dutch government discouraged grain distillation because it feared raising bread prices (Faith 1986 cited in Unwin 1991:237). McCusker (1991, 2001) argued that the high cost of "base materials," such as wine and grain, greatly limited the growth of early distillation in Europe. According to McCusker, the success of European distilling industries had to wait until the 1650s when the rise of New World sugar making, and subsequent rise of sugar refining in Europe, provided distillers with cheap and abundant syrup, the molasses-like by-product of sugar refining.

Other factors also hindered the rise of distilling. The high initial cost of distilling equipment probably prevented many from entering the trade. In addition, early alchemists may have feared reprisals from the church, which often considered their experimental work with distillation a form of sorcery and witchcraft. Moreover, the church, which controlled sacrificial wine and, therefore, access to spiritual guidance, had an important stake in regulating the production of alcohol (Underwood 1935:40). Physicians and apothecaries





21


also had a financial stake in maintaining control over the secrets of distillation. Late medieval physicians and apothecaries promoted distilled spirits as elixirs of life and, in 1348, distilled alcohol was even promoted as a specific remedy against the plague (Underwood 1935:41). Thus, despite Lully's introduction of distillation to England, it was confined to the monasteries, which at that time were the centers for medical science. The dissolution of England's monasteries in the sixteenth century meant that monks were forced to seek work in the private sector. It is possible that they introduced the knowledge and skill of distilling to the general public at that time.

The invention of printing in the end of fifteenth century led to a greater number of books on the art of distillation. Although knowledge about distilling technology at this time was still largely in the hands of physicians, apothecaries, and religious orders, publications brought the secrets of distillation to a wider audience. English translations of German books on the art of distillation also helped demystify the trade (Andrew 1527; Baker 1599; Gesner 1565; Underwood 1935). In 1500 and 1507, Hieronymus Brunschwig, a Strasburg physician, published two volumes on the art of distilling showing various types of alembics and listing the medicinal qualities of various plants capable of being distilled. These volumes were translated into English in 1527 (Andrew 1527). In 1552, Conrad Gesner, using the pseudonym Euonymus Philiater, published a similar treatise on distilling, which highlighted new alembics and various concoctions that could be distilled and used in the treatment of illness. This treatise was translated into English in 1565.

Brunschwig did not identify sugar cane as a plant capable of being distilled, but sugar was used as a secondary ingredient in many of the pre-distilled wash compounds. Gesner also described potions that used sugar as a secondary ingredient. For example, in Gesner's (1565:124-125) recipe for eau de vie (brandy), sugar was added to the wine prior to distillation. Gesner (1565:396-397) also described the use of sugar in the production of "aromatical wines" made by apothecaries and wrote that hypocras wine made with sugar was "more sweet." Gesner (1565:129) also recorded the distillation of "triacle"





22


from Alexandria, which appears to be a corruption of treacle, the molasses-like by-product of sugar refining otherwise known as syrup. The distillation of treacle, although not made in a sugar cane-growing region of the world, could be interpreted as an early form of rum.

At the very least, distillers in Renaissance Europe recognized the alcoholic potential of sugar and sugar by-products. Both Gesner and Brunschwig describe the use of sugar in wash compounds to produce more potent medicines, and Gesner even described the distillation of treacle. There are also two interesting coincidences linking sugar and the development of distillation in medieval Europe. First, the earliest experiments with alcohol distillation occurred at the medical school in Salerno at the height of the Mediterranean sugar industry in the twelfth century. Second, the English word "alembic" derives from the word penidium a derivative of al-fanid, the Arab word for sugar. Al-fanid may have derived from the Indic language where the word phinta is Sanskrit for sugar cane juice (Saraka) (Mintz 1985:233n. 11). Thus, a linguistic connection hints at a certain link between sugar and early distillation practices in the Mediterranean and medieval Europe. Yet, despite the presence of Mediterranean sugar and the rise of distillation in Europe in the late Middle Ages, there was no commercial production of an alcoholic beverage based solely on sugar cane juice or sugar cane by-products. The price of imported sugar and molasses was simply too high. Any sugar cane-based alcoholic concoctions made in Europe at this time were produced on a small scale for medicinal, rather than convivial, reasons.

In France, in 1514, Louis XII permitted the vinegar manufacturers' guild to distill spirits and, in 1537, Francis I encouraged the same among French wholesale grocers (Unwin 1991:236). By the mid-sixteenth century, French distillers organized themselves into a separate guild and distilled wine (brandy) soon became a beverage of more general use (Underwood 1935:42). Similarly, in England, in the early seventeenth century, Charles I granted the Worshipful Company of Distillers a distilling monopoly for a 21-mile radius





23


around London and Westminster (George 1951:29; Watney 1976:12). By the end of the seventeenth century, the distillation of wine, grain, and syrup had become a lucrative commercial enterprise in Europe.

In the middle of the fifteenth century, the production of sugar shifted to the Atlantic islands off the West African coast. Spanish and Portuguese investors, with help from Italian merchants and sugar producers, transferred the capital, technology, and knowledge to produce sugar to the Atlantic islands. The main islands included Madeira, the Canaries, and Sio Tom6. Madeira, under Portuguese rule, was the earliest and most successful of the Atlantic sugar islands and, by the late fifteenth century, was "the largest single producer of sugar in the western world" (Schwartz 1985:8). According to historian Stuart Schwartz (Schwartz 1985:5), Sicilian sugar producers greatly influenced the development and structure of the Atlantic island sugar industries providing "the human links in the chain that transferred the techniques, estate management, and commercial organization of sugar from the eastern and western Mediterranean and then beyond the pillars of Hercules to the Atlantic basin." Sugar producers in the Spanish Canaries began exporting sugar as early as 1506 and producers in Sio Tom6 were also producing sugar in the sixteenth century (Eyzaguirre 1986; Fernandez-Armesto 1982; Mintz 1985:234n.30). Yet, despite the presence of sugar, the knowledge of alcohol distillation, and the growing urban populations of avid alcohol consumers in Europe, there is no strong evidence for the commercial, or even local, production of alcohol from sugar cane in the Portuguese and Spanish Atlantic islands in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. For example, there is no distilling equipment listed in the plantation inventory of Canary island sugar planter Crist6bal Garcia del Castillo in 1527 (Schwartz 1985:11).

Many of the same factors hindering the production of alcoholic beverages from sugar cane in the Mediterranean also arrested the development of this industry in the Atlantic islands. Wine merchants continued to promote their trade by offering greater and cheaper varieties of wine. Sugar was still a profitable luxury item and, thus, the focus of





24


Atlantic island production. The high demand for even low quality sugar and molasses in Europe reduced the amount of by-product available for the production of alcohol. Also, Italian merchant influence in the Atlantic islands meant that sugar producers relied on the same inefficient technology of Mediterranean sugar producers. Moreover, Christian wine symbolism and traditional notions about dietary health encouraged Europeans to produce and seek grape wine. Grain-based beer and ale were also readily available to the masses in northern Europe. In addition, the emerging distilled spirits industry in Europe, still primarily the domain of the church, physicians, and apothecaries, focused on the production of brandy from the overflow of cheap southern European wine.

Within a century, competition from Brazil and the Spanish Caribbean reduced the profitability of Atlantic island sugar. At the same time, the expansion of the Ottoman Empire into the eastern Mediterranean left a void in the important market for malmsey sweet wines from Crete (Unwin 1991:185). As a result, many Atlantic island planters abandoned sugar making for viticulture. In fact, Madeira, the strongest of the Atlantic island sugar producers, began making wine in the mid-sixteenth century. Thus, even though sugar was an important luxury item in Europe and sugar by-products could have been distilled into alcohol, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian merchants still perceived wine to be the more profitable industry.

Many societies recognized the alcoholic potential of sugar cane prior to the

settlement of the New World. However, the high cost of sugar, inefficient nature of Old World sugar production, Islamic prohibitions, Christian symbolism, and widespread availability of other types of alcoholic beverages inhibited the growth of commercial sugar cane-based alcohol industries. However, the large-scale sugar plantation societies of the New World offered a fresh opportunity to exploit the alcoholic potential of sugar cane.














CHAPTER 3
THE EMERGENCE OF CARIBBEAN RUM Some Old World societies exploited the alcoholic potential of sugar cane, but the commercial production of rum began in the Americas. The emergence of Caribbean rum industries in the seventeenth century was fueled by colonists' desire for alcoholic beverages on the frontier margins of the Atlantic world. Separated from their traditional alcoholic beverages, Europeans and Africans in the Caribbean searched for local alternatives and produced fermented and distilled varieties of sugar cane juice to help fill the alcoholic void. Rum also fed the traditional maritime demand for alcohol in a period when Caribbean colonization was increasing the frequency of long distance overseas trade. Early forays into rum production highlight the efficient economic strategies of New World sugar planters and their attempts to capitalize on local alcohol markets.

Rum is the potable alcoholic beverage obtained by distilling sugar cane juice and the waste products of sugar making. True rum is made in sugar cane-growing regions of the world, but the name has also been applied to sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages made in non-sugar cane-growing regions. For example, New Englanders, who distilled molasses purchased from the Caribbean sugar islands also called their spirits rum. To a lesser extent, Europeans, who distilled syrup, the waste products of metropolitan sugar refineries, also applied the term rum to their product.

Numerous terms have been used for alcoholic beverages made from sugar cane. Cachaga is the most common name for distilled alcohol made from sugar cane in Brazil, but Brazilian folklorist Mario Souto Maior (1980) has identified well over 100 others. In the French Caribbean, tafia, eau de vie de canne, and clarin all refer to alcohol made from sugar cane. In the Spanish colonies, aguardiente de caia and chingurito have been



25





26


used. Kill devil referred to distilled sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages in the early British Caribbean and the name kill devil transferred to the French as guildive, the Dutch as kiltem, and the Danish as Kieldeevil.

Rum became the most common term for a distilled sugar cane-based alcoholic

beverage outside of Brazil. It originated in the British Caribbean in the seventeenth century and derived from the English word "rumbullion." In 1651, Giles Silvester, an early resident in Barbados and the brother of Anglo-Dutch sugar planter Constant Silvester, one of the wealthiest and most politically powerful sugar planters in Barbados (see Smith 1998c), made the earliest, and possibly only, reference linking rum and rumbullion. Silvester (cited in Harlow 1925:46) wrote, "the chiefe fudling they make in the Iland is Rumbullion, als Kill-Divill, and this is made of suggar cones distilled a hott hellish and terrible liquor." Rumbullion was a word commonly used in Devonshire, England to mean "a great tumult" and its origin may reflect the large number of West Country English who settled Barbados in the early seventeenth century (Davis 1885:76-81). By the early 1650s, rumbullion was shortened to rum. Although an interesting coincidence, it is unlikely that the word rum was taken from the last syllable of the Latin word sacchrum (Compoamor 1988:142; Kerv6gant 1946:11; Morewood 1824:161; Pack 1983:4). Planters in the French and Spanish Caribbean adopted rum as the term for a distilled sugar cane-based alcohol translating it to rhum and ron respectively.

Who were the first New World rum producers and how did the industry develop? Historians have speculated about the origins of New World rum making and often assume that it emerged immediately alongside sugar production. For example, Brazil historian Stuart Schwartz (1985:81-82) has suggested that small Brazilian sugar factories were producing rum as early as 1587. Sidney Mintz (1985:35) intimated that sugar planters in the Spanish Caribbean were distilling rum in the early sixteenth century. Staking claim to the origins of rum making carries a strong sense of nationalistic pride and some claims are steeped in this nationalistic spirit. For example, British Caribbean historian Darnell Davis





27


(1885:76) wrote "Rum was wholly unknown to Englishmen until its manufacture was established, if not discovered, in Barbados." In contrast, French historian Alain Huetz de Lemps (1997:17) has hinted that Martinique was the birthplace of rum making. Much of the confusion surrounding the origin of New World rum making stems from the gradual evolution of rum prototypes, fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages that were produced on a small-scale in the early years of colonization, and from the almost parallel ascent of rum distilling in the different parts of the Americas in the early seventeenth century.

Christopher Columbus carried sugar cane to the Americas on his second voyage in 1493. According to historian Mervyn Ratekin (1953), a sugar processing plant was established on Hispaniola in 1503 and commercial sugar production was well under way by 1520. In the early sixteenth century, the Spanish Caribbean sugar planters followed the model of capital investment, long distance trade, and slave labor that had developed in the Canary Islands. By 1524, sugar production appeared in New Spain [Mexico]. The Portuguese pursued a similar path in Brazil and exported sugar to Lisbon in commercial quantities as early as 1526, though the sugar industry may have been established as early as the 1510Os (Mintz 1985:33; Schwartz 1985:161-162). By the end of the seventeenth century, Britain, France, Holland, and Denmark all had colonies in the Caribbean producing sugar for an ever-increasing European demand.

The earliest evidence in the Americas for the use of sugar cane in the production of an alcoholic beverage is in Spanish Santo Domingo. In 1550, Spanish Dominican friar Bartolom6 de Las Casas, describing the period 1511-1520, wrote of the African slaves

We had never seen any die of illness; like oranges, they took to this land better than to their native soil; but after they were put in the mills, the work and the cane syrup
concoctions they drank caused such deaths and illness among them that they
escaped their misery by fleeing to the woods and from there cruelly attacked the
Spaniards.
(Las Casas 1971:258)
Las Casas' statement has major implications for understanding the development of New World rum industries. First, there is nothing to indicate that the "concoction" Las Casas





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identified was distilled. Considering the relatively new art of distillation and the absence of references to alembics in sixteenth century Santo Domingo, the statement suggests that the "concoction" was a fermented, rather than distilled, beverage. Second, there is no name given to the "concoction" implying that no name had yet been devised for an alcohol made from sugar cane juice. That is, despite the variety of names used to signify fermented and distilled grapes in Europe in the sixteenth century, there was no name for an alcoholic beverage made from sugar cane juice. The absence of a name suggests that the "concoction" was uncommon. Third, the use of this "concoction" was apparently confined to slaves rather than Spanish colonials in the island since Las Casas ignored its effect on the Spanish population. It is possible that, if only slaves drank it, "they" produced it on a small-scale for their own consumption.

The sugar industry in sixteenth century Santo Domingo struggled and eventually faded within 50 years (Ratekin 1953). Small mills produced some molasses for local consumption, but there is no evidence that the molasses from these small mills was distilled into alcohol. In fact, it appears that Spanish colonials had little interest in the by-products of sugar production. In 1535, Gonzalo de Oviedo y Valdes (cited in Craton, Walvin, and Wright 1976:8) wrote, "The ships that come out from Spain return loaded with sugar of fine quality, and the skimmings and syrup that are wasted on this island or thrown away would make another great province rich." Nor have I found references to alembics, stillhouses, or distillers in early plantation inventories to suggest distillation of sugar cane juice or the waste products of sugar making. The rise of Brazilian sugar in the mid-sixteenth century hastened the decline of the Spanish colonial sugar industries and emigration out of the Spanish Caribbean after the discovery of gold and silver in Mexico and Peru further diminished Spanish colonial sugar production.

The first sugar factories were erected in New Spain in 1524 and sugar production quickly spread. However, the rise of new sugar cane-growing regions in New Spain threatened to entirely destroy the struggling Spanish Caribbean economies. Other than cattle





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and hides, sugar represented the Spanish Caribbean's only significant export. In 1545, King Carlos V placed restrictions on "excess" sugar production in New Spain, closed new lands to sugar plantations, and prohibited licensing of new sugar factories in order to protect Spanish Caribbean sugar makers (Sandoval 1951:75). Yet, despite these efforts, Spanish Caribbean sugar production languished until the nineteenth century.

Rum making may have developed in the sugar cane growing regions of New Spain in the sixteenth century. In 1600, a request was made to the mayor of the mining district of Taxco that the sale of wine made from sugar cane juice be prohibited because it was believed to cause "much death, illness and other harm" to the Indians (Zavala 1939;VI:400401). However, the generic description of a "wine made from sugar cane juice" suggests that this was still an uncommon beverage without a specific name. In 1615, Mateo Rodriguez (Zavala 1939;VI:80), a resident of Antequera, was granted permission to channel river water to his sugar cane fields as long as the sugar cane juice was not used to make "guarapo." The term guarapo is the first specific name for an alcoholic beverage made from sugar cane juice and other regional variations of this name surfaced throughout the Americas. Guarapo was a fermented variety of sugar cane juice that was probably only produced on a small-scale for regional consumption. In fact, nothing in these two early references indicates distilling. However, in 1631, officials in New Spain specifically prohibited the production of alcohol with an alembic and, in 1635, the Marquis de Cerralvo (Zavala 1939;VI: 165) ordered that anyone distilling aguardiente Irum) would be whipped.

In the seventeenth century, sugar cane juice and by-products were being used in the production of alcohol in other parts of the Spanish Empire. For example, in 1643, locally made rum competed with Spanish wine and brandy in Havana (Chez Checo 1988:50). In 1658, the audiencia of Santa Fe in New Granada complained about the harmful social impact of a new beverage: "aguardiente made from sweet sugar cane juice" (Mora de Tovar 1988:17n 1). Sugar production also began in Peru and Venezuela in the mid-sixteenth





30


century and sugar planters there may have begun fermenting guarapo and distilling aguardiente de calia soon thereafter (Sandoval 1951:64-65).

Brazil developed a highly productive sugar industry in the sixteenth century.

According to Schwartz, by 1570 the sugar industry was firmly established in northeastern Brazil. By 1580, Pernambuco boasted 66 mills and was the leading sugar producing area in Brazil (Soares de Souza 1587: 150-174). After the Dutch conquest of Pernambuco in the 1630s, Bahia became the leading sugar producing region in Brazil and it remained the major source for sugar throughout the eighteenth century (Schwartz 1985:91).

Brazilian planters may have distilled sugar cane juice and the by-products of sugar making in the sixteenth century. Some time between 1536 and 1558, SAi de Miranda, a well known Portuguese poet, wrote "Carta V: A Ant6nio Pereira" in which he used the term cachaga (Earle 1980:33,93). Ant6nio Pereira was an early colonial governor in Brazil as well as the brother of SA de Miranda. Brazilian folklorists accept this passage as the earliest reference to cachaga, the distilled sugar cane-based alcoholic beverage (Cuscado 1962:138139; Souto Maior 1985:23). However, there is little evidence for the production of alcohol in sixteenth century Brazil. In 1587, Gabriel Soares de Sousa (1587:150-174) identified numerous large sugar factories and 8 smaller "casas de cozer meles" in the Renconcavo. Although Schwartz (1985:81-82) has suggested that "casas de cozer de meles" produced alcohol, it is not clear whether they produced alcohol or merely molasses for the local population. Further, Soares de Sousa's detailed account of the Brazilian sugar industry made no specific references to alcohol production on these sixteenth century sugar plantations. Nor is there any mention of alembics or tools necessary for distillation in the extensive sixteenth century records of the large Sergipe plantation, one of the most productive sugar factories in the Renconcavo. Distillers are not listed among the artisans at Engenho Sergipe and the earliest reference to an "alambique" at Engenho Sergipe appears





31


in 1651 (Maranhao 1956:492). Thus, if cachapa was produced in Brazil in the sixteenth century, the industry was small and limited to meeting the demands of the local population.

The earliest reference to the production of alcohol from sugar cane in Brazil may be in 1622-1623 when aguardiente was given to the slaves at Engenho Sergipe (Maranhao 1956:56). This order was repeated again in 1625-1626 (Maranhao 1956:87). Yet aguardiente, lacking the distinguishing modifier "de calia," was also used as a generalized term for Portuguese brandy and was also sometimes applied to various other spirits. For example, Portuguese traders in West Central Africa applied the term aguardiente to alcohol made from honey and fruit (Curto 1996:33). This same argument may also apply to the 1635 reference to aguardiente in New Spain. By the mid-seventeenth century, however, Brazilian sugar planters were clearly distilling cachaa and, in 1646, Portuguese officials already considered it such a threat to the social and economic stability of Brazil that they attempted to ban its production (Schwartz 1985:531 n 12). The ban was apparently never implemented, probably because Brazilian cachapa had already found a strong market in West Central Africa (Curto 1996).

In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, Spanish colonials in New Spain and the Caribbean, and Portuguese colonials in Brazil experimented with sugar cane-based alcohol. Due to the independent nature of sugar making in these two regions, it is likely that early endeavors in the production of sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages reflect parallel developments rather than the sharing of knowledge between Spanish and Portuguese settlers. Moreover, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, viticulturists in the Spanish Canaries and Portuguese Madeira were making fortified wine and brandy. Experiments with sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages in New Spain, the Spanish Caribbean, and Brazil may reflect the influence of brandy distillers who migrated from the Spanish Canaries and Portuguese Madeira to the respective colonies in the Americas. It is also possible that knowledge about the alcoholic potential of sugar cane flowed directly from the





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migration of sugar planters from the Spanish Canaries and Portuguese Madeira to the Spanish and Portuguese sugar cane-growing regions in the New World.

In the seventeenth century, the sugar industry spread to the recently settled colonies of the British and French Caribbean. Dutch merchants and sugar planters in Pernambuco were an important stimulus. Richard Ligon, an English Royalist who fled to the Caribbean and lived in Barbados between 1647 and 1650, wrote

At the time we landed on this Island, which was in the beginning of September, 1647, we were informed, partly by those Planters we found there, and partly by
our own observations, that the great work of Sugar-making, was but newly
practiced by the inhabitants there. Some of the most industrious men, having gotten Plants from Fernambock [Pernambuco], a place in Brazil, and made tryal of them at
the Barbadoes.
(Ligon 1657:85)
James Holdip and James Drax are often cited as the planters who first brought sugar cane and the knowledge of how to produce sugar to Barbados from Pernambuco in the early 1640s (Dunn 1972:62,69; Ligon 1657:24, 85-86).

The Portuguese recapture of Pernambuco in the 1640s and 50s severed the Dutch West India Company's direct access to New World sugar. In order to survive, the Company capitalized on the shipping needs of British sugar planters in Barbados and French sugar planters in Martinique. This foreign trade strategy benefited Caribbean sugar planters who, without the Dutch, relied on limited and unreliable national traders and merchants. The Dutch middleman strategy was successful. However, in the mid- to late seventeenth century, British and French maritime activity expanded and, as a result, Britain and France began to enforce monopoly claims to the Caribbean sugar trade. The British Navigation Acts of the 1650s and 60s and the rise of French minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert's late seventeenth century mercantilist policies reflect efforts to wrestle the sugar trade from Dutch West India Company interlopers.

Dutch migrants from Pernambuco, with support from the Dutch West India Company, also reestablished sugar plantations in the struggling islands of the Lesser Antilles and helped expand sugar production in the British and French settlements. French





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missionary Father Jean-Baptiste du Tertre, who lived in Martinique in the 1640s and 50s, believed that the development of Martinique's sugar industry was due to the arrival of Dutch refugees from Pernambuco. According to du Tertre, "since the arrival of the refugees from Recife, some French and some Dutch take refuge in Martinique and have established residences" (du Tertre 1667-1671:442). In 1654, when the Portuguese finally recaptured Pernambuco, a Dutch ship with citizens from the Netherlands and Jews was forced to stop at Martinique. They brought with them capital, the knowledge of how to properly make sugar as in Brazil, the utensils for sugar manufacturing, and African slaves (see also du Tertre 1667-1671:453-463; Ligon 1657:85-86; Rochefort 1658: 314).

The Dutch refugees may have also introduced rum distilling into the British and

French Caribbean. According to French Caribbean historian Lucien Peytraud (1897:214), "A Jew from Brazil, Benjamin Da Costa, in 1644, introduced the first alembics to Martinique." The Dutch expertise in distilling may have been a skill either carried over from the Netherlands or learned in Pernambuco. Some British and French colonists were also skilled in alcohol production; archaeologists have recovered brewing and distilling equipment from early British and French colonial sites in North America (Moussette 1996; Noel-Hume 1988). However, the Dutch, who controlled the sugar growing regions of northern Brazil in the 1630s and 40s, probably learned and perfected the particular art of distilling sugar cane juice and the by-products of sugar making, and disseminated this knowledge to the British and French settlers in the Caribbean.

Distilling immediately became a central element of the French Caribbean sugar industry. A manuscript (GHC 1996:1814) from Martinique dated 1640, when the colony was five years old, stated "the slaves are fond of a strong eau de vie that they call brusle ventre [stomach burnerl" Although brusle ventre sometimes referred to French brandy (eau de vie), the comparative use of the term hints at a locally made concoction rather than imported brandy. In this Caribbean context, brusle ventre was likely a distilled sugar cane-





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based alcoholic beverage and suggests that rum distilling preceded Benjamin Da Costa's arrival in 1644 (for brusle ventre see du Tertre cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:131).

Father du Tertre provided an early account of rum making in Martinique. According to du Tertre,

The spent and exhausted canes and also the skimmings [from the boiling process]
are not unusable, because the skimmings of the second and third cauldrons, and
everything that spills over in the stirring on to the cauldron platform run into a
cistern where it is kept to make eau de vie.
(du Tertre 1667-1671:119)
Father du Tertre's (du Tertre 1667-1671:116-117) illustration of a sugar factory in Martinique included a vinaigrerie lalembicl, which indicates that distilleries quickly became an integral part of French Caribbean sugar estates. In French St. Kitts, traveler Charles de Rochefort (1658:314, 447) also noted that, by the 1650s, the scum by-products from sugar making were distilled in vinaigres to make "eau de vie de cannes."

Early British Caribbean sugar planters also pursued the art of rum making.

Historian John McCusker argued that, as early as 1631, Barbadians produced alcohol from sugar cane. McCusker's (1989:63n 1) belief is based on evidence that sugar cane was present in Barbados in the first year of settlement in 1627 and that, in 1631, traveler Sir Henry Colt referred to Barbadians as "devouerers upp of hott waters and good distellers thereof." McCusker (1989:88n 145) also believed that Barbados rum had even found a market in New England as early as 1638 based on a 1674 recollection of a drinking party for a New England ship Captain that included "kill-devil, alias rum." Although these are intriguing arguments, Ligon made the earliest specific reference to the production of alcohol from sugar cane juice in the British Caribbean. In 1647, Ligon, along with his friend Colonel Thomas Modiford, later Governor of Jamaica, traveled to Barbados fleeing civil war in England and seeking fortune in the developing Atlantic trade. Soon after their arrival, Modiford purchased half of Major William Hilliard's sugar plantation, which, at that time, already possessed a still house. Ligon (1657:32-33) also referred to a drink made from "the skimmings of sugar, which is infinitely strong, but not very pleasant in taste."





35


Another early reference is a 1650 sugar plantation deed recorded in Barbados, which referred to "four large mastick cisterns for liquor for rum" (Lucas 1955:120). This last reference is the earliest to use the specific term rum. By 1650, rum making in Barbados was well under way and it was common for large sugar plantations to have still houses.

What factors explain the early development of New World rum industries? Local demand for alcohol stimulated initial interest in rum making. The Europeans and Africans that settled the Caribbean came from societies with strong traditions of alcohol use and it was only natural that they would seek to secure alcohol from the available sources once they arrived in the New World. Distance, shipping costs, and the demand for other necessary provisions made imported alcoholic beverages expensive and beyond the means of most early settlers. These factors limited the availability of traditional beverages and fueled the search for local alternatives to fill the alcoholic void.

Within the first two decades of the settlement of Barbados, and before the largescale transition to sugar production, colonists experimented with a wide variety of locally made alcoholic beverages. According to Ligon,

The first Idrinki, and that which is used most in the Island, is Mobbie, a drink
made of Potatoes, and thus done. Put the Potatoes into a tub of water, and, with a
broom, stir them up and down; till they are washt clean; then take them out, and put them into a large iron or brass pot, such as you boyl beef in, in England; and put to them as much water, as will only cover a quarter part of them; and cover the top of the pot with a piece of thick canvas doubled, or such cloth as sacks are made with,
covering it close, that the steam go not out. Then make a little fire underneath, so
much only as will cause these roots to stew; and when they are soft, take them out,
and with your hands, squeeze, break, and mash them very small, in fair water; letting them stay there, till the water has drawn and suckt out all the spirit of the roots; which will be done in an hour or two. Then put the liquor and roots into a
large woollen bag, like a jelly-bag, pointed at the bottom; and let it run through that,
into a Jar, and within two hours it begin to work. Cover it, and let it stand till the
next day, and then 'tis fit to be drunk.
(Ligon 1657:31)

The term mobbie probably derives from the Carib Indian word md 'bi, meaning a red variety of sweet potato, or mabi, a generic term for an edible tuber (Hodge and Taylor 1957:597; Taylor 1938:154). In 1627, a Barbadian expeditionary voyage went to the mainland coast of Guiana in search of New World plants that could be brought back and





36


commercially grown in Barbados (Handler 1969). This expedition returned with sweet potatoes and Caribs who knew the methods of how to produce alcohol from them. Colonists became skilled at the art of making mobbie and Ligon even discussed the ability to increase the concentration of alcohol with the addition of more sweet potatoes.

And as you will have it stronger or smaller, put in greater or lesser quantities of
roots; some make it so strong, as to be drunk with small quantities. But the drink it self, being temperately made, does not at all fly up into the head, but is a sprightly
thirst-quenching drink. If it be put up in small casks, as Rundlets, or Firkins, it will
last four or five dayes good, and drink much more sprightly than out of the Jar. I
cannot liken it to anything so near, as Rhenish-wine in the Must; but it is short of it
in the strength of spirit, and fineness of the taste.
(Ligon 1657:31)

In the French Caribbean, missionary Father J.B. Labat also described the production of "maby" Imobbiel. According to Labat (1724;I: 133-134), "they make it in this manner: they put in Canary [wine I twenty or thirty pots of water with two pots of clear sirop [molasses], a dozen red potatoes and many oranges cut into quarters" (see also du Tertre 16671671:1 13). Mobbie use appears to have been confined to the Carib centers of the Lesser Antilles. As late as 1750, mobbie was still one of the most popular drinks in Barbados (Hughes 1750:34).

Cassava-based alcoholic drinks, made from the root of the manioc plant, were also common in the early Caribbean. In Martinique, Father du Tertre (1668-1671:110-111) wrote, "the drink most ordinary is called Oiiicou." Oiiicou was an alcoholic beverage made from cassava and a mixture of potatoes, sugar cane juice, and bananas (Labat 1724;I: 133). In Barbados, cassava-based alcoholic drinks were called Parranow or perino (Silvester 1651 cited in Harlow 1925:46; Ligon 1657:32). Ligon described perino as "wholesomer, though not altogether so pleasant" as mobbie.

As with mobbie, European settlers learned to make cassava-based alcoholic drinks from Caribs and, in many cases, they were the source of these beverages. According to Ligon, perino





37


is made of cassavy root, which I told you is a strong poyson; and this they cause
their old wives, who have a small remainder of teeth, to chaw and spit out into
water, (for the better breaking and macerating of the root). This juyce in three or
four hours will work, and purge it self of the poysonous quality.
(Ligon 1657:32)
The great contradiction was that cassava root was poisonous, yet, once purged of its toxic qualities, it could be fermented to produce an alcoholic beverage. Ligon believed,

That the poyson of the old womens' breath and teeth having been tainted with many
several poxes, (a disease common amongst them, though they have many and the
best cures for it,) are such opposites to the poyson of the Cassavy, as they bend
their forces so vehemently one against another, as both spend their poysonous
qualities in the conflict.
(Ligon 1657:32)

In reality, saliva introduced an enzyme that converted the starches of the cassava into simple sugars that, then, could be more efficiently fermented. Although a slightly different preparation, Labat (1724;I: 127) also wrote that French colonials learned the art of making oiiicou from Caribs who were numerous in the early years of French settlement in the northern Lesser Antilles. The process of making cassava-based alcoholic beverages in this masticating manner is illustrated in Johan von Staden's 1592 depiction of Guyanese Indians in Americae Tertia (see Mancall 1995:66).

Unlike the French Caribbean, Barbados probably did not have a native Indian population at the time of English settlement. Barbadians brought mainland Caribs to the island in the early years of settlement, where they caught fish and assisted colonists. They also knew the art of making alcohol. In 1599, Nino de Sylvia et al. (see Mancall 1995:65) illustrated drinking among Caribs in Guiana and stated, "The people of the kingdom of Guiana...are completely given over to drunkenness, and surpass all nations in drinking." In the early settlement period, Island Caribs from St. Vincent also made their way to Barbados (Handler 1969,1970; Hughes 1750:5; Ligon 1657:23-24). The slight difference in the ingredients and methods of preparation between perino and oiiicou may reflect the particular influence of mainland and St. Vincent Caribs in Barbados and the greater influence of northern island Caribs in the French settlements.





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A variety of other local plants and shrubs were also fermented to make alcoholic drinks. Ligon described the production of an alcoholic beverage made from plantains. Ligon wrote,

Gathering them full ripe, and in the height of their sweetness, we pill off the skin, and mash them in water well boyl'd; and after we have let them stay there a night,
we strain it and bottle it up, and in a week drink it.
(Ligon 1657:32)
In 1741, historian John Oldmixon (1741:132) reported that plantain drinks were still widely consumed in Barbados. Ligon (1657:33) recorded the production of a wine made from the pineapple, which he referred to as "the Nectar which the Gods drunk." In the French Caribbean, Labat (1724;I: 135) also believed that pineapple wine had an "extremely agreeable" taste. In French St. Kitts, Rochefort (1658:447) reported the use of wine made from bananas, which he called couscou. Labat (1724;I: 134) also noted that "the apple of the mahogany" [possibly cashew] made a particularly sour wine. Early Caribbean settlers also exploited the alcoholic potential of plums, oranges, limes, and pistachios (du Tertre 1667-1671:106-114; Labat 1724;1:133-138; Ligon 1657:31-33; Sloane 1707;I:xxix).

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages evolved in the Caribbean. These drinks were primarily found in the early settlement period and were prototypes for distilled rum. Las Casas (1971:258) made the earliest reference to a fermented sugar cane-based drink in sixteenth century Hispaniola. His statement hinted that Africans were the primary consumers, and most likely producers, of this beverage. African slaves, like Europeans, sought to reestablish traditional patterns of alcohol use in the Caribbean. For instance, Rochefort (1658:447) reported that African slaves in St. Kitts tapped local palm trees in order to produce a type of palm wine, one of the most widely used alcoholic beverages in West and West Central Africa. Although Europeans came from societies that had mastered the art of distilling and recognized the alcoholic potential of sugar cane, West and West Central Africans also produced a wide variety of fermented alcoholic drinks in Africa and appear to have conducted the initial





39

experiments with fermented varieties of sugar cane juice in the Americas. The African slaves' desire for fermented sugar cane juice may have induced Caribbean sugar planters to consider the economic potential of sugar cane-based alcohol as a local commodity and as a possible export item to African markets. The slaves' use and production of fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic drinks, therefore, could be seen as an initial step in the rise of fullscale rum industries.

Las Casas and other early writers did not have a name for a fermented alcohol made from sugar cane. However, in New Spain, in 1615, an ordinance specifically referred to the fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic drink guarapo. Guarapo became the common name for fermented sugar cane-based drinks in the Spanish Americas (Sandoval 1951:165). In Brazil, fermented sugar cane drinks were called garapa (Antonil 1711:132n,252-253; Thornton 1992:174). In French St. Kitts, Rochefort (1658 cited in Davies 1666:199) did not refer to fermented sugar cane drinks by any particular name, but wrote "the inhabitants lof St. Kitts] have the art of making a delicious drink of that sweet liquor which is got out of the sugar-canes, and that being kept for several days becomes as strong as any sack." However, several decades later, Labat (1724;1: 134) referred to a fermented drink called grappe made of sugar cane juice.

In Barbados, Ligon referred to a drink called grippo, which seems to be a

derivation of guarapo, garapa, and grappe. Although Ligon was familiar with a variety of alcoholic beverages, he never tried grippo and could not, therefore, describe its production, ingredients, or taste. In Ligon's list of alcoholic beverages, grippo was immediately followed by a drink called "punch... made of water and sugar put together, which in ten dayes standing will be very strong." It seems likely that Ligon confused punch and grippo or interpreted the two different names as two distinct beverages. Ligon made the only reference to grippo, which is not found again in the British Caribbean. Instead, in





40

Barbados, physician Sir Hans Sloane (1707 I:xxix; see also anonymous 1797:15) called fermented sugar cane-based concoctions the "cool-drink." According to Sloane,

Take three gallons of fair water, more than a pint of molasses, mix them together in a jar, it works in twelve hours time sufficiently, put to it a little more molasses and
immediately bottle it, in six hours time is ready to drink and in a day it is turn'd
sour.
(Sloane 1707;I:xxix)
Oldmixon (1741:132) described "Kowwow Imade] of Molasses-Water and Ginger." Griffith Hughes (1750:34), the rector of St. Lucy's parish, also referred to "cowcow, a drink made with the scummings of boiled cane juice, mixed with water, and fermented."

The production of fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic drinks complicates

discussions about the origins of New World origins of rum making. However, these rum prototypes predated distilling and should not be considered rum. Guarapo, garapa, grappe, and grippo became standard terms for fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic drinks. Although the term quickly disappeared in the British Caribbean, grappe later became the name for the fermenting wash compound made prior to distilling in the French Caribbean (AA). In the 1630s and 40s, rum distillation emerged almost simultaneously in the Spanish, French, British, and perhaps Portuguese colonies of the New World. But, for decades, even distilled drinks made from sugar cane lacked a standard name. Ligon never referred to rum and, instead, called it kill devil and the drink "we make of the skimming of sugar." In French St. Kitts, Rochefort generically called distilled sugar cane juice and molasses eau de vie de cannes. The modifier "de cannes" distinguished it from French brandy (eau de vie) made from grapes. The numerous names used for fermented and distilled varieties of sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages highlights the complexities of defining a new product diffusing throughout the early Caribbean.

The European and African desires for alcohol in the Caribbean led to experiments with a variety of available sources and the new arrivals exploited the Caribs' knowledge of alcohol production. It is interesting to note that early colonial writers often compared the





41

locally made drinks to European alcoholic beverages. For example, Ligon (1657:31-32) wrote perino tasted "the likest to English beer" and he considered the taste of mobbie similar to Rhenish wine. Ligon (1657:31) also believed that mobbie made from red potatoes looked like claret, while mobbie made from white potatoes looked like white wine. In 1661, Felix Spoeri, a Swiss medical doctor in Barbados, believed that rum was similar to European brandy and mobbie to beer (cited in Handler and Gunkel 1969: 10). Rochefort (1658:319,447) believed vin de cannes [probably the fermented variety of sugar cane juice] could pass for Spanish wine. Father du Tertre (1667-1671:111) and Father Labat (1724;I: 133) believed the same of oiiicou. Rochefort (1658:319,447) indicated that French Caribbean rum was similar to French brandy. These comparisons suggest that early colonials attempted to recreate, as closely as possible, the alcoholic beverages left behind in Europe.

Provision crops, such as cassava and potatoes, helped sustain early settlements in the Caribbean and provided colonists with sources for alcoholic drinks. But during the sugar revolution, these small-scale crops were pushed aside by colonial planters who sought to maximize available land resources for sugar cane. The shift to sugar production made sugar cane juice and the waste products of the sugar industry practical choices to meet local alcohol demands. The decreasing reliance on provision crops, as well as the decreasing numbers of Carib Indians available to produce alcoholic drinks, such as oiiicou, mobbie, and perino, motivated the switch to the production of rum from sugar cane. The increasing number of African slaves and their interest in fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic drinks from may have also influenced this shift.

The expansion of maritime activity to the New World spurred the rise of rum

making. Alcohol has a long history in maritime communities. The potential disasters that could result from the limited availability of fresh water on long sea voyages made alcohol a critical store in long distance maritime trade. Initial experiments with distilling focused on





42


the distillation of fresh water from sea water (Underwood 1935:34) and, because of its perceived salubrious and nutritional qualities, alcohol complemented, and even became a preferred substitute for, water in maritime activities. Christopher Columbus carried huge wine stores on his first voyage to the Americas. Enough wine, in fact, that he was able to leave the crew of the grounded Santa Maria a year's supply. Dutch physician Franciscus de la Boa invented gin to combat maladies afflicting seamen of the Dutch East India Company. In the seventeenth century, alcohol became a basic ration in the British Royal Navy: a tradition that would last 300 hundred years.

The tradition of alcohol use among European seamen and their belief that alcohol was healthy and nutritional increased the desire for alcohol during the voyages to and from the Americas. Caribbean sugar planters capitalized on this need by producing their own form of alcohol for seamen on the American side of the Atlantic. As early as the midseventeenth century, Ligon (1657:93) wrote that planters in Barbados sold rum to "Ships... [where it wasi drunk by the way."

Local demand for alcohol, increasing availability of sugar cane juice and sugar

industry by-products, and the expansion of maritime activities stimulated the initial rise of New World rum making. But sugar planters also came from European societies where an extensive alcohol trade, especially in the form of wine, had existed for centuries. Merchants, planters, and traders, the forces behind New World settlement and colonization, appreciated the centrality of the alcohol trade to the economies of Europe and attempted to develop a similar trade from the Americas. The growth of rum making in the seventeenth century Caribbean, therefore, highlights the economic efficiency of New World sugar planters who realized that, with a slightly greater capital input for distilling equipment, they could produce a profitable commodity from the waste products of sugar. The European tradition of alcohol trading made rum a rational outgrowth of sugar production, which helped colonial planters maximize the profitability of their plantations.





43

Although their initial efforts to open markets for rum were successful, the seventeenth century rum trade remained at the margins of the Atlantic world.














CHAPTER 4
AT THE MARGINS OF THE ATLANTIC WORLD: RUM IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, colonists in the Caribbean sought to reconstruct Old World drinking patterns. They exploited the alcoholic potential of local resources and turned to rum after the start of the sugar revolution. However, the hardships of building a life on the Caribbean frontier brought about new challenges that increased the demand for alcoholic stimulation. As a result, the rum industry grew. Rum quickly found local and regional markets that helped nurture the growth of American trade. The interCaribbean rum trade created exchange networks that brought together New World colonies and the internal rum trade created links between disparate social groups. Continental merchants and traders in North and South America also began to accept Caribbean rum in exchange for much needed provisions and plantation supplies. Rum making became a profitable enterprise. Yet, despite its growth, the early Caribbean rum trade remained at the margins of the Atlantic world and failed to penetrate the huge alcohol markets of Europe. The use of inferior ingredients and small stills limited the scale of rum production and highlights the undeveloped state of seventeenth century Caribbean rum making. Seventeenth Century Rum Making

In the mid-seventeenth century, rum making was present on many Caribbean sugar plantations, especially in the British and French colonies. Richard Ligon provided the earliest detailed account of a rum-making operation in Barbados in 1647-1650, at the very beginning of Barbados' sugar revolution. According to Ligon (1657:113), a good sugar factory was expected to have a "Still-house with two sufficient Stills, and receivers to hold the drink." Ligon's description reveals that, at this early stage of the British Caribbean sugar industry, a still house was already considered an essential part of the sugar plantation



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complex (Ligon 1657:84). Although Ligon painted an ideal picture of sugar plantation efficiency, his companion, Colonel Thomas Modiford, did, in reality, purchase a plantation that already possessed buildings and equipment devoted to rum distillation.

Ligon also provided insights into the early art of rum making in Barbados. According to Ligon,

As for distilling the skimmings, which run down to the Still-house, from the three lesser Coppers, it is only this: After it has remained in the Cisterns, which my plot
shews you in the Still-house, till it be a little soure, (for till then, the Spirits will not
rise in the Still) the first Spirit that comes off, is a small Liquor, which we call
Low-wines, which Liquor we put into the Still, and draw it off again; and of that
comes so Strong a Spirit, as a candle being brought to a near distance, to the bung
of a Hogshead or But, where it is kept, the Spirits will flie to it.
(Ligon 1657:92-93)

Ligon clearly emphasized the use of skimmings from the sugar boiling process, while molasses, which is generally considered the most important ingredient in rum making because of its higher sucrose content, was, as Ligon (1657:91) stated in an earlier section of his book, re-boiled to make lower grade peneles sugar. In fact, it is not entirely clear if mid-seventeenth century distillers in the Caribbean used molasses at all. Father JeanBaptiste du Tertre's (1667-1671:119) discussion of rum making in Martinique also emphasized "the spent and exhausted canes and also the skimmings," but did not mention the use of molasses. Instead, Father du Tertre (1667-1671:119) wrote, "molasses is enough good merchandise where it is used to make gingerbread in Europe." In French St. Kitts, Charles de Rochefort (1658:314) also reported that the "skimmings from the first boiler are only good for feeding livestock, but that the skimmings from the others could be used to make a drink for servants and slaves." It appears that molasses was not used, or at least not widely used, in rum making until later in the seventeenth century and that sugar planters either sold it separately or continuously returned it to the cauldrons where it was re-boiled to make low grades of sugar. However, by the late seventeenth century, physician and Caribbean traveler Sir Hans Sloane (1707:LXI) and French missionary Father Jean-Baptiste Labat (1724;1: 135) both recorded the use of molasses in rum making.





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Besides relying on lesser ingredients, seventeenth century Caribbean sugar planters employed small stills that restricted the level of output and limited the growth of the rum industry. Historian John McCusker (1991; 2001) argued that one of the primary reasons for the slow acceptance of distilled spirits in Europe was their high price. According to McCusker, in the sixteenth, distillers in Europe employed small stills, often measured in the tens of gallons, which could not operate on economies of scale. The small scale of production increased the cost of distilled spirits and kept them beyond the reach of the general public. However, in the late sixteenth century, the introduction of large-capacity stills, made possible by the switch to copper, rather than glass and ceramic, boiling pots or cucurbits, efficiently increased the level of output and reduced the price of distilled spirits. By the early eighteenth century, some large distilleries in Europe were using high-capacity stills capable of holding more than seven thousand gallons (McCusker 2001:221).

In the seventeenth century, stills in the Caribbean were small. Although Ligon did not mention the exact capacity of the stills illustrated in the still house, his plan indicated that one still was slightly more than four feet in diameter and the second, probably used for the re-distillation of low wine, was slightly less than four feet in diameter. Both stills fit into a still house room no larger than 16 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 20 feet high. The capacity of the two stills probably reflected contemporary trends in Europe and held less than 100 gallons each. The stills were likely made of copper. Copper was an important material in the Caribbean sugar industry and used for a variety of sugar-making utensils, including the deep pans, or "coppers," used to boil the sugar cane juice. In the seventeenth century, Holland developed a thriving copper industry and the ready availability of copper probably reflects the influence of Dutch traders in early Barbados.

The small still-house room also contained a large fermenting cistern where the rummaking ingredients were mixed. The fermenting cistern was 7 feet by 3 feet and would have held several hundred gallons of fermenting "liquor." A century later, William Belgrove (1755:22), the plantation managers at Drax Hall estate in Barbados, advised of





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the need for a still house to have 48 "vats" Ifermenting cisterns], which could hold 300 gallons each. The single fermenting cistern in Ligon's illustration highlights the limited extent of early Barbadian distilling. Fermenting cisterns were usually made of coral stone and coated with a lime-based plaster. However, in the early years of Barbadian settlement, before the almost complete destruction of forests, wood was available and, in 1650, the four large cisterns at Three Houses estate were made of mastic (Lucas 1955:120). In the late eighteenth century, cone shaped vats with narrow openings replaced low flat cisterns.

In the French Caribbean, du Tertre and Rochefort made the earliest references to distilling apparatus, which they called a vinaigrerie. The origin of the term vinaigrerie appears to stem from Louis XII's 1514 decree, which gave vinaigriers [vinegar makers] the right to distill wine into brandy. Vinaigrerie derived from this guild's name and was probably the name given to the alembics in which they distilled their wine (Huetz de Lemps 1997:17-18). The use of term vinaigrerie to describe an alembic used for rum making demonstrates how French Caribbean rum makers adapted Old World mental models to help explain New World industries. However, in the eighteenth century, guildiverie replaced vinaigrerie as the term used for a French Caribbean alembic. Guildiverie is a corruption of the British Caribbean term kill devil and reflects the French Creoles' growing affinity for Caribbean, rather than metropolitan, culture.

Father du Tertre provided the earliest drawing of an alembic in the French

Caribbean. His (1668-1671:116-117) mid-seventeenth century illustration of a still in Martinique showed a small and simple alembic connected to a worm that ran through a wooden barrel of cool water to a receiver. The alembic sketched by Father du Tertre was almost identical to one depicted in Conrad Gesner's 1552 treatise on distilling (Gesner 1552 see also Holme 1688:423; Underwood 1935:44-46). In fact, the alembic-head was essentially the same design as the locally made alembic-head archaeologists recovered from the settlement site of Martin's Hundred, Virginia, which dated to the 1620s (Noel-Hume





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1988:101-102). Ligon's depiction of the still house contained two stills, rather than the single distilling apparatus found in du Tertre's illustration. While Ligon provided little information about the types and sizes of stills used in Barbados in the 1640s, the second still was probably used for the separate distillation of low wine, the spirit produced from the first distillation. The presence of a second still suggests a more advanced and efficient system of distilling and highlights the Barbadians' greater fascination with rum making.

Early distillation was a conservative art and the level of distillation technology in the seventeenth century Caribbean was comparable to that of distilleries in contemporary Europe. Other than the increasing capacity of stills, most major advances in the art of distillation had been made by the 1550s. As early as the mid-fourteenth century, distillers in Europe used multiple distillations to improve their product. By the mid-sixteenth century, the important technological advances involving cooling and condensing systems, which provided better control over the separation of alcohol during distillation and speeded the distilling process, had also been introduced. In fact, despite later experimentation, distilling technology remained relatively unchanged between the mid-sixteenth and early nineteenth centuries (Braudel 1979:244; Underwood 1935:53-54). Bootleg rum makers in Trinidad in the late twentieth century, who produced spirits in modified oil drums, employed the same basic principles of distilling as those used on seventeenth and eighteenth century Caribbean sugar plantations (Gray 1988).

Despite the use of inferior ingredients and small stills, rum making in Barbados was not simply a cottage industry. Ligon's account of Barbados rum making suggests that it was already a specialized enterprise that employed skilled distillers who were learning to master the art of rum making. According to Ligon, Barbadian distillers had already established an important quality-defining characteristic of rum: that double distilling produced a highly volatile and concentrated spirit. The art of alcohol distillation was still relatively new at the time Ligon was writing and the secrets had only recently been seized from the physicians, apothecaries, and monasteries of Europe (Braudel 1979:241-247;





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Underwood 1935:40-41). In fact, it was around this same time in England that Charles 1 had granted the guild of the Worshipful Company of Distillers exclusive rights to be the distillers for a 21 radius around London and Westminster (George 1951:29; Watney 1976:12). Yet, in the 1640s, Barbadian sugar planters constructed buildings and cisterns for the specific purpose of alcohol production and Barbadian distillers double distilled their rum and made distinctions about its quality. This seemingly advanced level of rum production may have led Caribbean traveler Sir Henry Colt (1631 cited in Harlow 1925:65) to write that Barbadians were "devourers upp of hott waters and such good distiller thereof." While it is not clear whether Colt was specifically referring to rum making, it does suggest that the first colonists in Barbados sought to master the art of alcohol production soon after they settled the island in 1627.

The paucity of seventeenth century plantation records and trade statistics makes it difficult to determine the precise levels of rum production or rum's contribution to sugar estate revenues in this early period. However, the available evidence provides us with enough information to make some generalizations about the value of rum to sugar estates. Economic historian David Eltis (1995b) estimated the value and quantity of rum exports from Barbados and Jamaica in the late seventeenth century using naval office shipping lists and two Barbados customs books, which included export figures from 1664-1667. While not a complete picture, these records furnish eight years of seventeenth century export statistics. According to Eltis, Barbados exported an annual average of 150,020 gallons of rum in 1665-1666. In 1688 and 1690-1691, that figure more than doubled to an annual average of 382,242 gallons. By 1700, Barbados rum exports reached nearly 600,000 gallons (Eltis 1995b:638). Eltis also showed that the value of Barbados rum was increasing. In the period 1665-1666, the value of Barbados rum exports represented about 7% of exports of sugar and sugar by-product, but, by 1700, that figure had jumped to 29%. At the end of the seventeenth century, rum represented 19% of the total value of Barbados' export trade. In contrast, rum exports from Jamaica were minor and reflected the





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less developed state of the Jamaican sugar business. In the period 1698-1700, Jamaican rum exports averaged a little more than 5,000 gallons per year and rum represented only 1% of the total value of Jamaica's export trade.

One source Eltis did not use was Ligon's discussion of the value of sugar and rum. In Barbados, Ligon (1657:112) calculated that rum contributed about 18% of sugar plantation revenues showing that, by 1647, the production of alcohol from sugar cane was already a valuable commodity. According to Ligon, rum in Barbados sold for 2s 6d per gallon while muscavado sugar sold for 3d per lb or 1.5s per short cwt. and clayed sugar for 6d per lb or 2. 10s per short cwt.. At this rate, a gallon of rum was equal in value to 10 lbs of muscavado sugar or 5 lbs of clayed sugar. Using price evidence from the Barbados customs books, Eltis estimated that 15 years later, in 1665-1666, a pound of sugar, still predominantly unrefined muscavado, was worth slightly less at 2.14d and a gallon of rum was equal in value to 12 lbs of sugar. Ligon (1653:93) clearly believed rum was cheap and sold "at easie rates." But he also wrote "they Ipresumably Barbadian officials were then purposing to raise the price to a deerer rate." However, these figures suggest the price of rum dropped in that 15-year period. The 7% drop in sugar prices and 9% drop in rum prices was no doubt due to the increasing availability of these products and Britain's imposition of mercantilist policies that restricted the colonists' commercial freedom.

Scattered throughout Ligon's text are also clues to the amount of rum made on Barbadian sugar plantations. According to Ligon (1657:93), a 500-acre sugar plantation with two stills could make 30 from rum on a weekly basis. Ligon also wrote (1657:112) that the "Drink that is made of the skimmings" brought in 120 per month or 1,200 during the 10-month crop cycle. Using his estimate of a half a crown per gallon, Ligon's model plantation produced 9,600 gallons of rum during the 40-week crop cycle. At this rate, his plantation produced 1.6 gallons of rum per short cwt. of muscavado sugar. However, Ligon made his calculations based on a twenty-month production cycle in order to show the economic benefit of producing refined white sugar. Under this more profitable system, the





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quantity of sugar decreased as more molasses drained away and the proportional increase in rum resulted in a ratio of 4.3 gallons of rum per short cwt. of sugar. If we include an additional 10% for rum "drunk" by servants and slaves, the ratio increases to 4.7 gallons of rum per short cwt. of refined white sugar.

French Caribbean sugar planters also profited from rum, more commonly known as tafia. In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, Labat (1724;1:321-324) considered a vinaigrerie an essential part of a Martiniquan sugar factory and a sugar plantation was expected to have one slave as a distiller. Labat (1724;I:323) estimated that a sugar plantation of about 750 acres would produce 238,000 lbs of sugar, and 60 barrels of rum, about 4,042 gallons, in a 30 weeks crop cycle (see also Josa 1931; Pairault 1903). According to Labat, 10% of the rum was allocated to the plantation's 120 slaves to supplement their diet and help reduce plantation costs. The remaining 54 barrels were sold bringing 3,000 livres (Josa 1931:54,60; Kerv6gant 1946:21; Labat 1724;I:323). Rum contributed about 7% of sugar plantation revenues and the estate produced a ratio of about

1.7 gallons per each short cwt. of muscavado sugar (based on Josa 1931:60). Thus, Martiniquan sugar planters produced less rum per acre, but the ratio of rum to sugar production was almost identical to that Ligon identified in Barbados a half-century earlier. Labat also believed that the sale of tafia defrayed about 50% of the plantation expenses (Josa 1931:58-60; Kerv6gant 1946:21; Labat 1724;I:321-324).

In the seventeenth century, most of the rum produced never left the islands. For

example, according to Eltis, in 1665-1666, Barbados legally exported an annual average of 150,020 gallons of rum. Ligon's plantation alone produced more than 6% of that amount. Ligon identified as many as 285 plantations on his map of the island covering the period 1647-1650. However, according to Barbadian historian Peter Campbell (1993:145), the Ligon map was reproduced from an earlier map made in 1638 and, therefore, left off the names of many large sugar planters who arrived in the 1640s. Richard Ford's map of Barbados provides a more accurate picture of the number of plantations for the 1665-1666





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period. Published in 1674, Ford's map identified 844 plantations. About 350 were sugar plantations, but few of these were as big as 500 acres. According to historian Richard Dunn (1973:96), a Barbadian sugar plantation "of 200 acres, equipped with two or three sugar mills and a hundred slaves, was considered the optimum size for efficient production." Dunn also showed that 175 of the island's biggest planters owned an average of 267 acres each. If these large planters achieved the same level of rum making described by Ligon, then they could have produced about 1.7 million gallons of rum. Even if we take into account the smaller size of their plantations and use Ligon's estimates to calculate the amount of rum produced per acre, then these big planters could have still produced nearly 900,000 gallons. Thus, in the mid-seventeenth century, Barbados probably exported only 5-20% of its rum and local consumption was enormous.

A close reading of Ligon and Labat hints at the level of local rum consumption. According to Ligon (1657:93), a plantation of 500 acres produced about 240 gallons of rum per week "besides what is drunk by their servants and slaves." According to Labat, 10% of the rum produced on his model Martinique sugar plantation was consumed by servants and slaves, which averaged out to an annual per capita consumption rate of about 3.4 gallons. Adding 10% to Ligon's rum production estimate and allocating that to the 130 servants and slaves results in an annual per capita consumption rate of 8.2 gallons, not unusually high when we consider the greater number of white indentured servants in Barbados and their propensity for drink.

Evidence from the intra-island rum trade also suggests that the level of local rum

consumption was immense. In 1650, many small planters in Barbados continued to pursue non-sugar markets. Ligon pointed out that there were many small plantations

which are not able to raise a Sugar-work or set up an Ingenio, by reason of the
paucity of acres, being not above twenty, thirty, or fourty acres in a plantation; but
these will be fit to bear Tobacco, Ginger, Cotton-wool, Maies, Yeames, and
Potatoes, as also for breeding hoggs.
(Ligon 1657:94)





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These small planters relied on sugar planters for their rum. Ligon (1657:93) wrote that rum was sold "to such Planters, as have no Sugar-works of their own, yet drink excessively of it." Moreover, rum making may have been confined to larger sugar estates. In 1668, the Barbados Assembly passed an Act "That no Person or Persons within this Island...shall be permitted to keep any Still or Stills for distilling of Rum: Except such Person or Persons have land and Canes of their own, or such as keep Refining Houses" (Rawlins 1699:7172). Under this law, it would have been necessary for the vast majority of Barbadian colonists to get their rum from the larger sugar estates with still houses. Big planters would have had great control over the flow of rum in the Caribbean, which they either sold directly to the community or doled out to slaves and servants on estates.

But there is some evidence that rum making was not entirely restricted to large

sugar estates. Eltis' (2000:202) study of the 1664-1667 Barbados customs books showed that, while 87% of all produce handled by the custom house belonged to only the top wealthiest 20% of those entering produce, the remaining four-fifths "managed to supply some rum." For the bottom 20%, however, the rum was not economically significant suggesting it was likely acquired through the barter of rum for labor. Many of the remaining three-fifths may have entered rum acquired as payment for their services, particularly the more expensive services of merchants, lawyers, and skilled craftsmen. Smallholders with modest distilling operations may have entered some of this rum. Despite the 1668 restrictions on rum making, smallholder-distilling operations probably existed in Barbados as they did in other parts of the British Caribbean. For example, in 1714, a visitor to Antigua (cited in Eltis 2000:202) wrote "the poorest sort... seldom make anything but rum, and ye trash and ye Cane after grinding serves for fewel under ye still." In Montserrat, historian Riva Berleant-Schiller (1989:551) identified 17 rum works operating in 1678-1679. According to Berleant-Schiller, despite the Montserrat Assembly's emphasis on encouraging the development of large sugar estates, wageworkers managed to produce and sell commodities, including rum. For example, in the late 1670s, wageworkers George





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Gill and Cornelius Breyen "were licensed to make rum, and presumably Ithey I had access to small cane pieces" (Berleant-Schiller 1989:561).

In the early settlement period, colonists exploited a wide range of local alcohol resources and even tapped the alcoholic traditions of Carib Indians. The rise of sugar making provided another alternative. Certainly, the desire to recreate traditional drinking patterns in the Caribbean spurred the initial demand for alcohol. As mentioned earlier, Caribbean colonists often compared local drinks, including rum, to the alcoholic beverages they were familiar with in Europe. However, the Caribbean frontier unleashed a new set of material demands that elevated the intrinsic value of alcoholic beverages and accelerated the growth of the internal rum trade.

Many societies view alcohol as a good substitute for tainted, or potentially tainted, water (Akyeampong 1996:54; Rorabaugh 1979:95-97). The lack of potable water was a major concern in the seventeenth century Caribbean, especially in Barbados, which lacked mountain streams. Henry Colt wrote,

Your water is thick and not of ye best...your rivers few or noone, except such as
you account out of vaine glory rivers, beinge noe other then little pitts; or if it holds
water but for a small time it is named a river.
(Colt 1631 cited in Harlow 1925:67)

Ligon (1657:28) also noted "there is nothing in this Island [Barbados] so much wanting, as Springs and Rivers of water." The capital of Bridgetown was particularly ill situated and the fear of tainted water was especially evident during a yellow fever epidemic that occurred in 1647. According to Ligon (1657:25), the bodies of those who succumbed to the illness were thrown into the town's swamp "which infected so the water, as divers that drunk of it were absolutely poysoned, and dyed within a few hours after; but others, taking warning by their harms, forbear to taste any more of it." Ponds were constructed on some plantations to water slaves and livestock (Handler 2001). However, the people of Bridgetown probably relied heavily on cisterns set on the sides of their houses for fresh water supplies and, while cisterns were sufficient for small families and individuals, they could not always adequately meet the water demands of a large population, especially after





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the rise of sugar production and the subsequent increase in numbers of African slaves and European migrants. Droughts were a constant fear. Even when water was available, it was not necessarily preferred. Negative European attitudes towards water, probably founded upon similar Old World fears of tainted water, enhanced the desirability of alcoholic beverages in the Caribbean. Labat (1970:188) may have said it best when he wrote, when wine is available, "only invalids and chickens drink water." Such sentiments also increased the demand for rum. Not every colonist, however, held negative attitudes about water and many considered the use of fiery spirits in the hot climate of the Caribbean a dangerous combination. Colt (1631 cited in Harlow 1925:65-66) warned that the tropics necessitated the frequent consumption of cold water and advised the colonists, "Your young and hott bloods, should nott have oyle lalcoholl added to encrease ye flame, but rather cold water to quench it."

Although alcohol actually dilates surface blood vessels and cools the skin, Europeans perceived it to be a hot fluid. The heat Europeans attributed to alcohol, especially distilled spirits, largely reflects their belief in Galenic principles of health, which operated on the premise that good health could be achieved and maintained by balancing the hot:cold and wet:dry dispositions of the body. Galenic principles governed medical treatment in the early years of American settlement and spurred many colonists to use alcohol to counteract the effects of cold weather and chills. For example, historical archaeologist Peter Pope (1997) argued that faith in the heat restoring qualities of alcohol greatly increased the value of distilled spirits among seventeenth century fishermen in the cold wet climate of Newfoundland. Caribbean colonists also believed that distilled spirits were an antidote to cold, which, no doubt, encouraged Caribbean sugar planters to drink heavily and allocate rum to slaves and servants who worked in chilly, wet, or damp weather. Ligon wrote,

for when they Ithe slaves) are ill, with taking cold, (which often they are) and very
well they may, having nothing under them in the night but a board, upon which they lie, nor any thing to cover them: and though the daies be hot, the nights are cold, and that change cannot but work upon their bodies, though they be hardy





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people. Besides, coming home hot and sweating in the evening, sitting or lying
down, must needs be the occasion of taking cold, and sometimes breeds sickness
amongst them, which when they feel, they complain to the Apothacary of the
Plantation, which we call Doctor, and he gives to every one a dram cup of this
Spirit [rum], and that is a present cure. And as this drink is of great use, to cure and
refresh the poor Negroes, whom we ought to have a special care of, by the labour of whose hands, our profit is brought in; so is it helpful to our Christian Servants too; for, when their spirits are exhausted, by their hard labor, and sweating in the
Sun, ten hours every day, they find their stomacks debilitated, and much weakened
in their vigour every way, a dram or two of this Spirit, is a great comfort and
refreshing to them.
(Ligon 1657:93)

Ligon's comments expressed the widely held belief that illness was caused by an insufficiency of body heat. Thus, on cold damp days, and after hours of sweating in the sun, the consumption of rum, a hot and fiery fluid, was an appropriate, as well as enjoyable, way to reintroduce heat back into the body (Laudan 2000; Rorabaugh 1979:136).

Rum was not only considered good for restoring body heat, but, as a fiery fluid, rum was also believed to counter excessive internal body heat. Yellow fever epidemics spread through the early Caribbean and were generally characterized by high fevers. The Caribbean medical community embraced folk beliefs about the use of "fire to drive out fire" and employed rum for that purpose. For example, historian David Geggus (1982:368-369) has shown that British troops in the Caribbean generally thought that a sober hour might give disease an opportunity to attack. The demand for rum in the Caribbean, therefore, partly reflects the application of folk beliefs about the power of alcohol to regulate body temperature.

The high caloric value of alcohol may have also increased the demand for rum.

Every gram (1/30th ounce) of alcohol swallowed provides 7 calories to the daily intake of the consumer. Thus, an ounce and a half of 100-proof rum would have provided the consumer with 147 calories (Ewing and Rouse 1978:15-16). In order to cut plantation costs, some Caribbean planters supplemented their slaves' diet with rum (Labat 1724;1:323; Peytraud 1897:196). However, while alcohol provided a high amount of calories, these





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were generally hollow calories, which lacked nutritional value and did not contribute to a healthy diet (Ewing and Rouse 1978:15-16).

In one of the more unique interpretations, alcohol historian W.J. Rorabaugh argued that the diet of North Americans increased the desire for highly concentrated distilled spirits. According to Rorabaugh (1979:117), a monotonous diet of "Heavy, oily foods, especially fried corn cakes and salt pork, left Americans in need of a complementary beverage, and the commonest turned out to be whisky." A similar argument could be made for the seventeenth century Caribbean, where a monotonous diet of heavily starched foods, such as potatoes, cassava, and maize was common. Meats consisted primarily of salted pork and salted fish (see Ligon 1657:29-38). As in North America, diet probably increased the demand for a beverage with a high alcohol content. In the seventeenth century Caribbean, rum was the most available.

Anthropologist Donald Horton (1943) devised the first general theory to explain excessive alcohol use in particular societies. Horton's theory was based on the idea that societies experiencing high levels of anxiety drink heavily. Although the model focused on anxiety caused by the scarcity of food resources in hunting and gathering societies, the model has been broadly applied to a variety of factors that cause cultural stress. In the early Caribbean, the anxieties associated with building a life on the unpredictable Caribbean frontier made alcoholic stimulation an important tool for physical and emotional escape. There were plenty of reasons to be anxious. For example, competing racial, class, and religious groups brought together within the confines of a coercive labor system, loneliness, separation from familiar surroundings, the threat of foreign invasions and epidemiological disasters were only a few of the numerous anxiety creating forces at work. In the seventeenth century, rum not only met the desire for escape in the rum-making colonies, but also provided similar outlets for people throughout the margins of the Atlantic world.





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Destination of Seventeenth Century Rum

In the same way that the grape wine trade gave rise to large-scale commercial networks between northern and southern Europe, rum helped foster the growth of American trade (Braudel 1979:234). The American rum trade increased long distance overseas travel, which provided a nursery for American traders and seamen and spurred advances in American shipbuilding. As with the wine trade in Europe, the rum trade fostered the growth of merchant capitalism on the American side of the Atlantic.

In the seventeenth century, continental North America was a primary destination for Caribbean rum, especially from the British colonies. Merchants in New England's seaport taverns, yeoman farmers, fisherfolk, Chesapeake planters, African slaves, Native Americans, and frontier fur traders all consumed their share of imported Caribbean rum. The colder climate of North America was conducive to beverages with high alcohol content and North American colonists, as with their Caribbean counterparts, encountered tainted water, disease, a monotonous diet, and anxiety. These and other factors sparked the demand for rum and the rise of the Caribbean-Continental rum trade. Caribbean sugar planters were eager to capitalize on this demand and refined methods for turning the waste products of their sugar mills into a profitable alcoholic commodity.

Seventeenth century colonists in North America experimented with a wide variety of locally made alcoholic drinks. Dandelion wine and apple cider were common folk drinks in early North America and archaeologists have recovered evidence of beer brewing operations at numerous seventeenth century colonial sites (Dutton 1979; Gibb and King 1991; McCusker 1989:430; Moussette 1996; Rorabaugh 1979:9-10, 110-113, 229). As early as 1587, Thomas Hariot, a member of Sir Walter Raleigh's Virginia colony, recorded the production of an ale from local maize. Hariot also identified two types of indigenous grapes that could be used to make wine (Hakluyt 1986:114). In the early seventeenth century, England had no significant wine industry and King James I encouraged wine production in the Virginia colony in order to reduce England's dependence on imported





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southern European wine. In 1619, Lord Delaware introduced French grape vines to North America and, in 1623, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed an Act requiring all settlers to set aside land for grape vineyards. There were numerous attempts at viticulture, but the cold climate and availability of other alcoholic beverages impeded the growth of Continental wine making (Unwin 1991:248-249).

Seventeenth century Continental colonists also experimented with distilled spirits. Archaeologists have recovered evidence of distilling at a number of early seventeenth century sites in North America (Cotter 1958:67; Noel-Hume 1988:102). In the 1640s, North American distillers began producing grain whisky. However, grain distilling was problematic for a variety of reasons. According to McCusker (1989:443), Continental merchants, particularly in the northern colonies, were opposed to grain distilling. As early as the mid-seventeenth century, New York merchants argued that grain distilling was a threat to their business because grain-based alcohol raised bread prices and prevented the poor from paying off their debts. Increased grain prices also raised the price of flour and made North American merchants less competitive in the export trade to the Caribbean. Moreover, it was in the merchants' interest to strengthen the existing rum and molasses trade between the Caribbean and North America. In 1676, as a result of merchant pressure, Governor Edmund Andros prohibited grain distillation in New York.

The availability of imported rum and molasses reduced the Continental colonists' need for the local production of grain-based spirits. In the seventeenth century, British Caribbean rum dominated the Continental trade, but French Caribbean rum also found its way to the Continental colonies via British Caribbean ports (McCusker 1991:16). Barbados emerged as the leading supplier of rum to the Continental colonies. Eltis (1995:641-646) showed that in the period 1699-1701, Barbados alone exported an annual average of nearly 600,000 gallons of rum. Little of this rum made its way to European markets. In 1700, England and Wales imported less than 2,000 gallons. In 1707, Sloane (1707:xxix) still felt the need to explain to his readers in Europe that rum was made from sugar cane. The





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majority of this 600,000 gallons of Barbados rum went to North America, particularly the Chesapeake and New England. In the period 1699-1701, 38% of the value of all Barbados exports to North America went to Virginia and Maryland. Most of this was in the form of rum. Moreover, the Chesapeake trade represented 9% of the value of all Barbados exports. In this same period, New England consumed 37% of the value of all Barbados exports to the North America: slightly less than the Chesapeake. However, Eltis believed that molasses, rather than rum, represented "most" of the New England trade. Of course, by the end of the seventeenth century, New Englanders took it upon themselves to turn almost all of that molasses into rum.

Rorabaugh (1979) believed that Continental merchants were largely responsible for the rise of Continental rum imports. According to Rorabaugh (1979:63-64), "lacking hard money and fearful of credit, American merchants turned to barter...Rum was the currency of the age." In the seventeenth century, rum fueled the barter trade between the Continental and Caribbean colonies. For example, in 1682, Thomas Ashe, writing about conditions in the newly settled North Carolina colony wrote, "The Commodities of the Country as yet proper for England are Furs and Cedar: For Berbadoes, Jamaica and the Caribbee Islands, Provisions, Pitch, Tarr and Clapboard, for which they have in Exchange Sugar, Rumm, Melasses and Ginger, etc" (CW: Material no.0068200037). The rum trade between Barbados and the Carolinas may reflect the strong trade ties that developed as a result of the great number of Barbadians who settled in the Carolinas in the late seventeenth century.

Trade between the Caribbean and the Continental Colonies often reflected family strategies. For example, in the mid-seventeenth century Constant Silvester, a wealthy and politically powerful sugar planter in Barbados, exchanged rum produced on his plantation for food, clothing, and barrel staves produced on his brother's estate in Shelter Island, New York (Smith 1998b). The Hutchison family of Boston, including cousin Peleg Sanford, a Rhode Island merchant with family connections in Barbados, exemplified this family-based trade network. By placing family members throughout the developing Atlantic





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world and catering to the local demands, the Hutchison family constructed an elaborate commercial system that made them one of the most powerful forces in the emerging Atlantic economy (Bailyn 1955:88-89).

Merchants and shippers of the Dutch West India Company were important links in the Continental-Caribbean rum traffic. The long history of the Dutch alcohol trade in Europe suggests that Dutch planters and traders may have nurtured early rum making in the British and French islands in order to increase the New England trade (Braudel 1979:243; Schama 1987:193). In the early seventeenth century, Massachusetts maintained an open trade relationship with the Dutch. Historian Bernard Bailyn (1955:84) argued that Dutch traders helped New Englanders identify the needs of Caribbean plantations and acted as middlemen between the two regions. In 1651, British Parliament imposed the first of a series of Navigation Acts meant to curb Dutch control of New World shipping and trading. These Acts restricted the Massachusetts trade with Caribbean islands, especially with Barbados, which, at that time, was sympathetic to the Royalist cause. By the late seventeenth century, the Navigation Acts, the rise of New England's own merchant shipping business, and the continuing dominance of family trading networks reduced Dutch influence. However, according to Bailyn (1955:130) large quantities of Caribbean rum continued to enter New England through Dutch-New England smuggling operations based in Newfoundland.

In the seventeenth century, Caribbean rum fed the North American fur trade. Native Americans embraced alcohol for a variety of reasons, including its unique physiological effects and ability to enhance spirituality. Historian Peter Mancall (1995) explored the role of alcohol in the Native American fur trade. According to Mancall, despite attempts by colonial officials, missionaries, and Native American temperance movements to curb the use of alcohol in the fur trade, alcohol was central to that business and remained so throughout the colonial period. The trade in Caribbean rum trading placed Native Americans squarely within the context of the emerging Atlantic economy. Using Horton's





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(1943) theory about the role of anxiety on excessive drinking, Mancall (1995:ch. 3) argued that alcohol provided Native Americans with an escape from the intense stress brought about by epidemic disease and rapid cultural change. Although Native Americans in Eastern North America had no prior history of alcohol use, rum was incorporated into traditional ceremonies. In particular, it was occasionally used as a sacred fluid that helped facilitate communication with the spiritual world. The sacred use of rum was especially evident in Native American mourning rituals and vision quests. Excessive alcohol use among Native Americans has also been interpreted as a form of cultural resistance to European penetration and American expansionism (Lurie 1979).

In the late seventeenth century, French colonial administrator Jean Baptiste Colbert implemented mercantilist trade policies known as the Exclusif. The policies restricted French Caribbean trade with foreigners and sought to encourage direct trade between the French Caribbean and French provinces in Canada and Louisiana. French Canadians had access to lumber, fish, tar, and provisions that were much needed on Caribbean sugar plantations. In order to stimulate the trade, Colbert's policies included low rum duties and, as early as 1685, French Caribbean rum made its way to the northern French colonies (Gould 1939:474-476).

Much of the rum probably fed the French fur trade. In New France, Jesuit

missionaries worried about the harmful effects of excessive drinking by Native Americans, but as in British North America, alcohol was an integral part of the French fur trade and they were unable to abolish the alcohol-for-fur model. According to anthropologist R.C. Dailey (1979:117), "without a successful fur trade the solvency of the colony [New France could not be assured...The regular distribution of alcohol was a means of maintaining Indian loyalties as well as gaining new friends." Mancall (1995:137) argued that the fur trade in New France "represented a clash of two dominant French ideologies in Canada, the churchmen's mission to spread the faith and the merchants' plans to increase trade." In 1660, FranCois Xavier de Laval de Montigny, bishop of Qu6bec, began





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excommunicating fur traders who sold liquor to the Native Americans. In 1678, a meeting was held to debate the future of the fur trade in New France. Missionaries protested the trade while colonial officials saw the trade as the only way to maintain the colonial economy. In 1679, after hearing the arguments, the King of France ordered that the fur trade could continue with only minor restrictions on the use of alcohol (Mancall 1995:140).

Clearly not everyone in the British and French Continental colonies was pleased with the increasing quantities of rum. Throughout the early colonial period in North America, officials and religious leaders attempted to curb excessive drinking, which many blamed on the overabundance of Caribbean rum. Although Rorabaugh tended to dismiss concerns about alcohol abuse in the early North American colonies, it is clear that many early colonists and colonial officials had great reservations about the ready availability of alcohol and increasing levels of drunkenness (Conroy 1995:ch.1; 1991). Discussions about excessive drink appear throughout seventeenth century North America and early temperance advocates often couched their arguments in Biblical terms. In 1708, for example, Reverend Cotton Mather (1708) warned the people of Boston of the "Woful Consequences" of the great "Flood of Rum" that was overwhelming their orderly society.

As early as 1654, the Governor of Connecticut had banned the import of "Rum, Kill-devil, or the like", but protest from Connecticut farmers forced a repeal of the Act the following year (Trumbull and Hoadly 1850 1:255). In 1677, similar concerns led English officials in Newfoundland to ascertain the extent to which rum was responsible for the debauchery of the fishermen (Bailyn 1955:130). Colonial Assemblies were especially concerned about drinking by "dangerous classes" and, in 1685, for example, officials in New Jersey prohibited the sale of rum to Native Americans and African slaves except for medicinal purposes (Herd 1991:355; Wright 1943:162-164). European colonists on the Continental frontier perceived the use of alcohol by large numbers of Native Americans and African slaves as a potentially volatile combination.





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Prohibitions against rum confronted the power of merchant capitalism. In

particular, Boston merchants greatly benefited from the growing Caribbean rum trade. Rorabaugh (1979:64) argued that New Englanders preferred a barter trade based on rum because, "Unlike other goods, including molasses, rum shipped easily, could be warehoused cheaply, withstood any climate and improper handling, and increased in value as it aged." In the seventeenth century, officials in Massachusetts enacted over 40 laws regulating and restricting colonial drinking. According to historian David Conroy (1991:30), alcohol restrictions in Massachusetts were enacted to support clerical ideals of piety as well as reinforce the paternal authority of colonial officials. In 1661 and 1667, officials in Massachusetts declared rum a "menace to society" and attempted to ban its use (Bailyn 1955:129). In 1712, Boston officials banned the sale of rum in taverns, but the economic importance of the Caribbean rum trade meant that the "ban was a dead letter as soon as it was enacted" (Conroy 1991:51).

By the late seventeenth century, New Englanders began distilling their own rum from imported Caribbean molasses. Emmanuel Downing of Salem, Massachusetts ran a distilling operation as early as 1648, but it is not clear whether Downing was distilling rum from imported Caribbean molasses or whisky from Continental grain (Bailyn 1955:129; McCusker 1989:434). According to historian Jay Coughtry (1981:81), a commercial rum distillery was operating in Rhode Island in 1684. John McCusker (1989:435) argued that King William's War (1689-1697) was the impetus for rum production in the Continental Colonies. During the conflict, Britain prohibited imports of French brandy, which left an opening for rum in the British alcohol market. However, in 1697, the last year of the war, England and Wales imported less than 100 gallons of rum and none of it came from North America. In fact, the first New England rum exports did not reach England until 1704 and even this shipment was a mere 22 gallons. Local and regional demand was the impetus for the growth of New England rum making (McCusker 1989:434-435, 458n52). New England merchants also profited from rum making because it reduced dependence on, and





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therefore the price of, British and French Caribbean rum. New England merchants were particularly adept at using New England-made rum to exploit trade with the fisheries of Newfoundland. (Bailyn 1955:129-130; McCusker 1989:434-435).

In the seventeenth century, the Spanish American colonies were another primary destination for Caribbean rum. The high taxes imposed on imported Spanish wine and brandy, the unpredictability of wine shipments, and the fact that Spanish wine occasionally went bad on the long sea voyage to Americas, led to experiments with alternative alcoholic beverages. For example, in New Spain, pulque, made from the maguey became a principal alcoholic beverage, particularly among Indians peasants located outside urban centers (Taylor 1979:55). In the Viceroyalty of New Granada, chicha beer made from local grain was popular (Jamieson 2000: 95-96). Grape wine making operations (bodegas) also flourished in the Moquegua Valley of Peru (Rice 1996, 1997; Rice and Smith 1989). In some parts of the Spanish Americas, local alcohol production helped defray the cost of running local governments. For example, in parts of New Spain, officials encouraged pulque production because liquor and tavern licenses helped fill local governmental coffers (Taylor 1979:47). However, pulque production was only encouraged in rural areas where Spanish wine and brandy imports were unable meet alcohol demands. In urban centers, like Mexico City, Spanish colonial officials aggressively discouraged local alcohol production, especially where it threatened colonial revenues from Spanish wine and brandy import taxes (Taylor 1979:45-49). From the beginning of Spanish settlement, wine and brandy import taxes played a key role in keeping colonial governments solvent. In Hispaniola, for example, Christopher Columbus proposed a 15% tax on Spanish and Canary wine imports in order to help finance the Spanish conquest and settlement of the Indies (Las Casas 1971:59).

In the sugar cane-growing regions of New Spain, New Granada, and the Spanish Caribbean, colonists produced aguardiente de caZia [rum], and fermented varieties of





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sugar cane juice known as guarapo and chigurito. However, the sad state of sugar production reduced the availability of rum-making ingredients and restrained the growth of the industry. Yet, many Spanish colonial officials still saw rum as a threat to economic stability. In New Spain, in 1615, Spanish officials banned the production of the fermented sugar cane-based drink guarapo because tavern owners were using it to adulterate Spanish wine (Sandoval 1951:165). By 1631, official prohibitions specifically targeted the production of alcohol distilled in alembics and the punishment for those caught producing aguardiente de caia included public whipping. In Cuba, in 1643, the Havana town council claimed that growth of local rum making diminished the colony's finances and councilman Alvaro de Luces proposed to curb this threat by equalizing the price of Spanish wine and locally produced rum (Chez Checo 1988:50).

Officials also blamed rum for health problems and social disorder. The highly

volatile nature of rum may have compounded the fears of Spanish colonials, who typically consumed relatively weak wine with meals and in Catholic religious contexts. In 1635, prohibitions against aguardiente de calia were repeated. The ban emphasized the harmful effects of aguardiente de cafia on Indian peasants (Zavala 1940:163-167, 400-401). In New Granada [Colombia] colonial officials faced similar struggles with rum. As early as 1658, the audiencia of Santa Fe de BogotA complained about the harmful social impact of rum on Indian peasants (Mora de Tovar 1988:17nl). In 1694, the governor of New Andalusia [Venezuela] also argued that rum was harmful to the people of that region and urged illicit distillers to shut down their operations (Huetz de Lemps 1997:65). Prohibitions against rum making were also instituted in Cartagena and the kingdom of Guatemala (Mora de Tovar:n2). By the end of the seventeenth century, Spanish and Spanish colonial officials were sufficiently concerned about the negative social and economic impact of rum that, on June 8, 1693, the Crown instituted a comprehensive prohibition against rum making in the Spanish colonies (Cohen pers comm., Archivo General de la Naci6n, Caracas, Venezuela, secci6n Reales C6dulas, primera parte, volume 10, real c6dula number 37, folios 168-





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177v.). However, the frequent reiteration of the ban in the following century suggests that the prohibition was often evaded.

The restrictions on Spanish Caribbean rum production, the limited nature of the

Spanish Caribbean sugar industries, and the high cost of Spanish wine and brandy reduced the availability of alcohol. As a result, an illegal rum trade developed, which made the Spanish Caribbean a primary destination for British and French Caribbean rum. According to Ligon (1657:93), rum was "a commodity of good value in the Plantation; for we send it down to the Bridge Ithe capital port of Bridgetown and there put it off to those that retail it. Some they sell to the Ships, and is transported into foreign parts." Ligon's reference to "foreign parts" suggests that the Spanish Caribbean was the likely destination. In 1673, a Jamaican trader traveled to Cuba and purchased 50 cows in exchange for rum (Chez Checo 1988:51). Labat wrote that French Caribbean traders sold rum

to Spanish on the coast of Caracas, Cartagena, Honduras, and the big islands
where they don't produce it or use it to make a wine, and in exchange provide them
with good English glass bottles with good mouths and corks with wire or cloth
from Holland for 10 or 12 bottles.
(Labat 1724;1: 135)

Carib Indians of the Lesser Antilles also provided a good market for Caribbean

rum. Contemporary alcohol studies have highlighted Native American drinking in colonial settings (Dailey 1979; Lurie 1979; MacAndrew and Edgerton 1969; Mancall 1995; Oderoff 1979). In general, this research has stressed pathological drinking and explored the widely held notion that "Indians can't hold their liquor." These studies have shown that such stereotypes typically emerged in expansionist colonial settings and were used by settlers to help justify the conquest, removal, or relocation of natives from their land. Despite an enormous amount of information about Native American drinking in North America, we know little about alcohol use among Native peoples of the Caribbean.

The Carib and Taino were the two most numerous Native American groups in the island Caribbean at the time of European contact. However, this simple dyadic designation may more accurately reflect the European settlers' desire to categorize the Caribbean





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Indians they encountered rather than any self-designated identity. For example, Jalil Sued Badillo (1995) argued that the Carib/Taino dyad represents a political designation established by the Spanish to identify groups for their potential as slaves, trading partners, and military allies. The Carib/Taino designations may have also been a useful tool for unifying Caribbean Amerindians during periods of increasing European migration. Historians and archaeologists continue to adopt this dyadic cultural scenario (Rouse 1992; Sauer 1966; Wilson 1990).

The Taino were the Arawakan-speaking Indian group of the northern Greater Antilles, who greeted Columbus when he reached Hispaniola in 1492. According to Guglielmo Coma, a passenger on Columbus' second voyage, the Taino did not use alcohol. Coma's reference has been widely accepted as evidence for the lack of alcohol use among the Taino. According to historian Carl Sauer (1966:51), "Perhaps the most important difference Ibetween island Arawak and their mainland descendants in South Americal is that the islanders drank no alcoholic beverages." (see also Watts 1987:53-54). Archaeologist Irving Rouse (1992:12,158) also accepted Coma's reference and argued that the lack of alcohol use was a distinguishing cultural characteristic of the Island Taino. However, archaeologist Peter Harris (pers. comm.) has recovered pre-columbian ceramic bowls on Taino sites that, he believes, may have been used for the production of beer. While the evidence for alcohol production and use among the Taino is weak, they did alter their minds and bodies with other drugs, including a narcotic snuff called cohoba, which was widely used in Taino religious ceremonies (Rouse 1992:118). Spanish colonials introduced alcohol to the Taino in the early years of settlement and, for example, Las Casas (1970:188) complained that the Spanish slave holders often failed to provide their captives with wine. Disease greatly reduced the Taino population. In 1514, there were only about 30,000 Taino in Hispaniola and, by 1540, they were nearly extinct (Henige 1991:7). Because of the rapid decline in Taino population and the later development of rum making, it is unlikely that the Taino ever encountered distilled rum. However, Las Casas' reference





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to fermented sugar cane-based drinks was contemporary with a Taino presence in Hispaniola.

Carib Indians, unlike the Taino, had a strong tradition of alcohol use and made a variety of alcoholic beverages. Cassava-based alcoholic beverages, like oiiicou and perino were regularly consumed and received much attention from chroniclers. Potato-based mobbie was also popular (du Tertre 1667-1671:113,119; Labat 1724;1: 133-134; Ligon 1657:32)

The wind and ocean currents led many European ships to Carib centers in the Leeward and Windward islands. These islands often represented the first landfall after weeks at sea and they provided travelers with a place to rest and recover from the long voyages. As a result, an important trade developed between Caribs and Europeans in the early years of European exploration and settlement. In exchange for iron axes, trade beads, and other goods, Europeans received cotton, cassava bread, and sexual favors. Archaeologist Lennox Honeychurch (1997:299) argued that the Windward Island Caribs "added commercial production to subsistence production" in order to tap this trade. For example, the Caribs increased their production of tobacco in order to trade with the Europeans. It was through this sort of informal exchange that Caribs were first introduced to European alcohol. Privateers, explorers, settlers, and missionaries usually carried great stores of alcohol on their voyages. The Caribs esteemed European wine and spirits for their novelty, as well as their higher alcohol concentration. When Thomas Gage (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:84) arrived in Guadeloupe in 1625 he was greeted by Caribs "some speaking in their unknown tongue, others using signs for such things as we imagined they desired. Their sign for some of our Spanish wine was easily perceived, and their request was most willingly granted by our men." Father du Tertre (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:131) reported that the Caribs had a strong penchant for French brandy, which they called "stomach-burner." Father du Tertre (1667-1671:438-439) also wrote that traders could purchase a great deal of cotton for a glass of eau de vie. The rise of sugar making





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made rum, rather than European spirits, increasingly more common in the Carib-European alcohol trade. By the end of the seventeenth century, the common Carib greeting in Martinique was "Toi tenir taffia?" (Labat 1970:88-89; see also Labat 1724;I:29).

Alcohol also played a central role in gift giving exercises that preceded trading. The practice of using alcohol as an entreaty to trade was also common in the North American fur trade and West and West Central African slave trade, (Akyeampong 1997:42-43; Mancall 1995:47; Thornton 1991:66-67). Carib-European trading often began with a customary presentation of alcohol and the exchange of toasts. On Sir Francis Drake's expedition to attack Spanish Caribbean outposts in 1585-1586, Drake's men offered beer to Caribs of Dominica prior to trading (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:54). According to Labat (1724;I:29; 1724;II: 101), giving the Caribs something to drink was "an infallible way to gain their friendship" and the Carib of Dominica received him particularly well when he arrived, "since it was accompanied by two bottles of rum." In 1722, Barbados ship Captain John Braithwaite described an incident in which his shore party was poorly treated and refused wood and water from the Black and Yellow Carib chiefs of St. Vincent. According to Braithwaite (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:177-179), "Immediately after [the refusal] I sent on shore the sloops boat with a mate, with rum, beef and bread, etc." These presents helped open lines of communication between Braithwaite and the Caribs.

Rum became an important item in the Carib-European trade because alcohol was central in a number of Carib ceremonial contexts. From birth to death, alcoholic beverages penetrated nearly every aspects of Carib society. Alcohol was at the core of Carib mythology and spirituality, which made it a deeply meaningful symbol of cultural identity. According to French Jesuit missionary de la Borde,

What they say about the origin of the sea, and about the creation, and generally
about all waters relates in some manner to the Flood. The great master of
Chemeens, who are their good spirits, angered and in a rage that the Caraibes at this
time were very wicked, and no longer offered him cassava, nor Oiiicou, made it
rain many days such as great quantity of water that they were nearly all drowned,





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with the exception of a few who saved themselves in small boats and pirogues on a
mountain, which was the only one left.
(cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:142) According to Carib mythology, the Great flood story, which explains the existence of the sea, resulted from the Caribs' failure to supply their spirits with oiiicou. The story also shows how Caribs used alcohol to help explain the disastrous effects of hurricanes. Thus, alcohol became, in effect, a vehicle for controlling major events in Carib society. Caribs made offerings of alcohol to their gods, placing oiiicou on small wooden stools in their houses to appease and thank their zemis [godsl for guidance (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:147). "When they have a great drinking-party, which is their debauchery, they always put to one side an, earthenware jar, or some calabashes for the Zemmens" (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:147). Just as Mohammed's vision of paradise included rivers of wine, heaven in Carib mythology was a place where oiiicou flowed without ceasing.

Rum and European alcoholic beverages entered into preexisting Carib drinking

practices. For example, oral histories collected by anthropologist Douglas Taylor (1938) in the mid-twentieth century highlight the use of rum in Carib spirituality. According to one tradition,

cassava and rum were placed on the tables, (in the old days), on one end of the mwina which was completely dark. The bwaye (elders) would sing and mutter until the spirit fell in with a thump. The spirits spoke in strange voices and you
could not tell what they were saying but you could hear the glou-glou sound as they
drank the rum. When the house reopened the offering appeared to be intact and
were consumed early in the morning before eating. The spirits, I was told
consumed only the soul of the offering leaving the rest behind.
(Taylor 1938 see also cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:312) Other Carib ceremonies reveal the use of alcohol in rites of passage and transitional stages of life. For example, French missionary Raymond Breton observed the use of alcohol to ensure the successful birth of a child.

When the women are giving birth, the husband withdraws from them, and they do
not sleep together at all for five or six months from this point. And both undertake a
fast, which is one of the most celebrated, especially when they have a boy for the first child. The man fasts more rigorously than the woman for fear that the infant





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should suffer by him. Father Raymond was at the house of Le Baron [Caraibe
chieftain] on Dominica, going to see one of these fasters, and as the Father was
speaking to him of this fast, the savage told him that some abstained entirely from drinking and eating for the first five days after the confinement of their wives, and
on the other days until the tenth, they take nothing but Oiiicou. After this they eat
nothing but cassava and drink Oiiicou for the space of a month or two.
(cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:112) Alcohol played an important role in communicating with and showing respect for the dead. In 1694, Labat (1970:198) sat down to dinner with the Caribs and made the careless error of sitting on a Carib grave. Labat apologized, made a toast, and offered "drink...so as to make amends for the offence we had given them in sitting on their dead." In 1950, Patrick Leigh Fermor (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:328), writing about the Dominica Caribs, reported "Death and burial are accompanied by enormous wakes and fumigations which are often an occasion of celebration and dancing and the swallowing of enormous quantities of rum."

European settlement and aggression disrupted Carib society. The introduction of large quantities of rum into the context of epidemiological catastrophe accelerated the demise of the family unit and traditional social structures. For example, Joseph Senhouse, in 1776, discussing family life among Dominica Caribs wrote

Every Husband having so unlimited a power over his Wife that he can even put her
to death on the slightest offence and it is to be feared this horrid brutality too often happens amongst this barbarous people, especially when they are intoxicated with
Spirituous Liquors which they are extravagantly fond of.
(cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:184) Victorian writer Frederick Treves blamed alcohol for the demise of Carib society. According to Treves,

The Caribs in the smaller islands, although they may have had the good fortune to escape the missionary, fell victims to the man with the musket and the man with a keg of brandy under his arm...He had strength, sagacity and courage, and behind him the gorgeous arms of an impenetrable forest. He might have held these lands
longer but for his taste for rum.
(cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:277) In Carib society, fiery rum replaced traditional drinks, like oiiicou. Alcohol lost much of its spiritual, social, and ceremonial meaning within the context of European conquest.





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In the seventeenth century, rum became a popular form of alcoholic stimulation at the margins of the Atlantic world. Although early rum making relied on inferior ingredients and small stills, it still bolstered sugar plantation revenues and stabilized sugar estates. Rum nurtured the growth of American trade and was a nursery for a new class of merchant capitalists on the American side of the Atlantic world. In the seventeenth century, Barbados emerged as the leading rum producer. Rum and other types of alcoholic beverages primarily fed local and regional demand, which was fueled by a variety of material factors and the general unpredictability of life on the Caribbean frontier. In the eighteenth century, rum-making techniques improved and the rum industry expanded, especially in the British colony of Jamaica.














CHAPTER 5
EIGHTEENTH CENTURY RUM MAKING Sidney Mintz (1985:47-51) described Caribbean sugar production as a protoindustrial enterprise that combined the methods of factory and field. There is little doubt that this characterization embraced, though not explicitly, the efficiency of an industry that turned its waste products into a highly profitable alcoholic commodity. In the eighteenth century, sugar planters experimented with new ways to extract high rum yields and improve their rum-making techniques. They speculated about the potential output of their still houses and left extensive records about distillation technology. Often, such speculation was based more on the optimistic guesswork of an overconfident planter class than on actual production figures. Despite the broad regional extent of rum making at the beginning of the eighteenth century, British Caribbean sugar planters developed an especially sophisticated rum industry and pulled-away from their French and Spanish rivals. Jamaica and Barbados, spurred by huge North American and metropolitan markets, emerged as the leading rum-making colonies. The following analysis explores the methods of Caribbean rum makers, especially in the British Caribbean, and examines the basis for their optimism.

Eighteenth century rum making was an art, but it was an imperfect art that relied heavily on general rule-of-thumb principles and the skill of particular distillers. Antiguan sugar planter Samuel Martin explained,

This art not having self-evident principles for its basis, is founded solely upon
experience. The nature of fermentation (which is previously necessary to making
rum) can be learned only by practice, and adjusted by exact weight or measure; and
even then great disappointment will happen to the distiller; either from
imperceptable differences of heat and cold; or from some other latent cause not
assignable.
(Martin 1765:53)





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Eighteenth century rum making lacked standardization and quality controls, but the economic promise of rum spurred planters to unlock the mysteries of rum production and make it a more scientific endeavor.

Numerous factors determined rum yields. At the most fundamental level, soil

quality affected the amount of rum a plantation could produce. According to Jamaican sugar planter Edward Long,

in many places on the North side [of Jamaical the soil is so rich, the rains so
copious and frequent, as to require rather to be impoverished, than dunged; and I
am persuaded, that these lands would yield more sugar, and of better quality, if they could be dressed with sea sand: the syrup here is so viscid, that it often will
not boil into sugar; but these estates produce an extraordinary quantity of rum. The
South side lands, on the contrary, produce a less proportion of rum, to a larger
quantity of sugar; and in general I have remarked, that the estates which afford the
least proportion of rum, yield a sugar of the finest quality and complexion.
(Long 1774;I:441-442)

About St. Mary's parish Long (1774;II:75) wrote, "The land in general from its richness bears too luxuriant a cane: I have seen some here of enormous size and length; but such are unfit for making sugar and are only ground for the still-house." Jamaican sugar planter, William Beckford (1790:154-155), believed that sugar cane juice in the mountainous regions of Jamaica was too thick for sugar making, but well suited for producing rum. What Long and Beckford may have been interpreting was the impact of high levels of salt in the soils of the mountainous regions of Jamaica. Salt can reduce the recoverability of sucrose during sugar processing and increase the amount of molasses, as well as the level of sucrose in that molasses, available for rum making (Baikow 1967:223; Barnes 1964:119; Wray 1848:391). However, the fermentation and distillation sugar cane juice with a high saline content required great care because, according to French Caribbean sugar planter Joseph Franqois Charpentier de Cossigny (1781:5), it fermented slowly and sometimes produced a "bitter" spirit. Other qualities of the soil, including nitrogen levels, acidity, and drainage, might also explain why the first few sugar cane crops on many newly cultivated lands were used only for rum (Long 1774;II:79,179). Jamaican sugar





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planter Leonard Wray (1848:399-400) encouraged distillers to experiment with rummaking techniques and adjust them to the soils of their particular plantation.

Humidity and seasonal change also governed rum yields. The tropical Caribbean climate consists of a wet and dry season and many planters warned about distilling in the wet season when the still house was likely to be cold and damp. Barbados plantation manager William Belgrove (1755:35) wrote, "I see no just Reason why [al Still-House should be making Rum in the wet Season of the Year, when no good Fermentation can be expected or made equal to the Months between January and August." An anonymous writer in Saint Domingue noted that the best fermentation occurred in the dry months of March, April, and May (AA). And Charpentier de Cossigny (1781:4) believed fermentation was best in the "summer" months. At a molecular level, alcohol and water have an affinity for each other. For example, when consumed, alcohol is attracted to water in the blood and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream (Gibbons 1992:15). Similarly, alcohol in a damp still house absorbs moisture from the air. Heat, an important catalyst for the conversion of sugar into alcohol during the fermentation process, is disengaged by the absorption of water and the temperature at which fermentation occurs decreases (Lock 1888:751-752). Thus, in the case of rum fermentation during the wet season, a damp still house slowed the rate of fermentation, which held up work regimens, and too much moisture prevented fermentation altogether (Wray 1848:400-403). In order to reduce moisture in the still house, Jamaican sugar planter Thomas Roughley (1823:385) advised "The [still] house should have a fire made in it so central, that the warmth of it will diffuse through it, and dispel the chilly cold dampness of the fermenting part of the house."

Natural disasters, such as droughts and hurricanes, also had negative impact on

rum yields. For example, in 1772, a major hurricane hit the Leeward Islands and England's rum imports from Antigua that year dropped 89% from the previous year (Ragatz 1927:17). Hurricanes, which tended to hit at the end of the harvest, usually affected the following year's production. In 1780, Barbados was devastated by a hurricane and, the





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following year, rum production at Codrington plantation, Barbados dropped 78% from the previous year (SPG). In 1780, plantation managers at Turner's Hall estate, Barbados noted the loss of 400 gallons of rum "in the storm" and, in 1781, the full effect of the hurricane was felt as the value of the estate's produce dropped 80% (WFP).

In the Caribbean, sugar cane was harvested every year, usually in the dry season months of January-May. Sugar cane spoiled quickly so it had to be brought to the mill and squeezed of its juice soon after being cut. The cane juice was then boiled in large heated cauldrons. During the boiling process, impurities, known as scum, bubbled to the surface and were skimmed off. Lime, egg whites, and the blood of cattle were some of the ingredients added to the boiling cane juice to help bring impurities to the surface (Belgrove 1755:29; Stein 1988:66-67,123). The skimming process continued as the juice was conveyed through the series of successively smaller cauldrons. Once the sugar boiler believed the juice had reached an appropriate viscosity, it was then transferred to barrels or earthenware sugar molds in the purging house. The remaining impurities, at this point called molasses, drained-off leaving a barrel of still wet muscavado or a brownish loaf of sugar. Claying, a more common practice in Barbados and the French Caribbean, consisted of capping the sugar mold with wet clay. Claying purged the sugar loaf of more molasses and left a lighter semi-refined sugar.

Rum begins as a wash compound and the wash contained four basic ingredients, scum, molasses, dunder, and water. Scum from the bubbling cauldrons in the boiling house was carried in buckets, or placed in gutters where it flowed into fermenting cisterns in the still house. The art of skimming was a specialized skill and planters often worried whether the sugar boilers responsible for skimming skimmed too deeply. Poor skimming techniques removed sugar, rather than just the impurities, which decreased the amount of sugar produced. This concern led Jamaican sugar planter Bryan Edwards (1819;II1:285n) to warn "the boiling house is defrauded of the cane liquor by improper scumming." As with scum, the molasses that drained from the sugar molds and barrels in the purging house was





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carried in buckets, or dripped into gutters that channeled it to the fermenting cisterns in the still house. Claying further purged the sugar and provided more molasses for rum making. An extended purge time also increased the amount of molasses available for distilling. Dunder, the waste of previous distillations, was the third ingredient and it is simply the wash removed of much of its wet matter. Water was the fourth ingredient and there appears to have been no special treatment of water, although some planters may have preferred to use "pure spring water" (Long 1774;II:557 see also Clements 1997; Oldmixon 1741:128).

The scum and molasses used in the wash were sometimes augmented by pure cane juice. During a visit to the Caribbean, physician Sir Hans Sloane (1707:xxix) observed, "rum is made of cane juice not fit to make sugar." These canes were called "rum canes" and they were canes, which usually because of some accident, were set aside for rum making. For example, in 1790, Beckford (1790:55) set aside "rum canes" that had been damaged by rats. Hurricanes, droughts, fires, and other disasters damaged sugar canes and made them useless for sugar making, but they were often fine for the still house (see also anonymous 1737:245; Thistlewood cited in Hall 1992:46). Occasionally other ingredients were thrown into the fermenting wash. John Taylor (1688 cited in Dunn 1972:197), a visitor to Jamaica, wrote that sometimes "the overseer would empt his camberpot into it," but the purpose was apparently to keep the slaves from stealing it.

The proper mixture of ingredients in the wash provided a healthy environment for yeasts, which are naturally present on the sugar cane, to thrive and breakdown the fermentable sucrose into alcohol. The initial fermentation took about one day. After that, infusions of molasses further stimulated fermentation in the wash. While fermentation could cease within a few days, usually eight, some washes could ferment for several weeks (Martin 1765:56; Wray 1848:403). Yeasts tend to die when sucrose runs out or when the level of alcohol in the wash reaches about 14% (Gibbons 1992:7). A fermentation lasting one to two weeks at a mild temperature was considered most desirable





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because it ensured the greater conversion of sucrose into alcohol (Wray 1848:400-403). Planters knew how to increase the length of fermentation by manipulating the proportion of ingredients in the wash, especially by the infusion of cold water to slow the process. During fermentation, the wash foamed and bubbled and was often described as a living organism. According to Roughley (1823:391), "whitish bead-like particles, or small globules appearing on the surface of the liquor, or a thin white surface shewing itself' indicated that fermentation had ceased in the fermenting cisterns. Martin (1765:56) associated air-globules with a "very weak Ilow-sucrosel" wash and a thin white crust with a "rich [high-sucrose wash.

Once the wash settled, the sour smelling compound was "ripe for distilling." By the action of heat, distilling vaporized the alcohol and lighter substances in the fermented wash. This process removed water, salts, fusel oils, and other impurities that affected the proof and taste of the rum. The alcohol vapors collected in the still head and left through the still worm where the vapors condensed and flowed out and into a receiver at the other end of the worm. After this first distillation, the liquid was a poor quality weak spirit called low-wine. Although plantations could end the process after the first distillation, most British Caribbean distillers appear to have re-distilled their low-wines, either separately or by returning them to the proceeding wash. The second distillation removed more impurities, improved the taste, and increased the alcohol content of the rum. The second distillation reduced the total amount of low-wine, but was necessary to make concentrated rum of a high proof.

In 1755, Belgrove (1755:21-22) wrote, "The Distilling House should have three stills to contain 900 gallons of Liquor, and a fourth big enough to contain the low-wines produced from the other three." By the end of the eighteenth century, British Caribbean distillers were using even larger stills. For example, Edwards (1819;11I:276-277) believed that plantations should employ stills of 1,000-3,000 gallons and wrote, "A still of two





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thousand gallons, with freight and charges, will cost but little more than one of one thousand five hundred gallons, and is besides worked with but little more fuel." Edwards later indicated that the average plantation would be more likely to possess two stills, one of 1,200 gallons and a smaller one of 600. In contrast, French distillers appear to have continued their seventeenth century pattern of relying on small, antiquated stills. In 1786, a series of articles published in Saint Domingue's main newspaper, Affiches Amdricaines, described the use of 300-gallon stills of an inferior design. The anonymous author (AA) complained that, in order for French Caribbean distillers to successfully compete with British Caribbean rum producers, they would have to follow the practices of British Caribbean distillers and increase the size of their stills, lengthen the necks of their still heads, and increase the length of their cooling worms.

Rum is a highly volatile fluid and loss of alcohol due to evaporation was a major problem for distillers. Wray (1848:400) argued, "The great object of the distiller is to produce as much rum from the available sugar, loosing none, or as little as possible of it by evaporation" (see also Charpentier de Cossigny 1781:6). The evaporation of alcohol began during the fermentation process, which led to design changes in fermenting vats (Martin 1765:54). For example, the low flat fermenting cisterns of the seventeenth century gave way to larger and taller fermentation vats that were made wide at the bottom and narrower at the opening. This design decreased the amount of air reaching the wash and, therefore, reduced evaporation. According to an anonymous author (AA) in Saint Domingue, "The form of the pices of grappe [the fermentation vat] has to be a truncated cone, very large at the bottom and smaller at the top to make a quicker and better fermentation." Fermenting vats, and for that matter all the utensils used in rum making, had to be thoroughly cleaned after every use, often with scalding hot water, to prevent them from souring the rum (Martin 1765:53).

The threat of evaporation continued after distillation. Despite the use of well-sealed "tight-casks," about 10% of rum shipped from the Caribbean to Britain and 5% of rum





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shipped from the Caribbean to the North America leaked away or evaporated during the voyage (McCusker 1989:821). In some cases, a small crack meant that rum puncheons arrived at their destinations completely empty. Setting the Wash

The wash was the most important stage in rum making and the combination of

ingredients determined the amount of alcohol the wash produced. In fact, all of the alcohol made on Caribbean sugar plantations occurred at this stage and distillation merely extracted it from the wash. The proper mix of ingredients produced high rum yields and colonial planters, preoccupied with plantation efficiency, struggled to construct high yielding wash compounds. In recipe book-like fashion, colonial newspapers, planter guides, and estate journals sometimes listed wash compounds, but, in general, distillers tended to hold tight to trade secrets and conceal their rule-of-thumb methods from competitors. An examination of plantation records reveals mysteries about the wash that were lost on some colonial planters, as well as modern historians who have investigated the amounts of rum that could be produced on Caribbean sugar plantations.

Edwards wrote extensively on the wash compound and his observations provide

valuable insights into the art of eighteenth century British Caribbean rum production. Many historians have used Edwards' description of the Jamaican rum industry to understand rum making and estimate the potential rum yields of sugar estates (Klingelberg 1949:69-70; McCusker 1989; Rorabaugh 1979). Edwards (1819;II:279-280) argued that the average 100-gallon wash in the British Windward Islands contained equal parts scum, dunder, and water. After fermenting 24 hours, distillers added a three-gallon charge of molasses. A day or two later, distillers added a second three gallon charge of molasses in order to further stimulate fermentation. This practice appears general among rum distillers in the British Caribbean and was not confined to the Windward Islands. For example, in 1774, Long (1774;II:560-561) noted that distillers in Jamaica practiced the same equal three parts





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method (see also Martin 1765:55). However, in 1794, Edwards wrote that the equal three parts wash was becoming an antiquated method in Jamaica and proceeded to layout the "improved" Jamaican wash compound (see Table 5-1). In this new method, the average 100-gallon wash contained 50 gallons of dunder, 6 gallons of molasses, 36 gallons of scum, and 8 gallons of water. The difference is, of course, the use of less water and more dunder.

Table 5-1. General wash proportions versus improved Jamaican wash proportions
General average wash Improved Jamaican average wash
33.3 gallons scum 36 gallons scum
33.3 gallons dunder 50 gallons dunder
33.3 gallons water 8 gallons water
6.0 gallons of molasses 6 gallons molasses
106.0 gallons wash 100 gallons wash
Sources: Edwards 1819;1I:279-280; Long 1774;II:560-561; Martin 1765:55.

Colonial planters, including Edwards, recognized that something inherent in scum and molasses fermented to make rum. They referred to the concept of sweets. The use of this term suggests that they knew rum was produced from the breakdown of sucrose in the scum and molasses rather than some other property or impurity in cane juice. Why they used the term sweets, instead of sugar, is unknown. Planters recognized one fundamental principle for the wash compound, that it must contain 10-15% sweets. However, it appears that most rum makers agreed on an average of about 12% (Belgrove 1755:26; Edwards 1819;II:283; Roughley 1823:387; Wray 1848:398). Molasses was the standard for sweets and one gallon of molasses was considered equal to one gallon of sweets. Scum, on the other hand, represented some fraction of molasses. Edwards, for example, argued that the ratio of scum to molasses was 6 to 1. Thus, the average 100-gallon wash of 6 gallons of molasses and 36 gallons of scum provided the necessary 12% level of sweets.

According to Edwards, a plantation annually producing 200 hogsheads of sugar at 16 cwt. Ilong hundredweight] received 28,000 gallons of scum and 12,000 gallons of molasses for the still house. Based on the 6:1 ratio of scum to molasses, this plantation possessed 16,666 gallons of sweets. From this scum and molasses, Edwards calculated





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that the distillation of an average 1,200-gallon wash produced 300 gallons of a poor quality weak spirit called low-wine. The process was repeated making a total of 600 gallons of low-wine. Distillers returned 70 gallons of "weaker spirit" to the low-wine butt for the subsequent distillation while the remaining 530 gallons of low-wine was re-distilled in a smaller alembic, specifically made for the re-distillation of low-wine, to produce 220 gallons of proof rum containing 50% pure alcohol. However, in the final analysis, Edwards slightly increased the rate of rum yielded to 113 gallons of rum per 1,200-gallon wash, rather than 110 gallons. "Thus, two hundred and twenty gallons of proof rum are, in fact, made from 530 gallons of low wine; or about 113 gallons of rum from one thousand two hundred of wash." Using Edwards' figures for the availability of scum and molasses, and maintaining the principle of 12% sweets, there were enough sweets to make 115.7 washes. Edwards concluded that this level of sweets made 34,720 gallons of low-wine, which was re-distilled to produce 14,412 gallons of rum for a ratio of 4.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar.

However, some problems arose when Edwards calculated rum production at the plantation level. According to Edwards, good soils produced rich sugar canes capable of producing 82 gallons of rum per 16 cwt. hogshead of sugar. Edwards' plantation, therefore, would have produced 16,400 gallons of rum, or 5.1 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. However, Edwards believed that 200 gallons of rum per three hogsheads of 16 cwt. sugar was more typical. This estimate produced 13,333 gallons of rum, or 4.2 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. Yet, as noted above, the wash model Edwards constructed based on the availability of scum and molasses produced 14,412 gallons of rum for a ratio of 4.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar.

In the only modern study to seriously address colonial rum making in the New

World, economic historian John McCusker designed a new system for calculating levels of rum production. McCusker developed models for each Caribbean island and North





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America to create an economic picture of rum in the Atlantic world between 1768 and 1772, just prior to the American Revolution. McCusker emphasized British Caribbean rum making and the impact of the rum trade on the balance of payments of the thirteen continental colonies. McCusker attempted to reconstruct accurate accounts of British Caribbean rum output from sources other than British import figures, which, as McCusker pointed out, greatly understated actual levels of rum production. According to McCusker, earlier commentary on actual production based on these sources, limited as it was, amounted to nothing more than erroneous speculation. McCusker's research has provided important insights into the dynamics of rum making and a launch pad for further research.

McCusker's model has gained acceptance among many modern scholars interested in establishing accurate levels of New World rum production (Coughtry 1981:45; Drescher 1977:193-194; Eltis 1995b; McCusker and Menard 1985:164-166; Rorabaugh 1979:225; Schwartz 1985:161-162). According to McCusker, it is possible to determine the availability of molasses by knowing the type and amount of sugar an island produced. In addition, McCusker believed that it is possible to determine the amount of rum produced from that molasses by knowing the distilling techniques employed. The model subtracted standard amounts for the loss of sugar, molasses, and rum from leakage, smuggling, and per capita consumption. It also took into account assumptions about the quality of rum from different colonies. However, a review of plantation records and rum making essays indicates that McCusker's fixed models understated levels of rum production and obfuscated the dynamic reality of rum making. In short, there are simply too many variables affecting the amount of rum a sugar planter might distill to construct good comprehensive models of New World rum production.

Jamaican rum making, based on Edwards' formula, was a key element in

McCusker's design. In Jamaica, McCusker challenged Edwards' figures and developed a new model for determining potential levels of rum production. McCusker's research began as an attack on Edwards' wash calculations and overall level of output. McCusker correctly





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pointed out that, using Edwards' wash proportions, the planter would run out of scum before being able to make enough washes to produce a ratio of 4.2 gallons or 4.5 gallons of rum to cwt. of sugar. In fact, using Edwards' wash compound, a sugar plantation of the size and specification that Edwards identified would only produce about 65 washes of 1,200 gallons, which, based on the rum to low-wine ratio, only produced 8,094 gallons of proof rum, or 2.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar.

In an attempt to fix the error, McCusker reassessed Edwards' wash compound.

McCusker accepted Edwards' figures for the availability of scum and molasses, but argued that the average Jamaican wash must have contained 12 gallons of scum and 10 gallons of molasses. This ratio of scum and molasses still provided the wash with the necessary 12% level of sweets. As a result, McCusker's model had enough scum and molasses to make 100 washes and 11,300 gallons of rum. For a plantation making 200 hogsheads of sugar at 16 cwt. this produced a ratio of 3.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar.

According to McCusker, the "demonstrated" level of rum production from two

Jamaican plantations supported the 3.5-gallon ratio. Although not explicitly stated, the ratio also reflected Long's estimate of Jamaican rum production for the period 1768-1772, the period McCusker was most interested in explaining. Long (1774;II:228-229) argued that a typical Jamaican plantation of 300 acres produced 3.57 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. Within the same paragraph, Long also wrote that Jamaica as a whole produced 3.53 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. Thus, the revision of Edwards' wash compound may reflect McCusker's attempt to match Edwards' rum production figures to those described by Long for the period 1768-1772.

McCusker's estimates were based on Edwards' statement that a 1,200-gallon wash produced 113 gallons of rum. McCusker simply multiplied 113 gallons of rum by 100; the number of washes available using the new wash ratio. By doing so, McCusker arrived at 11,300 gallons of rum for a ratio of 3.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. However,





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McCusker's model overlooked the returns of some 3,500 gallons of low-wine. By following the steps of converting the wash into low-wine and the low-wine into rum, McCusker would have realized that the 3,500 gallons of low-wine returned to the lowwine butt produced another 1,453 gallons of proof rum. The additional rum would have increased the total amount of rum to 12,453 gallons and produced a ratio of 3.9 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar.

Table 5-2. Proportion of wash ingredients during the distilling cycle at York Estate,
Jamaica, 1791 in gallons

Weeks Molasses % Scum % Dunder % Water %

2/11-2/26 820 5 11,300 69 4,300 26
2/28-3/5 1,270 13 3,200 33 5,150 53 3/7-3/12 1,890 14 4,400 32 7,400 54
3/14-3/19 1,935 12 4,250 27 9,550 61 3/21-3/26 2,220 12 4,300 24 11,500 64
3/28-4/2 2,570 16 2,780 17 11,100 67 4/4-4/9 1,487 7 1,390 6 19,000 87
4/11-4/16 1,460 9 3,200 20 9,600 59 2,000 12
4/18-4/22 1,510 16 2,400 25 5,600 59 4/25-4/30 1,080 9 4,250 36 6,440 55
5/2-5/7 1,390 11 3,950 31 7,500 58
5/9-5/14 2,020 15 2,400 18 9,000 67
5/16-5/21 1,935 17 1,450 13 8,000 70
5/23-5/28 1,380 13 400 4 8,100 74 1,000 9
5/30-6/4 0 0 0 0 8,000 73 3,000 27 6/6-6/29 520 6 0 0 6,500 81 1,000 12 Total 23,487 11 49,670 23 136,740 63 7,000 3 Source:GMP

More importantly, however, McCusker's model rigidly adhered to Edwards' wash proportions throughout the course of the distilling cycle, which wasted ingredients and reduced rum yields. Setting a wash was a dynamic process because the proportion of ingredients regularly changed throughout the distilling cycle. In fact, a wash could be made





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with or without scum or molasses and, sometimes, dunder alone was fermented (Wray

1848:395-397). The addition of water was sometimes unnecessary and some planters

argued entirely against its use (Wray 1848:400). Because the distilling cycle coincided

with, and extended beyond, crop-over, the ideal average proportion of wash ingredients

was rarely achieved on a wash-to-wash basis. For example, scum was abundant at the

beginning of the sugar-making cycle, but ran out after the sugar boiling ceased. On the

other hand, molasses, in limited supply at the beginning of the sugar-making cycle, was

abundant at the end. This fact led Martin to write,

When the wind blows fresh [at the beginning of the crop], and the boiling-house
affords scum in abundance, then much of that, and little melosses should make the
composition. On the contrary, when there is but a scanty product of scum, the
quantity of mellosses must be increased; and when at any time there is none at all,
mellosses with water and a large part of lees Idunder], must make the composition.
(Martin 1765:57-58)

The daily still house records from York Estate, Jamaica, as well as the many wash recipes

listed in eighteenth century sources, highlight the dynamic nature of wash compounds over

the course of the distilling cycle (Tables 5-2, and 5-3 through 5-6). Moreover, experiments

with wash recipes led to regional variations among distillers, as well as changes in wash

proportion trends over time.

Table 5-3. Proposed methods of making a 100-gallon wash in Barbados, 1755 Crop Cycle Molasses Scum Dunder Water Total
Beginning 0 60 0 40 100
8 32 30 20 100 Middle 5 50 30 15 100
7 40 40 13 100 End 10 40 25 25 100
Source: Belgrove 1755:26

Table 5-4. Proposed method of making a 300-gallon wash in Saint Domingue, 1786 Crop Cycle Molasses Scum Dunder Water Total
Variable 30 120 120 30 300
24 120 120 36 300 30 90 90 90 300 30 120 90 60 300
30 135 90 45 300 24 120 105 51 300 Source: AA 1786





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Table 5-5. Proposed method of making a 100-gallon wash in Bengal, India, 1793 Crop Cycle Molasses Scum Dunder Water Total Beginning 0 70 0 30 100 End 8 30 30 32 100
Source: Fitzmaurice 1793:53

Table 5-6. Proposed method of making a 100-gallon wash in Jamaica, 1823 Crop Cycle Molasses Scum Dunder Water Total
Beginning 9 40 36 15 100 End 14 0 50 36 100
Source: Roughley 1823:387

These examples show that Edwards' model simply expressed an optimistic average wash compound that was rarely achieved on a daily basis. McCusker's strict adherence to Edwards' average wash proportions, as well as to his own 12:10 ratio of scum to molasses, overlooked the fact that the wash proportion was dictated by the availability of scum and molasses, which changed throughout the course of the distilling cycle. McCusker applied a standard wash proportions on a wash-to-wash basis, which limited the number of washes to 100 and reduced level of rum produced. In addition, by trying to correct the inconsistency in Edwards' model, McCusker constructed a new model that overstated the role of molasses and understated the role of scum in rum making. By doing so, McCusker removed some 13,600 gallons of scum from the rum-making equation, which, using Edwards' estimates, equaled another 2,267 gallons of molasses, or 1,779 gallons of rum.

There are other variables that must also be taken into account when examining wash compounds and levels of rum production. For example, although planters agreed that the amount of sweets in a wash should range from 10 to 15%, they disagreed on the sweetness of the scum that was used to achieve that level. For example, Edwards believed that 6 gallons of scum were equal to 1 gallon of molasses. However, Belgrove wrote,

for although it has been calculated that 5 Gallons of Skimmings is equal to one
Gallon of Molasses, yet this is not so throughout every Month, sometimes four,
sometimes six, and I have even known eight: which Discovery is to be made from the Quantity of Spirit extracted: here let me observe, that there is a great Difference
between a weak and a firm bodied Sugar, or Sugar boiled very high, and that which
is boiled very low."
(Belgrove 1755:22-23)





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In India, sugar planter William Fitzmaurice (1793:52) also argued, "five gallons of skimmings in Bengal will be found to contain sweets equal to one gallon of pure molasses." Roughley (1823:388-389) believed that, in terms of sweets, 8 gallons of scum equaled I gallon of molasses. In another instance, Wray (1848:399) argued that 8-10 gallons of scum were equal to 1 gallon of molasses. It is unlikely that Roughley and Wray were indicating that Jamaican scum had become less sweet, or that Jamaican molasses had become sweeter, in the years since Edwards described Jamaican rum production. Nor is it likely that Belgrove and Fitzmaurice were suggesting that Barbadian and Indian scum was inherently sweeter than the scum drawn from the boiling house cauldrons in Jamaica.

This varying nature of scum reveals a very important fact about rum production,

that sucrose is the key ingredient in rum making and it is the fundamental determinant of the amount of rum a sugar plantation produced. Rum is produced when the actions of yeast breakdown fermentable sucrose, not scum or molasses. Molasses and scum are merely vehicles delivering the sucrose to the still house. Colonial planters struggled to explain this fact using the term sweets. They made varying estimates for the ratio of scum to molasses because soil quality changed from year to year and from field to field, which greatly affected levels of sucrose in sugar cane juice (Barnes 1964:181-182; Dutr6ne 1791:95). Further, the processing techniques of colonial sugar industries, such as claying, as well as the skill and agenda of the particular sugar boilers and skimmers, influenced the amount of sucrose available in scum and molasses. These factors explain why, in terms of sweets, sometimes 4 gallons of scum and, other times, 10 gallons of scum equaled 1 gallon of molasses. In the case of Jamaica, McCusker accepted Edwards' 6:1 ratio, but overlooked the key fact that, to use Wray's (1848:398) words, "On the quantity of sugar contained in the wash, therefore, is the quantity of alcohol dependent."

Instead of placing the emphasis on molasses, McCusker should have built his

model on the concept of sweets. The level of sweets determined rum yields, not scum and




Full Text

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VOLATILE SPIRITS: THE HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY OF ALCOHOL AND DRINKING IN THE CARIBBEAN By FREDERICK H. SMITH A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULHLLMENT OF REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2001

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Copyright 2001 by Frederick H. Smith

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To Jane and Rachel

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I wish to thank my dissertation committee: Kathleen Deagan, David Geggus, Marley R. Brown, Steven Brandt, and Harry Paul. Their support, advice, and encouragement made this dissertation possible. I would also like to thank Norman Barka and Kathleen Bragdon, both of whom had a positive influence on my early academic career at the College of William and Mary. Historical archaeology is a team effort and many people contributed to the success of this project. I wish to thank the Department of Archaeological Research at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which largely funded my historical and archaeological fieldwork in Barbados. In particular, Mariey Brown was instrumental in securing that support. The A. Curtis Wilgus Foundation at the University of Florida, Center for Latin American Studies also provided seed money that made the eariy phase of my research possible. Many people in Barbados played a prominent role in this project. Karl Watson encouraged me to pursue archaeological research in Barbados and located a number of potential archaeological sites in Bridgetown. Watson has dedicated his life to protecting the natural and cultural resources of Barbados and has made many valuable contributions to archaeology in the island. Watson was my constant companion throughout the excavations. 1 would also like to thank the students from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados who assisted in the excavations at Suttie Street; especially Frank Forde, who played a crucial role in later excavations at other sites in Bridgetown. I IV

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am especially indebted to Anthony Bourne, our regular assistant throughout these excavations. I wish to thank my friends at the Barbados Archives. Since 1995, Ephraim Norville has helped me navigate through the collections. In 1998, Sherry Ann Burton managed my many requests and located little-known documents. I would also like to thank other friends and colleagues in Barbados who made this research possible. William Bain, Lindsey Corbin, Mary Archer, and Robert Boyd provided support and encouragement throughout my visits. I am especially indebted to Nicholas Forde, who provided the groundwork for many of my endeavors and, most importantly, taught me much about Barbados. Jerome Handler has also been inspirational and supportive. Handler was helpful throughout the dissertation writing process and provided several important references to slave alcohol use in Barbados. Dan Mouer has also been a constant friend and supporter. In 1998, Dan and I collaborated on excavations at Mapps Cave, Barbados that led to the production of several substantive conference papers. Future work at Mapps will provide important insights into slavery and plantation life in Barbados. I wish to thank David Riggs, the director of the Jamestown Island museum collection. David provided access to the materials from Jamestown Structure 115. Andrew Edwards and Audrey Homing, staff members at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's IDepartment of Archaeological Research, provided important background information that helped identify Jamestown Structure 1 15 as an appropriate site for this comparative study. I also wish to thank Christina Kiddle, who prepared and formatted several plan and profile drawings from the Bridgetown site. V

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Most of all, I am indebted to Jane Wulf. In 1995 and 1996, Jane assisted in the excavations at Suttle Street. In 1998, Jane searched the Barbados archives for plantation records and rum-making statistics. She also helped record tax information from Bridgetown. In 2000, Jane played a central role in analyzing and cross-mending artifacts from the Suttle Street site. Above all, Jane has supported me throughout my academic career and encouraged me to pursue this project. This dissertation would not have been possible without her assistance. vi

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iv ABSTRACT x CHAPTERS 1 INTRODUCTION 1 2 SEARCHING FOR THE ORIGINS OF SUGAR CANE-BASED ALCOHOL 7 3 EMERGENCE OF CARIBBEAN RUM 25 4 AT THE MARGINS OF THE ATLANTIC WORLD: RUM IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY 44 Seventeenth Century Rum Making 44 Destination of Seventeenth Century Rum 58 5 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY RUM MAKING 74 Setting the Wash 81 Rum Yields and Rum Making Efficiency in Barbados and Jamaica 90 Rum Quality 98 Conclusion Ill 6 CONTAINING A VOLATILE SPIRIT: RUM IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 113 Aguardiente de Cana 113 Tafia 121 Rum 135 Conclusion 164 7 RUM AND ECONOMIC SURVIVAL IN THE NINETEENTH AND TWENTIETH CENTURIES 166 Nineteenth Century Expansion of Rum Making 167 British Caribbean Rum in the Nineteenth Century 172 Rise of French Caribbean Rum in the Nineteenth Century 183 Aguardiente in the Nineteenth Century 191 Expanding African Rum Trade 199 vii

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Rum Making in the Twentieth Century 201 British Caribbean Rum in the Twentieth Century 202 French Caribbean Rum in the Twentieth Century 205 Spanish Caribbean Rum Making in the Twentieth Century 208 Marketing Rum 213 Conclusion 218 8 RUM AND THE AFRICAN TRADES 219 9 VOLATILE SPIRITS: ANCESTORS, ALCOHOL, AND AFRICAN SLAVE SPIRITUALITY 240 10 ALCOHOLIC MAROONAGE: IDENTITY, DANGER, AND ESCAPE IN CARIBBEAN SLAVE SOCIETIES 265 Identity Defining Role of Drink in Caribbean Slave Societies 265 Anxiety and Drunkenness 274 Rum and Health 293 Rum and Vulnerability 309 Alcohol, Resistance, Violence, and Accountability 315 1 1 TAMING A VOLATILE SPIRIT: THE BATTLE BETWEEN TEMPERANCE AND TRADITION IN THE MODERN CARIBBEAN 330 Tropical Wave of Temperance 331 New Migrants and Old Anxieties 345 Temperance and African-Oriented Traditions 352 Price of Indulgence 360 Rum Shop 366 Conclusion 369 12 HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY OF ALCOHOL 371 Spirits in the Modem Worid 371 Trade and Transport 380 Alcohol and Foodways 383 Sociability 386 Alcohol and the Material Culture of Social Class 393 Alcohol Use and the Survival of Old Worid Cultural Traditions 403 Alcohol and Health 408 Anxiety, Alcohol, and Archaeology 412 Alcohol-Related Artifacts and Archaeological Methods 415 Conclusion 422 1 3 BACKGROUND TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS AT A SEVENTEENTH CENTURY DOMESTIC SITE IN BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS 425 European Exploration and Settlement of Barbados 428 The Bridge 431 viii

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14 SEVENTEENTH CENTURY URBAN DOMESTIC SITE ON BACKSIDE CHURCH STREET 440 1 5 FOODWAYS, ALCOHOL, AND SOCIABILITYIN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY BRITISH ATLANTIC WORLD 470 Foodways in Barbados and the Chesapeake 472 Alcohol, Anxiety, and Sociability 483 16 CONCLUSION 498 APPENDICES A MASTER CONTEXT RECORDS AND ARTIFACT LISTS FROM THE BACKSIDE CHURCH STREET SITE 508 B MINIMUM VESSEL COUNTS FROM CONTEXT 1 1 AT BACKSIDE CHURCH STREET AND JAMESTOWN STRUCTURE 115 516 GLOSSARY 524 REFERENCES 526 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 588

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy VOLATILE SPIRITS: THE HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY OF ALCOHOL AND DRINKING IN THE CARIBBEAN By Frederick H. Smith December 2001 Chair: Kathleen Deagan Major Department: Anthropology This dissertation explores the role of rum and other forms of alcohol in the Caribbean from the sixteenth century to the present using an interdisciplinary approach that combines historical and archaeological evidence. This evidence was collected during summer fieldwork in Barbados between 1995 and 2000. Rum making emerged in the Caribbean to meet the alcoholic needs of colonists who sought to escape the many anxieties they encountered on the Caribbean frontier. Archaeological material from a seventeenth century domestic site in Bridgetown, Barbados also shows that alcohol played a central role in sociability. However, rum quickly became a commercial product. In the seventeenth century, merchants and sugar planters exported rum to marginal markets in the Atlantic worid. Rum fostered the growth of American trade and brought Carib Indians into the growing market economy. In the eighteenth century, rum penetrated northern European markets. It became a profitable commodity that supplemented sugar plantation revenues. Rum also found large X

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markets in Africa. Many African ethnic groups valued the novelty of rum and incorporated it into existing social and spiritual alcohol-based traditions. These rituals survived the violence of the middle passage and flourished in the slave societies of the Caribbean. In the diverse ethnic mix of the Caribbean, alcohol became a universal substance for interactions with the ancestral worlds. Alcohol also provided a temporary means of escape from the coercive structures of slavery and a shield with which to challenge the dominant classes. However, excessive drinking and lead contaminated rum hastened the demise of many in the Caribbean and exacerbated the anxieties already rampant in this unpredictable social climate. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rum became a means of economic survival. European sugar beet industries and the rise of new sugar producers in the Caribbean glutted world sugar markets and reduced the profitability of sugar making. However, Christian temperance reformers streamed into the Caribbean after slave emancipation and reduced the large internal rum market. Despite reform efforts, alcohol continued to play a central role in Caribbean sociability. At the beginning of the twentyfirst century, rum is a symbol of Caribbean identity. xi

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In the summer of 19%, I went to Barbados to prepare a historical archaeological field school in Bridgetown with my colleague Karl Watson and his students from the department of history at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. On the morning of Saturday, July 1 3, Watson called to say that construction workers in a part of the city known as the "pierhead" had unearthed skeletal remains while preparing the site for the expansion of a local shopping mall. The remains turned out to be human, and further investigation revealed more burials at the site. We spent the day mapping and recording information about this cemetery. Based on the unmarked nature of the graves, the cemetery's location at the periphery of town, and the presence of a mid-eighteenth century white kaolin clay tobacco pipe, which had been placed in the crook of the right arm of one the deceased, we determined the graveyard was the final resting place of Bridgetown's slaves. Throughout the day, construction workers and residents from the nearby neighborhoods monitored our excavation and pondered our work. Some mentioned the ghosts of those buried at the site and the restlessness of duppies, the mischievous, and sometimes malicious, spirits of the dead. At the end of the day, we removed the skeleton with the tobacco pipe and began packaging it for proper storage at the University of the West Indies. Someone in the crowd shouted that we needed to pour libations to those buried at the site and, within minutes, a bottle of rum was produced for that purpose. The rum was poured on the ground and the pouring was punctuated by requests that the duppies "rest in peace" and "leave us alone." This event was a major turning point in my academic career. 1

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2 Since 1991, 1 have participated in archaeological investigations in several parts of the Caribbean and, during these visits, had the opportunity to observe the central place of rum and other forms of alcohol in Caribbean society. In 1994, 1 was interested enough to write a short paper on the social history of Caribbean rum for a course on Caribbean history at the University of Rorida. During the excavations at the pierhead cemetery in Bridgetown, however, I was an actual participant in an event that embodied and expressed centuries of alcohol-related traditions in the Caribbean, which inspired me to pursue further study. This dissertation explores the social, political, and economic history of rum and other forms of alcohol in the Caribbean using an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses documentary, archaeological, and ethnographic evidence. Much of the material was collected during ten months of field study in Barbados. As the probable cradle of Caribbean rum, that island receives special emphasis within what is otherwise a panCaribbean study that ranges across the region and seeks to provide a comprehensive overview. Although the social history of alcohol has been addressed in a variety of historical and cross-cultural settings, this is the first comprehensive study of alcohol in the Caribbean. Caribbean researchers have embraced commodity studies and the focus on exotic luxuries has provided insights into the broad trends that helped shape the Atlantic world. Anthropologist Sidney Mintz (1985), most notably, popularized the commodity-based approach to culture history in his study of the changing meaning of sugar in Europe. Other research has emphasized the impact of sugar on Atlantic economies. The study of rum offers similar possibilities, but presents a special opportunity to highlight the Caribbean. The study of rum and other forms of alcohol, for example, provides a unique prism through which to view the rise and fall of slavery and colonialism, two of the most profoundly influential forces in Caribbean history. This potential is one of several that will be explored in the following chapters.

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3 Various factors have hampered academic interest in alcohol in the Caribbean. Rum, the principal alcoholic beverage produced and consumed in the Caribbean, is a by-product of sugar. Early sugar planters largely treated rum as a fortuitous afterthought and it held a secondary position in Caribbean trade. Moreover, rum catered to peripheral markets at the margins of the Atlantic world. North and South America, the Caribbean, Ireland, and Africa imported huge amounts of rum, while Europe, especially southern Europe, had relatively little exposure to rum until the late eighteenth century. In addition, rum consumption was concentrated among poorer classes. Soldiers, seamen, Indians, poor whites, and slaves were the primary consumers of rum and, despite the efforts of West Indian lobbyists, it remained the drink of common folk well into the twentieth century. Negative western attitudes toward drinking, however, have probably been the greatest obstacle to scholarly interest in alcohol studies in the Caribbean. Alcohol enhances sociability, yet drinking also has the potential to disrupt otherwise stable social situations. In order to cope with this inherent contradiction, societies have created cautionary tales and instituted complex rules to govern drinking, which reflect the simultaneously feared and celebrated status of alcohol. For example, although the prophet Mohammed described heaven as a place where wine flows freely, he stressed the importance of a rational mind and urged followers of Islam to refrain from drink. Positive notions about wine in JudeoChristian belief are also tempered with warnings about excessive drinking and vulnerability (Genesis IX:20). Because alcohol is a social adhesive with the potential to dissolve social stability, the use of alcohol is often controversial. Historians Susanna Barrows and Robin Room (1991 :3) argued that the emotional discourse emanating from nineteenth and twentieth century temperance campaigns prompted many scholars to avoid alcohol studies and impeded the growth of the field. Overcoming the passionate rhetoric surrounding alcohol use has been a challenge for alcohol studies researchers. Modem social fears continue to shape notions about the field of alcohol studies. College binge drinking, drunk driving, alcoholism and other problems associated with

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4 alcohol overshadow the more objective culture history-oriented research. While the negative impact of alcohol on society is certainly an important facet of alcohol studies, decades of research have shown that drinking is more than simply a social ill or the basis for aberrant behavior. Alcohol has helped revolutionize world trade and shape the course of global politics. Drinking patterns distinguish social boundaries, reinforce group identities, and define the parameters of masculinity and femininity. Alcohol use enhances sociability, defines periods of leisure, and provides a temporary avenue of escape from various social pressures. Drinking reduces personal accountability and drunken comportment is often exempt from punishment. The dual nature of drink also produces a complicated dichotomy whereby drunkenness is profane, yet alcohol has strong spiritual associations. Explaining the impact of alcohol in different societies provides fertile ground for interdisciplinary research. Some anthropologists and social historians were quick to discern the scholarly potential of alcohol studies and embrace the complexities of drink. For example, anthropologist Mac Marshall (1979: 1) wrote, 'The cross-cultural study of alcohol presents a classic natural experiment: A single species (homo sapiens), a single drug substance (ethanol), and a great diversity of behavioral outcomes." However, alcohol studies have emerged slowly. In 1976, Dwight Heath (1976:42) identified numerous instances in which anthropologists had addressed patterns of alcohol use, but believed "there can scarcely be said to exist any constituency of specialists or any sub-discipline of 'alcohol studies.'" According to Heath, ethnographic studies of alcohol production, distribution, and use were "unexpected by-products of broadly conceived research." However, anthropological interest in alcohol grew and by 1987 Heath (1987:17) could happily claim that alcohol studies were no longer just offshoots of other research designs. In the 1970s and 80s, alcohol studies also became an important subfield within history departments. According to Barrows and Room (1991:2), alcohol studies coincided with the rise of social history and were closely tied to the social historians' interest in "reconstructing the lives and collective experiences of ordinary people."

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5 The holistic-type of inquiry that the study of alcohol in society demands has led to interdisciplinary research that often blurs the line between anthropology and history. The publication of several edited volumes on drink in a variety of cross-cultural and historical settings highlights the breadth of alcohol studies and the need for collaboration with colleagues in cultural, historical, psychological, economic, and health fields (Barrows and Room 1991; Blocker and Warsh 1997; de Garine and de Garine forthcoming; Douglas 1987; Everett, Waddell, and Heath 1976; Gefou-Madianou 1992; Heath 2000; MacAndrew and Edgerton 1%9; Marshall 1979; McDonald 1994). Alcohol studies have been strengthened by the exchange of ideas among members of the Alcohol Temperance History Group (ATHG), through its journal. Social History of Alcohol Review, and electronic listserv. The ATHG is an international group of scholars who represent a broad range of academic disciplines. Moreover, an increasing number anthropology and history departments now offer alcohol-related courses, which suggests that alcohol studies research has become a more widely recognized subfield that will continue to grow in the future. The use of archaeological evidence in this dissertation is meant to enhance and expand the growth of alcohol studies by firmly placing it within the realm of historical archaeology. Archaeological methods provide opportunities to explore the production, distribution, and use of alcohol in the past; and a number of archaeological studies have already addressed alcohol -related themes. Yet, as with Heath's characterization of early ethnographic research, archaeological investigations of alcohol are frequently serendipitous by-products of fieldwork that had other emphases. Despite the rich body of archaeological evidence for alcohol production, distribution, and use, archaeologists have generally overlooked the impact of alcohol on society. Moreover, few archaeologists have rigorously applied historical and anthropological theories to help them explain their alcohol-related discoveries, and an overview of archaeological approaches to alcohol has never been produced. A survey of the way alcohol has been examined in major, and some minor.

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6 historical archaeological studies provides a foundation for constructing an archaeology of alcohol in the Caribbean. The interdisciplinary model developed in this dissertation highlights the role of alcoholic beverages in the Caribbean and uses them as a prism through which to view the underlying tensions that helped shape the social, political, economic developments of the region. The first section (chapters 1-7) explores the economic and technological history of rum and other forms of alcohol in the Caribbean. Rum making has been central to the economies of many Caribbean sugar colonies and alcohol fueled the growth of Atlantic trade. As a result, alcoholic beverages were readily available. Understanding the widespread availability of alcohol in the Caribbean provides a foundation for exploring the social history of alcohol in the region. A second section (chapters 8-11) examines specific patterns of alcohol use among Caribbean peoples. Drawing on documentary and ethnohistorical sources, as well as anthropological theories related to alcohol use, this section identifies forces that shaped the particular drinking patterns of different social groups. The need to escape anxiety and the desire for sociability largely spurred alcohol use in the region. The first two sections of this study establish the historical, economic and social contexts for alcohol and drinking in the Caribbean, and permits an archaeological approach to the study of colonial drinking patterns. The third section of this study does this through a case study of British colonial drinking behaviors as revealed at a seventeenth century urban domestic site in Bridgetown, Barbados. Chapters 12-15 explore the role of alcohol in both Barbados and the larger British colonial worid, building on traditional foodway models in historical archaeology. Evidence from seventeenth century domestic sites in the Chesapeake provides a comparative perspective that highlights distinct drinking patterns in different parts of the British colonial worid. The interdisciplinary approach used in this study seeks a comprehensive understanding of the role of alcohol in the Caribbean and we begin with an exploration of the origins and earliest days of rum and rum production.

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CHAPTER 2 SEARCHING FOR THE ORIGINS OF SUGAR CANE-BASED ALCOHOL An enormous amount of academic scholarship has been devoted to understanding the origins and development of world sugar industries, while rum, the alcoholic by-product of sugar production made in sugar cane-growing regions of the world, has attracted relatively little attention. Rum was first made in Brazil, Mexico, and the Caribbean in the early years of European colonial settlement in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Yet, the alcoholic potential of sugar cane was exploited much earlier and some Old World societies produced fermented varieties of sugar cane juice before the age of European exploration and settlement of the Americas. However, sugar cane never became the basis for an alcohol industry until the rise of New World sugar production. Identifying the challenges faced by rum's fermented predecessors provides a foundation for understanding the various influences that later shaped the emergence of New World rum making. The production of sugar cane-based alcohol obviously follows the historical migration of sugar cane. Botanists believe that sugar cane was first domesticated in New Guinea about 8,000 years ago and spread to the Pacific islands in several migrations reaching Hawaii around 600 AD (Artschwager and Brandes 1958 cited in Mintz 1985: 19; Brandes 1956 cited in Barnes 1964:1-2). Early European explorers recorded the presence of sugar cane in the Pacific. For example, during the westward circumnavigation of the world in 1519-1521, Magellan's expedition procured sugarcane at Saipan. In 1777-1778, Captain Cook found sugar cane flourishing throughout the South Pacific. In Hawaii, Cook's landing party reported ascending a hill beyond the shore "which was covered in every direction with plantations of sugar-cane" (Ellis 1782;II:91). According to William Ellis (1782;II: 142), assistant surgeon on the Cook voyage, "the sugar-cane too is by far the largest we ever saw, and yields a great quantity of juice." 7

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8 Alcohol was a treasured provision on the Cook voyages to the Pacific and concerns about alcohol stores during the long treks may have encouraged the Captain to employ "brewers" as part of the crews. According to Johann Reinhold Forster (1773:266), naturalist and scientist on the Cook voyage to New Zealand in 1772-1773, these brewers made "a salutary and palatable potion from the decoction of spruce and New Zeeland Tea mixed with the essence of Malt and Melasses." Ellis (1782;I:26, 195,295,303) also noted the production of spruce beer. Sugar historian Noell Deerr (1949:252) argued that Cook attempted to make "sugar-cane beer" for his sailors in Hawaii but that his sailors found it "impalatable." Yet, neither Ellis nor Forster identified sugar cane as the basis for any alcoholic concoction and Deerr seems to have misinterpreted their references to spruce beer. Although Forster noted the use of molasses in the beer, it appears to have been part of the ship's store and not evidence of indigenous molasses or alcohol production among Pacific islanders. Deerr's misunderstanding may reflect confusion concerning the original quote or a misinterpretation of the word 'Tea." Ellis wrote that 'Tee" was the indigenous Hawaiian word for sugar. However, Forster (1773:266) clearly identified "New-Zeeland Tea" as the shrub Leptospernum scoparium (see also Ellis 1782;II: 128). Deerr (1911: 1) probably confused Leptospernum scoparium with Leptosacchrum a sub-genus of sacchrum and, therefore, believed the concoction was made from sugar cane. Ellis continually fretted over the ships' dwindling supply of grog, an alcoholic beverage consisting of rum and water. Despite his concerns, Ellis never mentioned the possibility that the ship could replenish its alcohol needs from any fermented alcoholic beverage produced by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific. Neither Ellis nor Forster identified the use of sugar cane in alcohol production among the Pacific islanders. Instead, Ellis (1782;II: 135) reported that, in Hawaii, sugar cane was used only as a "vegetable plant." In fact, according to Mac Marshall (1976: 103), one of the leading anthropologists to examine the history of alcohol and drinking in the Pacific, it is generally accepted that "Oceania is one of the major culture areas known not to have had alcoholic beverages at the

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9 time of European contact" (see also Marshall and Marshall 1975,1979; Lemert 1964:363,1976). Thus, although Pacific islanders could have exploited the alcoholic \ potential of sugar cane, there is no evidence that they used sugar cane to produce an alcoholic beverage. Instead, the pre-contact peoples of the Pacific islands, especially Tahitians, altered their minds and bodies with the kava root. Ellis (1782;I:39,97) described "a'wa [kava], a species of pepper, with which they |the TahitiansJ intoxicate themselves." However, kava is "neither fermented nor alcoholic" (Marshall 1976: 1 12). The absence of an alcoholic beverage made from sugar cane at the time of European contact suggests that kava met Oceanians' consciousness-altering needs. From the South Pacific, sugar cane spread to India and China and it is here that we \ find the earliest evidence for the production of a sugar cane-based alcohol. In his search for 1 the origins of sugar, anthropologist Sidney Mintz (1985:20) argued that the earliest datable \ mention of sugar cane came from Alexander the Great's general, Nearchus, during his ^ conquest of the Indus river region in 327 BC. Nearchus (cited in Mintz 1985:20) stated, "a reed in India brings forth honey without the help of bees, from which an intoxicating drink is made though the plant bears no fruit." Deerr (1949: 15) interpreted the same passage: "He INearchusJ states also concerning the reeds that they produce honey, although there are no bees, and in fact that there is a fruit-bearing tree from the fruit of which honey is compounded, but that those who eat the fruit raw become intoxicated." Ironically, both interpretations refer, not to sugar, but to an alcoholic beverage made from sugar cane. There are numerous other references to the use of sugar cane in the production of alcohol in ancient India. For example, the laws of Manu, dating to 200 BC200 AD, placed \ restrictions on the use of alcohol among Hindus, including alcoholic drinks made from sugar cane (Doniger and Smith 1991). The laws assert, 'Three kinds of liquor should be distinguished: made from sugar, made from ground rice, and made from honey; just as priests should not drink the one so |they should not drink] any of them" (Doniger and Smith 1991:260). JheCaraka Samhita, possibly written as early as 78 AD, identified

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10 sugar as one of the nine sources for wine (Chandra-Kaviratna and Sharma 1996: 191-192). Ye-lu Ch'u ts'ai, Chinese minister to Chingez Khan, wrote during his travels to the Indus Valley that sugar cane was cultivated and from its juice "people make wine" (Bretschneider 1%7;I:23). Fermented sugar drinks were also described in the Arthasastra of Kautilya, which may have been written as early as the third century BC (Deerr 1949;1:48; Allchin 1979:58). The Muslim expansion in the 700s spread sugar cane across the Mediterranean, yet its use as an alcoholic beverage waned. By the 900s, the sugar industry reached as far west as the island of Sicily and southern Spain confirming the saying that "sugar followed the Koran" (Lippmann 1929:239-240). The Crusades helped introduce sugar to Christian < Europe and, by the 1 100s, Crusaders themselves became sugar producers in some parts of the conquered Arab world (Mintz 1985:28). For almost six hundred years, until the fifteenth century, the supply of sugar to the Muslim and Christian worlds came almost exclusively from the Levant and Mediterranean sugar industries. There is some evidence that sugar cane was used in the production of alcohol in the Arab world. In 1200, Marco Polo (1958:3 15) wrote that, in Zanzibar, "They have no grape vines, but make a sort of wine from rice and sugar, with the addition of some spicy drugs, very pleasant to the taste, and having the intoxicating quality of the other." Yet, despite the breadth of the Arab sugar industries, especially in the Levant and Mediterranean, as well as the knowledge, at least in some parts of the Arab world, that sugar cane could be used to produce alcohol, there is no evidence of any concerted or commercial effort to advance the production of sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages. Several factors account for the absence of sugar cane-based alcohol in the Arab world. First, although the decline of the Levantine and Mediterranean sugar industries in the sixteenth century is generally attributed to competition from the developing sugar industries in Madeira, the Canaries, and the Americas, research also suggests that environmental constraints, technological inefficiency, and local bureaucratic corruption

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11 restrained the growth of Levantine and Mediterranean sugar production. For example, historian J.H. Galloway (1977: 182) argued that the short growing season of sugar cane in these more temperate regions prevented crops from reaching maturity. This short growing cycle reduced the amount of cane juice produced and limited sugar yields. Galloway (1977: 187) also noted that deforestation led to fuel shortages, which impeded the growth of a variety of developing industries in the Mediterranean, including sugar. Moreover, sugar mills and p resses were inefficient and "adapted from those already used around the Mediterranean to mill flour, to extract oil from olives, or to crush grapes and other fruits" (Galloway 1977:184). Sugar historians Edmund Oskar von Lippmann (1929) and Noell Deerr (1949) claimed that, in 1449; Sicilian political official Pietro Speciale invented the three-roller mill: a major technological innovation in the pressing of sugar cane^ This invention, they believed, was evidence of the advanced state of Mediterranean sugar production. However, Galloway challenged the Sicilian origin of the three-roller mill and argued, instead, that the three-roller mill had a seventeenth century New Worid origin. Furthermore, Galloway (1977: 191 ) blamed warfare, plague, and the corrupt policies of the Mamluk sultans of Egypt for the inefficiency and decline of Mediterranean sugar production. Historian Eliyahu Ashtor (1986) noted similar technological stagnation in the Levant. Ashtor contended that Levantine emirs and sultans placed tough restrictions on private enterprise, which resulted in technological conservatism on the part of the emerging bourgeois sugar planters. In short, environmental constraints, technological stagnation, and bureaucratic controls inhibited the growth of the sugar industry in the Mediterranean and Levant and prevented the development of industrial structures that would have efficiently turned sugar cane juice and sugar industry waste into alcohol. The profitability of sugar also inhibited the rise of a sugar cane-based alcohol industry. During the Mediterranean phase of sugar production, sugar was an expensive luxury item in both the Muslim and Christian worids. Ashtor described the wide variety of

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sugars produced in Egypt and Syria ranging from thrice-boiled refined sugars to molasses. Even the low grades of once-boiled sugar and molasses were expensive and in high demand in European and Mediterranean markets. In fact, according to Ashtor, Levantine sugar producers had such difficulty meeting local demand in the fifteenth century that they were forced to import molasses from Cyprus, Sicily, and possibly Spain. The limited supply and high demand for sugar and molasses kept prices high, which made it unlikely that Mediterranean sugar producers would siphon profits from the lucrative sugar and molasses trades in order to produce alcohol. This argument is strengthened when we \ consider attitudes toward alcohol in the Mediterranean and Europe. ^ Muslim prohibitions against alcohol probably guaranteed that Mediterranean sugar producers would not turn their sugar cane juice and molasses into alcohol. The basis for Islamic proscriptions against alcohol derive from the following three passages in the Koran: They ask you about wine and gambling. Say: 'there is great sin in both, although they have some profit for men; but their harm is far greater then their profit.' (Sura II. 219) Believers, wine and games of chance, idols and divining arrows, are abominations devised by Satan. Avoid them so that you may prosper. (Sura V. 90) Satan seeks to stir up enmity and hatred among you by means of wine and gambling, and to keep you from the remembrance of Allah and from your prayers. Will you not abstain from them? (Sura V. 91) Although Islamic prohibitions refer to the fermented juice of grapes, they applied to all forms of alcohol, or anything that interfered with the ability to reason and communicate rationally with Allah. Islam not only prohibited the consumption of alcohol, but also the production and sale of alcoholic beverages. Despite other, more positive references to wine in the Koran, as well as in the poetic gleanings of Omar Khayyam's Ruba'iyat the prohibition against alcohol remained strong in the Orthodox Muslim worid. For example, in the eleventh century. Caliph Al-Hakim ordered destroyed all raisin and grape vineyards that could be used to produce wine (Unwin 1991:151). Ironically, Mesopotamia was the birthplace of beer and wine 10,0001 2,0(X) years ago and some archaeologists believe the

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13 desire for alcohol was the impetus for the Neolithic revolution (Braidwood et al. 1953; Katz and Voigt 1986; Badler, McGovem, and Michel 1990; Katz and Maytag 1991). Beer and wine had been staple beverages in Mesopotamia since the Sumerian empire around 3000 BC and they were also widely used in the eastern Mediterranean in ancient times. Yet, despite the long history of alcohol use in the region, prohibitions against the consumption, production, and sale of alcohol after the rise of Islam dissuaded Mediterranean sugar planters from fermenting their excess sugar cane juice or molasses into alcohol. Further, if alcohol was clandestinely produced and consumed in the Islamic world on any large scale, the beverage of choice would have likely been traditional grain beers or the romanticized grape wines, since, according to Khayyam (1981:80), "Drink wine, this is life eternal." Alcoholic beverages made from sugar cane would have also had difficulty penetrating European markets. Medieval Christian Europe developed a fixation for grape wine. As early as the Mycenean period (1400-1 100 BC), wine was the common drink in Greece (Unwin 1991:94-133; Hyams 1%5:66). Phocaeans cultivated the vine in the region of Marseille in the sixth century BC and the Greek wine trade reached the Upper Saone valley and the Jura in France during the same period (Unwin 1991: 101). The treatise of Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 BC) revealed that viticulture was well established in Italy by the second century BC and Italian wines were sought throughout the Roman Empire. During the first century AD, the vine spread through Gaul as far north as the Vienne River and Bordeaux. The emperor Constantine made the earliest reference to wine in Burgundy in 312 AD. However, viticulture may have begun in the region at least a century earlier (Unwin 1991: 1 17). In the first century AD, Diodorus Siculus wrote, The Gauls are exceedingly addicted to the use of wine and fill themselves with the wine which is brought into their country by merchants, drinking it unmixed, and since they partake of this drink without moderation by reason of their craving for it, when they are drunken fall into a stupor or state of madness. (cited in Unwin 1991:124)

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14 The Mediterranean and southern European wine trades also fed the demand for wine in England before the Roman conquest and it is even possible that the Romans introduced viticulture to England in the first century AD (Unwin 1991 : 1 18). Why was wine so popular in Europe? Much has to do with marketing strategies of Italian merchants. Wine historian Tim Unwin argued that the increased demand for wine in Italy in the first century BC was due to the increasing population of Roman towns. Urban growth led to an economic shift from a peasant-style agrarian subsistence that met local wine needs to an economy based on slave labor and the commercial export of wine. In fact, Italian wine merchants acquired slaves in Gaul using profits from the wine trade. The Italian market for slaves was soon saturated, which resulted in the decline of the Italian wine trade to slave markets in western and northern Europe. Increased production of wine in southern France and the development of the Spanish viticulture further diminished the Italian wine trade to western and northern Europe. Italian exjx)rts continued to decline in the first century BC as Italian viticulturists struggled to meet the local alcoholic demands of the growing urban populations in Roman towns. As wine became the common drink of all classes in Roman towns, wine makers found that selling cheaper varieties of wine to the masses was more profitable than producing vintage wine specifically for the wealthy. The demand for wine grew so rapidly in Italy that by the end of the first century BC, Italians were forced to import wine from Gaul and Spain (Unwin 1991:123-131). Urban centers in Europe contracted after the fall of the western empire but began to expand again between 1000 and 1300. By 1300, the largest cities in Europe included Paris, Milan, Florence, and Venice and urban centers were beginning to develop in northern Europe. Wine became the common drink of the masses in the wine-growing regions of southern Europe, especially in France, Spain, and Italy. Southern European wine producers faced the challenge of opening potentially huge markets in the newly emerging towns and cities in northern Europe, such as London and Flanders, where the vine did not grow and where the wine trade had been relatively small. For the most part, the masses in

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15 northern Europe drank beverages with relatively low alcohol contents, such as beer and ale. For example, in 98AD, Tacitus stated that the Germanic tribes drink a liquor made of barley or other grains, which is fermented to produce a certain resemblance to wine. Those who dwell nearest the Rhine or the Danube also buy wine. Their food is plain — wild fruit, fresh game, and curdled milk. They satisfy their hunger without any elaborate cuisine or appetizers. But they do not show the same self-control in their slaking their thirst. If you indulge their intemperance by plying them with as much drink as they desire, they will be as easily conquered by this besetting weakness as force of arms. (cited in Unwin 1991:145) Beer was also considered a dietary supplement in northern Europe and an important substitute for potentially tainted water. Wine, with its higher alcohol content, was an expensive novelty. In the emerging merchant economies of medieval Europe, beer and ale were the drink of common folk while wine became the drink of the aristocracy and new merchant elites. Wine was a symbol of wealth and high social status throughout northern Europe. The wine trade to northern Europe flourished in the late medieval period and, eventually, found more of a mass market. This was particularly true of the wine trade between Gascony and England, which began in the late 1 100s (Simon 1907:72-73). In the first decade of the fourteenth century, well over 20 million gallons of wine were annually exported to England from Gascon ports. Worth roughly £300,000, the wine trade was a lucrative business and one that Gascon wine merchants were eager to control (Unwin 1991:198; Simon 1907). Ideological forces also encouraged the use of wine in medieval Europe. The cult of Dionysus flourished in Greece in the sixth century BC and raised wine consumption to a spiritual level. Dionysian philosophy in Greece developed into Bacchanalian philosophy in second century BC in Rome. Dionysus and Bacchus symbolically linked wine to the afterlife and fertility and, thus, to the world of the gods (Unwin 1991:85-93). Medieval Christianity adopted much of the Greco-Roman wine symbolism and the New Testament is loaded with spiritual references to wine adapted from Dionysian and Bacchanalian philosophy. For example, Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into wine at a wedding in Cana. Similar accomplishments were attributed to Dionysus in ancient Greece. In contrast

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16 to the Islamic prohibitions, wine in medieval Christian Europe was an integral part of I Spirituality. Consuming wine in the Eucharist helped forge a path to God. Wine merchants exploited Christian wine symbolism in order to expand their trade (Unwin 1991 : 141-142). Another factor spurring the European preoccupation with wine was the belief in its medicinal qualities. In the New Testament, Paul recommended wine as a cure for stomach ailments ^ Timothy, V:23). Galen (130-201 AD) promoted wine as a treatment for a wide range of physical disorders. In fact, Galenic principles shaped the medieval European diet and, according to food historian Rachel Laudan (2000), one of the basic assumptions about health "involved maintaining a proper equilibrium of bodily fluids by eating a suitably balanced diet." Warm hypocras wine, named after the Greek physician, was believed to counteract cold and dry forces (Laudan 2000:79). Amaldus de Villanova's (1235-131 1) ( Liber de Vinis also 'Tirmly established the medicinal use of wine in Europe during the late Middle Ages" (Unwin 1991 : 179). In particular, Villanova considered red wine good for the blood and believed it aided digestion (Laudan 2000:79). The names given distilled wine, including aqua vitae and eau de vie [water of life], highlight European beliefs about wine's salubrious qualities. Modern medical research continues to identify links between the moderate use of wine and good health. The technological inefficiency of Arab sugar production, Muslim prohibitions I against alcohol, and the profitability of sugar combined to impede the development of sugar^ cane-based alcohol industries in the Mediterranean^ The marketing strategies of southern European merchants helped make wine a preferred drink of the masses in Europe. These wine merchants probably enhanced their trade by manipulating wine's symbolic links to wealth, spirituality, and healing. By the end of the medieval period, wine was central to the European economy and merchants were supplying wine to emerging urban centers in northern Europe. The wine trade also generated government revenues, which helped finance kingdoms throughout medieval Europe and, thus, ensured the protection of the wine industry. Had a sugar cane-based alcohol been produced in the Mediterranean, it

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17 would have had to overcome enormous odds, especially competition from a grape wine trade that had connected disparate parts of Europe since before the Roman Empire. It was during the wine-saturated late Middle Ages in Europe that the art of alcohol ^ distillation developed. The exact origin of alcohol distillation is not entirely clear and research has identified several centers. For example, using recovered archaeological materials and ethnographic evidence from tribal groups in Northern India, F.R. Allchin (1979) argued that historians have overlooked textual references to distillation, which could indicate the practice in India as early as 500 BC. Allchin discovered pottery indicative of distilling activities at archaeological sites in Northwestern India and Pakistan dating to a period between 150 BC and 350 AD and believed that many of the artifacts were similar to "simple" distilling apparatuses that have been found among contemporary tribal groups in the region (Allchin 1979:55-56). Allchin also showed that a critical reading of ancient Sfarrskrit terms associated with the elephant are, in reality, analogous references to alembics and, therefore, the distillation process. For example, the Sanskrit word sunda (elephant's trunk) is often used in association with the manufacture of alcohol. Allchin believed that sunda is a metaphor for the trunk-like pipe of ancient alembics from which the distillate ran into the receiver. Allchin (1979:63) wrote, "India appears on present evidence to have been the first culture to exploit widespread distillation of alcohol for human consumption; and it may well be that the art of distillation was India's gift to the world." If Allchin' s theory is? correct, then the art of distillation developed in a region with the earliest references to the j use of sugar cane in the production of alcohol. — I Other evidence suggests that distillation in the Mediterranean and Europe developed out of alchemy where the original purpose was not the extraction of alcohol. For example, the Chrysopcea of Cleopatra a treatise on gold extraction written at the beginning of the Christian era, included the earliest known illustration of a distilling apparatus (Underwood 1935:34). In the third century AD, Alexander of Aphrodisias described sailors distilling seawater to extract fresh water (Underwood 1935:35). According to industrial historian

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A.J.V. Underwood (1935:36) the art of distillation was probably greatly advanced by a group of Hellenic Greek philosophers practicing alchemy in Alexandria in the first century AD. This group practiced distilling for centuries and much of their work was steeped in mysticism. For example, among their many contributions was a recipe for "divine waters," an elixir of life produced from distilled serpents collected on Mount Olympus, sulfur, and mercury. Once distilled the liquid was ground with the blood of shellfish and golden winged vultures captured near the cedars of Mount Lebanon (Underwood 1935:35-36). After the fall of Alexandria, the art of distillation was transferred to the Muslim world and Baghdad soon became a center of scientific thought. A treatise on alchemy, probably written in Baghdad between the ninth and eleventh centuries, contained writings about distillation and drawings of alembics that reflected the earlier Hellenic Greek tradition. The Arab world advanced the art of distillation and commonly produced rose water for medical purposes (Underwood 1935:37). Crusaders learned about distilling from the Arabs and introduced the art to Europe. According Underwood, the famous medical school in Salerno, near Naples, probably had the greatest influences on distillation in Europe and was responsible for advancing the particular art of alcohol distillation. The medical school, founded by Benedictine monks, .mis a repository for Greek and Arab works and experiments. Underwood (1935:38) claimed that it was in Italy that "alcohol or spirits of wine were most probably discovered at some time between AD 1050 and 1 150." The earliest reference to distilled alcohol is a twelfth century manuscript Ma ppae Clavicula which described the process for distilling wine. Amaldus de Villanova (1235-13 12), at the famous Montpeilier medical school, improved the art of alcohol distillation and was the first to apply the name aqua vitce to distilled wine. Around 1300, Raymond Lully introduced the art of alcohol distillation to England (Underwood 1935:39-41). In the late Middle Ages, northern Europeans became technological and commercial innovators of spirit distillation. The cold climate of northern Europe was an important

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19 stimulus for the production of beverages with high alcohol content. Also, because the vine did not grow in the cold climates of northern Europe, northern Europeans were forced to import expensive wine from southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Distillation offered northern Europeans an opportunity to distill beverages with high alcohol content from cheaper varieties of imported wines, as well as from local grains. The Dutch embraced the art of alcohol distillation. The Netherlands became the main market for cheap wines from southern Europe and Dutch merchants and distillers produced brandy in France. In fact, the Dutch were so central in the distilling industry that the word for "brandy" derives from the Dutch meaning literally "burnt-wine." By the early sixteenth century, Dutch drinking was often perceived as pathological (Diderot 1876 cited in Schama 1987: 189; Giucciardini cited in Schama 1987: 190). In 1613, there were 518 alehouses in Amsterdam alone, or one for every two hundred inhabitants (Schama 1987: 191). Unwin (1991:236-237) identified four reasons for the particular interests in brandy in the Netherlands. First, there was a demand for alcohol in the burgeoning towns of the northern Europe and the Dutch were already well-established wine traders. Second, the reduction of Spanish wine imports after the Dutch revolt (1567) left a gap in the alcohol market. Third, the Dutch, who were early merchant capitalists, had ready money available for capital investment. Fourth, the wider trade links of the Dutch allowed them to trade for such things as copper from Sweden, which was necessary for the construction of stills. Historian John McCusker (1991, 2001) argued that the high cost of distilled spirits hindered the early growth of European distilling industries. Early stills were small and could not achieve economies of scale. In addition, technological stagnation slowed the geographical spread of alcohol distillation in northern Europe. Early alembics lacked an effective cooling apparatus for generating the quick and efficient condensation of alcohol. One of the most important technological innovations was the discovery that water-cooling speeded the condensation of alcohol. Although the use of cold water to speed the process of condensation probably occurred in an earlier era of distilling, Lully and Villanova

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20 popularized the technique of using cold water to cool receivers. In the mid-sixteenth century, the water-cooled worm was introduced, which speeded the condensation process resulting in the more efficient extraction of alcohol (Underwood 1935:46). The watercooled worm, a coil running from the still head through a tank of cool water and into the receiver, was first illustrated in Biringuccio's De la pirotechnia in 1540 (Underwood 1935:43). In the early seventeenth century, distillers began the first serious experiments with fractional distilling, a slow distilling process based on the discovery that differences in the boiling points of particular liquids could be used to remove unwanted impurities from the distillate (Underwood 1935:53). Another important shift occurred when distillers began to experiment with different ingredients. The art of alcohol distillation originally centered on the extraction of a purer alcohol from wine, but distillers soon began to experiment with new ingredients. For example, grain distillation probably began in the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries. However, the distillation of grain created new problems. In the sixteenth century, the Dutch government discouraged grain distillation because it feared raising bread prices (Faith 1986 cited in Unwin 1991:237). ^4cGt^8ker (1991, 2001) Sfgued that the high cost of "base materials," such as wine and grain, gready limited the growth of eariy distillation in Europe. According to McCusker, the success of European distilling industries had to wait until the 1650s when the rise of New Worid sugar making, and subsequent rise of sugar refining in Europe, provided distillers with cheap and abundant syrup, the molasses-like by-product of sugar refining. Other factors also hindered the rise of distilling. The high initial cost of distilling equipment probably prevented many from entering the trade. In addition, eariy alchemists may have feared reprisals from the church, which often considered their experimental work with distillation a form of sorcery and witchcraft. Moreover, the church, which controlled sacrificial wine and, therefore, access to spiritual guidance, had animportant stake in regulating the production of alcohol (Underwood 1935:40). Physicians and apothecaries

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21 also had a financial stake in maintaining control over the secrets of distillation. Late medieval physicians and apothecaries promoted distilled spirits as elixirs of life and, in 1348, distilled alcohol was even promoted as a specific remedy against the plague (Underwood 1935:41). Thus, despite Lully's introduction of distillation to England, it was confined to the monasteries, which at that time were the centers for medical science. The dissolution of England's monasteries in the sixteenth century meant that monks were forced to seek work in the private sector. It is possible that they introduced the knowledge and skill of distilling to the general public at that time. The invention of printing in the end of fifteenth century led to a greater number of books on the art of distillation. Although knowledge about distilling technology at this time was still largely in the hands of physicians, apothecaries, and religious orders, publications brought the secrets of distillation to a wider audience. English translations of German books on the art of distillation also helped demystify the trade (Andrew 1527; Baker 1599; Gesner 1565; Underwood 1935). In 1500 and 1507, Hieronymus Brunschwig, a Strasburg physician, published two volumes on the art of distilling showing various types of alembics and listing the medicinal qualities of various plants capable of being distilled. These volumes were translated into English in 1527 (Andrew 1527). In 1552, Conrad Gesner, using the pseudonym Euonymus Philiater, published a similar treatise on distilling, which highlighted new alembics and various concoctions that could be distilled and used in the treatment of illness. This treatise was translated into English in 1565. Brunschwig did not identify sugar cane as a plant capable of being distilled, but sugar was used as a secondary ingredient in many of the pre-distilled wash compounds. Gesner also described potions that used sugar as a secondary ingredient. For example, in Gesner's (1565: 124-125) recipe for eau de vie (brandy), sugar was added to the wine prior to distillation. Gesner (1565:396-397) also described the use of sugar in the production of "aromatical wines" made by apothecaries and wrote that hypocras wine made with sugar was "more sweet." Gesner (1565: 129) also recorded the distillation of "triacle"

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22 from Alexandria, which appears to be a corruption of treacle, the molasses-like by-product of sugar refining otherwise known as syrup. The distillation of treacle, although not made in a sugar cane-growing region of the world, could be interpreted as an early form of rum. At the very least, distillers in Renaissance Europe recognized the alcoholic potential of sugar and sugar by-products. Both Gesner and Brunschwig describe the use of sugar in wash compounds to produce more potent medicines, and Gesner even described the distillation of treacle. There are also two interesting coincidences linking sugar and the development of distillation in medieval Europe. First, the earliest experiments with alcohol distillation occurred at the medical school in Salerno at the height of the Mediterranean sugar industry in the twelfth century. .Second, the English word "alembic" derives from the word penidium a derivative of al-fanid, the Arab word for sugar. Al-fanid may have derived from the Indie language where the word phinta is Sanskrit for sugar cane juice (Saraka) (Mintz 1985:233n.ll). Thus, a linguistic connection hints at a certain link between sugar and early distillation practices in the Mediterranean and medieval Europe. Yet, despite the presence of Mediterranean sugar and the rise of distillation in Europe in the late Middle Ages, there was no commercial production of an alcoholic beverage based solely on sugar cane juice or sugar cane by-products. The price of imported sugar and molasses was simply too high. Any sugar cane-based alcoholic concoctions made in Europe at this time were produced on a small scale for medicinal, rather than convivial, reasons. In France, in 1514, Louis XII permitted the vinegar manufacturers' guild to distill spirits and, in 1537, Francis I encouraged the same among French wholesale grocers (Unwin 1991:236). By the mid-sixteenth century, French distillers organized themselves into a separate guild and distilled wine (brandy) soon became a beverage of more general use (Underwood 1935:42). Similarly, in England, in the early seventeenth century, Charles I granted the Worshipful Company of Distillers a distilling monopoly for a 21-mile radius

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23 around London and Westminster (George 1951:29; Watney 1976:12). By the end of the seventeenth century, the distillation of wine, grain, and syrup had become a lucrative commercial enterprise in Europe. In the middle of the fifteenth century, the production of sugar shifted to the Atlantic \ islands off the West African coast. Spanish and Portuguese investors, with help from Italian merchants and sugar producers, transferred the capital, technology, and knowledge to produce sugar to the Atlantic islands. The main islands included Madeira, the Canaries, \ and Sao Tome. Madeira, under Portuguese rule, was the earliest and most successful of the Atlantic sugar islands and, by the late fifteenth century, was "the largest single producer of sugar in the western world" (Schwartz 1985:8). According to historian Stuart Schwartz (Schwartz 1985:5), Sicilian sugar producers greatly influenced the development and structure of the Atlantic island sugar industries providing "the human links in the chain that transferred the techniques, estate management, and commercial organization of sugar from the eastern and western Mediterranean and then beyond the pillars of Hercules to the Atlantic basin." Sugar producers in the Spanish Canaries began exporting sugar as early as 1506 and producers in Sao Tome were also producing sugar in the sixteenth century (Eyzaguirre 1986; Femandez-Armesto 1982; Mintz 1985:234n.30). Yet, despite the \ presence of sugar, the knowledge of alcohol distillation, and the growing urban I populations of avid alcohol consumers in Europe, there is no strong evidence for the I commercial, or even local, production of alcohol from sugar cane in the Portuguese and \ Spanish Atlantic islands in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. For example, there is no distilling equipment listed in the plantation inventory of Canary island sugar planter Cristobal Garcia del Castillo in 1527 (Schwartz 1985:11). Many of the same factors hindering the production of alcoholic beverages from sugar cane in the Mediterranean also arrested the development of this industry in the Adantic islands. Wine merchants continued to promote their trade by offering greater and cheaper varieties of wine. Sugar was still a profitable luxury item and, thus, the focus of

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24 Atlantic island production. The high demand for even low quality sugar and molasses in Europe reduced the amount of by-product available for the production of alcohol. Also, Italian merchant influence in the Atlantic islands meant that sugar producers relied on the same inefficient technology of Mediterranean sugar producers. Moreover, Christian wine symbolism and traditional notions about dietary health encouraged Europeans to produce and seek grape wine. Grain-based beer and ale were also readily available to the masses in northern Europe. In addition, the emerging distilled spirits industry in Europe, still primarily the domain of the church, physicians, and apothecaries, focused on the production of brandy from the overflow of cheap southern European wine. Within a century, competition from Brazil and the Spanish Caribbean reduced the profitability of Atlantic island sugar. At the same time, the expansion of the Ottoman Empire into the eastern Mediterranean left a void in the important market for malmsey sweet wines from Crete (Unwin 1991: 185). As a result, many Atlantic island planters abandoned sugar making for viticulture. In fact, Madeira, the strongest of the Atlantic island sugar producers, began making wine in the mid-sixteenth century. Thus, even though sugar was an important luxury item in Europe and sugar by-products could have been distilled into alcohol, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian merchants still perceived wine to be the more profitable industry. Many societies recognized the alcoholic potential of sugarcane prior to the settlement of the New World. However, the high cost of sugar, inefficient nature of Old Worid sugar production, Islamic prohibitions. Christian symbolism, and widespread availability of other types of alcoholic beverages inhibited the growth of commercial sugar cane-based alcohol industries. However, the large-scale sugar plantation societies of the New Worid offered a fresh opportunity to exploit the alcoholic potential of sugar cane.

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CHAPTER 3 THE EMERGENCE OF CARIBBEAN RUM Some Old World societies exploited the alcoholic potential of sugar cane, but the commercial production of rum began in the Americas. The emergence of Caribbean rum industries in the seventeenth century was fueled by colonists' desire for alcoholic beverages on the frontier margins of the Atlantic world. Separated from their traditional alcoholic beverages, Europeans and Africans in the Caribbean searched for local alternatives and produced fermented and distilled varieties of sugar cane juice to help fill the alcoholic void. Rum also fed the traditional maritime demand for alcohol in a period when Caribbean colonization was increasing the frequency of long distance overseas trade. Early forays into rum production highlight the efficient economic strategies of New World sugar planters and their attempts to capitalize on local alcohol markets. Rum is the potable alcoholic beverage obtained by distilling sugar cane juice and the waste products of sugar making. True rum is made in sugar cane-growing regions of the world, but the name has also been applied to sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages made in non-sugar cane-growing regions. For example, New Englanders, who distilled molasses purchased from the Caribbean sugar islands also called their spirits rum. To a lesser extent, Europeans, who distilled syrup, the waste products of metropolitan sugar refineries, also applied the term rum to their product. Numerous terms have been used for alcoholic beverages made from sugar cane. Cachaga is the most common name for distilled alcohol made from sugar cane in Brazil, but Brazilian folklorist Mario Souto Maior (1980) has identified well over 100 others. In the French Caribbean, tafia, eau de vie de canne, and clarin all refer to alcohol made from sugar cane. In the Spanish colonies, aguardiente de caria and chingurito have been 25

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26 used. Kill devil referred to distilled sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages in the early British Caribbean and the name kill devil transferred to the French as guildive, the Dutch as kiltem, and the Danish as Kieldeevil. Rum became the most common term for a distilled sugar cane-based alcoholic beverage outside of Brazil. It originated in the British Caribbean in the seventeenth century i and derived from the English word "rumbullion." In 1651, Giles Silvester, an early resident in Barbados and the brother of Anglo-Dutch sugar planter Constant Silvester, one of the wealthiest and most politically powerful sugar planters in Barbados (see Smith 1998c), made the earliest, and possibly only, reference linking rum and rumbullion. Silvester (cited in Harlow 1925:46) wrote, "the chiefe fudling they make in the Hand is Rumbullion, als Kill-Divill, and this is made of suggar cones distilled a hott hellish and terrible liquor." Rumbullion was a word commonly used in Devonshire, England to mean "a great tumult" and its origin may reflect the large number of West Country English who settled Barbados in the early seventeenth century (Davis 1885:76-81). By the early 1650s, rumbullion was shortened to rum. Although an interesting coincidence, it is unlikely that the word rum was taken from the last syllable of the Latin word sacchrum (Compoamor 1988:142; Kervegant 1946:11; Morewood 1824:161; Pack 1983:4). Planters in the French and Spanish Caribbean adopted rum as the term for a distilled sugar cane-based alcohol translating it to rhum and ron respectively. Who were the first New World rum producers and how did the industry develop? Historians have speculated about the origins of New World rum making and often assume that it emerged immediately alongside sugar production. For example, Brazil historian Stuart Schwartz (1985:81-82) has suggested that small Brazilian sugar factories were producing rum as early as 1587. Sidney Mintz (1985:35) intimated that sugar planters in the Spanish Caribbean were distilling rum in the early sixteenth century. Staking claim to the origins of rum making carries a strong sense of nationalistic pride and some claims are steeped in this nationalistic spirit. For example, British Caribbean historian Darnell Davis

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27 (1885:76) wrote "Rum was wholly unknown to Englishmen until its manufacture was established, if not discovered, in Barbados." In contrast, French historian Alain Huetz de Lemps (1997: 17) has hinted that Martinique was the birthplace of rum making. Much of the confusion surrounding the origin of New World rum making stems from the gradual evolution of rum prototypes, fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages that were produced on a small-scale in the early years of colonization, and from the almost parallel ascent of rum distilling in the different parts of the Americas in the early seventeenth century. Christopher Columbus carried sugar cane to the Americas on his second voyage in 1493. According to historian Mervyn Ratekin (1953), a sugar processing plant was established on Hispaniola in 1503 and commercial sugar production was well under way by 1520. In the early sixteenth century, the Spanish Caribbean sugar planters followed the model of capital investment, long distance trade, and slave labor that had developed in the Canary Islands. By 1524, sugar production appeared in New Spain [Mexicol. The Portuguese pursued a similar path in Brazil and exported sugar to Lisbon in commercial quantities as early as 1526, though the sugar industry may have been established as early as the 1510s (Mintz 1985:33; Schwartz 1985:161-162). By the end of the seventeenth century, Britain, France, Holland, and Denmark all had colonies in the Caribbean producing sugar for an ever-increasing European demand. The earliest evidence in the Americas for the use of sugar cane in the production of an alcoholic beverage is in Spanish Santo Domingo. In 1550, Spanish Dominican friar Bartolome de Las Casas, describing the period 151 1-1520, wrote of the African slaves We had never seen any die of illness; like oranges, they took to this land better than to their native soil; but after they were put in the mills, the work and the cane syrup concoctions they drank caused such deaths and illness among them that they escaped their misery by fleeing to the woods and from there cruelly attacked the Spaniards. (Las Casas 1971:258) Las Casas' statement has major implications for understanding the development of New World rum industries. First, there is nothing to indicate that the "concoction" Las Casas

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28 identified was distilled. Considering the relatively new art of distillation and the absence of references to alembics in sixteenth century Santo Domingo, the statement suggests that the "concoction" was a fermented, rather than distilled, beverage. Second, there is no name given to the "concoction" implying that no name had yet been devised for an alcohol made from sugar cane juice. That is, despite the variety of names used to signify fermented and distilled grapes in Europe in the sixteenth century, there was no name for an alcoholic beverage made from sugar cane juice. The absence of a name suggests that the "concoction" was uncommon. Third, the use of this "concoction" was apparently confined to slaves rather than Spanish colonials in the island since Las Casas ignored its effect on the Spanish population. It is possible that, if only slaves drank it, "they" produced it on a small-scale for their own consumption. The sugar industry in sixteenth century Santo Domingo struggled and eventually faded within 50 years (Ratekin 1953). Small mills produced some molasses for local consumption, but there is no evidence that the molasses from these small mills was distilled into alcohol. In fact, it appears that Spanish colonials had little interest in the by-products of sugar production. In 1535, Gonzalo de Oviedo y Valdes (cited in Craton, Walvin, and Wright 1976:8) wrote, 'The ships that come out from Spain return loaded with sugar of fine quality, and the skimmings and syrup that are wasted on this island or thrown away would make another great province rich." Nor have I found references to alembics, stillhouses, or distillers in early plantation inventories to suggest distillation of sugar cane juice or the waste products of sugar making. The rise of Brazilian sugar in the mid-sixteenth century hastened the decline of the Spanish colonial sugar industries and emigration out of the Spanish Caribbean after the discovery of gold and silver in Mexico and Peru further diminished Spanish colonial sugar production. The first sugar factories were erected in New Spain in 1524 and sugar production quickly spread. However, the rise of new sugar cane-growing regions in New Spain threatened to entirely destroy the struggling Spanish Caribbean economies. Other than cattle

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and hides, sugar represented the Spanish Caribbean's only significant export. In 1545, King Carlos V placed restrictions on "excess" sugar production in New Spain, closed new lands to sugar plantations, and prohibited licensing of new sugar factories in order to protect Spanish Caribbean sugar makers (Sandoval 1951:75). Yet, despite these efforts, Spanish Caribbean sugar production languished until the nineteenth century. Rum making may have developed in the sugar cane growing regions of New Spain in the sixteenth century. In 1600, a request was made to the mayor of the mining district of Taxco that the sale of wine made from sugar cane juice be prohibited because it was believed to cause "much death, illness and other harm" to the Indians (Zavala 1939;VI:400401). However, the generic description of a "wine made from sugar cane juice" suggests that this was still an uncommon beverage without a specific name. In 1615, Mateo Rodriguez (Zavala 1939;VI:80), a resident of Antequera, was granted permission to channel river water to his sugar cane fields as long as the sugar cane juice was not used to make "guarapo." The term guarapo is the first specific name for an alcoholic beverage made from sugar cane juice and other regional variations of this name surfaced throughout the Americas. Guarapo was a fermented variety of sugar cane juice that was probably only produced on a small-scale for regional consumption. In fact, nothing in these two early references indicates distilling. However, in 1631, officials in New Spain specifically j prohibited the production of alcohol with an alembic and, in 1635, the Marques de Cerralvo (Zavala 1939;VI: 165) ordered that anyone distilling aguardiente [rumj would be whipped. In the seventeenth century, sugar cane juice and by-products were being used in the production of alcohol in other parts of the Spanish Empire. For example, in 1643, locally made rum competed with Spanish wine and brandy in Havana (Chez Checo 1988:50). In 1658, the audiencia of Santa Fe in New Granada complained about the harmful social impact of a new beverage: ''aguardiente made from sweet sugar cane juice" (Mora de Tovar 1988: 17nl). Sugar production also began in Peru and Venezuela in the mid-sixteenth

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30 century and sugar planters there may have begun fermenting guarapo and distilling aguardiente de cana soon thereafter (Sandoval 1951:64-65). Brazil developed a highly productive sugar industry in the sixteenth century. According to Schwartz, by 1570 the sugar industry was firmly established in northeastern Brazil. By 1580, Pemambuco boasted 66 mills and was the leading sugar producing area in Brazil (Soares de Souza 1587: 150-174). After the Dutch conquest of Pemambuco in the 1630s, Bahia became the leading sugar producing region in Brazil and it remained the major source for sugar throughout the eighteenth century (Schwartz 1985:91). Brazilian planters may have distilled sugar cane juice and the by-products of sugar making in the sixteenth century. Some time between 1536 and 1558, Sa de Miranda, a well known Portuguese poet, wrote "Carta V: A Antonio Pereira" in which he used the term j cachaga (Earle 1980:33,93). Antonio Pereira was an early colonial governor in Brazil as well as the brother of Sa de Miranda. Brazilian folklorists accept this passage as the earliest reference to cachaga, the distilled sugar cane-based alcoholic beverage (Cuscado 1962: 138139; Souto Maior 1985:23). However, there is little evidence for the production of alcohol in sixteenth century Brazil. In 1587, Gabriel Soares de Sousa (1587:150-174) identified numerous large sugar factories and 8 smaller '"casas de cozer meles" in the Renconcavo. Although Schwartz (1985:81-82) has suggested that ''casas de cozer de meles" produced alcohol, it is not clear whether they produced alcohol or merely molasses for the local population. Further, Soares de Sousa' s detailed account of the Brazilian sugar industry made no specific references to alcohol production on these sixteenth century sugar plantations. Nor is there any mention of alembics or tools necessary for distillation in the extensive sixteenth century records of the large Sergipe plantation, one of the most productive sugar factories in the Renconcavo. Distillers are not listed among the artisans at Engenho Sergipe and the earliest reference to an "alambique" at Engenho Sergipe appears

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31 in 1651 (Maranhao 1956:492). Thus, if cachaga was produced in Brazil in the sixteenth century, the industry was small and limited to meeting the demands of the local population. The earliest reference to the production of alcohol from sugar cane in Brazil may be in 1622-1623 when aguardiente was given to the slaves at Engenho Sergipe (Maranhao 1956:56). This order was repeated again in 1625-1626 (Maranhao 1956:87). Yet aguardiente, lacking the distinguishing modifier "Jg cana," was also used as a generalized term for Portuguese brandy and was also sometimes applied to various other spirits. For example, Portuguese traders in West Central Africa applied the term aguardiente to alcohol made from honey and fruit (Curto I9%:33). This same argument may also apply to the 1635 reference to aguardiente in New Spain. By the mid-seventeenth century, however, Brazilian sugar planters were clearly distilling cachaga and, in 1646, Portuguese officials already considered it such a threat to the social and economic stability of Brazil that they I attempted to ban its production (Schwartz 1985:53 1 n 12). The ban was apparently never implemented, probably because Brazilian cachaga had already found a strong market in West Central Africa (Curto 1996). In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, Spanish colonials in New Spain and the Caribbean, and Portuguese colonials in Brazil experimented with sugar cane-based alcohol. Due to the independent nature of sugar making in these two regions, it is likely that early endeavors in the production of sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages reflect parallel developments rather than the sharing of knowledge between Spanish and Portuguese settlers. Moreover, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, viticulturists in the Spanish Canaries and Portuguese Madeira were making fortified wine and brandy. Experiments with sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages in New Spain, the Spanish Caribbean, and Brazil may reflect the influence of brandy distillers who migrated from the Spanish Canaries and Portuguese Madeira to the respective colonies in the Americas. It is also possible that knowledge about the alcoholic potential of sugar cane flowed directly from the

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32 migration of sugar planters from the Spanish Canaries and Portuguese Madeira to the Spanish and Portuguese sugar cane-growing regions in the New World. In the seventeenth century, the sugar industry spread to the recently settled colonies of the British and French Caribbean. Dutch merchants and sugar planters in Pemambuco were an important stimulus. Richard Ligon, an English Royalist who fled to the Caribbean and lived in Barbados between 1647 and 1650, wrote At the time we landed on this Island, which was in the beginning of September, 1647, we were informed, partly by those Planters we found there, and partly by our own observations, that the great work of Sugar-making, was but newly practiced by the inhabitants there. Some of the most industrious men, having gotten Plants from Fernambock [Pernambucoj, a place in Brazil, and made tryal of them at the Barbadoes. (Ligon 1657:85) James Holdip and James Drax are often cited as the planters who first brought sugar cane and the knowledge of how to produce sugar to Barbados from Pemambuco in the early 1640s (Dunn 1972:62,69; Ligon 1657:24, 85-86). The Portuguese recapture of Pemambuco in the 1640s and 50s severed the Dutch West India Company's direct access to New World sugar. In order to survive, the Company capitalized on the shipping needs of British sugar planters in Barbados and French sugar planters in Martinique. This foreign trade strategy benefited Caribbean sugar planters who, without the Dutch, relied on limited and unreliable national traders and merchants. The Dutch middleman strategy was successful. However, in the midto late seventeenth century, British and French maritime activity expanded and, as a result, Britain and France began to enforce monopoly claims to the Caribbean sugar trade. The British Navigation Acts of the 1650s and 60s and the rise of French minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert's late seventeenth century mercantilist policies reflect efforts to wrestle the sugar trade from Dutch West India Company interlopers. Dutch migrants from Pemambuco, with support from the Dutch West India Company, also reestablished sugar plantations in the stmggling islands of the Lesser Antilles and helped expand sugar production in the British and French settlements. French

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33 missionary Father Jean-Baptiste du Tertre, who lived in Martinique in the 1640s and 50s, believed that the development of Martinique's sugar industry was due to the arrival of Dutch refugees from Pemambuco. According to du Tertre, "since the arrival of the refugees from Recife, some French and some Dutch take refuge in Martinique and have established residences" (du Tertre 1667-1671:442). In 1654, when the Portuguese finally recaptured Pemambuco, a Dutch ship with citizens from the Netherlands and Jews was forced to stop at Martinique. They brought with them capital, the knowledge of how to properly make sugar as in Brazil, the utensils for sugar manufacturing, and African slaves (see also du Tertre 1667-1671:453-463; Ligon 1657:85-86; Rochefort 1658: 314). The Dutch refugees may have also introduced rum distilling into the British and French Caribbean. According to French Caribbean historian Lucien Peytraud (1897:214), "A Jew from Brazil, Benjamin Da Costa, in 1644, introduced the first alembics to Martinique." The Dutch expertise in distilling may have been a skill either carried over from the Netherlands or learned in Pemambuco. Some British and French colonists were also skilled in alcohol production; archaeologists have recovered brewing and distilling equipment from early British and French colonial sites in North America (Moussette 19%; Noel-Hume 1988). However, the Dutch, who controlled the sugar growing regions of northern Brazil in the 1630s and 40s, probably learned and perfected the particular art of distilling sugar cane juice and the by-products of sugar making, and disseminated this knowledge to the British and French settlers in the Caribbean. Distilling immediately became a central element of the French Caribbean sugar industry. A manuscript (GHC 19%: 1 8 14) from Martinique dated 1640, when the colony was five years old, stated "the slaves are fond of a strong eau de vie that they call brusle ventre [stomach burner]." Although brusle ventre sometimes referred to French brandy (eau de vie), the comparative use of the term hints at a locally made concoction rather than imported brandy. In this Caribbean context, brusle ventre was likely a distilled sugar cane-

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34 based alcoholic beverage and suggests that rum distilling preceded Benjamin Da Costa's arrival in 1644 (foT brusle ventre see du Tertre cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:131). Father du Tertre provided an early account of rum making in Martinique. According to du Tertre, The spent and exhausted canes and also the skimmings [from the boiling process] are not unusable, because the skimmings of the second and third cauldrons, and everything that spills over in the stirring on to the cauldron platform run into a cistern where it is kept to make eau de vie. (du Tertre 1667-1671:119) Father du Tertre's (du Tertre 1667-1671:1 16-117) illustration of a sugar factory in Martinique included a vinaigrerie (alembic ], which indicates that distilleries quickly became an integral part of French Caribbean sugar estates. In French St. Kitts, traveler Charles de Rochefort (1658:314, 447) also noted that, by the 1650s, the scum by-products from sugar making were distilled in vinaigres to make "eau de vie de cannes." Early British Caribbean sugar planters also pursued the art of rum making. Historian John McCusker argued that, as early as 163 1 Barbadians produced alcohol from sugar cane. McCusker's (1989:63n 1 ) belief is based on evidence that sugar cane was present in Barbados in the first year of settlement in 1627 and that, in 163 1 traveler Sir Henry Colt referred to Barbadians as "devouerers upp of hott waters and good distellers thereof." McCusker (1989: 88n 145) also believed that Barbados rum had even found a ^ market in New England as early as 1638 based on a 1674 recollection of a drinking party ^ for a New England ship Captain that included "kill-devil, alias rum." Although these are intriguing arguments, Ligon made the earliest specific reference to the production of alcohol from sugar cane juice in the British Caribbean. In 1647, Ligon, along with his friend Colonel Thomas Modiford, later Governor of Jamaica, traveled to Barbados fleeing civil war in England and seeking fortune in the developing Atlantic trade. Soon after their arrival, Modiford purchased half of Major William Hilliard's sugar plantation, which, at that time, already possessed a still house. Ligon (1657:32-33) also referred to a drink made from "the skimmings of sugar, which is infinitely strong, but not very pleasant in taste." /

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35 Another early reference is a 1650 sugar plantation deed recorded in Barbados, which referred to "four large mastick cisterns for liquor for rum" (Lucas 1955: 120). This last reference is the earliest to use the specific term rum. By 1650, rum making in Barbados was well under way and it was common for large sugar plantations to have still houses. What factors explain the early development of New World rum industries? Local demand for alcohol stimulated initial interest in rum making. The Europeans and Africans that settled the Caribbean came from societies with strong traditions of alcohol use and it was only natural that they would seek to secure alcohol from the available sources once they arrived in the New World. Distance, shipping costs, and the demand for other necessary provisions made imported alcoholic beverages expensive and beyond the means of most early settlers. These factors limited the availability of traditional beverages and fueled the search for local alternatives to fill the alcoholic void. Within the first two decades of the settlement of Barbados, and before the largescale transition to sugar production, colonists experimented with a wide variety of locally made alcoholic beverages. According to Ligon, The first |drink|, and that which is used most in the Island, is Mobbie, a drink made of Potatoes, and thus done. Put the Potatoes into a tub of water, and, with a broom, stir them up and down; till they are washt clean; then take them out, and put them into a large iron or brass pot, such as you boyi beef in, in England; and put to them as much water, as will only cover a quarter part of them; and cover the top of the pot with a piece of thick canvas doubled, or such cloth as sacks are made with, covering it close, that the steam go not out. Then make a little fire underneath, so much only as will cause these roots to stew; and when they are soft, take them out, and with your hands, squeeze, break, and mash them very small, in fair water; letting them stay there, till the water has drawn and suckt out all the spirit of the roots; which will be done in an hour or two. Then put the liquor and roots into a large woollen bag, like a jelly-bag, pointed at the bottom; and let it run through that, into a Jar, and within two hours it begin to work. Cover it, and let it stand till the next day, and then 'tis fit to be drunk. (Ligon 1657:31) The term mobbie probably derives from the Carib Indian word md 'bi, meaning a red variety of sweet potato, or mabi, a generic term for an edible tuber (Hodge and Taylor 1957:597; Taylor 1938: 154). In 1627, a Barbadian expeditionary voyage went to the mainland coast of Guiana in search of New World plants that could be brought back and

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36 commercially grown in Barbados (Handler 1969). This expedition returned with sweet potatoes and Caribs who knew the methods of how to produce alcohol from them. Colonists became skilled at the art of making mobbie and Ligon even discussed the ability to increase the concentration of alcohol with the addition of more sweet potatoes. And as you will have it stronger or smaller, put in greater or lesser quantities of roots; some make it so strong, as to be drunk with small quantities. But the drink it self, being temperately made, does not at all fly up into the head, but is a sprightly thirst-quenching drink. If it be put up in small casks, as Rundlets, or Firkins, it will last four or five dayes good, and drink much more sprightly than out of the Jar. 1 cannot liken it to anything so near, as Rhenish-wine in the Must; but it is short of it in the strength of spirit, and fineness of the taste. (Ligon 1657:31) In the French Caribbean, missionary Father J.B. Labat also described the production of "ma^y" [mobbiej. According to Labat (1724;1: 133-134), "they make it in this manner: they put in Canary |wine| twenty or thirty pots of water with two pots of clear sirop [molasses], a dozen red potatoes and many oranges cut into quarters" (see also du Tertre 16671671:1 13). Mobbie use appears to have been confined to the Carib centers of the Lesser Antilles. As late as 1750, mobbie was still one of the most popular drinks in Barbados (Hughes 1750:34). Cassava-based alcoholic drinks, made from the root of the manioc plant, were also common in the early Caribbean. In Martinique, Father du Tertre (1668-1671: 1 10-1 1 1) wrote, "the drink most ordinary is called OUicou." Oiiicou was an alcoholic beverage made from cassava and a mixture of potatoes, sugar cane juice, and bananas (Labat 1724;!: 1 33). In Barbados, cassava-based alcoholic drinks were called Parranow or perino (Silvester 1651 cited in Harlow 1925:46; Ligon 1657:32). Ligon described perino as "wholesomer, though not altogether so pleasant" as mobbie. As with mobbie, European settlers learned to make cassava-based alcoholic drinks from Caribs and, in many cases, they were the source of these beverages. According to Ligon, perino

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37 is made of cassavy root, which I told you is a strong poyson; and this they cause their old wives, who have a small remainder of teeth, to chaw and spit out into water, (for the better breaking and macerating of the root). This juyce in three or four hours will work, and purge it self of the poysonous quality. (Ligon 1657:32) The great contradiction was that cassava root was poisonous, yet, once purged of its toxic qualities, it could be fermented to produce an alcoholic beverage. Ligon believed. That the poyson of the old womens' breath and teeth having been tainted with many several poxes, (a disease common amongst them, though they have many and the best cures for it,) are such opposites to the poyson of the Cassavy, as they bend their forces so vehemently one against another, as both spend their poysonous qualities in the conflict. (Ligon 1657:32) In reality, saliva introduced an enzyme that converted the starches of the cassava into simple sugars that, then, could be more efficiently fermented. Although a slightly different preparation, Labat (1724;!: 127) also wrote that French colonials learned the art of making oiiicou from Caribs who were numerous in the early years of French settlement in the northern Lesser Antilles. The process of making cassava-based alcoholic beverages in this masticating manner is illustrated in Johan von Staden's 1592 depiction of Guyanese Indians in Americae Tenia (see Mancall 1995:66). Unlike the French Caribbean, Barbados probably did not have a native Indian population at the time of English settlement. Barbadians brought mainland Caribs to the island in the early years of settlement, where they caught fish and assisted colonists. They also knew the art of making alcohol. In 1599, Nino de Sylvia et al. (see Mancall 1995:65) illustrated drinking among Caribs in Guiana and stated, "The people of the kingdom of Guiana. .are completely given over to drunkenness, and surpass all nations in drinking." In the early settlement period, Island Caribs from St. Vincent also made their way to Barbados (Handler 1969,1970; Hughes 1750:5; Ligon 1657:23-24). The slight difference in the ingredients and methods of preparation between perino and oiiicou may reflect the particular influence of mainland and St. Vincent Caribs in Barbados and the greater influence of northern island Caribs in the French settlements.

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38 A variety of other local plants and shrubs were also fermented to make alcoholic drinks. Ligon described the production of an alcoholic beverage made from plantains. Ligon wrote. Gathering them full ripe, and in the height of their sweetness, we pill off the skin, and mash them in water well boyl'd; and after we have let them stay there a night, we strain it and bottle it up, and in a week drink it. (Ligon 1657:32) In 1741, historian John Oldmixon (1741: 132) reported that plantain drinks were still widely consumed in Barbados. Ligon (1657:33) recorded the production of a wine made from the pineapple, which he referred to as "the Nectar which the Gods drunk." In the French Caribbean, Labat ( I724;1: 135) also believed that pineapple wine had an "extremely agreeable" taste. In French St. Kitts, Rochefort (1658:447) reported the use of wine made from bananas, which he called couscou. Labat ( 1724;1: 134) also noted that "the apple of the mahogany" [possibly cashew] made a particularly sour wine. Early Caribbean settlers also exploited the alcoholic potential of plums, oranges, limes, and pistachios (du Tertre 1667-1671:106-114; Labat 1724;1:133-138; Ligon 1657:31-33; Sloane 1707;I:xxix). In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages evolved in the Caribbean. These drinks were primarily found in the early settlement period and were prototypes for distilled rum. Las Casas (1971:258) made the earliest reference to a fermented sugar cane-based drink in sixteenth century Hispaniola. His statement hinted that Africans were the primary consumers, and most likely producers, of this beverage. African slaves, like Europeans, sought to reestablish traditional patterns of alcohol use in the Caribbean. For instance, Rochefort (1658:447) reported that African slaves in St. Kitts tapped local palm trees in order to produce a type of palm wine, one of the most widely used alcoholic beverages in West and West Central Africa. Although Europeans came from societies that had mastered the art of distilling and recognized the alcoholic potential of sugar cane. West and West Central Africans also produced a wide variety of fermented alcoholic drinks in Africa and appear to have conducted the initial

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experiments with fermented varieties of sugar cane juice in the Americas. The African slaves' desire for fermented sugar cane juice may have induced Caribbean sugar planters to consider the economic potential of sugar cane-based alcohol as a local commodity and as a possible export item to African markets. The slaves' use and production of fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic drinks, therefore, could be seen as an initial step in the rise of fullscale rum industries. Las Casas and other eariy writers did not have a name for a fermented alcohol made from sugar cane. However, in New Spain, in 1615, an ordinance specifically referred to the fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic drink guarapo. Guarapo became the common name for fermented sugar cane-based drinks in the Spanish Americas (Sandoval 1951 : 165). In Brazil, fermented sugar cane drinks were called garapa (Antonil 171 1: 132n,252-253; Thornton 1992: 174). In French St. Kitts, Rochefort (1658 cited in Davies 1666: 199) did not refer to fermented sugar cane drinks by any particular name, but wrote "the inhabitants [of St. Kitts] have the art of making a delicious drink of that sweet liquor which is got out of the sugar-canes, and that being kept for several days becomes as strong as any sack." However, several decades later, Labat(1724;I:134) referred to a fermented drink called grappe made of sugar cane juice. In Barbados, Ligon referred to a drink called grippo, which seems to be a derivation of guarapo, garapa, and grappe. Although Ligon was familiar with a variety of alcoholic beverages, he never tried grippo and could not, therefore, describe its production, ingredients, or taste. In Ligon's list of alcoholic beverages, grippo was immediately followed by a drink called "punch. .made of water and sugar put together, which in ten dayes standing will be very strong." It seems likely that Ligon confused punch and grippo or interpreted the two different names as two distinct beverages. Ligon made the only reference to grippo, which is not found again in the British Caribbean. Instead, in

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40 Barbados, physician Sir Hans Sloane (1707 I:xxix; see also anonymous 1797:15) called fermented sugar cane-based concoctions the "cool-drink." According to Sloane, Take three gallons of fair water, more than a pint of molasses, mix them together in ajar, it works in twelve hours time sufficiently, put to it a little more molasses and immediately bottle it, in six hours time is ready to drink and in a day it is tum'd sour. (Sloane 1707;I:xxix) Oldmixon (1741: 132) described "Kowwow [made] of MolassesWater and Ginger." Griffith Hughes (1750:34), the rector of St. Lucy's parish, also referred to "cowcow, a drink made with the scummings of boiled cane juice, mixed with water, and fermented." The production of fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic drinks complicates discussions about the origins of New Worid origins of rum making. However, these rum prototypes predated distilling and should not be considered rum. Guarapo, garapa, grappe, and grippo became standard terms for fermented sugarcane-based alcoholic drinks. Although the term quickly disappeared in the British Caribbean, grappe later became the name for the fermenting wash compound made prior to distilling in the French Caribbean (AA). In the 1630s and 40s, rum distillation emerged almost simultaneously in j the Spanish, French, British, and perhaps Portuguese colonies of the New Worid. But, fori decades, even distilled drinks made from sugar cane lacked a standard name. Ligon never referred to rum and, instead, called it kill devil and the drink "we make of the skimming of sugar." In French St. Kitts, Rochefortgenerically called distilled sugar cane juice and molasses eau de vie de cannes. The modifier ''de Cannes" distinguished it from French brandy (eau de vie) made from grapes. The numerous names used for fermented and distilled varieties of sugar cane-based alcoholic beverages highlights the complexities of defining a new product diffusing throughout the eariy Caribbean. The European and African desires for alcohol in the Caribbean led to experiments with a variety of available sources and the new arrivals exploited the Caribs' knowledge of alcohol production. It is interesting to note that eariy colonial writers often compared the

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41 locally made drinks to European alcoholic beverages. For example, Ligon (1657:31-32) wrote perino tasted "the likest to English beer" and he considered the taste of mobbie similar to Rhenish wine. Ligon (1657:3 1) also believed that mobbie made from red potatoes looked like claret, while mobbie made from white potatoes looked like white wine. In 1661, Felix Spoeri, a Swiss medical doctor in Barbados, believed that rum was similar to European brandy and mobbie to beer (cited in Handler and Gunkel 1969: 10). Rochefort (1658:319,447) believed vin de Cannes [probably the fermented variety of sugar cane juice] could pass for Spanish wine. Father du Tertre (1667-1671: 1 1 1) and Father Labat (1724;1: 133) believed the same of ouicou. Rochefort (1658:3 19,447) indicated that French Caribbean rum was similar to French brandy. These comparisons suggest that eariy colonials attempted to recreate, as closely as possible, the alcoholic beverages left behind in Europe. Provision crops, such as cassava and potatoes, helped sustain eariy settlements in the Caribbean and provided colonists with sources for alcoholic drinks. But during the sugar revolution, these small-scale crops were pushed aside by colonial planters who sought to maximize available land resources for sugar cane. The shift to sugar production made sugar cane juice and the waste products of the sugar industry practical choices to meet local alcohol demands. The decreasing reliance on provision crops, as well as the decreasing numbers of Carib Indians available to produce alcoholic drinks, such as ouicou, mobbie, and perino, motivated the switch to the production of rum from sugar cane. The increasing number of African slaves and their interest in fermented sugar cane-based alcoholic drinks from may have also influenced this shift. The expansion of maritime activity to the New Worid spurred the rise of rum making. Alcohol has a long history in maritime communities. The potential disasters that could result from the limited availability of fresh water on long sea voyages made alcohol a critical store in long distance maritime trade. Initial experiments with distilling focused on

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42 the distillation of fresh water from sea water (Underwood 1935:34) and, because of its perceived salubrious and nutritional qualities, alcohol complemented, and even became a preferred substitute for, water in maritime activities. Christopher Columbus carried huge wine stores on his first voyage to the Americas. Enough wine, in fact, that he was able to leave the crew of the grounded Santa Maria a year's supply. Dutch physician Franciscus de la Boa invented gin to combat maladies afflicting seamen of the Dutch East India Company. In the seventeenth century, alcohol became a basic ration in the British Royal Navy: a tradition that would last 300 hundred years. The tradition of alcohol use among European seamen and their belief that alcohol was healthy and nutritional increased the desire for alcohol during the voyages to and from the Americas. Caribbean sugar planters capitalized on this need by producing their own form of alcohol for seamen on the American side of the Atlantic. As early as the midseventeenth century, Ligon (1657:93) wrote that planters in Barbados sold rum to "Ships... I where it was) drunk by the way." Local demand for alcohol, increasing availability of sugar cane juice and sugar industry by-products, and the expansion of maritime activities stimulated the initial rise of New World rum making. But sugar planters also came from European societies where an extensive alcohol trade, especially in the form of wine, had existed for centuries. Merchants, planters, and traders, the forces behind New World settlement and colonization, appreciated the centrality of the alcohol trade to the economies of Europe and attempted to develop a similar trade from the Americas. The growth of rum making in the seventeenth century Caribbean, therefore, highlights the economic efficiency of New World sugar planters who realized that, with a slightly greater capital input for distilling equipment, they could produce a profitable commodity from the waste products of sugar. The European tradition of alcohol trading made rum a rational outgrowth of sugar production, which helped colonial planters maximize the profitability of their plantations.

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Although their initial efforts to open markets for rum were successful, the century rum trade remained at the margins of the Atlantic world.

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CHAPTER 4 AT THE MARGINS OF THE ATLANTIC WORLD: RUM IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, colonists in the Caribbean sought to reconstruct Old World drinking patterns. They exploited the alcoholic potential of local resources and turned to rum after the start of the sugar revolution. However, the hardships of building a life on the Caribbean frontier brought about new challenges that increased the demand for alcoholic stimulation. As a result, the rum industry grew. Rum quickly found local and regional markets that helped nurture the growth of American trade. The interCaribbean rum trade created exchange networks that brought together New World colonies and the internal rum trade created links between disparate social groups. Continental merchants and traders in North and South America also began to accept Caribbean rum in exchange for much needed provisions and plantation supplies. Rum making became a profitable enterprise. Yet, despite its growth, the early Caribbean rum trade remained at the margins of the Atlantic world and failed to penetrate the huge alcohol markets of Europe. The use of inferior ingredients and small stills limited the scale of rum production and / highlights the undeveloped state of seventeenth century Caribbean rum making. Seventeenth Century Rum Making In the mid-seventeenth century, rum making was present on many Caribbean sugar plantations, especially in the British and French colonies. Richard Ligon provided the earliest detailed account of a rum-making operation in Barbados in 1647-1650, at the very beginning of Barbados' sugar revolution. According to Ligon (1657: 113), a good sugar factory was expected to have a "Still-house with two sufficient Stills, and receivers to hold the drink." Ligon' s description reveals that, at this early stage of the British Caribbean sugar industry, a still house was already considered an essential part of the sugar plantation 44

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complex (Ligon 1657:84). Although Ligon painted an ideal picture of sugar plantation efficiency, his companion. Colonel Thomas Modiford, did, in reality, purchase a plantation that already possessed buildings and equipment devoted to rum distillation. Ligon also provided insights into the early art of rum making in Barbados. According to Ligon, As for distilling the skimmings, which run down to the Still-house, from the three lesser Coppers, it is only this: After it has remained in the Cisterns, which my plot shews you in the Still-house, till it be a little soure, (for till then, the Spirits will not rise in the Still) the first Spirit that comes off, is a small Liquor, which we call Low-wines, which Liquor we put into the Still, and draw it off again; and of that comes so Strong a Spirit, as a candle being brought to a near distance, to the bung of a Hogshead or But, where it is kept, the Spirits will flie to it. (Ligon 1657:92-93) Ligon clearly emphasized the use of skimmings from the sugar boiling process, while molasses, which is generally considered the most important ingredient in rum making because of its higher sucrose content, was, as Ligon (1657:91) stated in an earlier section of his book, re-boiled to make lower grade peneles sugar. In fact, it is not entirely clear if mid-seventeenth century distillers in the Caribbean used molasses at all. Father JeanBaptiste du Tertre's (16671671: 119) discussion of rum making in Martinique also emphasized "the spent and exhausted canes and also the skimmings," but did not mention the use of molasses. Instead, Father du Tertre (1667-1671:1 19) wrote, "molasses is enough good merchandise where it is used to make gingerbread in Europe." In French St. Kitts, Charles de Rochefort ( 1658:3 14) also reported that the "skimmings from the first boiler are only good for feeding livestock, but that the skimmings from the others could be used to make a drink for servants and slaves." It appears that molasses was not used, or at least not widely used, in rum making until later in the seventeenth century and that sugar planters either sold it separately or continuously returned it to the cauldrons where it was re-boiled to make low grades of sugar. However, by the late seventeenth century, physician and Caribbean traveler Sir Hans Sloane (1707:LXI) and French missionary Father Jean-Baptiste Labat (I724;1: 135) both recorded the use of molasses in rum making.

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46 Besides relying on lesser ingredients, seventeenth century Caribbean sugar planters employed small stills that restricted the level of output and limited the growth of the rum industry. Historian John McCusker (1991; 2001) argued that one of the primary reasons for the slow acceptance of distilled spirits in Europe was their high price. According to McCusker, in the sixteenth, distillers in Europe employed small stills, often measured in the tens of gallons, which could not operate on economies of scale. The small scale of production increased the cost of distilled spirits and kept them beyond the reach of the general public. However, in the late sixteenth century, the introduction of large-capacity stills, made possible by the switch to copper, rather than glass and ceramic, boiling pots or cucurbits, efficiently increased the level of output and reduced the price of distilled spirits. By the early eighteenth century, some large distilleries in Europe were using high-capacity stills capable of holding more than seven thousand gallons (McCusker 2(X)1 :221). In the seventeenth century, stills in the Caribbean were small. Although Ligon did not mention the exact capacity of the stills illustrated in the still house, his plan indicated that one still was slightly more than four feet in diameter and the second, probably used for the re-distillation of low wine, was slightly less than four feet in diameter. Both stills fit into a still house room no larger than 16 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 20 feet high. The capacity of the two stills probably reflected contemporary trends in Europe and held less than 100 gallons each. The stills were likely made of copper. Copper was an important material in the Caribbean sugar industry and used for a variety of sugar-making utensils, including the deep pans, or "coppers," used to boil the sugar cane juice. In the seventeenth century, Holland developed a thriving copper industry and the ready availability of copper probably reflects the influence of Dutch traders in early Barbados. The small still-house room also contained a large fermenting cistern where the rummaking ingredients were mixed. The fermenting cistern was 7 feet by 3 feet and would have held several hundred gallons of fermenting "liquor." A century later, William Belgrove (1755:22), the plantation managers at Drax Hall estate in Barbados, advised of

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47 the need for a still house to have 48 "vats" [fermenting cisterns], which could hold 300 gallons each. The single fermenting cistern in Ligon's illustration highlights the limited extent of early Barbadian distilling. Fermenting cisterns were usually made of coral stone and coated with a lime-based plaster. However, in the early years of Barbadian settlement, before the almost complete destruction of forests, wood was available and, in 1650, the four large cisterns at Three Houses estate were made of mastic (Lucas 1955: 120). In the late eighteenth century, cone shaped vats with narrow openings replaced low flat cisterns. In the French Caribbean, du Tertre and Rochefort made the earliest references to distilling apparatus, which they called a vinaigrerie. The origin of the term vinaigrerie appears to stem from Lx)uis XII's 1514 decree, which gave vinaigriers [vinegar makers] the right to distill wine into brandy. Vinaigrerie derived from this guild's name and was probably the name given to the alembics in which they distilled their wine (Huetz de Lemps 1997: 17-18). The use of term vinaigrerie to describe an alembic used for rum making demonstrates how French Caribbean rum makers adapted Old World mental models to help explain New World industries. However, in the eighteenth century, guildiverie replaced vinaigrerie as the term used for a French Caribbean alembic. Guildiverie is a corruption of the British Caribbean term kill devil and reflects the French Creoles' growing affinity for Caribbean, rather than metropolitan, culture. Father du Tertre provided the earliest drawing of an alembic in the French Caribbean. His (1668-1671:116-1 17) mid-seventeenth century illustration of a still in Martinique showed a small and simple alembic connected to a worm that ran through a wooden barrel of cool water to a receiver. The alembic sketched by Father du Tertre was almost identical to one depicted in Conrad Gesner's 1552 treatise on distilling (Gesner 1552 see also Holme 1688:423; Underwood 1935:4^-46). In fact, the alembic-head was essentially the same design as the locally made alembic-head archaeologists recovered from the settlement site of Martin's Hundred, Virginia, which dated to the 1620s (Noel-Hume

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48 1988: 101-102). Ligon's depiction of the still house contained two stills, rather than the single distilling apparatus found in du Tertre's illustration. While Ligon provided little information about the types and sizes of stills used in Barbados in the 1640s, the second still was probably used for the separate distillation of low wine, the spirit produced from the first distillation. The presence of a second still suggests a more advanced and efficient system of distilling and highlights the Barbadians' greater fascination with rum making. Early distillation was a conservative art and the level of distillation technology in the seventeenth century Caribbean was comparable to that of distilleries in contemporary Europe. Other than the increasing capacity of stills, most major advances in the art of distillation had been made by the 1550s. As early as the mid-fourteenth century, distillers in Europe used multiple distillations to improve their product. By the mid-sixteenth century, the important technological advances involving cooling and condensing systems, which provided better control over the separation of alcohol during distillation and speeded the distilling process, had also been introduced. In fact, despite later experimentation, distilling technology remained relatively unchanged between the mid-sixteenth and early nineteenth centuries (Braudel 1979:244; Underwood 1935:53-54). Bootleg rum makers in Trinidad in the late twentieth century, who produced spirits in modified oil drums, employed the same basic principles of distilling as those used on seventeenth and eighteenth century Caribbean sugar plantations (Gray 1988). Despite the use of inferior ingredients and small stills, rum making in Barbados was not simply a cottage industry. Ligon's account of Barbados rum making suggests that it was already a specialized enterprise that employed skilled distillers who were learning to master the art of rum making. According to Ligon, Barbadian distillers had already established an important quality-defining characteristic of rum: that double distilling produced a highly volatile and concentrated spirit. The art of alcohol distillation was still relatively new at the time Ligon was writing and the secrets had only recently been seized from the physicians, apothecaries, and monasteries of Europe (Braudel 1979:241-247;

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49 Underwood 1935:40-41). In fact, it was around this same time in England that Charles 1 had granted the guild of the Worshipful Company of Distillers exclusive rights to be the distillers for a 21 radius around London and Westminster (George 1951:29; Watney 1976:12). Yet, in the 1640s, Barbadian sugar planters constructed buildings and cisterns for the specific purpose of alcohol production and Barbadian distillers double distilled their rum and made distinctions about its quality. This seemingly advanced level of rum production may have led Caribbean traveler Sir Henry Colt (1631 cited in Harlow 1925:65) to write that Barbadians were "devourers upp of hott waters and such good distiller thereof." While it is not clear whether Colt was specifically referring to rum making, it does suggest that the first colonists in Barbados sought to master the art of alcohol production soon after they settled the island in 1627. The paucity of seventeenth century plantation records and trade statistics makes it difficult to determine the precise levels of rum production or rum's contribution to sugar estate revenues in this early period. However, the available evidence provides us with enough information to make some generalizations about the value of rum to sugar estates. Economic historian David Eltis (1995b) estimated the value and quantity of rum exports from Barbados and Jamaica in the late seventeenth century using naval office shipping lists and two Barbados customs books, which included export figures from 1664-1667. While not a complete picture, these records furnish eight years of seventeenth century export statistics. According to Eltis, Barbados exported an annual average of 150,020 gallons of rum in 1665-1666. In 1688 and 1690-1691 that figure more than doubled to an annual average of 382,242 gallons. By 1700, Barbados rum exports reached nearly 600,000 gallons (Eltis 1995b:638). Eltis also showed that the value of Barbados rum was increasing. In the period 1665-1666, the value of Barbados rum exports represented about 7% of exports of sugar and sugar by-product, but, by 1700, that figure had jumped to 29%. At the end of the seventeenth century, rum represented 19% of the total value of Barbados' export trade. In contrast, rum exports from Jamaica were minor and reflected the

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50 less developed state of the Jamaican sugar business. In the period 1698-1700, Jamaican rum exports averaged a little more than 5,000 gallons per year and rum represented only 1% of the total value of Jamaica's export trade. One source Eltis did not use was Ligon's discussion of the value of sugar and rum. In Barbados, Ligon (1657:1 12) calculated that rum contributed about 18% of sugar plantation revenues showing that, by 1647, the production of alcohol from sugar cane was already a valuable commodity. According to Ligon, rum in Barbados sold for 2s 6d per gallon while muscavado sugar sold for 3d per lb or £1.5s per short cwt. and clayed sugar for 6d per lb or £2. 10s per short cwt.. At this rate, a gallon of rum was equal in value to 10 lbs of muscavado sugar or 5 lbs of clayed sugar. Using price evidence from the Barbados customs books, Eltis estimated that 15 years later, in 1665-1666, a pound of sugar, still predominantly unrefined muscavado, was worth slightly less at 2.14d and a gallon of rum was equal in value to 12 lbs of sugar. Ligon (1653:93) clearly believed rum was cheap and sold "at easie rates." But he also wrote "they [presumably Barbadian officials] were then purposing to raise the price to a deerer rate." However, these figures suggest the price of rum dropped in that 15-year period. The 7% drop in sugar prices and 9% drop in rum prices was no doubt due to the increasing availability of these products and Britain's imposition of mercantilist policies that restricted the colonists' commercial freedom. Scattered throughout Ligon's text are also clues to the amount of rum made on Barbadian sugar plantations. According to Ligon (1657:93), a 500-acre sugar plantation with two stills could make £30 from rum on a weekly basis. Ligon also wrote (1657: 1 12) that the "Drink that is made of the skimmings" brought in £120 per month or £1,200 during the 10-month crop cycle. Using his estimate of a half a crown per gallon, Ligon's model plantation produced 9,600 gallons of rum during the 40-week crop cycle. At this rate, his plantation produced 1.6 gallons of rum per short cwt. of muscavado sugar. However, Ligon made his calculations based on a twenty-month production cycle in order to show the economic benefit of producing refined white sugar. Under this more profitable system, the

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51 quantity of sugar decreased as more molasses drained away and the proportional increase in rum resulted in a ratio of 4.3 gallons of rum per short cwt. of sugar. If we include an additional 10% for rum "drunk" by servants and slaves, the ratio increases to 4.7 gallons of rum per short cwt. of refined white sugar. French Caribbean sugar planters also profited from rum, more commonly known as tafia. In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, Labat (1724;1:321-324) considered a vinaigrerie an essential part of a Martiniquan sugar factory and a sugar plantation was expected to have one slave as a distiller. Labat (1724;I:323) estimated that a sugar plantation of about 750 acres would produce 238,000 lbs of sugar, and 60 barrels of rum, about 4,042 gallons, in a 30 weeks crop cycle (see also Josa 1931; Pairault 1903). According to Labat, 10% of the rum was allocated to the plantation's 120 slaves to supplement their diet and help reduce plantation costs. The remaining 54 barrels were sold bringing 3,000 livres (Josa 1931:54,60; Kervegant 1946:21; Labat 1724;I:323). Rum contributed about 7% of sugar plantation revenues and the estate produced a ratio of about 1.7 gallons per each short cwt. of muscavado sugar (based on Josa 1931:60). Thus, Martiniquan sugar planters produced less rum per acre, but the ratio of rum to sugar production was almost identical to that Ligon identified in Barbados a half -century earlier. Labat also believed that the sale of tafia defrayed about 50% of the plantation expenses (Josa 1931:58-60; Kervegant 1946:21; Labat 1724;1:321-324). In the seventeenth century, most of the rum produced never left the islands. For example, according to Eltis, in 1665-1666, Barbados legally exported an annual average of 150,020 gallons of rum. Ligon's plantation alone produced more than 6% of that amount. Ligon identified as many as 285 plantations on his map of the island covering the period 1647-1650. However, according to Barbadian historian Peter Campbell (1993: 145), the Ligon map was reproduced from an earlier map made in 1638 and, therefore, left off the names of many large sugar planters who arrived in the 1640s. Richard Ford's map of Barbados provides a more accurate picture of the number of plantations for the 1665-1666

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52 period. Published in 1674, Ford's map identified 844 plantations. About 350 were sugar plantations, but few of these were as big as 500 acres. According to historian Richard Dunn (1973:96), a Barbadian sugar plantation "of 200 acres, equipped with two or three sugar mills and a hundred slaves, was considered the optimum size for efficient production." Dunn also showed that 175 of the island's biggest planters owned an average of 267 acres each. If these large planters achieved the same level of rum making described by Ligon, then they could have produced about 1.7 million gallons of rum. Even if we take into account the smaller size of their plantations and use Ligon's estimates to calculate the amount of rum produced per acre, then these big planters could have still produced nearly 900,000 gallons. Thus, in the mid-seventeenth century, Barbados probably exported only 5-20% of its rum and local consumption was enormous. A close reading of Ligon and Labat hints at the level of local rum consumption. According to Ligon (1657:93), a plantation of 500 acres produced about 240 gallons of rum per week "besides what is drunk by their servants and slaves." According to Labat, 10% of the rum produced on his model Martinique sugar plantation was consumed by servants and slaves, which averaged out to an annual per capita consumption rate of about 3.4 gallons. Adding 10% to Ligon's rum production estimate and allocating that to the 130 servants and slaves results in an annual per capita consumption rate of 8.2 gallons, not unusually high when we consider the greater number of white indentured servants in Barbados and their propensity for drink. Evidence from the intra-island rum trade also suggests that the level of local rum consumption was immense. In 1650, many small planters in Barbados continued to pursue non-sugar markets. Ligon pointed out that there were many small plantations which are not able to raise a Sugar-work or set up an Ingenio, by reason of the paucity of acres, being not above twenty, thirty, or fourty acres in a plantation; but these will be fit to bear Tobacco, Ginger, Cotton-wool, Males, Yeames, and Potatoes, as also for breeding hoggs. (Ligon 1657:94)

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53 These small planters relied on sugar planters for their rum. Ligon (1657:93) wrote that rum was sold "to such Planters, as have no Sugar-works of their own, yet drink excessively of it." Moreover, rum making may have been confined to larger sugar estates. In 1668, the Barbados Assembly passed an Act "That no Person or Persons within this Island... shall be permitted to keep any Still or Stills for distilling of Rum: Except such Person or Persons have land and Canes of their own, or such as keep Refining Houses" (Rawlins 1699:7172). Under this law, it would have been necessary for the vast majority of Barbadian colonists to get their rum from the larger sugar estates with still houses. Big planters would have had great control over the flow of rum in the Caribbean, which they either sold directly to the community or doled out to slaves and servants on estates. But there is some evidence that rum making was not entirely restricted to large sugar estates. Eltis' (2000:202) study of the 1664-1667 Barbados customs books showed that, while 87% of all produce handled by the custom house belonged to only the top wealthiest 20% of those entering produce, the remaining four-fifths "managed to supply some rum." For the bottom 20%, however, the rum was not economically significant suggesting it was likely acquired through the barter of rum for labor. Many of the remaining three-fifths may have entered rum acquired as payment for their services, particularly the more expensive services of merchants, lawyers, and skilled craftsmen. Smallholders with modest distilling operations may have entered some of this rum. Despite the 1668 restrictions on rum making, smallholder-distilling operations probably existed in Barbados as they did in other parts of the British Caribbean. For example, in 1714, a visitor to Antigua (cited in Eltis 2000:202) wrote "the poorest sort. .seldom make anything but rum, and ye trash and ye Cane after grinding serves for fewel under ye still." In Montserrat, historian Riva Berleant-Schiller (1989:551) identified 17 rum works operating in 1678-1679. According to Berleant-Schiller, despite the Montserrat Assembly's emphasis on encouraging the development of large sugar estates, wageworkers managed to produce and sell commodities, including rum. For example, in the late 1670s, wageworkers George

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54 Gill and Cornelius Breyen "were licensed to make rum, and presumably [they] had access to small cane pieces" (Berleant-Schiller 1989:561). In the early settlement period, colonists exploited a wide range of local alcohol resources and even tapped the alcoholic traditions of Carib Indians. The rise of sugar making provided another alternative. Certainly, the desire to recreate traditional drinking patterns in the Caribbean spurred the initial demand for alcohol. As mentioned earlier, Caribbean colonists often compared local drinks, including rum, to the alcoholic beverages they were familiar with in Europe. However, the Caribbean frontier unleashed a new set of material demands that elevated the intrinsic value of alcoholic beverages and accelerated the growth of the internal rum trade. Many societies view alcohol as a good substitute for tainted, or potentially tainted, water (Akyeampong 19%:54; Rorabaugh 1979:95-97). The lack of potable water was a major concern in the seventeenth century Caribbean, especially in Barbados, which lacked mountain streams. Henry Colt wrote. Your water is thick and not of ye best. .your rivers few or noone, except such as you account out of vaine glory rivers, beinge noe other then little pitts; or if it holds water but for a small time it is named a river. (Colt 1631 cited in Harlow 1925:67) Ligon (1657:28) also noted "there is nothing in this Island [Barbados] so much wanting, as Springs and Rivers of water." The capital of Bridgetown was particularly ill situated and the fear of tainted water was especially evident during a yellow fever epidemic that occurred in 1647. According to Ligon (1657:25), the bodies of those who succumbed to the illness were thrown into the town's swamp "which infected so the water, as divers that drunk of it were absolutely poysoned, and dyed within a few hours after; but others, taking warning by their harms, forbear to taste any more of it." Ponds were constructed on some plantations to water slaves and livestock (Handler 2001). However, the people of Bridgetown probably relied heavily on cisterns set on the sides of their houses for fresh water supplies and, while cisterns were sufficient for small families and individuals, they could not always adequately meet the water demands of a large population, especially after

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55 the rise of sugar production and the subsequent increase in numbers of African slaves and European migrants. Droughts were a constant fear. Even when water was available, it was not necessarily preferred. Negative European attitudes towards water, probably founded upon similar Old World fears of tainted water, enhanced the desirability of alcoholic beverages in the Caribbean. Labat (1970: 188) may have said it best when he wrote, when wine is available, "only invalids and chickens drink water." Such sentiments also increased the demand for rum. Not every colonist, however, held negative attitudes about water and many considered the use of fiery spirits in the hot climate of the Caribbean a dangerous combination. Colt (1631 cited in Harlow 1925:65-66) warned that the tropics necessitated the frequent consumption of cold water and advised the colonists, "Your young and hott bloods, should nott have oyle [alcohol] added to encrease ye flame, but rather cold water to quench it." Although alcohol actually dilates surface blood vessels and cools the skin, Europeans perceived it to be a hot fluid. The heat Europeans attributed to alcohol, especially distilled spirits, largely reflects their belief in Galenic principles of health, which operated on the premise that good health could be achieved and maintained by balancing the hot:cold and wet:dry dispositions of the body. Galenic principles governed medical treatment in the eariy years of American settlement and spurred many colonists to use alcohol to counteract the effects of cold weather and chills. For example, historical archaeologist Peter Pope (1997) argued that faith in the heat restoring qualities of alcohol greatly increased the value of distilled spirits among seventeenth century fishermen in the cold wet climate of Newfoundland. Caribbean colonists also believed that distilled spirits were an antidote to cold, which, no doubt, encouraged Caribbean sugar planters to drink heavily and allocate rum to slaves and servants who worked in chilly, wet, or damp weather. Ligon wrote, for when they |the slaves) are ill, with taking cold, (which often they are) and very well they may, having nothing under them in the night but a board, upon which they lie, nor any thing to cover them: and though the dales be hot, the nights are cold, and that change cannot but work upon their bodies, though they be hardy

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56 people. Besides, coming home hot and sweating in the evening, sitting or lying down, must needs be the occasion of taking cold, and sometimes breeds sickness amongst them, which when they feel, they complain to the Apothacary of the Plantation, which we call Doctor, and he gives to every one a dram cup of this Spirit [rum], and that is a present cure. And as this drink is of great use, to cure and refresh the poor Negroes, whom we ought to have a special care of, by the labour of whose hands, our profit is brought in; so is it helpful to our Christian Servants too; for, when their spirits are exhausted, by their hard labor, and sweating in the Sun, ten hours every day, they find their stomacks debilitated, and much weakened in their vigour every way, a dram or two of this Spirit, is a great comfort and refreshing to them. (Ligon 1657:93) Ligon's comments expressed the widely held belief that illness was caused by an insufficiency of body heat. Thus, on cold damp days, and after hours of sweating in the sun, the consumption of rum, a hot and fiery fluid, was an appropriate, as well as enjoyable, way to reintroduce heat back into the body (Laudan 2000; Rorabaugh 1979:136). Rum was not only considered good for restoring body heat, but, as a fiery fluid, rum was also believed to counter excessive internal body heat. Yellow fever epidemics spread through the early Caribbean and were generally characterized by high fevers. The Caribbean medical community embraced folk beliefs about the use of "fire to drive out fire" and employed rum for that purpose. For example, historian David Geggus (1982:368-369) has shown that British troops in the Caribbean generally thought that a sober hour might give disease an opportunity to attack. The demand for rum in the Caribbean, therefore, partly reflects the application of folk beliefs about the power of alcohol to regulate body temperature. The high caloric value of alcohol may have also increased the demand for rum. Every gram (l/30th ounce) of alcohol swallowed provides 7 calories to the daily intake of the consumer. Thus, an ounce and a half of 100-proof rum would have provided the consumer with 147 calories (Ewing and Rouse 1978: 15-16). In order to cut plantation costs, some Caribbean planters supplemented their slaves' diet with rum (Labat 1724;I:323; Peytraud 1897: 196). However, while alcohol provided a high amount of calories, these

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57 were generally hollow calories, which lacked nutritional value and did not contribute to a healthy diet(Ewing and Rouse 1978:15-16). In one of the more unique interpretations, alcohol historian W.J. Rorabaugh argued that the diet of North Americans increased the desire for highly concentrated distilled spirits. According to Rorabaugh (1979: 1 17), a monotonous diet of "Heavy, oily foods, especially fried com cakes and salt pork, left Americans in need of a complementary beverage, and the commonest turned out to be whisky." A similar argument could be made for the seventeenth century Caribbean, where a monotonous diet of heavily starched foods, such as potatoes, cassava, and maize was common. Meats consisted primarily of salted pork and salted fish (see Ligon 1657:29-38). As in North America, diet probably increased the demand for a beverage with a high alcohol content. In the seventeenth century Caribbean, rum was the most available. Anthropologist Donald Horton (1943) devised the first general theory to explain excessive alcohol use in particular societies. Horton's theory was based on the idea that societies experiencing high levels of anxiety drink heavily. Although the model focused on anxiety caused by the scarcity of food resources in hunting and gathering societies, the model has been broadly applied to a variety of factors that cause cultural stress. In the early Caribbean, the anxieties associated with building a life on the unpredictable Caribbean frontier made alcoholic stimulation an important tool for physical and emotional escape. There were plenty of reasons to be anxious. For example, competing racial, class, and religious groups brought together within the confines of a coercive labor system, loneliness, separation from familiar surroundings, the threat of foreign invasions and epidemiological disasters were only a few of the numerous anxiety creating forces at work. In the seventeenth century, rum not only met the desire for escape in the rum-making colonies, but also provided similar oudets for people throughout the margins of the Atlantic world.

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58 Destination of Seventeenth Century Rum In the same way that the grape wine trade gave rise to large-scale commercial networks between northern and southern Europe, rum helped foster the growth of American trade (Braudel 1979:234). The American rum trade increased long distance overseas travel, which provided a nursery for American traders and seamen and spurred advances in American shipbuilding. As with the wine trade in Europe, the rum trade fostered the growth of merchant capitalism on the American side of the Atlantic. In the seventeenth century, continental North America was a primary destination for Caribbean rum, especially from the British colonies. Merchants in New England's seaport taverns, yeoman farmers, fisherfolk, Chesapeake planters, African slaves, Native Americans, and frontier fur traders all consumed their share of imported Caribbean rum. The colder climate of North America was conducive to beverages with high alcohol content and North American colonists, as with their Caribbean counterparts, encountered tainted water, disease, a monotonous diet, and anxiety. These and other factors sparked the demand for rum and the rise of the Caribbean-Continental rum trade. Caribbean sugar planters were eager to capitalize on this demand and refined methods for turning the waste products of their sugar mills into a profitable alcoholic commodity. Seventeenth century colonists in North America experimented with a wide variety of locally made alcoholic drinks. Dandelion wine and apple cider were common folk drinks in early North America and archaeologists have recovered evidence of beer brewing operations at numerous seventeenth century colonial sites (Dutton 1979; Gibb and King I99I; McCusker 1989:430; Moussette 1996; Rorabaugh 1979:9-10, 1 10-1 13, 229). As early as 1587, Thomas Hariot, a member of Sir Walter Raleigh's Virginia colony, recorded the production of an ale from local maize. Hariot also identified two types of indigenous grapes that could be used to make wine (Hakluyt 1986: 1 14). In the early seventeenth century, England had no significant wine industry and King James I encouraged wine production in the Virginia colony in order to reduce England's dependence on imported

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59 southern European wine. In 1619, Lord Delaware introduced French grape vines to North America and, in 1623, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed an Act requiring all settlers to set aside land for grape vineyards. There were numerous attempts at viticulture, but the cold climate and availability of other alcoholic beverages impeded the growth of Continental wine making (Unwin 1991:248-249). Seventeenth century Continental colonists also experimented with distilled spirits. Archaeologists have recovered evidence of distilling at a number of early seventeenth century sites in North America (Cotter 1958:67; Noel-Hume 1988:102). In the 1640s, North American distillers began producing grain whisky. However, grain distilling was problematic for a variety of reasons. According to McCusker (1989:443), Continental merchants, particularly in the northern colonies, were opposed to grain distilling. As early as the mid-seventeenth century, New York merchants argued that grain distilling was a threat to their business because grain-based alcohol raised bread prices and prevented the poor from paying off their debts. Increased grain prices also raised the price of flour and made North American merchants less competitive in the export trade to the Caribbean. Moreover, it was in the merchants' interest to strengthen the existing rum and molasses trade between the Caribbean and North America. In 1676, as a result of merchant pressure, Governor Edmund Andros prohibited grain distillation in New York. The availability of imported rum and molasses reduced the Continental colonists' need for the local production of grain-based spirits. In the seventeenth century, British Caribbean rum dominated the Continental trade, but French Caribbean rum also found its way to the Continental colonies via British Caribbean ports (McCusker 1991: 16). Barbados emerged as the leading supplier of rum to the Continental colonies. Eltis (1995:641-646) showed that in the period 1699-1701, Barbados alone exported an annual average of nearly 600,000 gallons of rum. Little of this rum made its way to European markets. In 1700, England and Wales imported less than 2,000 gallons. In 1707, Sloane (1707:xxix) still felt the need to explain to his readers in Europe that rum was made from sugar cane. The

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60 majority of this 600,000 gallons of Barbados rum went to North America, particularly the Chesapeake and New England. In the period 1699-1701, 38% of the value of all Barbados exports to North America went to Virginia and Maryland. Most of this was in the form of rum. Moreover, the Chesapeake trade represented 9% of the value of all Barbados exports. In this same period, New England consumed 37% of the value of all Barbados exports to the North America: slightly less than the Chesapeake. However, Eltis believed that molasses, rather than rum, represented "most" of the New England trade. Of course, by the end of the seventeenth century. New Englanders took it upon themselves to turn almost all of that molasses into rum. Rorabaugh (1979) believed that Continental merchants were largely responsible for the rise of Continental rum imports. According to Rorabaugh (1979:63-64), "lacking hard money and fearful of credit, American merchants turned to barter. .Rum was the currency of the age." In the seventeenth century, rum fueled the barter trade between the Continental and Caribbean colonies. For example, in 1682, Thomas Ashe, writing about conditions in the newly settled North Carolina colony wrote, "The Commodities of the Country as yet proper for England are Furs and Cedar: For Berbadoes, Jamaica and the Caribbee Islands, Provisions, Pitch, Tarr and Clapboard, for which they have in Exchange Sugar, Rumm, Melasses and Ginger, etc" (CW: Material no.0068200037). The rum trade between Barbados and the Carolinas may reflect the strong trade ties that developed as a result of the great number of Barbadians who settled in the Carolinas in the late seventeenth century. Trade between the Caribbean and the Continental Colonies often reflected family strategies. For example, in the mid-seventeenth century Constant Silvester, a wealthy and politically powerful sugar planter in Barbados, exchanged rum produced on his plantation for food, clothing, and barrel staves produced on his brother's estate in Shelter Island, New York (Smith 1998b). The Hutchison family of Boston, including cousin Peleg Sanford, a Rhode Island merchant with family connections in Barbados, exemplified this family-based trade network. By placing family members throughout the developing Atiantic

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61 world and catering to the local demands, the Hutchison family constructed an elaborate commercial system that made them one of the most powerful forces in the emerging Atlantic economy (Bailyn 1955:88-89). Merchants and shippers of the Dutch West India Company were important links in the Continental-Caribbean rum traffic. The long history of the Dutch alcohol trade in Europe suggests that Dutch planters and traders may have nurtured early rum making in the British and French islands in order to increase the New England trade (Braudel 1979:243; Schama 1987: 193). In the early seventeenth century, Massachusetts maintained an open trade relationship with the Dutch. Historian Bernard Bailyn (1955:84) argued that Dutch traders helped New Englanders identify the needs of Caribbean plantations and acted as middlemen between the two regions. In 1651, British Parliament imposed the first of a series of Navigation Acts meant to curb Dutch control of New World shipping and trading. These Acts restricted the Massachusetts trade with Caribbean islands, especially with Barbados, which, at that time, was sympathetic to the Royalist cause. By the late seventeenth century, the Navigation Acts, the rise of New England's own merchant shipping business, and the continuing dominance of family trading networks reduced Dutch influence. However, according to Bailyn (1955: 130) large quantities of Caribbean rum continued to enter New England through Dutch-New England smuggling operations based in Newfoundland. In the seventeenth century, Caribbean rum fed the North American fur trade. Native Americans embraced alcohol for a variety of reasons, including its unique physiological effects and ability to enhance spirituality. Historian Peter Mancall (1995) explored the role of alcohol in the Native American fur trade. According to Mancall, despite attempts by colonial officials, missionaries, and Native American temperance movements to curb the use of alcohol in the fur trade, alcohol was central to that business and remained so throughout the colonial period. The trade in Caribbean rum trading placed Native Americans squarely within the context of the emerging Atlantic economy. Using Horton's

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62 (1943) theory about the role of anxiety on excessive drinking, Mancall (1995:ch. 3) argued that alcohol provided Native Americans with an escape from the intense stress brought about by epidemic disease and rapid cultural change. Although Native Americans in Eastern North America had no prior history of alcohol use, rum was incorporated into traditional ceremonies. In particular, it was occasionally used as a sacred fluid that helped facilitate communication with the spiritual world. The sacred use of rum was especially evident in Native American mourning rituals and vision quests. Excessive alcohol use among Native Americans has also been interpreted as a form of cultural resistance to European penetration and American expansionism (Lurie 1979). In the late seventeenth century, French colonial administrator Jean Baptiste Colbert implemented mercantilist trade policies known as the Exclusif. The policies restricted French Caribbean trade with foreigners and sought to encourage direct trade between the French Caribbean and French provinces in Canada and Louisiana. French Canadians had access to lumber, fish, tar, and provisions that were much needed on Caribbean sugar plantations. In order to stimulate the trade, Colbert's policies included low rum duties and, as early as 1685, French Caribbean rum made its way to the northern French colonies (Gould 1939:474-476). Much of the rum probably fed the French fur trade. In New France, Jesuit missionaries worried about the harmful effects of excessive drinking by Native Americans, but as in British North America, alcohol was an integral part of the French fur trade and they were unable to abolish the alcohol-for-fur model. According to anthropologist R.C. Dailey (1979: 1 17), "without a successful fur trade the solvency of the colony [New France j could not be assured. .The regular distribution of alcohol was a means of maintaining Indian loyalties as well as gaining new friends." Mancall (1995:137) argued that the fur trade in New France "represented a clash of two dominant French ideologies in Canada, the churchmen's mission to spread the faith and the merchants' plans to increase trade." In 1660, Fran9ois Xavier de Laval de Montigny, bishop of Quebec, began

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63 excommunicating fur traders who sold liquor to the Native Americans. In 1678, a meeting was held to debate the future of the fur trade in New France. Missionaries protested the trade while colonial officials saw the trade as the only way to maintain the colonial economy. In 1679, after hearing the arguments, the King of France ordered that the fur trade could continue with only minor restrictions on the use of alcohol (Mancall 1995:140). Clearly not everyone in the British and French Continental colonies was pleased with the increasing quantities of rum. Throughout the early colonial period in North America, officials and religious leaders attempted to curb excessive drinking, which many blamed on the overabundance of Caribbean rum. Although Rorabaugh tended to dismiss concerns about alcohol abuse in the early North American colonies, it is clear that many early colonists and colonial officials had great reservations about the ready availability of alcohol and increasing levels of drunkenness (Conroy 1995:ch.l; 1991). Discussions about excessive drink appear throughout seventeenth century North America and early temperance advocates often couched their arguments in Biblical terms. In 1708, for example. Reverend Cotton Mather (1708) warned the people of Boston of the "Woful Consequences" of the great "Flood of Rum" that was overwhelming their orderly society. As early as 1654, the Govemor of Connecticut had banned the import of "Rum, Kill-devil, or the like", but protest from Connecticut farmers forced a repeal of the Act the following year (Trumbull and Hoadly 1850 1:255). In 1677, similar concerns led English officials in Newfoundland to ascertain the extent to which rum was responsible for the debauchery of the fishermen (Bailyn 1955:130). Colonial Assemblies were especially concerned about drinking by "dangerous classes" and, in 1685, for example, officials in New Jersey prohibited the sale of rum to Native Americans and African slaves except for medicinal purposes (Herd 1991:355; Wright 1943:162-164). European colonists on the Continental frontier perceived the use of alcohol by large numbers of Native Americans and African slaves as a potentially volatile combination.

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64 Prohibitions against rum confronted the power of merchant capitalism. In particular, Boston merchants greatly benefited from the growing Caribbean rum trade. Rorabaugh (1979:64) argued that New Englanders preferred a barter trade based on rum because, "Unlike other goods, including molasses, rum shipped easily, could be warehoused cheaply, withstood any climate and improper handling, and increased in value as it aged." In the seventeenth century, officials in Massachusetts enacted over 40 laws regulating and restricting colonial drinking. According to historian David Conroy (1991:30), alcohol restrictions in Massachusetts were enacted to support clerical ideals of piety as well as reinforce the paternal authority of colonial officials. In 1661 and 1667, officials in Massachusetts declared rum a "menace to society" and attempted to ban its use (Bailyn 1955: 129). In 1712, Boston officials banned the sale of rum in taverns, but the economic importance of the Caribbean rum trade meant that the "ban was a dead letter as soon as it was enacted" (Conroy 1991:51). By the late seventeenth century. New Englanders began distilling their own rum from imported Caribbean molasses. Emmanuel Downing of Salem, Massachusetts ran a distilling operation as early as 1648, but it is not clear whether Downing was distilling rum from imported Caribbean molasses or whisky from Continental grain (Bailyn 1955: 129; McCusker 1989:434). According to historian Jay Coughtry (1981:81), a commercial rum distillery was operating in Rhode Island in 1684. John McCusker (1989:435) argued that King William's War (1689-1697) was the impetus for rum production in the Continental Colonies. During the conflict, Britain prohibited imports of French brandy, which left an opening for rum in the British alcohol market. However, in 1697, the last year of the war, England and Wales imported less than 100 gallons of rum and none of it came from North America. In fact, the first New England rum exports did not reach England until 1704 and even this shipment was a mere 22 gallons. Local and regional demand was the impetus for the growth of New England rum making (McCusker 1989:434-435, 458n52). New England merchants also profited from rum making because it reduced dependence on, and

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65 therefore the price of, British and French Caribbean rum. New England merchants were particularly adept at using New England-made rum to exploit trade with the fisheries of Newfoundland. (Bailyn 1955:129-130; McCusker 1989:434-435). In the seventeenth century, the Spanish American colonies were another primary destination for Caribbean rum. The high taxes imposed on imported Spanish wine and brandy, the unpredictability of wine shipments, and the fact that Spanish wine occasionally went bad on the long sea voyage to Americas, led to experiments with alternative alcoholic beverages. For example, in New Spain, pulque, made from the maguey became a principal alcoholic beverage, particularly among Indians peasants located outside urban centers (Taylor 1979:55). In the Viceroyalty of New Granada, chicha beer made from local grain was popular (Jamieson 2000: 95-%). Grape wine making operations (bodegas) also flourished in the Moquegua Valley of Peru (Rice 1996, 1997; Rice and Smith 1989). In some parts of the Spanish Americas, local alcohol production helped defray the cost of running local governments. For example, in parts of New Spain, officials encouraged pulque production because liquor and tavern licenses helped fill local governmental coffers (Taylor 1979:47). However, pulque production was only encouraged in rural areas where Spanish wine and brandy imports were unable meet alcohol demands. In urban centers, like Mexico City, Spanish colonial officials aggressively discouraged local alcohol production, especially where it threatened colonial revenues from Spanish wine and brandy import taxes (Taylor 1979:45^9). From the beginning of Spanish settlement, wine and brandy import taxes played a key role in keeping colonial governments solvent. In Hispaniola, for example, Christopher Columbus proposed a 15% tax on Spanish and Canary wine imports in order to help finance the Spanish conquest and settlement of the Indies (LasCasas 1971:59). In the sugar cane-growing regions of New Spain, New Granada, and the Spanish Caribbean, colonists produced aguardiente de cana [rum], and fermented varieties of

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66 sugar cane juice known as guarapo and chigurito. However, the sad state of sugar production reduced the availability of rum-making ingredients and restrained the growth of the industry. Yet, many Spanish colonial officials still saw rum as a threat to economic stability. In New Spain, in 1615, Spanish officials banned the production of the fermented sugar cane-based drink guarapo because tavern owners were using it to adulterate Spanish wine (Sandoval 1951: 165). By 1631, official prohibitions specifically targeted the production of alcohol distilled in alembics and the punishment for those caught producing aguardiente de cana included public whipping. In Cuba, in 1643, the Havana town council claimed that growth of local rum making diminished the colony's finances and councilman Alvaro de Luces proposed to curb this threat by equalizing the price of Spanish wine and locally produced rum (Chez Checo 1988:50). Officials also blamed rum for health problems and social disorder. The highly volatile nature of rum may have compounded the fears of Spanish colonials, who typically consumed relatively weak wine with meals and in Catholic religious contexts. In 1635, prohibitions against aguardiente de cana were repeated. The ban emphasized the harmful effects of aguardiente de cana on Indian peasants (Zavala 1940:163-167, 400^1). In New Granada [Colombia] colonial officials faced similar struggles with rum. As early as 1658, the audiencia of Santa Fe de Bogota complained about the harmful social impact of rum on Indian peasants (Mora de Tovar 1988:I7nl). In 1694, the governor of New Andalusia [Venezuela] also argued that rum was harmful to the people of that region and urged illicit distillers to shut down their operations (Huetz de Lemps 1997:65). Prohibitions against rum making were also instituted in Cartagena and the kingdom of Guatemala (Mora de Tovar:n2). By the end of the seventeenth century, Spanish and Spanish colonial officials were sufficiently concerned about the negative social and economic impact of rum that, on June 8, 1693, the Crown instituted a comprehensive prohibition against rum making in the Spanish colonies (Cohen pers comm., Archivo General de la Nacion, Caracas, Venezuela, seccion Reales Cedulas, primera parte, volume 10, real cedula number 37, folios 168-

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67 177v.). However, the frequent reiteration of the ban in the following century suggests that the prohibition was often evaded. The restrictions on Spanish Caribbean rum production, the limited nature of the Spanish Caribbean sugar industries, and the high cost of Spanish wine and brandy reduced the availability of alcohol. As a result, an illegal rum trade developed, which made the Spanish Caribbean a primary destination for British and French Caribbean rum. According to Ligon (1657:93), rum was "a commodity of good value in the Plantation; for we send it down to the Bridge |the capital port of Bridgetown], and there put it off to those that retail it. Some they sell to the Ships, and is transported into foreign parts." Ligon's reference to "foreign parts" suggests that the Spanish Caribbean was the likely destination. In 1673, a Jamaican trader traveled to Cuba and purchased 50 cows in exchange for rum (Chez Checo 1988:5 1 ). Labat wrote that French Caribbean traders sold rum to Spanish on the coast of Caracas, Cartagena, Honduras, and the big islands where they don't produce it or use it to make a wine, and in exchange provide them with good English glass bottles with good mouths and corks with wire or cloth from Holland for 10 or 12 bottles. (Labat 1724;!: 135) Carib Indians of the Lesser Antilles also provided a good market for Caribbean rum. Contemporary alcohol studies have highlighted Native American drinking in colonial settings (Dailey 1979; Lurie 1979; MacAndrew and Edgerton 1%9; Mancall 1995;Oderoff 1979). In general, this research has stressed pathological drinking and explored the widely held notion that "Indians can't hold their liquor." These studies have shown that such stereotypes typically emerged in expansionist colonial settings and were used by settlers to help justify the conquest, removal, or relocation of natives from their land. Despite an enormous amount of information about Native American drinking in North America, we know little about alcohol use among Native peoples of the Caribbean. The Carib and Taino were the two most numerous Native American groups in the island Caribbean at the time of European contact. However, this simple dyadic designation may more accurately reflect the European settlers' desire to categorize the Caribbean

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68 Indians they encountered rather than any self -designated identity. For example, Jalil Sued Badillo (1995) argued that the Carib/Taino dyad represents a political designation established by the Spanish to identify groups for their potential as slaves, trading partners, and military allies. The Carib/Taino designations may have also been a useful tool for unifying Caribbean Amerindians during periods of increasing European migration. Historians and archaeologists continue to adopt this dyadic cultural scenario (Rouse 1992; Sauer 1966; Wilson 1990). The Taino were the Arawakan-speaking Indian group of the northern Greater Antilles, who greeted Columbus when he reached Hispaniola in 1492. According to Guglielmo Coma, a passenger on Columbus' second voyage, the Taino did not use alcohol. Coma's reference has been widely accepted as evidence for the lack of alcohol use among the Taino. According to historian Carl Sauer (1966:51), "Perhaps the most important difference (between island Arawak and their mainland descendants in South America! is that the islanders drank no alcoholic beverages." (see also Watts 1987:53-54). Archaeologist Irving Rouse (1992:12,158) also accepted Coma's reference and argued that the lack of alcohol use was a distinguishing cultural characteristic of the Island Taino. However, archaeologist Peter Harris (pers. comm.) has recovered pre-columbian ceramic bowls on Taino sites that, he believes, may have been used for the production of beer. While the evidence for alcohol production and use among the Taino is weak, they did alter their minds and bodies with other drugs, including a narcotic snuff called cohoba, which was widely used in Taino religious ceremonies (Rouse 1992: 1 18). Spanish colonials introduced alcohol to the Taino in the early years of settlement and, for example. Las Casas (1970: 188) complained that the Spanish slave holders often failed to provide their captives with wine. Disease greatly reduced the Taino population. In 1514, there were only about 30,000 Taino in Hispaniola and, by 1540, they were nearly extinct (Henige 1991:7). Because of the rapid decline in Taino population and the later development of rum making, it is unlikely that the Taino ever encountered distilled rum. However, Las Casas' reference

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69 to fermented sugar cane-based drinks was contemporary with a Taino presence in Hispaniola. Carib Indians, unlike the Taino, had a strong tradition of alcohol use and made a variety of alcoholic beverages. Cassava-based alcoholic beverages, like oiiicou and perino were regularly consumed and received much attention from chroniclers. Potato-based mobbie was also popular (du Tertre 1667-1671:113,119; Labat 1724;1:133-134; Ligon 1657:32) The wind and ocean currents led many European ships to Carib centers in the Leeward and Windward islands. These islands often represented the first landfall after weeks at sea and they provided travelers with a place to rest and recover from the long voyages. As a result, an important trade developed between Caribs and Europeans in the early years of European exploration and settlement. In exchange for iron axes, trade beads, and other goods, Europeans received cotton, cassava bread, and sexual favors. Archaeologist Lennox Honeychurch (1997:299) argued that the Windward Island Caribs "added commercial production to subsistence production" in order to tap this trade. For example, the Caribs increased their production of tobacco in order to trade with the Europeans. It was through this sort of informal exchange that Caribs were first introduced to European alcohol. Privateers, explorers, settlers, and missionaries usually carried great stores of alcohol on their voyages. The Caribs esteemed European wine and spirits for their novelty, as well as their higher alcohol concentration. When Thomas Gage (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:84) arrived in Guadeloupe in 1625 he was greeted by Caribs "some speaking in their unknown tongue, others using signs for such things as we imagined they desired. Their sign for some of our Spanish wine was easily perceived, and their request was most willingly granted by our men." Father du Tertre (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:131) reported that the Caribs had a strong penchant for French brandy, which they called "stomach-burner." Father du Tertre ( 1 6671 67 1 :438-439) also wrote that traders could purchase a great deal of cotton for a glass of eau de vie. The rise of sugar making

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70 made rum, rather than European spirits, increasingly more common in the Carib-European alcohol trade. By the end of the seventeenth century, the common Carib greeting in Martinique was "Toi tenir taffia?" (Labat 1970:88-89; see also Labat 1724;I:29). Alcohol also played a central role in gift giving exercises that preceded trading. The practice of using alcohol as an entreaty to trade was also common in the North American fur trade and West and West Central African slave trade, (Akyeampong 1997:42-43; Mancall 1995:47; Thornton 1991:66-67). Carib-European trading often began with a customary presentation of alcohol and the exchange of toasts. On Sir Francis Drake's expedition to attack Spanish Caribbean outposts in 1585-1586, Drake's men offered beer to Caribs of Dominica prior to trading (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:54). According to Ubat (1724;I:29; 1724;II:101), giving the Caribs something to drink was "an infallible way to gain their friendship" and the Carib of Dominica received him particularly well when he arrived, "since it was accompanied by two bottles of rum." In 1722, Barbados ship Captain John Braithwaite described an incident in which his shore party was poorly treated and refused wood and water from the Black and Yellow Carib chiefs of St. Vincent. According to Braithwaite (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992: 177-179), "Immediately after [the refusal] I sent on shore the sloops boat with a mate, with rum, beef and bread, etc." These presents helped open lines of communication between Braithwaite and the Caribs. Rum became an important item in the Carib-European trade because alcohol was central in a number of Carib ceremonial contexts. From birth to death, alcoholic beverages penetrated nearly every aspects of Carib society. Alcohol was at the core of Carib mythology and spirituality, which made it a deeply meaningful symbol of cultural identity. According to French Jesuit missionary de la Borde, What they say about the origin of the sea, and about the creation, and generally about all waters relates in some manner to the Flood. The great master of Chemeens, who are their good spirits, angered and in a rage that the Caraibes at this time were very wicked, and no longer offered him cassava, nor OUicou, made it rain many days such as great quantity of water that they were neariy all drowned,

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71 with the exception of a few who saved themselves in small boats and pirogues on a mountain, which was the only one left. (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992: 142) According to Carib mythology, the Great flood story, which explains the existence of the sea, resulted from the Caribs' failure to supply their spirits with oiiicou. The story also shows how Caribs used alcohol to help explain the disastrous effects of hurricanes. Thus, alcohol became, in effect, a vehicle for controlling major events in Carib society. Caribs made offerings of alcohol to their gods, placing oiiicou on small wooden stools in their houses to appease and thank their zemis tgods| for guidance (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992: 147). "When they have a great drinking-party, which is their debauchery, they always put to one side an, earthenware jar, or some calabashes for the Zemmens" (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992: 147). Just as Mohammed's vision of paradise included rivers of wine, heaven in Carib mythology was a place where oiiicou flowed without ceasing. Rum and European alcoholic beverages entered into preexisting Carib drinking practices. For example, oral histories collected by anthropologist Douglas Taylor (1938) in the mid-twentieth century highlight the use of rum in Carib spirituality. According to one tradition, cassava and rum were placed on the tables, (in the old days), on one end of the mwina which was completely dark. The bwaye (elders) would sing and mutter until the spirit fell in with a thump. The spirits spoke in strange voices and you could not tell what they were saying but you could hear the glou-glou sound as they drank the rum. When the house reopened the offering appeared to be intact and were consumed early in the morning before eating. The spirits, I was told consumed only the soul of the offering leaving the rest behind. (Taylor 1938 see also cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:3 12) Other Carib ceremonies reveal the use of alcohol in rites of passage and transitional stages of life. For example, French missionary Raymond Breton observed the use of alcohol to ensure the successful birth of a child. When the women are giving birth, the husband withdraws from them, and they do not sleep together at all for five or six months from this point. And both undertake a fast, which is one of the most celebrated, especially when they have a boy for the first child. The man fasts more rigorously than the woman for fear that the infant

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72 should suffer by him. Father Raymond was at the house of Le Baron [Caraibe chieftain] on Dominica, going to see one of these fasters, and as the Father was speaking to him of this fast, the savage told him that some abstained entirely from drinking and eating for the first five days after the confinement of their wives, and on the other days until the tenth, they take nothing but OUicou. After this they eat nothing but cassava and drink OUicou for the space of a month or two. (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992: 112) Alcohol played an important role in communicating with and showing respect for the dead. In 1694, Labat (1970: 198) sat down to dinner with the Caribs and made the careless error of sitting on a Carib grave. Labat apologized, made a toast, and offered "drink. .so as to make amends for the offence we had given them in sitting on their dead." In 1950, Patrick Leigh Fermor (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:328), writing about the Dominica Caribs, reported "Death and burial are accompanied by enormous wakes and fumigations which are often an occasion of celebration and dancing and the swallowing of enormous quantities of rum." European settlement and aggression disrupted Carib society. The introduction of large quantities of rum into the context of epidemiological catastrophe accelerated the demise of the family unit and traditional social structures. For example, Joseph Senhouse, in 1776, discussing family life among Dominica Caribs wrote Every Husband having so unlimited a power over his Wife that he can even put her to death on the slightest offence and it is to be feared this horrid brutality too often happens amongst this barbarous people, especially when they are intoxicated with Spirituous Liquors which they are extravagantly fond of. (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992: 184) Victorian writer Frederick Treves blamed alcohol for the demise of Carib society. According to Treves, The Caribs in the smaller islands, although they may have had the good fortune to escape the missionary, fell victims to the man with the musket and the man with a keg of brandy under his arm... He had strength, sagacity and courage, and behind him the gorgeous arms of an impenetrable forest. He might have held these lands longer but for his taste for rum. (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:277) In Carib society, fiery rum replaced traditional drinks, like ouicou. Alcohol lost much of its spiritual, social, and ceremonial meaning within the context of European conquest.

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73 In the seventeenth century, rum became a popular form of alcoholic stimulation at the margins of the Atlantic world. Although early rum making relied on inferior ingredients and small stills, it still bolstered sugar plantation revenues and stabilized sugar estates. Rum nurtured the growth of American trade and was a nursery for a new class of merchant capitalists on the American side of the Atlantic world. In the seventeenth century, Barbados emerged as the leading rum producer. Rum and other types of alcoholic beverages primarily fed local and regional demand, which was fueled by a variety of material factors and the general unpredictability of life on the Caribbean frontier. In the eighteenth century, rum-making techniques improved and the rum industry expanded, especially in the British colony of Jamaica.

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CHAPTER 5 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY RUM MAKING Sidney Mintz (1985:47-51) described Caribbean sugar production as a protoindustrial enterprise that combined the methods of factory and field. There is little doubt that this characterization embraced, though not explicitly, the efficiency of an industry that turned its waste products into a highly profitable alcoholic commodity. In the eighteenth century, sugar planters experimented with new ways to extract high rum yields and improve their rum-making techniques. They speculated about the potential output of their still houses and left extensive records about distillation technology. Often, such speculation was based more on the optimistic guesswork of an overconfident planter class than on actual production figures. Despite the broad regional extent of rum making at the beginning of the eighteenth century, British Caribbean sugar planters developed an especially sophisticated rum industry and pulled-away from their French and Spanish rivals. Jamaica and Barbados, spurred by huge North American and metropolitan markets, emerged as the leading rum-making colonies. The following analysis explores the methods of Caribbean rum makers, especially in the British Caribbean, and examines the basis for their optimism. Eighteenth century rum making was an art, but it was an imperfect art that relied heavily on general rule-of -thumb principles and the skill of particular distillers. Antiguan sugar planter Samuel Martin explained. This art not having self-evident principles for its basis, is founded solely upon experience. The nature of fermentation (which is previously necessary to making rum) can be learned only by practice, and adjusted by exact weight or measure; and even then great disappointment will happen to the distiller; either from imperceptable differences of heat and cold; or from some other latent cause not assignable. (Martin 1765:53) 74

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75 Eighteenth century rum making lacked standardization and quality controls, but the economic promise of mm spurred planters to unlock the mysteries of rum production and make it a more scientific endeavor. Numerous factors determined rum yields. At the most fundamental level, soil quality affected the amount of rum a plantation could produce. According to Jamaican sugar planter Edward Long, in many places on the North side [of Jamaica! the soil is so rich, the rains so copious and frequent, as to require rather to be impoverished, than dunged; and I am persuaded, that these lands would yield more sugar, and of better quality, if they could be dressed with sea sand: the syrup here is so viscid, that it often will not boil into sugar; but these estates produce an extraordinary quantity of rum. The South side lands, on the contrary, produce a less proportion of rum, to a larger quantity of sugar; and in general I have remarked, that the estates which afford the least proportion of rum, yield a sugar of the finest quality and complexion. (Lxjng 1774;1:441-442) About St. Mary's parish Long (1774;II:75) wrote, "The land in general from its richness bears too luxuriant a cane: I have seen some here of enormous size and length; but such are unfit for making sugar and are only ground for the still-house." Jamaican sugar planter, William Beckford (1790:154-155), believed that sugar cane juice in the mountainous regions of Jamaica was too thick for sugar making, but well suited for producing rum. What Long and Beckford may have been interpreting was the impact of high levels of salt in the soils of the mountainous regions of Jamaica. Salt can reduce the recoverability of sucrose during sugar processing and increase the amount of molasses, as well as the level of sucrose in that molasses, available for rum making (Baikow 1967:223; Barnes 1964:1 19; Wray 1848:391). However, the fermentation and distillation sugar cane juice with a high saline content required great care because, according to French Caribbean sugar planter Joseph Fran9ois Charpentier de Cossigny (1781:5), it fermented slowly and sometimes produced a "bitter" spirit. Other qualities of the soil, including nitrogen levels, acidity, and drainage, might also explain why the first few sugar cane crops on many newly cultivated lands were used only for rum (Long 1774;1I:79,179). Jamaican sugar

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76 planter Leonard Wray (1848:399^100) encouraged distillers to experiment with rummaking techniques and adjust them to the soils of their particular plantation. Humidity and seasonal change also governed rum yields. The tropical Caribbean climate consists of a wet and dry season and many planters warned about distilling in the wet season when the still house was likely to be cold and damp. Barbados plantation manager William Belgrove (1755:35) wrote, "I see no just Reason why [a] Still-House should be making Rum in the wet Season of the Year, when no good Fermentation can be expected or made equal to the Months between January and August." An anonymous writer in Saint Domingue noted that the best fermentation occurred in the dry months of March, April, and May (AA). And Charpentier de Cossigny (178 1 :4) believed fermentation was best in the "summer" months. At a molecular level, alcohol and water have an affinity for each other. For example, when consumed, alcohol is attracted to water in the blood and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream (Gibbons 1992: 15). Similarly, alcohol in a damp still house absorbs moisture from the air. Heat, an important catalyst for the conversion of sugar into alcohol during the fermentation process, is disengaged by the absorption of water and the temperature at which fermentation occurs decreases (Lock 1888:751-752). Thus, in the case of rum fermentation during the wet season, a damp still house slowed the rate of fermentation, which held up work regimens, and too much moisture prevented fermentation altogether (Wray 1848:400-403). In order to reduce moisture in the still house, Jamaican sugar planter Thomas Roughley (1823:385) advised "The [still] house should have a fire made in it so central, that the warmth of it will diffuse through it, and dispel the chilly cold dampness of the fermenting part of the house." Natural disasters, such as droughts and hurricanes, also had negative impact on rum yields. For example, in 1772, a major hurricane hit the Leeward Islands and England's rum imports from Antigua that year dropped 89% from the previous year (Ragatz 1927:17). Hurricanes, which tended to hit at the end of the harvest, usually affected the following year's production. In 1780, Barbados was devastated by a hurricane and, the

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77 following year, rum production at Codrington plantation, Barbados dropped 78% from the previous year (SPG). In 1780, plantation managers at Turner's Hall estate, Barbados noted the loss of 400 gallons of rum "in the storm" and, in 1781, the full effect of the hurricane was felt as the value of the estate's produce dropped 80% (WFP). In the Caribbean, sugar cane was harvested every year, usually in the dry season months of January-May. Sugar cane spoiled quickly so it had to be brought to the mill and squeezed of its juice soon after being cut. The cane juice was then boiled in large heated cauldrons. During the boiling process, impurities, known as scum, bubbled to the surface and were skimmed off. Lime, egg whites, and the blood of cattle were some of the ingredients added to the boiling cane juice to help bring impurities to the surface (Belgrove 1755:29; Stein 1988:66-67,123). The skimming process continued as the juice was conveyed through the series of successively smaller cauldrons. Once the sugar boiler believed the juice had reached an appropriate viscosity, it was then transferred to barrels or earthenware sugar molds in the purging house. The remaining impurities, at this point called molasses, drained-off leaving a barrel of still wet muscavado or a brownish loaf of sugar. Claying, a more common practice in Barbados and the French Caribbean, consisted of capping the sugar mold with wet clay. Claying purged the sugar loaf of more molasses and left a lighter semi-refmed sugar. Rum begins as a wash compound and the wash contained four basic ingredients, scum, molasses, dunder, and water. Scum from the bubbling cauldrons in the boiling house was carried in buckets, or placed in gutters where it flowed into fermenting cisterns in the still house. The art of skimming was a specialized skill and planters often worried whether the sugar boilers responsible for skimming skimmed too deeply. Poor skimming techniques removed sugar, rather than just the impurities, which decreased the amount of sugar produced. This concern led Jamaican sugar planter Bryan Edwards (1819;II:285n) to warn "the boiling house is defrauded of the cane liquor by improper scumming." As with scum, the molasses that drained from the sugar molds and barrels in the purging house was

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78 carried in buckets, or dripped into gutters that channeled it to the fermenting cisterns in the still house. Claying further purged the sugar and provided more molasses for rum making. An extended purge time also increased the amount of molasses available for distilling. Dunder, the waste of previous distillations, was the third ingredient and it is simply the wash removed of much of its wet matter. Water was the fourth ingredient and there appears to have been no special treatment of water, although some planters may have preferred to use "pure spring water" (Long 1774;II:557 see also Clements 1997; Oldmixon 1741:128). The scum and molasses used in the wash were sometimes augmented by pure cane juice. During a visit to the Caribbean, physician Sir Hans Sloane (1707:xxix) observed, "rum is made of cane juice not fit to make sugar." These canes were called "rum canes" and they were canes, which usually because of some accident, were set aside for rum making. For example, in 1790, Beckford (1790:55) set aside "rum canes" that had been damaged by rats. Hurricanes, droughts, fires, and other disasters damaged sugar canes and made them useless for sugar making, but they were often fine for the still house (see also anonymous 1737:245; Thistlewood cited in Hall 1992:46). Occasionally other ingredients were thrown into the fermenting wash. John Taylor (1688 cited in Dunn 1972: 197), a visitor to Jamaica, wrote that sometimes "the overseer would empt his camberpot into it," but the purpose was apparently to keep the slaves from stealing it. The proper mixture of ingredients in the wash provided a healthy environment for yeasts, which are naturally present on the sugar cane, to thrive and breakdown the fermentable sucrose into alcohol. The initial fermentation took about one day. After that, infusions of molasses further stimulated fermentation in the wash. While fermentation could cease within a few days, usually eight, some washes could ferment for several weeks (Martin 1765:56; Wray 1848:403). Yeasts tend to die when sucrose runs out or when the level of alcohol in the wash reaches about 14% (Gibbons 1992:7). A fermentation lasting one to two weeks at a mild temperature was considered most desirable

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because it ensured the greater conversion of sucrose into alcohol (Wray 1848:400-403). Planters knew how to increase the length of fermentation by manipulating the proportion of ingredients in the wash, especially by the infusion of cold water to slow the process. During fermentation, the wash foamed and bubbled and was often described as a living organism. According to Roughley (1823:391), "whitish bead-like particles, or small globules appearing on the surface of the liquor, or a thin white surface shewing itself indicated that fermentation had ceased in the fermenting cisterns. Martin (1765:56) associated air-globules with a "very weak [low-sucrose]" wash and a thin white crust with a "rich [high-sucrose]" wash. Once the wash settled, the sour smelling compound was "ripe for distilling." By the action of heat, distilling vaporized the alcohol and lighter substances in the fermented wash. This process removed water, salts, fusel oils, and other impurities that affected the proof and taste of the rum. The alcohol vapors collected in the still head and left through the still worm where the vapors condensed and flowed out and into a receiver at the other end of the worm. After this first distillation, the liquid was a poor quality weak spirit called low-wine. Although plantations could end the process after the first distillation, most British Caribbean distillers appear to have re-distilled their low-wines, either separately or by returning them to the proceeding wash. The second distillation removed more impurities, improved the taste, and increased the alcohol content of the rum. The second distillation reduced the total amount of low-wine, but was necessary to make concentrated rum of a high proof In 1755, Belgrove (1755:21-22) wrote, "The Distilling House should have three stills to contain 900 gallons of Liquor, and a fourth big enough to contain the low-wines produced from the other three." By the end of the eighteenth century, British Caribbean distillers were using even larger stills. For example, Edwards (1819;11:276-277) believed that plantations should employ stills of 1,000-3,000 gallons and wrote, "A still of two

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80 thousand gallons, with freight and charges, will cost but little more than one of one thousand five hundred gallons, and is besides worked with but little more fuel." Edwards later indicated that the average plantation would be more likely to possess two stills, one of 1,200 gallons and a smaller one of 600. In contrast, French distillers appear to have continued their seventeenth century pattern of relying on small, antiquated stills. In 1786, a series of articles published in Saint Domingue's main newspaper, Afftc he s Americaines, described the use of 300-gallon stills of an inferior design. The anonymous author (AA) complained that, in order for French Caribbean distillers to successfully compete with British Caribbean rum producers, they would have to follow the practices of British Caribbean distillers and increase the size of their stills, lengthen the necks of their still heads, and increase the length of their cooling worms. Rum is a highly volatile fluid and loss of alcohol due to evaporation was a major problem for distillers. Wray (1848:400) argued, "The great object of the distiller is to produce as much rum from the available sugar, loosing none, or as little as possible of it by evaporation" (see also Charpentier de Cossigny 1781:6). The evaporation of alcohol began during the fermentation process, which led to design changes in fermenting vats (Martin 1765:54). For example, the low flat fermenting cisterns of the seventeenth century gave way to larger and taller fermentation vats that were made wide at the bottom and narrower at the opening. This design decreased the amount of air reaching the wash and, therefore, reduced evaporation. According to an anonymous author (AA) in Saint Domingue, "The form of the pices of grappe [the fermentation vat] has to be a truncated cone, very large at the bottom and smaller at the top to make a quicker and better fermentation." Fermenting vats, and for that matter all the utensils used in rum making, had to be thoroughly cleaned after every use, often with scalding hot water, to prevent them from souring the rum (Martin 1765:53). The threat of evaporation continued after distillation. Despite the use of well-sealed "tight-casks," about 10% of rum shipped from the Caribbean to Britain and 5% of rum

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81 shipped from the Caribbean to the North America leaked away or evaporated during the voyage (McCusker 1989:821). In some cases, a small crack meant that rum puncheons arrived at their destinations completely empty. Setting the Wash The wash was the most important stage in rum making and the combination of ingredients determined the amount of alcohol the wash produced. In fact, all of the alcohol made on Caribbean sugar plantations occurred at this stage and distillation merely extracted it from the wash. The proper mix of ingredients produced high rum yields and colonial planters, preoccupied with plantation efficiency, struggled to construct high yielding wash compounds. In recipe book-like fashion, colonial newspapers, planter guides, and estate journals sometimes listed wash compounds, but, in general, distillers tended to hold tight to trade secrets and conceal their rule-of-thumb methods from competitors. An examination of plantation records reveals mysteries about the wash that were lost on some colonial planters, as well as modem historians who have investigated the amounts of rum that could be produced on Caribbean sugar plantations. Edwards wrote extensively on the wash compound and his observations provide valuable insights into the art of eighteenth century British Caribbean rum production. Many historians have used Edwards' description of the Jamaican rum industry to understand rum making and estimate the potential rum yields of sugar estates (Klingelberg 1949:69-70; McCusker 1989; Rorabaugh 1979). Edwards (1819;11:279-280) argued that the average 100-gallon wash in the British Windward Islands contained equal parts scum, dunder, and water. After fermenting 24 hours, distillers added a three-gallon charge of molasses. A day or two later, distillers added a second three gallon charge of molasses in order to further stimulate fermentation. This practice appears general among rum distillers in the British Caribbean and was not confined to the Windward Islands. For example, in 1774, Long (1774;11:560-561) noted that distillers in Jamaica practiced the same equal three parts

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82 method (see also Martin 1765:55). However, in 1794, Edwards wrote that the equal three parts wash was becoming an antiquated method in Jamaica and proceeded to layout the "improved" Jamaican wash compound (see Table 5-1). In this new method, the average 100-gallon wash contained 50 gallons of dunder, 6 gallons of molasses, 36 gallons of scum, and 8 gallons of water. The difference is, of course, the use of less water and more dunder. Table 5-1. General wash proportions versus improved Jamaican wash proportions General average wash Improved Jamaican average wash 33.3 gallons scum 36 gallons scum 33.3 gallons dunder 50 gallons dunder 33.3 gallons water 8 gallons water 6.0 gallons of molasses 6 gallons molasses 106.0 gallons wash 100 gallons wa.v/z Sources: Edwards 1819:11:279-280; Long 1774;11:560-561; Martin 1765:55. Colonial planters, including Edwards, recognized that something inherent in scum and molasses fermented to make rum. They referred to the concept of sweets. The use of this term suggests that they knew rum was produced from the breakdown of sucrose in the scum and molasses rather than some other property or impurity in cane juice. Why they used the term sweets, instead of sugar, is unknown. Planters recognized one fundamental principle for the wash compound, that it must contain 10-15% sweets. However, it appears that most rum makers agreed on an average of about 12% (Belgrove 1755:26; Edwards 1819;I1:283; Roughley 1823:387; Wray 1848:398). Molasses was the standard for sweets and one gallon of molasses was considered equal to one gallon of sweets. Scum, on the other hand, represented some fraction of molasses. Edwards, for example, argued that the ratio of scum to molasses was 6 to 1. Thus, the average 100-gallon wash of 6 gallons of molasses and 36 gallons of scum provided the necessary 12% level of sweets. According to Edwards, a plantation annually producing 200 hogsheads of sugar at 16 cwt. [long hundredweight] received 28,000 gallons of scum and 12,000 gallons of molasses for the still house. Based on the 6: 1 ratio of scum to molasses, this plantation possessed 16,666 gallons of sweets. From this scum and molasses, Edwards calculated I

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83 that the distillation of an average 1 ,2(X)-gallon wash produced 300 gallons of a poor quality weak spirit called low-wine. The process was repeated making a total of 600 gallons of low-wine. Distillers returned 70 gallons of "weaker spirit" to the low-wine butt for the subsequent distillation while the remaining 530 gallons of low-wine was re-distilled in a smaller alembic, specifically made for the re-distillation of low-wine, to produce 220 gallons of proof rum containing 50% pure alcohol. However, in the final analysis, Edwards slightly increased the rate of rum yielded to 1 13 gallons of rum per 1 ,200-gallon wash, rather than 1 10 gallons. "Thus, two hundred and twenty gallons of proof rum are, in fact, made from 530 gallons of low wine; or about 1 13 gallons of rum from one thousand two hundred of wash." Using Edwards' figures for the availability of scum and molasses, and maintaining the principle of 12% sweets, there were enough sweets to make 1 15.7 washes. Edwards concluded that this level of sweets made 34,720 gallons of low-wine, which was re-distilled to produce 14,412 gallons of rum for a ratio of 4.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. However, some problems arose when Edwards calculated rum production at the plantation level. According to Edwards, good soils produced rich sugar canes capable of producing 82 gallons of rum per 16 cwt. hogshead of sugar. Edwards' plantation, therefore, would have produced 16,400 gallons of rum, or 5. 1 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. However, Edwards believed that 200 gallons of rum per three hogsheads of 16 cwt. sugar was more typical. This estimate produced 13,333 gallons of rum, or 4.2 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. Yet, as noted above, the wash model Edwards constructed based on the availability of scum and molasses produced 14,412 gallons of rum for a ratio of 4.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. In the only modem study to seriously address colonial rum making in the New World, economic historian John McCusker designed a new system for calculating levels of rum production. McCusker developed models for each Caribbean island and North

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84 America to create an economic picture of rum in the Atlantic world between 1768 and 1772, just prior to the American Revolution. McCusker emphasized British Caribbean rum making and the impact of the rum trade on the balance of payments of the thirteen continental colonies. McCusker attempted to reconstruct accurate accounts of British Caribbean rum output from sources other than British import figures, which, as McCusker pointed out, greatly understated actual levels of rum production. According to McCusker, earlier commentary on actual production based on these sources, limited as it was, amounted to nothing more than erroneous speculation. McCusker's research has provided important insights into the dynamics of rum making and a launch pad for further research. McCusker's model has gained acceptance among many modem scholars interested in establishing accurate levels of New World rum production (Coughtry 1981:45; Drescher 1977:193-194; Eltis 1995b; McCusker and Menard 1985:164-166; Rorabaugh 1979:225; Schwartz 1985: 161-162). According to McCusker, it is possible to determine the availability of molasses by knowing the type and amount of sugar an island produced. In addition, McCusker believed that it is possible to determine the amount of rum produced from that molasses by knowing the distilling techniques employed. The model subtracted standard amounts for the loss of sugar, molasses, and rum from leakage, smuggling, and per capita consumption. It also took into account assumptions about the quality of rum from different colonies. However, a review of plantation records and rum making essays indicates that McCusker's fixed models understated levels of rum production and obfuscated the dynamic reality of rum making. In short, there are simply too many variables affecting the amount of rum a sugar planter might distill to construct good comprehensive models of New World rum production. Jamaican rum making, based on Edwards' formula, was a key element in McCusker's design. In Jamaica, McCusker challenged Edwards' figures and developed a new model for determining potential levels of rum production. McCusker's research began as an attack on Edwards' wash calculations and overall level of output. McCusker correctly

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85 pointed out that, using Edwards' wash proportions, the planter would run out of scum before being able to make enough washes to produce a ratio of 4.2 gallons or 4.5 gallons of rum to cwt. of sugar. In fact, using Edwards' wash compound, a sugar plantation of the size and specification that Edwards identified would only produce about 65 washes of I, 200 gallons, which, based on the rum to low-wine ratio, only produced 8,094 gallons of proof rum, or 2.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. In an attempt to fix the error, McCusker reassessed Edwards' wash compound. McCusker accepted Edwards' figures for the availability of scum and molasses, but argued that the average Jamaican wash must have contained 12 gallons of scum and 10 gallons of molasses. This ratio of scum and molasses still provided the wash with the necessary 12% level of sweets. As a result, McCusker' s model had enough scum and molasses to make 100 washes and 1 1,300 gallons of rum. For a plantation making 200 hogsheads of sugar at 16 cwt. this produced a ratio of 3.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. According to McCusker, the "demonstrated" level of rum production from two Jamaican plantations supported the 3.5-gallon ratio. Although not explicitly stated, the ratio also reflected Long's estimate of Jamaican rum production for the period 1768-1772, the period McCusker was most interested in explaining. Long (1774;11:228-229) argued that a typical Jamaican plantation of 300 acres produced 3.57 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. Within the same paragraph. Long also wrote that Jamaica as a whole produced 3.53 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. Thus, the revision of Edwards' wash compound may reflect McCusker's attempt to match Edwards' rum production figures to those described by Long for the period 1768-1772. McCusker's estimates were based on Edwards' statement that a 1,200-gallon wash produced 1 13 gallons of rum. McCusker simply multiplied 1 13 gallons of rum by 100; the number of washes available using the new wash ratio. By doing so, McCusker arrived at I I, 300 gallons of rum for a ratio of 3.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. However,

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McCusker's model overlooked the returns of some 3,500 gallons of low-wine. By following the steps of converting the wash into low-wine and the low-wine into rum, McCusker would have realized that the 3,500 gallons of low-wine returned to the lowwine butt produced another 1,453 gallons of proof rum. The additional rum would have increased the total amount of rum to 12,453 gallons and produced a ratio of 3.9 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. Table 5-2. Proportion of wash ingredients during the distilling cycle at York Estate, ^Jamaica, 1791 in gallons Weeks Molasses % Scum % Dunder % Water % 2/11-2/26 820 5 1 1 300 69 4 300 26 2/2S-3/5 1 270 13 3 200 33 5 150 53 1,890 14 4 400 32 7 400 54 iz 97 Z / ^1 Ol 3/21-3/26 2,220 12 4,300 24 11,500 64 3/28-4/2 2,570 16 2,780 17 11,100 67 4/4-4/9 1,487 7 1,390 6 19,000 87 4/11^/16 1,460 9 3,200 20 9,600 59 2,000 12 4/18^/22 1,510 16 2,400 25 5,600 59 4/25^/30 1,080 9 4,250 36 6,440 55 5/2-5/7 1,390 U 3,950 31 7,500 58 5/9-5/14 2,020 15 2,400 18 9,000 67 5/16-5/21 1,935 17 1,450 13 8,000 70 5/23-5/28 1,380 13 400 4 8,100 74 1,000 9 5/30-6/4 0 0 0 0 8,000 73 3,000 27 6/6-6/29 520 6 0 0 6,500 81 1,000 12 Total 23,487 11 49,670 23 136,740 63 7,000 3 Source: GMP More importantly, however, McCusker's model rigidly adhered to Edwards' wash proportions throughout the course of the distilling cycle, which wasted ingredients and reduced rum yields. Setting a wash was a dynamic process because the proportion of ingredients regularly changed throughout the distilling cycle. In fact, a wash could be made

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87 with or without scum or molasses and, sometimes, dunder alone was fermented (Wray 1848:395-397). The addition of water was sometimes unnecessary and some planters argued entirely against its use (Wray 1848:400). Because the distilling cycle coincided with, and extended beyond, crop-over, the ideal average proportion of wash ingredients was rarely achieved on a wash-to-wash basis. For example, scum was abundant at the beginning of the sugar-making cycle, but ran out after the sugar boiling ceased. On the other hand, molasses, in limited supply at the beginning of the sugar-making cycle, was abundant at the end. This fact led Martin to write. When the wind blows fresh |at the beginning of the crop], and the boiling-house affords scum in abundance, then much of that, and little melosses should make the composition. On the contrary, when there is but a scanty product of scum, the quantity of mellosses must be increased; and when at any time there is none at all, mellosses with water and a large part of lees [dunderj, must make the composition. (Martin 1765:57-58) The daily still house records from York Estate, Jamaica, as well as the many wash recipes listed in eighteenth century sources, highlight the dynamic nature of wash compounds over the course of the distilling cycle (Tables 5-2, and 5-3 through 5-6). Moreover, experiments with wash recipes led to regional variations among distillers, as well as changes in wash proportion trends over time. 1 auie D-o. Crop Cvcle rroposeu meino< Molasses is ox maKmg a Scum luu-gaiion wi Dunder 2sn m aawaai Water DS, 1 /33 Total Beginning 0 60 0 40 100 8 32 30 20 100 Middle 5 50 30 15 100 7 40 40 13 100 End 10 40 25 25 100 Source: Bel grove 1755:26 Table 5-4. Proposed method of makins a 300-2allon wash in Saint Domineue. 1786 Crop Cvcle Molasses Scum Dunder Water Total Variable 30 120 120 30 300 24 120 120 36 300 30 90 90 90 300 30 120 90 60 300 30 135 90 45 300 24 120 105 51 300 Source: AA 1786

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88 Table 5-5. Proposed method of making a lOO-gallon wash in Bengal. India. 1793 Crop Cycle Molasses Scum Dunder Water Total Beginning 0 70 0 30 100 End 8 30 30 32 100 Source: Fitzmaurice 1793:53 Table 5-6. Proposed method of making a lOO-gallon wash in Jamaica. 1823 Crop Cycle Molasses Scum Dunder Water Total Beginning 9 40 36 15 100 End 14 0 50 36 100 Source: Roughley 1823:387 These examples show that Edwards' model simply expressed an optimistic average wash compound that was rarely achieved on a daily basis. McCusker's strict adherence to Edwards' average wash proportions, as well as to his own 12: 10 ratio of scum to molasses, overlooked the fact that the wash proportion was dictated by the availability of scum and molasses, which changed throughout the course of the distilling cycle. McCusker applied a standard wash proportions on a wash-to-wash basis, which limited the number of washes to 100 and reduced level of rum produced. In addition, by trying to correct the inconsistency in Edwards' model, McCusker constructed a new model that overstated the role of molasses and understated the role of scum in rum making. By doing so, McCusker removed some 13,600 gallons of scum from the rum-making equation, which, using Edwards' estimates, equaled another 2,267 gallons of molasses, or 1,779 gallons of rum. There are other variables that must also be taken into account when examining wash compounds and levels of rum production. For example, although planters agreed that the amount of sweets in a wash should range from 10 to 15%, they disagreed on the sweetness of the scum that was used to achieve that level. For example, Edwards believed that 6 gallons of scum were equal to 1 gallon of molasses. However, Belgrove wrote, for although it has been calculated that 5 Gallons of Skimmings is equal to one Gallon of Molasses, yet this is not so throughout every Month, sometimes four, sometimes six, and I have even known eight: which Discovery is to be made from the Quantity of Spirit extracted: here let me observe, that there is a great Difference between a weak and a firm bodied Sugar, or Sugar boiled very high, and that which is boiled very low." (Belgrove 1755:22-23)

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89 In India, sugar planter William Fitzmaurice (1793:52) also argued, 'Tive gallons of skimmings in Bengal will be found to contain sweets equal to one gallon of pure molasses." Roughley (1823:388-389) believed that, in terms of sweets, 8 gallons of scum equaled 1 gallon of molasses. In another instance, Wray (1848:399) argued that 8-10 gallons of scum were equal to 1 gallon of molasses. It is unlikely that Roughley and Wray were indicating that Jamaican scum had become less sweet, or that Jamaican molasses had become sweeter, in the years since Edwards described Jamaican rum production. Nor is it likely that Belgrove and Fitzmaurice were suggesting that Barbadian and Indian scum was inherently sweeter than the scum drawn from the boiling house cauldrons in Jamaica. This varying nature of scum reveals a very important fact about rum production, that sucrose is the key ingredient in rum making and it is the fundamental determinant of the amount of rum a sugar plantation produced. Rum is produced when the actions of yeast breakdown fermentable sucrose, not scum or molasses. Molasses and scum are merely vehicles delivering the sucrose to the still house. Colonial planters struggled to explain this fact using the term sweets. They made varying estimates for the ratio of scum to molasses because soil quality changed from year to year and from field to field, which gready affected levels of sucrose in sugar cane juice (Barnes 1964: 181-182; Dutrone 1791:95). Further, the processing techniques of colonial sugar industries, such as claying, as well as the skill and agenda of the particular sugar boilers and skimmers, influenced the amount of sucrose available in scum and molasses. These factors explain why, in terms of sweets, sometimes 4 gallons of scum and, other times, 10 gallons of scum equaled 1 gallon of molasses. In the case of Jamaica, McCusker accepted Edwards' 6: 1 ratio, but overlooked the key fact that, to use Wray's (1848:398) words, "On the quantity of sugar contained in the wash, therefore, is the quantity of alcohol dependent." Instead of placing the emphasis on molasses, McCusker should have built his model on the concept of sweets. The level of sweets determined rum yields, not scum and

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90 molasses. Using the standard of sweets, Edwards' original estimate was accurate. Edwards argued that, 28,000 gallons of scum and 12,000 gallons of molasses produce 16,666 gallons of sweets. Maintaining the 12% principle, there were enough sweets to produce 1 15.7 washes, which, in turn, produced 34,720 gallons of low-wine. This lowwine, in turn, produced 14,412 gallons of rum for a ratio of 4.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar, a full gallon more per cwt. than that produced using McCusker's model. In summary, while Edwards estimated that a sugar plantation producing 200 hogsheads of sugar at 16 cwt. produced 4.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar, McCusker devised a new method for calculating rum yields that resulted in only 3.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. However, McCusker's new model failed to account for the 3,500 gallons of redistilled low-wine. It also rigidly adhered to an average wash proportion on a wash-to-wash basis, which limited the number of washes to 100 and further reduced rum yields. Moreover, McCusker's new average wash recipe overstated the use of molasses and removed a considerable amount of scum from the rum-making equation. Although the new model corresponded well with levels of rum production "demonstrated" by Long in the period 1768-1772, a wash proportion standard based on the level of sweets would have been more appropriate. Rum Yields and Rum-Making Efficiency in Barbados and Jamaica In the eighteenth century, Barbados and Jamaica emerged as the two leading rum producers in the Caribbean. A comparison of these colonies in table 5-7 illustrates two contrasting approaches to rum making. The differences reflect distinct economic strategies that highlight broader themes of economic efficiency. Analysis of these two industries also offers insights into issues of rum quality and further exposes the weakness of trying to build comprehensive models of rum production. Sugar planters in Barbados clearly expected to produce a greater proportion of rum and believed that high rum yields were well within their grasp. Ligon estimated that a sugar

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91 planter in Barbados could expect to sell about 4.3 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar, not counting the rum used by the inhabitants of the plantation, which represented a level comparable to that proposed by Edwards for Jamaica nearly a century and a half later. Even more astonishing, an anonymous writer in Barbados in 1737 believed that at least 20 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar was common. Belgrove also put estimates in the double digits. The Barbadian reputation for high rum yields led many to conclude that Barbadians "think themselves the best distillers in all the sugar-islands" (Martin 1765:53). Plantation accounts from Codrington and Turner's Hall estates confirm that Barbadians achieved high rum yields and exceeded those from many Jamaican estates (Figures 6-7 and 6-8). Table 5-7. A comparison of expected rum yields in Barbados and Jamaica Source Years Island Gallons of rum per cwt. sugar Richard Ligon 1647-1650 Barbados 4.3 Anonymous 1737 Barbados 4.0 -20.0 Richard Hall 1749 Barbados 9.1 William Belgrove 1755 Barbados 13.3 -16.6 Edward Long 1768-1772 Jamaica 2.73.6 William Beckford 1790 Jamaica 4.05.0 Bryan Edwards 1794 Jamaica 4.25.1 Thomas Roughlev 1823 Jamaica 3.4 Sources: Anonymous 1737;I1:242; Beckford 1790:xxix,146; Belgrove 1755:44; Edwards 1819;11:284-285; Hall 1755:12-13; Ligon 1657:1 12; Long 1774;11:228-229; Long 1774;1II:496; Roughley 1823:386 The Barbadian penchant for claying sugar is largely responsible for the higher rum yields. As mentioned earlier, claying consisted of capping the sugar molds with wet pads of clay. It leached out more molasses than purging alone and produced a whiter and more refined sugar loaf, which was in high demand in the British market. Clayed sugar took several months longer to produce and, as a result of protests from British sugar refiners, paid a much higher import duty than muscavado. However, because of the higher price of clayed sugar and the additional molasses for rum making, claying was profitable and Barbadians increasingly produced clayed sugars. In 1690, Barbadians clayed 33% of their sugar and, in 1740, that figure rose to 50%. By 1770, Barbadians were claying 75% of their sugar (McCusker 1989:206). Claying was especially common on larger estates. For example between 1726 and 1730, managers at Codrington estate clayed 83% of their sugar

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92 crop (SPG). In contrast, Jamaicans rarely clayed their sugar and were content with exporting huge amounts of raw muscavado full of molasses (McCusker 1989:152; Ragatz 1963: 16, 169). The lower weight of clayed sugar and the increased availability of molasses for rum making largely explains the high rum to sugar ratio in Barbados. McCusker embraced a theme developed by Caribbean historian Frank Wesley Pitman (1917) and argued that the Barbadian penchant for claying reflected an intensive approach to sugar cane agriculture. According to McCusker, Perhaps the most important consideration in the decision of any given Barbadian planter to clay his sugar was the realization that to do so would increase the molasses available for the distillation of rum. In this as in many other things he differed from his opposite on Jamaica. The planter of Jamaica, blessed with numerous acres of fertile land, engaged in extensive agriculture. He was far from frugal. The planter of Barbados, faced with little virgin soil on the island to turn to and with declining productivity from what he owned, attempted to overcome his difficulties, in part, by intensively farming his acres. The Jamaicans were careless in the manufacture of their sugar and, as we have observed, allowed them to leave the estates still heavy with molasses. The Barbadians extracted as much molasses as possible, cherished each drop, and turned almost all of it to rum. (McCusker 1989:215-216) Barbadians were competitive, skilled, and efficient sugar makers and rum distillers who produced high quality products. A re-analysis of Edwards' calculations highlights the contrasting efficiency of Barbadian and Jamaican sugar planters. It was generally estimated that a Jamaican hogshead lost 25% of its total weight in shipment to Britain (McCusker 1989: 138-142; Wray 1848:385-386). Thus, the 16cwt. (1792 lbs) hogshead of muscavado sugar described by Edwards in Jamaica contained over 448 lbs of molasses. This molasses, which could have been distilled into rum, drained away at sea. However, this does not mean that the Jamaican muscavado arrived in Britain looking like clayed sugar. Even after the 25% loss, British sugar refiners still complained that Jamaican sugar was crude and difficult to refine due to the high amounts of molasses still in the sugar (McCusker 1989:139). Every 142 lbs of muscavado sugar produced 100 lbs of clayed sugar (McCusker 1989:93-94; Drescher 1977:193). The extra 42 lbs represented molasses, which the Barbadians turned into rum. Thus, for example, a plantation making 100 hogsheads of

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93 unrefined muscavado sugar at 16 cwt. (1792 lbs) and 10,000 gallons of rum produced 6.25 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. However, if that same plantation clayed its sugar and removed the weight in molasses, then that plantation would have only produced 66.6 hogsheads of sugar and, thus, 9.38 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. In fact, subtracting the one-third of the sugar weight from Edwards' model would have increased the ratio of 4.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar to 6.8 gallons. In Edwards' model, the 200 hogsheads of muscavado weighed 358,400 lbs. Had this muscavado been clayed, Edwards would have received 252,394 lbs (141 hogsheads of 16 cwt.) of clayed sugar and 106,006 lbs. of molasses. How much more rum could that molasses have produced? One simple approach is to base rum production on the weight of molasses. A gallon of molasses weighs about 1 1 lbs and it was widely accepted that a gallon of molasses could make a gallon of rum (anonymous 1737;II:242). Thus, the 106,006 lbs. of molasses would have provided the still house with an additional 9,637 gallons of rum. The increasing amount of rum and the decreasing weight of clayed sugar would have boosted Edwards' ratio to 10.7 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. There are, however, other ways to determine the potential amount of rum from the 106,006 lbs of molasses. According to Wray, a gallon of "common average molasses" contained 65% sucrose. On a brix scale, a scale used in the modem sugar industry to measure the sucrose content of molasses, this molasses represents a gallon weighing 10.977 lbs of which 7.135 lbs is sucrose and the remaining 3.842 is mostly water. If we accept Wray's estimate of molasses at 65% sucrose, we should be able to obtain, based on Wray's calculations, 5.66 gallons of rum for every 100 lbs. This would have produced another 6,000 gallons of rum, raising Edwards' ratio to 9.0 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. Yet, there is even another, more technical, way to determine the potential of this molasses for use in rum making. According to Indian sugar engineer P.J. Manohar Rao (1997), one gram of sugar can produce, under almost ideal conditions, 0.6448 ml. of absolute alcohol. Thus, 106,006 pounds of molasses containing 65% sucrose could

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94 produce about 5,300 gallons of absolute alcohol, or 10,601 gallons of proof rum raising Edwards' ratio to 11.1 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. Thus, had claying become a common practice in Jamaica, the ratio of rum to sugar would have been similar to that achieved by rum makers in Barbados. Instead, Jamaican planters maintained a less efficient system and accepted a reduced level of rum production. Another inefficient practice of Jamaican sugar planters that led to lower rum to sugar ratios is evident in the length of the purging process. The earliest run-off of molasses was watery material that contained little sucrose. According to an anonymous British Caribbean sugar planter in 1752, Melasses contains, besides its gross unctuous part, a truly saccharine one: hence at the bottoms of the reservoirs which it is kept in, a considerable quantity of concrete sugar is usually met with. There are three sorts of this liquid, differing from one another in degree of purity: the most impure is that which runs from muscavado and is received in the cisterns of the boiling house: such as drips from the moulds before claying is considerably purer; and that discharged after claying has been laid on, the purest of all. (Anonymous 1752:27) The Barbadian penchant for claying, therefore, produced molasses with a high level of sucrose, while the expeditious purge time in Jamaica produced a weak molasses that contained less sucrose. The Jamaican method contributed less sucrose to the wash and, as a result, Jamaican rum makers received less rum per gallon of molasses. In contrast, the molasses separated from the clayed and extensively purged Barbados sugar would have increased levels of sucrose in the wash and produced greater quantities of alcohol. Many Caribbean sugar planters also believed that the high rum yields in Barbados reflected a problem endemic to Barbados of sugar boilers skimming too deeply into the boiling sugar juice (anonymous 1737;II:244; McCusker 1989:216; Roughley 1823:352353). According to Martin, The boasters | Barbadians) in the art of making much more rum than their neighbors, give room to suspect that they defraud the boiling-house; and so by diminishing the quantity of sugar, may easily increase the quantity of rum, which is by no means equivalent; and therefore all such fraud must be prevented by strict prohibition, and narrow inspection. (Martin 1765:54)

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95 Edwards (1819;II:285n) referred to this practice as defrauding the boiling house by "improper scumming." McCusicer (1989:216) also accused sugar boilers in Barbados of committing this "ultimate transgression." The bases for McCusker's argument was that, because rum could be sold locally to help pay plantation expenses. Barbadian plantation managers had a propensity to "bilk" their absentee planters of sugar in favor of increased rum production. Others suggested that, because plantation managers were often paid in rum, they increased rum production as a way to augment their salaries. For example, an anonymous (1737;II:244) writer in 1737 warned the planters of St. Kitts, "For the overseer, who gets the business upon the sole Credit or Promise of making a deal of Rum, will be sure to do it, tho' he makes the less Sugar." However, Barbadians put a great deal of time and effort into refining their sugar and producing as much as they could. As early as the 1640s, Ligon (1657:92) referred to the careful process of re-boiling molasses in order to produce lower grade peneles sugar. McCusker's assumptions were largely based on the experience at Codrington plantation, a plantation run by a group of absentee administrators for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. McCusker may have assumed absentee ownership was characteristic of the Barbados planter class, yet, in contrast to Jamaica, Barbados had a strong resident planter class that kept close watch and tight control over plantation production. It would, thus, have been more likely for the Jamaican boilers to practice deep and "improper" skimming. Nevertheless, Belgrove estimated that sugar boilers at Drax Hall skimmed 10.4 gallons of scum per cwt. of sugar, while boilers at Edwards' model plantation skimmed 8.8 gallons of scum per cwt. of sugar. If these estimates are representative, then sugar boilers in Barbados skimmed deeper, but only received 1.6 gallons of scum per cwt. of sugar more than their Jamaican counterparts. At this increased rate, Edwards could have expected to receive an extra 853 gallons of rum from his model plantation. Deeper skimming, therefore, would have only increased rum production at Edwards' plantation

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96 from 4.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar to 4.7 gallons. This is probably not substantial enough to characterize Barbadian plantation managers as swindlers. The wash was the most important stage in rum making and the proper mix of ingredients produced high rum yields. Barbadian distillers experimented with new wash recipes and appear to have developed advanced wash compounds earlier than distillers in Jamaica. For example, the wash recipe consisting of three equal parts scum, dunder, and water was an average wash proportion typically used among early rum distillers in the British Caribbean. Yet, in 1755, Belgrove (1755:26) referred to this method as an "ancient Practice" in Barbados and proceeded to describe a variety of complex local wash recipes. In 1774, two decades after Belgrove's observation, Long noted that Jamaican distillers continued to practice that "ancient" method. It was not until 1794, nearly 40 years after Belgrove's initial reference to the "ancient practice," that Edwards argued that the average wash recipe in Jamaica had "improved." The patience of Barbadian distillers also made them more competitive. Under ideal conditions the alcohol content of a fermenting wash could reach 14% before the yeast died and fermentation ceased. A long fermentation at a mild temperature was desirable because it ensured the complete conversion of sucrose into alcohol. However, distillers in Jamaica appear to have been impatient. According to Wray (1848:401), "Many young distillers [in Jamaica] are always in a desperate hurry to see their fermentation cease, and think that their wash cannot ferment fast enough. I am constrained to say that there are also old distillers who partake of this absurd anxiety." In contrast, Belgrove cautioned distillers in Barbados, Never throw in your Molasses before you discover the Liquor to ferment, which it will, within twenty-four Hours, unless your returns with which it was set, was too hot; be careful to skim the Liquor constantly, and to let it lay close covered, at least twenty-four Hours, after it has fallen, before you distill it; for there is a Fermentation beneath, after it disappears upon the surface. (Belgrove 1755:25) In Jamaica, Edwards (1819;II:284) received 1 10 gallons of proof rum from 1,200 gallons of wash. Thus, the alcohol-content of Edwards' wash only reached about 4.6%. In

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97 contrast, Belgrove (1755:22) received about 192 gallons of proof rum from 1,200 gallons of wash indicating that the alcohol-content of the wash had reached about 8.3%. Quick fermentation also resulted in the production of "live dunder," a dunder that still possessed a great deal of unused sucrose and had the potential to sour later distillations (Wray 1848:395-396). The patience espoused by Belgrove contrasts sharply with the apparent impatience of Jamaican distillers. Thus, in the same way that Jamaican sugar planters allowed their sugar to leave their plantations heavy in molasses, they were also impatient rum makers who settled for incomplete fermentations and lower rum yields. Barbadian water resources may have also had a positive effect of the level of Barbadian rum making. The minerals calcium and magnesium help stabilize enzymes in a wash compound, which facilitates fermentation. For this reason, "today some of the best breweries are located over wells that flow through lime and dolomite deposits (Katz and Frytag 1991: 15-16). A young Pleistocene-aged coral limestone cap, rich in calcium and magnesium, covers the island of Barbados. In contrast, Jamaica is an older island consisting largely of granitic deposits and sandstones, especially in the higher elevations (Watts 1987:8-13). Thus, Barbadians distillers, who used calciumand magnesium-rich well water to construct their wash compounds, would have had a better chance of converting simple sugars into alcohol during the fermentation process than distillers in Jamaica, especially in the limestone-poor estates in the higher elevations. There is additional evidence indicating the relatively lower efficiency of Jamaican rum makers. Jamaican sugar planters may have had a greater propensity to discard scum. McCusker estimated that Jamaican rum makers used a 12: 10 ratio of scum to molasses. This ratio resulted in the wastage of 49% of the available scum, which could have been used to produce another 1,779 gallons of rum or .6 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. McCusker argued that Jamaican sugar planters used this scum to feed plantation livestock. In contrast, one Leeward Island sugar planter (anonymous 1737:245) wrote, "No Scummings are ever given to Stock in Barbados." Barbadians planters were thriftier and

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98 used almost every ounce of molasses and scum in rum making. They also had fewer cattle to feed. If McCusker is correct, then the Jamaican propensity to allocate substantial amounts of scum to livestock further reduced rum yields. Rum Quality In the seventeenth century, many who first encountered rum were shocked, especially those used to relatively weak fermented wine, beer, cider, and ale. In 16501651, Giles Silvester (cited in Harlow 1925:46), the brother of a Barbadian sugar planter, described rum as a "hott hellish and terrible liquor." Richard Ligon and other Barbadian colonists inauspiciously referred to this concentrated spirit as kill devil. And French missionary Jean Bapiste Pere Labat (1724;I:322) thought it "very strong and very violent." Consumers placed rum within the only alcoholic language known to them at the time and likened it to brandy. Both brandy and rum were by-products of venerated commodities, wine and sugar. Yet, while wine was linked to health and fertility in Classical symbolism and Christian European thought, rum was made from the dregs of sugar making and the common drink of slaves, servants, and seamen. Rum did, however, possess the qualities of the modem age. It embodied the spirit of proto-industrialism, long distance trade, and merchant capitalism and was, therefore, an appropriate symbol for eighteenth century consumers in the Atlantic worid. In addition, the growing familiarity with distilled spirits in the seventeenth century made the "hot" quality of rum less surprising. McCusker argued that the discrepancy between rum yields in Barbados and Jamaica showed the contrasting "quality" of Barbadian and Jamaican rum. Focusing on the period 1768-1772, McCusker constructed a colony-by-colony continuum in which Jamaican rum ranked highest in quality while rum from Barbados ranked at the bottom. According to McCusker (1989:403), Barbadian rum was the "worst" produced in the British Caribbean. However, this argument seems to contradict what we know about the Barbadian and Jamaican sugar industries in the late eighteenth century. Barbadians were meticulous sugar makers and rum distillers who farmed their land "intensively," clayed most of their sugar.

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99 and distilled the additional molasses into rum. Jamaicans, on the other hand, were "careless" sugar makers and rum distillers who produced raw muscavado sugar that left the island heavy in molasses. Why would the best sugar makers produce the worst rum and the worst sugar makers produce the best rum? McCusker defined quality largely on the basis of alcohol concentration and the amount of molasses used to produce rum. Thus, strong rum made from a wash containing a high proportion of molasses was better than weak rum made from a wash containing a low proportion of molasses. McCusker based his ranking on wholesale rum price evidence and the testimony of William Knowlys, a cooper and broker in the Caribbean trade, who, in a 1778 report to a Parliamentary Committee of Extraordinary Services, ranked the different British Caribbean rums. While "flavour" was a factor in Knowlys' ranking, the report also stressed higher alcohol-content of Jamaican rum (McCusker 1989:255256,1075). Although the issue of personal taste is hard to contest, alcohol concentration as a measure of quality can be examined. Table 5-8. William Knowlys' rum ranking and price scale 1778 Colony Average price per gallon in shillings Jamaica 3.250 Antigua 2.875 Grenada 2.500 Montserrat 2.250 St. Christopher 1.960 Tobago 1.875 Dominica 1.875 Barbados 1.875 Nevis 1.835 Source: McCusker 1989:1075 According to McCusker, the different quality of Jamaican and Barbadian rum reflected different levels of alcohol concentration. In England the distiller commonly redistilled all his low wines to produce a satisfactory spirit. Low wines were not considered a potable spirit there. Only the second distillation produced a "spirit," in the technical sense, but the distiller need not stop with two distillations; if he wished, he could further "rectify" his distillate. In the rum-making colonies. .a debate existed about the need for and value of a second distillation. The general practice in the Western Hemisphere considered the low wines a satisfactory rum. Here rum was a "spirit of the first extraction." (McCusker 1989:153)

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100 According to McCusker, Jamaica, and, after 1763, Grenada, were the only "real exceptionls]" to this rule because they "regularly chose to double-distill" their rum to a high alcohol content. Understanding the concentration of alcohol in a spirit, however, is more complex than simply knowing the method of manufacture. In the British Caribbean, a proof spirit consisted of equal parts alcohol and water. Thus, a 100 gallon puncheon containing 50 gallons of absolute alcohol and 50 gallons of water was a proof [100 proof] spirit, while a 100 gallon puncheon containing 65 gallons absolute alcohol and 35 gallons of water was said to be 130 proof. A single distillation produced a weak spirit called a low-wine. According to McCusker (1989: 15 1-153), who cited the opinion of an anonymous mideighteenth century sugar planter (anonymous 1752:33), low-wine was a proof spirit of equal parts water and alcohol. Yet, this definition does not jibe with other eighteenth century sources, including Edwards' account, the primary source McCusker used to explicate Jamaican rum making. According to Edwards, two 1,200-gallon washes produced 600 gallons of low-wine. Of that, 70 gallons was returned to the low-wine butt for use in the following wash and the remaining 530 gallons of low-wine was re-distilled to produce 220 gallons of "proof rum. Based on Edwards' observations, therefore, the 530 gallons of low-wine contained only about 21% alcohol making it a spirit of 42 proof. Even if, by the term "proof," Edwards was describing the higher concentrated 130 proof "Jamaican proof rum, which became standard in the nineteenth century, the low-wine would still only have contained about 27% alcohol and been a spirit of 54 proof. Thus, Jamaican low-wine was not a proof spirit and McCusker' s definition needs some refinement. Barbadian and Jamaican distillers adopted different methods of rum distilling. In 1765, Antiguan sugar planter Samuel Martin addressed the different techniques in

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101 Barbados and Jamaica and their effect on alcohol content. Apparently, this is the debate to which McCusker referred. Whether the best method of distilling low-wines is by returning them into the subsequent still of liquor, or by drawing them off separately, experience must determine. The first method will certainly produce a cooler spirit, more palatable and wholesomer; but the latter seems more profitable for the London-market, because the buyers there approve of a fiery spirit which will bear most adulteration; and certain it is, that the oftener a spirit is distilled, the more fiery it will be. This is evidently the ground of preferring Jamaican-rum to all other, not only because it is of a much higher proof, but also more hot, and capable therefore of more adulteration: but it may be doubted whether the Jamaican-planter does not loose more by double distillation and over-proof than he gains by the price at London. If that be a fact, (as experiment will soon determine) it will be for his profit to draw more proof-rum from the wash, and a less quantity of low-wines, as expert distillers do in Barbados; but most certainly the spirit drawn from the wash is more cool, palatable, and wholesome, than that extracted from low-wines, by double distillation. (Martin 1765:60) To judge from Martin's observations, Jamaican distillers distilled a wash and the resulting low-wine was re-distilled separately to produce a "hot" spirit with a high alcohol-content. Edwards described this process and noted that two wash compounds produced a 530gallon batch of low-wine, which was re-distilled separately. In contrast. Barbadian distillers ran off a single wash and the resulting low-wine was returned to the following wash compound. The entire batch was, then, re-distilled to produce a "cool" proof spirit. However, the term "double distillation" is somewhat misleading and the impact of distillation method on alcohol concentration is not entirely clear, since both Jamaicans and Barbadians distilled the same amount of fermented wash material, yet produced different concentrations of rum. Why should Barbadian rum be less concentrated? Alcohol has a lower boiling point than water and distillation merely extracts the alcohol from the wash. As a result, the first runnings to flow from the still worm contained more alcohol. Thus, simply cutting off the flow of liquid from the still before the weaker spirit reached the puncheon could raise the proof of the final product. For example, Roughley (1823:393394) wrote that once the runnings of low-wine from the still fell below 61% alcohol "the remainder of the spirit which comes from the still worm, should be thrown up into the

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102 subsequent low-wine butt" for re-distillation. Thus, distillers who paid close attention to the alcohol flowing from the worm could regulate the alcohol concentration of their rum regardless of whether the low-wine was distilled separately, as was the case in Jamaica, or returned to the subsequent wash, as was done in Barbados. However, because the lowwine batch started out with a higher alcohol content, it may have been easier and more expeditious to regulate the strength of the spirit using the Jamaican method. Martin indicated Barbadians produced weak rum, but the evidence for such generalizations about alcohol-content are unclear for the late eighteenth century and certainly do not reflect early rum making in Barbados. As early as the 1640s Barbadian distillers "double distilled" their rum to make high proof spirits. Ligon clearly described the practice of separately distilling the low-wine to such a high alcohol-content that the resulting rum would catch a flame. In fact. Barbadian planters were so concerned with the strength of their rum that the Barbados Assembly passed an Act in 1670 that fined planters £100 for producing rum that would not catch fire (Bridenbaugh 1972:297). This probably refers to the old practice of gauging the strength of spirits by mixing them with gunpowder. Gunpowder, steeped in a spirit that contained more than 50% alcohol, will ignite (Kervegant 1946:374-375). In the 1730s, an anonymous author (1737:242) from St. Kitts hinted that some Barbadians produce rum "nine degrees upon the proof," or 54.5% absolute alcohol. In the mid-eighteenth century, the still house at Drax Hall plantation, Barbados, was apparently set up for the separate distillation of low wine. Belgrove (1755:21-22) wrote, "The Distilling House should have three Stills to contain 900 Gallons of Liquor, and a Fourth big enough to contain the low Wines produced from the other three." The presence of a specific still for holding low wine suggests that distillers at Drax Hall re-distilled their low-wine separately rather than returning it to the following wash as described by Martin. In short, some distillers in Barbados, particularly in the early years of

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103 the Barbadian rum industry, did "double distill" their low-wine and produced highly concentrated rum. In 1765, Martin described the production of highly concentrated rum in Jamaica, but the practice was not universal in the late eighteenth century. For example, in 1774, Long (1774;II:557) wrote, "Some [Jamaican] planters draw the runnings too long, from a mistaken thrift of making the most they can, and thus perhaps depreciates the whole of their distillation." Allowing the running to go on too long permitted more water to enter the batch and weaken the rum. It also allowed heavier fusel oils and other impurities, known as congeners, to enter the batch of rum, which sometimes resulted in bad tasting rum known as "still-burnt rum" (Long 1774;II:557). However, it appears that Jamaicans were increasingly producing concentrated rum. Edwards' account of double distilling in Jamaica (1819;11:283-284) mentioned the production of "oil-proof rum," rum consisting of more than 50% absolute alcohol in which oil will sink. The rum obtained through that method weighed 7 lbs 12 oz per gallon, or 8.62 drams avoirdupois per cubic inch, making it slightly more than 50% absolute alcohol. Moreover, Edwards (18I9;II:285-286n) wrote, "it is the practice of late, with many planters, to raise the proof of rum; thus gaining in strength of spirit what is lost in quantity" indicating that, although concentrated rum making was still a relatively recent trend in Jamaica, it was becoming more common. The largescale shift toward concentrated rum making in Jamaica occurred in the nineteenth century. In 1832, Roughley (1832:393-394) described the production of concentrated Jamaican rum above 61% absolute alcohol, or 122 proof. In the 1840s, Wray (1848:386,398,403) observed that the standard Jamaican rum contained 60-65% absolute alcohol, or 120-130 proof. By the end of the nineteenth century, Jamaican rum was generally exported at 78% absolute alcohol (Pairault 1903:109). Based on Martin and Knowlys' observations, McCusker (1989:869) wrote "Rums tended to be scaled in price by their island of origin, no doubt reflecting variations in the method of preparation which affected, in part anyhow, their proof." McCusker conducted

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104 an extensive survey of price differentials, which largely supported his case. James E. Thorold Rogers' history of prices in England, English import duties, wholesale price records in the colonies, Knowlys' report to Parliament, and the sworn valuation of importing merchants formed the bulk of McCusker's evidence. Price data were incomplete for the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but good comparisons between Barbadian and Jamaican prices were available for some periods, especially 1698-1724. In Table 5-9, rum sold "before the mast" included the original cost of the rum, freight, and insurance. Rum sold "landed" is the wholesale London market price of rum including the cost of import duties covered by the merchant. Both prices in Table 5-9 are shown in shillings per gallon. The price differences reveal that Jamaican rum was generally more expensive than rum from Barbados on the London market. However, this was not always the case. In six of the twenty-five years (all before 1716) Barbados rum was equal in price to, or more expensive than, Jamaican rum. In fact, the overall average difference in this period between the two rums is only 4 pence per gallon for rum sold "before the mast" and 4-1/2 pence per gallon for rum sold "landed." For the period 1768-1772, McCusker (1989:403-405) relied on Knowlys' 1778 assessment of London market prices (see Table 5-8) and concluded that the average price of Jamaican rum on the London market was 3.250 shillings and Barbadian rum was 1.875 shillings, a difference of ls.4-l/2d per gallon. The price differential was less extreme in the Continental colonies, where, although Jamaican rum brought a higher price, the difference between Jamaican and Barbadian rum was only 3-1/2 pence (McCusker 1989:403-405). In the period 1768-1772, Barbadian rum sold for substantially less than Jamaican rum on the London market. Yet, Barbadian rum should have cost more. Due to a settlement with Charles II in 1663, Barbados paid an additional 4.5% tax on all exported goods (Dunn 1972:205-206). Barbados was also further from London and should have paid higher freight and insurance charges. Yet, despite these added costs. Barbadians rum still sold for less on the London market indicating that it was less desirable. As Martin and Knowlys

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105 indicated, the increased strength of Jamaican rum made it more popular and McCusker's analysis of price records seems to confirm it. Table 5-9. Approximate Barbadian and Jamaican rum price differentials per gallon in London Barbados rum Jamaican rum Year Rpforp thp mast I anded Before the mast Landed 1698 3.00 5.12 3.00 5.12 1699 1.98 3.95 2.74 4.82 1700 2.55 4.60 2.50 4.54 1701 2.52 4.57 1.48 3.37 1702 2.77 4.86 3.21 5.36 1703 2.35 4.41 2.70 4.59 1704 2.50 6.67 2.18 6.29 1705 1706 1.51 5.48 2.00 6.07 1707 1.71 5.72 1708 1.58 5.57 3.00 7.27 1709 2.10 6.19 2.92 7.17 1710 2.48 6.65 2.96 7.22 171 1 2.50 6.67 2.01 6.08 1712 1713 2.46 6.62 2.50 6.67 1714 2.41 6.56 2.52 6.69 1715 2.46 6.62 2.21 6.32 1716 2.18 6.29 2.42 6.57 1717 2.05 6.13 2.25 6.37 1718 1.79 5.82 2.88 7.13 1719 2.14 6.24 2.99 7.26 1720 2.01 6.08 2.31 6.44 1721 1.70 5.71 1.95 6.01 1722 1.75 5.77 2.48 6.65 1723 1.17 5.07 1.77 5.79 1724 1.31 5.24 2.00 6.07 Average 2.12 5.71 2.46 6.08 Source: McCusker 1989:1073 However, concentration does not necessarily correlate with quality. In fact, Martin (1765:60) believed Barbadian distillers produced "a cooler spirit, more palatable and wholesomer" than the "fiery spirit" produced in Jamaica. According to Martin, the higher price of Jamaican rum simply reflected its higher alcohol content and, thus, greater potential for adulteration, yet, in terms of quality, Martin argued, "it may be doubted whether the Jamaican-planter does not loose more (presumably in taste and quality] by double distillation and over-proof than he gains by the price at London." In addition, the evidence is consistent with what we know about the intensive Barbadian and extensive Jamaican

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106 sugar industries. In Barbados, low-wine was re-distilled with the subsequent wash, rather than as a separate distillation, and, therefore, absorbed more impurities [congeners] from the fermenting wash, which makes rum a distinctive alcoholic beverage. The Barbadian method of distillation required careful attention, because the presence of too many impurities sometimes led to the production of "still-burnt rum." On the other hand, the separate double distillation method used in Jamaica merely concentrated the alcohol and did not contribute anything more to the taste and flavor of the rum. The practice of raising proof allowed the planter to increase the amount of alcohol shipped without increasing shipping costs. A puncheon of 120-130 proof rum contained 10-15% more absolute alcohol than a puncheon of proof rum, but the shipping cost and space used were the same. The evidence does not show a contradiction whereby "careless" Jamaican sugar makers were becoming careful rum distillers. Quantity, not quality, as Martin described, was "evidently the ground of preferring Jamaican-rum." The Barbados distilling method, performed, according to Martin, by "expert distillers," produced more distinctive rum. McCusker embraced Knowlys' ranking of rum quality and argued that the higher alcohol-content of Jamaican rum made it a better spirit. However, McCusker also devised models of rum making for each Caribbean colony, which sought to confirm Knowlys' sequence. The model was based on the amount of molasses used in the production of rum (Table 5-10). Jamaican distillers, according to McCusker, used 100 gallons of molasses to produce only 94 gallons of rum, while, in Barbados, 100 gallons of molasses produced 145 gallons of rum. McCusker argued that the greater proportion of molasses used in Jamaican rum making meant that Jamaicans produced higher quality rum. In the French Caribbean, distillers made distinctions about rum quality based on the ingredients used in rum making. For example, sugar planter Joseph Francois Charpentier de Cossigny (1781: 1) differentiated between guildive, drawn from the distillation of pure sugar cane juice [vesou] and tafia made from scum and molasses. Guildive, sometimes called r/iM/n, was apparently the preferred beverage because pure cane juice was less likely

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107 to introduce an acidic taste (Charpentier de Cossigny 1781:5). Distillers in Martinique relinquished the distinction between rhum and tafia in the nineteenth century, but distillers in Guadeloupe and Haiti maintained it until the early twentieth century (Pairault 1903:2,1 14-1 15). In the modem French Caribbean, rhum agricole indicates rum made from pure cane juice, while rhum industriel indicates rum made from molasses and scum. Unlike their French Caribbean counterparts, British Caribbean distillers made no significant distinctions between rum made from sugar cane juice and rum made from molasses and scum. Rum in the British Caribbean was often equivalent to what the eighteenth century French Caribbean rum makers called tafia. While molasses may have been a preferred ingredient for its high sucrose content, British Caribbean distillers had no problem using large amounts of scum to make their rum. The most important criterion of British Caribbean rum making was that the wash contained the proper amount of fermentable sucrose; whether sucrose entered the wash in molasses, scum, or pure cane juice did not matter. In fact, at the beginning of the crop planters relied entirely on scum to produce rum, while at the end they relied heavily on molasses. Pure cane juice from "rum canes" was also occasionally set aside for rum making. In the British Caribbean, the quality of the rum produced was the same regardless of the source of sucrose. Table 5-10. McCusker's model of molasses to rum ratios in 1768-1772 Colony Molasses:rum Average price per gallon in shillings Jamaica 100: 94 3.250 Grenada 100: 94 2.500 St. Kitts 100:105 1.960 Antigua 100:120 2.875 Montserrat 100:120 2.250 Dominica 100:130 1.875 Nevis 100:130 1.835 Barbados 100:145 1.875 Source: McCusker 1989:128-228 Using Edwards' figures for Jamaican rum making, McCusker argued that 12,000 gallons of molasses produced 1 1,300 gallons of rum for a ratio of 94 gallons of rum per 100 gallons of molasses. In Barbados, McCusker based assumptions about rum quality on Belgrove's calculations for Drax Hall estate. Belgrove argued that 27,500 gallons of

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108 molasses and 62,500 gallons of scum produced 40,000 gallons of rum. Using Belgrove's estimates, McCusker argued that the average Barbadian planter used 100 gallons of molasses to produce 145 gallons of rum, or a 100: 145 molasses to rum ratio. According to McCusker, this lower molasses to rum ratio relegated Barbados rum to last place in British Caribbean rum quality. The rest of the British Caribbean fell some where between the high Jamaican ratio of 100:94 and the low Barbados ratio of 100: 145. It appears that McCusker set out to substantiate Knowlys' 1778 ranking and did so using the amount of molasses as the standard for quality. Yet, McCusker could not reconcile Knowlys' average price scale of rum quality with the level of molasses used in rum making. For example, rum makers in Grenada and St. Kitts relied more heavily on molasses than rum makers in Antigua even though Knowlys' price differentials ranked them in the reverse order. Rum makers in Nevis used more molasses than rum makers in Barbados, yet Nevisian rum brought a lower average price. Rum makers in St. Kitts used more molasses than rum makers in Montserrat, yet rum from Montserrat was more valuable. In addition, rum from Antigua brought a higher average price than rum from Grenada even though rum makers in Grenada "regularly double distilled" their rum. McCusker' s model of rum quality ignored the valuable contribution scum made to the amount of fermentable sucrose in the wash. In Jamaica, McCusker' s model ignored 28,000 gallons of scum, which, at the 6: 1 ratio that Edwards' estimated, was equal to another 4,666 gallons of molasses. In Barbados, McCusker ignored 62,500 gallons of scum, which, at the 5: 1 ratio established by Belgrove (1755:26), accounted for another 12,500 gallons of molasses. Basing the concept of quality on sweets, rather than molasses, accounts for the fermentable sucrose in the scum and would have been a more appropriate model for establishing rum quality. In the case of Jamaica, 100 gallons of sweets produced 86 gallons of proof rum using Edwards' original figures. In Barbados, 100 gallons of sweets produced 100 gallons of proof rum, significantly narrowing the gap with Jamaica. Further, if we accept Belgrove's statement that sometimes only 4 gallons of

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109 scum equaled one gallon of molasses, then the gap between Barbados and Jamaica decreases even further. In such a case, 100 gallons of sweets produced 93 gallons of Barbados rum, nearly the same as the 100:86 ratio of Jamaica. Yet, if we are to accept that the level of sucrose determines the quality of rum, then Jamaican rum, according to the evidence from Edwards and Belgrove, was still of a higher "quality." Or was it? Shifting the emphasis to sweets, although more appropriate, still cannot measure the amount of fermentable sucrose used in rum making with complete accuracy because the concept of sweets is still only an approximation of the level of sucrose. Modem sugar producers have devoted a great deal of attention to predicting and increasing the level of sucrose in sugar cane juice, known in the modem sugar industry as brix. In order to determine brix, modem sugar engineers may weigh each gallon of juice in a crop and then subtract the total amount of sugar produced. Some sugar planters in the eighteenth century appear to have experimented with such methods, but there are no records for an entire crop (anonymous 1737:242; Dutrone 1790:94-95). A variety of factors influence the brix of cane juice and molasses, including soil quality and the method of purging sugar. Even modem sugar industries, using high-tech machinery, produce a wide range of sucrose levels in molasses. For example, a study of seventeen South African sugar factories in 1957 found that levels of sucrose in molasses ranged from 3 1.8 to 43.3% and levels of reducing sugars, also fermentable sugars, ranged from 6.8 to 22% (Barnes 1964:373). Clearly there were variations in fermentable sucrose levels on plantations in Jamaica and Barbados. If no variation existed, then the 6: 1 ratio of scum to molasses in Jamaica would recur in Barbados and on every sugar plantation in the Caribbean. Barbados developed a sophisticated rum industry in the early days of settlement. By the 1640s the island's colonists made highly concentrated rum and exported it throughout the Americas. Barbadian officials even passed laws encouraging the production of high quality, high proof mm. The competitive resident planter class fostered the growth of an efficient Barbadian system that sought to maximize rum production. They clayed most of

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110 their sugar and sent the available molasses and scum to the still house. They experimented with new wash recipes and constructed high yielding wash compounds. Their patient rummaking practices produced scum and molasses with high levels of sucrose. In contrast, Jamaican sugar planters, spoiled by abundant lands, wasted much of the necessary ingredients of rum manufacture. Most important, they allowed their sugar to leave the colony heavy in molasses. They increased the alcohol content of their rum in order to reduce shipping costs, but produced a less distinctive spirit. Assertions about the poor quality of Barbadian produce should be critically examined. Barbados conducted a significant amount of trade with North America, but Jamaica produced huge amounts of sugar and rum for the lucrative metropolitan market. While the resident Barbadian planter class improved production methods, absentee Jamaican planters in London were in a significantiy better position to promote their agenda to Parliament and market their produce to the British consumer. The Jamaican presence in Britain may have helped elevate Jamaican rum to a superior status and demonize rum from Barbados as the "worst." One of the earliest examples of Barbados' struggle with colonial competition occurred in the 1630s when tobacco from Barbados was noted for its inferior quality (Dunn 1972:49-53). Virginia Company interests clearly had a strong hold on the London tobacco market and probably promoted the negative image and poor reputation of Barbadian tobacco. In the eighteenth century, Jamaican interests may have likewise attempted to taint Barbados sugar and rum. To protect their reputation. Barbadians regularly clayed their sugar and produced a high quality product rather than compete with the massive Jamaican output. They also produced enormous amounts of rum and catered to the huge marginal markets. McCusker's characterization of Barbados rum as the worst in the Caribbean may reflect the pattern of the Barbadian rum trade and the lateness of his main source. Britain was never a major destination for Barbadian rum. In 1778, the year of Knowlys' testimony, less than 6,000 gallons of Barbadian rum entered Britain (Ragatz 1927: 17).

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Ill With so little Barbadian rum entering the British market, it is unlikely that Knowlys ever encountered Barbadian rum. Knowlys obviously did not have much ground to work with when it came time to evaluate Barbadian rum. In contrast, Jamaica shipped nearly 2 million gallons of rum to Britain that year. Moreover, Knowlys' unfavorable account of Barbados rum quality was written during the decline of Barbados rum making. The outbreak of the American Revolution destroyed Barbados' main market for rum and, by the mid1770s, Barbados rum making was on the decline. In addition, the price evidence reveals that rum quality is not determined by of the amount of molasses used. In fact, if it were, then New England rum, which relied solely imported Caribbean molasses, would have been the highest quality and most widely sought in the metropolitan market; it was not (Sheridan 1957:78). Price records cannot be reconciled with molasses use. In the British Caribbean, sucrose was the key ingredient in rum making and, in the British market, rum's alcoholic content, rather than its quality, determined success. Conclusion In the eighteenth century, rum became a valuable commercial product, which led to a sharp increase in the number of essays devoted to rum making. Rum making remained a sophisticated art greatly dependent upon the skill of the distillers. Planters ruminated over ways to increase rum yields and experimented with different wash compounds in order to unravel the mysteries of rum making. They adjusted the proportion of ingredients in the wash, developed new and more complex wash compounds, increased the size of their stills, and refined rum-making equipment. Yet, a closer examination of rum yields shows that numerous environmental and technological constraints prohibit the construction of good comprehensive models of rum production. Jamaica and Barbados emerged as the two leading rum makers in the Caribbean, but they adopted distinctive approaches to rum making and catered to different markets. In the eighteenth century, new political, social, and economic forces also shaped the rum-making agendas of planters, plantation managers, and distillers. Rum making was

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112 strongest in the British Caribbean, no doubt reflecting the encouragement of British mercantilist policies. However, by the end of the eighteenth century, French Caribbean planters were also exploring new rum-making techniques and attempting to compete with British Caribbean rum makers as free-trade policies began to open new markets for French Caribbean rum. An examination of these dynamic forces in the following chapter complements our micro-level interpretation of rum yields and enhances our understanding of Caribbean rum making.

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CHAPTER 6 CONTAINING A VOLATILE SPIRIT: RUM IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Caribbean rum began to leak across the Atlantic and threaten the traditional grape-based alcohol industries of southern Europe. Wine and brandy interests in Spain and France quickly corked Caribbean rum in a mercantilist bottle. In the Spanish Caribbean, colonial officials outlawed rum making and forced Spanish Caribbean rum makers underground. French Caribbean rum makers fared somewhat better. Although France prohibited rum from entering metropolitan ports, French Caribbean rum makers continued their seventeenth century pattern of supplying important markets at the margins of the Atlantic world. The Seven Years War was a turning point for Spanish and French Caribbean rum. Liberal trade reforms followed the conflict and weakened restrictions against rum. The American and Haitian Revolutions also stimulated Spanish and French Caribbean rum making, but the lack of home markets continued to limit their progress. At the opposite end of the spectrum, British Caribbean rum making flourished. British officials saw rum as a potential ally in their own battle against foreign alcohol, especially wine and brandy from southern Europe. They actively encouraged British Caribbean rum imports and, as a result, Jamaica emerged as the leading rum producer. Aguardiente de Caha In the sixteenth century, Spanish colonists in Hispaniola and New Spain produced guarapo, a fermented alcoholic beverage made from sugar cane juice, and, by the midseventeenth century, colonists were distilling rum in sugar cane-growing regions of the Spanish Caribbean. Spanish colonial officials expressed concern about the rise of local rum making. Rum was a threat to colonial import revenues from Spanish wine and brandy and 113

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114 many perceived excessive rum consumption, especially by African slaves and Indians, as the cause of social disorder. Throughout the seventeenth century, Spanish colonial officials instituted local ordinances that sought to curb the production and use of rum. The Real Cedula of June 8, 1693, prohibited rum making in all the Spanish colonies. However, the constant reiteration of the prohibition suggests that officials were unable to control illicit distilling (Chez Checo 1988:62-63; Mora de Tovar 1988; Sandoval 1951: 167; Taylor 1979; Jeremy Cohen pers. comm. Archive General de la Nacion, Caracas, Venezuela, seccion Reales Cedulas, primera parte, volume 10, real cedula number 37, folios 168-177v.). In the eighteenth century, Spanish Caribbean rum makers continued to face resistance. The War of Spanish Succession (1702-1714) forced Spain to tighten commercial control over her colonies, which included tough enforcement of laws designed to curb Spanish colonial rum making. In addition, the war interrupted the Spanish wine and brandy trade and, as a result, Spanish wine and brandy interests supported restrictions against any competition, including competition from rum. The Iberian peninsula had developed a robust wine industry in the early Christian era and, in the fifteenth century, wine production began in the Spanish Canaries. Spanish wine and brandy were widely consumed in the peninsula. Huge amounts were also exported to northern Europe. For example, in the 1690s, nearly two-thirds of all wine shipped from the Spanish Canaries went through Lx)ndon (Unwin 1991:246). Trade records, travelers' accounts, and the ubiquity of Spanish olive jars, frequently used for the transport of wine and brandy, recovered from Spanish colonial archaeological sites attest to the fact that Spanish wine and brandy also found substantial markets in the Spanish American colonies (Avery 1998; Deagan 1972, 1983; Fairbanks 1976; Goggin 1960). Spanish wine and brandy were also widely consumed in the foreign Americas. For example, among the numerous alcoholic beverages served at a dinner party held by Barbadian sugar planter Colonel James Drax in the late 1640s were "sherry, Canary, Red Sack, and wine of Fiall |Faial, Azores]" (Ligon 1657:39). In addition, Spanish wine and

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115 brandy fueled trade between the Spanish and Carib Indians in the Lesser Antilles, Taino Indians in Hispanioia, and Native Americans in Florida and South and Central America (Deagan 1972, 1983; Gage 1625 cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:84; Las Casas 1970:188). The War of Spanish Succession severely damaged the Spanish wine and brandy trade. British imports of Canary wine dropped from 2,695 tuns in 1702 to only 75 tuns the following year. Also, British imports of "Spanish" wine dropped from 3,718 tuns to only 660 tuns in the same period (Schumpeter 1%6:52). The war preoccupied Spanish officials and weakened Spain's ties with her American colonies. After the conflict, Spain tightened control over her colonies, including control of Spanish American rum maicing. The Real Cedula of August 10, 1714 reiterated the Real Cedula of June 8, 1693, which prohibited rum making throughout the Spanish Americas. The Crown ordered that all production materials be confiscated and broken. The owners were fined 100 pesos for the first offense, 2,000 pesos for the second, and 3,000 pesos and exiled for the third. The same penalties applied to those who made the instruments for making alcohol. One-third of the money collected from the fines and confiscations went to judges and two-thirds went to the royal coffers of the Consejo de Indias in Spain (Jeremy Cohen pers. comm.; Archivo General de la Nacion, Caracas, Venezuela, seccion Reales Cedulas, primera parte, volume 10, real cedula number 37, folios 168-177v.). The ban exemplified mercantilist thinking of eighteenth century Spain and was evidently aimed at increasing exports of metropolitan wine and brandy to the Spanish American colonies. After the war, Spanish wine and brandy exports recovered. In the eighteenth century, Britain alone imported over 1 1 1 million gallons of Spanish wine and over 10 million gallons of Canary (Schumpeter 1966:52-59). Protecting this valuable national industry meant that the prohibitions against aguardiente de cana remained strong. However, the demand for Spanish wine and brandy in the Spanish Americas outweighed supply and, as a result, wine and brandy making expanded in Peru (Avery 1998; Rice

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116 1996,1997; Rice and Smith 1989). In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Peruvian bodegas [wineries] helped satiate the demand for wine and brandy in distant and marginal areas of the Spanish American world. The small-scale production of fermented magueybased pulque, agave-based mezcal, and grain-based chicha beer also thrived in the outlying regions of these Spanish communities (Bruman 2000; Jamieson 2000; Taylor 1979:30, 55). While Spanish and Peruvian wine and brandy helped meet some of the colonial alcohol needs, especially those of the elite who preferred and could afford them, the illicit production of aguardiente de cana filled the void. Although they were perhaps difficult to conceal, small-scale illicit distilling operations have been a common feature of many colonial societies. There are numerous instances, especially in colonial Africa, where the illicit production of alcohol flourished despite prohibitions from colonial administrations (Akyeampong 1997:95-1 16; Ambler 1991: 165-183; Cobley 1997:97-105). Illicit distilling operations required assistance from the local community, who benefited by receiving cheap spirits and clandestine economic opportunities. Illicit distillers have often been considered local folk heroes and seen as noble bandits challenging repressive colonial authorities. In the eighteenth century, Spanish colonial officials proved too weak to control illicit rum making. They were forced to reiterate rum-making prohibitions and impose harsher measures to achieve compliance. In Cuba, a decree of 1739 gave distillers 15 days to cease operations or face fines and the destruction of their property (Chez Checo 1988:6263). Illicit distilling continued and, in 1754, Cuban officials ordered the destruction of stills and the impoverishment of illicit distillers; those caught distilling were forced to work on the public fortifications without salary until they had become beggars (Chez Checo 1988:61). Illicit distilling was also common in New Spain. According to alcohol historian William Taylor (1979:55), rum was produced in "small illegal stills wherever sugar cane grew." As in Cuba, colonial officials repeated prohibitions on rum making. In 1719, those

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117 caught distilling agMarJ/e/i/e de cana had their goods taken and received 200 lashes or six years in jail (Huetz de Lemps 1997:65). Yet, sugar cane continued to be the basis for alcohol in parts of New Spain and, in 1788, Spanish colonial officials estimated that 80,000 barrels of a fermented sugar cane-based alcohol called chinguirito were annually consumed in the mining areas around Mexico City (Taylor 1979:55). Illicit rum maidng also flourished in and around Caracas, which received illegal shipments of rum from the nearby Dutch entrepot of Cura9ao. Court documents from Caracas testify to the numerous individuals who failed to comply with the ban (Jeremy Cohen pers comm.). Officials in Ihierto Rico, New Granada, and Santo Domingo also struggled to control illicit rum making (Chez Checo 1988; Mora de Tovar 1988). An exception to the ban on rum making was made for the occasional production, use, and trade in rum for medicinal purposes, especially for the treatment of Native Americans. For example, Cuban rum was used to treat illness among Native Indians in the mainland Spanish colony of Florida (Chez Checo 1988:66). Cuban rum also fed the trade with Florida Indians (Bushnell 1981:8; Mancall 1995:135-136). Florida archaeologists Hale Smith and Mark Gottlob (1978) have recovered alcohol bottles from seventeenth century Florida Indian sites, which confirm the widespread use of alcohol among Florida Indians. In the eighteenth century, alcohol abuse was common among the Calusa Indians of southern Horida and Spanish Jesuit missionaries there condemned the alcohol traffic. In 1743, Calusa Indians resisted attempts to exclude alcohol from the fur trade and told Jesuits missionaries, "without the rum, they neither can be or wish to be Christians" (Mancall 1995:136). Ethnohistoric studies conducted by archaeologist Charles Fairbanks (1978) also revealed widespread alcohol use among the Seminole Indians of Florida well into the nineteenth century. Another exception to the prohibitions against rum making existed in New Granada [Colombia and Ecuador]. It was difficult for Spanish wine and brandy to reach outlying areas of the Spanish world and, as with wine and brandy-making bodegas in Peru, rum

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118 making emerged to help fill the alcoholic void. Archaeologist Ross Jamieson (2000: 185) recovered ceramic tinajas and botijas storage jars from colonial sites in Cuenca, Ecuador, which, according to Jamieson, may have been used for rum making in the lowland canegrowing regions (Jamieson 2000:185). In 1736, colonial officials in New Granada won the right to sell rum via government controlled stores. Despite fears about the social unrest that might accompany rum consumption, officials and traders probably saw rum as a way to integrate the large Indian population into the local market economy. There were, however, other economic benefits. In the first six years of the system, officials collected 15,405 pesos in rent from licenses for the sale and distillation of rum. Distilling operations were concentrated in the city of Bogota, which paid more than half of the monopoly fees (Mora de Tovar 1988:32). A series of events in the mid-eighteenth century helped stimulate Spanish Caribbean rum making. The Seven Years War (1756-1763) disrupted American trade and, in 1762, British forces captured Havana, Cuba. The year-long British occupation of Cuba temporarily opened new British and British colonial markets to Cuban rum producers. The occupation force introduced large numbers of slaves. They may have also brought distilling equipment and knowledge of advanced rum-making methods. Following the occupation, Spain's Bourbon reforms liberalized Spanish American trade. In 1764, open trade between French and Spanish Caribbean colonies increased the flow of French Caribbean rum, rummaking equipment, and knowledge of advanced rum-making techniques to the Spanish Caribbean (Tarrade 1988:329-331). The British Free Ports Act of 1766 opened four ports in Jamaica to foreign shipping, which probably increased rum trading between Jamaica and Cuba (Parry, Sherlock, and Maingot 1987:1 13-1 14; Ragatz 1928:121-123). One drawback to the Jamaican Freeport system was that Spanish and French brandy were easily smuggled in to Jamaica "to the great prejudice of the rum market" (Edwards 1819;I:297). Spain also experimented with free trade zones, like the entrepot at Montecristi in northern Santo Domingo. The more open trade policies highlight Spain's growing concern about the

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119 economic viability of her Spanish Caribbean colonies and new attempts to stimulate colonial growth and development. In 1764, shortiy after the British occupation, officials lifted the prohibitions against rum making and use in Cuba and Puerto Rico (Chez Checo 1988:62,156). The inability to stop illicit rum trafficking probably hastened this decision. Opening the rum industry also meant increased revenues from distilling licenses. In the 1770s, Cuban rum was exported to New Spain, Cartagena, New Orieans, and Florida, where rum making was still prohibited (Sandoval 195 1 : 167). Again, Spanish colonial officials may have also seen the local rum trade as a way to bring the large number of Indians in these regions into the local market economy. Cuban rum exports jumped from less than 50,000 gallons in 1778 to more than 100,000 gallons per year in the 1780s (Fraginals 1978;1I1:43). Spanish officials gradually removed restrictions on rum making in the Spanish colonial world and, in 17%, restrictions were lifted in New Spain (Hernandez Palomo 1974; Taylor 1979:55). Despite the removal of legal restrictions, rum making in the Spanish Caribbean remained at the end of the eighteenth century a relatively undeveloped industry. Decades of prohibition had stifled Spanish colonial rum making and few had knowledge of advanced or commercial distilling techniques. In addition, prohibitions against distilling aguardiente de caha ensured that wine and brandy imported from the Canary Islands and Spain, as well as that made in Peru, continued to be the preferred drink, especially among the elite. Local markets were also saturated with alternative alcoholic beverages, such as pulque and mezcal in New Spain and chicha beer and grape wine in South America (Jamieson 2000: 184-185; Mora de Tovar 1988; Rice 1996, 1997; Rice and Smith 1989; Schavelzon 2000; Taylor 1979:57-59). However, the main factor inhibiting the growth of Spanish Caribbean rum making was the lack of a metropolitan market. In the eighteenth, as in the seventeenth century, Spanish America remained an important destination for foreign Caribbean rum. French Caribbean traders carried substantial amounts of foreign rum to Spanish colonists. For example, between 1733 and

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120 1752, Martinique exported an annual average of 1,457 barriques of tafia, or about 167,000 gallons to the Spanish mainland colonies (Josa 1931:112-1 13) In 1786, Saint Domingue (54%), Martinique (40%), and Guadeloupe (6%) exported just over 100,000 gallons of tafia, as well as another 202 boucauts (about 22,220) of higher quality rhum to the same destination (Josa 1931: 1 10-1 14; Nardin 1969; Tarrade 1988:329-331). French Caribbean traders also exported rum to other parts of the Spanish Americas. Santo Domingo, bordering the wealthy French colony of Saint Domingue, relied heavily on the illegal smuggling of French Caribbean tafia. M.L.E. Moreau de Saint-Mery, a Creole Lawyer from Saint Domingue, produced a detailed account of Spanish Santo Domingo, but made no reference to rum production in the colony, which probably led him to conclude, The temperance of these islanders is again remarkable in their drink, which is generally water... They are fond enough of taffia; but, as they have none, except what is smuggled to them, it is at once very scarce and dear, selling so as thirty French sous a pint. (Moreau de Saint-Mery 1798:50) British Caribbean rum traders also benefited from the demand for rum in the Spanish colonies. Jamaican planter Edward Long (1774;II:499) estimated that in the period 17681772, Jamaicans shipped an annual average of about 120,000 gallons of rum to "South America and Foreign parts." According to Long, most of this went to Spanish America in exchange for "mules and homed cattle." The American and Haitian Revolutions greatly stimulated the Cuban rum industry. The first big jump in Cuban rum exports occurred after the American Revolution. Cuban rum exports jumped from less than 50,000 gallons in 1778 to an annual average of nearly 150,000 at the height of hostilities in 1781 and 1782 (Fraginals 1978:43). In the 1780s, rum exports averaged about 1 15,000 gallons per year. According to Jamaican missionary and historian W.J. Gardner (1873:324), British trade restriction, which followed the American Revolution, forced U.S. ships to Cuba where they obtained rum for U.S. lumber and provisions. Cuban rum helped feed the great American drinking binge that followed the

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121 Revolution. However, the United States also made its own rum and, in the 1780s, Cuban molasses and rum exports were nearly equal. The second jump in Cuban rum exports occurred during the Haitian Revolution. In the 1790s, the Haitian Revolution disrupted the rum and molasses trade from the French Caribbean to North and South America. Many French colonials fled to Cuba bringing with them slaves and sugar and rum-making equipment. In 1790, the year before the slave uprising, Cuba exported about 178,000 gallons of rum. By the first decade of the 1800s, rum exports averaged almost 900,000 gallons per year. Cuban rum exports peaked at the height of the conflict in 1802 reaching more than 1.6 million gallons: a level that would not be achieved again for another half century (Fraginals 1978;111:46-48). The peak in rum exports also coincided with the last year of the U.S. whiskey tax. Regional rum exports probably also helped satisfy the alcoholic needs of the huge numbers of European soldiers and sailors converging on the Caribbean at this time. Although rum making was increasing, Cuban molasses exports were still more important to the Cuban economy. In the first decade of the 1800s, Cuban molasses exports were two and a half times greater than rum exports. Saint Domingue was the largest exporter of molasses to the United States and, after the Haitian Revolution, Cuba emerged to fill the void. Tafia In the French Caribbean, rum making emerged in the early years of settlement alongside sugar production. Rum was widely consumed in the French Caribbean and exported to markets at the fringes of the Atlantic world. By the eighteenth century, French wine and brandy interests began to see rum as a potential threat and they persuaded French officials to take action. In 1713, France closed its ports, except those in Normandy, to French Caribbean rum. However, unlike the situation in the Spanish Caribbean, the restrictions did not prohibit French Caribbean rum making or force distillers underground. French wine and brandy met the alcoholic needs of the French people, who imbued French alcohol with classical symbolism and nationalistic pride. The French wine trade.

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122 especially with England, had been huge since the early Middle Ages and this trade was central to the French economy (Simon 1906-1909). However, in the sixteenth century, France began to lose important markets in northern Europe to sweet wines from Spain and Portugal. Conflict between France and England in the late seventeenth century also disrupted French wine exports (Unwin 1991:221, 235-236). The most significant threat to the French wine trade to Britain, however, may have been wine producers and merchants from Oporto and the Atlantic island of Madeira. The British Navigation Act of 1663 allowed Portuguese wines to be exported direcdy to the British Americas without having to pass through English ports. The privileged position of Portuguese wine was expanded in 1703 when it was given favorable trade status in the British Empire in exchange for the right to sell English cloth to Portugal duty-free (Hancock 1998; Unwin 1991:247-248). Wine from Portugal and Madeira was well liked in Britain. For example, during the eighteenth century, Britain imported more than 295 million gallons of port, a high alcohol content wine from Oporto, which represented Britain's largest wine import. Britain also imported, in the same period, at least another 13 million gallons of wine from Madeira (Schumpeter 1966:52-59). Portuguese wine was especially popular among elites in the British American colonies. In Jamaica, in the 1740s, sugar planter Charles Leslie (1740:3 1) wrote, "The common drink here is Madeira wine. [which] is used by the better sort." Leslie (1740:31) also believed it was particulariy well suited to the hot Caribbean climate. "Madeira is a wholesome wine and agrees perfectly well with one's constitution in this place." In Barbados, Griffith Hughes (1750:37) believed wine from Madeira could "invigorate the languid spirits" of those who had fallen ill to a variety of tropical diseases. In 1732, Barbadians imported £30,0(X) worth of wine from Madeira, which represented neariy 9% of the value of its total imports (Robertson 1732:8-1 1). Even French colonials had a favorable opinion of madeira. French missionary Jean-Baptiste Pere Labat (1724;1: 135-136) mentioned the frequent use of madeira in the

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123 French Caribbean and noted that it was the main ingredient in sang-gris, a fashionable drink among Caribbean elites. French wine and brandy interests could not defeat their Portuguese competition, but they could remove the threat of French Caribbean rum. They argued that guildive, a corruption of the British Caribbean kill devil, had deleterious health consequences. In contrast, French wine and brandy were touted as salubrious beverages and, eau de vie [water of life], the name given to French brandy, strengthened that image. In 1680, sugar refiners in France petitioned the government for the right to distill eau de vie de melasse produced from the waste, or syrup, of sugar refineries. They were unsuccessful suggesting that, by the late seventeenth century, the French government already opposed the production of non-grape-based alcohols. On January 21, 1713, Louis XIV issued a royal decree that prohibited the home production of non-grape-based alcoholic beverages, including alcoholic beverages made from pears, grains, and the waste of sugar refineries (Kervegant 1946: 12-13). The decree also prohibited, except for the ports in Normandy, the import of French Caribbean rum. The declaration specifically argued that rum was pernicious to health and threatened to compete with French wine and brandy (Josa 1931:92). Despite the setbacks of war throughout the eighteenth century, the French wine and brandy trade, particularly to northern Europe, remained central to the French economy. The British continued to like French alcohol and imported more than 48 million gallons of brandy and 18 million gallons of French wine (Schumpeter 1966:52). French wine and brandy also fed significant markets in Ireland, Africa, and the French and foreign Americas (Bosman 1705; Robertson 1732:8-1 1; Sheridan 1957). As a result, the 1713 ban against French Caribbean rum imports remained in effect throughout most of the eighteenth century. Yet, despite the restrictions, French Caribbean rum makers were more successful than their Spanish Caribbean counterparts. The ban may have limited the growth of French

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124 Caribbean rum making, but French Caribbean rum makers continued to supply a large share of the Atlantic markets. According to French Caribbean historian D. Kervegant (1946:468), during the first half of the eighteenth century, Martinique produced about 250,000-500,000 gallons of rum annually and exported about half of its produce. This estimate is probably accurate. For example, between 1743 and 1745 Martinique exported an annual average of 4,261 barriques of tafia to French and foreign American colonies. Using Labat's (1724;I:323) estimate of 120 pots (67.3 gallons) per barrique, annual exports were about 286,000 gallons (Josa 193 1:54; Pairault 1903). However, by the midto late eighteenth century, if not earlier, the French Caribbean barrique was equal in capacity to the British puncheon (1 10-120 gallons). This larger barrique size is more appropriate for the mid-eighteenth century and it is used throughout the remainder of this dissertation. Using the larger barrique size, annual tafia exports from Martinique between 1743 and 1745 reached about 490,000 gallons. Yet, despite a fairiy substantial tafia export trade, the value of tafia exports in 1744-1745 represented only about 2% of the value of sugar exported to France (Josa 1931:112-113). In the late seventeenth and eariy eighteenth centuries, France implemented Colbert's mercantilist policies. The exclusif ?,ys\tm restricted French Caribbean trade with foreigners and sought to spur the same type of positive trade relationship between the French Caribbean and French North America that existed between the British Caribbean and the British continental colonies. As a result, French North America became a main destination for French Caribbean rum. Until 1763, rum was a chief item of trade in New France, where it fueled the North American fur trade. In French bases in Newfoundland, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and Royal Island, rum was exchanged for codfish, which helped feed the growing slave populations of the French Caribbean (Goebel 1963; Gould 1939; Pope 1979). French Canada also supplied much needed plantation supplies, including timber.

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125 tar, and livestock. The French colony of Louisiana also received its share of tafia (Gould 1939). According to French colonial historian Guy Josa (1931:1 10-114), in 1744, Martinique shipped 3,074 barriques of tafia, about 350,000 gallons, to French colonies in North America (see also AA; Tarrade 1988:329-33 1). Although the ejcc/wi// prohibited trade with foreigners, the British continental colonies were an important destination for French Caribbean goods. This illicit trade highlights the vigor of the barter economy in the Americas. In the seventeenth century, New Englanders purchased cheap French Caribbean molasses at French, Dutch, and British American ports, which they carried home and used for their own rum industries. French Caribbean rum was less important than molasses in the North American trade and, in fact, French wine and brandy re-exports from the French Caribbean sometimes exceeded those of French Caribbean rum (Goebel 1963:352). French Caribbean sugar planters, who had no home market for rum, had plenty of molasses for the North American traders. Sugar planters in Martinique and Guadeloupe had an especially large amount of molasses available since they clayed nearly all of their sugar (Stein 1988:60-67). However, the molasses trade between British North America and the French Caribbean was problematic for British sugar planters. A Barbadian sugar planter explained. The French unacquainted with the principles of distillation, furnished the Americans with considerable quantities of molasses, for the support of their distilleries, which, but for that intercourse, must have been thrown away. Hence the consumption of West Indian spirits was materially lessened on the American continent, to the manifest injury of the planters of Barbadoes, with whom rum was an important staple. (Poyer 1807:267) If North Americans produced rum from cheap foreign molasses, then the value of British Caribbean rum decreased. British Caribbean planters relied on their rum to help cover the cost of plantation supplies, much of which they purchased from North America (Goebel 1963).

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126 North American imports of French Caribbean molasses raised the price of provisions in the British Caribbean and led to great controversy in the British Empire. French administrator Georges Marie Butel-Dumont wrote, the people of New England exercise with the French Caribbean a commerce of contraband in which they buy our rum, molasses, and sugar for their use and in exchange we get horses and provisions. The problems that this traffic causes the British Caribbean has led Pariiament to restrict the Americans' right to trade with foreigners. (Butel-Dumont 1755:131) In 1733, British Pariiament passed the Molasses Act, which imposed a six pence per gallon tax on foreign molasses entering North American ports. The tax was especially aimed at curbing importation of the French Caribbean molasses, which New Englanders used to produce rum. However, the Molasses Act was rarely obeyed or enforced and New Englanders found numerous ways of circumventing the tax through bribes and smuggling. Despite the restrictions of the exclusif and. the Molasses Act, French Caribbean molasses continued to flow into New England ports. The Molasses Act also barred French Caribbean rum from ports in Ireland. In the early eighteenth century, a thriving trade developed between the Ireland and the French Caribbean. The Irish exchanged provisions, such as salted beef, pork, fish, butter, and tallow, for French Caribbean rum. Parliament specifically targeted the French trade. Portuguese traders, for example, were not prohibited from the Irish market, although their goods paid higher duty. Despite the restrictions, smugglers continued to supply Irish markets with French Caribbean rum (Oldmixon 1741;11:88-89). However, as with the French Caribbean trade to North America, French Caribbean rum probably represented a small portion of Irish imports and French wine and brandy, re-exported from the French Caribbean, occasionally surpassed French Caribbean rum imports (Sheridan 1957). In 1763, at the end of the Seven Years War, New England traders had easier access to French Caribbean molasses. After the Peace in Paris, France was forced to give up control of French Canada and, as a result, the French Caribbean lost a crucial market for its

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127 goods and a major source of plantation supplies. In order to compensate for the loss, the French government loosened restrictions on French Caribbean trade. French colonists were allowed to ship their goods to neutral ports in Saint Eustatius and the freeport at Montecristi in northern Santo Domingo. In 1763, admiralty ports were opened to foreign traders in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Imports were restricted to codfish, lumber, livestock, and other goods that French metropolitan merchants could not adequately supply. In exchange, the French Caribbean could export molasses and rum only. Hundreds of foreign ships, especially from New England, entered these ports and took advantage of the opening French Caribbean trade (Goebel 1963:544). However, the opening French trade increased the frustrations of British Caribbean sugar planters. Antiguan sugar planter Samuel Martin encouraged British Caribbean sugar planters to reduce their dependence on North American goods by setting aside plantation lands for provisions. Besides the great advantage of having a large product of our provision, independently of casual supplies, we may by that means prevent the monopoly of com, and in some measure the constant drain of our current cash, which the New England traders now carry to St. Eustatius, for the purchase of French sugar, rum, and molasses, and other foreign manufactures. A base destructive trade, which (if not effectually prevented) will infallibly exalt the French islands upon the ruin of these [British] colonies. This illicit trade is audaciously carried on in the face of the sun, by the most flagitious race of men; by parricides who stab their country to the heart, that they may suck their subsistence from its vital blood. (Martin 1765:5n*) After the peace in Paris, Britain's Parliament, influenced by British Caribbean interests, took an interventionist role in developing the economy of the continental colonies. The Sugar, or American Revenues, Act of 1764 established greater metropolitan judicial control that strengthened enforcement of the Molasses Act. The 1764 Act reduced the duty on foreign molasses to three pence per gallon in an attempt to discourage bribery and smuggling, but it also levied an equal tax on British Caribbean molasses. The continental colonists' reaction was to boycott all British goods. Within two years, the Sugar Act was repealed and a reduced duty of a penny per gallon levied on all imported molasses. At the same time, the French government extended open trade. In 1767, freeports were opened at

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128 Carenage in Saint Lucia and Mole St. Nicholas in northern Saint Domingue. The following year, a British naval commander complained, The more 1 consider the new settlement and Freeport of the French at Cape Nicholas (Mole Saint Nicholas] of the more consequence it appears to me. In time of peace it inveigles the whole North American trade to them, which supplies them with lumber and provisions at a low sale and drains us of cash and at the same time supplies North America with sugar, rum, and molasses to the great distress of our West India Islands. (1769 cited in Goebel 1963:371) French Caribbean trade with the Spanish mainland colonies also steadily increased during the eighteenth century making it one of the largest markets for French Caribbean tafia. Between 1733 and 1752, Martinique exported an annual average of 1,457 barriques of tafia, or about 167,000 gallons to the Spanish mainland colonies. In 1749, Martiniquan tafia exports to the Spanish mainland colonies peaked at 2,545 barriques, or some 292,000 gallons (Josa 1931: 1 12-1 13). According to Tarrade (1988:329-331), exports from Guadeloupe to the Spanish colonies increased from 103 barriques of tafia (12,000 gallons) in 1766, to 134 barriques (15,000 gallons) in 1776, to 100 barriques (1 1,500 gallons) and 200 boucauts (22,200 gallons) of higher quality rum in 1786 (for 1 10 gallon boucaut see Nardin 1969). In 1786, Tarrade (1988:329-331) estimated that Saint Domingue exported over 54,000 gallons of tafia to the Spanish mainland colonies. The growing economic importance of the French Caribbean colonies in the eighteenth century weakened metropolitan opposition to rum. In 1752, French Caribbean interests won the right to place rum in bonded warehouses in France for re-export to Africa (McCusker 1989; Meyer et al. 1991; Stein 1988; Tarrade 1988:329-331). The ports of La Rochelle, Nantes, and Bordeaux, all key departure points for French slavers, benefited from this policy (Kervegant 1946:485; Meyer et al. 1991:249; Saugera 1995:76-80). French wine and brandy interests continued to resist and they even appealed to French class and racial consciousness. In 1764, a concerned spokesman for French wine and brandy merchants wrote.

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129 Self-interest, that passion which nature seems to have placed in man's heart only to degrade him, has inspired some residents in our colonies to make a branch of commerce out of the invention of types of eau de vie made from sugar that are as pernicious to health as they are unpleasant to taste. As this strong liquor is cheap, the blacks use it, since their poverty will not allow them to numb themselves with a more satisfying brew. If there were no need to profit from the product of their labors and if human and divine laws did not order one to watch over their conservation, perhaps it would be an act of humanity to let them hasten the end of their days by its usage; but at least it is incontestable that one cannot excuse the effort to introduce this poison into our lands and climes, where the inhabitants, true men, enjoy the favors of humanity. (cited in Stein 1988:73) In 1759, during the height of the Seven Years War, British troops captured the French Caribbean colony of Guadeloupe and, in 1762, they took Martinique. The capture of these islands fueled the expansion of the French Caribbean rum making. In Guadeloupe and Martinique, British troops introduced slaves and distilling equipment, and taught French colonials improved methods of rum making (Josa 1931:101). According to Josa (1931:101-102), before the conquest, Martinique had a small number of distilleries and most foreigners refused to buy what was perceived as poor quality French Caribbean tafia. The British occupation helped rectify some of these problems and, when Martinique was returned to France in 1763, the production of rum attracted the attention of the Judges of the Council of Nantes, who demanded the admission of rum into France and a lifting of the 1713 ban. French Caribbean interests argued that rum did not have adverse consequences for health and pointed out that the people of Normandy and Britain, where rum had been legally traded for decades, were healthy. Despite resistance from wine and brandy interests, the growth of rum making in Martinique and Guadeloupe and the need to bolster the French Caribbean economies after the Seven Years War helped expand the French Caribbean rum trade. After 1763, open trade policies increased the rum trade between the French Caribbean and foreigners. In 1768, trade restrictions were further relaxed to permit French Caribbean rum into France for re-export to anywhere that would sell cod fish in exchange; a policy that may have been especially aimed at spurring trade between the French Caribbean and British colonials in j 'i

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130 New England and Newfoundland after the collapse of the American Revenues Act in 1765 (Josa 1931:103; Meyer etal. 1991:252-253; Williams 1944:175). An earthquake at Portau-Prince in 1771 destroyed much of the city and the demand for food and building material further stimulated French Caribbean rum and molasses trades with British North America. In France, the Council of Commerce met at the end of 1775 to address the issue of relaxing metropolitan restrictions on the rum trade. After strong lobbying from French Caribbean interests, the ban on Caribbean rum exports to France was lifted the following year (Meyer et al. 1991:255). French Caribbean sugar planters and rum distillers attempted to capitalize on the opening in the French market. In the late eighteenth century, French Caribbean planters wrote numerous treatises on rum distilling that suggest a growing interest in the economic potential of this industry (AA 1786; Charpentier de Cossigny 1781; Dutrone de la Couture 1791). Sugar planters in St. Domingue even hired experienced Jamaican distillers to help them improve their rum-making techniques (Carrington 1988: 178). Yet, despite the growing interest in rum, the late eighteenth century French Caribbean rum makers could not penetrate the huge French alcohol market. In 1767, French lawyer Michel Rene Hilliard d'Auberteuil reported that the colonial assembly of Saint Domingue collected taxes on 10,000 barrels of tafia, about 1.2 million gallons (Hilliard d'Auberteuil 1776:65-73). However, less than 1% of Saint Domingue's administrative revenues came from tafia and Hilliard d'Auberteuil did not even feel the need to list it among the colony's major exports (Hilliard d'Auberteuil 1776:65). In 1774 and 1776, revenues from tafia remained below 1% (Hilliard d'Auberteuil 1776:72-73). In fact, since 1767, its contribution decreased due to the relative increase in production in other sectors of the economy. However, Hilliard d' Auberteuil's figures appear to be very general. The 10,000 barrels represent his belief that there were about 100 distilleries operating in Saint Domingue and that they annually produced about 100 barrels each. The generalized nature of his estimates, in contrast to the precise figures for other colonial

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131 produce, leaves doubt about the accuracy of these figures and may simply reflect the limited economic interest of rum trading in Saint Domingue. In the mid-eighteenth century, much of the rum exported from Saint Domingue was likely shipped to Louisiana, New England, French Canada, the Spanish mainland colonies, and entrepots in the Dutch Caribbean. In the late eighteenth century, the metropolitan market for French Caribbean rum remained small and, in 1790, nearly 40 years after the initial relaxing of restrictions, Saint Domingue's export of rum to France were only 303 barrels, about 35,000 gallons (Table 6-1). To judge from the colonial censuses, as well as the 1790 export statistics, rum production was concentrated in the colony's south and west provinces. The north province produced relatively more molasses, as it clayed almost all of its sugar, but this it shipped to North America, with which it enjoyed extensive relations, and produced rum mainly for local consumption. Table 6-1. Saint Domingue's rum exports to France 1790 Region Barriques The Mole 25 Port-au-Prince 36 Leogane 45 Saint Marc 49 Petit Goave 6 LesCayes 136 Iota! 303 Source: Lepelletier de Saint Remy 1848:52-53 Although not a major export item, tafia augmented French Caribbean plantation revenues. In period 1742-1762, accounts from Galbaud du Fort sugar plantation in Leogane, Saint Domingue, show that the plantation's two guildiviers sold enough rum to contribute 1020% of plantation revenues in these two decades (Fremond de la Merveilliere 1935). Tafia makers in Martinique and Guadeloupe were probably more successful than their counterparts in Saint Domingue. In 1785, Martinique had 316 sugar factories and 215 guildiveries, which suggests that nearly 70% of sugar plantations distilled their sugar cane juice and waste products of sugar making. In that same year, Guadeloupe had 415 sugar factories and 128 guildiveries, implying that 31% of plantations were involved in rum

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132 making (Schnakenbourg 1977:87, 1 10). In contrast, Saint Domingue had proportionally far fewer guildiveries. In 1789, Moreau de Saint-Mery estimated that at the height of production on the eve of the Haitian Revolution, Saint Domingue had 793 sugar factories, but only 182 rum distilleries, so it seems that less than a quarter of sugar plantations were distilling sugar cane juice and sugar industry waste products into rum (Moreau de Saint Mery 1797/98: 111). However, this figure may only account for independent, rather than plantation-based, distilling operations, such as Fort Sainte-Claire, a "seaside" distillery in Port-au-Prince, which, in 1768, was advertised for sale in the colonies main newspaper Affiches Americaines (AA 1768). Table 6-2. Total Martinique exports Year Barriques of tafia Boucauts of rhum 1771 441 1772 519 1773 606 1774 464 1775 1,180 1776 454 1777 2,479 1778 1779 1780 1781 804 168 1782 425 201 Source: Josa 1931:113 Although it had a smaller sugar industry, Martinique supplied in 1786 40% of the tafia sold to the Spanish mainland colonies (Tarrade 1988:329-331). Almost all of the higher quality French Caribbean rhum exported to the Spanish mainland colonies came from Guadeloupe suggesting that distillers there may have been trying to carve out a particularly elite market. The disproportionately high number of distilleries in Martinique and Guadeloupe highlights the positive effects of British occupation during the Seven Years War and closer proximity to the Spanish mainland colonies. In addition, Martinique and Guadeloupe, unlike their counterparts in Saint Domingue, clayed a greater proportion of their sugar, which provided them with a great deal more molasses for distilling (Stein 1988). While Saint Domingue exported large quantities of molasses to North America,

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133 Martinique and Guadeloupe developed solid rum industries and, in the late eighteenth century. Saint Domingue even became a destination for rum from Martinique and Guadeloupe (Josa 193 1 : 112; Tarrade 1988:329-33 1). As trade restrictions on French Caribbean rum were being lifted, French Caribbean rum makers began to embrace new opportunities. The lifting of the 1713 ban in 1776 coincided with the American Revolution, which temporarily had a positive effect on French Caribbean rum making. In 1778, the French entered the fight on the side of the Americans and evidently hoped to take over the huge North American rum market. Table 6-3 shows that Martiniquan rum exports to the United States increased during the height of the war. Martinique also exported hundreds of barriques of tafia to Saint Martin and Saint Barts in this period, most of which were probably re-exported to North American traders (Josa 1931:113). Table 6-3. Martinique rum exports to the United States Year Barriques of tafia Boucauts of rhum 1783 447 634 1784 1,820 628 1785 1786 1,587 136 1787 1,286 109 1788 1,027 77 1789 396 76 Source: Josa 1931:112-114 The American Revolution led to the expansion of rum making in Saint Domingue. In 1785, rum exports from Saint Domingue reached more than 500,000 gallons. Historian Jacques Cauna's (1987) study of the Fleuriau plantation in western Saint Domingue shows the surge rum production during the American Revolution. According to Cauna (1987: 187), between 1777 and 1787 the plantation produced 2,254 barriques of tafia for an annual average of 205 barriques, about 24,000 gallons. In the period 1788-1790, tafia contributed 20-25% of the plantation's revenues. In 1783, Fleuriau produced more than 35,(XX) gallons of rum and a high rum to sugar ratio of 8.9 gallons per cwt. of sugar. However, rum making declined after the end of the American Revolutionary War, and, by

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134 1787, the rum to sugar ratio fell to 1.2 gallons. In the period 1788-1791, Reuriau produced no rum, but an increasing amount of syrup and molasses. Table 6-4. Rum production at Heuriau plantation. Saint Dominsue Year rum:sugar Barrels of svrup and molasses 1777 6.0 1778 4.7 1779 7.8 1780 6.6 1781 6.2 1782 7.7 1783 8.9 1784 4.2 1785 3.8 1786 4.5 1787 1.2 85 1788 157 1789 94 1790 193 Source: Cauna 1987:259 The peaks in tafia exports from Martinique, as well as the increase in tafia making at Fleuriau plantation in Saint Domingue, coincided with the height of the American Revolution. During the conflict, distilling industries in the rebellious continental colonies lost access to steady supplies of rum and molasses, especially from the British Caribbean. New York and Boston, centers of North American distilling, were both occupied by British forces. French Caribbean rum helped fill that void during the conflict. However, North American traders had always preferred to exchange provisions for cheap molasses, which they could distill themselves and, after the war, French Caribbean rum exports to the United States dropped. The decline probably also reveals the decreasing American demand for rum. During the war, large amounts of rum were needed to provision European and continental soldiers. Rum and molasses from Cuba also began to penetrate the U.S. market and, after 1783, the rum trade between the British Caribbean and the United States resumed, albeit under restrictive conditions. In addition, rum was associated with colonial dependence and, therefore, "suffered from rising nationalism" (Rorabaugh 1979:67). Once a universal spirit in the Continental colonies, by 1790, rum represented only two-thirds of the hard liquor consumed (Rorabaugh 1979:69). In the late eighteenth and eariy nineteenth

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135 centuries, whiskey, made from American-grown com, replaced rum as the national drink, especially after the repeal of the whiskey excise tax in 1802 (Ragatz 1928:57; Rorabaugh 1979:53-55). In the second half of the eighteenth century, France began to lift restrictions on the French Caribbean rum trade. In a comparative sense, French governmental policy toward the French Caribbean rum industry was less restrictive than Spain's. French Caribbean rum was extensively consumed within the French Caribbean and was an important item of trade with foreigners. As a result, French Caribbean tafia producers were not forced to make dramatic changes in their industries once trade restrictions were lifted. The American Revolution was also a boom period for French Caribbean tafia making. Nevertheless, metropolitan restrictions on the French Caribbean rum trade and the lack of a substantial metropolitan market resulted in technological stagnation in distilling practices, especially in Saint Domingue, which did not benefit from British influence during the Seven Years War. In 1786, a series of articles in Saint Domingue's newspaper described the relatively underdeveloped state of the island's tafia making. The rum factories are rather important for our commerce and for our colonies, and we should address it seriously. America consumes a great deal of rum, the British islands cannot give them sufficient quantity. As they are not able to get some from our colonies which do not distill much, the Americans come and take our molasses and distill it themselves (AA 1786) Despite the growing number of treatises on rum making, fifteen years after France lifted the ban against rum imports into French ports, a slave rebellion broke out in Saint Domingue and, by 1804, France had lost its potentially most productive rum-making colony. Rum In the seventeenth century, British Caribbean sugar planters developed successful rum industries that catered to the alcoholic needs of colonists on the Atlantic frontier. Moreover, and in contrast to the situation in the Spanish and French Caribbean, rum also found a central place in the British metropolitan market. British officials welcomed British

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136 Caribbean rum as an ally in their war against foreign spirits that had drained England of capital for centuries. They opened the home market to British Caribbean rum and offered incentives to British Caribbean rum makers. As a result, rum sales boosted the revenues of British Caribbean sugar estates. Amphorae vessel shards litter early archaeological sites in England and attest to the popularity of southern European wine in England prior to the Roman conquest (Arthur 1986; Galliou 1984; Williams 1989). Roman conquerors attempted to establish viticulture in southern England, but it was probably not until the tenth or eleventh centuries that viticulture was regularly practiced there. The Norman conquest of 1066 increased English contact with northern France and spurred the rise of early English viticulture (Unwin 1991:157-159). However, the cold climate prevented the large-scale production of wine in England and, in order to meet demand, English merchants continued to import huge amounts of wine from southern Europe. In the Middle Ages, most wine entered England through Anglo-Gascon merchants based in Bordeaux. In the first five years of the fourteenth century, wine exports from Bordeaux averaged neariy 25 million gallons per year, most of which went to England. Bad grape harvests, plague, and the commencement of the Hundred Years War disrupted British wine imports for the next century. By the time Bordeaux fell to the French in 1453, the Anglo-Gascon wine trade had been greatly curtailed (Unwin 1991:200-202). The fall of Bordeaux undermined English alcohol supplies and substantiated concerns about England's dependence on foreign alcohol. Spanish and Portuguese wine helped fill the void and the English penchant for sweet wines from the Spanish Canaries and Portuguese Madeira magnified the role of Spain and Portugal in the English wine market. However, conflict between England and Spain during the sixteenth century, and conflict in Europe throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, re-exposed England's vulnerability and renewed fears about alcohol supplies.

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137 England's goal was clear: reduce its dependence on foreign wine and brandy imports, which siphoned away substantial amounts of English capital. This objective fueled the search for alternative alcohol sources at the beginning of English New World exploration and settlement in the Elizabethan age. For example, Thomas Harlot, a member of the original Virginia colony (1585-1586) wrote. There are two kinds of grapes that the soil yields naturally; the one is small and sour, of the ordinary bigness as ours in England, the other far greater is luscious sweet. When they are planted and husbanded as they ought, a principal commodity of wines by them may be raised. (Harlot cited in Hakluyt 1986: 111-112) King James I encouraged the search for alternative alcohol sources during the first permanent English settlement in the New World at Jamestown in 1607 (Lee and Lee 1987 cited in Unwin 1991:249). Although colonists in Jamestown produced wine as early as 1609, these endeavors largely failed due to the "delicate nature" of the vines imported from southern Europe, which were unable to withstand the harsh North American climate. King William's War at the end of the seventeenth century curtailed British imports of French wine and brandy. At the first sign of conflict. Parliament passed an act prohibiting the import of French alcohol. Although repealed in 1685, Parliament placed heavy duties on French wine and brandy imports four years later during the Grand Alliance against France in 1689 that remained in effect until the end of the seventeenth century. King William's War was followed shortly thereafter by the War of Spanish Succession. It was in 1703, during the first year of that conflict, that England instituted the Methuen Treaty, which allowed imports of Portuguese wine at less than one-third the rate imposed on alcohol from France (Hancock 1998:197; Unwin 1991:264). These conflicts revived fears about the vulnerability of British alcohol markets and stimulated interest in British Caribbean rum. England's limited success with viticulture precluded the implementation of protectionist policies against rum like those found in the southern European grape-growing nations of Spain and France. While England and Wales imported a mere 22 gallons of rum in 1697, that figure jumped to more than 22,000 gallons

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138 by 1710. By the 1730s, rum regularly surpassed most fermented alcohol imports, including French, Spanish, Madeira, and Italian wine (Schumpeter 1966). Brandy, however, proved to be a more formidable competitor. The British imported brandy from France, Portugal, and Spain. Like rum, brandy is a distilled alcoholic beverage that caters to those seeking a concentrated spirit. However, brandy was expensive and consumed primarily by the British elite who perceived it to be a superior drink. British Caribbean interests attempted to defeat brandy consumption in Britain by appealing to nationalistic sentiment. the notion of the superiority of Brandy to Rum. .has done mischief to our West Indian colonies; and been injurious to our balance of trade, and political unrest, by augmenting the consumption of a foreign commodity, purchased for money of our rivals, to the exclusion of one produced in our own dominions, and supplied in exchange for our manufactures and domestic products. (Dossie 1770:5) In 1719, British imports of rum surpassed those of brandy for the first time. After 1741, rum imports regularly exceeded those of brandy for the rest of the eighteenth century (Figure 6-1). 4500000 4000000 3500000 3000000 I 2500000 ^2000000 1500000 1000000 500000 0 1700 — Rum imports into Kngland and Wales Brandy imports into England and Wales T if n 1 1 III I III III I II I I I I II I III 1 1 I II II II II I III I II I III II I I I III I II II I 1 1 III I II I III I II II II 1 1725 1750 1775 1800 year Figure 6-1. Rum and brandy imports into England and Wales (source: Schumpeter 1966) The British were avid alcohol consumers. In the Middle Ages, grain-based ale was readily available and widely consumed. The introduction of hops, first mentioned in

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139 Germany in the twelfth century, and England in the fifteenth century, led to beer making, which supplemented ale consumption. In the eighteenth century, porter, a high quality beer, became especially popular. Honey-based mead, apple-based cider, and pear-based perry were also well liked. The British made wine from grapes, gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, and numerous other fruits, but unlike distilled spirits, these weaker fermented drinks were often considered more akin to food than a primary means of alcoholic intoxication (Anonymous 1697). In Britain, the use of concentrated distilled beverages increased during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as the secrets of distillation became common knowledge and the availability of distilled spirits grew (French 1664; Gesner 1559; see also Underwood 1935). The increased access to syrup from sugar refiners also provided a huge amount of cheap base material for distilling (McCusker 1991, 2(X)1). Folk belief about the heatrestoring qualities of distilled spirits probably enhanced the demand for these "hot" beverages during the "Little Ice Age" of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In the midseventeenth century, British soldiers stationed in the Low Countries of western Europe were introduced to gin, the invention of a Dutch physician. Gin, otherwise known as "Dutch courage," quickly became a popular spirit in Britain. Although the Dutch made their gin from barley, British distillers soon began producing their own version from com [wheat] and syrup. Both Dutch and British distillers added the juice of juniper berries to give gin, a derivative of the Dutch term jevener [juniper], its distinctive taste. Compared to imported wine and brandy, locally made gin was cheap and met the increasing alcoholic needs of the British working classes. British grain interests supported gin production because it kept grain prices high and provided a profitable outlet for surplus crops. Gin cut reliance on foreign spirits and, as a result, farmers appealed to British officials for support. In 1690, Parliament imposed restrictive duties on foreign spirits and passed a series of statutes aimed at promoting the distillation of spirits from English grain (Clark 1988; George 1951:28-29; Kinross 1959; Maples 1991; Watney 1976:16). In 1690,

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140 the London Company of Distillers, which under Charles I had been given exclusive rights to distill spirits in a 21-mile radius around London and Westminster, crumbled and anyone able to pay excise duties could establish themselves as a distiller. "In 1688, an excise duty was levied on half a million gallons of British spirits; by 1720 the amount was 2.5 million gallons and growing" (Clark 1988:64). By 1730, there were 1,500 distillers in London and, by 1735, excise duties were paid on 6.4 million gallons of gin (Clark 1988:67). Contrarily, in 1733, Britain imported about 1 million gallons of brandy and 500,0(X) gallons of rum (Schumpeter 1960). Rum did not threaten British metropolitan alcohol industries. British grain distillers, who produced cheap gin, were more concerned about poor grain harvests and high bread prices than heavily taxed rum imported from the colonies. Moreover, British distillers who produced spirits from the waste of British sugar refineries could also undersell imported rum. The British were huge consumers of foreign and domestic alcoholic beverages and rum simply fit into the wide array of drinks available to the British public. But the excessive use of highly concentrated distilled beverages began to worry some British officials. In particular, gin drinking was seen as the cause of a variety of social and health disorders. Gin was given the name "mother's ruin" and it was widely accepted that one could get "drunk for five farthings, and dead drunk for two-pence halfpenny" (anonymous 1760: 19). Some attributed high mortality and low fertility rates in eighteenth century London to excessive gin drinking (George 1951:27). Starting in the late 1720s, Parliament passed a series of Gin Acts, which were meant to curb the excessive use of distilled spirits, especially gin. The laws increased licensing fees and retail taxes on spirits-sellers. The Gin Act of 1736 included financial rewards to those who informed on illegal and unlicensed retailers (Clark 1988; Warner and Ivis 1999). The Gin Act of 1736 was so unpopular that it sparked riots in London and some informants were viciously beaten (Clark 1988:80-81; Rude 1971:201-221; Warner and Ivis 1999:298). Fearing its impact on rum exports to Britain, the West Indian planter lobby petitioned against the Gin

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141 Act. Their fears were justified. In 1737, rum imports into England and Wales fell to about half what they had been the year before (Schumpeter 1960:60). The Gin Act, however, was impossible to enforce and, in the 1740s, per capita consumption of foreign and domestic distilled spirits soared (Warner and Ivis 1999:304). Imports of British Caribbean rum also rebounded. In 1743, the Gin Act was repealed and replaced by more liberal controls (Clark 1988:83). A modified Gin Act was also instituted in 1751, which successfully reduced excessive drinking. British Caribbean rum could not compete with the cheapness and national appeal of home-produced gin. However, the Gin Act of 1751 and poor grain harvests in the 1750s, especially that of 1756, helped spur British Caribbean rum imports. The poor harvests increased grain prices and, in an effort to stave off the rising cost of bread, Parliament passed legislation that forbade the distillation of grain. In the late 1750s, British Caribbean interests in Pariiament, led by William Pitt and William Beckford, introduced acts that prohibited grain distilling. British port towns with the strongest connection to the West Indian trade, such as Liverpool, Bristol, and Lancaster, supported the prohibitions (Pares l%3:484-485; Watney 1976:44). Parliament may have also seen the grain crisis, and the resulting legislation, as a way to further reduce social disorder and the public health consequences associated with the excessive consumption of cheap gin. In 1760, Pariiament passed an "Act for encouraging the exportation of rum and spirits of the growth, produce, and manufacture, of British sugar plantations." The Act lowered tariffs on British Caribbean rum. The ban on grain distilling, Pariiamentary incentives, and demand for all sorts of alcohol helped British Caribbean rum penetrate the huge British alcohol market and embed it deeply in the British psyche. Rum, which had already conquered brandy, was encroaching on gin. As an alternative source of alcohol, rum helped fuel the Britain's industrial revolution. Alcohol historian William Rorabaugh argued that increased alcohol production and consumption immediately precedes industrialization. According to Rorabaugh,

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142 distilling was a profitable and efficient way to store agricultural surpluses. As a result, farmers distilled their agricultural surpluses into alcohol during glutted markets. Increased alcohol consumption indicates a glutted market for agricultural produce and, thus, too many farm workers in the labor force. Competition forced less successful rural workers into industrial labor. According to Rorabaugh, agricultural surplus made rapid industrialization possible. Th[e| American experience was not unique, for a glut of distilled spirits has preceded industrial development in many modem nations. A mid-eighteenth century craze for gin preceded England's industrial revolution, mid-nineteenth century distilled spirits binges preceded rapid transformation in Prussia and Sweden, and an upsurge in Vodka consumption preceded the industrialization of Russia. In each of these cases, as in the United States, agricultural surpluses had created conditions favorable to rapid industrial development. (Rorabaugh 1979:88-89) British consumption of British Caribbean rum jumped from an annual average of 197,138 gallons in the last five years of the 1720s to an annual average of 1,070,973 gallons in the last five years of the 1760s. In the mid-eighteenth century. Parliamentary incentives and grain distilling bans stimulated rum imports. The growing availability of rum reduced reliance of grain-based spirits and increased Britain's agricultural surplus. The resulting grain surplus would have forced less successful farmers to seek work as industrial labor. In addition, rum reduced dependence on foreign spirits, which kept more capital in Britain and helped stimulate the industrial economy. 2500000 2000000 Barbadian rum exports to England and Scotland Jamaican nun exports to England and Scotland 1500000 '1000000 500000 J1 1 I I r^i I I il 1 1 I 1 1 I I 1 1 I I I 1 1 I I 1 1 1750 1700 1725 I I I I 1 1 I 1 1 I 1 1 I I I 1775 year Figure 6-2. Rum exports from Barbados and Jamaica to England and Scotland (source: McCusker 1989:960-961, 974-975)

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143 British Caribbean rum makers greatiy benefited from one other official policy: rum contracts with the national navy and army. The prevention of illness among sailors was a major concern of British naval officers who viewed alcohol as a prophylactic against the many diseases that afflicted seamen. The growth of the British navy in the seventeenth century, due in large measure to the settlement of New World colonies, increased the demand for alcohol rations. British Caribbean interests argued that rum was healthier than other forms of alcohol and they convinced British officials to adopt rum contracts for the Royal Navy. Britain, eager to support her colonies and, at the same time, reduce her dependence on foreign alcohol, could only benefit from such a situation. Sidney Mintz (1985: 170) referred to the rum contracts with the Royal Navy as "much-needed creeping socialism for an infant industry." Yet, by the eighteenth century, rum making was far from its infancy. Still, the British Royal Navy had no standard regulations for rum rationing until 173 1 and any rum rationing prior to this time was dependent upon availability and the preference of the ship's captain. In 1731, the first official naval alcohol regulations were implemented. A gallon of beer a day was the standard, but a half-pint of rum could be used instead (Pack 1983:7). Although rum did not become the sole alcoholic beverage of the Royal Navy in the eighteenth century, victualing commissioners in London, under contract with the Royal Navy, helped make rum a more usual beverage, especially for forces stationed in the Caribbean. Government-backed commissary agents in the British Caribbean purchased rum and, according to military historian Roger Buckley (1998:286), the British government profited so much from the sale of contracts and licenses to alcohol distributors at military conmiissaries and canteens at home and abroad that the system was nothing less than "state-sponsored alcoholism." In 1775, Parliament passed an act making rum an integral part of naval rations, which remained until 1970 (Barty-King and Massel 1983; Hamshere 1972:188; Pack 1983:12, 107). British soldiers stationed in the Americas also received their share of rum. According to military historian Paul Kopperman (1996:446), by the time of the American Revolution,

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144 rum rations were a fixed and regular practice in the British army. Buckley (1998:284) estimated that, after the American Revolution, British troops regularly received about three and a half gallons of rum each month. The rum contracts with the British navy and army highlight the efforts of the British Caribbean planter lobby to secure these markets (Buckley 1998:286-289). The need to provision alcohol to large numbers of soldiers and sailors in the Caribbean stimulated the growth and development of British Caribbean rum industries and colonial assemblies were more than willing to encourage the practice of rum rationing. For example, in Jamaica soldiers were "allowed to buy their rum free of the island duty which is a saving of Is to Is 6d per gallon; an advantage given them by the legislature" (Long 1774;11:304-305). There were also less formalized ways of supplying rum to troops. Planters stored rum for traveling troops, especially during times of civil unrest. For example, during Tacky's slave rebellion in Jamaica in 1760, Thomas Thistlewood (cited in Hall 1989:98), the manager of Egypt plantation, broke open casks of stored rum made on his plantation "so as to make grog for the troops." This strategy may have helped ensure military protection during such uncertain times. The British Caribbean planter lobby probably also understood that military personnel were the driving force behind metropolitan trends in alcohol use. Thus, in the same way that British soldiers and sailors stationed in the Low Country in the midseventeenth century brought back a taste for gin, British soldiers and sailors stationed in rum-laden posts and on rum-laden ships acquired a taste for rum and nurtured the British Caribbean rum trade to Britain once they returned from duty (Young 1807:65). The increasing use of rum in Britain suggests more than the British working class desire for drunken escape or the success of mercantilist policies aimed at bolstering the British Caribbean economy. Rum benefited from other forces, especially the traditional link between alcohol and health in Europe. Amaldus de Villanova introduced the art of distilling to France in the 1300s and promoted distilled spirits as medicinal. Dutch physician Franciscus de la Boa invented gin to combat maladies afflicting seamen of the Dutch East

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145 India Company. Whether the result of a post-medieval fear of plague or the self-indulgence that accompanies a prosperous economy, eighteenth century Britain was preoccupied with matters of health and rum helped alleviate those worries. However, the excessive use of alcohol, especially gin, was of growing concern. British Caribbean rum interests exploited British health insecurities and took advantage of gin's weakness. They promoted the traditional links between alcohol and medicine, but manipulated the rising fears about gin. In 1760, an anonymous writer proclaimed, "Since the [1750s] Suppression of Gin the Consumption of Rum has been greatly increased, and yet Dram Drunkenness, with all its dreadful Effects, has entirely ceased." According to the author (1760:7), "Gin is vastly more destructive to the Human Frame than the sugar spirit." In fact, the writer advocated the use of rum for "weak and depraved appetites and Digestions, and in many other Distempers of the declining sort" and backed these claims with authoritative recommendations from physicians. The anonymous writer argued against lifting the ban on grain distilling and claimed. Gin is a fiery spirit, acrid, and inflaming for inward use but. .rum is a spirit so mild, balsamic and benign, that if its properly used and attempered it may be made highly useful, both for the relief and regalement of human nature. (Anonymous 1760:9) In Britain, temperance movements were still ill defined in this period and campaigns against excessive drinking were top-down efforts spurred by clerics and sections of the landed gentry and sanctioned by Pariiament (Clark 1988). In the 1730s, members of the Societies for the Reformation of Manners and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge were leading advocates of the Gin Acts (Clark 1988:74). In 1751, artist William Hogarth's 'Gin Lane' illustrated the growing fears about excessive gin consumption and the abuses of cheap spirituous liquor, especially among the working classes. That same year, author Henry Fielding (1751) wrote Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers, which attributed rising crime rates to the excessive use of gin. The specific attacks on gin, rather than rum, may simply reflect the greater availability

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146 of that cheap spirit and the fear of social disorder by upper class wine and brandy topers. Because of its more limited impact, rum remained relatively safe from criticism. Yet rum was not entirely exempt from attack. Increasing levels of alcohol use in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries led to physician-based sanctions, which sought to curb excessive alcohol use in general. For example, in the 1780s, Scottish-trained physician Benjamin Rush began the first research-supported and scientifically-based campaign against excessive drinking. Rush's (1790) famous work ''An Inquiry into the effects of Ardent Spirits upon the Human Body and M/nJ" targeted excessive spirit drinking among North Americans and was particularly critical of Caribbean rum. Rush's assault on rum no doubt reflected the greater use of that spirit in North America like Hogarth's negative portrayal of gin in Britain. In Britain, rum was largely a target of reformers in the anti-slavery movement rather than temperance advocates and physicians. In the late eighteenth century, enlightened reformers in Britain espoused progressive social beliefs about the virtues of ascetic living and human rights. Temperance and anti -slavery were often joined at the heart of these movements. In the 1790s, abolitionist William Fox (1792a) produced a series of pamphlets denouncing the use of slave-made British Caribbean products, including rum. Among the images Fox conjured up was a cask of Jamaican rum in which was found 'The whole Body of a roasted Negro... stretched out, and fastened down in the bilge of the Cask, opposite the bung hole." According to Fox, Now far be it from me, to insinuate from hence, that any such methods are used to meliorate West India Rum; I will only take upon me to affirm, as a certain fact, that the Carcass of a Dog, Cat, Sheep, Goat, Man or Woman, thoroughly burnt, and put in the bottom of a large vessel, full of spirits of any kind, will greatly tend to meliorate and soften them. (Fox 1792b:6-ll) Temperance and anti-slavery crusades were not enormously successful in the eighteenth century and British Caribbean rum imports continued to climb. The British elite's desire for fashionable and exotic goods may help explain the growth of rum consumption in Britain in the eighteenth century. According to Mintz

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147 (1985), the demand for sugar in Britain reflected attempts by the working class to emulate elite tastes and consume symbols of wealth, but, unlike sugar, rum was typically the drink of common folk in the Caribbean and North America. Sailors, slaves, pirates, and Native Americans, consumed rum, and competitors in rival alcohol industries highlighted that connection. For example, the strategy of French wine and brandy makers was to regard rum as the drink of slaves rather than the drink of "true men." However, there is some indication that British Caribbean interests attempted to market rum as an exotic drink of the nouveau riche British Caribbean planter and merchant. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, British upper classes imbibed expensive wine and brandy imported from France, while rum typically vied with gin as the drink of the British working masses. The objective of West Indian interests was to wean the British elite off of French brandy and substitute instead British Caribbean rum. British Caribbean interests appealed to nationalism and, like their attacks on gin, they also appealed to health concerns. In 1770, Robert Dossie (1770:5) wrote, "the drinking of rum in moderation is more salutary and in excess much less hurtful, than the drinking of Brandy." In a fifty-page essay supported by medical evidence, Dossie argued that the volatile oils of rum acted as a corrective to the noxious qualities of pure alcohol, while brandy, according to Dossie, had no such corrective and was highly acidic (Dossie 1770:31). Dossie even performed experiments, including one which showed that animal flesh steeped in rum remained plump and retained its softness better than flesh steeped in brandy (Dossie 1770:29). Support for these arguments included physicians' accounts and comparative chemical analysis of various distilled spirits. Although French brandy remained the preferred alcoholic beverage of the British upper class, rum punch offered an alternative. The term punch probably derived from the East Indian word punch, meaning five and denoting the number of ingredients used in punch making (Anonymous 1697; Connell 1957). In the early seventeenth century, Dutch and English sailors returning from trading ventures in the East Indies probably introduced

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148 the term into England. Early punch concoctions were made with brandy, but the use of rum became increasingly popular in the eighteenth century. Rum punch was a mixture of rum and various exotic tropical ingredients, such as limes, lemons, sugar, and nutmeg. Only the rich could afford to combine and consume such an expensive commodities. In addition, the display of ornate Georgian punch bowls, silver ladles, and other fashionable serving items enhanced the sociable art of upper class punch drinking performances (Council 1957). Jamaican interests, including absentee planters living in London, may have been especially good at marketing Jamaican rum as a fine quality spirit well suited for punch. What were the impact of British mercantilist policies and the increasing levels of rum consumption in Britain on British Caribbean rum producers? In the eighteenth century, Jamaica, Barbados, and Antigua were leading rum-making colonies and sugar planters in these islands relied heavily on rum revenues to help cover the cost of running their estates. Jamaica largely fed the metropolitan rum market, while Barbados and Antigua relied more heavily on markets in North America and Ireland. In a brief period in the mid-eighteenth century, Barbados and Antigua exported a disproportionate amount of rum and, although they still produced sugar, essentially became rum-making islands. However, new competition from foreign and British Caribbean rum makers and disruption of North American trade after the American Revolution removed outlets for Barbadian and Antiguan rum and reduced the profitability of rum making. In the late eighteenth century, rum making in these islands was on the decline. Eighteenth century British Caribbean rum import and export statistics show that Jamaica dominated the British rum market. In the first two decades of the eighteenth century, less than 100,000 gallons of rum ever entered England and Wales in a single year. In the 1720s, however, rum imports averaged nearly 150,000 gallons annually. By 1724, England and Wales regularly imported more rum from Jamaica than from any other colony. In the 1730s, Antigua captured about 12% of British rum market, while rum from Barbados represented about 8%. In the period 1768-1772, Jamaica exported an annual

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149 average of 2 million gallons of rum to the British market, which represented 86% of all Jamaican rum exports and 81% of all British rum imports (Long 1774;11:496-497; Schumpeter 1960). Jamaican rum was apparently preferred on the British market because of its higher alcohol content (Martin 1765:60; McCusker 1989:403^5; Young 1807:68). Rum imports into England and Wales in gallons Jamaican rum exports to England and Wales in gallons 4000000 .| 3500000 1700 1725 1750 1775 year Figure 6-3. British Imports of Jamaican rum (sources: British imports from Schumpeter 1966 and Jamaican exports from McCusker 1989:%0-%1) Barbados and Antigua also exported huge amounts of rum in the eighteenth century, yet relatively little rum from these two colonies entered the British alcohol market. As early as the mid-seventeenth century. North America was the primary destination for Barbadian and Antiguan rum and both colonies exported hundreds of thousands of gallons annually. At first glance, import statistics suggest that Barbadians and Antiguans took advantage of the mid-eighteenth century bans on grain distilling and Parliamentary incentives toward British Caribbean rum. Imports of Barbadian rum into England and Wales jumped from an average of 29,797 gallons in the 1750s to 235,672 gallons in the 1760s, an almost eight-fold increase (McCusker 1989:974-975). In the 1760s, rum from Barbados represented 13% of the British rum imports and Antigua represented 14.5%. However, most of the rum imported from Barbados and Antigua appears to have fed the reexport trade. Rum re-exports from Britain jumped from less than 1% of imports in the

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150 decade 1751-1760 to more than 45% in the following decade, while the amount of rum remaining in Britain held relatively steady at about 1 million gallons per annum (Figures 64 and 6-5). These statistics suggest that Jamaican rum remained in Britain while rum from Barbados and Antigua was re-exported. =3 an 4000000 3500000 3000000 2500000 2000000 1500000 1000000 500000 0 Rum imports into England and Wales in gallons Barbados nun exports to England and Wales in gallons Rum remaining in England and Wales after reexport in gallons 1750 1753 1760 1765 year / \\,. J\ / ^ ^ ^Zl^H —i^ ^ I I 1 I I I I 1— — 1 1770 1775 1780 Figure 6-4. Barbadian rum imports and British rum re-exports (source: British imports and re-exports from Schumpeter 1966, Barbadian exports from McCusker 1989:974-975) Rum imports into England and Wales in gallons Rum remaining in England and Wales after reexport in gallons Antiguan rum exports to England and Wales in gallons fiO 4000000 3500000 3000000 2500000 2000000 1500000 1000000 500000 0 — 1 — I — I1750 1755 1760 1765 year 1770 1 — r^^f1775 1780 Figure 6-5. Antiguan rum exports and British rum re-exports (sources: British imports and re-exports from Schumpeter 1966, Barbadian exports from McCusker 1989:974-975) Some of the re-exported rum went to northern Europe where the Seven Years War had disrupted northern European access to southern European wine and brandy. Unlike

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151 Britain, northern Europeans did not possess substantial rum making colonies to help fill the void. Africa also received its share of this re-exported rum where it was used to help fuel the African slave and commodities trades. Nevertheless, it appears Ireland was the major recipient of this re-exported rum. The mid-eighteenth century jump in rum imports coincides with the growing reexport trade to Ireland, which was emerging as a major consumer of Caribbean rum. The Irish exported provisions, especially salted beef, pork, and fish that helped feed Caribbean colonists. John Oldmixon (1741;11:88-89), a historian and colonial writer familiar with the British Caribbean trade, blamed the "pernicious" sugar, rum, and molasses trade between the French and Dutch Caribbean and Ireland for strengthening foreign Caribbean sugar colonies. In order to remedy the situation. Parliament passed the Molasses Act, which, among other things, prohibited French Caribbean imports into Ireland (Sheridan 1957:7275). Parliament also encouraged direct trade between Ireland and the British Caribbean. However, according to Caribbean historian Richard Sheridan, The boom in the Irish market began in 1763, when, in consequence of a decision to drawback all duties on re-exported West Indian rum, it became cheaper for Irish merchants to get their rum from England than to import it directly from the sugar colonies and pay the Irish import duty. (Sheridan 1974:350-351) In 1768, Barbadian planter George Frere ( 1768: 1 14) wrote that 600,000 gallons of Barbados rum had been "shipt to London, Bristol, Liverpool, Lancaster, Falmouth, Whitehaven, and most other parts of Great Britain; [but that] the rum is usually re-shipt to Ireland." As a result of the new measures, the Irish increasingly became a nation of rum drinkers. Between 1763 and 1772, Ireland imported an annual average of about 600,000 gallons of rum (Sheridan 1957:76n). Between 1768 and 1777, the value of rum imports annually averaged £49,000, about 35% of the value of all Irish imports (Nash 1985:339). The decline in Barbados and Antigua rum exports to England and Wales in 1771 coincides with the cancellation of drawbacks. Thus, the sharp increase in rum imports into Britain in the mid-eighteenth century shows the extent to which Barbados and Antigua fed the Irish

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152 rum market and the sharp drop in Barbados and Antigua rum imports into Britain is misleading because rum from Barbados and Antigua continued to flow into the large Irish rum market directly after the termination of drawbacks in 1771 (Figure 6-6). During a brief period in the mid1760s and early 1770s Scotland also imported large amounts of British Caribbean rum (Figure 6-6). At the height of the British Caribbean rum trade to Scotland between 1764 and 1771 Scotland annually imported an average about 175,000 gallons of Barbados rum and about 250,000 gallons of Antigua rum. In this same period, Scottish imports of Jamaican rum averaged only some 100,000 gallons. However, the Scottish market for Barbados and Antiguan rum essentially disappeared before the American Revolution, while Scottish imports of Jamaican rum increased (McCusker 1989:942-944). The shift to Jamaican rum shows the growing popularity of concentrated Jamaican rum in Scotland and the Jamaican's consolidation of the British market. But Scottish rum imports began to decline during the American Revolution and only averaged about 90,000 gallons per year in the late 1770s (Sheridan 1957:78). Imports of nun into Ireland Imports of rum into Scotland 2500000 T 1730 1735 1740 1745 1750 1755 1760 1765 1770 1775 year Figure 6-6. Rum imports into Ireland and Scotland (source: McCusker 1989:939-944) While Jamaica conquered the British rum market, Barbados focused on the North American market. The barter trade between Barbados and North America developed in the early years of British colonial settlement and, by the mid-seventeenth century. North America imported rum from Barbados in exchange for a variety of plantation necessities.

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153 such as barrel staves, provisions, and livestock. Barbadian sugar was largely intended for the profitable British market and North Americans were forced to return home with rum, the only other major product of the islands. Customs House records for Barbados in 1748 reveal some interesting insights into the extent of the Barbados-North American rum trade (Hall 1755:12). In 1748, Barbados exported 12,884 hogsheads of rum (1,391,472 gallons). Two-thirds of this rum was exported to the British continental colonies. The greatest portion of it went to Virginia and Maryland followed closely by New England and Philadelphia (Table 6-5). Table 6-5. Barbados rum exports in 1748 Destination Gallons % Britain 490,860 35.2 Philadelphia 146,988 10.5 Va-Md 268,380 19.2 New England 212,220 15.2 NY-NJ 47,844 3.4 NC-SC 86,724 6.2 Newfoundland 1 17,720 8.4 Bermuda 20,736 1.4 Total 1.391.472 100.0 Source: Hall 1755:12 Twenty years later in 1768, Barbados sugar planter George Frere (1768: 1 14) also estimated the Barbados rum trade (Table 6-6). The destination of Barbados rum exports remained relatively unchanged over these two decades. In fact, almost the exact same trade pattern between Barbados and the continental colonies existed nearly 100 years earlier (Eltis 1995a). North America was the primary destination for Barbados rum. Table 6-6. Barbados Rum Exports 1768 Destination Gallons % Britain 600,000 39.7 Philadelphia 165,000 10.9 Va-Md 258,000 17.1 New England 202,000 13.3 NY-NJ 10,000 .6 NC-SC 105,000 6.9 Newfoundland 150,000 9.9 Bermuda 18,000 1.1 Total 1.508.000 100.0 Source: Frere 1768:114

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154 While Barbados fed the demand for rum in continental colonies, Jamaica sent a much smaller portion of its rum to North American markets. Jamaicans, unlike Barbadians, encouraged the development of provision grounds thus making them less dependent on North American food supplies (Y oung 1807:67). Livestock were largely acquired through the illicit trade with the Spanish Caribbean, especially Cuba (Ragatz 1928: 121-123). Lx)ng estimated that in the period 1768-1772, Jamaica annually exported about 200,000 gallons to North America, about 7% of its total production. The extensive Barbados rum trade with Virginia and Maryland highlights the importance of British Caribbean rum exports to southern plantations. For example, in 1790, Virginia planter Robert Carter ordered his agent at Nomini Hall plantation to pay "Mr. F. Smith for 8 gallns. W.l. Rum for the people to drink while making hay" (RCP in CWDAR:Material no.007900014). Unlike New England, the American South lacked a substantial distilling industry. In the 1780s, there was one rum distillery operating in Charleston, South Carolina, but the poor taste of its product was infamous and even criticized on the other side of the globe by sugar planters in Bengal (Fitzmaurice 1793:58). Moreover, planters in North Carolina and Virginia apparently preferred British Caribbean rum to that from New England (Sheridan 1957:78). Since the seventeenth century, the British colonies in Canada were a main destination of British Caribbean rum. As early as 1677, the 8,000 gallons of rum imported into Newfoundland already accounted for neariy 20% of all alcohol imported through Saint John's harbor (Pope 1997:51). Barbados was a major supplier of rum to British North American markets in Canada and, in 1748, Barbados exported more than 100,(X)0 gallons of rum, almost 10% of its total export, to Newfoundland (Table 6-5). In 1770, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec imported neariy 600,000 gallons of rum. New England rum makers largely took control of these markets, but British Caribbean rum, especially from Barbados, continued to enter British Canadian markets, either directly or as re-exports via New England (McCusker 1989:528-530).

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155 Rum was valuable to the British Caribbean sugar planter. Jamaican sugar planters reckoned that a puncheon of rum was worth about two-thirds the price of a hogshead of sugar (Beckford 1790:xxix; Edwards 1819;II:297; Long 1774;I:4%). Accounts produced by Jamaican estates corroborate this late eighteenth century trend (GMP; HP). In Barbados, the value of a puncheon of rum was equal to about a third the value of a hogshead of sugar, no doubt reflecting the higher price of refined Barbadian sugar (WFP; SPG). In the period 1768-1772, Long (1774;I:4%-497) estimated that rum brought in 18% of Jamaica's total revenues and one-third of sugar estate revenues. Two decades later, Edwards (1819;II:297) also estimated that rum contributed about 30% to Jamaican sugar plantation revenues and an anonymous (AA) writer in Saint Domingue jealously made similar observations. Jamaican plantation records confirm this widely held belief For example, in 1798, rum represented 20% of the revenues from sugar and rum at Nightingale Grove estate, Jamaica and, in 1799, rum represented 29%. In 1798, rum represented 20% of the revenues from sugar and rum at Williamsfield estate, Jamaica, and, in 1799, it represented 24%. However, rum as a percentage of revenues from sugar and rum at these two estates sometimes jumped to nearly 40% (see also Craton and Walvin 1976:88-89; GMP; HP). Analysis of early nineteenth century plantation records from thirty sugar estates in Jamaica led historian Barry Higman (1976:21) to conclude that rum, as a percentage of sugar estate revenues, rarely fell below 15% and occasionally rose above 25%. Turner's Hall, Barbados Codrington Plantation Barbados 60 A / V 1710 1725 1750 1775 1800 year Figure 6-6. Rum as a percentage of revenues from sugar and rum at Codrington and Turner's Hall estates (source: SPG and WFP)

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156 Barbadian sugar planters relied more heavily on rum revenues than their Jamaican counterparts. In the 1720s, rum at Codrington estate in Barbados constituted about 27% of the revenues from sugar and rum. However, in the 1760s, the value of rum as a percentage of revenues from sugar and rum jumped to an average of 43%. The only other revenues at Codrington came from the "Pot-House," which produced ceramics for the sugar industry and usually contributed little to the plantation revenues (SPG; Loftfield 1991). For example, in 1767 the "Pot-House" contributed only 2% of the value of Codrington produce. The profitability of rum at Codrington led to major still house renovations on the plantation in the eighteenth century (SPG; Klingberg 1949:72). Rum revenues at Turner's Hall estate followed a similar pattern and, in the 1750s and 1760s, achieved an average of more than 30%. The additional molasses from claying increased the relative importance of rum to Barbadian estate revenues. Table 6-7. Gallons of rum sold, used, and stored at York Estate. Jamaica Shipped Sold in Estate Estate Total % remaining Year to London Jamaica use stores in Jamaica 1785 4,677 6,963 585 12,225 62% 1786 3,631 10,285 847 1,331 16,094 77% 1787 2,661 8,448 812 348 10,938 88% 1788 1,180 21,1% 850 23,226 95% 1789 10,030 10,765 708 21,503 53% 1790 3,769 20,828 700 25,297 85% 1791 7,866 13,859 800 22,525 65% 1792 8,702 11,621 800 21,123 59% 1793 12,889 7,899 800 21,588 40% 1794 12,000 7,200 800 20,000 40% 1795 19.380 600 19.980 3% Source: GMP While sugar was often considered net profit, rum was expected to defray the cost of running the sugar plantation. The records of York estate, Jamaica show that only a small percentage of rum was immediately shipped to London and that the majority of rum was usually first sold within Jamaica or never left the plantation (Table 6-7). Much of that sold within the island went to local merchants and to cover the cost of plantation expenses. At York estate, the plantation physician was annually paid in rum (GMP). Beyond his annual wage of 50 pounds of sugar in the early 1750s, Egypt plantation manger Thistlewood

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157 received a weekly allowance of two bottles of rum (Hall 1989: 14). Planters and plantation managers also cut down on plantation provision costs by using rum to supplement the diet of their slaves and servants. Edwards (1819;II:297), however, was less optimistic about rum's ability to cover plantation costs. According to Edwards, "nor is any opinion more erroneous than that which supposes [plantation expenses] are provided for by rum." The pattern of using rum to help defray plantation expenses existed in other parts of the Caribbean. In Martinique, Labat (1724;I:323) promoted rum making as a way to cover plantation costs. In Barbados, in 1713, the plantation manager at Codrington estate (SPG) wrote that the agent in Bridgetown "continues to dispose of the rum as it comes down from the plantation and supplies what's wanting for repairs necessary, paying workmen, etc." Rum produced on Codrington estate was sold to local merchants and, in 1715, more than 15,000 gallons of Codrington rum was sold locally (SPG; Klingberg 1949:46). Rum also covered the cost of hired labor. In the late eighteenth century, the president of Codrington College was given an annual supply of 90 gallons of rum and, in 1832, the plantation manager at Turner's Hall estate allocated "400 gallons of rum to negroe carpenters" (WFP). !9 DO "8 30 25 20 15 10 I OB 5 l umer's Hall, Barbados Codrington Plantation Barbados 1 A 1 A A A \V s 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1710 1725 1750 1775 1800 year Figure 6-8. Rum production at Codrington and Turner's Hall estates in Barbados (source: WFP, SPG) A sampling of plantation accounts reveals that rum yields and the ratio of rum to sugar varied from year to year. The evidence from Codrington also shows that the

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158 plantations made dramatic increases in rum production from the 1710s to the 1760s reflecting an increasing global demand for rum in the eighteenth century. The mideighteenth century peaks at Codrington and Turner's Hall reveal attempts by Barbadian planters to dominate Irish and North American markets. Barbados was becoming a rum island. Relatively steady increases in rum production also took place at Worthy Park plantation and York estate. Despite using a small alembic of only 140 gallons, even Thistlewood's Jamaican Egypt plantation was able to produce moderate rum yields (Hall 1989:46). The changes in rum yields largely reflect the economic strategies of different sugar planters, but outside events also shaped rum production. Table 6-8. Ratio of gallons of rum to cwts. sugar at selected plantations York Estate, Jamaica Year rum:sugar 1785 3.0 1786 5.4 1787 3.5 1788 4.5 1789 3.7 1790 3.9 1791 3.5 1792 4.0 1793 3.0 1794 3.0 (GMP) Worthy Park Plantation, Jamaica Year rum: sugar 1743 1.0 1744 0.8 1776 2.4 1790 2.5 1792 2.9 1793 2.8 1794 3.2 1795 3.4 1811 3.2 1821 3.1 1822 3.4 (Craton and Walvin 1976) Egypt Plantation, Jamaica Year rum:sugar 1755 2.8 1757 1.2 1758 0.4 1759 1.7

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159 Table 6-8 (continued) 1760 2.4 1761 2.2 1762 3.9 1763 3.4 1764 3.2 1765 3.8 1766 2.6 (Hall 1989) Pinney Plantation, Nevis Year rum: sugar 1768 3.7 1769 4.7 1770 4.4 1771 4.0 1772 4.7 1773 4.9 1774 4.6 1775 5.4 1776 3.6 1777 3.7 1778 4.8 (Pares 1950) In 1774, on the eve of the American Revolution, North Americans threatened to cut off commercial ties with the British Caribbean if Britain refused to lift trade barriers and remove oppressive taxes. In retaliation, Britain imposed a series of resolutions that further restricted North American trade. In January of 1776, Britain began enforcing the Prohibitory Act, which severed commercial relations between the British Caribbean and the rebellious continental colonies. Several months later, the Continental Congress of)ened North American ports to foreign shipping and closed them to most British and British colonial traders. During the American Revolution, British Caribbean traders still had access to ports in areas loyal to Britain or under the control of British forces. North Americans and British Caribbean traders also found ways to circumvent controls through loopholes and smuggling. Although some British Caribbean rum continued to flow into North America, British Caribbean planters saw the writing on the wall and realized that food and provision shortages were imminent. British Caribbean planters searched for alternative sources of food and plantation supplies. Some planters allocated commercial acreage to provision grounds. Many turned

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160 to merchants in Scotland. Expensive goods from England also helped fill the void for necessary provisions and plantation materials. In 1778, Parliament lifted restrictions on British Caribbean trade with Ireland in order to relieve the planters' distress. British North American colonies in Canada also absorbed greater amounts of British Caribbean produce and increased production of plantation supplies and provisions, which helped stabilize rum revenues in some sugar colonies. ~XExports of rum in gallons from the British Caribbean to British North America 1200000 1000000 800000 =3 600000 400000 200000 0$ .-X -X I I I I I 1770 1775 1780 I 1 1 I I T 'T T'-TI I I I I I I 1785 1790 1795 1800 year Figure 6-9. British Caribbean rum exports to British Canada (source: 1770-1787 from Carrington 1988:179, and 1793 -1800 from Young 1807:30) Despite these efforts, British Caribbean trade began to suffer. The loss of trade with the thirteen continental colonies meant the loss of one of the largest market for British Caribbean rum. English, Scottish, British Canadian, and Irish markets could not replace the huge North American market. High wartime import duties also reduced rum consumption. Between 1780 and 1783, Ireland, once one of the largest markets for British Caribbean rum, annually imported less than 150,000 gallon (Carrington 1988:56). The threat of privateers and the conscription of ships to the war effort during the American Revolution reduced shipping in the British Caribbean. Shipping, freight, and insurance rates also increased (Carrington 1988:59-64). As a result, British Caribbean sugar planters shipped their most profitable item, sugar rather than rum.

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161 Rum makers in the Danish Virgin Islands (Saint Croix and Saint Thomas) were the biggest beneficiaries of the American Revolution. Since the mid-eighteenth century, the Danish Virgin Islands had been an important link in the North American rum chain. Although Saint Thomas and Saint Croix were Danish possessions, estates in these islands were often owned and run by British Caribbean sugar planters. In the late 1760s and early 1770s, Saint Thomas and Saint Croix illegally smuggled about 500,000 gallons of rum per year to the thirteen continental colonies, mainly through ports in Connecticut (McCusker 1989:346-355). During the American Revolution, the Danish Virgin Islands served as an important base for smuggling operations. Between 1777 and 1807, their rum exports jumped to an annual average of more than 900,000 gallons (Kervegant 1946:475). It is unlikely that rum makers in Saint Thomas and Saint Croix had the ability to produce all of this rum from local sugar cane juice, scum, and molasses and they probably fed their stills with raw materials imported from Puerto Rico and the French Caribbean. Most of the rum, however, may have originally been produced in the Spanish, French, and British colonies and re-exported to North America via Danish Caribbean ports. Bermuda and, until 1781, St. Eustatius, also smuggled goods to the rebels in North America. However, rum often became secondary to arms and ammunition for North American forces. In 1781, British Admiral Sir George Rodney's fleet captured Saint Eustatius, which had been an entrepot for the North American purchase of French goods. It also supplied arms and ammunition to the Revolutionary armies in North America and was a symbol of North American economic and political independence (Williams 1944:225). Rodney's forces captured the heart of North American foreign trade, much of it rum-based, which had been an initial spark of the American Revolution. The American Revolution had a major effect on British Caribbean rum making. British Caribbean rum exports to the thirteen continental colonies dropped from an annual average of about 3 million gallons in the period 1770-1773 to about 1.7 million gallons in the period 1783-1787 (Carrington 1988:179). English imports of British Caribbean rum.

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162 however, only fell from an annual average rate of about 2.4 million gallons in the period 1770-1773 to an annual rate of about 2.1 million gallons in the period 1783-1787 (Carrington 1988:59; Ragatz 1928:165-166; Schumpeter 1966). British Caribbean rum makers in Barbados and the Leeward Islands were especially hard hit, while rum makers in Jamaica, who had dominated rum markets of England, Scotland, and Ireland, fared much better. To make matters worse, Barbados was devastated by a major hurricane in 1780, which killed more than 4,300 people and essentially destroyed sugar and rum production the following year. The recovery was slowed by the arrival of another devastating hurricane in 1786 (Edwards 1819;I:347; Poyer 1807:446-456; Schomburgk 1846:48-51). In 1783, a trade resumed between the United States and the British Caribbean under restricted conditions. American traders were only allowed to export lumber, livestock, grain, flour, and bread in exchange for British Caribbean goods. However, ships from the United States were excluded from the trade and all products had to be shipped in British bottoms (Carrington 1988:164; Edwards 1819;11:495-509; Keith 1948). In retaliation, some American ports prohibited entry to British vessels, or imposed heavy duties on British and British colonial goods. In 1787, Jamaicans exported about 300,(X)0 gallons of rum to the United States, about one-third the amount exported to North America in 1774 (Edwards 1819;I:286,305). In 1788, Barbados exported about 200,000 gallons to the United States, about one-fifth the amount exported 1768 (Edwards 1819;I:350). The less dramatic drop in Jamaica may show the Americans greater appreciation for concentrated Jamaican rum. The new triangle trade route from Britain to North America, to the British Caribbean, and back to Britain only served to further strengthen Jamaican rum making and weaken Barbados rum making. In 1794 Americans temporarily banned all trade with the British Caribbean in retaliation against British sea captains impressing Americans into service. The restrictions on trade extended the damage to British Caribbean rum making caused by the American Revolution. A planter in St. Vincent complained that British Caribbean rum makers were switching places with the French.

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163 We are compelled by the events of war and the rigors of government to exchange situations with the French; for these materials which they formerly used to throw away, or to vend in an unwrought stage, they now manufacture into rum and dispose of it more profitably at a price of 2/9 to 3/6 currency per gallon whilst the British planter, in consequence of the discouragement he labours under will be compelled to discontinue his distillery and to dispose of his raw material as the French did formerly. (Cited in Carrington 1988: 178) Yet, despite these obstacles, fairly substantial amounts of British Caribbean rum continued to flow into the United States. Parliament opened freeports in Bermuda and the Bahamas to U.S. shipping. British Caribbean governors frequently used their powers to allow American vessels to enter and trade in British Caribbean ports for emergency purposes (Keith 1948; Ragatz 1928:188). French, Spanish, Danish, and Dutch ports provided links for the indirect trade between the United States and the British Caribbean. In the late eighteenth century, rum markets in Britain and Ireland also stabilized. Although there was a sharp increase in brandy imports, Jamaican rum makers greatly benefited from their control of British and Irish markets. In 1801, Britain imported more than 4 million gallons of rum, mainly from Jamaica (Edwards 1819;II:24; Young 1807:30,67). British Caribbean interest in London also tried to raise the demand for rum in Britain in order to reduce British Caribbean dependence on American rum markets. According to Sir William Young, an advocate of British Caribbean trade, the inability of British Caribbean rum to secure a larger share of the British alcohol market was largely due to its "disuse." Young believed that increasing rum contracts with the British military would remedy the situation. If, in national policy, as well as injustice to its colonial and mercantile interests, the British Government would exclusively purchase rum for the supply of the soldiers and sailors [rather than brandy], then, with the habits and growing taste of so numerous a class, the liking and use would spread to every village and house; the import of rum to Great Britain would proportionally and yearly increase; the return per export of British produce and manufactures to the West Indies would in a great measure superseded the necessities of intercourse and trade between America and the islands; and also put a stop to the national disputes arising in consequence; and in every view of national interest, the mother-country would be amply repaid for the protection and preferences given in the sale of this article of colonial commerce. (Young 1807:64-65)

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164 Competition in the U.S. market from foreign rum makers reduced the profitability of Barbados rum making (Schomburgk 1846:153). During the Revolution, rum making expanded in Cuba, Saint Domingue, and the Danish Virgin Islands and rum from these islands penetrated the U.S. market. In addition, rum making started in the developing Ceded Islands, which, because they desperately needed provisions and plantation supplies from the United States, could easily justify to British administrators the entrance of American ships to help meet emergency needs. Although U.S. rum imports returned to pre-Revolutionary levels by 1800, Barbadian rum made up a much smaller slice of the pie. Between 1786 and 1792, Barbados exported an average of less than half a million gallons of rum per year, much of it to British Canada (Edwards 18I9;I:350; Young 1807:28,68). Moreover, Barbadian rum also faced the rise of U.S. whiskey drinking and growing U.S. nationalism, which equated Caribbean rum, especially from the British colonies, with colonial dependence. Rum prices dropped considerably and Governor Parry (1783 cited in Carrington 1988: 178) of Barbados wrote, for want of vent, rum [...J is now a mere Drug upon the hands of the planters." Rum production figures from Turner's Hall and Codrington show the immediate impact of these events (Figure 6-8). Molasses, a basic ingredient in rum making, appears in the accounts of Turner's Hall and Codrington for the first time in the early nineteenth century and highlights the decline of the Barbados rum industry. Conclusion At the beginning of the eighteenth century, mercantilist policies shaped the growth of Caribbean rum. While officials in Spain and France sought to restrict the colonial rum trade, officials in Britain saw rum as a potential ally in their war against foreign spirits. The Seven Years War was a turning point for French and Spanish Caribbean rum makers. The war spread knowledge about advanced distilling techniques and the free trade reforms that followed the conflict helped release rum from its mercantilist bottle. British Caribbean rum, on the other hand, found a substantial home market and fed Britain's growing demand for

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165 alcohol during its industrial revolution. British Caribbean rum replaced many foreign alcohol imports and encroached on metropolitan gin. As a result, British Caribbean rum makers achieved much more significant commercial gains and rum revenues helped stabilize sugar estates. Despite the setbacks of war, huge amounts of rum continued to flow across the Atlantic. Between 1798 and 1800, the United States, Britain, Ireland, and Canada imported an annual average of more than 6 million gallons of Caribbean rum (Young 1807:30). Jamaica emerged as the largest supplier, but it was beginning to face competition from French and Spanish Caribbean rum makers. Rum makers in newer colonies of Grenada, Saint Vincent, and Demerara also made substantial gains in the Atlantic rum market. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rum making took on increasing economic importance. The abolition of the slave trade, the emancipation of Caribbean slaves, and falling sugar prices reduced the profitability of sugar making. In order to survive these challenges, Caribbean sugar planters channeled more of their sugar cane juice to their still houses and the produced huge amounts of rum for foreign markets. These centuries witnessed the rise of French and Spanish Caribbean rum makers, who eventually dominated the Atlantic rum trade.

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CHAPTER? RUM AND ECONOMIC SURVIVAL IN THE NINETEENTH AND TWENTIETH CENTURIES In the nineteenth century, rum making became increasingly important to Caribbean sugar planters. Competition from newcomers to the world's sugar markets and damage to European wine and brandy industries moved rum making to center stage. The rise of free trade economics in the Atlantic world stimulated the emergence of French and Spanish Caribbean rum making, which, by the end of the nineteenth century, surpassed their British Caribbean rivals. The growing number of working class consumers spurred demand for rum in Europe, Africa, and North America. Experimentation and scientific advances changed rum making from an art into a science. By the early twentieth century, metropolitan governments were sufficiently dependent upon Caribbean rum revenues to institute protectionist quotas that brought greater security to rum makers. Two world wars and the Cold War further ignited Caribbean rum making and diverted the flow of the rum trade. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, rum is one of the world's most widely consumed spirits and rum making continues to be an important part of the Caribbean economy. But rum making also faced serious challenges. The nineteenth century began as a turbulent and uncertain time for Caribbean rum makers, especially in the older British Caribbean colonies. The emergence of new sugar and rum making colonies in the Caribbean and Far East, the growth of North American whiskey drinking, and the development of European sugar beet industries threatened the economic stability of the Caribbean. The abolition of the Atlantic slave trade and the emancipation of Caribbean slaves led to increasing labor costs and a general decline in production in much of the region. New sugar-making technology decreased the availability of sucrose for distilling. 166

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167 The spread of temperance philosophy reduced alcohol use throughout much of the western world and, in the early twentieth century, global conflict and state sanctioned prohibitions against alcohol temporarily closed big markets to Caribbean rum. The Nineteenth Century Expansion of Rum Making The high sucrose content of sugar cane makes it an ideal source of alcohol. As a result, rum making has emerged in nearly every region of the world where sugar cane flourishes. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, sugar production spread to India, Africa, and the Pacific, and rum making soon followed. Small-scale, clandestine distilling operations also developed. In the eighteenth century, rum making began in the Indian Ocean colonies of Madagascar, the Seychelles, and the Mascarene islands, especially Mauritius and Reunion. These were at first small industries catering to local alcohol demands, but in the nineteenth century, these regions exported substantial amounts of rum to India, Australia, and East Africa (Huetz de Lemps 1997: 100-105). In the mid-eighteenth century, Dutch and Chinese sugar planters produced rum, called arrack, in Jakarta, the largest city in Indonesia. The name arrack was originally used for alcohol made from rice and coconut palm, but it was eventually applied to spirits made from sugar cane juice and molasses (Fitzmaurice 1793). In the mid-eighteenth century, sugar cane-based arrack was also produced in colonial India, on the Dutch controlled island of Ceylon and in the Portuguese settlements of Goa and Coromandel on the southern coast. William Fitzmaurice, a Jamaican-trained sugar planter, established a sugar factory in Bengal and, in 1793, wrote a treatise on the manufacture of sugar and rum for the British East India Company. The treatise was meant to encourage Jamaican rum-making techniques in India, but Fitzmaurice (1793:59-60) also described the uniquely Indian production of flavored rum made by adding the juice and skins of peaches, pineapples, mangos, coconuts, and oranges to the fermenting cisterns. Fitzmaurice was an advocate of East Indian rum making, but believed (1793:58) East Indian rum would have difficulty finding a good market because of its "nauseous taste."

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168 Apparently, East Indians were not attentive rum makers. Fitzmaurice argued that the poor quality of East Indian rum was due to the "bad treatment of materials, neglect of the purity of the distilling utensils, and the great proportion of fermentable and putrid matter acquired in transporting the jaggery [molasses] from one place to the other." Rum making emerged in other parts of the globe. Sugar cane spread out of the South Pacific 8,000 years ago and returned as an alcoholic beverage in the ships of Captain Cook and other European explorers. Spanish colonials in the Philippines, Guam, and the Marianas may have introduced the particular art of distilling sugar cane juice as eariy as the seventeenth century (Marshall and Marshall 1975:444). At the time of Cook's exploration in the 1770s and 80s, Hawaiian islanders used sugar cane only as a "vegetable plant" (Ellis 1782;II: 135). By the eariy nineteenth century, however, American firms had built sugar plantations in Hawaii that soon began distilling rum. Plantation-based agriculture introduced many Pacific islanders, especially Hawaiians, to new work regimens that disrupted traditional social structures. The massive amounts of rum and other Europeanintroduced alcoholic beverages created new social problems, including alcoholism, which, as in Carib Indian society, hastened the demise of traditional Hawaiian culture (Lemert 1964). Signs of what was to come may have been evident on the Cook voyages in the 1770s when the crew's surgeon William Ellis (1782: 127) reported that Pacific islanders, once introduced to European spirits, aggressively attempted to procure these new beverages. In 1827, Hawaiian Governor Boki sold his sugar factory to a syndicated company that abandoned sugar making for rum distillation. According to sugar historian Noel Deerr (I949;I:252), Christian missionaries objected to the distillery and persuaded King Kaahumanu to have the plantation destroyed. In the 1880s, the French Pacific colonies of Tahiti and New Caledonia also produced rum and even managed to export some 20,000 gallons a year to France (Kervegant 1 946:48 1 ). British settlement of Australia began in 1788 and imported rum immediately became an item of trade with the Australian Aborigine. According to anthropologist Marcia Langton

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169 (1993), plying the Aborigine with rum helped the British settlers mask the difficulties they encountered and "seduce" the Aborigine into British colonial agendas. By making the Aborigine dependent on rum, it became a tool of British colonial domination. As in the Caribbean and North America, British colonials underscored the drunkenness of native peoples and used these racist images to justify British rule and forge an ideology of white supremacy. Rum was used excessively by the British military and criminal exiles in Australia. During the early years of settlement, rum often supplemented military and settler wages and per capita consumption rates sometimes reached more than 7 gallons per year (Crowley 1974:34). In 1807, the autocratic Governor William Bligh, who had achieved fame as the captain of the mutiny-struck Bounty, took over command of the Australian colony. As governor of Australia, Bligh immediately placed heavy restrictions on alcohol imports and attempted to ban the use of rum as a work incentive and article of barter. He outlawed local alcohol production, closed rum shops, and seized distilling equipment. The following year, Bligh was deposed in a non-violent overthrow of his authority. The overthrow, known as the "rum rebellion," was caused by Bligh's tyrannical leadership, which included tight restrictions on rum trafficking within the colony. In the mid-nineteenth century, sugar production emerged in Australia and rum making soon followed. By the late 1860s, there were 13 distilleries operating in Queensland and, in 1880, neariy 300,000 gallons of rum were produced, mostly for local consumption (Kervegant 1946:481). In the early eighteenth century, factors for the Royal African Company proposed the construction of a rum-making sugar plantation in West Africa to help feed the slave trade. However, the plan was never implemented and little rum was ever produced in the region. Alcohol import revenues were so important to colonial governments in West Africa that officials generally restricted local alcohol production (Akyeampong 1997; Pan 1976). Even though rum making failed to take hold in West Africa, it flourished in other parts of the continent. In the late eighteenth century, sugar cane-based arrack was produced in the

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170 Portuguese colony of Mozambique (Charpentier de Cossigny 1783:70-71). In the late nineteenth century. South Africa emerged as a major producer. Competition in the distilled spirits industries and the growing global demand for alcohol spurred technological advances in rum making. In 1801, Edward Adam introduced the first continuous still which worked on the principle that, by closely regulating the temperature of the wash in a series of retorts, water and alcohol could be condensed separately producing a concentrated spirit in a single distillation. In 1813, the introduction of the Cellier-Blumenthal continuous still improved the continuous distilling process by making a more uniform spirit. The great advantage of the continuous still was that it used much less fuel (usually coal). Early pot stills required fuel the weight of nearly three times that of the spirit it yielded, but the Cellier-Blumenthal continuous still used only one-quarter the weight of the alcohol it produced (Lock 1888:766-767; Underwood 1935:55-61). Fuel cost was always an important consideration for planters in the Caribbean sugar islands, which usually lacked sufficient fuel resources. Other design patents for continuous stills soon followed and, by the second decade of the nineteenth century, there were numerous types all working on the same basic principle. Although a number of steam-heated stills were patented in the early nineteenth century, the introduction of the ColTey steam-heated still in the 1830s was a major advance in distilling. According to industrial historian A.J.V. Underwood (1935:58), steam-heating was advantageous because of "more rapid heating, reduced wear and tear of still bodies, and removal of danger of spoiling the flavor of the spirits through the charring of organic matter." While continuous stills were popular in Europe, colonial Caribbean distilling practices, particularly in the older Caribbean islands, remained technologically conservative. In 1848, Jamaican and Indian sugar planter Leonard Wray (1848:324-327, 404-408) believed that the sugar colonies were not well suited for continuous-type stills. According to Wray,

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171 Stills of Blumenthal, Lougiers, and Coffey, though very excellent, and no doubt very efficient, are, notwithstanding, much better adapted to European distilleries than for sugar estates. I have seen many of them, as well as modifications of them, working on estates in India and the Straits; but I never knew them to afford satisfaction to their possessors: probably from not having such careful and skillful workmen to entrust them with, as are obtainable in Europe. (Wray 1848:407) Many Caribbean rum makers rejected the new technology and, instead, relied on the common pot still, which, although increasing in capacity in the eighteenth century, had been the basic distilling apparatus used in the Caribbean since the beginning of the rum industry. Some distillers, especially in the new rum-making colonies of the Caribbean, modified their traditional pot stills by attaching the more fuel-efficient continuous Patent still-heads. These modified common stills were widely used in India and the East Indies. In the Caribbean, they were particularly associated with the emerging sugarand rum-making colony of Demerara (British Guiana). Distillers in Demerara simply adapted large common pot stills to the more fuel-efficient Patent still-head invented by Corty and improved by Shears and Sons. Jamaican distillers were more resistant to change. According to Wray, From what I have already said, it will be seen that I entertain a very good opinion of the [modified common stills], and consider them well adapted to the requirements of a sugar estate. But of all the different arrangements, I have never known any to surpass the common still and double retorts. As a distilling apparatus particularly suited by its simplicity, durability, economy, and efficiency to the wants of the planter, I consider that it stands unrivaled. (Wray 1848:407^8) In Jamaica, in 1888, sugar technologist, Edward Lock (1888:777) also argued, "nothing is likely to supersede the common still and double retorts" and, as late as 1944, the central factory at Frome estate produced over 450,000 gallons of rum from its five "pot stills" (CO. 1944:326). According to Lock, although common pot stills required a considerable expense in fuel, they produced an especially "fine" spirit. In fact, traditional pot stills continue to operate in parts of the Caribbean today, including the River Antoine rum distillery in Grenada. During the early nineteenth century, other changes took place in rum making. Processed strains of yeast were introduced to help ensure proper and complete .1

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172 fermentation. Once again, Jamaican distillers remained conservative. Wray argued (1848:401) that cane juice, scum, and molasses contained the ferment glutton, making the introduction of yeast unnecessary. Glutton as a fermenting agent is also discussed by Lock, but it is not clear whether glutton is actually a ferment or if fermentation is done entirely by the action of yeast, which are naturally present on the sugar cane. Wray (1848:401) argued vehemently against using processed strains of yeast, which he believed completely altered the character and taste of Jamaican rum. As late as 1887, the Director of Public Gardens and Plantations in Jamaica complained that 40% of sucrose used in washes was lost due to the planters' resistance to add commercial yeast strains (CO. 1887:460). British Caribbean Rum in the Nineteenth Century At the beginning of the nineteenth century, sugar making was still the dominant economic activity in the British Caribbean. The Haitian Revolution had destroyed the world's leading sugar producer and opened new markets to British Caribbean sugar. War between Britain and France until 1815 also helped reinvigorate British Caribbean sugar production. In addition, new sugar cane-growing regions emerged in the British Caribbean, which began to challenge the dominant position of Jamaica in the British sugar and rum markets (Table 7-1). Table 7-1. Annual average sugar and rum exports to Britain in the 1820s Colonv Cwt. of sugar Gallons of rum Rum: Sugar Antigua 1,603,239 607,112 0.379 Barbados 2,566,769 13,759 0.005 Berbice 707,845 959,633 1.356 Demerara 6,270,797 12,056,823 1.923 Dominica 452,481 179,784 0.397 Grenada 2,228,472 2,955,180 1.326 Jamaica 13,992,436 29,904,540 2.137 Montserrat 258,285 272,519 1.055 Nevis 490,659 219,718 0.448 St. Kitts 1,578,006 997,093 0.632 St. Lucia 788,988 110,712 0.140 St. Vincent 2,561,498 1,336,040 0.522 Tobago 1,057,477 3,637,709 3.440 Tortola 1%,375 19,094 0.097 Trinidad 2.058.341 149.624 0.073 Source: Ragatz 1927:18

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173 However, British Caribbean sugar making soon faced serious challenges. Historian Lowell Ragatz (1928:37) argued that, by the late eighteenth century, the profitability of British Caribbean sugar was on the decline. A key element of Ragatz's argument was that soil exhaustion had reduced the productivity of sugar estates, especially in older islands like Barbados. In fact, as eariy as 1663, Governor Willoughby of Barbados (cited in Williams 1944: 113) recognized that soil productivity was "decaying fast." By the eariy nineteenth century, competition from sugar producers in new and fertile cane-growing regions, such as Mauritius and Demerara threatened to glut sugar markets. Moreover, the poor management of corrupt plantation managers on absentee sugar estates led to chronic indebtedness. According to Ragatz, the British Caribbean sugar planters' insistence on one crop and their unwillingness to improve production methods using new technology were symptoms of this decline. Eric Williams (1944) corroborated Ragatz's decline thesis positing that the decreasing profitability of British Caribbean sugar estates led to the British abolition of the slave trade in 1807 and to the eventual emancipation of British Caribbean slaves in 1834. More recent analysis of the profitability of British Caribbean sugar estates has challenged many tenets of the decline thesis. For example, J.R. Ward (1988; 1991:87-88) showed that British Caribbean sugar plantations were profitable throughout the slavery period and that decline theories were "pessimistic." Ward revealed that profits from British Caribbean sugar plantations hovered around 10% in the first two decades of the nineteenth century and about 7% for the last years of slavery. Seymour Drescher (1977) argued that the abolition of the slave trade hastened the decline of British Caribbean sugar, not the other way around. According to Drescher, abolition and emancipation decreased the availability of a steady and stable labor force, which resulted in increased labor costs. Jamaica fared particulariy badly due to the large amount of available land for the development of a peasantry (Mintz 1974). After emancipation, the rate of Jamaican sugar production declined sharply and, by the 1840s, exports had dropped by two-thirds. According to historian

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174 Richard Lobdell ( 19%:3 19), production costs in Jamaica nearly tripled after emancipation. Similar increases in production costs occurred in much of the British Caribbean. In an effort to stabilize labor supplies, the British Parliament encouraged the migration of indentured Asian workers, mainly from India and China, to the sugar plantations of the British Caribbean. The only real exception to the decline was in some of the older sugar islands like Barbados, St. Kitts, and Antigua. These colonies had a limited amount of available land for the rise of a peasantry. Sugar production in Barbados actually increased for several years after emancipation (Curtin 19%:3 17). By the mid-nineteenth century, although the newer sugar colonies of Trinidad and Demerara managed to expand output, free trade and growing competition from new sugar producing areas accelerated the decline of sugar's profitability. In the early nineteenth century, the protected home market for British Caribbean sugar was under attack. In 1825, the import duty on sugar from the British Indian Ocean colony of Mauritius was lowered and essentially made equal to that of British Caribbean sugar. In 1835, Indian sugar was also admitted under equal conditions. While British Caribbean planters may have felt some pressure from the equal status accorded to British colonial sugar producers in the east, the admission of foreign sugar was a more serious threat. In 1844, foreign sugar produced in non-slaveholding colonies was admitted into the British market. In 1846, Parliament passed the Sugar Duty Act, which began the process of admitting all foreign sugar on an equal basis. This process was completed in 1854. In an effort to protect British sugar refiners, the act equalized duties only on muscavado, but, by 1874, all sugars freely entered Britain (Curtin 1996:315). In Jamaica, Christian missionary John Bigelow wrote. The abolition of slavery they aver, caused the price of labor to advance beyond the point of successful competition with countries where slavery was tolerated. It became impossible, as they claimed, for a Jamaican planter, with free labor, to raise anything like the prices at which it was sold by the planters of Cuba, Brazil, and Porto Rico. (Bigelow 1850:71)

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175 However, the greatest challenge to Caribbean sugar producers in the nineteenth century was the growth of beet sugar industries in Europe. Germany, Austria, and France became major beet sugar producers, in part, to decrease their reliance on foreign imports of colonial Caribbean cane sugar. Sugar beet industries in Europe, especially in France, were protected and received government subsidies. Until the mid-nineteenth century, sugar cane was the basis for world sugar. By 1860, 20% of world sugar production came from sugar beet and, in 1890, that figure had jumped to 59%. "From being a net importer of sugar, Europe became an exporter" (Fraginals 19%:333). The Sugar Duty Act of 1846 allowed beet sugar to freely enter the British market. The British market was soon saturated and the United States and Canada became the only significant markets for Caribbean cane sugar. Parliament attempted to compensate British Caribbean sugar producers for the loss of their protected home market. The use of sugar in British distilleries, which was previously excluded, was permitted (Davy 1854:19-20). Before this time, the landed interests in Britain had proved so strong that the admission of sugar into British distilleries had only been allowed for emergency purposes, such as in the period 1799-1813 when war with France and poor harvests led to severe grain shortages (Ragatz 1928:290-291; 318319). Duties on rum were also lowered. In the early nineteenth century. Parliament imposed a series of taxes on rum to raise national revenues for its war against France. The customs and excise payable on rum consumed in Britain rose from 9s.3/4d. per gallon in 1803 to 13s.6l/2d. per gallon in 1806. In Ireland, customs and excise duties jumped from 6s. 1 1 l/4d. to 8s.6l/4d. per gallon (Ragatz 1928:295). Although levied to help pay for the war effort, the oppressive duties were only slightly reduced after the conflict. In 1825, Parliament sought to help the British Caribbean sugar planter, and probably compensate them for the equalization of import duties on sugar from Mauritius, by lowering the duties on rum. The plan lowered duties to 8s.6d., but the duty on gin, which had been increased in the eighteenth century in order to curb drunkenness and bolster the Caribbean sugar

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176 colonies, was also reduced and made equal to that of rum. According to one frustrated planter, the reduction of the gin duty was counter-intuitive because gin had been "more destructive to the morals of the lower class in this country than all other causes combined." However, economic concerns, rather than the fear of moral decay, fueled the debate. by these reductions in duty on rum and gin, the planter is placed in the situation of a general commanding an army in the presence of a much superior enemy and, who received enforcement of 10,000 men, at the very moment the enemy were reinforced with 15,000; for they are comparatively worse off with the reduced duty of 8s. 6d. than they were with the duty of lis. 9d. (Anonymous 1830:89) The loss of the secure British sugar market led to the further reduction of rum duties "to put the colonial distiller, it was said, on par with the home distiller" (Davy 1854: 19-20). Parliament, whether it intended to or not, was pushing the British Caribbean toward rum production. Export statistics from the mid-nineteenth century reveal that many sugar planters, in order to survive the economic damage caused by the loss of their protected home market for sugar, adopted production strategies that emphasized rum making. In Jamaica, sugar production declined sharply after emancipation and many planters switched to rum making, especially in the northwest region of the colony (Beachey 1957:44). As early as the mid-eighteenth century, concentrated Jamaican rum had achieved a good reputation and sold well on the British market. Jamaica was the leading supplier of rum to Britain. While exports of Jamaican rum declined from 3.8 million gallons in 1830 to 1.5 million gallons a decade later, rum exports, unlike sugar, quickly stabilized and remained steady until the end of WWl (all British imperial gallons have been converted to U.S. gallons of 3.785 liters). Sugar planters simply varied the amount of sucrose used on the plantation to produce more rum than sugar. Jamaican missionary and historian W.J. Gardner wrote. The produce of rum depends to a great extent on that of sugar, though far more puncheons have of late been made in proportion to hogsheads of sugar than was formerly the case. Years can be pointed out, as for example, 1797,1802,1822, and 1836, and some later ones, when only one puncheon was exported for every three hogsheads of sugar; but as a fair general statement, an average of two puncheons for five hogsheads may be taken. Since 1854, the average is as one to two. (Gardner 1873:322)

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177 • Jamaican rum exports in US gallons -Jamaican sugar exports in cwts 7000000. 6000000. 5000000 4000000 3000000 2000000 1000000. 0 III llll llll IIIIMII llllllll MM llll III! Illlllll llllllll Mill llll llll llllllll llllllll nil Mil nil llllllll llllill 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 Year Figure 7-1. Jamaican rum and sugar exports (sources: 1800-1833 from Ragatz 1927:23; 1833-1887 from Eisner 1961:240-245; 1888-1910 from CO.) Jamaicans increased the ratio of rum to sugar exports throughout the nineteenth century in order to survive falling sugar prices and benefit from the improved rum duties (Figure 7-1). One of the great advantages of rum was that, unlike sugar, it could be stored for many years and sold when prices were high. Price determined the proportion of rum exported; the relationship between price and export was fairly linear. During the 1830s, when a gallon of rum averaged 9% of the price of a cwt. of sugar, the export ratio was 2.7 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. In the 1890s, when the price of a gallon of rum averaged 18% of the price of a cwt. of sugar, the export ratio jumped to 5.3 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar (Eisner 1961:240-245). Sharp increases in rum exports in particular years correspond to high rum prices. In 1868, the price of a gallon of rum was 12% the price of a cwt. of sugar and the export ratio was 5.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. In 1876, the price of a gallon of rum was 14% the price of a cwt. of sugar and the export ratio was 7.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. In 1908, a rum price equal to 31% that of sugar produced an export ratio of 12.2 gallons per cwt. And in 1913, when the value of rum reached its peak relative to sugar, and a gallon of rum represented 37% the price of a cwt. of sugar, the rum to sugar export ratio was 1 1.7 gallons per cwt. The relationship between rum exports

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178 and price ratios reveals that Jamaican sugar planters were able to adapt quickly to changing price ratios. When sugar prices were low they channeled sucrose to their distilleries rather than their sugar cauldrons. They stockpiled rum and, when rum prices were high, released it in bulk on the British market. They were practical business managers who did not simply wait for a return to the glory days of sugar making. In the first three decades of the nineteenth century, the value of rum represented 1417% of Jamaica exports (Higman 1976:231). Rum revenues remained high throughout the nineteenth century. In 1878-1887, rum represented an average of 16% of the value of Jamaican exports. In 1887, Jamaican rum exports were worth 20% of the island's total export and rum brought in more than sugar. By the early twentieth century, Jamaica had a more diversified economy and the increasing export of fruit, cocoa, and pimento, as well as coffee, which had been a valuable export commodity since the eighteenth century, reduced the relative value of rum. Between 1901 and 1910, rum represented an average of only about 7% of Jamaica's total export trade. Yet, despite the relative decline in rum revenues, the value of rum exports usually exceeded the value of sugar exports. In the early nineteenth century, Trinidad, Demerara, Berbice, Tobago, and the Ceded Islands became strong competitors in the British rum market (Table 7-1). By 1813, Demerara was exporting over one million gallons of rum annually to Britain making it the second largest exporter of rum (Ragatz 1927: 18). A decade later, Demeraran rum captured more than 20% of the British rum market (Kervegant 1941:478; Ragatz 1927: 18). In 1799, Trinidad exported 170,671 gallons of rum and, by 1819, exports reached more than 500,000 gallons (Fraser 18%:21 1-212). Between 1827 and 1829, rum makers in St. Vincent produced an annual average of 702,708 gallons. In these three years, the small island of Bequia, in the St. Vincent Grenadines, produced an annual average of 19,546 gallons. Even tiny Mustique managed to produce an average of 7,877 gallons per year. St. Vincentian sugar planter Charles Shepherd (1831) recorded the island's rum production and highlighted the variability of rum to sugar ratios on different estates. Between 1827 and

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179 1829, while a few sugar plantations produced no rum, others, like Rivulet plantation in St. George's parish, produced an enormous 9.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. In 1827, nearly every sugar plantation produced some rum and the average ratio for all rum-making plantations in St. Vincent was 2.7 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. In contrast to the success of rum making in Jamaica, Demerara, and some of the newer sugar colonies, many British Caribbean rum makers, especially in the older British Caribbean colonies, suffered. British Caribbean rum began the nineteenth century largely excluded from the profitable U.S. market. The American Revolution, and the reformed Navigation Acts which followed in 1783, greatly restricted the level of trade between the United States and the British Caribbean. Many British Caribbean sugar planters lost an outlet for their rum and immediate access to plantation supplies. Although British Canada provided some relief, it could not supply enough plantation provisions or purchase enough rum. According to historian Selwyn Carrington (1996), trade restrictions led colonial Caribbean governors to implement a policy of "emergency need proclamations," which temporarily lifted trade restrictions with the United States and helped reestablish some sense of trade security. Rum was among the products admitted in the emergency trade. But British Caribbean rum also had to contend with the rise of U.S. nationalism. After the Revolution, Americans sought self-sufficiency and equated British Caribbean rum and molasses with colonial domination. According to alcohol historian William Rorabaugh (1979:67), to buy rum from the British Caribbean "was foolish and unpatriotic because it was harmful to American distillers and their workmen." Increasing access to cheap western grain provided Americans with cheap American whiskey. The shift to whiskey drinking increased in 1794 when the United States banned British imports in retaliation against the British policy of impressing American seamen into the British navy. In 1789, with strong support from the rum-making New England states, the U.S. Congress approved an excise tax on domestic whiskey. However, officials had difficulty collecting the tax and faced widespread protest from western grain farmers. In 1794, dissent from Pennsylvania

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180 farmers erupted in violent protests known as the "Whiskey Rebellion." In 1802, Congress repealed the Whiskey tax, which lowered the cost of whiskey. Imported rum and molasses still paid high import taxes. Whiskey production also increased considerably after 1815 when peace in Europe closed European markets to American grain and generated a surplus of grain for distillation (Rorabaugh 1979:80). The high cost of plantation goods, coupled with the American's increasing consumption of whiskey, therefore, reduced the significance of British Caribbean rum in the U.S. market. In 1768-1772, according to Jamaican sugar planter Edward Long (1774;II:498), Jamaica annually exported an average of 200,000 gallons of rum to North America, primarily the thirteen continental colonies. In 1774, Jamaican sugar planter Bryan Edwards (I8I9;I:304) estimated that Jamaica exported nearly 1 million gallons to the same destinations. Yet, in 1788, exports to the United States dropped to about 300,000 gallons and, in 180818 11, Jamaica exported an annual average of only 53,800 gallons to the United States (Gardner 1873:324). 20 18 16 ^ 14 OS "8 12 t 10 oa 4 Turner's Hall, Barbados Codrington Plantation Barbados 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1770 1780 1790 1 1 1 1 I I I 1 1 1 1 I 1 1 1 1 1 1 I I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 I 1 1 1 1 I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 I 1 1 1 1 I I 1 1 I 1 1 1 1 1 1 I 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 year Figure 7-2. Rum production at Codrington and Turner's Hall estates in Barbados (source: WFP; SPG) The American Revolution devastated Barbados rum making, which never rebounded to its mid-eighteenth century zenith. The trade restrictions that followed the American Revolution and the growth of American whiskey drinking removed the largest

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181 market for Barbados rum. Production accounts from Codrington and Turner's Hall plantations in Barbados show that this decline lasted well into the nineteenth century (Figure 7-2). In fact, in the early nineteenth century, even smaller sugar islands, like Montserrat and Nevis, frequently exported more rum than Barbados. In the early 1820s, Britain usually imported less than one thousand gallons of Barbados rum per year. Although trade between the United States and Barbados resumed, the great American drinking binge was on the decline after the 1830s (Rorabaugh 1979). Table 7-2. British Caribbean rum exports to Britain in gallons Colony 1776 1826 1876 Antigua 114,325 64,447 21,357 Barbados 196,419 2,064 2,638 Demerara — 837,464 3,000,000 Dominica 74,955 7,007 18,912 Jamaica 2,233,074 2,283,784 3,703,000 Grenada 292,952 170,042 85,775 St. Kitts 151,254 73,029 117,467 St. Vincent 66,656 55,313 161,290 Trinidad 17.382 18.167 Sources: 1776,1826 Ragatz 1927; 1876 Kervegant 1946:24; Demerara 1876 Kervegant 1946:478; Jamaica 1876 Eisner 1961:240-245 The decay of the Barbados rum industry is most evident in the rise of molasses exports, the basic ingredient in rum making. In the eighteenth century, Barbados exported almost no molasses and, until the nineteenth century, Codrington estate and Turner's Hall estate, rarely mentioned molasses sales. However, between 1841 and 1845, Barbados exported almost no rum, but a large amount of molasses was loaded onto U.S. ships and carried back to home distilleries (Schomburgk 1848: 160-161). In those five years, Barbados molasses exports were worth £165,724, while rum exports were a mere £860, one half of one percent the value of molasses. In 1843, the value of pickle exports were six times greater than exports of rum. In the late nineteenth century, when rum exports increased throughout much of the British Caribbean, Barbadian rum continued to struggle. In 1864, Barbados exported 42,000 gallons; a decade later only 20,000 gallons, and in 1876, less than 3,000 gallons (Kervegant 1946:24,474). During the height of the British

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182 Caribbean rum trade in the 1890s, Barbados produced an annual average of about 555,000 gallons of rum, but ail of it was consumed locally (Pairault 1903: 14). Emancipation and the loss of a protected home market for sugar depressed the overall levels of British Caribbean rum production. Britain's efforts to bolster British Caribbean sugar plantations through the reduction of rum duties helped stabilize rum exports in the mid-nineteenth century, but, despite favorable policy toward rum, nineteenth century exports stagnated and British Caribbean sugar estates that had once produced huge amounts of rum struggled to remain solvent. This trend occurred in many parts of the British Caribbean. For example, rum making in Tobago intensified at the end of the eighteenth century and, by 1805-1809, Tobago exported an average of more than 800,000 gallons of rum per year. In the early nineteenth century, Tobago became a major rummaking colony. After emancipation, Tobago's rum exports, like those of Jamaica, immediately fell and then stabilized (Figure 7-3). 700000 600000 500000 400000 300000 200000 100000 -Tobago rum exports in US gallons • Tobago sugar exports cwt. year Figure 7-3. Sugar and rum exports from Tobago (source: Woodcock 1867:appendix) While rum exports in most of the British Caribbean stagnated, Demerara and Jamaica emerged as major rum-making colonies. In 1876, the International Exhibition in Philadelphia celebrated the high quality of Jamaican rum. Because of its distinctive taste, Jamaican rum was widely sought after in Germany, where it was used to adulterate spirits

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183 made from German beet sugar (Beachey 1957:76). In the late nineteenth century, rum exports from Demerara challenged the dominant position of Jamaica. In 1859, Britain imported about 8.4 million gallons of rum, 40% of which came from Demerara. Jamaica and the other British Caribbean colonies provided another 40%, while rum from Mauritius and the Spanish Caribbean represented the remaining 20% (Kervegant 1946:489). By the 1890s, Demerara annually exported an average of more than 4.2 million gallons of rum: a third more than Jamaica. Unlike Jamaican rum, Demerara' s lower quality product was made from poorer quality vacuum-pan molasses in modified pot stills (Beachey 1957:7677). What made it appealing was that it was cheap and exported in bulk. The British Indian Ocean colony of Mauritius also emerged as a major rum colony surpassing rum makers in the older British Caribbean colonies. In the 1890s, Mauritius vied for a top spot in the world rum trade exporting an average of nearly 1 million gallons per year (Pairault 1903:13). Britain was the main market for British Caribbean rum, but it also re-exported much of its imports. In 1859, Britain imported about 8.4 million gallons of rum and re-exported about 2.3 million gallons. Australia, Germany, Italy, and Africa were the primary destinations. In 1900, the per capita consumption of rum in Britain was only about onetenth of a gallon (Kervegant 1946:489). Whiskey, gin, and brandy remained the most important spirits to British consumers. The Rise of French Caribbean Rum in the Nineteenth Century In the late eighteenth century, France lifted restrictions on French Caribbean rum imports and French Caribbean rum makers were confident that they could penetrate the huge French alcohol market. In addition, the American Revolution legally opened a potentially large rum market. The increasing number of late eighteenth century treatises on French Caribbean rum making highlights their growing optimism. French Caribbean planters, however, also faced serious challenges. The nineteenth century began with the loss of Saint Domingue: the largest sugar-producing colony in the

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184 Caribbean. Efforts to revive the Haitian sugar industry after the Revolution failed and sugar production declined dramatically. Moreover, war with Britain interrupted French colonial trade. After the French abolition of slavery in 1848, many former slaves rejected plantation work and became peasant farmers, especially in Guadeloupe, which had plenty of uncultivated and available land (Renard 1996:81). The rise of subsidized beet sugar industries in France also hurt French Caribbean sugar producers. Overall, the profitability of French Caribbean sugar making fell and, like their British Caribbean counterparts, many French Caribbean planters turned to rum making. Early French Caribbean rum making struggled. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, French Caribbean rum had a poor reputation. In 1786, an anonymous writer in Saint Domingue (AA 1786) wrote that biggest problem facing French Caribbean rum was that it was "repugnant to foreigners." Saint Domingue sugar planter J. F. Charpentier-Cossigny (1781:23, 1803) also sought to explain the "disagreeable" taste of French Caribbean rum. Charpentier-Cossigny, like many other writers, blamed substandard distilling equipment and the improper wash settings. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, French Caribbean planters published detailed reports that advised how to rectify rum-making techniques and produce quality rum like that made in Jamaica (AA 1786; Charpentier-Cossigny 1783, 1803; Dutrone 1791:304-316). In 1803, Napoleon lifted the remaining restrictions on rum imports to bolster French Caribbean economies after years of war and economic instability, but, due to its poor reputation, not much changed for French Caribbean rum makers. During the first half of the nineteenth century, Martinique and Guadeloupe produced about 250,0(X) gallons of rum per year, but exported very little. In 1819, for example, Martinique exported less than 100,000 gallons and, of that shipped to France, most was probably consumed in the port towns of Marseille, Nantes, Le Havre, and Bordeaux, the main ports for French Caribbean produce (Kervegant 1946:485). Some rum was re-exported to Africa, but the loss of Saint Domingue and Britain's determination after 1807 to abolish the Atlantic slave trade meant a

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185 decrease in slave trafficking and, therefore, a fall in French Caribbean rum re-exports to Africa. North Americans also thought French Caribbean rum had a particularly bad taste and preferred to import French Caribbean molasses for their own distilleries. The switch to whiskey drinking also reduced the demand for rum in America. In 1820, the French government imposed an import tax of 10 francs per hectoliter on French Caribbean rum, but tried to compensate for the tax by prohibiting the import of foreign rum (Kervegant 1946:485). In 1820, Martinique only exported 56,301 gallons of rum and, in 1824, Martinique sugar planter Pierre Dessalles (19%:66) complained that his rum sold pooriy and that "it would be difficult to find anyone paying 5 francs for tafia." In 1826, Martinique had 84 distilleries: one-third the number that existed 40 years earlier (Schnakenbourg 1977: 1 10). In the mid1830s, Martinique and Guadeloupe produced an average of about 400,000-500,000 gallons of rum per year, but almost all of it was consumed locally (Blerald 1986:60-61; Josa 1931:127-128; Schnakenbourg 1977:110). In 1833, France raised the import duty to 20 francs per hectoliter and, in 1835, re-admitted imports of foreign rum, but at a very high tax of 200 francs per hectoliter. Rum remained a marginal commodity and, in 1840, Martinique only exported about 130,000 gallons (Huetz de Lemps 1997:118; Josa 1931:151-152; Kervegant 1946:484-485). Although sugar production virtually vanished in Haiti, cane cultivation did not, and the demise of Haitian sugar making was a boon for local rum makers and consumers. In the 1820s, Charles Mackenzie (1830;I1:169), British Consul-General in Haiti, reported, "The quantity of rum exported has always been small, and was confined to Christophe's reign. At present, all that is made is consumed in the country." Mackenzie did not list rum among the major exports, except at the port of Cape Haitian, where, between 1807 and 1820, exports averaged only 2,300 gallons per year (Mackenzie 1830;II:302). Rum exports were still weak in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1862, for example, Spanish consulgeneral to Haiti, Mariano Alvarez, reported killings and woundings are generally the result of immoderate abuse of strong liquor, of which they consume a lot. Since the cessation of sugar-making, that of

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186 syrup has increased, which they turn into tafia or rum. This drink and others imported by foreign merchants have considerably increased the vice of drunkenness that regrettably grows day by day throughout the whole of the Americas. (David Geggus pers comm; Archivo General de la Nacion, Santo Domingo, D.R., Anexion a Espana, leg.l exp 10) Coincidentally, this report was written the same year that the world famous Barbancourt distillery in Haiti began operations. In the 1890s, Haiti was one of the largest rum producers in the Caribbean (Kervegant 1946:467; Pairault 1903:14). Sugar technologist M.E.-A. Pairault estimated that Haitians produced an annual average of more than 9 million gallons of rum, tafia, and the low alcohol content sugar cane-based beverage called clarin. However, Haiti exported no rum and the entire production was consumed locally. In the mid-nineteenth century, several events helped thrust French Caribbean rum into the spotlight. Sugar planters in Martinique and Guadeloupe benefited from two devastating blights on the vineyards of France. In the 1850s, European vineyards faced a species of fungus known as Oi'dium Tuckerii. The Oidium, which probably originated from the introduction of North American grapevines into Europe, severely damaged European viticulture. French wine production fell from an annual average of more than 1.1 billion gallons in the 1840s to only 290 million gallons in 1854. American grape vines were resistant to attack by the Oi'dium and, as a result, many wine makers imported and cultivated American vines to save their operations. Although devastating, the Oidium crisis was largely over in the early 1860s (Kervegant 1946:24-25; 485; Unwin 1997:282-284). But the Oidium crisis led to another more devastating problem. The introduction of American vines introduced an aphid known as the phylloxera. In the 1860s, the aphid phylloxera began destroying vineyards throughout Europe. It hit especially hard in France. French wine production fell from about 2.2 billion gallons in 1875 to only about 618 million gallons in 1889. The government of France offered 300,000 francs to anyone who could discover a cure for the phylloxera. In the 1890s, French viticulturists reluctantly decided that the solution was to graft French vines with more resistant American vines.

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187 J This process continued well into the twentieth century, during which time French viticulture suffered (Kervegant 1941:24-25;485; Unwin 1997:282-284). Table 7-3. Nineteenth century rum and molasses exports from Martinique Year Rum Molasses 1819 99,582 1,677,101 1820 56,314 1,938,610 1830 64,629 1,226,833 1840 131,596 592,204 1846 341,739 704,046 1850 284,691 1,588 1860 1,305,877 19,069 1870 1,464,735 72,472 1880 2,125,324 7,581 1884 4,656,476 15,423 1890 4,467,507 402 1898 3.964.875 3.379 Source: Josa 1931:152 The Oi'dium and phylloxera attacks were major turning points for French Caribbean rum makers (Table 7-3). In 1854, Napoleon 111 suspended the duty on French Caribbean rum imports in order to replenish alcohol supplies lost to the Oi'dium. The move helped introduce rum to the French public on a wider scale. Between 1854 and 1857, France imported more than 1 million gallons of French colonial rum (Kervegant 1946:24,485). Following the military tradition of alcohol rationing, much of this rum was re-exported to French troops serving in the Crimea (Huetz de Lemps 1997: 1 19). In the mid1860s, the Oi'dium crisis subsided and rum imports fell back to about 200,000 gallons per year as the availability of wine and brandy increased. The phylloxera, however, was much more devastating to French wine and brandy makers. In the 1870s, imports of French colonial rum rose to about 1 million gallons per year, as they had during the O'l'dium crisis, and, in the 1880s, rum imports jumped to more than 4 million gallons. In 18%, during the height of the phylloxera crisis, France imf>orted more than 6.3 million gallons of spirits, most of which was French colonial rum. Martinique provided the largest share, about 4.5 million gallons (Kervegant 1946:485^88). Signs of the increasing importance of French Caribbean rum were evident in the decreasing exports of molasses. In 1819, Martinique exported 1,677,101 gallons of

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188 molasses and only 99,582 gallons of rum; in 1884, only 15,423 gallons of molasses and 4,656,476 gallons of rum (Blerald 1986:60; Josa 1931:146). In the 1890s, Martinique exported an annual average of more than 4.5 million gallons of rum per year. Martiniquan rum exports surpassed those of all other Caribbean colonies, including Demerara and Jamaica. Martiniquans consumed another 800,000 gallons of rum per year making it one of the top rum producers in the Caribbean. Needless to say, exports of raw molasses essentially ceased. French Caribbean rum's success was not confined to Martinique. In the 1890s, Guadeloupe produced 1,555,000 gallons, more than half of which was consumed locally. The French Indian Ocean colony of Reunion also produced more than 600,000 gallons of rum per year and exported more than two-thirds of its produce. French Guiana contributed an additional 70,000 gallons per year (Kervegant 1946:467; Pairault 1903: 1314). In the 1890s, France was the main destination for French colonial rum. I 5000000450000040000003500000300000025000002000000150000a 1000000500000, Martinique rum exports in gallons 0 Martinique sugar exports in cwt 0 M il 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Pi 1 1 I I III 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 Year Figure 7-4. Rum and sugar exports from Martinique in the nineteenth century (source: Josa 1931:152-153) By 1865, the rate of per capita alcohol consumption in Paris was 59 gallons of wine, 21 gallons of beer, and 3 gallons of spirits (Haine 1996:91). The decline in southern European viticulture benefited a variety of other alcohol producers. Wine makers in Algeria, less severely hit by the phylloxera, helped fill the void in European wine markets. Beer and cider production in Europe also increased (Unwin 1991:294). In the midnineteenth century, absinthe, made from wormwood, became especially popular among

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189 i the Parisian artists and bourgeois elite. By the end of the century, absinthe use was mainstream and found in working class cafes. In 1895, absinthe replaced beer and brandy as the second most popular drink in Paris (Haine 1996:95-97). The distillation of beet sugar molasses in France also helped meet alcohol demands. By the mid-nineteenth century, rum was added to the list of alcoholic beverages typically found at working class cafes in France (Haine 1996:95-97). In the 1890s, France was importing more than 5 million gallons of rum per year from Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Reunion. Due to the -A it ravages of the phylloxera, rum from Jamaica, Demerara, and some of the other British colonies occasionally contributed another 2 million gallons per year (Kervegant 1946:486; Pairault 1903: 17). Some of it was re-exported to northern Europe and Africa, but the majority remained in France (Huetz de Lemps 1997: 122). At the end of the nineteenth century, France was importing as much rum, if not more, than Britain. Table 7-4. Annual average number of gallons of rum exported and produced in the 1890s Colonv Production Exportation Haiti 9,107,722 0 Martinique 5,326,350 4,533,748 Demerara 4,384,134 4,224,821 Jamaica 3,458,828 2,798,326 D.R. 3,035,907 0 Guadeloupe 1,555,393 762,791 Mauritius 1,159,975 856,132 Reunion 1,096,697 436,1% Barbados 554,822 0 Trinidad 467,315 142,720 St. Croix 241,383 96,553 St. Lucia 204,636 68,211 Suriname 179,232 139,602 Fr. Guiana 38.309 0 Source: Pairault 1903:13-14) Revenues from rum helped stabilize the French Caribbean economy and save it from collapse after the drop in world sugar prices. Rum kept many sugar estates solvent. The Martiniquan capital of St. Pierre was known as the rum capital of the world and it was one of the wealthiest ports in the Caribbean. Between 1898 and 1900, revenues from rum exports were worth more than 25 million francs and rum represented more than 40% of the value of rum and sugar exports (Josa 1931:147-149).

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190 In the early nineteenth century, French Caribbean rum makers continued to rely on inferior distilling techniques, but, by the mid-nineteenth century, French Caribbean rum makers were producing quality rum equal to that found in the British Caribbean. In 1855, Martiniquan rum did exceptionally well at an international competition, which helped boost its reputation (Huetz de Lemps 1997: 1 19). The late start of French Caribbean rum making probably made French Caribbean distillers less prone to conservatism. In the midnineteenth century, a wide variety of still-types operated in Martinique and, although many plantations continued to use traditional pot stills, often referred to as "Pere Labat-type stills" after the missionary who first described them at the end of the seventeenth century, some planters employed modified pot stills with continuous still-heads (Pairault 1903:64). Unlike their British Caribbean counterparts, the French also frequently employed continuous stills. Although pot stills were common on sugar plantations, the switch to centralized sugar factories in the mid-nineteenth century led to the rise of large industrial distilleries, especially in the Martiniquan port of St. Pierre (Kervegant 1946:25). Planters and colonial officials distinguished between rhum agricole, made from pure sugar cane juice on sugar plantations, and rhum industriel, made from molasses in big urban distilleries. Plantation distilleries could produce about 130 gallons of rum per day, while large urban distilleries could produce as much as 1,300 gallons per day. Many considered rhum agricole, such as that produced at Trois Rivieres distillery in Martinique, a particularly fine spirit due to the heavy use of pure cane juice and the care that went into its production (Rose-Rosette 1990). The practice of aging the product in oak barrels may have also been a defining feature of rhum agricole (Rodriguez 1990:57). However, by the 1890s, large urban distilleries in St. Pierre came to dominate rum making and huge amounts of molasses were imported from other parts of the Caribbean, including Guadeloupe and French Guiana, to feed these distilleries (Pairault 1903:50-77). French Caribbean rum makers also appear to have been more inclined than their Jamaican counterparts to experiment with processed strains of yeast. The use of

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191 commercial yeast strains highlights the growing scientific sophistication of French Caribbean rum maicing and the progressiveness of French Caribbean distillers. The use of commercial strains of yeast may also reflect the French Caribbean planters' nationalistic pride in Lx)uis Pasteur, the French biologist who discovered that alcohol was produced by the action of micro-organisms on sucrose (Kervegant 1946:94-125,162; Pairault 1903:197200). Aguardiente in the Nineteenth Century In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Spanish Caribbean rum making was outlawed. A few clandestine distillers produced rum for local consumption and small farmers and slaves produced fermented guarapo. In the late eighteenth century, Spanish officials began lifting sanctions against Spanish Caribbean rum making. Sugar planters in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Santo Domingo benefited from a variety of global and regional events. The American Revolution and subsequent restrictions on trade between the United States and the British Caribbean opened a new market to Spanish Caribbean rum makers. In the 1790s, the Haitian Revolution devastated sugar making in France's largest colony and left a huge void in world markets for Spanish Caribbean sugar planters to fill. Cuba emerged especially strong. Between 1789 and 1817, restrictions on Cuba's trade with foreigners were progressively eliminated and the increase in Cuban sugar making provided more raw materials for distilling. By 1830, Cuba was the world's leading sugar producer, and by the end of the nineteenth century, Cuba was one of the largest rum producers. However, Spanish Caribbean rum makers also faced serious challenges. Eariy sanctions against rum making meant that criollos had little experience with advanced distilling techniques and, as a result, Spanish Caribbean rum making remained an immature industry. In the 1790s, a large number of St. Domingue planters fled to Cuba bringing with them slaves, rum-making equipment, and capital, yet, in view of the poor reputation of French Caribbean rum in this period, migrants from St. Domingue probably did little to

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192 improve Cuban rum-making practices. French colonial migrants from Trinidad and Louisiana, as well as those from metropolitan France, probably also sparked interest in Cuban rum making, but, in order to compete on the world market, Cuban rum makers would be forced to rectify their product. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, Cubans began to make distinctions between aguardiente de cana and ron. Aguardiente appears to have been equivalent to French Caribbean rhum industriet, while ron was equal to French Caribbean rhum agricole. However, Spanish Caribbean rum makers appear to have placed greater emphasis on the aging process, rather than, like the French, on the ingredients. Ron was aged in oak barrels, while aguardiente was not. In addition, while rhum agricole was produced on sugar plantations in the French Caribbean, ron was typically produced in large urban distilleries suggesting a greater use of molasses, rather than pure cane juice. Cuban rum makers made significant advances in the nineteenth century, but the War for Cuban Independence ( 1 8951 898), as well as the American occupation that followed disrupted further gains in Cuban rum making. Cuban rum exports 5000000 4000000 3000000 2000000 1000000 0 ft^ ^ ^ -^^^ *^ 1780 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 Year Figure 7-5. Cuban rum exports (source: 1780-1891 from Fraginals 1978;III:43^, 19021904 from Ministerio de Hacienda 1959:56) The first big jump in Cuban rum exports occurred after the American Revolution. In the 1780s, rum exports averaged about 1 15,000 gallons per year. According to Jamaican historian W.J. Gardner (1873:324), trade restrictions forced U.S. ships to Cuba where they obtained rum for U.S. lumber and provisions. Cuban rum helped fuel the great

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193 American drinking binge of the late eighteenth and eariy nineteenth centuries. However, the United States also made its own rum and, in the 1780s, Cuban molasses and rum exports were neariy equal. Although Cuban rum exports increased, the rise in U.S. whiskey drinking, the demand for Cuban molasses, and the success of early temperance movements eventually limited the U.S. market for Cuban rum. The second jump in rum exports occurred during the 1790s, when the Haitian Revolution severely damaged the worid's largest sugar producer. In the 1790s, Cubans sought to capitalize on Saint Domingue's demise. Cubans expanded cane cultivation, which increased availability of scum, molasses, and sugar cane juice for rum distillation. In 1790, the year before the slave uprising, Cuba exported about 178,000 gallons of rum. By the first decade of the 1800s, rum exports averaged almost 900,000 gallons per year. The increased availability of base materials for rum distillation, as well as the disruption of French and British Caribbean trade during the Haitian Revolution, led to a peak in Cuban rum exports at the height of the conflict in 1 802 of more than 1.6 million gallons: a level that would not be achieved again for another half century (Fraginals 1978;111:46-48). The peak in rum exports also coincided with the last year of the U.S. whiskey tax and Americans, still aware of their earlier dependence on British Caribbean rum, may have seen increasing rum imports from Cuba as a good reason to repeal the tax and encourage national whiskey making. Regional exports of Cuban rum probably also helped satiate the alcoholic demands of the huge number of European soldiers and sailors converging on the Caribbean at this time. Yet, while Cuban rum production was increasing, Cuban molasses exports were still more important to the Cuban economy. Saint Domingue was the largest exporter of molasses to the United States and, after the Haitian Revolution, Cuba emerged to fill the void. In the first decade of the 1800s, Cuban molasses exports were two and a half times greater than rum exports. In 1815, Cuban rum exports fell dramatically. Peace in Europe closed an important outlet for American grain and the surplus was made into cheap whiskey, which glutted the

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194 American market (Rorabaugh 1979:80). Also, after 1815, better trade relations between the United States and Britain opened American ports to British Caribbean produce, including rum. Although there was a slow and steady increase, Cuban rum exports hovered around 500,000 gallons per year for the next three decades. The third jump in Cuban rum exports began in 1854, the year that Britain opened its ports to foreign produce, including commodities made in slave-holding regions. This was also the worst year of the Oidium crisis, which devastated European vineyards, including those in Spain. In the 1850s, Cuban rum exports averaged neariy 3 million gallons per year. In 1860, Britain equalized foreign rum import duties putting Cuban rum makers on par with those in the British Caribbean (Beachey 1957:74-75). The following year, France also reduced import duties on foreign rum, probably to help lessen the eifects of the Oidium blight (Kervegant 1946:485). The growth of U.S. sugar syndicates in Cuba had a positive impact on the level of rum production, which became especially important during the U.S. Civil War. In 1864, Cuban rum exports reached record levels of more than 4.5 million gallons. The U.S. Civil War spurred demand for rum and helped ingrain Cuban rum in the American alcohol psyche. The Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) may have also contributed to the jump in exports (Fraginals 19%). Although export statistics are incomplete for the second half of the nineteenth century, it appears that Cuban rum exports remained high during the phylloxera epidemic, which was having as great an impact on Spanish vineyards as it was on those in France. By the end of the nineteenth century, Cuba exported rum to the United States, Spain, Germany, and Britain, and challenged Demerara for second place, behind Martinique, in the world rum market (Kervegant 1946:476). Sugar, however, was still the dominant industry in Cuba. By 1829, Cuban sugar makers out-produced all of the British Caribbean colonies combined. The rise of Eurojiean sugar beet industries had less of an impact on Cuban sugar planters than on their British and French counterparts. Beet sugar closed the European market to Spanish Caribbean cane sugar, but the U.S. market, which lacked substantial cane or beet sugar industries,

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195 remained open. By the 1860s, 60% of sugar consumed in the United States came from Cuba. Much of the remaining 40% came from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic (Fraginals 19%). In the mid-nineteenth century, technological change propelled Cuban sugar making forward. Railways, steam ships, and telegraphs improved the infrastructure for sugar makers. New central factories emerged on fertile lands. Entrepreneurial criollo sugar planters installed new machinery, such as steam-driven grinders, vacuum pans, and centrifuges, which extracted twice as much sugar as the traditional muscavado method. In I860, 70% of Cuban sugar mills were steam powered and there were 66 large mills using the vacuum pan process. That number continued to grow in the later nineteenth century (Fraginals 19%; Scott 1985:22). As a result, rum in Cuba never achieved the dominant economic position that it did in Martinique, Demerara, and Jamaica. Cuban sugar planters relied less on rum revenues than their British and French Caribbean counterparts. Throughout the nineteenth century, Cuban rum exports remained well below 1 gallon per cwt. of sugar. While sugar planters in Jamaica and Martinique distilled their molasses, Cubans were still exporting huge amounts of raw molasses. For example, in 1864, Cuba exported more than 35 million gallons of molasses and only 4.5 million gallons of rum. Export revenues from rum were not significant and Cuban historian Manuel Moreno Fraginals (1978;in:88-89) did not feel the need to list rum among Cuba's major exports. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, sugar, molasses, and tobacco represented 95% of the value all Cuban exports to the United States, the largest market for Cuban goods. Rum and other goods accounted for the remaining 5%. One reason for the low level of rum exports may have been the advanced sugar production methods employed in Cuba. High-tech vacuum pans and centrifugal methods of extracting sugar left less sucrose for distillation. According to American traveler William Henry Huribert (1854 cited in Perez 1992:58),

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196 Many ingenious applications of chemical and mechanical science lend an interest to De Rosny trains, which were invented by a Frenchman who had never seen a sugar estate, and who on coming to the West Indies, could not work profitably his own machinery. The most interesting to me of one of these arrangements was the centrifugal process. The molasses, which on old fashioned estates eventually distills into diamond drops of aguardiente is converted by this process into sugar. The centrifugal and vacuum pan processes produced a drier and lighter sugar and converted more of the sucrose obtained from the cane into sugar rather than to molasses and scum for distillation. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, some of the older British Caribbean colonies, like Barbados, still preferred the traditional and less efficient muscavado method, which produced a rich blackstrap molasses that found a good market in Europe and North America (Beachey 1957:74). The negative impact of centrifugal and vacuum pan processes on the level of rum making is evident in the detailed Colonial Office reports from Jamaica. In 1886-1887, the reports revealed that, on plantations where the method of sugar production was identified as "ordinary open battery of boilers" the ratio was 6.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. However, on plantations where the method of sugar production was listed as "centrifugal" the average ratio was 5.6 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar and, on plantations where the method of sugar making was listed as having both "vacuum pan and centrifugal" the ratio was only 3.1 gallons per cwt. of sugar. The slow transition to free labor also reduced levels of Cuban rum making. In part, rum making in Jamaica, Demerara, and Martinique expanded to offset the high cost of labor that followed slave emancipation. Yet, slave emancipation did not have such a devastating effect on sugar production in Cuba. The strong U.S. market and the high productivity of mechanized sugar making reduced the impact of slave emancipation on Cuban sugar producers. In 1870, the Moret Law began the gradual process of Cuban slave emancipation. By 1 88 1 an apprenticeship system, known as the patronato, was created to smooth the transition to free labor. Cuban officials and patrones, former slave owners, maintained tight legal control over former slaves through vagrancy laws, state sanctioned wage controls, and rural policing (Scott 1985:221-226). As in some parts of the British and

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197 French Caribbean, Asian workers, including 125,000 Chinese, were brought in to maintain labor supplies (Scott 1985:120). As a result, sugar production continued to increase until the War for Cuban Independence (1895-1898) (Fraginals 1978;111:35-40). In 1830, Facundo Bacardi, a Catalonian immigrant, migrated to Cuba and settled in Santiago de Cuba. Within a decade of his arrival, he began selling rum for John Nunes, an Englishman who had established a small distillery in Santiago de Cuba to compete with rum makers in Jamaica and Martinique. In 1862, Facundo, with financial backing from his brother Jose, purchased Nunes' distillery and started what was to become a rum empire. In 1876, at the International Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Bacardi rum won its first international award beating out Jamaican contenders who at the time were considered the world's best rum producers. During the Ten Years War (1868-1878) Facundo supported the crown while his son Emilio, a criollo, supported the nationalist cause. After the war, Emilio was exiled to North Africa, but returned in 1883 to take over operations. During the War for Cuban independence, Emilio was an officer under the command of Jose Maceo, brother of the revolutionary hero Antonio. In 1897, Emilio was captured and exiled to Jamaica. The Bacardi rum distillery fell into ruin. In 1898, after American intervention, Emilio returned and was appointed Mayor of Santiago de Cuba by the American commander Leonard Wood. In an effort to rejuvenate the economy after the revolution. Wood encouraged the United States to increase trade with Cuba, including trade in Bacardi rum (Foster 1990). In the nineteenth century, rum makers in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic produced varieties of rum for local consumption. Puerto Rican sugar making was less mechanized than that of Cuba and lacked the infrastructural support. After slave emancipation in 1873, Puerto Rican sugar production declined and little rum was exported. In 1873, Puerto Rico exported about 38,000 gallons of rum and a large amount of molasses, much of it to distillers in the Danish Virgin Islands (Kervegant 1946:474; Pairault 1903:15). Rum making there, in St. Thomas and St. Croix, emerged after the

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198 American Revolution. Between 1777 and 1807, the two islands exported nearly 1 million gallons of rum per year. In 1789, exports peaked at more than 4 million gallons, although much of this rum probably was produced in the French and British Caribbean and reexported to the United States. By 1863, rum exports from the Danish Virgin Islands were about 250,000 gallons and, for the rest of the century, rum exports averaged just below 100,000 per year (Kervegant 1946:475). Venezuelan rum making also emerged in the nineteenth century. John Alderson, an English distiller and migrant who arrived in Venezuela in 181 1, and the Gosslings, a powerful Dutch merchant family, are credited with sparking Venezuelan rum making. The arrival of Corsican migrants in the mid-nineteenth century also contributed to the rise of Venezuelan rum making, especially in the eastern provinces of Carupano and Cumana. The Corsicans introduced French rum-making techniques, which had greatiy improved by the mid-nineteenth century, how taxes on rum production and sale, as well as high taxes on brandy imports, helped fueled Venezuelan rum making. Most of the rum and aguardiente produced in Venezuela was consumed locally and, by the 1880s, annual per capita consumption reached nearly 2 gallons (Huetz de Lemps 1997: 127-128; Rodriguez 1990:63). In 1889, rum from Carupano did exceptionally well at a Paris exhibition and enhanced the reputation of Venezuelan rum. Yet, in the nineteenth century, little Venezuelan rum was exported. According to Venezuelan historian Jose Rodriguez (1990:64), Le Havre and Bordeaux were primary destinations for Venezuelan rum and probably reflect the influence of Corsican merchants in the Venezuelan rum trade. In the 1890s, the Dominican Republic produced more than 3 million gallons of rum, but, despite being one of the largest rum makers in the Caribbean, none was exported. Like Haitians, Dominicans consumed all of the rum they produced. In addition, Dominicans consumed a large amounts of the low alcohol content variety of rum called clarin, which was usually made in small crude stills (Pairault 1903: 14;1 14-1 17). Rum making emerged in other sugar cane-growing regions of Latin America. In Ecuador,

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199 Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Paraguay, rum drinkers especially preferred a variety of rum made with aniseed. Rum making primarily fed local demand, especially in Mexico and Brazil (Kervegant 1946:480-481). The Expanding African Rum Trade After the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade, the West and West Central African coasts continued to be saturated with alcohol, much of it Caribbean rum (Table 7-5). The African trade had shifted from slaves to commodities needed to help fuel the industrial revolutions in Europe and North America. According to historians David Eltis and Lawrence Jennings, It is probable that at some point between 1840 and 1850 the traffic in African goods surpassed the slave trade in value. Taken as a whole, the 1840s were probably similar to the 1680s in that the slave and commodities trades were roughly balanced, with the commodities trade perhaps worth slightly more. (Eltis and Jennings 1988:943) In the mid-nineteenth century, gum, peanuts, rubber, cocoa, and palm oil and other palm products were the major African exports. Alcohol remained a crucial part of the African trade. For example, according to Eltis and Jennings (Eltis and Jennings 1988:955), African alcohol imports annually averaged 750,000 gallons in the 1780s, 1 million gallons in the 1820s, and 6.1 million gallons in the 1860s: an almost ten-fold increase in just 80 years. The rise of a wealthy entrepreneurial African bourgeoisie probably increased the specific demand for western alcoholic beverages. Migratory workers in the coastal regions, who confronted loneliness, anxiety, and alienation in their rootless labors, also increased the demand for imported alcoholic beverages with high alcohol contents. Anomie also penetrated the lives of colonial administrators and European soldiers, who found solace in excessive drinking. In addition, the primary role of rum in the African trade probably reflects attempts by metropolitan governments to keep goods flowing, as much as possible, within self-contained empires. The British relied heavily on alcohol exports to West Africa and, in the midnineteenth century, the value of British alcohol exports to West Africa steadily increased.

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200 ,} Historian Joseph Inikori (1999:84-85), showed that, in 1820s, the value of alcohol exports represented an annual average of 14% of British exports to West Africa. In the last years of the 1840s, alcohol exports jumped to an annual average of 21%. The alcohol trade was especially strong in the Gold Coast. In 1891, over 1.2 million gallons of alcohol were imported: the majority of which was rum (Akyeampong 1997:84-85; Dumett 1974:76-81). In 1914, the Gold Coast imported 1.7 million gallons of alcohol, about two-thirds of which was rum (Akyeampong 1997:85). French West Africa also imported huge amounts of rum. In 1879, Dahomey imported almost 700,000 gallons of rum and, in 1894, rum accounted for 42% of the value of Dahomean imports (Manning 1990:349,356). Table 7-5. Estimated distribution by volume of imports into western Africa in the 1820s and 1860s decade textiles alcohol tobacco misc. manufacture iron guns & food gunpowder raw material other 1820s 1860s 39.4% 31.6% 11.6% 12.0% 7.0% 11.7% 9.0% 4.8% 1.8% 1.2% 8.6% 14.6% 8.5% 7.7% 2.6% — 4.6% 17.3 Source: Eltis and Jennings 1988:955 Colonial administrators in Africa complained that excessive alcohol use created serious social problems. In 1889, an international convention gathered in Brussels to discuss the African liquor trade. At the convention, officials representing the major colonial powers agreed to ban liquor from parts of Africa with no prior history of spirit use (Akyeampong 1997:82; Pan 1976:8). However, the need for import revenues blocked tighter restrictions, particularly in the Gold Coast where, between 1910 and 1913, liquor taxes represented almost 40% of colonial revenues (Akyeampong 1996:81). Growing fears about social disorder, as well as protests from temperance-minded missionaries and African chiefs, led British officials at the 1919 international liquor convention in St. Germain-enLaye France to support greater controls (Akyeampong 1996:82). British administrators on the Gold Coast experimented with prohibition and tighter alcohol trade restrictions in the 1920s and 1930s, but these efforts largely failed due to the need for colonial import revenues and the rise of illicit gin production, which became ingrained in the fabric of popular culture along the Gold Coast (Akyeampong 1996).

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201 Rum Making in the Twentieth Century At the beginning of the twentieth century, Caribbean sugar continued to suffer from a glutted market and rum making remained a crucial alternative. Despite the 1902 Brussels convention, which abolished the bounties favoring beet sugar, world overproduction led to an almost complete collapse of Caribbean sugar industries. In 1909, Britain imported 1.6 million tons of sugar, of which only 129,000 tons were from cane (Newman 1964:30). In 1913, Jamaica exported less than 100,000 cwt. of sugar: the lowest rate of production since the seventeenth century. Central factories replaced more and more small-scale sugarmaking operations. Cuba, which benefited from a strong U.S. market and technologically advanced sugar-making methods, was the major exception to the rule. The rise of U.S. interests in Cuba, especially after the War for Cuban Independence, resulted in preferential trade deals that helped make Cuba and other former Spanish colonies, including Puerto Rico and the Philippines, the main suppliers of the U.S. sugar market. This restriction of the U.S. market was another major setback for British and French Caribbean sugar producers (Eisner 1%1:250). The continuing demise of sugar production in the British and French Caribbean fostered the ongoing expansion of rum making. In the twentieth century, Britain and France implemented protectionist rum quotas to help stabilize their colonies. Cuba also produced a huge amount of rum, much of which was consumed locally or exported to the friendly U.S. market. Two worid wars and smaller conflicts throughout the century also spurred Caribbean rum making as the number of servicemen, who have often been the driving force behind alcohol trends, increased. Industrial sugar cane-based alcohol also found a place in the war efforts. Rum making emerged in a few new sugar cane-growing regions, including parts of Southeast Asia and East Africa. By the end of the twentieth century, the rum industry was taken over by multinational companies and dominated by particular brand names.

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202 However, twentieth century Caribbean rum maicers also confronted new social changes. Beginning in the early nineteenth century, large-scale temperance reform movements emerged throughout the world. Popular reform movements won the hearts and minds of many in Europe. For example, in the late 1830s and early 1840s, nearly 75% of Ireland's adult population became members of the Cork Total Abstinence Society (Bretherton 1997:65-94). The teetotal movement in Britain emerged in the same decade (Woiak 1997). New attitudes about drinking led to the eventual abandonment of rum rations in the British Royal Navy in 1970. In the late nineteenth and eariy twentieth centuries, socialists and physicians in Russia debated the causes of alcoholism and sought reform (Snow 1991). French physicians also struggled to define the parameters of the French alcohol problem (Prestwich 1997). Missionary-based temperance movements emerged in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. Occasionally, reformers won state sanctioned support. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, for example, metropolitan officials and colonial administrators greatly restricted the liquor traffic in Africa (Akyeampong 1997; Pan 1976). Temperance reformers were probably most successful in the United States, one of the main markets for Caribbean rum. Per capita consumption of absolute alcohol fell from a high of 3.9 gallons in 1830, to 1 gallon in 1850 (Rorabaugh 1979:232). In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Women's Christian Temperance Movement and the Anti-Saloon League continued the fight against alcohol use (Pegram 1998). By 1914, 33 states in the United States were "dry" and, in 1919, the U.S. Congress enacted the 18"" Amendment, which prohibited the use of alcohol in the United States except for religious and medicinal purposes. British Caribbean Rum in the Twentieth Century The shrinking market for British Caribbean cane sugar meant that rum continued to play a critical role in bolstering British Caribbean economies and keeping British Caribbean sugar estates solvent. In 1913, Jamaica exported 9.7 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. The

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203 low level of sugar production, however, also meant less scum and molasses available for rum making. Thus, while the rum to sugar ratio was high, the amount of rum actually exported fell below 1 million gallons. World War 1 re-ignited Jamaican rum making and, between 1913 and 1916, Jamaican rum exports averaged more than 1.5 million gallons per year. Jamaican rum helped fuel the war effort. Rum met the alcohol needs of the British armed forces, especially the navy, which still maintained its tradition of rum rations. Alcohol was also an ingredient in the preparation of explosives and Jamaican spirits may have been used for that purpose (Josa 193 1 : 155). Jamaican rum exports in US gallons -Jamaican sugar exports in cwts 7000000. 6000000. 5000000. 4000000 3000000 2000000 1000000 i 1800 mil III nil nil II mil I mil III! iii iiiii i iiiii ii iiii iiiii i 1825 1850 1875 Year 1900 1925 1950 Figure 7-6. Jamaican rum and sugar exports (sources: 1 8001 833 from Ragatz 1927: 1 8; 1833-1887 from Eisner l%l:240-245; 1888-1950 from CO.) Before the end of World War I, Jamaican rum exports temporarily collapsed. The war disrupted European sugar beet production, which led to a resurgence of Jamaican sugar production. Moreover, German submarines, a constant threat in the Caribbean, reduced shipping. In 1918, despite relatively good rum prices, Jamaica exported less than 250,000 gallons, the lowest level of rum exports since the mid-eighteenth century. After World War I, Jamaican rum exports rebounded. In 1919, Jamaica exported more than 3 million gallons: more than it had exported in four decades. Part of this huge rise may reflect rum stockpiled during 1917-1918, which was not sent due to the lack of safe shipping. The destruction of European sugar beet industries during Worid War I

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204 increased sugar prices and rejuvenated Jamaican interest in sugar production. Jamaican sugar exports jumped from a low of 98,000 cwt. in 1913 to 1,013,000 cwt. in 1922. The growing mechanization of Jamaican sugar making left less base material for rum making and reduced the level of rum exports. After World War I, Jamaican rum exports typically remained below 1 million gallons per year for the next two decades. Jamaican exports: gallons of rum per cwt. sugar u j\j IIIIIIII i mm IIIIIII IIIIIIII IIIIIII IIIIIIII IIIIIII IIIIIII IIIIIIII iiiiii rT iiiiii i T T l lii i III 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 Year Figure 7-7. Jamaican rum exports (sources: 1830-1833 from Ragatz 1927:18; 1833-1887 from Eisner l%l:245-250; 1888-1950 from CO.) In the early twentieth century, rum makers in Demerara continued to out-produce and out-export those in Jamaica. Between 1897 and 1901, Demerara exported an average of more than 4.8 million gallons of rum per year. Yet, as with Jamaica, rum production dropped after World War 1. Post war fears about unsteady sugar markets led to the creation of an "Imperial Preference" system. The system included the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement, which implemented sugar and rum quotas that brought greater stability to British Caribbean economies (Newman 1964:27-32). Between 1931 and 1939, Demerara produced an annual average of about 1.8 million gallons of rum and exported an average of about 1.1 million gallons per year (CO. 1949). In the 1920s and 30s, South Africa also emerged as a major player in the British rum trade. In 1922, a quarter of the rum imported into Britain came from South Africa and, in 193 1 South Africa exported more rum to Britain than did Demerara (Kervegant 1946:489). In the 1930s, about a quarter of the rum

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205 imported into Britain was re-exported. Canada, Newfoundland, Germany, and Ireland were the main destinations for British rum re-exports (Kervegant 1946:490). Value of Barbados rum as a percentage of total exports 16 14 12 a 10 6 T —I — I I I I ' I r I I I I IT II I I I r II II I T 'i I I I I r T 1 I i i i i i 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 Year Figure 7-8. Barbados rum exports (sources: CO. 1946-1%3; Worrell 1982:72-73; USITC 1984-1992) After World War II, a lack of grain in Britain reduced British gin production and led to a temporary resurgence in British Caribbean rum exports (CO. 1949:48). Both Demeraran and Jamaican rum exports jumped to 2 million gallons, although some of this must represent rum stockpiled during the war. Sugar refiners also began to distill their molasses into industrial forms of alcohol, which were used to adulterate motor fuel. In 1951, the Jamaican Assembly approved legislation requiring that anhydrous alcohol made from sugar by-products be mixed with petrol for use as a "motor spirit" (Barnes 1964:378; CO. Jamaica 1951:33). Barbadian rum exports, which were all but dead in the late nineteenth century, also rebounded. In the 1930s, Barbados rum exports averaged almost 100,000 gallons per year and, after World War II, rum exports represented 5-7% of the value of all exports until the early 1970s. While rum exports remained steady, their relative value declined as Barbados began to diversify its economy and export a greater variety of light industrial goods. French Caribbean Rum Making in the Twentieth Century At the beginning of the twentieth century, rum represented about 10% of all the spirits consumed in France. In the French Caribbean, Martinique was the center of rum-

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206 making activity. In the 1890s, it exported four times more rum than its French colonial neighbor Guadeloupe. In the shadow of Mount Pelee, the port town of St. Pierre was the hub of the Martiniquan industry. It was the primary destination for molasses from Martiniquan sugar plantations that had no distilleries, as well as for imported molasses from Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, and Demerara. On May 8, 1902, Mount Pelee erupted killing more than 40,000 St. Pierre residents and destroying that commercial rum-making center. In 1899-1901, Martinique exported an annual average of almost 4 million gallons of rum. For the three years following the eruption (1902-1904), rum exports were cut in half. The eruption destroyed the large urban distilleries. Many Martiniquan sugar planters took advantage of St. Pierre's demise and upgraded their distilleries in order to produce high quality rhum agricole on a larger scale. World War I had a positive effect on French Caribbean rum production. The war depressed wine and brandy making throughout Europe. Rum fed large numbers of soldiers, who had historically provided an important outlet for Caribbean rum. The French also used rum in the preparation of explosives (Josa 193 1 : 155). The war effort fostered a boom in rum industry speculation. The number of distilleries in Martinique grew from 86 in 1913 to 96 in 1917. In the period 1913-1917, Martinique exported over 30 million gallons of rum and, in 1918, more than 7.5 million. Between 1917 and 1919, rum represented 75% of the total value of Martiniquan exports (Josa 193 1 : 154-155). However, speculation led to overproduction and declining rum prices. In 1922 and 1923, despite complaints from national wine and brandy interests, the French government was forced to intervene and implement a quota system for the French rum producing colonies. The French import quota was set at 160,000 hectoliters f4,227,213 gallons] of pure alcohol. Martinique was given the largest share, 80,000 hectoliters [2,1 13,606 gallons], Guadeloupe 60,000 [1,585,205 gallons], and Reunion 18,000 [475,561 gallons]. The remainder was to come from other French colonies in the east. Between 1920 and 1923, rum still represented a considerable 60% of Martiniquan exports. In 1923,

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207 France established 1' Office National de I'Alcool to help track Caribbean rum affairs and make adjustments to the quota system. In 1924, Martinique's rum quota was increased to 185,000 hectoliters [4,887,715 gallons) and eventually extended until 1939 (Blerald 1986:64). In Martinique, the number of distilleries reached 150. However, the decline in rum prices and the rise of sugar and banana exports decreased the overall value of rum to the Martiniquan economy and, between 1933 and 1937, rum represented only about 31% of the value of exports. By the 1930s, rum represented between 20% and 25% of all spirits consumed in France (Kervegant 1946:488). Ernest Hemingway, and other great writers, poets, and artists sat in Parisian cafes and contemplated life behind glasses of Martiniquan rum (Hemingway 1987:5). After Worid War II, protectionism continued and rum making rebounded. In 1949, rum represented nearly half the value of Martiniquan exports (Blerald 1986: 189). The quota system eliminated small distillers in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Those distilleries that survived were usually associated with reputable estates, like Saint James, that produced rhum agricole, as well as big urban operations that produced rhum industriel on a largescale (Blerald 1986:137; Pairault 1903). In 1958, however, rum, as a value of total exports, dropped to only 14% due to the increasing exports of bananas. Rum quotas continue to sustain French Caribbean rum making. In the 1980s, Martiniquans essentially abandoned sugar making and channeled neariy all of their sugar cane juice to their distilleries. In 1983, Martinique produced 2,768,824 gallons of pure alcohol and only 77,589 cwt. of sugar. In contrast, Guadeloupe continued to rely more heavily on sugar. In 1983, Guadeloupe produced more than 1.1 million cwt. of sugar and only 1.8 million gallons of pure alcohol. A small number of distillers dominated rum making in Martinique and Guadeloupe. In 1989, quotas were revised and fixed at 5,391,017 gallons of pure alcohol. Martinique received the biggest share, about 44%. Guadeloupe received 33%, Reunion 18%, French Guiana 1%, and the Republic of Madagascar 3% (IDOM: 1992:23). In 1982, in Martinique, there were 1 1 distilleries

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208 operating, less than one-fifth the number that existed in 1952 (Blerald 1986:217). Protectionism extended to the particular plantations and brands of rhum agricole, including Trois-Rivieres, Saint James, and Maniba{lDOM 1992:60). In the late 1980s and early 90s, production of rhum agricole was four to five times greater than rhum industriel. Spanish Caribbean Rum Making in the Twentieth Century In the early twentieth century, rum makers in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic produced rum on about the same scale as their French and British Caribbean counterparts. Bounty fed beet sugar and preferential trade agreements during the period of U.S. interventionism ensured that the United States was the main market for Spanish Caribbean goods. Cuba began the century as the leading Spanish Caribbean rum maker, but rum makers in Puerto Rico were to make significant advances, especially after the Cuban Revolution. In the late nineteenth century, Cuba was challenging Martinique, Demerara, and Jamaica for a top spot in the Caribbean rum industry. Cuban rum exports varied greatly from year to year. In 1891, rum exports reached 3.8 millions gallons, almost double the exports of the year before. In the 1890s, the War for Cuban Independence (1895-1898) disrupted the progress of Cuban rum makers. Although we lack rum export statistics for the late nineteenth century, Cuban rum exports were probably very weak. During the war, thousands of hectares of cane fields were set ablaze (Fraginals 1996:339). Cuban sugar production dropped to 27 1 ,505 metric tons, less than one-quarter of its pre-war level (Fraginals 1978;III:35^). Molasses exports also crumbled and, for example, in 1897, Cuba exported less than 100,000 gallons. In the early twentieth century, Cubans distilled a great deal of sugar cane juice, molasses, and scum. They produced high quality rum, less esteemed aguardiente, and industrial alcohol. Between 1902 and 1908, exports of rum, aguardiente, and industrial alcohol averaged nearly 1 .4 million gallons per year.

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209 8000000 7000000 6000000 5000000 4000000 3000000 2000000 1000000 0 — o — Cuban rum exports Cuban aguardiente exports ft 1 I .1 /\ • / • f^Vy^'fT/V^Vw^^ 1905 1910 1915 1920 1925 1930 1935 1940 1945 1950 1955 Year Figure 7-9. Cuban rum and aguardiente exports (sources: Ministerio de Hacienda 1957:5657; American Chamber of Commerce in Cuba 1955: 127; see also Franco 1932:127-132) Cuban aguardiente production increased during the U.S. occupation, but dropped in 1908 as U.S. servicemen returned home. Yet, as usual in the history of alcohol, the returning troops brought back a taste for Cuban rum, including the specialty rum-based drink known as the Daiquiri, which they had been introduced to while stationed in the southern port town of the same name (Foster 1990; Ortiz 1947:25). Although aguardiente production declined after the U.S. occupation, exports rose steadily in the early 1910s. Aguardiente probably fed a variety of markets, including Spain, Italy, parts of South America, and the United States. Higher quality rum, on the other hand, was probably reserved exclusively for the U.S. market (American Chamber of Commerce 1955:99-102). In 1915, Cuba exported more than 4.2 million gallons of aguardiente and rum: four times what it had exported only six years earlier. World War 1 initially was a boon for Cuban rum makers, but the lack of safe shipping in 1917 led to a collapse in exports. In 1919 and 1920, Cuba exported an annual average of more than 2.6 million gallons of aguardiente and rum, much of which was probably stockpiled during the war. Cuban aguardiente and rum exports fell off in the 1920s and the drop coincides with the passage of the 18'" Amendment. The sharper drop in rum exports, rather, than

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' U 210 aguardiente exports, supports the argument that rum was primarily made for the U.S. market. Between 1921 and 1925, rum and aguardiente exports feW to 1.5 million gallons per year. Rum smuggling, comparable to modem-day drug trafficking, became a lucrative underground activity during prohibition. Rumrunners brought their product through U.S. borders in Canada and Mexico. Merchants in Bordeaux re-exported French Caribbean rum to the small islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland. From there it found its way to the coast of Lx)ng Island (Huetz de Lemps 1997: 156). Rumrunners used the island of Nassau in the Bahamas as a base for the illegal re-exportation of Cuban rum to the coast of Florida. William McCoy, a rumrunner who sailed the waters between Nassau and the Florida coast, carried only quality rum and may have been the inspiration behind the toast "here's to the real McCoy." Although arrested and imprisoned, McCoy became a folk hero to American boatmen (Mariani 1987:30). The loss of the U.S. alcohol market during prohibition was especially hard on Cuban rum makers. However, alcoholic beverages were not the only use for alcohol. In the 1930s, Cuban distilleries produced alcohol for a variety of industrial purposes. Distillers distilled sugar cane juice, molasses, and scum to make natural and denatured alcohol, which were used in perfumeries and hospitals. Alcohol was also used to make gunpowder and lubricating oil. More importantly, the Cuban government required that motor fuel be a 20:80 blend of alcohol and gasoline (American Chamber of Commerce 1955: 175; Franco 1932:33-35; Perez-Lopez 1991:107-108). During prohibition, thousands of American tourists flocked to Cuba where they were introduced to Cuban rum, especially that made by the Bacardi distilleries. As with the U.S. soldiers two decades eariier, American tourists brought back a taste for Cuban rum. In 1933, Congress passed the 21" amendment, which repealed prohibition. The following year, Cuban rum exports reached 900,000 gallons. Aguardiente exports remained stable at less than 500,000 gallons indicating that higher quality Cuban rum was specifically

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211 designed for the U.S. market. In 1930, Bacardi distilleries produced over 500,000 gallons of rum and it was one of the largest distilleries in Cuba. In 1929 and 1930, Bacardi paid more than 400,000 dollars in taxes, more than half of all taxes collected from Cuban distilleries (Franco 1932:132-133). It was one of the most valuable companies in Cuba. During World War II, Cuban rum exports skyrocketed as the conflict disrupted European alcohol markets and reduced the availability of brandy, gin, and vodka. The fear of food shortages curtailed the distillation of grains. Cuban rum makers, like Jamaican and Martiniquan rum makers in World War I, took advantage of the unstable alcohol market and flooded it with rum. In 1943, Cuba exported more than 7 million gallons of rum, much of it to help meet the demands of soldiers and sailors in Europe, the Pacific, and Africa (Ministerio de Hacienda 1957:57). In 1959, Fidel Castro came to power and in 1%1 the United States imposed economic sanctions against Cuba. The Revolution devastated Cuban rum exports. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics became the main destination for Cuban rum, but the Soviet government's monopoly on liquor and the Russian demand for cheap vodka limited the export market for Cuban rum. Fortunately, per capita rum consumption in Cuba appears to have increased, perhaps under the influence of American tourism that began in the early twentieth century. As early as 1915, an American visitor, recognizing the negative consequences of American influence, wondered how long it would take for America to convert Cuba "into a nation of drunkards" (Robinson 1915:77). The system of government rum rations, implemented during the Castro regime, has probably also lead to increasing per capita rum consumption rates. In 1986, Cuba produced 10,789,960 gallons of rum and exported only 375,165 gallons, about 3.5% of its total produce. In 1987, Cuba produced 12,071,334 gallons of rum and exported only 467,635 gallons, about 3.9% of its total. Cuba's production of ethanol for industrial purposes, including motor fuel, was even more impressive. Between 1970 and 1987, Cuba produced 873 million gallons of industrial ethanol. In 1987, Cuba exported more than 6 million gallons, about 9% of its produce

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212 (Perez-Lopez 1991:104-108, see also Hagelberg 1974:131). In the 1980s, the revolutionary government's interest in cattle diverted molasses from distilleries to cattle feed. According to historian Jorge Perez-Lopez (1991:108), the policy has "eroded Cuba's alcohol industry." In the 1980s, Cold War insecurities and concerns about the rise of socialist governments in the Caribbean led to American interventionist policies, which included economic incentives for the rum trade. On April 13, 1983, the U.S. government began public hearings on the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, part of the Ronald Reagan administration's Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI). CBI sought to bolster the economies of the Caribbean through tariff reductions. The Act offered discretionary tariff reductions and tax incentives to Caribbean rum makers. The Act also transferred all revenues from rum excise taxes to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Many islands benefited. In Barbados, the value of rum as a percentage of total exports returned to pre-1970 levels. In 1992, rum represented almost 7% of the total value of Barbadian exports reflecting the growth of the U.S. rum market, which was a goal of CBI. The biggest beneficiaries of American interventionism in the Caribbean, the Cuban Revolution, and CBI were Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. By the early 1940s, the U.S. dependencies of Puerto Rico, St. Croix, and St. Thomas were emerging as the major rum exporter to the United States. In the 1930s, whiskey, gin, and brandy were the primary distilled spirits consumed in the United States. Rum represented only about 0.5% of spirits consumed. It was during this period that Puerto Rico modernized its rum industry and took advantage of the preferential trade policies with the United States. In 1935, Puerto Rico produced about 93,000 gallons of rum and exported only about 15,000. Rum production and exports increased and, in 1939, Puerto Rico produced 2.1 million gallons of rum and exported 700,000 gallons mainly to the United States (Kervegant 1946:475476, 490).

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213 During World War II, food rationing led the United States to restrict the production of alcohols made from grain. By the beginning of World War II, rum imports from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands surpassed those of Cuba (Kervegant 1946:490-491). In 1944, Puerto Rico exported 6.3 million gallons of rum and the Virgin Islands exported more than 2.6 million gallons of rum mainly to the United States (Kervegant 1946:475-476). The Cold War was especially helpful to Puerto Rico. In 1959, the Bacardi family fled Cuba and reestablished operations in Puerto Rico. Since then, Bacardi has become a multinational corporation and a major player in the world spirits market. In 1992, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands exported more than 21 million gallons of rum to the United States. Puerto Rico contributed 90% of this total. In contrast, Jamaica, the next largest supplier under CBI, exported only 584,148 gallons to the U.S. market. Marketing Rum At the end of the twentieth century, rum has become one of the world's most widely used spirits. In 1992, the world consumption of rum was more than 132 million gallons of pure alcohol, or 264 million gallons of proof spirit. Rum accounted for 1 1.4% of the world distilled spirits market, and was the third most widely consumed distilled spirit. Whiskey had the largest share of the world market with 28% and brandy was in second place witii 14% (IDOM or Institute d'Emission des Departments d'Outre-Mer 1992:21). Since the 1980s, the consumption of distilled spirits has declined sharply in the United States reflecting the effects of anti-drinking campaigns and demographic change. Still, consumption levels are impressive and, in 1999, Americans consumed over 338 million gallons of distilled spirits (Brandes 1999;2000). Rum consumption reached 35.6 million gallons, which represented about 10% of all distilled spirits consumed in the United States. Maintaining a trend that had begun in the early nineteenth century, whiskey had the largest share of the U.S. market with 31%. Vodka took 25%, while brandy, cognac, tequila, gin, and various cordials and liqueurs made up the remainder. In Europe, rum is

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214 the fifth most popular distilled beverage and Europeans consume about 20% of the world's rum. However, the United States and Europe are not the largest markets for rum. Brazilians consume about 173 million gallons of cachaga [rum] each year (Luxner 1997). Most Caribbean rum sold today is produced on a massive scale for large multinational corporations, which own the rights to various brand names. In 1984, Bacardi rum represented one of every twenty bottles of distilled spirits sold in the United States and Bacardi controlled 59% of the lucrative U.S. rum market. In 1999, more than 17 million gallons, nearly half of all rum sold in the Unites States, was Bacardi brand. Bacardi-Martini USA is a $2 billion company and a dominant force in the world's spirits industry. Although Bacardi rum is the flagship spirit of Bacardi-Martini USA, it also controls a variety of other brands, including the popular British spirit Dewar's Scotch whisky (Amdorfer 1998). Recently, the powerful Bacardi organization has clashed with the Cuban government and the European Union over trademark rights to the Havana Club brand name. In 1995, Bacardi purchased the Havana Club name from a Cuban family whose business was expropriated in 1960. Bacardi soon began selling its own brand of Havana Club. Penrod Ricard, a French company, and the Cuban government jointly control and market the Havana Club brand in Europe and are suing Bacardi over the rights to the name. The World Trade Organization is reviewing the case. The remaining half of the U.S. rum market is divided among a variety of smaller brands managed by other large multinational corporations. Remy-Amerique owns a variety of distilled spirits, including Mount Gay rum from Barbados. Seagram's oversees other popular American brands like Myers and Captain Morgan. Seagram's exemplifies the structure of the modem spirits industry. Rum is distilled in Jamaica to a 150 proof (75% alcohol) and arrives at Seagram's blending facility in the United States in tanker trucks and rail cars where it is adulterated to 90 proof (45% alcohol). It is stored in 10,000^,000

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215 gallon tanks until it is ready to be barreled and aged for three years (Demetrakakes 1999). After aging, it is released on the market. Advertising executives market Caribbean rum for multinational companies to a wide audience. In the past decade, some companies have redesigned their labels in order to find new markets. New varieties of rum, including citrus-flavored, have also been introduced. Yet, some brands like Mount Gay and Bacardi have retained their traditional bottle labels. These bottle labels and the advertising campaigns for Caribbean rum shed light on the marketing strategies of Caribbean rum producers and the alcoholic fantasies of rum consumers. Alcohol is one of the most heavily taxed and state regulated commodities and this is apparent on every rum bottle label. Caribbean rum bottle labels are loaded with information about the country of origin, volume of the bottle, percentage of alcohol per volume (proof), name of the distilling, blending, and bottling company, trademark, and whether it is intended for export markets. Rum exported to the United States must include health warnings, including warnings to pregnant women about the dangers of alcohol to an unborn fetus. The bottle labels often tell us how long the rum was aged. Cruzan markets a 2-year old rum, Barbancourt a 4and 12-year old rum, Havana Club a 3-, 5-, and 7-year old rum. Some are simply identified as "tres vieux" or "extra old." Mount Gay Extra Old is actually a blend of 7-, 8-, and 10-year old varieties of Mount Gay rum. Rum is also identified as white, dark, light, reserve, dry, agricole, industriel, traditionnel, special, spiced, and premium. Rum bottle labels overflow with nationalism. Among the most common images are the countries of origin. For example, Grenada is depicted on varieties of Westerhall, Clarke's Court, and Jack Iron. Barbados is depicted on Mount Gay and Old Brigand. Twin Island rum bottle labels depict St. Kitts and Nevis, Bielle depicts Marie-Galante, and varieties of Trois Rivieres depict Martinique. National flags, state seals, and symbols

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216 of national identity are also frequently displayed. The bottle label for Antigua's English Harbour rum includes an image of St. John's Harbour. Havana Club's trademark is the bronze Giraldilla statue that sits atop Havana's Castillo de la Real Fuerza. Fort St. Louis, overlooking Marigot Bay, is illustrated on St. Martin Spiced Rhum. Caribbean rum bottle labels also express a sense of plantationalism. Trois Rivieres, Dillon, Depaz, Busco, Dunfermline all include images of the plantations and their distilleries. This pattern is most pronounced on the bottle labels of agricole rums of the French Caribbean. Rhum agricole, unlike rhum industriel, is distinguished by its plantation of origin. Thus, like wine and brandy bottle labels, which venerate estate vineyards and chateaux, rhum agricole honors its particular estate identity. For similar reasons, Appleton estate rum is one of the few British Caribbean rum makers to highlight the plantation complex. Rum makers often place an additional label on the backside of their bottles in order to provide information about the distillery's history. 'The Legend of Mount Gay" can be found on the back of some Mount Gay bottles. Generalized images of sugar plantation life are also common Caribbean rum bottle label themes. For example, one brand of Cruzan Virgin Island rum and one brand of Doorly's Barbados rum highlight windmills. The rum puncheon is celebrated on nearly every rum bottle label, including varieties of OldOak, Myers, Barbados Gold, Damoiseau, and Castillo. Sugar cane is also a popular image on rum bottle labels. Some rum makers prefer symbols that seem to hark back to the old glory days of simple plantation life. For example, cane cutters are depicted on rum bottle labels from varieties of Ferdi's, La Mauny, Fajou, and Charles Simonnet. One brand of Doorly's rum illustrates people filling a lighter boat with rum casks. Rum labels embrace symbols of masculinity. Pirates adorn Old Brigand, Captain Morgan, Buccaneer, and Tortola Spiced rums. Maritime images also create a sense of the rugged and independent seafaring life. Sailing ships grace varieties of Nelson,

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217 Montebello, El Dorado, and Bounty. Two sailors lean on a cask of rum on the label of Cruzan 151. Passer's rum romanticizes the tradition of rum rations in the British Royal Navy. Bounty and Captain Bligh honor the career of the mutiny-struck ship's captain. Don Q, Grand Corsaire, and Cavalier rum bottle labels are adorned with images of independent swashbuckling gentlemen from a more adventurous time. Some masculine images are less explicit. The cock on varieties of Cockspur rum expresses a sense of strength and arrogance. Attractive women seem especially common on French Caribbean rum bottle labels, including varieties of St. Martin Spiced Rhum, La Mauny, SaintEtienne, Maniba, as well as Five Blondes of St. Lucia. Early twentieth century rum advertisement posters venerate the "exotic" Caribbean woman. Modem advertising campaigns continue to hawk sexual images. For example, the internet website of Captain Morgan rum features a new "Morganette" each month. Caribbean rum bottle labels often indulge the escapist fantasies of overburdened western business executives. Tropical scenes dominate some rum bottle labels, which are marketed as a vehicle to tropical solace. Sunset rum from St. Vincent and varieties of El Dorado, and Malibu celebrate palm trees, warm weather, and sandy beaches. Rum companies give away tropical Caribbean vacations and sponsor sailing races, volleyball tournaments, and windsurfing competitions. Some images are more difficult to explain. The label of Captain Bligh rum depicts breadfruit. Although Bligh carried the breadfruit to the Caribbean it seems odd that breadfruit should be celebrated on a bottle of alcohol made from sugar cane. Varieties of Doorly's rum highlight the Macaw, not native to Barbados. Although there are no seals in Bermuda, Goslings rum illustrates a seal balancing a cask of rum. Some brands have adopted less ostentatious labels like those found on fine European cognac and brandy bottles. Family crests, resembling those on European wine and brandy bottle labels, are especially common on varieties of Spanish Caribbean rum.

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218 including Bacardi, Ron Have, and Ronrico. Bacardi and Barbancourt exemplify this model. Neither displays nationalist images, plantation work, women, or tropical exoticism. Instead Bacardi and Barbancourt display international awards, 8 and 22 respectively. They have concealed their Caribbean origins in order to promote themselves as universal alcoholic beverages. Conclusion In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rum making took on increasing economic importance. The abolition of the slave trade, the emancipation of Caribbean slaves, and falling sugar prices reduced the profitability of sugar making and spurred Caribbean planters to produce greater quantities of rum. Rum makers in the French Caribbean benefited from the devastation the devastation of European vineyards in the nineteenth century and the rise of protectionist policies in the twentieth century. In the Spanish Caribbean, expansion of sugar making and the rise of a protected U.S. market fueled the growth of Spanish Caribbean rum industries. Since the seventeenth century, rum making has helped bolster Caribbean economies and nurture Atlantic trade. However, peoples of the Caribbean have also been the largest per capita consumers of rum. While we have explored the economic importance of rum in the Caribbean, the drinking patterns of colonists shed light on the social and behavioral aspects of alcohol use in the region. Drinking patterns in the Caribbean reflect the transfer of Old World cultural beliefs about alcohol to the Caribbean and highlight the shared social and spiritual beliefs of Africans, Europeans, and Caribbean Indians. In addition, alcohol use helped colonists express ethnic identity, define social boundaries, and escape the many anxieties encountered on the Caribbean frontier. Beginning with an analysis of traditional drinking patterns in Africa, the following section explores patterns of alcohol use in the Caribbean, which provides a social context for constructing a historical archaeology of alcohol in Barbados.

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CHAPTER 8 RUM AND THE AFRICAN TRADES By the end of the seventeenth century, rum began to penetrate the West and West Central African slave and commodities trades. Rum was added to the wide array of indigenous alcoholic beverages and European trade spirits already available to African consumers. In the eighteenth century, African imports of rum grew and often replaced other foreign alcohol, especially in areas under British and Portuguese control. The social and sacred importance of alcohol to Africans stimulated demand and rum was quickly absorbed into preexisting alcohol-based rituals. The fact that rum was a product of African slave labor in the Americas probably increased its symbolic value. The rum trade to Africa expanded throughout the slavery period and, although rum never became the sole article of trade, it played a crucial role in gift giving and as a secondary item of exchange. The European alcohol trade to West and West Central Africa emerged in the early years of European expansion in the Age of Discovery. Portuguese explorers sailed down the west coast of Africa in search of King Senapo [Prester John], a potential ally in the western Christian struggle against Islam (Drake 1990;11:220-223; Thornton 1992:35). They found gold, ivory and a series of islands off the African coast, which were ideal for sugar cultivation. By the 1450s, Portuguese settlers, backed by Italian merchants, began developing sugar industries in the Azores, Cape Verde islands, Madeira, and Sao Tome (Femandez-Armesto 1982). Portuguese traders introduced Africa to European wine and brandy, which were presented to coastal rulers and exchanged for a variety of trade goods. The demand for European wine and brandy was strong, especially among African elites who valued the novelty of foreign alcoholic beverages (Thornton 1992:52). By the early 1500s, wine from Madeira had gained favor in the Senegal region and caparica wine from 219

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220 Portugal was popular at Elmina on the Gold Coast (Femandes 1506-15 10: 16; Vogt 1979:71). The rise of sugar plantations in the Atlantic Islands, and later Brazil, increased the need for slaves and magnified the value of the Portuguese alcohol trade. In the seventeenth century, rum began to challenge the dominance of European wine and brandy. Dutch interlopers may have introduced the first shipments of rum to West Central Africa. In 1580, Portugal came under Spanish rule and, as a result, Portugal became an enemy of the Dutch who were fighting for independence from Spain. Dutch traders, including, after 1622, those from the Dutch West India Company, encroached on the African slave trade and illegally shipped slaves to Brazil. The Dutch also invested capital in Brazil and became middlemen in the Brazilian sugar trade. According to Dutch Caribbean historian Johannes Postma (1990:14), in 1622, there were 29 sugar refineries in Holland processing great amounts of Brazilian sugar. During the last decades of the Eighty Years War (1567-1648) between Spain and the United Provinces, Dutch forces captured the important sugar-making province of Pemambuco in northeast Brazil. They held the province from 1630 to 1654 and invested substantial amounts in sugar making (Boxer 1969:chapter IV). The Dutch also ousted the Portuguese from the slave trading regions at Elmina, on the Gold Coast, and Luanda, Angola's colonial capital. Both areas were major departure points for Brazilian slaves. Dutch interests built a flourishing slave market at Luanda and may have exported the first substantial quantities of Brazilian rum. The Dutch conquests had positive repercussions for the Brazilian economy. According to historian Jose Curto (19%: 140-178), the Dutch conquest of Luanda in I64I ended the Portuguese merchants' domination of the African alcohol trade. In 1648, a Brazilian expeditionary fleet recaptured Angola from the Dutch, which allowed Brazilian merchants and traders to set up strong commercial houses in Luanda and break the former Portuguese monopoly. They immediately developed markets for Brazilian trade goods, such as rum and tobacco. Brazilian rum was simply inserted into the wine and brandy gap, which opened during the Portuguese-Dutch conflict.

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221 Wine and brandy, however, were central to the Portuguese economy. They were widely consumed in the metropoie and exported to markets in Europe and the Americas (Antonil 171 1:491; Hancock 1998). In the seventeenth century, Portuguese wine and brandy interests demanded protection, especially in the lucrative African alcohol trade. In 1678, Governor Aires de Saldanha de Menezes e Souza, the highest ranking government official in Angola, wrote to Pedro II of Portugal asking for a ban on Brazilian rum imports. Menezes e Souza adopted a common argument, that Brazilian rum was detrimental to the health of Africans, Luso-Africans, and Europeans in Luanda and its importation should be prohibited. The order was instituted the following year. However, a strong African demand for Brazilian rum had already developed and, as a result, a prosperous rum smuggling trade emerged between Brazilian traders and Luandan merchants. According to Curto, the illicit trade became so profitable that even Portuguese wine and brandy traders, the force behind the initial prohibition, entered the illegal Brazilian rum trade. The inability of Luandan officials to enforce the ban led to its repeal in 1695 (Curto 1996: 150-174). The threat of Brazilian rum to Portuguese wine and brandy merchants was real. In 1699, only 4 years after the repeal of the ban, Portuguese wine and brandy represented less than 7% of the total alcohol trade at Luanda, while Brazilian rum accounted for the remaining 93% (Curto 19%: 160). According to Curto (1996:182), "By the close of the 1600s, Bacchus had already long surrendered to Demon Rum." The French also principally employed wine and brandy in the eariy years of French trade with Africa. The first recorded voyage of the French triangular trade in 1643 cartied French brandy to the African coast in exchange for slaves (Cauna 1987: 18). By the end of the seventeenth century, however, British Caribbean rum breached the French slave trade. In 1694, French slave trader Jean Barbot wrote. At my first voyage to the Cape Corrso I had a pretty brisk trade for slaves and gold; but at my return thither three years after, I found a great alteration ; the French brandy, whereof I had always a good quantity on board, being much less demanded, by reason a great quantity of spirits and rum had been brought on that

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222 coast by many English trading ships, then on the coast, which obliged all to sell cheap. (Barbot 1746:172) In the late seventeenth century, British Caribbean interlopers, attempting to circumvent the Royal Africa Company's slave trading monopoly, probably introduced the first shipments of British Caribbean rum into West Africa (Coughtry 198 1 : 107; Eltis 2000:127; McCusker 1989:493). In an effort to curb the interloper trade, the Royal Africa Company proposed, but never implemented, a plan to establish rum producing plantations on the West African coast (Coughtry 1981: 109, 307). In fact, the British Caribbean planter lobby successfully prevented the rise of competing industries, including rum making, in West Africa (Anonymous 1 709; Anonymous 1711). The demand for rum in Africa was high and the Royal Africa Company was soon forced to adopt the interloper practice of including rum in their cargoes. In 1700, London officials for the Royal Africa Company wrote to their agents in Gambia and Sierra Leone advising them that a small ship was bringing rum from Barbados and, if the venture was successful, it would become standard practice (cited in Rodney 1970: 179). By the early eighteenth century, the ailing Royal Africa Company had lost its monopoly control of the African slave trade, which opened the way for even greater direct trade between the British Caribbean and Africa, especially the Gold Coast (Eltis and Richardson 1997c: 19; Caspar 1985:70, 85-86; Sheridan 1974:344). In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, an annual average of between 6,(XX) and 60,0(X) gallons of rum entered West Africa (Eltis 2000:301; Sheridan 1974:344). Historians David Eltis and Lawrence Jennings (1988) examined pre-colonial Africa's role in the emerging Atlantic economy and argued that, before the 1690s, "the value of slave exports did not exceed the value of commodity exports." Gold, ivory, and precious hardwoods remained central export commodities until the full-scale rise of American plantation slavery. At the peak of the African slave trade in the 1780s, slaves represented 90% of the value of the African export trade.

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223 The modem western perception of alcohol as a profane fluid has often been evoked to amplify the insidiousness of European slave trading. For example, according to Cuban historian Fernando Ortiz (1947:25), rum "was always the cargo for the slaver's return trip, for with it slaves were bought, local chieftains bribed, and the African tribes corrupted and weakened." Historian Eric Williams wrote. Rum was an essential part of the cargo of the slave ship, particularly the colonial American slave ship. No slave trader could afford to dispense with a cargo of rum. It was profitable to spread the taste for liquor on the coast. The Negro dealers were plied with it, were induced to drink till they lost their reason, and then the bargain was struck. (Williams 1944:78) Curto (19%:130) also argued that alcohol was "a stimulant to increase the already powerful lure that trade goods exercised upon local slave suppliers, [and] an intoxicant to render the bargaining capabilities of the latter less effective." Modem attitudes about the vulgarity of alcoholic beverages have helped magnify the evils of the slave trade. But the reality of ram's part in the trade is more mundane than the images so passionately depicted. West and West Central Africans were familiar with the potentially disastrous effects of excessive alcohol use prior to European intervention, which precluded the type of social devastation that accompanied the alcohol trade to Native American groups in North America. Rum and other alcoholic beverages clearly played an important role in the African slave trade. English slave trader John Atkins (cited in Craton, Walvin, and Wright 1976:28) described the specific demands at different trading regions, but believed alcohol was "everywhere called for." African historian Lynn Pan (1975:7) argued that the only exception to the alcohol-for-slaves model was in the northem stretches of the slave trade where Islam was strongly entrenched. Yet, even in Muslim controlled areas, alcohol use and the alcohol trade were strong. For example, in the early sixteenth century, Portuguese traveler Valentim Femandes ( 1 5061510:16-18) described the availability of numerous types of locally made wine in the Senegal region, including wine made from honey, grains, and palm sap. According to Femandes, the Wolofs, a partially Muslim group from the Senegal region, "are drunkards who derive great pleasure from our wine." Barbot

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224 (1746:35) also noted widespread alcohol use among the Wolofs and believed many were only nominal Muslims who "pretend" to follow Islam. Much of the alcohol introduced into the African trades entered in the context of gift giving. European slave traders were expected to provide alcoholic beverages to all those involved in the securing slaves. Atkins wrote. The Success of a Voyage depends first, on the well sorting, and on the well timing of a Cargo. Secondly, in a Knowledge of the places of Trade, what, and how much may be expected everywhere. Thirdly, in dramming well with English Spirits, and conforming to the Humours of the Negroes. (Atkins cited in Craton, Walvin, and Wright 1976:28) Slave trader William Bosman's guidelines for the Dutch West India Company included regulations that the ship's captain make daily presentations of brandy to the King and the principal traders (cited in Postma 1990:365). The Dutch may have been to blame for what many European traders considered a "disagreeable and burdensome custom." According to Barbot, Their design at first was only to draw olf the Blacks from trading with Portugueses; but those having once found the sweet, could never be broke of it, tho' the Portugueses were actually expelled from all the places of trade they had been possessed of on the coast; but it became an inviolable custom for all Europeans. (Barbot 1746:260) Dashee, dassy, and bizy became standard terms along the African coasts for gifts of alcohol dispensed prior to trading (Atkins 1735 cited in Craton, Walvin, and Wright 1976:32; Barbot 1746: 142; Rodney 1970: 180). According to Atkins (1735 cited in Craton, Walvin, and Wright 1976:32) the African trader "never cares to treat with dry Lips." Bosman (1705:404; see also Barbot 1746:391-392) reported that the Africans at Whydah were great lovers of strong liquors and expected their dassy. Moreover, "he that intends to Trade here, must humour them herein, or he shall not get one Tooth [elephant tusk]." Historian John Thornton (1992:66-67) argued that the practice of gift giving, which often involved elaborate rules, was implemented to appease state leaders and integrate even peripheral African social groups into the Atiantic trade.

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225 Rum and other alcoholic beverages also entered Africa as part of larger trading packages. In the 1680s, alcohol represented an eighth of West African imports and a century later about a tenth (Table 8-1). This ancillary use of alcohol is evident among all major slave trading nations. For example, Atkins (1735 cited in Craton, Walvin, and Wright 1976:29) purchased a slave woman on the Gambia River for "9 gallons of brandy, 6 iron bars, 2 small guns, 1 cag of powder, 2 strings of pacato beads, and 1 paper sletia." The 9 gallons of brandy represented 23% of the total cost. Table 8-1. The relative distribution of imports in western Africa in the 1680s and 1780s Decade 1680s 1780s Textiles 50.0 56.4 Alcohol 12.5 9.7 Tobacco 2.5 8.1 Misc. manufacture 12.5 10.5 Iron 5.0 3.5 Food 5.0 1.8 Guns & gunpowder 7.5 8.6 Raw material 5.0 1.7 Source: Eltis and Jennings 1988 Portuguese traders followed a similar pattern. An account from an eighteenth century Portuguese trading venture shows that fifteen pints of brandy covered about 4% of the total price of one young healthy male slave at Benin (Figure 8-1). Thus, the cost of a young healthy male slave in Benin was equal to about 49 gallons of brandy and the transaction highlights the diversity of goods used in the purchase (Ryder 1%9:210211,335-337). In the 1720s, brandy was reported to be one of the principal commodities imported by the French at the slave trading port at Whydah (Law 1991:202). Analysis of six French slave-trading voyages in 1743 revealed that brandy represented 7.3-18.3% of the value of these cargoes and averaged 12.4% (Saugera 1995:247). However, by the mid-eighteenth century, French Caribbean rum entered the French slave trade in substantial quantities. The African demand for rum helped weaken the French ban against rum imports and, after 1752, rum could legally be re-exported to Africa via French ports. Nantes, La Rochelle, and Bordeaux benefited from the increased availability of alcohol for the African trade. i

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226 Although it is not clear how much French Caribbean rum entered Africa, French historian Eric Saugera (1995:248) estimated that, in the period between 1741 and 1778, alcohol represented about 9% of the total value of merchandize exported to Africa from Bordeaux. Figure 8-1. Portuguese trading venture at Benin in the eighteenth century For one good slave in Benin 1 piece good blue Coromandel 1 suart cover 12 coarse red sheets 2 bars of lead 5 knives with weighted handles 1 Indian cloth of 15 yds. with attractive flowers 12 yds of coarse muslin with stripes or spots 12 yds kannekins or shirting glass beads in bright, attractive colors 3 lbs lead shot 3 horn tobacco boxes 4 razors 4 mirrors 16 alquiers of salt, as white and fine as possible 15 pints of brandy 1 iron bar 14-18 lb. 4 gauze sheets 1-1/2 lb. gunpowder Source: Ryder 1%9:335 Dutch slave trade records reveal a similar strategy of alcohol trading. Voyage records of the Ouinera (1709) and Clara (1712), two ships of the Dutch West India Company trading on the Slave Coast, indicate that alcohol purchased about 5% of their slave cargo (Postma 1990: 104). Documents of the Middelburgsche Commercie Compagnie (MCC) also highlight the auxiliary role of alcohol in the Dutch slave trade. According to W.S. Unger's analysis (cited in Postma 1990:104) of the Company's mid-eighteenth century trade records, "57 percent of trade goods consisted of textiles, 9 percent were guns and 14 percent gun powder, slightly more than 10 percent consisted of alcoholic beverages, and a generous 9 percent could be categorized as sundry luxury items or trinkets." There is some indication, however, that the use of alcohol in the MCC trade was increasing in the later eighteenth century (Postma 1990: 105). Much has been written about the rum trade to Africa from the thirteen continental colonies. For example, Williams (1944:80) argued, 'The rum trade on the slave coast

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i 227 became a virtual monopoly of New England." E.R. Johnson et al's (1915) widely cited analysis of the New England rum trade estimated that, in 1770, four-fifths of New England rum exports went to Africa for a total of nearly 300,000 gallons (Pan 1975:8; Williams 1944:80). John McCusker also estimated that the continental colonies annually exported a little more than 300,000 gallons of rum to Africa during the height of the continental rum trade at the end of the Seven Years War and in the period 1768-1772. However, McCusker showed that only 30% of continental rum exports went to Africa, not four-fifths. Further, McCusker stressed that continental traders were responsible for only about 4% of the total slave trade, and less than 8% of British slave purchases in the period 1768-1772 (McCusker 1989:492-497). Yet, while the degree to which the continental colonies were involved in the slave trade was small, the proportion of rum used by continental traders in slave purchases was relatively high. Alcohol was only one of a variety of goods used by European slave traders, but the primary commodity of New England traders. In 1775, the "Return from the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations" (HC 1777:5) showed that slavers from Boston and Rhode Island purchased 2,288 slaves on the Gold Coast "with New England Rum only." Rhode Island slave traders relied especially heavily on rum. According to Coughtry (1981:86-87), "Rum completely overshadowed every other item on the cargo manifests of Rhode Island slavers; they were called 'rum-men' with good reason. Rum, in fact, accounted for 70-75 percent of total cargo valuations." The New Englanders, however, could not compete with European slave traders who sent diverse trading packages loaded with highly sought after goods acquired from their overseas empires, especially textiles from India. New England slave traders, therefore, posed only a limited threat to the wellstocked European slavers. The extensive exports of New England rum to West Africa mainly competed with British Caribbean interlopers whose cargos also consisted largely of rum, one of the few commodities they had to offer. Barbadian planters frequently complained to Parliament

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228 about the high price of Royal Africa Company slaves and, as a result, became heavily involved in the direct slave trade along the West African coast (Gentlemen of Barbados 1709; Gentlemen of Barbados 171 1). The small and fast British Caribbean sloops, especially after the demise of the Royal Africa Company's monopoly, descended upon the West African coast loaded with rum (Eltis and Richardson 1997c: 19). For example, in the early eighteenth century. Sir William Codrington regularly shipped the rum produced on his plantations in Barbados and Antigua directly to the Gold Coast for slaves (Gaspar 1985:278n44). Why was alcohol in such high demand in the African trade? An examination of alcohol use among the Akan, Igbo, Kongo, and Aja-Fon [the people who French slave traders referred to as Arada] highlights the social and symbolic significance of alcohol in the African trade and helps explain African demand. In addition, exploring alcohol use among these African groups provides a foundation for understanding African slave drinking in the British and French Caribbean, which is discussed in the following chapter. The Akan and Igbo were central to the British transatlantic slave trade while the Kongo and Aja-Fon Arada were the most significant in the case of the French. The accounts of early explorers, traders, and missionaries in West and West Central Africa attest to the popularity of indigenous alcoholic beverages prior to the expansion of the transatlantic slave trade in the late seventeenth century. Like ethnographic field notes, these reports detailed the production of alcoholic beverages from various local sources, including honey, plantains, and various species of millets (de Marees 1602; Femandes 1506-15 10; Pigafeta 1591 ; Ruiters 1623). Palm wine, produced from the raphia variety of palm, appears to have been one of the most ubiquitous drinks found along the West and West Central African coasts. Alcohol production using local plants in Akan and Igbo societies predated European intervention and the rise of the transatlantic slave trade. As early as the eleventh century, Al-Bakri of Cordoba referred to "intoxicating drinks" served at the burial of the king of the

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229 ancient kingdom of Ghana (cited in Pan 1975:20-21). Oral traditions collected in the late nineteenth century intimate a long history of palm wine use in the Gold Coast dating back to the Asante's initial migration into the region in the early sixteenth century (cited in Akyeampong 1997:27). Palm wine was also available in Igbo lands prior to the seventeenth century. In 1589, trader James Welsh (cited in Isichei 1978:9) wrote that, in the Bight of Biafra, "there are a great store of palme trees, out of which they gather great store of wine." In the mid-seventeenth century, Dutch traders (cited in Jones 1995:26) named the main village just inside the mouth of the New Calabar River "Wyndorp" due to the large amounts of palm wine produced there. Alcohol use among the Kongo of West Central Africa and Aja-Fon of the Slave Coast also predated the rise of the transatlantic slave trade. For example, in 1570, Portuguese missionary Baltasar Alfonso noted that the people of Luanda drank walo, a beer made from fermented grain, and, in 1648, Portuguese missionary Jean-Francois de Rome described beer brewed from flour among the Kongo (Curto 1996:57-59). Palm wine was also present. Portuguese missionary Filippo Pigafetta (1591) wrote that, at Luanda, "palm... grows here from which oil, wine, vinegar, fruits, and bread are all extracted." Grain-based beer, sometimes called pitau, and palm wine were also popular among the Arada (Barbot 1746:328; Isert 1788:127). According to Bosman (1705:391), there were many types of grain at Whydah, including "the great Milhio. .which the negroes don't make bread of it, but use it in the brewing of beer." Barbot (1746:328-329) also wrote that the people of Whydah brewed two types of beer from "large maiz, or Indian wheat. Arada women played a central role in beer brewing (Barbot 1746:331; Bosman 1705:392). Palm wine was less esteemed on the Slave Coast, but slave trader Dierick Ruiters (1623:227) described the availability of "two types of sour palm-wine, namely vino de palm and vino de Bordon." Foreign spirits supplemented grain-based beer and palm wine. Africans valued imported alcoholic beverages for their newness, especially distilled spirits, which were

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230 much more concentrated, or "hot," than their usual fermented drinks. African elites also viewed foreign alcohol as a way to confirm status. For example, at Whydah, Bosman (1705:438) noted that 'The Richer Sort" preferred brandy. The extent of the European trade, however, made foreign alcoholic beverages widely available and Bosman (1705:403) believed that excessive brandy drinking was "the innate Vice of all Negroes." Some parts of West and West Central Africa appreciated rum more than others. Obviously those areas of West and West Central Africa with the greatest amount of direct trade with rum-making regions, such as Angola and the Gold Coast, had greater access to inexpensive rum. Eltis (2000:301) estimated that, in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the Gold Coast, which carried on a considerable amount of direct trade with rum-laden British American traders, received 48,000 gallons of rum annually. Historian Joseph Miller (1988:687) argued that Europe and America "dumped surplus goods on Africa [including] rums too harsh for the taste of drinkers at home." Rum was a by-product, but it should not be characterized as an unwanted surplus as is evident by the fact that rum found strong markets throughout the Atlantic world. Part of its appeal was that it was less expensive than wine and brandy purchased from French and Dutch slave traders (Eltis 2000:301; Miller 1988:77). Moreover, African traders may have also used their desire for rum to artfully express allegiances to British, British American, or Brazilian traders. In addition, explicit demands for rum probably helped reduce the price of wine, gin, and brandy brought by European traders. The success of the African alcohol trade was enhanced by a pre-existing African social structure that embraced alcohol use. Foreign spirits were integrated into traditional West and West Central African cultural festivals, such as the Igbo yam festival, Akan odwira festival, and Ga homowo festival (Akyeampong 1997:40-41; Bosman 1705: 158159; Field 1937:22-24,47-56; Isert 1788:47). More important, however, was alcohol's unique ability to facilitate communication with the spiritual world. The physical and spiritual worlds are closely aligned in Akan, Igbo, Kongo, and Aja-Fon religions, as well

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231 as the religions of many other West and West Central African groups. Ancestors, spirits, and deities played an active role in the daily lives of the living. According to Thornton (1992:235-253), through revelations and divination, the spiritual world regularly left clues that guided believers through life. The physiological effect of alcohol, as with sleep deprivation, fasting, and other mind altering activities, was a medium that helped induce interaction with the spiritual world. Historian Emmanuel Akyeampong (1997:21) argued that the Akan considered alcohol a sacred fluid that "bridged the gap between the physical and spiritual worlds." According to Akyeampong, Rites of passage illustrated the conception of life as a progression from the spirit world, through the living world, and back into the spiritual world. Naming, puberty, marriage, and funeral ceremonies represented different epochal stages in life's joumey. The human perception of the relative intimacy of the spiritual and living worlds associated with each phase was reflected in a minimal or profuse use of alcohol. (Akyeampong 1997:30) Alcohol, therefore, helped link the physical and spiritual worlds ensuring the natural progression of life for the individual and community. Libations highlight the way alcohol unites the physical and spiritual worlds. Libations are best described as prayer accompanied and punctuated by the pouring of alcohol (Akyeampong 1997:5n24). Individuals, families, and clans poured libations to seek favor from ancestral spirits and deities. Libations protected the community from evil, propitiated angry spirits, and accelerated an individual's recovery from illness. Libations, therefore, created a path to a spiritual world that helped secure community needs. The Akan poured libations and made alcohol offerings to ancestors, spirits, and deities before most undertakings (Barbot 1746:314; Bosman 1705:151). In 1602, slave trader Pieter de Marees (1602:42-43) described an Akan drinking occasion in which the first drops of palm wine were poured on the ground in reverence for the ancestors. If the participants had "fetishes" tied to their arms and feet, they would spit the first mouthful of palm wine on them. Failing to do so risked the possibility that they would not be allowed to drink together in peace. Barbot (1746:255) recorded the same ceremony almost a century

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V : 232 later. One of the most powerful Akan spiritual symbols is the ancestral stool, a sacred representation of a deceased relative. Several times a year the Akan brought out their ancestral stools and placed food and alcohol offerings on them followed by the pouring of alcohol libations. In return, the living received ancestral blessings (Akyeampong 1997:40; Barbot 1746:308). The Igbo also poured alcohol libations and made sacrificial offerings of alcohol to their ancestors and deities in public and private ceremonies. Barbot (1746:392) wrote of them, "none drink without spilling a little of the liquor on the ground, for his idol." The Igbo ofo-stick, like the Akan stool, represented an ancestral spirit. According to anthropologist Geoffrey Parrinder (1%1:I24), the Igbo periodically poured alcohol libations over the ofo-stick in the hope of appeasing ancestral spirits and receiving ancestral blessings in worldly endeavors. In the twentieth century, anthropologist George Basden (1966:220-221) recorded that the Igbo set a place apart in their households for their alusi [gods], which commemorate departed relatives. These became sacred representations of ancestral spirits only after libations were poured. Similar practices existed among the Arada and Kongo. For example, Bosman (1705:369 see also Barbot 1746:342-434) wrote that worshipers in the serpent cult at Whydah commonly left "drink offerings at the snake house." In the nineteenth century, British colonial administrators, recognizing the importance of alcohol to the serpent cult at Whydah, annually visited the "Boa house" and left offerings of rum to the priest (R.F. Burton 1864;I:63). Anthropologist Melville Herskovits (1964:57) noted that, in Dahomey, in the 1930s, rum continued to be the proper sacrificial offering for a vodou deity. In West Central Africa, according to Miller (1988:83), alcohol was central to the slave trade because it "intensified communication with the spiritual component of power." In 1705, Portuguese missionary Laurent de Lucques wrote that the inhabitants of Soyo "do nothing but drink." But anthropologist Georges Balandier (1968: 160) believed Lucques misinterpreted the importance of drinking among the Kongolese and argued, instead, that "social necessity signified more than the pursuit of alcoholic stimulation; malafu [palm wine] was required

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233 on many occasions [especially atj rituals and ceremonies honoring the ancestors." According to Balandier, what Lucques had witnessed was the important role of palm wine in opening communications with ancestors prior to the Soyo harvest ceremony. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, missionary Karl Laman wrote, Here and there one still finds special houses for the safe keeping of the nkisi, idols and ancestral images. One also comes across small well-built ancestral houses in which there is only one mug, into which one pours palm-wine that is sacrificed to the ancestors. (Laman 1953;I:83) In pre-colonial Akan and Igbo societies, birth represented a return to earth from the spirit world. The successful transition required the assistance of a powerful and sacred fluid. For example, a newborn was often given rum to wet his or her parched throat after the long journey from the spirit world. "The gesture [of giving rum] was an expression of welcome, an entreaty to the newborn baby to stay with its earthly family." According to Akyeampong (1997:31-32), an Akan child was believed to have two mothers: an earth mother and a spirit mother. Fear that the spirit mother would reclaim her child produced the 9-day moratorium on naming, during which time rum was offered to appease the spirit mother. Anthropologist A.B. Ellis wrote. The [AkanJ child is then brought out and handed to the father, who returns thanks to the tutelary deity, and then gives it its second name (its personal name and not the day name given at birth) squirting at the same time a little rum from his mouth into the child's face. .After the second name was given rum was poured as a libation to the ancestors and the day ended with festivities. (Ellis 1887 cited in Akyeampong 1997:32) Akyeampong pointed out that this ceremony did not occur when the child was named for a living person confirming the link between ancestors and alcohol. The Igbo also connected newborn children and the ancestral world. In fact, a newborn represents the reincarnated spirit of a deceased relative and the Igbo performed special alcohol-based ceremonies to determine the particular ancestral spirit (Ilogu 1974:45-46). As a greeting to the reincarnated spirits, gifts of palm wine were given to newborn Igbo children. The naming ceremony soon followed and, according to Basden (1966:60), it "is a time of great

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234 rejoicing and feasting and large quantities of palm wine are consumed in celebrating the occasion." Similar alcohol-based ceremonies occurred at births events in the Kongo. According to Laman (1957;II: 10-1 1), pregnancy, childbirth, and naming were critical stages in a Kongolese child's life and, therefore, required elaborate rituals involving the use of alcohol. New fathers were expected to spend lavishly and provide plenty of palm wine for the feast that followed his child's naming ceremony. Moreover, ancestral spirits were evoked during childbirth and naming ceremonies with alcohol. According to Laman, When the mother and child have been blessed, all in the house who have not given birth to children or consecrated themselves to some nkisi [spirit] must go out. Then big calabashes with palm wine are called for, so that everyone may drink according to his nkisis-formula. (Laman 1957 ;II: 12) Marriage cemented bonds between families, clans, and lineages. The act, therefore, required the use of alcohol to seek spiritual approval and ancestral guidance. Slave traders Barbot (1746:239-240), de Marees (1602:19-21), and Bosman (1705:198-199) all noted the important role of alcohol at Akan weddings. The ceremony itself took the Akan word for palm wine, nsa, and was simply "the exchange of drinks in the presence of witnesses and the pouring of libations to the gods and ancestors" (Akyeampong 1997:36). The use of alcohol in marriage ceremonies continued into the nineteenth century when the increasing role of women in the market economy of the Gold Coast put a premium on brides and led to the institutionalization of bride price known as "head-rum" (Akyeampong 1997:37). Among the Igbo, once a man selected the woman he wished to marry, he proceeded to her family's home and offered a small gift of a bottle of gin or a pot of palm wine to begin negotiations (Basden 1966:69). Bride price often included quantities of alcohol and wedding ceremonies included of copious amounts of drink (Basden 1966:7 1 ; Parrinder 1961:106). In the Bight of Benin, Bosman (1705:441) wrote, marriage was a simple ceremony whereby the bridegroom treated his new relations with "victuals and drink." At Whydah,

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235 Barbot (1746:348) reported that no actual ceremony took place and that a marriage was simply concluded when the bridegroom presented the parents of the bride with eight or ten pots of beer. In West Central Africa, Laurent de Lucques (cited in Curto 19%:53-54) wrote, "palm wine was essential to successfully conclude any matrimonial transaction." According to Kongo scholar John Janzen (1982:57), in the Lemba healing cult of Loango, "when husband and wife meet for marriage in the Lemba house, the man dons a large copper ring, and the woman a smaller one, the charm being consecrated with a spittle of wine." Laman (1957;1I:17) made numerous references to the role of palm wine in Kongo marriage ceremonies and noted that even the ancestors received their share. Death marked the end of physical life and a return to the spirit world. Again, alcohol was central in this transformation. Proper Akan and Igbo funerals included great amounts of alcohol, which helped ensure the successful transition of the deceased to the spirit world. Offerings of alcohol also guaranteed the future assistance of the deceased and prosperity for the family and community left behind. For example, the Akan, according to de Marees (1602: 1 84), put food and drink on the grave of the deceased believing that the dead "live on it, and [thus] pots of water and palm-wine are constantly renewed." Barbot noted that in the Gold Coast • — -. -f ^ ^ As soon as the corps is let down into the grave, the persons who attended the funeral drink palm wine, or rum plentifully out of oxes horns; and what they cannot drink off at a draught, they spill on the grave of their deceased friend, that he may have his share of the liquor. (Barbot 1746:283 see also Field 1937:196-205 and Parrinder 1%1:107) Akyeampong noted that alcohol was not poured down the throat of someone who was dying for fear that it would impeded their journey to the ancestral world. However, once the individual was deceased, alcohol libations helped the deceased's transition to the spiritual world. The Igbo also made copious use of alcohol at funerals. According to Basden (1966: 1 12-126), alcohol was sprinkled on the deceased prior to burial. During the important second burial feast, "cases of gin and an unlimited supply of palm wine [werej consumed." Anthropologist Francis Arinze (1970:87-88) also noted that the Igbo made

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236 offerings of alcohol to their ancestors at funeral ceremonies so that the ancestral spirits would welcome the newly departed soul. In "the city of Benin," Bosman (1705:448) observed, "publick mouming commonly lasts fourteen days. .during which they drink very plentifully." At Whydah "much rum is distributed [at funerals], and all night there is shouting, firing, and dancing" (Forbes 1851:49). In the 1930s, Herskovits (1938) detailed the role of alcohol and its ability to open lines of communication with the ancestral world at burial wakes in Dahomey. In West Central Africa, in the late sixteenth and eariy seventeenth century, the people of the Kongo were known to "bury their dead on the mountains in cool pleasant places. [and] leave wine and food" (Balandier 1%8:25 1 ). According to Miller ( 1 976: 177n6), in the seventeenth century the Imbangala of West Central Africa "made extensive use of palm wine in their rituals. .pouring the wine over the graves of their ancestors in an attempt to contact the dead." Oath drinking rituals also had a strong spiritual component and required the sanctity of alcohol. As with other ceremonies, oath drinks helped repair social fissures, build alliances, and strengthen community ties. For example, on the Gold Coast, Bosman noted, When they take the oath-draught, 'tis usually accompanied with an imprecation, that the fetische may kill them if they do not perform the contents of their obligation. Every person entering into any obligation is obliged to drink the swearing liquor. When any nation is hired to the assistance of another, all the chief ones are obliged to drink this liquor, with an imprecation, that their fetische may punish them with death, if they do not assist them with utmost vigor and extirpate their enemy. (Bosman 1705:149-150; see also Barbot 1746:313) Basden (1966:206) also noted that oath drinks helped establish allegiances among Igbo warriors prior to raiding and other military expeditions. Barbot recorded one of the most detailed accounts of oath drinking among the Arada at Whydah, which was called Boire-Dios. The contractors make each a little hole in the earth, into which they let some of their own blood drop, and having dissolv'd it with some little earth, each of them drinks of the composition, as much as he can. This done, they look upon it as a solemn engagement, to have but one and the same interest in whatever may befall them,

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whether good or evil; and that they are bound to reveal to each other their most secret thoughts. (Barbot 1746:338) Anthropologist William Argyle ( 1970) also described a similar oath drink called 'drinking the vodun,' which was meant to avert quarrels that might disturb peace within the community. For example, a man who doubted the fidelity of his wife could have her drink the vodun. The wife and husband drank the oath drink together to prove solidarity and often the community drank along with them to show unity and support. Death was the punishment for lying. Because of its link to the spiritual world, alcohol was often a central ingredient in oath drinks. In Dahomey, anthropologist Paul Hazoume (1937 cited in Argyle 1970:156-161) witnessed the preparation of an oath drink, which was made in secret and contained, among other things, gin and the blood of a fowl. The use of alcohol in birth, marriage, funeral, and oath ceremonies may reflect the need to bring the community through an anxious period of spiritual liminality. These transitions were times of community stress when living and spiritual worlds were closely and precariously aligned. The pacifying effect of alcohol on spirits and deities may have produced a perception of order and control that helped stabilize the community during uncertain times. Drinking together also strengthened the cohesiveness of the community. These social gatherings required the participation and economic assistance of the family, clan, and lineage. For example, de Marees wrote, when Akan women give birth all the people -men, women, boys and giris come to her. .They give the child a name upon which they have agreed, and swear upon it with the Fetissos and other sorcery... on which occasion they make a big feast, with merry-making, food, and drink, which they love. (de Marees 1602:23) Community events celebrated a shared identity, highlighted community ties, and reaffirmed social commitments. The physiologically-liberating effect of alcohol helped remove obstacles to social discourse.

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238 Communicating with the spiritual world necessitated alcoholic beverages and, therefore, the possession of alcohol was a powerful form of social control. Tribal chiefs and elders held the land and labor necessary to produce palm wine and their authority also ensured that they would receive alcohol in the form of tribute from the community, as well as trade liquors from slave merchants and dealers. Alcohol was so important in defining power that warring groups would sometimes destroy their enemy's palm groves in their attempt to destroy the source of their enemy's spiritual power (Curto 1996:47). Ethnographies from the Gold Coast highlight the link between alcohol and power. For example, alcohol libations and offerings ensured military assistance from Akan war gods (Abosom Brafo). According to Akyeampong, Afua Pokuaa (the female head of a matrilineage) of Amoanman believed Akan war gods liked the red color of 'Buccaneer rum.' Akyeampong argued that the war gods' preference for red rum reflected the link between warfare, blood, and alcohol. Akyeampong illustrated this connection by suggesting that the rise of alcohol and blood libations along the Gold Coast coincided with the rise in warfare during the slave raiding period (Akyeampong 1997:28; Dumett 1974). Igbo tribal chiefs also maintained their power through the control of alcohol. As with Abosom Brafo, the Igbo war god, Ikenga Oweawfa (meaning "he who splits thy enemy's shield"), was usually evoked with alcohol libations (Basden 1966:219-222). The alcohol-for-slaves model developed in the early years of the African trade. By the late seventeenth century. New World rum began to replace traditional palm wine and brandy imports from Europe. Rum was distributed in gift-giving ceremonies and integrated into a larger trading package. The social and sacred value of alcohol, as well as its links to power and spiritual guidance, increased West and West Central African demand. The heavy emphasis on rum in the African slave trade may, however, also reflect a special appreciation for African slave-made products and symbolic respect for brethren stranded overseas. In the 1930s, Melville Herskovits recorded oral histories in Dahomey

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239 concerning the slave trading days. Included among the oral histories was a chant that the Dahomeans performed to their ancestors and kin sent across the Atlantic: The English must bring guns. The Portuguese must bring powder. The Spaniards must bring the small stones, which give fire to our fire-sticks. The Americans must bring the cloths and the rum made by our kinsmen who are there, for these will permit us to smell their presence. (Herskovits 1966:87) By the end of the eighteenth century, Caribbean rum was being sold throughout much of the Atlantic world. It found substantial markets in Africa, North and South America, and even found acceptance among some drinkers in parts of northern Europe. In the Caribbean, however, rum was more than simply an economic commodity that benefited a small planter elite. As producers, Caribbean peoples were also the largest per capita consumers of Caribbean rum. Having explored the emergence of rum in African, American, and northern European trade and, the flow of Caribbean rum throughout the Atiantic world, we now need to investigate its consumption and the meaning of rum within the rum-making societies. The following chapter explores the social, economic, and political significance of rum within the mature Caribbean slave societies. Evidence will show that rum drinking penetrated all social classes in the Caribbean and acquired unique meanings within the Caribbean's diverse cultural context. The African demand for rum continued in the Caribbean as West and West Central African slaves brought with them a desire to recreate traditional patterns of alcohol use.

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CHAPTER 9 VOLATILE SPIRITS: ANCESTORS, ALCOHOL, AND AFRICAN SLAVE SPIRITUALITY Alcohol was familiar to newly arrived Africans in the Caribbean and the symbolic meanings slaves attached to drinking reflect the continuity of African cultural beliefs. Despite occasional efforts by colonial officials to restrict slave drinking, slaves had easy access to rum and other alcoholic beverages. The ready availability of alcohol sparked the creation of new African-oriented drinking practices, which, at the level of the lowest common denominator, combined the social and sacred alcohol-based traditions of diverse African ethnic groups. As in Africa, alcohol helped foster slave spirituality and promote group identity. The construction of new drinking styles also strengthened resistance ideologies, which challenged European efforts to suppress African customs. Understanding slave alcohol use provides a prism through which to view underlying principles that helped shape slave life. Alcohol was widely available in Caribbean slave societies. In the 1640s, English refugee Richard Ligon (1657:27) happily wrote that the people of Barbados "are seldom dry or thirsty" and proceeded to list the vast array of alcoholic beverages typically consumed on the island. In the sugar-making colonies, rum was especially common. In 1748, Barbadian sugar planter Richard Hall (1755:33) estimated that Barbadians drank annually 738,3% gallons of rum, 53% of the total amount produced, a per capita consumption rate of more than 7 gallons. In 1768, Barbadian sugar planter George Frere (1768: 1 14-1 16) also wrote that Barbados' 94,000 inhabitants consumed about 700,000 gallons of rum each year. However, some Barbadians drank more than others and Hall, for example, reckoned that "30,000 use half a pint of Rum each in one day," or 22.8 gallons per year. Jamaicans drank less than their Barbadian counterparts, but they were not 240

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241 teetotalers. In the period 1768-1772, Jamaican sugar planter Edward Long estimated that his fellow islanders consumed an annual average of 583,000 gallons of rum, 19% of the total amount produced, in addition to the amount stolen, which may have accounted for an additional 5%. Jamaica's population was about 200,000, suggesting an annual per capita rum consumption rate of more than 3 gallons. Sugar planters, especially big sugar planters, largely controlled the flow of rum in the Caribbean. Although a few small-scale distilleries operated in port towns and on rural farms, sugar planters fought to maintain their domination of the local rum trade. For example, in 1668, the Barbados Assembly passed an act "That no Person or Persons within this Island. .shall be permitted to keep any Still or Stills for distilling of Rum: Except such Person or Persons have land and Canes of their own, or such as keep Refining Houses" (Rawlin 1699:71-72). People directly involved in the sugar-making sector of the economy were in a good position to get rum. However, not everyone worked on sugar estates; around 1770, Jamaica had, in addition to 680 sugar works, 150 coffee plantations, 1 10 cotton plantations, 30 ginger plantations, and 8 indigo works (Long 1774;I:495-4%). Nor did work on sugar plantations always guarantee direct access to rum. In the 1640s, Ligon (1657:93) wrote that rum was sold "to such Planters, as have no Sugar-works of their own, yet drink excessively of it." In the late eighteenth century, it appears that less than a quarter of sugar estates in Saint Domingue had distilleries, although on Martinique, which had benefited from British occupation in the early 1760s, 65-70% of sugar estates did so (Moreau de Saint-Mery 1797/98: 111; Schnakenbourg 1977:87,1 10). As only onethird of Saint Domingue's slaves lived on sugar plantations in 1789, access to rum my have been substantially reduced there, although, as almost none was exported, this may have compensated, as might those plantations' productivity. It was, therefore, necessary for the great majority of people in the Caribbean to get rum from a few sugar planters with still houses.

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242 How accessible were rum and other alcoholic beverages to slaves? If slaves were not already familiar with rum in Africa, they were quickly introduced to it during the middle passage or upon their arrival in the Caribbean. Dr. Collins (1811:59), a planter and physician in St. Vincent, advised that, as part of the seasoning process, newly arrived slaves should be given rum "in small quantities, not pure, but diluted in water into a pretty strong grog; for it is the business of the Planter to conciliate them by many compliances with their humour, which may afterwards be withheld." Rum, therefore, was used as a salutation to try and ease the transition into Caribbean slavery. British Caribbean sugar planters provided large amounts of rum to their slaves as part of weekly plantation rations (Ligon 1657:93; Long 1774:490). In the late eighteenth century, managers at York Estate, Jamaica (GMP) set aside 800 gallons of rum each year for use on the plantation. If this rum was reserved entirely for the estates' slave population, which at that time was about 450, the rate of per capita rum consumption would have been about 1.8 gallons. At Worthy Park, Jamaica, plantation managers annually distributed seven or eight puncheons of rum and, between 1784 and 1813, it would have provided each of Worthy Park's slaves with about 2.5-3.0 gallons per year (Craton 1991 ; Craton and Walvin 1970: 136; Phillips 1914:543). In the midto late eighteenth century, between 1.3 and 1.9 gallons of rum was annually made available to each slave at Drax Hall estate, Jamaica (Armstrong 1990:43,248). Although these rates represent maximum distribution to slaves (taking no account of the amount reserved for white employees or used as an antiseptic in the plantation hospitals) some planters and plantation managers dispensed rum even more liberally. According to Jamaican missionary William Gardner (1 873:389-390), plantation managers at Halse Hall estate, Jamaica distributed one pint to one quart of rum a week to each adult slave, or 6.5 to 13 gallons per year. French Caribbean sugar planters also portioned out rum to their slaves. In Martinique, French missionary Father J.B. Labat (1724;I:323) estimated that 10% of the tafia produced on his model sugar plantation, or about 402 gallons, should be annually set

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243 aside for the plantation's 120 slaves, which gave an annual per capita rum consumption rate of about 3.4 gallons (see also Josa 1931:54, Pairault 1903:6). When "infants" are removed from Labat's equation the level of rum consumption jumps to 4.2 gallons each year. Some planters used rum as a dietary supplement in their efforts to cut plantation costs. In 1685, the French government passed the Code Noir, which was meant to standardize and improve the treatment of slaves in the French Caribbean. Article 23 of the Code Noir specifically forbade sugar planters to substitute un-nutritious tafia for substantive food in their slaves' diet (Peytraud 1897: 1%). In 1755, Frederik V of Denmark also instituted a slave code, which prevented sugar planters in the Danish islands from engaging in this same cost-cutting practice (Hall 1992:59). Yet, despite these regulations, planters continued to dole out rum as a dietary supplement (Debien 1974: 136,152). Slaves also received allotments of rum as part of rewards and incentives systems. For example, in 1797, an anonymous Jamaican wrote. In the country where the rats are numerous, and destructive to the canes, they make basket traps and catch them in abundance, for which on some plantations they receive a quantity of rum proportioned to the number taken, which is known by the number of tails they produce. (Anonymous 1797:14) Jamaican sugar planter Charles Leslie (1740:34) indicated that slaves received a bottle of rum for every 50 rat-tails collected. This practice of exchanging rat-tails for rum was apparently widespread and existed for many years. Rum was also given as a reward for good work. Jamaican sugar planter Thomas Roughley (1823:90-91) argued that, as an incentive to the principal headman to do his duty well, "a weekly allowance of a quart or two of good rum. will be found of salutary effect." Planters devised an effective incentives system, which used rum to improve discipline and elicit a favorable slave disposition. Slaves received rum and other forms of alcohol as an incentive to perform particularly difficult and unpleasant tasks. Labat (1724;I:331) advised giving slaves rum when doing arduous work, such as dunging and cane holing. Some planters in St. Croix

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244 dispensed rum to their slaves two or tliree times a day during planting season (Hall 1992:72). In Dominica, sugar planter Thomas Atwood wrote. The field negros, when digging cane holes, have usually, in the afternoon, half a pint of rum and water, sweetened with molasses, given to each of them, which is a great refreshment in that labour, and causes them to work with chearfulness. (Atwood 1791:257-258) In addition, Atwood believed singing "has a good effect in soothing their labour, and is much promoted by giving them rum and water." Sugar plantation work, in general, was grueling and some planters simply distributed shots of rum to their slaves each morning before they headed out to the cane fields, in the middle of the afternoon, and when they returned at the end of the day (Dickson 1789:13; Labat 1724;I:331; Roughley 1823:101,122). Slaves also got rum through barter and purchase at weekend markets. For example, Jamaican sugar planter Matthew Monk Lewis wrote that among his slaves were some choice ungrateful scoundrels. [including] a young rascal of a boy called 'massa Jackey,' who is in the frequent habit of running away for months at a time, and whom I had distinguished from the cleverness of his countenance and buffoonery of his manners, came to beg my permission to go and purchase food with some of the money I had just given him, 'because he was almost starving; his parents were dead, he had no provision-grounds, no allowance, and nobody ever gave him anything.' Upon this I sent Cubina with the boy to the store-keeper, when it appeared that he had always received a regular allowance of provisions twice a week, which he generally sold, as well as his clothes, at the Bay, for spirits. (Lewis 1834:128-129) Lewis (1834:83) also noted that some of his slaves sold their provisions to "wandering higglers" for the same purpose. Many such transactions occurred at Sunday markets and, as a result, some planters, including Collins (181 1:80, 65-66), began the practice of distributing food and drink allowances in the middle of the week rather than the end because "as Sunday is their holiday and market-day, they are apt to carry their allowance to market, and to barter it for rum." The exchange of rum for sexual favors provided another opportunity to get rum and one, for example, that Jamaican plantation manager Thomas Thistlewood frequently gave to the female slaves under his care (cited in Hall 1989: 18).

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245 Planters and plantation managers dispensed rum on holidays and special occasions. For example, according to Lewis's diary (1834:73), January 6, 1816 "was a day given to my negroes as a festival on my arrival. A couple of heifers were slaughtered for them: they were allowed as much rum, and sugar, and noise, and dancing as they chose." At cropover, Thistlewood (cited in Hall 1989:47) "served the Negroes 15 quarts of rum out of the butt a filling in the curing house, and two large bottoms of sugar to make them merry." In 1762, slaves at Codrington estate, Barbados were given a cask of rum to help celebrate New Year's (SPG). At Christmas, planters doled out presents and extra rations of rum, flour, com, herring, and pickled pork (Anonymous 1830:54; Marsden 1788:33). In 1769, estate managers at Drax Hall plantation, Jamaica reserved five puncheons of rum each year, much of it for "all the Estates Negroes at Christmas time and Easter" (Armstrong 1990:248). Rum was also allocated for slave ceremonies like births, marriages, and funerals. M.L.E. Moreau de Saint-Mery (1997/98), a white Martiniquan Creole who lived in Saint Domingue, wrote, a funeral "is really a big repast at which they eat well and drink even better. .The parents, friends, and fellow tribesmen are the ones who bear the expense of this rite. .1 also contributed to the repast as did many of the masters." Thistlewood (cited in Hall 1989: 1 85) also contributed rum to the funeral of a slave on his plantation. Although planters had great control over the distribution of alcohol, slaves also took initiative in procuring rum. In the mid-seventeenth century, French missionary Father J.B. du Tertre (1667-1671:491-492) wrote "1 have seen one of our negroes slaughter five or six chickens in order to accommodate his friends, and spend extravagantly on three pints of rum in order to entertain five or six slaves of his country." Slaves also found clandestine ways of securing alcohol. In the 1788 British Pariiamentary inquiry into slavery. Governor Parry of Barbados believed that many health problems associated with slaves were attributable to rum "which they steal" (Craton, Walvin, and Wright 1976:91). Also, in Barbados, sugar planter Thomas Hendy (1833:34) wrote "one of the great prolific sources

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246 of crime [was the] free use of ardent spirits in which the slaves indulge." Hendy argued that the slaves' desire to drink led them to steal rum, or other goods that could be traded for rum. William Belgrove (1755:57), plantation manager at Drax Hall plantation in Barbados, wrote, "The blacks are commonly addicted to Thieving. [and if] they are taken stealing Sugar, Molasses, or Rum they must be severely handled." A young domestic slave at Newton plantation, Barbados was executed for just such an offense (Handler and Lange 1978:90-91). In Jamaica, "pilferage" may have accounted for as much as 5% of all the rum produced on the island (Long 1774:499). Theft was also a problem in the French Caribbean. Labat (1724;l:332) believed that the rum sold by slaves at Sunday markets in Martinique was often stolen from their masters and neighboring estates. Many planters recognized that, in order to prevent theft, "a due attention to the distillery, assisted by good locks and bars" was required (Collins 1811: 101). The tavern was an important institution of the colonial Caribbean frontier and tavern-keepers were crucial links in the distribution of rum. In the 1650s, Bridgetown, Barbados had over 100 taverns, one for every 20 residents (Alleyne 1978: 12; du Tertre 1667-1671). In 1683, Paramaribo, Surinam "consisted of 27 or 28 houses, mostly taverns and bars" (Goslinga 1985:51 1). In the late eighteenth century, Moreau de Saint-Mery (1797/98) believed the number of taverns in Port-au-Prince was "limitless." In the late seventeenth century, the numerous taverns in Port Royal, Jamaica helped strengthen the town's image as "the wickedest city in the west" (Dunn 1972:177-185). Archaeologists have uncovered structures, mugs, glasses, and thousands of green glass wine and gin bottles, which attest to the vigor of Port Royal's tavern life (Hamilton and Woodward 1984; Link 1960; Marx 1968, 1972; Mayes 1972; Noel-Hume 1968). Liquor taxes and license fees paid by tavern-keepers provided essential revenues that helped defray the cost of running colonial governments (Hall 1755: 14,18). For example, in Surinam, tavern-keepers were charged exorbitant licensing fees that covered the cost of social and civil improvements (Goslinga 1985:288). By the end of the

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247 seventeenth century, Barbados and Jamaica both adopted similar sin taxes and introduced laws prohibiting the sale of spirits without a license (Anonymous 1683:42-43; Rawlin 1699: 1 1). Colonial assemblies often placed restrictive duties on imported wine and brandy in order to encourage the consumption of locally produced rum (Anonymous 1683:42-43; Rawlin 1699: 107). Restrictive duties on imported wine and brandy also helped the planter class maintain social boundaries between rich and poor. Slaves were known to frequent taverns. In Barbados, concerns about slave drinking led to the enactment of laws prohibiting rum shops and tippling houses from selling rum to slaves or to any person known to sell rum to slaves (Rawlin 1699: 189). The reiteration of these laws, however, suggests that they were rarely obeyed and hard to enforce. In the Danish Caribbean, officials tried to regulate the presence of slaves in taverns and encouraged tavern-owners to serve slaves from the back yards (Hall 1992: 121). According to an anonymous (1797: 15) writer in Jamaica, "Many houses are kept for their [the slaves] entertainment, where they have a meal of coarse bread, salted fish and butter, and a bowl of new rum and water." The writer referred to these houses as "strong liquor and rum shops." Former runaway slave Esteban Montejo (l%8:27-28) also wrote that plantation slaves in Cuba frequented taverns, which were "more numerous than ticks in the forest." The many rural taverns that catered to slaves, such as the one excavated by Douglas Armstrong at Drax Hall in Jamaica, were often little more than centrally-located, dirt-floored shacks where slaves would gather (Armstrong 1990:101-108,158-160). In Montejo's case, 'The taverns were made of wood and palm-bark; no masonry like the modem stores. You had to sit on piled jute sacks or stand. They sold rice, jerked beef, lard and every variety of bean." The strong smell of sausages, smoked hams, and red mortadellas hanging from the ceiling probably led Montejo to describe taverns as "stinking places." Like rum shops in the Caribbean today, taverns were places to get snacks and drinks, enjoy a variety of games, exchange gossip, debate current events, receive loans, sell goods, and advertise availability as a sexual partner (Brana-Shute 1976, 1978 Wilson

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248 1973). Sometimes taverns provided a safe place to fence stolen rum (Hall 1992:121). Fueled by alcohol, the sociable tavern atmosphere was regularly shaken by brawls and fights (Montejo 1%8: 160). The local rum market provided economic opportunities for disenfranchised groups. For example, in Jamaica, Jewish retailers entered the local rum trade. Lxjng's description of Jewish marketing practices was often critical and full of anti-Semitic remarks. He angrily complained about the deleterious effects of a vile sophisticated compound of new rum, pepper, and other ingredients, brewed here by Jewish-retailers; who, as they pay a tax on their licenses, and a duty of the rum they retail, have recourse to this villainous practice, in order to enhance their profit upon the miserable consumers, who are chiefly the soldiers, and meaner class of whites. (Long 1774;I1:30) In addition. Long (1774;I1:459) objected to the fact that Jewish rum sellers did not carry arms or participate in the island's militia on the Jewish Sabbath or during Jewish holidays, but had no problem "taking money and vending drams upon those days." Moreover, Long (1774;Il:491-492n.x) protested against the Jewish practice of retailing rum at Sunday markets because "the vast sum expended for drams" did not go to Christian rum sellers. Entrepreneurial freedmen also seized part of the local spirits trade. In the 1770s and 80s, Rachael Pringle-Polgreen, a freedwoman, ran one of the most popular taverns in Bridgetown, Barbados, which catered to the colonial and military elite (Handler 1981; Orderson 1842:87-102). George Pinckard (1816;1: 1 17), a military physician who visited Barbados in the early nineteenth century, wrote, "taverns are commonly known by the names of the persons who keep them" and among the two taverns "most frequented, at Bridge-town, are those of Nancy Clarke, and Mary Bella Green; the former a black the latter a mulatto woman." A visitor to Kingston, Jamaica noted, "many of the free negroes, especially the women, keep lodging-houses and taverns" (Marsden 1788:7). According to Long, The most wholesome beverage [for newcomers] would be sugar and water, with or without a moderate allowance of old rum; what is still preferable is the cool drink i

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249 [probably a fermented sugar cane juice] prepared here by many of the free negroes and mulatta women, who vend it cheap to soldiers. (Long 1774;II:314) In Trinidad, some officials believed that slaves supplied stolen rum to freedmen, who were considered the primary retailers of stolen goods (Fraser 1896:289). Slaves also took advantage of local rum markets and sometimes became crucial links in the local distribution chain. According to du Tertre (1667-1671: 1 19), slaves in Martinique collected the skimmings that spilled over during the sugar boiling process and made "intoxicating drinks from it, which do a good trade in the island." Nearly two centuries later, Saint-Just, an enterprising slave on the sugar estate of Pierre Dessalles in Martinique, sold rum with his common law wife in a shop set up on the plantation (Forster and Forster 19%:20). Dessalles apparently encouraged the commercial pursuits of his slaves and, in 1823, he took his slave Madeleine to his coffee plantation, where she too sold tafia (Forster and Forster 1996:55). Among the runaways advertised in Saint Domingue in 1790 was an enterprising 28 year-old Mozambique man who bought rum at the gates of sugar estates and sold it in the mountains (Geggus 1986: 125-126). And, at Beaulieu sugar plantation in Saint Domingue, an "infirme" slave woman was responsible for local rum sales (Debien 1974: 137). Historical ethnographies of slave life commonly stress the survival of African cultural traits in the Caribbean. Beginning with the pioneering work of Melville Herskovits, historically minded anthropologists have sought to connect Caribbean slave traditions to Africa. Although Herskovits used broad culture area concepts of West Africa to reconstruct African survivals, his research also illustrated the specific origins of particular cultural influences (Herskovits 1941). For example, Herskovits (1937, 1947) linked Haitian vodou and the religion of Fon-speaking peoples of Dahomey and identified the Yoruba roots of the Shango cult in Trinidad. In 1976, Sidney Mintz and Richard Price (1992) revised the Herskovitsian model in an attempt to explain commonalities across the African diaspora despite the cultural

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250 heterogeneity of slave societies. Mintz and Price's model emphasized the Creolization of African slave culture rather than the identification of specific West and West Central African cultural traits. They believed that the randomized nature of the slave trade, the violence of the middle-passage, and the brutality of plantation slavery deculturated slaves and forced them to construct a new African American culture. The Creolization process began between shipmates on the very ships that transported slaves to the Americas and continued once they arrived at their destination on American plantations. According to Mintz and Price, the birth of African American culture represents a dialectic between the shared mental constructs of enslaved Africans and the colonial social contexts in which slave societies developed. For example, they argued that shared beliefs about the active role of ancestral spirits led to syncretic religious adaptations that transcended cultural differences on the plantation. Thus, Jamaican obeah and Haitian vodou combined underlying principles of West and West Central African belief systems. Moreover, the "additive" nature of West and West Central African cultures encouraged syncretism in slave religions (Mintz and Price 1992:44-46). More recent work on the Atlantic slave trade has returned to the earlier emphasis on the impact of particular African ethnic groups on particular parts of the Americas (Eltis 1997; Eltis and Richardson eds. 1997a, 1997b). The slave trade evidence has renewed the search for specific cultural influences in the Americas. Historian Robin Law (1999), for example, identified the particular influence of Arada slaves from the Dahomean region of West Africa in the famous Bois Caiman ceremony that preceded the Haitian revolution. Based on the oaths taken at the ceremony. Law argued "The ceremony at Bois Caiman in 1791 is clearly interpretable as a Dahomean-type ritual oath." Douglas Chambers (1997) used the slave trade data to hunt for "igboisms" in Jamaican slave culture. According to Chambers, some of the most celebrated Jamaican slave cultural practices, such as jonkonu and obeah, represent Igbo customs. Do the drinking practices of Caribbean slaves reflect the direct transfer of particular African drinking customs or the construction of new drinking behaviors based on the

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251 shared beliefs of various African ethnic groups? Answering this question is difficult, because most of our information about both African and African slave drinking comes from Europeans who often failed to explore the nuances of complex drinking customs. Moreover, African and African slave drinking rituals were usually private events conducted away from the eyes of Europeans. Thus, we may simply lack the raw evidence that would allow us to make a strong correlation between the drinking practices of particular African nations with those observed among African slaves in the Caribbean. Yet, the evidence does show that, at the level of the lowest common denominator, African slaves in the Caribbean created drinking customs, which embraced their shared West and West Central African beliefs about the spiritual meaning of alcohol. John Thornton's (1992) study of the rise of the Afro-Atlantic worid provides a good model for exploring the drinking practices of Caribbean slaves. Thornton argued that Mintz and Price overstated the randomized nature and deculturating effects of the Atlantic slave trade. Rather than seeing a heterogeneous mix of West and West Central African cultures, Thornton, as Herskovits, focused on broad bundles of cultural traits and saw West and West Central Africa as very homogeneous. Thornton identified three cultural zones and seven cultural sub-zones, which, he believed, shared a great deal in common. Moreover, Thornton argued that West and West Central Africans became increasingly homogeneous as a result of the rise of large African states and the expansion of European trade. Although Thornton conceded that differences between these culture zones was an obstacle to the transfer and re-commencement of particular ethnic practices on American plantations, it did not prevent the construction of a new African-oriented culture in the Americas. Thornton stressed the cultural flexibility and adaptability of Africans who were able to merge their beliefs and ideas with those from various parts of Africa and Europe. What is most original in Thornton's argument is his belief that the processes that led to the rise of this new Afro-Adantic culture emerged in colonial Africa and began to shape Africans long before they arrived in the Americas.

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252 Thornton's examination of the rise of Afro-Atlantic religion is particularly germane to the study of alcohol use among Caribbean slaves. At a basic level, Africans and Europeans shared similar beliefs about the nature of religion, especially the belief in a spirit world that was home to ancestors. Africans and Europeans also believed that the spirit world revealed its demands and desires through revelations. As a result of increasing interactions between Europeans and different African groups, a new Afro-Adantic religion emerged "that was often identified as Christian, especially in the New Worid, but was a type of Christianity that could satisfy both African and European understandings of religion." According to Thornton, This new African Christianity allowed some of the African religious knowledge and philosophy to be accommodated in a European religious system and represented a merger of great influence similar to the creation of Chinese (or East Asian) Buddhism or the Indianization of Islam. (Thornton 1992) African priests, brought to the Americas as slaves, produced new revelations that helped build Afro-American cosmologies from the various African beliefs. Like a lingua franca language system, African Christianity functioned as the link that brought together slaves from various nations. One similarity that Thornton overiooked in his analysis of Afro-Atlantic religious systems was that most Africans shared similar beliefs about the spiritual importance of alcohol. West and West Central Africans, with the exception of those at the northern margins of the slave trade who closely followed the teachings of Islam, believed that alcohol facilitated communication with the spirit worid. Through libations, offerings, and alcohol-induced spirit possessions, Africans opened lines of communication to the spirit worid and showed reverence to ancestors, gods, and deities. Moreover, these practices were not entirely unfamiliar to Christian Europeans who used sacramental wine to strengthen their own sense of spiritual attachment. Common beliefs about the spiritual importance of alcohol merged in Africa and on the slave plantations in the Caribbean and helped unify Africans from various nations. The sacred uses of alcohol observed among

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253 African slaves in the Caribbean highlight the construction of new African-oriented drinking customs based on the lowest common denominator of those shared beliefs. Whether we accept the argument of cultural lumpers like Herskovits and Thornton, who defined broad African culture areas, or cultural splitters like Mintz and Price, who saw African cultural heterogeneity, the millions of slaves transported to the New World in the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries came from diverse West and West Central African cultural backgrounds. Historical evidence from travelers' accounts, mission reports, and trade records indicates that alcohol figured prominently in pre-colonial West and West Central Africa and that most slaves came from societies with strong traditions of alcohol use. While the argument advanced here emphasizes the braiding of shared West and West Central African beliefs about alcohol, the recent work on the Atlantic slave trade has shown that certain African ethnic groups were concentrated in particular regions of the New World. These slaves presumably had a major impact on the drinking behaviors that developed within those regions. Moreover, we must concede that European writers may have simply failed to provide us with enough information to pinpoint particular African influences. In order to account for the new evidence and strike a balance in the debate over the emergence of slave culture, I focused, in the previous chapter, on the drinking patterns of four African culture groups viewed by most historians as having the greatest impact on French and British Caribbean slave life. As that discussion showed, all shared similar views about the basic spiritual importance of alcohol. The Igbo from the Bight of Biafra and Akan from the Gold Coast assuredly had a greater cultural impact in the British Caribbean than other African groups. According to Douglas Chambers (1997:77), between 1700 and 1809, the Igbo represented as much as a third of all slave arrivals in the British Caribbean, a higher percentage than any other African ethnic group in this period. The Akan also greatly influenced slave life in the British Caribbean due to their seventeenth century presence in the region. This eariy presence suggests that Akan slaves would have had a profound socializing impact on later

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slave arrivals from other West and West Central African cultures (Herskovits I966:%-98; Mintz and Price 1992:42-51). There are good grounds for believing that the drinking practices of Igbo and Akan slaves significantly shaped drinking behaviors in the British Caribbean and understanding traditional Igbo and Akan forms of alcohol use should reveal new insights into the symbolic meanings of slave drinking. Slave societies in the French Caribbean were in the same way deeply influenced by particular African ethnic groups. In the eighteenth century, more than 75% of Africans brought to the French Caribbean came from the Bight of Benin and the Congo/Angola region of West Central Africa. In the first half of the eighteenth century, and probably before, most Africans destined for the French Caribbean departed from the Bight of Benin (Eltis and Richardson 1997c: 16-35; Geggus 2001; Law 1999). A series of wars in the early eighteenth century during the rise of the Dahomey kingdom produced numerous slaves and helped make Whydah the main slaving station of French traders. In the mid-eighteenth century, the Congo/Angola region of West Central Africa became the major departure point of African slaves. European competition in the Bight of Benin forced French slavers to move south to the Portuguese controlled regions along the Congo/Angolan coast (Stein 1988: 18-19). Africans transported to the older French colony of Martinique disproportionately came from the Bight of Benin reflecting the early settlement and development of that colony (Geggus 1990, 1998). The French slave traders' shift to West Central Africa in the mid-eighteenth century and the increasing demand for slaves in Saint Domingue meant that West Central African "Congos" were the most numerous ethnic group in the colony and they dominated the coffee sector that expanded after the mideighteenth century (Geggus 1989b:9). Beliefs in the sacred nature of alcohol in these African societies survived the violence of the middle passage and took hold in the slave societies of the British and French Caribbean. The ready availability of alcohol during the slavery period allowed African slaves to continue traditional African drinking practices. In the eighteenth century, Moreau

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255 de Saint-Mery (1797/98) wrote, "When the slaves come off the ship they are not greatly surprised at the various natural products of the island. These are all too similar to what they knew in Africa." Alcohol was among those products. In fact, according to Caribbean traveler Charles de Rochefort (1658:447), in the earliest years of settlement, newly arrived African slaves in St. Kitts made incisions in palm trees, extracted the juice, and made "liqueur similar to white wine." This description of palm wine making parallels those left by European travelers to pre -colonial West and West Central Africa and indicates that African slaves attempted to recreate traditional palm wine production once they arrived in the Caribbean. Yet, with the rise of sugar making in the Caribbean, rum became the alcoholic beverage of choice. Under the harsh conditions of Caribbean slavery, rum was used to help maintain a symbolic connection to Africa and the ancestral worid. For those slaves who were not already familiar with rum in Africa, the ability to incorporate new varieties of alcohol into traditional forms of spirituality highlights the cultural adaptability of African slaves in a changing AfroAtlantic social environment. The ritual uses of alcohol on the plantations also helped define slave identity, which made it an important weapon in the arsenal of slave resistance. The spiritual component of alcohol was not unique to the African slaves. Alcohol played an indispensable role in the spiritual beliefs of all the major social groups in the Caribbean including Carib Indians, Jews, Catholics, and Anglicans. The use of alcohol for religious purposes was familiar to the slave owner and, therefore, may not have been seen as an overt challenge to the stability of the slave system. However, the hostile social environment of the Caribbean generated new concerns that sometimes led African slaves to embrace the more aggressive spiritual aspects of alcohol use. Several of the more violent expressions of slave spirituality did concern the planter class and alcohol often helped define that threat. The religious practices of British and French Caribbean slaves demonstrate the link between alcohol and the ancestral worid. In the British Caribbean, obeah was a common

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256 form of slave healing and spirituality that integrated ancestor worship and a traditional system of doctoring. Jesuit scholar Joseph Williams (1932: 120), argued that the practice of obeah derived from Akan religious practices. However, historian Douglas Chambers (1997:88) has challenged this explanation claiming that the term obeah stemmed from the Igbo dibia, meaning a doctor or diviner who had close contact with the spirit world. In all likelihood, obeah represented a mixing of various West and West Central African religious practices that venerated ancestors and sought spiritual assistance in worldly endeavors. According to Jerome Handler (2(X)0:80), "For whites, Obeah became a catchall term for a range of supernatural -related behaviors that were not of European origin." Obeah rituals relied heavily on the sacred use of alcohol. Colonial whites saw obeah as a threat to the stability of the colonies and tried to outlaw its practice. The laws made numerous references to the use of alcohol in obeah fetish oaths and ancestor ceremonies. For example, in 1782, Neptune, a slave, was transported off Jamaica "for making use of rum, hair, chalk, stones, and other materials relative to the practice of Obeah, or witchcraft" (cited in Williams 1932: 191). According to Jamaican sugar planter Bryan Edwards (1819;II:1 1 1-1 12), colonial officials identified obeah practitioners by their fetishes, which typically included rum. In the context of British Caribbean slavery, rum replaced the traditional palm wine as the vehicle to the spiritual world. The use of rum in obeah practices reveals the persistence of African, esi)ecially Igbo and Akan, beliefs about the sacred nature of alcohol. French Caribbean writers also provided valuable information about the connection between alcohol and slave spirituality. Alcohol helped facilitate communication with the ancestral world in French Caribbean slave societies. Moreau de Saint-Mery (1797/98) wrote, 'The Negroes' belief in magic and the power of their fetishes follow them from overseas." The spiritual uses of alcohol followed as well. Vodou has become a blanket term for African-oriented religions in the French Caribbean, especially in Haiti. In the 1930s, Herskovits (1937:139) wrote vodou "is a

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257 complex of African belief and ritual governing in large measure the religious life of the Haitian peasantry." It is accompanied by dances, spirit possession, and ceremonial rituals. The term vodou, meaning deities, comes from the Aja-Fon people of the Bight of Benin, where in the eighteenth century, Dahomey became the most important state. Known to the French as Arada, they worshiped the principle of sinuosity and snake deities (Geggus 1991:41-42). Dahomey invaded and conquered the kingdom of AUada in 1724, which resulted in the shipment of many Arada to the French colonies in the New World. Similarly, according to Ellis (1891 cited in Williams 1932:19), slaves from Whydah, conquered by Dahomey in 1727, also significantly influenced vodou in Haiti. More recently, scholars have reevaluated the impact of West Central Africans in Saint Domingue and challenged notions about the purity of Arada and Whydah influences in vodou. David Geggus (1991:35), for example, showed "a very strong Kongo content in what eighteenth century colonists called voodoo." Vodou and ancestor worship were transferred to the Americas, where they continued to play an active role in the lives of French Caribbean slaves. Moreau de SaintMery provided a rare description of the use of alcohol in a vodou dance among the slaves •'•'.'.%. of Saint Domingue. If by mischance the excess of his [the dancer's] transport makes him leave the circle, the chant ceases at once, the voodoo King and Queen turn their backs on him to avert misfortune. The dancer recovers himself, reenters the circle, begins anew, drinks, and finally becomes convulsive. .The delirium increases. It is further aroused by the use of spirituous liquors which in the intoxication of their imagination the devotees do not spare, and which keeps them up. (Moreau de Saint-Mery 1797/98: cited in Williams 1932:66) Geggus (1991:33-34) examined the case of Jerome Poteau, a mulatto who attracted large gatherings of slaves and sold maman-bila (small chalky stones), for ritual purposes. According to the eighteenth century reports on the case, these stones were placed in rum and gunpowder "to make them angry" and, thus, to intensify their power. Participants also consumed mixtures of rum and crushed maman-bila during voodoo ceremonies.

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258 Modem ethnographic reports have also captured the essence of alcohol use in vodou ceremonies. Herskovits (1937: 181) described vodou dances in which it was the obligation of the family giving the dance to provide clarin (raw bush rum). Anthropologist Erika Bourguignon (1964: 1393-1394) analyzed the particular importance of alcohol in spirit possession in Haiti. According to Bourguignon, "it is the spirits, rather than the cult members, who drink... The spirits have particular preferences for rum, tafia, occasionally even whiskey, depending on their personalities and presumed attributes as to social class, ethnic status, etc." Anthropologist Seth Leacock (1964) identified similar instances among Afro-Brazilian cults in which spirits possessed cult members at curing rituals and public ceremonies. According to Leacock, these ceremonies functioned to integrate members of the cult, relieve anxiety, and help problem-solve through spiritual guidance. The spirits represented various personalities, most of whom liked to drink and demanded alcohol. At public ceremonies, these spirits possessed individuals and encouraged them to drink excessively. The possessed cult member was not accountable for his or her actions during possession. According to Leacock, those spirits who preferred rum were generally the more disruptive, aggressive, and evil. The generalized racist accounts of Haitian vodou especially stress the ritual uses of alcohol in ceremonies. For example, British ambassador. Sir Spenser St. John's sensationalist description of a voJom ceremony in which a young boy was presumably killed wrote With a single slash across the little throat, the brutal executioner killed the child, and others held him whilst the life blood gushed into the receptacle placed below to receive it... The whole awful orgy was ended only when every person present had become helplessly intoxicated. (St. John 1889 cited in Williams 1932:78) Sir Harry Johnston (1910 cited in Williams 1932:81), attempting to challenge the cannibalistic claims of St. John, wrote that vodou was simply a ceremony in which "sacrifices of eggs, rum, fowls, possibly goats are offered to the ancestors or minor deities presiding over the fertility of crops, rainfall (nature forces in fact), and various small

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259 animals (perhaps even human remains) are deemed useful in sorcery." Museum curator Bruce Merwin (1917 cited in Williams 1932:86-87) wrote that "the incessant booming of the drum, the sight and taste of blood, and the great amount of rum drunk cause a religious form of hysteria to sweep over the audience." Caribbean traveler George Mannington stated, It is certain that the Haitian Negroes still assemble in groves or clearings in the forests and dance until they are exhausted to the accompaniment of tom-toms and wild-chantings; rum-drinking adds zest to the proceedings. [It is alleged] that small children were killed and eaten in secret groves [and their] blood was mixed with rum and drunk. (Mannington 1925 cited in Williams 1932:88-89) According to Haitian physician D. Trouillot (1885 cited in Williams 1932:99n59), the "excessive alcoholism and feverish excitement induces a sort of hypnotic effect at the voodoo dances so that it makes the participant insensible to pain as when he plunges his hand into a boiling caldron." Although steeped in Victorian ethnocentrism, these accounts do suggest that alcohol was, at the very least, an essential component of vodou ceremonies. Besides its role in vodou rites and ceremonies, rum was an important ingredient in witchcraft and as a garde in many protective charms (Williams 1932: 230). According to writer William Seabrook, a sorcerer's formulas, which Seabrook called "death ouanga," included the passage. Old Master, now is the time to keep the promise you made. Curse him as I curse him and spoil him as I spoil him. By the fire at night, by the dead black hen, by the bloody throat, by the goat, by the rum on the ground, this ouanga be upon him. May he have no peace in bed, nor at his food, nor can he hide. Waste him and wear him and rot him as these rot. (Seabrook 1929 cited in Williams 1932:97n56) In Haiti, the spirit of Ma/7 Carrefour, an important force behind all magic, was commonly conjured up on All Saints day and asked to protect the family and community in the coming year. During the ceremony, Clarin is thrown three times at each fork of the crossroads and some is also sprinkled in the center and at each comer of the container of food. Three bits of earth are finally lifted from the comers of the crossroads and taken to the home of the worshiper. Here they are put in a plate with clarin, which is first lighted and

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260 then extinguished, so that the members of the family can anoint themselves with it and receive strength with which to face the new year. (Herskovits 1937:226) The African tradition of using alcohol at birth ceremonies continued among the slaves of the British and French Caribbean. Planters were generally removed from slave birthing practices, celebrations, and rites. Slave midwives usually assisted birth and birth ceremonies took place away from the planters' view. Accounts of birth ceremonies are, therefore, rare and details about the use of alcohol at these ceremonies even more scarce. However, du Tertre (1667-1671:492) wrote that the slaves have a big celebration at the birth of their children, invite the other slaves of their country, and sell "everything they own" in order to have enough rum for the birth ceremony. Long (1774:479) believed that the nine-day moratorium on naming was due to the high rate of slave infant mortality, which he blamed on the practice of giving rum to newborns. As late as the 1920s, folklorist Martha Beckwith (1929:57-58) recorded a birth ceremony in Jamaica in which "On tiie ninth day, a bath is prepared for the child [with] a little rum thrown into it." The lack of information about slave marriage rites in the Caribbean diminishes our understanding about the role of alcohol in slave unions. In 1750, Griffith Hughes (1750: 15) argued that Barbadian slaves maintained traditional African marriage ceremonies, but he did not specifically mention tiie use of alcohol. Anthropologist Robert Dirks expressed frusti-ation over the limited information about slave weddings in the Caribbean. Dirks (1987a: 121) wrote that this lack of knowledge has led scholars to conclude "more through hasty ethnocentrism than a thoughtful appraisal of the historical evidence that slave culture contained no indigenous wedding rites." Dirks described house-building as an example of a re-interpreted marriage custom that was transferred from Africa to the Caribbean. House-building was essentially a custom in which a man who had reached marrying age built a house where he and his partner would take-up residence. However, there are a few interesting alcohol -related house-building cases, including an eariy nineteentii century report from Mrs. A. C. Carmichael in St. Vincent. According to

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261 Carmichael (cited in Dirks 1987a: 123), "On occasion of a marriage, it is often necessary to build a house, and there is usually a merry-making; the master or manager deals out rum and sugar to those who have helped build it." In a more recent example of house-building in Jamaica, Beckwith (1929:13-14) wrote that, once a spot was chosen for the house, participants "killed a fowl and poured its blood out with rum upon the ground." A feast of chicken and rum was also made upon the spot where the house was to be built. In Martinique, according to du Tertre (1667-1671:492-493), slave parents organized a celebration when they married off their children and got assistance from their masters, who gave them much rum to celebrate. Herskovits recorded that, in Mirebalais, Haiti, the bridegroom provided the feast which followed the wedding ceremony held at the couple's new home. There coffee, liqueurs, wine, kola, and cakes are served to the principals and the more important members of the community. All others stay under the brush shelter which has been erected at the side of the house, where men are served the common drink of the Haitian peasant, clarin, raw rum. (Herskovits 1937:114) Alcohol also figured prominently at slave funerals, for which evidence is more abundant. According to Long (1774;11:421-422), "drinking, dancing, and vociferation" characterized the funerals of British Caribbean slaves. In 1688, John Taylor (cited in Burton 1997: 18), a visitor to Jamaica, recognized the central role of the ancestors at funerals and observed that, after offerings, including rum, had been placed in the grave, they "fill up the grave, and eat and drink thereon." In 1740, Leslie (1740:307-310) wrote that slaves were buried with "a pot of soup at the head, and a bottle of rum at the feet." In 1791, Atwood (1791:268) described the role of alcohol at slave funerals in Dominica. "Their superstitious notions with respect to their dead are truly ridiculous, for they suppose that the deceased both eat and drink in their coffins; and for that purpose, they put therein articles for both." Atwood also noted the annual custom of making offerings to the deceased. These events typically occurred at the Christmas holiday, when alcohol was widely distributed to slaves. According to Atwood,

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262 At this time too, they perform their offerings of victuals on the graves of their deceased relations and friends; a piece of superstition which all negros are addicted to, and which, were they to neglect doing, they firmly believe they would be punished by the spirits of the deceased persons. This offering consists of meat, whole kids, pigs, or fowls, with broth, liquors, and other matters; and is performed in the following manner: a man or woman accustomed to the ceremony, takes of each meat laid in dishes round the grave, and pulling some of it in pieces, throws the same on the grave calling out at the name of the dead person as if alive, saying, "Here is a piece of such a thing for you to eat; why did you leave your father, mother, wife, children, friends? Did you go away angry with us? When shall we see you again? Make our provisions to grow, and stock to breed; don't let anybody do us harm, and we will give you the same next year;" With the like expressions to everything they throw on the grave. After which, taking a little of the rum or other liquors, they sprinkle it thereon, crying out in the same manner, "Here is a little rum to comfort your heart, good bye to you, God bless you;" and drinking some of it themselves to the welfare of the deceased, they set up a dismal cry and howling, but immediately after begin to dance and sing round the grave. (Atwood 1791:260-261) In the French Caribbean, the successful return to the spirit world at death also necessitated the use of alcohol. Peytraud (1897:208) wrote "the dead drink, eat, enjoy, like the living; therefore they offer them food and liquors, arms and fumishings, and, are like their required servants and women in the other world." According to Herskovits (1937:209-21 1), clarin was a central element of a Haitian funeral. "When drinks are passed, the recipients must make three libations before drinking." As among the Akan of the Gold Coast, Herskovits noted alcohol was not given to the dying or put in the mouth of the deceased for fear that he or she might become drunk and not reach the spirit world. After the individual had died, libations were poured to help his or her transition to the spiritual world. Death and clarin are also linked through the rum guzzling vodou deity Cede, ruler of cemeteries (Herskovits 1937:318). To date, evidence from graves of the use of alcohol has been hard to come by in the few slave cemeteries that have been excavated. For example, in the early 1970s, Jerome Handler and Frederick Lange (1978) excavated 92 burials at Newton plantation, Barbados. They discussed historical evidence of placing bottles of alcohol in the graves of the deceased and recovered a large number of tobacco pipes that were used as grave goods, but recovered no bottles associated with any of the burials. A tobacco pipe, too, was recovered

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263 from a burial at an unmarked eighteenth century slave cemetery in Bridgetown, Barbados. The grave contained shards of green wine bottle glass, but the fragmentary and incomplete nature of the glass suggests it entered the burial accidentally and not as a grave good (Smith 1998a). At the eighteenth century Harney slave cemetery in Montserrat, archaeologist David Watters recovered a 'Turlington Balsam of life" bottle from the cemetery that may have contained rum and been a grave good buried with one of the deceased (Watters 1987,1991,1994). Despite Leslie's claim that British Caribbean slaves buried bottles of rum with the deceased, the lack of bottles recovered from slave burials indicates that the demand for bottles among the living outweighed the need for bottles in slave funerary rites. Bottles were prized for practical purposes and slaves probably modified West African customs to meet local conditions. Thus, slaves probably sprinkled alcohol into the graves of the dead rather than relinquish useful bottles. As in West and West Central Africa, a small ruling class, who held the land and labor necessary to produce rum, largely controlled the flow of alcohol in the Caribbean (Akyeampong 1997:12-14,41-45; see also Parkin 1972). Caribbean sugar planters, as with African tribal chiefs and elders, therefore, had possession of a powerful fluid that was essential for opening communication with the spiritual world, receiving spiritual guidance, and ensuring a successful transition during rites of passage. Moreover, the sugar planters' distribution of alcohol at births, weddings, funerals, and other important events paralleled the pattern of alcohol distribution found among chiefs and elders in West and West Central Africa. This hierarchical control of alcohol would have been familiar to African slaves in the Caribbean and may have helped legitimate the power of the Caribbean planter class. Slaves, however, also took initiative in getting alcohol for spiritual events and rites of passage and, according to an anonymous writer in Jamaica (1797: 15), "the best victuals and some liquors are procured [by slaves] in great plenty" on these occasions. Feasts and ceremonies, like those described above, reinforced social ties on the sugar plantations. Alcohol acted as a social lubricant at these events, which helped create of a more unified

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264 slave community. Leacock (1964:90-91) argued that one of the primary functions of alcohol in African-oriented religions in Brazil is the facilitation of social intercourse and the integration of community members. Community building would have been especially important to newly arrived African slaves in the Caribbean, which probably increased the social and spiritual value of rum. Shared West and West Central African beliefs about the sacred nature of alcohol and the active participation of the ancestors in daily life took root in the slave societies of the Caribbean. As in Africa, alcohol-based libations, offerings, and spirit possessions helped African slaves in the Caribbean facilitate communication with the spiritual worid and leam the desires of ancestral spirits. Within the diverse African cultural context of the Caribbean slave plantation, alcohol became a catchall substance for all dealings with the spiritual worid. But why did highly volatile rum operate in the same spiritual manner as traditional alcoholic beverages in Africa? The powerful physiological effect of alcohol, especially a potent spirit like rum, altered consciousness and made it a powerful vehicle for escape to the spiritual worid. Moreover, since the seventeenth century, West and West Central Africans welcomed rum as a spiritually-oriented fluid and often used it in place of indigenous alcoholic beverages. Many slaves, therefore, were already familiar with rum and its spiritual uses when they arrived in the Caribbean. The anxieties generated by the hostile social environment of the Caribbean sugar plantation motivated the African slaves' continuing embrace of alcohol as a temporary means of escape to the spiritual worid, as well as to Africa. The spiritual use of rum by diverse ethnic groups in Africa and their representatives and descendents in the Caribbean also highlights the adaptability of the Afro-Atlantic community. Like the rise of Afro-Atlantic Christianity, rum became a unifying feature of the Afro-Atlantic worid. Just as the consumption of slave-made Caribbean rum helped Africans in Africa make a symbolic connection to their brethren overseas, it also helped those Caribbean slaves form a link to their African homelands.

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CHAPTER 10 ALCOHOLIC MARRONAGE: IDENTITY, DANGER, AND ESCAPE IN CARIBBEAN SLAVE SOCIETIES African slaves embraced rum as a sacred fluid that enhanced connections to the spiritual world and strengthened ties to African culture. Yet alcohol of course had secular as well as spiritual uses. Rum was a commercial commodity produced under a divisive social climate subject to the harsh conditions of slavery for a distant market. It was also a highly volatile fluid, considerably more powerful than the low alcohol content fermented beverages typically encountered in Europe, Africa, or the pre-Columbian Caribbean. This vulgar side of rum made it an effective tool for advancing secular and immediate goals. The use of alcohol to confront worldly concerns is evident in the group defining patterns of drinking and in the increasingly aggressive aspects of alcohol use reflected in the growing links between drunken violence and individual vulnerability. Drinking became a means to release social pressure, circumvent authority, and challenge structural inequities, which occasionally made alcohol a powerful symbol of temporary and permanent escape through the overthrow of the existing social order. Understanding these patterns of alcohol use provides a prism through which to view underlying and overt conflicts that existed within Caribbean slave societies. The Identitv Defining Role of Drink in Caribbean Slave Societies Drinking is a social behavior loaded with symbolic meaning. The type of alcoholic beverages consumed, levels of alcohol consumption, preparation of drinks, drunken comportment, and context of drinking performance convey messages that distinguish group identities. As a result, drinking is often integrated into broader social strategies, which have helped define boundaries between self and other in a number of historical and cross-cultural settings. For example, the rise of abstemious Jewish drinking practices emerged when the 265

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266 Hebrews sought to distinguish themselves from the "orgiastic" drinking of Canaanites (Keller 1979:409). In 98 AD, Tacitus (cited in Unwin 1991: 145) contrasted the wine drinking Romans with beer drinking Germanic tribes. Alcohol studies in Africa have emphasized the way in which drinking has helped demarcate economic class and signal African identity in the face of colonial rule. In the early twentieth century, on the West African Gold Coast, illicitly distilled liquor became an important symbol of working class identity within the confines of this British colonial state (Akyeampong 1996:ch.5-6). Akpeteshie, an illegally produced gin, provided a cheap high that helped meet the growing alcohol demands of urban migrants and laborers along the Gold Coast. Its expression of working class identity was strengthened in the 1930s when British colonial officials raised taxes on imported European spirits in an effort to reduce drunkenness. The plan backfired and the high cost of European spirits spurred more Gold Coasters to seek alcohol in the illegal akpeteshie trade. According to historian Emmanuel Akyeampong, the cheapness of akpeteshie made it a commoners' drink. Laborers involved in demanding manual work found akpeteshie's invigorating effect appealing. From its origins, distillers, retailers, and consumers of akpeteshie were regarded as low class and filthy people by the educated elite and by 'ladies.' To distill or retail akpeteshie meant courting social ridicule. [in contrast] imported European drinks were seen as symbols of social status among the upwardly mobile on the Gold Coast. Although the upper classes would not inform on akpeteshie patrons because of their unified sense of African solidarity, they ostracized them socially. Patrons of akpeteshie found themselves in a two way battle: politically against the colonial state, and socially against the educated and wealthy Africans. (Akyeampong 1996: 1 15) Illicit and locally made alcoholic beverages became symbols of identity and class struggle throughout colonial Africa (Ambler 1990:295-313, 1991:165-183; Diduk 1993; Dumett 1974; la Hausse 1988; ; Leis 1964:628-638; Obayemi 1976:199-208). In South Africa, the added dimension of the Apartheid system made illegal homebrews a powerful symbol of black South African resistance to white rule (Cobley 1997:99-103). Similar arguments have been advanced about drinking in colonial North America. According to historian William Rorabaugh (1979:100-104), expensive and imported wine

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267 was a symbol of elite status while locally made rum and whiskey served the working masses. Rorabaugh argued that one of greatest challenges of North American temperance reformers was to persuade the upper classes to give up their enormous consumption of wine and, thereby, set an example of teetotalism for the average citizen in the new Republic. However, expressions of elite status necessitated the use and display of wine. Reformers struggled to change elite drinking patterns, but, according to Rorabaugh, it was the new philosophies of individualism and egalitarianism, which sprang from the American Revolution, that made elitist symbols, like expensive wine drinking, inappropriate. As a result, elitist wine consumption declined in the new American Republic. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, alcohol use continued to distinguish social class in the United States. Heavy drinking became a defining feature of American immigrants and wageworkers and this was especially evident in the workingman's saloon. According to folklorist Madelon Powers (1997:89), the greater use of alcohol among working class immigrants countered the temperance ideals of the growing middle class. In addition, beer and whiskey helped express the character of the working masses. Powers wrote "Probably the principal reason why workers rejected 'cocktail culture' was that such potables struck them as sissy drinks inconsistent with their norms of manly behavior." Social groups in the Caribbean also used alcohol to define boundaries. While it may be apparent that different classes use alcohol to signal and reaffirm identity, the separation of social groups in the Caribbean was much more complex incorporating, not only economic class differences and cultural diversity, but the added dimension of graduated racial categories as well as an institutionalized legal status. Caribbean peoples had access to a wide range of alcoholic beverages. They produced alcohol from various local resources and, during the sugar revolution, turned to rum as the staple alcoholic drink. Imported alcoholic beverages from Europe were also available. As a result, the construction of unique drinking styles became a principal means of expressing social group affiliation.

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268 Caribbean historians and archaeologists have made alcohol use a defining feature of Carib Indian society. Carib drinking centered on the cassava-based oui'cou. Ouicou permeated the foundation of Carib spirituality and was integrated into many aspects of daily life. The fact that ouicou is one of the Carib words we still know today attests to its importance as a symbol of Caribness (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:163). Europeans were fascinated by the masticating process of oui'cou making and frequently recorded details about its production. However, ouicou use was fundamentally Carib and, although Caribs taught the art of making ouicou to the Europeans, early writers all noted that ouicou was a Carib Indians' drink. For example, according to French missionary Father J. B. Labat (1724;1: 133), ouicou was the "favorite" drink of the Caribs. English refugee and Barbadian colonist Richard Ligon (1657:32) wrote that perino, the Barbadian word for ouicou, was "a drink which the Indians make for their own drinking." Although cassava-based alcoholic drinks were essentially Carib, curiosity led Ligon and other Europeans to test them. British colonial historian John Oldmixon (1741 ;II: 132), for example, wrote, 'Tis a very beastly Preparation, and one would think by its fine Taste that it had been some more delicate drink." Slaves also drank their share and, in the late seventeenth century, Labat (1724;I:331) even considered ouicou one of the "ordinary" drinks of slaves in Martinique. However, it seems that, if colonists regulariy used cassava-based alcoholic drinks in any great amount, that use was largely confined to poorer classes in areas with dense Carib populations in the seventeenth century. Similar to akpeteshie in Ghana, ouicou continues to serve as a modem day symbol of Carib identity and has been used to counter the effects of centuries of European colonialism on Carib reserves in Dominica and St. Vincent and in the interior regions of British Guiana (Amphlett 1873: 92; Hulme and Whitehead 1992:312313). Caribs used alcohol to express internal social divisions within their society. In 1598, George Clifford, an English privateer, landed in Dominica to re-supply his

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269 expedition and refresh his crew. Clifford made detailed observations about the Caribs of Dominica and collected information about their drinking practices. Clifford (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:61) wrote, "they make drinke of their cassain |cassava|, better of their pines [pineapples] (and it should seeme that might be an excellent liquor,) but the best and reserved for the Kings cup onely of potatoes Imaby]." Carib gender divisions were probably also expressed in the choice of alcoholic beverages. According to the diary of British colonial administrator William Young, This afternoon Anselm, chief of the Charibes in the quarter of Moume-Young [in St. Vincent I, and Brunau, chief of the Grand Sable Caribs at the head of about twenty came into the parlour after dinner, and laid a don d'amitie at my feet of Chairibe baskets, and of fowls and pine apples. We treated them with wine and afterwards about a dozen of their ladies were introduced, who preferred rum. (Young 1791 cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:21 1) Carib drinking preferences may have also expressed European allegiances. For example, Captain John Braithwaite (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992: 179) reported that the Black and Yellow Carib chiefs of St. Vincent drank wine, but "they scorned to drink rum." Historians Peter Hulme and Neil Whitehead (1992: 172) have suggested that the Caribs' insistence on wine, not rum, reflected an understanding on the part of the Caribs of the deceptive tactics of the British who were there to explore the possibility of establishing a settlement. The preference for wine over rum indicates that Caribs defined particular Europeans by their alcoholic beverages, which, in this instance, may have allowed them to express their allegiance to the wine-making French rather than the rum-making British colonials of Barbados. In the seventeenth century, mobbie or maby, the sweet potato-based fermented beverage, was a common drink in the British and French Caribbean. In the early settlement period, Ligon (1657:37-38, 44) wrote that the drink of the servants in Barbados was "nothing but mobbie." The use of mobbie, however, was not restricted to servants. For example, Henry Whistler, a traveler to Barbados in 1654 (cited in Council 1957: 185) believed that the Barbadian's usual "drink is mad of petatoe routes." Ligon (1657:31) also

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270 wrote that mobbie was the drink "most generally used on the island." Even elites appreciated the taste of mobbie. In 1652, Heinrich Von Uchteritz (cited in Gunkel and Handler 1970:93), a German indentured servant in Barbados, noted that "the genetry make a drink from the potato root" and, in 1654, French priest Antoine Biet (cited in Handler 1967:62) described dinner at the home of a wealthy Barbadian sugar planter that included "sweetened mauby for those who do not want wine." Ligon, a fringe member of the Barbados elite, also liked the taste of mobbie. Maby was also popular in the early French Caribbean. According to Charles de Rochefort (1658:446), a French colonist in St. Kitts, maby, made from boiled potatoes and water, was the most common drink used on that island. In Martinique, French missionary Father J. B. du Tertre (1667-1671:1 13) enjoyed maby and thought it tasted similar to claret. Labat (1724;!: 133-134) also described the widespread use of maby, which he especially liked to mix with Canary wine. Mobbie was not typically associated with African slaves until the eighteenth century. Oldmixon (1741 ;II: 1 32) made a general reference to the use of mobbie by "Servants and Slaves" and noted that slaves planted potatoes in their gardens. Mobbie seems confined to the Lesser Antilles and there is no indication of its use in the Spanish Caribbean. It is likely that Caribs taught early colonists how to produce mobbie and, therefore, the lack of Caribs in the northern islands may help explain why its use was concentrated in the Lesser Antilles. In the mid-eighteenth century Barbadian sugar planter Griffith Hughes (1750:34) reported that ''mabey" was still a common drink in Barbados. As late as 1833, a variety of "mobee" mixed with sugar, ginger, and snakeroot was popular among slaves in St. Vincent (Carmichael 1833;I:288). However, some time in the nineteenth century, mobbie became the term for a non-alcoholic beverage in Barbados made, not from potatoes, but from several varieties of tree bark (Handler pers. comm. 1999). This usage is also found in Martinique (Geggus pers comm 2000).

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271 The link between fermented sugar cane juice drinks and slaves is also strong. For example, in the earliest New World reference to sugar cane-based alcohol. Las Casas reported that slaves drank cane syrup "concoctions" [guarapo] and hinted they were the primary, if not the only, consumers of these beverages. In Martinique, du Tertre (16671671:1 19, 480) wrote that slaves made their own variety of intoxicating drinks from the scum that came from the boiling sugar cauldrons. Labat (1724;1: 128,33 1) also wrote that slaves made grappe, which was the "ordinary" drink of slaves who worked on sugar estates. In the mid-1640s, slaves in Brazil were also known to produce and market ''grape" (Moreau cited in Thornton 1992: 174). In Barbados, Ligon (1657:32) tried a variety of local alcoholic drinks, but never tried grippo suggesting the drink may have been particulariy associated with African slaves. Similariy, Hughes (1750:34) believed that cowcow, a fermented sugar cane drink, was particulariy associated with "the poorer sorts" in Barbados. In 1797, an anonymous writer (1797:15) in Jamaica wrote that water was the common drink among slaves, "but they prefer cool drink, a fermented liquor made with chaw-stick, lignum vitae, brown sugar, and water." Fermented sugar cane juice drinks were also associated with Indians, especially in Spanish and Portuguese America. For example, in 1600, the mayor of Taxco, New Spain passed an ordinance attempting to curb the sale of fermented sugar cane drinks to Indians (Zavala 1939;VI:400^1). In the eariy eighteenth century, Andrea Joao Antonil (1711:133) described garapa as a sour drink that the Brazilian slaves used to get drunk and which found a good market among the slaves and Indians along the rivers. Distilled rum was universally consumed in the Caribbean but, in the seventeenth century, its use seems to have been especially concentrated among slaves, servants, and Indians. Father du Tertre (1667-1671: 480^81) believed that rum was the ordinary drink of slaves in Martinique. Many eariy laws against rum in the Spanish Americas specifically sought to curb its use by Indians and slaves. Labat (1724;1: 135) believed that tafia was the

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272 drink of Indians, slaves, poor whites, and tradespeople. Oldmixon (1741 ;II: 132) wrote, rum "is strong, but not very palatable and seldom falls to the Servants Lot" suggesting its use was concentrated among slaves. Wealthy Caribbean whites used a variety of alcoholic beverages. For example, in Barbados, in the late 1640s, Ligon (1657:38-39) attended a dinner at the estate of sugar planter Colonel James Drax. The alcoholic beverages available to guests included "Mobbie, Beveridge, Brandy, Kill-Devil, Drink of the Plantine, Claret-wine, White-wine, and Rhenish-wine, Sherry, Canary, Red Sack, wine of Fiall, with all the spirits that come from England." The wide variety of drinks was itself an expression of wealth. The heavy emphasis on imported alcoholic beverages also projected elite status. French and Spanish wine and brandy were reserved for the Caribbean elite, especially in the French and Spanish colonies. According to Jamaican sugar planter Edward Long (1774;II:557), in "Carthegena, Persons of distinction use Spanish brandy, but the lower sort a kind of rum distilled from sugar cane." In colonial Mexico, the use of Spanish wine and brandy was largely confined to urban areas around Mexico City, which had higher concentrations of Spanish colonials, and less common in rural areas with heavy concentrations of Indian peasants (Taylor 1979:56-57). Labat (1970:57) believed a good wine was "the soul of a meal" and always kept a good supply of wine imported "from France, Madeira and Canary." The nationalistic sentiment surrounding the use of wine and brandy in southern European grape-growing nations and the strong symbolic meaning of wine in Catholic religious practices may have increased to the preference for wine and brandy by French and Spanish Caribbean elites. British Caribbean elites also appreciated wine and brandy. Madeira and Canary wines were so prevalent in Bridgetown, Barbados that, by the mid-seventeenth century, Madeira and Canary were adopted as the names for two major streets where merchants specialized in the importation and sale of wine from these two regions (Alleyne 1978:50). The consumption of Madeira wine was especially widespread among the elite in the British

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273 Caribbean. In part, this was due to the relatively open trade that existed between British America and Portugal after the Navigation Act of 1663 and Methuen treaty of 1703. In Barbados, Oldmixon (1741 ;II: 164) considered Madeira "the chief drink of the island that Gentlemen make Use of." In Jamaica, sugar planter Charies Leslie (1740:31) believed wine from Madeira was generally "used by the better sort." And Jamaican plantation manager Thomas Thistlewood (cited D. Hall 1989:95 %) reserved Madeira for important guests, but treated soldiers with common grog. The island of Madeira was a critical supply station for ships traveling to the British Caribbean, which probably increased the availability of Madeira wine. Moreover, many believed that the hot climate of the Caribbean brought out a particularly pleasant taste in Madeira wine. For example. Long (1774;11:266-267) wrote, "Madeira wine is in more esteem than claret, not only because it is cheaper, but as the greatest heat of the air only serves to improve its flavor, and as it is not apt to ferment in the stomach." The French Caribbean elite also liked Madeira wine. According to Labat (1724;1:135-136; 1970:130), a favorite drink of the upper classes in the French islands was a variety of punch called sang-gris, which was made with Madeira wine. In North America, Madeira was also a luxury wine reserved for elite tables (Hancock 1998). Imported European wine and brandy were, however, expensive and more difficult to obtain, especially in the British Caribbean (Von Uchteritz 1652 cited in Gunkel and Handler 1970:93). Wines often failed to survive the long sea voyage from Europe without becoming tainted, consumed, or simply lost at sea. As a result, rum became a more tolerable drink among the Caribbean elite. According to Ligon, rum was sold to planters who drank it "excessively" and noted its presence at the dinner tables of wealthy planters. However, the pattern of extensive planter rum use may be overstated. Rum was generally associated with poorer classes in the seventeenth century and even Ligon (1657:32), usually an advocate of Barbadian produce, wrote that "it is common, and therefore the less esteem'd." It is likely that, in the later part of the seventeenth century, the growing wealth and stability of the Barbados planter class increased their access to imported and expensive

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274 alcoholic beverages. Moreover, the large number of African slaves and poorer whites may have inspired a greater elite emphasis on using imported beverages to widen social boundaries. In the early eighteenth century, Oldmixon (1741 ;II: 133) wrote "no Planter of any Note will now deign to drink [rum]; his Cellars are better furnished." In 1732, Reverend Robertson (1732:8-1 1), estimated that Barbados imported more than £40,(XX) worth of alcoholic beverages, including wine, brandy, beer, ale, and cider, which represented nearly 12% of the value of all imports. Thus, despite being producers of rum, by the end of the seventeenth century Caribbean sugar planters regularly preferred to use expensive and imported alcoholic beverages to express wealth and status. The only real exception to elite rum use was the consumption of rum punch, which, as with sang-gris, was an elite drink made with expensive and exotic Asian spices and other ingredients. Anxiety and Drunkenness Alcohol use was widespread in the Caribbean and the enormous amounts of alcohol available contributed to a climate of excessive drinking. However, levels of alcohol consumption varied among social groups and those differences reflect more than simply access to spirits. As with the choice of alcoholic beverage, levels of drinking and drunken comportment helped express social group identities. The drinking patterns of particular social groups also conveyed messages about the underlying tensions that existed in these societies, which were driven by the coercive exploitation of labor and set within a highly contentious social hierarchy based on class, race, religion, and ethnic identity. Moreover, these tensions were magnified by epidemic disease, poor living conditions, natural disasters, international conflicts, and unstable food supplies. While nearly everyone in the Caribbean consumed alcohol, the differing levels of alcohol use by various social groups provides a rich opportunity to explore the ways in which drinking became a physical manifestation of, and a weapon to confront, anxiety. Early writers paint a complicated picture of slave drinking. The lack of first-hand reporting by slaves forces us to rely heavily on white perceptions of slave alcohol use. In

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275 the 1830s, for example, Wesleyan missionaries in Antigua believed intemperance "never had been one of the vices of the negroes" (Thome and Kimball 1839:26-27). However, whites feared slave drinking as liberating, a fomenter of insurrections that threatened the social order (Herd 1991:354-375). In addition, Caribbean slave societies were based on the systematic and highly structured extraction of slave labor. Thus, concerns about the negative impact of excessive drinking on work performance frequently tainted white discussions of slave drinking. In their efforts to maximize plantation efficiency, planters established complex stereotypes about the constitutions of particular African ethnic groups. Often, these stereotypes made reference to drinking behaviors. For example, Creole lawyer M.L.E. Moreau de Saint-Mery (1797/98;I:48-49) believed that slaves from the Gold Coast were drunkards. In contrast, Moreau de Saint-Mery considered slaves from Senegal, a region long influenced by Islam, very abstemious. In Jamaica, Long (1774;II:472^73) described Gold Coast slaves as "lazy, rapacious, cunning, deceitful; much addicted to theft and drunkenness." Long (1774;II:373) described slaves from Angola and Benguela as "a barbarous race, hardened in idolatry, wallowers in human blood, cannibals, drunkards, practiced in lewdness, oppression and fraud." Planters knew that a temperate work force was a more efficient work force and, therefore, had practical economic reasons for observing the drinking of particular African ethnic groups. Stereotypes about the drinking habits of particular African ethnic groups likely influenced the planters' decision to assign slaves to specific alcohol-related tasks. For example. Long wrote, ;t Nothing can more plainly evince the fatal effects of. [excessive rum drinking], than the general appearance and untimely end of most of the white men and Negroes employed in the distilling houses, who, as they can supply themselves freely without restraint, so they swill immoderate quantities of fresh distilled rum, piping hot from the worm. (Long 1774;II:557) Slaves from ethnic groups with abstemious reputations were probably strong candidates for work in and around plantation distilleries. This may help explain why, for example. Dr.

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276 Collins (181 1:37), a planter and physician in St. Vincent, believed that Mandingo slaves, coming from temperate Islamic backgrounds in Senegal, were well suited for employment in distilleries. Whites generally perceived slave drinking to be excessive. For example, in Dominica, sugar planter Thomas Atwood wrote, "Negroes are in general much addicted to drunkenness, thievery, incontinency, and idleness. The first vice very few will refrain from when they can get liquor, and in their fits of this kind, many of them are very mischievous." In Martinique, du Tertre (1667-1671:466) simply noted that slaves "drink to excess." And, according to Collins (181 1:101), "It has been observed that all uncivilized nations, though reared in the habit of water drinking, soon acquire a relish for spirituous potations [and]... This observation applies, with particular propriety, to negroes." What Collins failed to understand, of course, was that most African slaves came from societies with strong traditions of alcohol use and many were familiar with rum and other alcoholic beverage long before they arrived in the Caribbean. Slave drinking was considered especially strong among males. Long (1774;II:374), for example, wrote that the male slaves of Jamaica "have no taste but for women, gormandizing, and drinking to excess." In 1797, an anonymous writer in Jamaica (1797) also believed "Few strong liquors come amiss to the men [slaves], who frequently drink to excess." One example was Plato, a habitual runaway from Jamaica for whom "rum was an article of first necessity" (Lewis 1834:91). Some in the French Caribbean thought that slaves were generally abstemious, "with the exception of a few half-crazy old Africans called 'Papa Tafia' who neglected their gardens and preferred instead to cut firewood in exchange for tafia" (Malenfant 1814:203). On the slave lists of York estate, Jamaica was Thomas, a cook. In 1779 and 1782, the plantation manager recording the condition of the estate's slave population wrote that Thomas "drinks as much as ever" (GMP). Male slaves' greater propensity for excessive drinking may have helped shape the structure of sugar plantation work regimens. In the late seventeenth century, Labat (1724;I:324) advised

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277 French Caribbean sugar planters to employ female slaves in distilleries rather than men because "women are less subject to drink." Apparently, they did not heed Labat's warning and, for example, in 1768, the two slave distillers at both Beaulieu and Galbaud du Fort estates in Saint Domingue were men (Debien 1974: 137-138). However, excessive drinking was not confined to men. In 1778, Juba, a domestic slave who worked in the great house at York estate, Jamaica, was also described in the slave lists as a "drunkard" (GMP). In 1796, the Deputy-Inspector General to Hospitals in Barbados, Dr. George Pinckard (1806;I:205), wrote "both [slave] men and women are very fond of rum." In the late eighteenth century, one of the most popular satirical songs among slaves in Jamaica was about "a drunken Negro woman who used to get drunk early in the morning" (Anonymous 1797: 19). Barbadian sugar planter Richard Hall (1755: 13) noted, "most of the negroe women and many of dieir children drink rum." Nor was rum drinking among children especially unusual. Jamaican sugar planter Thomas Roughley believed that slave children should have a plentiful pot of soup, with vegetables boiled for them every day, distributed to them respectively, before the overseer or bookkeeper, with a wine glass full of acidulated sugar beverage, and a taste of good rum to each, as an enlivener. Their minds should always be kept cheerful. (Roughley 1823:122) Drinking patterns distinguished internal social divisions within the slave community. For example, Collins (181 1:51) argued that newly arrived African slaves "are not formed to habits of temperance, and have little inclination to learn them." In contrast, Creole slaves had a reputation for temperance in some places. Long argued that the sobriety of Creoles in Jamaica was a reaction against the excessive drinking of poorer classes of white. The Creoles, in general, are more exempt from ebriety, that parent of many crimes! I have known several who have rejected every sort of spirituous liquor with loathing, and would drink nothing but water. If the Negroes could be restrained intirely from the use of spirits in their youth, they would probably never become veiy fond of dram drinking afterwards. I have often thought, that the lower order of white servant on the plantations exhibit such detestable pictures of drunkenness, that the better sort of Creole Blacks have either conceived a disgust at a practice that occasions such odious effects (drinking), or have restrained from it out of a kind of 1

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278 pride, as if they would appear superior to, and more respectable than, such beastly white wretches. Be this as it may, there is nothing surely can more degrade a man, than this voluntary rejection of his rational facilities; deprived of which, he sinks below the lowest rank of brutes. (Long 1774;II:409) Long clearly believed that some Creoles actively abstained from alcohol as part of a broader social strategy to distinguish themselves from poorer classes of whites. Mrs. A.C. Carmichael (1833;I:76), a visitor to St. Vincent, wrote, "I have understood that the coloured men are by no means given to intoxication." Moreau de Saint-Mery (1797/98;I:42) also believed that the muldtre Creoles of Saint Domingue were "very sober" suggesting that temperance may have been a way for non-white Creoles throughout the Caribbean, free or enslaved, to define their identity, particularly in their relationship to newly arrived Africans and poorer classes of whites. Although male Creole slaves were generally employed in specialized and skilled jobs, their temperance may also help explain why, in the late eighteenth century, the four slave distillers at Worthy Park estate in Jamaica were Creoles (Craton 1997: 183). Not everyone, however, was convinced of the Creoles' abstemiousness and many whites simply held that "New negroes, like old ones, are much addicted to the use of spirits" (Collins 1811 :59). White fears about drunken slaves frequently led to legal restrictions against slave drinking. In 1692, the Barbados Assembly passed an act "prohibiting the selling of Rum, or any Strong Liquors, to any Negro, or other Slave." The act stated. Whereas many Enormities have been committed, and Mischiefs hatched and contrived by Negroes and other Slaves when Opportunities have been given of meeting and excessive Drinking thereat: .That whosoever Person or Persons after Publication hereof, shall sell any Rum or any other Strong Liquors to any Negro or Slave, or any other person for the use of any Negro or Slave, and being convicted thereof by the Oath of any Christian before the next Justice of the Peace, shall forfeit Twenty Shillings Sterling. (Rawlin 1699:189) In 1692, whites in Barbados had discovered and thwarted a plot by slaves to revolt. The passage of this particular act was, no doubt, inspired by that aborted slave revolt (Beckles

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279 1990:39^). Colonial assemblies throughout the Caribbean passed similar laws during the slavery period, but, according to Collins (181 1:101), "it is to be lamented, that more effectual means have not been employed by our colonial legislatures, to prevent [the slaves'] easy access to rum." Rum was abundant and so deeply ingrained in the social fabric of Caribbean slave societies that these laws were "easily and often evaded" (Oldmixon 1741;II:52). In reality, slave drinking in the Caribbean was probably no more excessive than that found among most other social groups. Binge drinking among slaves appears to have been confined largely to ceremonial occasions, weekend events, and plantation holidays. Thomas and Juba were the only slaves noted at York Estate for regulariy overindulging in alcohol, and York Estate had 450 slaves. This suggests that excessive drinking, or alcoholism, if we can call it that, was not widespread. However, as a cook and a domestic in the great house, Thomas and Juba were in more frequent contact with the planter and overseer than most of the other 448 slaves on the lists who were, for the most part, field workers. In contrast to the field slaves, if the work performance of a cook and domestic suffered from excessive drink, it was likely to have been noticed and recorded. Thus, excessive alcohol use may have been more widespread at York estate than can be gleaned from slave lists. Unfortunately, most plantation managers, including those very meticulous managers at Worthy Park, Jamaica, failed to record alcohol abuse in the slave lists, which has diminished our understanding of slave drinking (Craton 1978). The frequency of interaction between slaves and whites in Caribbean towns may also help explain why some urban slaves were characterized as being prone to excessive drink. For example, according to Dominican sugar planter Thomas Atwood, The negro porters are in general a very idle, insolent and thievish set of people, and are often guilty of much imposition, especially to strangers on their arrival in the islands. They are commonly the stoutest and worst disposed negros belonging to white people, or to free people of colour in the towns, and pay their owners a certain sum daily; but many of them will game away the whole of their earnings or spend it in liquor, to the great injury of their masters. (Atwood 1791:265)

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280 Urban domestic in Bridgetown, Barbados also had a reputation for "fiddling, dancing, drinking, [and] gambling... which, every night, more or less, disturb the peace" (Dickson 1789:41). Urban slaves had more leisure time and increased access to alcohol in the many taverns that dominated Caribbean towns. However, the drinking of slave porters, as with domestics, was highlighted because of their public presence in areas heavily populated by whites. Per capita rates of rum consumption among plantation slaves were not extreme. Labat estimated that plantation slave annually received 3.4 gallons and accounts from York estate, Jamaica indicate an annual rate of 1.8 gallons per slave. However, in Barbados, Richard Hall estimated an annual per capita consumption of 7 gallons of rum. These rates are not excessive by modem American standards. In 1975, the per capita consumption of absolute alcohol in the United States was 2 gallons, equal to about 4 gallons of proof rum (Rorabaugh 1979:232). These figures are even less astonishing when placed in the context of North American drinking patterns in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the first decade of the eighteenth century. North Americans consumed an annual average of 2.7 gallons of absolute alcohol and, in 1770, an annual rate of 3.5 gallons (Rorabaugh 1979:232). Furthermore, these estimates are well below that of the great alcoholic binge of the early nineteenth century, which reached levels of 3.9 gallons of absolute alcohol, equivalent to 7.8 gallons of proof rum (Rorabaugh 1979:232-233). Nor are these estimates particularly remarkable when we consider the high proportion of adult males in Caribbean slave societies, generally considered the heaviest alcohol consumers. However, sugar plantation figures take into account the distribution of rum on estates and not necessarily that acquired through purchase, theft, reward, or allotted on special occasions. Moreover, these figures account only for the use of rum and not other alcoholic beverages, including fermented sugar cane drinks, which were frequently mentioned as being made by slaves. Evidence from a number of archaeological sites highlights drinking among plantation slaves in the Caribbean, for example, excavations conducted at Mapps Cave in

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281 St. Philip Parish, Barbados. Oral traditions suggested the cave once housed slaves from Bayley plantation and this led archaeologists Jerome Handler and Frederick Lange (1978), in the mid-1970s, to explore the possibility of slave occupation at the site. After initial testing, they abandoned excavations at Mapps Cave for excavations at Newton slave cemetery. In 1998, renewed interest in the Mapps Cave site led to investigations under the direction of myself and L. Daniel Mouer from Virginia Commonwealth University. Surface artifact collections and sub-surface testing revealed that African slaves had occupied Mapps Cave in the late eighteenth and eariy nineteenth centuries (Mouer and Smith 1999; 2(XX)). Green wine and gin bottle glass dominated the artifact assemblage at Mapps. However, glass bottles were not the only containers used for holding alcohol. In 1797, an anonymous Jamaican wrote. When they [slaves] travel, they have different ways of carrying their rum; the most common utensil is a calabash bottle, stopt with the stem on which Indian com grows. A cane is sometimes used for this purpose, to fit it for which they clear it of the membranes at the joints and cork the upper end: a large cane will hold a considerable quantity, and serves the double purpose of a bottle and a walking stick. J (Anonymous 1797:16) The planter elite had a reputation for excessive drinking. Descriptions of the various alcoholic beverages available to guests at the planters' tables reveal the extent to which alcohol permeated planter lifestyles. Drinking was a crucial facet of entertaining, hospitality, and social etiquette. In 1651, Giles Silvester (Smith 1998b), the brother of Barbados sugar planter Constant Silvester, wrote A Brief Description of the Island of Barbados in which he described the honor bound virtues of sociable drinking among the planter class (Silvester 1 65 1 :44) As with slaves, our understanding of planter drinking is skewed by the nature of the writers, many of whom were members of this elite class. They found little fault with what they perceived to be "noble" planters and expressed much pride in their colleagues. Ligon believed the planters of Barbados were "Men of great abilities and parts." Another factor contributing to this genteel perception is that planter drinking was usually confined to i I

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282 relatively private events, more likely to occur in the estate great house than in the public streets and taverns. According to Oldmixon (1741 ;II: 137), "the Diversions of Gentlemen in this Island are most within Doors." However, certain writers unmasked the drinking excesses of the elite. The Gallant People [of Barbados] delight most in Balls and Consorts; the good Fellows, in Drink and good Company; and though one would imagine, that Men should be afraid to drink such a hot [high alcohol content] Wine as Madeira, in such a hot Country, yet it has been known that some of them have drank their five and six Bottles a Day, and held it on for several Years. (Oldmixon 1741 ;II: 137) The cartoon image of 'The West India Sportsman" (1809) pokes fun at the notorious excesses of drink and idleness of the British Caribbean planter class. In the illustration, the planters' beverages include rum, brandy, several varieties of punch, and numerous unmarked and emptied bottles. One small jar of water amongst the alcoholic beverages may have been meant to further emphasize planter intemperance. Excavations at James Moss's eighteenth and eariy nineteenth century great house in the Bahamas led archaeologists to conclude that the assemblage "resembled more a tavern than a permanent residence" (Famsworth 1996:17). In general, whites had a reputation for heavy drinking. In Barbados, Thomas Walduck wrote. There is always carried to the Church 10 or 12 Gallons of burnt wine or a pail full or 2 of Rum-punch to refresh the people (for a funeral sermon makes them squeamish) where as soon as the corps are interr'd they sit round the Liquor in the Church porch, drink to the obsequies of the defunct, smoke and drink until they are drunk as Tinkers. (Walduck 1710 cited in Council 1957:3) In 163 1, Sir Henry Colt wrote to his son at length about the immoderate use of alcohol among Barbadians. During a visit to Barbados, Colt warned. You are all younge men, and of good desert, if you would but bridle ye excesse of drinkinge, together wth ye quarelsome conditions of your fyery spiritts. You are deuourers vpp of hott waters and such good distillers thereof, yt I am perswaded a shipp of good burthen laden therewth, could not returne from you butt in steed of hott water, you frought itt wth cold. I, in ye Imitation of this bad example of yours and for your societye, was brought from .2. Dramms of hott water a meale to 30 And m a few dayes if I had continued this acquayntance, I doe beleev I should have bmn brought to ye mcrease of .60. But ye worst of all was your manifold quarrells

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283 Your young and hott bloods, should nott have oyle added top encrease ye flame, but rather cold water to quench it. (Colt 1631:65-66) Probably no other group in the Caribbean had a worse reputation for excessive drinking than indentured servants and other poorer classes of whites. For example, the Governor of South Carolina, Joseph West, complained about the drunkenness of Barbadian servants and requested that no more be brought from Barbados. In the late seventeenth century, West (cited in Bridenbaugh 1972:393) wrote "We find that one of our servant wee brought out of England is worth two of the Barbadians, for they are so addicted to rum, that they will do little but whilst a bottle is at their nose." Some poor whites in Barbados were known to steal rum from sugar plantations (Dickson 1789:42). Excessive drinking among poorer classes of whites was not limited to Barbados and, for example. Long (1774;II:289) argued that, in Jamaica, some servants were responsible for "causing odium among the white people in general by their drunkenness." Colonial Assemblies occasionally attempted to curb drunkenness among poor whites in the Caribbean. In Montserrat, the colonial Assembly prohibited planters from distilling all of their cane juice into rum in order to reduce drunken violence on the island. The colonists, when drunk, apparently called one another derogatory names like "English dogg, Scots dogg, Tory, Irish dogg. Cavalier and Roundheade" (cited in Dunn 1972: 125). Planters in St. Vincent were prevented from distilling their entire crop for similar reasons (Collins 1811:103). In 1668, officials in Barbados believed that excessive drinking created such social and civil unrest that the Barbados Assembly felt compelled to pass an act that greatly regulated and restricted the sale of spirits. The Barbados Assembly declared. Forasmuch as intolerable Hurts and Troubles to this Island do continually grow and increase through the Multiplicity of such Abuses and Disorders as are daily had and used in Unlics'd Tipling-Houses commonly called Brandy, or Rum-Houses, which are for the most part situated and erected near to Broad-paths or High-ways; whereby the keepers of such Houses take advantage to Trade and Deal with servants and Negroes for Stolen Goods contrary to Law, and to the great Oppression and Damage of Honest and Industrious People. And Whereas on Sabbath Days, many Lewd, Loose and Idle People, do usually resort to such Tipling Houses, who by their Drunkenness, Swearing and other Miscarriages, do in a very high nature, blaspheme the Name of God,

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284 prophane the Sabbath, and bring a great Scandal upon true Christian Religion for prevention whereof in the future. (Rawlin 1699:71-72) In 1683, the Jamaica Assembly (Anonymous 1683:33-35) passed a similar Act against blasphemy, and for preventing disorders in alehouses, taverns, and victualing houses. Among the regulations was a fine for drinking and selling spirits during "the time of Divine Worship or Service." In 1694, the Colonial Assembly of Cura9ao also wrote, "We know the day of the lord in Cura9ao is the day of Bacchus." The Assembly instituted restrictive laws and mandated 'That on that day no drinking houses shall be open or drinking bouts take place" (Goslinga 1985:252). In contrast to the excessive drinking of white men, white women in the Caribbean were more temperate. Ligon, while trying to explain the current state and rapid spread of disease in Barbados wrote. Whether it were brought thither in shipping. .or by the distempers of the people of the island: who by the ill dyet they keep, and drinking strong waters, bring disease upon themselves, was not certainly known. But I have reason to believe the latter: because for one woman that dyed, there were ten men. (Ligon 1657:21) William Dickson (1789:38), a visitor to Barbados, wrote that the "oeconomy, sobriety, fidelity" of white women in Barbados "deserve |d] much praise." According to Long (1774;II:280), white Creole women in Jamaica were "temperate and abstemious in their diet rarely drinking any other liquor than water." Their good health. Long (I774;II:534) wrote, was due to "their less exposure to heat and hard exercise in the sun, less addiction to intemperance, and late hours." In Dominica, Atwood (1791:212) also wrote "Withal, so very remarkable are the English Creole women for sobriety and chastity, that in the first instance very few drink any thing but water, or beverage of lime juice, water, and syrup." Generalizations were also made concerning the drinking patterns of freedmen and Jews. Long (1774;II:29) believed the Jews of Jamaica were particulariy abstemious and "may be supposed to owe their good health and longevity, as well as their fertility, to their very sparing use of strong liquors." Anthropologist Mark Keller (1979) has argued that the

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285 powerful spiritual importance of alcohol in Judaism resulted in a healthy respect toward alcohol and an abstemious Jewish drinking pattern. Long (1774;II:29) wrote 'The free Negroes and mulattoes fare rather harder in respect of eating, and are not so averse [as Jews] to spirituous liquors; for both men and women are frequently intoxicated." Long also believed that, compared to Jamaican Jews, the freedmen's intemperance shortened their lives. He added, "the native whites in this island, I mean such of them as are not addicted to drunkenness, nor have any hereditary distemper are equally long lived [as Jews and abstemious freedmen]." Yet not all whites saw freedmen as intemperate. Dickson (1789:92), described the freedmen of Barbados as "sober and industrious." The drinking habits of specific European cultures were also scrutinized. Long (1774;II:288) believed that "artificers of northern Scotland [were] particularly sober and frugal," which may help explain why they were frequently employed as distillers on sugar plantations. Labat (1724;!: 135) wrote, the English in the Caribbean "invented two or three sorts of drinks whose use and abuse are attributed to the French, who are always very ardent imitators of the worst habits of their neighbors." Moreau de Saint-Mery believed (1796;I:50), "The temperance of [Spanish Creoles in Santo Domingo] is again remarkable in their drink, which is generally water." According to Long (1774;II:557) "it seems likely, that the inhabitants [of Jamaica] would be equally proof against attacks [disease], as the Spaniards are found to be, if they would but depart a little more from a too plentiful flesh diet, and strong liquors." Yet, according to Long, Among the Spainiards at Carthegena, the use of spirits is so common that the most regular and sober persons never omit drinking a small glass every forenoon about eleven o'clock, alledging that it strengthens the stomach, weakened by copious, constant perspiration, and sharpens the appetite. Hacer las once. To do the eleven; that is, to drink a glass of spirit, is the ordinary invitation. But this custom, which is not esteemed pernicious when used with moderation, has degenerated into vice; many being so fond of it, that they do nothing the whole day but Hacer las once. (Long 1774;11:561-562) The Dutch reputation for excessive drinking was legendary and "The pipe and the bottle were the inseparable companions of the Dutch overseas as they were in the United

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286 Provinces" (Boxer 1%5:234). In 1631, an English colonist once described Jan Claezen Van Campen, the Dutch commander of St. Martin, as being the "only sober Dutchman" he had ever come across (Boxer 1%5:234). Soldiers in the Caribbean also had a reputation for excessive drinking. Many societies have adopted liberal attitudes toward alcohol use among soldiers. For example, among the privileges given to the Rajput |Khshatriyas| warrior caste in India is the right to drink alcohol (Carstairs 1979; Malik 197 1 :3 1). In the United States, the age restrictions against alcohol drinking do not apply to personnel on military bases. Akyeampong (19%:28-29) wrote that, in the seventeenth century Gold Coast, "Warfare diminished the ritual importance of water vis-a-vis alcohol" and rum use became particularly associated with the warriors. The liberal attitudes toward alcohol use reveals that societies recognize the greater anxieties that confront soldiers. Liberal attitudes toward drinking were also granted to troops in the Caribbean and alcohol became a regular part of life for most European soldiers and seamen stationed in the numerous forts that dotted the Caribbean landscape. Rum was considered a necessary ration, especially in the British army and navy. The growth of the British navy in the seventeenth century, due in large measure to the settlement of New World colonies, led to the structured implementation of rum rations. Rum benefited from maritime customs, beliefs about its salubrious qualities, and Parliamentary incentives aimed at promoting the growth of the Caribbean colonies. Drinking among the soldiers and sailors stationed in the Caribbean was considered excessive. Prior to its attack on the Spanish Caribbean colonies of Hispaniola and Jamaica in 1654-1655, the Penn and Venables expedition loaded up with rum in Barbados. However, troops and commanders from Barbados and St. Kitts had such a bad reputation for drunkenness that Venables blamed their intemperance for their defeat at Hispaniola (Deerr 1949:151; Long 1774;1:617-619). By the end of the eighteenth century, many British troops were receiving as much as a pint of rum each day (Buckley 1998:240;

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287 Kopperman 1996:446; Pack 1983). Rum was so central to military life in the Caribbean that commanders often feared rebellion and mutiny if they failed to provide troops with their daily rations (Buckley 1998:285). Archaeological excavations conducted at the site of the early nineteenth century St. Anne's military garrison in Barbados have unearthed numerous wine bottle shards, which attest to the importance of alcohol use among troops (Agbe-Davies 1999). Drinking among soldiers stationed in the Caribbean became such an extreme social problem that troop commanders often placed restrictions on rum drinking and tried to substitute low alcohol content beer and wine (Buckley 1979:103, 1998:286287; Geggus 1979:56). In 1740, Captain Edward Vernon, who came to fame during the War of Jenkins' Ear, was concerned about the excessive use of rum among his sailors in Jamaica and ordered rum rations mixed equally with water. This drink, known as grog, was named after Vernon who was nicknamed "old grogram" for the waterproof boat cloak he wore. Although drinking was excessive in the military, one exception was those more abstemious military men, usually British, who came to the Caribbean with their wives and children (Long 1774;11:304-305). Alcohol use was a central feature of maritime communities and excessive drinking among Caribbean mariners and seamen was legendary. If new mariners and seamen were not already familiar with rum in Europe, they were quickly introduced to it on their voyage to the Caribbean. Upon crossing into the tropics, those who had not done so before were required to go through a long-standing tradition of "christening" or "baptism" to honor Neptune, the great God of the sea. The ceremony included the consumption and offerings of copious amounts of alcohol, usually rum, as well as a ritualistic shaving (Pinckard 1806:86-88). The first crewmember or passenger to spot land also received a bottle of rum (Pinckard 1806:79). Colonial legislatures occasionally banned European mariners and seamen from inns and taverns in colonial port towns. For example, in 1709 the Governor of Cura9ao banned the sale of liquor to sailors in Willemstad after 9:00 p.m. The punishment for breaking this law included the loss of pay for three months and 8 days in

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288 jail (Goslinga 1985:526). In Barbados, their excessive drinking and brawling led to such civil unrest that, in 1652, the Barbados Assembly passed an Act prohibiting seamen from drinking in taverns after 8:00 p.m. (Rawlin 1699:7). Hall (1755:13) estimated that transient seamen in Barbados consumed about 54,000 gallons of rum per year. Pirates, buccaneers, and privateers typically came from maritime backgrounds and also had a reputation for excessive drinking. Many were former merchant seamen and exservicemen in a national navy. A sample of 700 men indicted for piracy between 1600 and 1640 showed that 73% described themselves as mariners or sailors (Cordingly 1997: 10). Excessive drinking was typical of Caribbean port towns, which in the late seventeenth century were havens for pirates, buccaneers, and privateers. Before being razed by the earthquake of 1692, Port Royal, Jamaica was a center of pirate activity. According to Long (1774;II: 140), "The town was inhabited by scarcely any other than merchants, warehouse keepers, vintners and retailers of punchy [rum|; the later were numerous, and well supported by the buccaneers, who dissipated here whatever they got from the Spaniards." Kill-Devil Hills, North Carolina, stands as a monument to infamous pirates, like Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet, who sailed the inlets and sounds of the Outerbanks drinking kill-devil rum and attacking ships. The French pirate Jean Lafitte wrote, "no amount of gold or silver could ever give me the pleasure of a single glass of hot rum consumed in the quiet of my cabin." Blackbeard was said to have consumed a half-gallon of rum per day (Cordingly 1997). In one of his drunken episodes, Blackbeard shot his ship's quartermaster, Israel Hands, in the knee and crippled him for life. Robert Johnson, a pirate on Bartholemew Roberts' crew often got so "helplessly drunk that he had to be hoisted out of the ship with the aid of a block and tackle." Among the most famous Caribbean pirates was Captain Henry Morgan, who in the mid-seventeenth century challenged Spanish control of the Caribbean and helped consolidate British colonization. Morgan's reputation for excessive drinking was legendary and it eventually led his physical demise. The physician who treated Morgan

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289 during his last months of life described him as "lean, sallow-coloured, his eyes a little yellowish and belly jutting out prominent," symptoms typically associated with jaundice and liver cirrhosis (Cordingly 1997:43). As early as the seventeenth century, pirate life was a romanticized part of Caribbean lore. Father Labat, for example, held a picnic, or buccaneer barbecue, in which the participants were required to follow buccaneer traditions, which included the consumption of large amounts of alcohol. While the pig was cooking, those who wished to do so ate some breakfast. They were also permitted to drink a shot (un coup) of wine, provided that they drank it in a coui (calabash) without water, for buccaneers never pour water into their wine and drink either pure water or neat liquor. .Since, however, there is no rule so strict that it does not allow some exception, some of the company are allowed to mix water with their wine. This is because, being still novices of the Order of Buccaneers, it would not be wise to enforce all the rigour of the law. .Hunters who brought nothing were not forgiven if they said they had seen nothing, but were told that they must go back and shoot something or pay the last penalty. If they were old buccaneers they were punished on the spot by having to drink as many shots, one after the other, as the most successful hunter had brought in birds. The only mercy that can be shown them, if it is proved that bad fortune and not carelessness has been the cause of their crime, is to give them the choice of the liquor that they have to drink. .1 do not think it necessary to inform the reader that one of the essential things in a boucan [barbeque] is to drink frequently. The law compels it, the (hot) sauce invites one to do so, and few err in this respect. .The delinquent must then do pennance by drinking the large coui, a no mean punishment since this coui is always kept full of wine. In this harmless manner we sf>ent the day with the greatest possible enjoyment. (Labat 1970:52-57) In the nineteenth century, popular culture continued to embellish the links between pirates and rum. This connection was immortalized in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island Fifteen men on a dead man's chest Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! Drink and the devil had done for the rest Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! (Stevenson 1%5:12) The labels pasted on modem Caribbean rum bottles, including Captain Morgan, Old Brigand, and Buccaneer attest to the continuing romanticism. Many factors contributed to the extensive use of alcohol in the Caribbean. As mentioned in chapter 4, anthropologist Donald Horton (1943) examined the functional links

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290 between excessive alcohol use and anxiety. Surveying the Human Relations Area Files (HRAF), Horton argued that high levels of drunkenness in a society corresponded with high levels of anxiety. Horton specifically addressed excessive drinking among hunting and gathering groups in order to show a correlation between drunkenness and the insecure subsistence base of hunting and gathering societies. According to Horton, excessive drinking functioned to release aggressive impulses caused by this anxiety. While researchers have challenged Horton's anxiety theory in hunting and gathering societies, the basic premise of Horton's model remains strong (Field 1%2; McClelland 1972). Horton essentially argued that the anxieties caused by an unpredictable existence and the potential for arbitrary and random danger leads social groups to drink excessively. Anxiety models have been used to examine excessive drinking in a number of historical and cross-cultural settings. For example, in 1979, anthropologist James Schaeffer used HRAF evidence to show a relationship between societies that fear malicious ancestral spirits and excessive drinking. Rorabaugh argued that excessive drinking in the early American Republic stemmed, in part, from the anxiety of post-Revolutionary Americans trying to achieve their grand idealistic and economic goals, but who lacked the motivation to pursue those goals. Akyeampong attributed the excessive drinking of migrant wageworkers in the eariy twentieth century Gold Coast, to anxieties caused by separation from kin and hard labor. In the Caribbean, anxieties existed at the most basic levels of life. Epidemic diseases, natural disasters, inadequate food supplies, and unhealthy drinking water all contributed to uncertainty in the New Worid. For example, in Barbados, in the 1640s, Ligon (1657:25) wrote, "At the time of our arrival, and a month or two after, the sickness raign'd so extreamely, as the living could hardly bury the dead." This epidemic is generally thought to have been the first epidemic in the Americas of yellow fever, a devastating disease for Europeans (Watts 1987:215-216). Yellow fever begins with lassitude, a sudden headache, and burning fever. It can vary greatly in severity, but in 'classic' cases the eyes become inflamed, nausea is experienced and pain in the muscles and back. The pulse is initially high but falls as compulsive vomiting sets in. Jaundice and delirium may appear, but its most

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291 characteristic symptoms are a falling pulse accompanied by continued high temperature, the vomiting of partly digested blood, and in the later stages, generalized haemorrhage. (Geggus 1982:347) Symptoms of yellow fever were frequently registered in plantation slave lists as fevers and usually ranked among the most common causes of death for plantation slaves in the Caribbean (Higman 1984:339-347). However, whites were especially vulnerable to yellow fever. Thousands of white colonists died during the Barbados yellow fever outbreak mentioned by Ligon (Collins 1806:259-261; Higman 1984:331; Schomburgk 1848:80). Yellow fever was a permanent part of Caribbean life until 1900. Famine and drought often compounded epidemic disasters. Earthquakes destroyed towns throughout the Caribbean, including Jamestown in Nevis in 1680, Port Royal, Jamaica in 1692, and Port-au-Prince in 1770. Between 1492 and 1800, 174 hurricanes were reported in the Caribbean, the worst being the hurricane of October 1780, which killed over 22,000 people, mostly in Barbados and Martinique. The anxieties caused by poor working and living conditions also spurred excessive drinking. In 1848, Friedrich Engels argued that heavy drinking among the working classes of Europe was an outgrowth of the dehumanizing effect of regimented labor systems within the confines of industrial capitalism. Engels saw excessive drinking as a consequence of the poor working and living conditions. Alienated workers got drunk as part of a broader strategy of escape. In Russia, just prior to the 1917 Revolution, physicians and anti-alcohol socialists also blamed the excessive drinking by the working classes on environmental factors such as low wages, poor housing, and bad diet (Snow 1991). In the Caribbean, white indentured servants also found a dehumanizing labor system. Contracted to work for three to seven years, they could be bought and resold for the duration of their contracts and their labor extracted through coercive means. Whereas farm workers in Europe could be assimilated into a family, in the Caribbean their labor was stricdy a commodity. Servants had to contend with harsh work under the tropical sun and, often, the unpredictability of severe punishment from a cruel master. The goal of many

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292 servants was landownership and the opportunity to become planters, if they were able to survive their indenture, but large planters quickly swallowed up good lands making such dreams frequently unattainable (Galenson 1981). These challenges and frustrations created an anxious climate in which alcohol provided a means of escape. Jamaican historian and Christian missionary W.J. Gardner summed up the anxious lives of poor whites in the Caribbean. The old system of bond-servants was at an end, but large supplies of young men could be found as book-keepers. If coarse and uneducated, their mental suffering on reaching the colony would not be great, but to a young man accustomed to a cheerful, quiet home, the shock must have been very painful. He found he had no books to keep, but that his duty consisted in following the gangs of slaves to the field in all weathers, and superintending their labours there or in the boiling and still-house: he was thus exposed to the influence of heavy dews, sudden showers and burning heat. No wonder that large numbers soon fell victim to the climate, or that, shut out from civilizing influences and virtuous female society, many lived a life of riotous debauchery night after night, and also on the Sabbatii day. New rum and yellow fever hurried hundreds yeariy to an untimely grave. ^ ; : (Gardner 1873:378-379) The excessive drinking of planters might also be related to their specific anxieties. The planters' goal was an eventual return to Europe in luxury, but heavy debts and low returns from their plantations meant that, for many struggling colonists, the retum to Europe in luxury was unlikely. Anxiety penetrated the lives of Caribbean planters who found contempt and resentment from the masses of African slaves and white servants. The unpredictability of slave and servant uprisings and poisonings forced many Caribbean planters to seek escape in excessive drink in the company of their peers. African and Creole slaves also used alcohol to confront a hostile Caribbean society. However, many had other, less self-destructive, outlets for the release of frustrations. Schaeffer (1979) has argued that moderate drinking is common in highly structured societies characterized by paternalism and respect for hierarchical authority. Paternalistic theories could certainly help explain moderate drinking of many slaves. However, the slave community itself also provided a stable social setting that may have mitigated many anxieties. As with Caribbean Jews, African slaves came from societies with a healthy spiritual respect for alcohol. Except during holiday celebrations, the convivial aspects of

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293 drinking may have remained secondary to the ritualistic and community strengthening uses of alcohol. The temperance Long and Moreau de Saint-Mery ascribed to Creole slaves suggests that they may have developed an especially good coping strategy due to their greater familiarity with the disease environment and their ability to achieve upward social mobility. Moreover, Creoles were likely to perform less arduous types of work on the plantation. In addition, Creoles were bom into pre-existing kinship networks that probably served to lessen the effects of some anxieties and, thus, reduce levels of excessive drinking (Mintz and Price 1992:66-80). These factors helped make life more predictable and create a greater sense of stability, which would have reduced the need for alcoholic escape. The temperance Long ascribed to Creoles makes it difficult to explain the excessive drinking he ascribed to freedmen. Freedmen would have been as likely as Creole slaves to have developed strong family ties and kinship networks. However, freedmen were also in a liminal position within the slave societies. This liminality put them in a precarious and socially unstable position between the worlds of free whites and enslaved blacks. Moreover, freedom did not necessarily result in a better material conditions or economic independence. The dominant white power structures of the colonial Caribbean rarely offered such opportunities. Thus, as with white servants, disillusion and frustration may have contributed to higher rates of excessive drinking among some freedmen. In addition, they were makers of their own time and had the freedom to get drunk. However, Long probably overstated the intemperance of freedmen. Dickson observed in Barbados, freedmen there were "sober and industrious" (Dickson 1789:92; Handler 1974). Rum and Health Rum and other alcoholic beverages had a major impact on the health of Caribbean peoples. Excessive drinking often compounded existing health problems and added to the anxieties already rampant in this unpredictable environment. Analysis of hard drinking also highlights contradictory beliefs about the meaning alcohol. On the one hand, some Caribbean writers saw rum as an enlivener and an elixir of life, while others warned about

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294 excessive rum drinking and saw intemperance as the cause of much illness. The Africans and Europeans who settled the Caribbean brought with them Old World notions about the benefits and perils of alcohol use. In Europe, distilled wine [eau de vie\ and gin were invented for medicinal purposes and Judaeo-Christian symbolism linked alcohol to fertility and rebirth. Yet, Biblical references also warned about the dangers of immoderate drinking and early modem Europeans often saw drunkenness as a deadly excess (Bernard 1991; Conroy 1991; Mancall 1995:16;Tlusty 1997). In West and West Central Africa, alcohol also possessed contradictory health meanings. Akan oral traditions, for example, gave palm wine life-restoring qualities and made it a vehicle to ancestral healing. Yet, the same oral traditions also warned that immoderate palm wine use and solo hinging could result in tragedy (Akyeampong 1996:26-27). Beliefs about the dual nature of alcohol were transferred to the Caribbean and, despite cultural traditions that warned about excessive drink, intemperance was common. European and African notions about the need to maintain inner body heat increased the demand for a hot spirit like rum. For example, in Barbados, Ligon (1657:27) wrote, "certainly strong drinks are very requisite, where so much heat is; for the spirits being exhausted with much sweating, the inner parts are left cold and faint, and shall need comforting and reviving." Edward Long of Jamaica wrote, A Traveler, caught in the rain... by the quick evaporation of his natural warmth, perceives his body chilled and anguish. It is usual here to strip, and rub all over with rum, and then put on dry clothes; which prevents any ill-consequence. (Long I774;II:524) Beliefs about the body heat-restoring qualities of rum led many planters to distribute it to servants and slaves during damp spells and bad weather. Father du Tertre (16671671:480) wrote, "slaves should be given some rum, especially when they do harsh work, like replanting tobacco in strong rain." Labat (1724;I:33 1) advised giving slaves rum when forced to "suffer in the rain." Barbadian planter William Belgrove (1755:67) wrote, "In wet Weather give Rum to each Negro every Morning; and at other Times as you shall see

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295 convenient, according to their early Rising, or the Work they are about." Collins (1811:101 ) prescribed rum to slaves "during the wet weather, and while the negroes are engaged on very laborious work, such as holing." In 1788, Governor Parry of Barbados (cited in Craton, Walvin, and Wright 1976:88) told Pariiament "there is also on every plantation a proportion of Rum, Sugar, and Melasies, reserved for the occasional Use of Slaves in damp Weather, and the more difficult Works." In 1791, Atwood (1791:258) wrote that rum and water were given to slaves in Dominica "especially after having been in the rain." Roughley (1823: 101), describing the value of good management thirty years later wrote, "In bad weather, a glass of good rum, should be given to each [field slave); and when making lime-kilns, roads, and digging cane-holes, a small portion of rum and sugar likewise to each." And Thistlewood recorded in his diary In the morning a pretty strong north, and coolish pleasant day at times cloudy with some drizzling rain. Served out a barrel of mackerel amongst the Negroes. Also give a pint of rum and some sugar to each Negro (children excepted). (cited in Hall 1989:37) Rum was considered somewhat of a cure-all in plantation medicine. It was a central ingredient in the treatment of toothaches, fevers, obstructions [amenorrhea], dropsy, gonorrhea, post-partum fatigue, colic, bellyaches, and other disorders (Collins 1811; Marsden 1788:44). Some physicians used a "tormenting mixture" of rum and sea salt as an antiseptic to clean wounds and sores (Bourgeois 1788:497; Debien 1974:323; Dickson 1789:35). In 1771, managers at Turner's Hall estate, Barbados, used 645 gallons of rum to "treat sick slaves" (FHP). In Jamaica, Long was a champion of Robert Dossie's (1770) comparative research on the salubriousness of rum and even incorporated parts of Dossie's essay into his history of Jamaica. Long advocated moderate rum drinking and believed, because of Dossie's research, that well made aged rum "when used in due moderation, and not too frequendy [was an] antiseptic and antiputresence." The widely accepted view that rum had salubrious qualities may have led British officials to encourage rum contracts with die British army and navy. The preservative uses of rum even extended beyond death. For

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296 example, Moise Gradis, a Marti niquan sugar planter who wanted to be buried in France, had his body shipped home to Bordeaux in a barrel of rum after his death in 1826 (Huetz de Lemps 1997:37). In 1828, Sir Ralph Woodford, the governor of Trinidad, died on a voyage from Jamaica to England and, according to a letter from the ship's captain Robert Snell, From the high and noble character of the deceased, and his well earned popularity in Trinidad and at the request of his faithful servant, I enclosed his respected remains in a cask of spirits in the hope of being able to forward it to that Island where he was so loved, and to that Church built under his immediate eye: but the extreme heat of the climate has prevented me from having this melancholy pleasure of shewing my respect for the inhabitants of Trinidad, but not until the Official Report of my Surgeon that five of my crew were ill from the effluvia from the corpse, did I this day reluctantly commit it to the deep. (cited in Fraser 1896:203-204) Legend has it that, after being killed at Trafalgar, Admiral Horatio Nelson's body was shipped back to England in a cask of rum. In a ceremony reminiscent of the Eucharist, the sailors are said to have drunk from the cask to show respect for their fallen leader. Although brandy has also been noted as the preservative used, belief in this legend is strong, which is why, today, rum is often referred to as "Nelson's blood" and opening a new bottle of rum is referred to as "tapping the admiral" (Brunvand 1984). Many also held the opposite opinion about rum's salubrious qualities. In Hispaniola, Las Casas blamed the use of fermented sugar cane juice for the high rates of death among African slaves. In 1600, the mayor Taxco, New Spain blamed guarapo for deaths and illness in that province (Zavala 1939;VI:4(X)-401). Fears about the bad health effects of distilled rum on Mexican Indians led to the 1635 ban that covered all of New Spain (Sandoval 1951:64-65). In 1694, the governor of New Andalusia [Venezuela] argued that rum was harmful to the people (Huetz de Lemps 1997:65). In the early eighteenth century, French wine and brandy interests used similar arguments to encourage French officials to impose a ban on the French import of French Caribbean tafia. In the 1730s, the same concerns inspired James Oglethorpe, governor of the Georgia colony, to propose a ban on rum imports (Rorabaugh 1979:38). Colonial officials in North America

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297 noted the particularly negative impact of rum on the health of Native Americans and attempted to ban the use of rum in the North American fur trade (Mancall 1995:91-93). Even Long, a strong advocate of Jamaican rum, warned that those who indulged too heavily "must be deemed guilty of self-murder." In the late eighteenth century, physicians also began to actively campaign against excessive alcohol use. In 1786, Philadelphia physician Benjamin Rush (1790) published An Inquiry into the Effects of Spirituous Liquors which stressed the deleterious health consequences associated with the immoderate alcohol use, especially distilled spirits. The treatise was a crucial step for early temperance reformers in North America and Europe (Rorabaugh 1979:39^1). Rush laid out a list of the immediate physiological effects of spirit drinking and, then, proceeded to list the effects of long-term exposure to ardent spirits. Rush challenged the conventional wisdom about alcohol, especially notions about its prophylactic qualities against excessive heat, cold, and hard labor. Rush was especially critical of rum, which is not unusual considering that it was the most available ardent spirit in eighteenth century North America. However, Rush's attack on rum may have also been fueled by his personal abolitionist sentiments. Forty years earlier, rum had already come under tough medical scrutiny. In the 1740s, another Philadelphia physician. Dr. Thomas Cadwalader (1745), identified rum as the source for the common and debilitating ailment known as the West Indian dry gripes. Interestingly, Ligon noted the connection between rum drinking and the West Indian dry gripes a century earlier, only shortly after the Barbadians began producing rum. We are seldom dry or thirsty, unless we overheat our bodies with extraordinary labour, or drinking strong drinks; as of our English spirits, which we carry over, of French Brandy, or the drink of the Island, which is made of the skimmings of the Coppers, that boyl the Sugar, which they call kill-Devil. And though some of these be needful if they be used with temper; yet the immoderate use of them, over-heats the body, which causes Costiveness, and Tortious in the bowls; which is a disease very frequent there; and hardly cur'd, and of which many have dyed. (Ligon 1657:27) Cadwalader argued that excessive heat and the consumption of acidic spirits were to blame and advised patients with this disorder to stay away from strong punch and rum, especially

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298 newly distilled rum that contain greater amounts of "hot fiery particles." What Cadwalader probably did not know, of course, was that those "hot fiery particles" were lead. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, rum and the ingredients used to make it came into contact with lead at just about every step of the production process (Handler et al. 1986; Hunter 1785:5). This was true of nearly every distillery in the Caribbean. In the 1780s, Peter Marsden (1788:27), a visitor to Jamaica wrote, "so much lead and copper work is required in and about these [still] houses, that the plumber and his gang of negroes have employment enough." Much of the rum produced in the eighteenth century Caribbean did, in fact, contain lead. British army doctor John Hunter (1785), while exploring the possible causes of colic among British troops stationed in the region, conducted chemical tests on freshly distilled Jamaican rum and found it to contain lead. In a provocative study integrating historical, archaeological, and physical anthropological evidence, Jerome Handler et al. (1986), discovered high lead levels in slave skeletal remains from Newton plantation, Barbados. They attributed the high lead levels to the slaves' consumption of lead contaminated rum. Many contemporary writers thought that the West India dry gripes and other terrible diseases were particularly common among those who consumed what colonial writers called new rum. For example, Marsden (1788:43-44) wrote "Nothing is more destructive, particularly to our soldiers and seamen, than new rum." In Barbados, sugar planter Griffith Hughes wrote. Distillers of rum. .(who are generally of the poorer sort), [suffer from several diseases! from immoderately drinking new hot rum. This is confirmed, by observing how much disease rages among the white servants, as well as negroes, in our plantations; which sort of people are much addicted to debauch in spirits, and punch made exceedingly strong with new rum, very acid with the juice of limes, fermented with coarse sugar. (Hughes 1750:34-36) According to Hughes, those who drank it lost the "use of their limbs," a common symptom of lead toxicity (Greeley 1991 ; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 1992).

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299 The term new rum is, however, somewhat misleading. In order to avoid poor health consequences, many colonists recommended the use of aged rum. For example, Long (1774;II:30) argued that no rum "should be issued [to troops] of less than a twelvemonths age." Aging was a corrective in wine and, therefore, it only made sense to colonial rum makers that aging would correct the caustic qualities of rum. Hunter (1785:5) conducted follow-up tests on his rum samples and found that, after three or four months, lead levels in at least one sample had declined. Hunter (1785:6) believed "The deposition of the lead from the spirits by keeping [aging] is most probably owing to the spirit attracting and uniting with the acid that dissolves the lead, and thereby precipitating the metal." Yet, unless lead somehow dissipated from the rum over time, aged rum made in lead contaminated stills would have been equally as toxic as freshly made rum. The lead in the rum was lead chromate or some other lead compound. Since the solubility of precipitates is greater in water than in alcohol, the lead in rum containers would largely be insoluble. Many contemporary writers assumed the toxic quality of new rum reflected its lack of age, but, in reality, lead, being a heavy substance in its insoluble state, would have settled at the bottom of the cask over time and remained, therefore, less concentrated when consumed (Winefordner pers comm). Hunter may have even recognized this when he wrote, "In whatever manner the spirit becomes contaminated with lead, it is a fortunate circumstance, that by keeping it entirely deposits that material." Lead toxicity was probably also the consequence of a particular distilling process. New rum appears to have been a type of moonshine produced on poorer plantations or in small-scale rum-making operations, usually in urban areas, by distillers who could not afford, or who did not care, to heed the warnings of physicians such as Hunter and remove, or at least reduce, the amount of lead used in their distilling equipment, especially the most critical worms and still heads. Poor distillers probably also produced less concentrated rum, which would have increased level of soluble lead. Moreover, the toxic

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300 qualities of new rum may have been magnified by improper distilling methods and tiie addition of "signature" ingredients (see below). European soldiers and sailors experienced higher death rates than slaves in the Caribbean and excessive drinking often contributed to their demise. For example, Long (1774;I1:30) wrote, 'The greater mortality, observable here among the soldiers and transient Europeans, must be ascribed to importing with them the English custom of eating and drinking in excess, but chiefly the latter." The notoriously high death rate suffered by British troops during the Caribbean campaigns of the 1790s has been usually attributed to yellow fever epidemics. According to David Geggus (1979; 1982:347-372), the mortality of British troops was highest among new arrivals who had no previous exposure to yellow fever and were, thus, more vulnerable to the disease. Death tolls among British troops increased in the wet season when Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the vehicle through which yellow fever was spread, were most active. Death tolls were highest in low-lying port towns crowded with new recruits. Geggus's research suggests that yellow fever, or a combination of several maladies, was responsible for the great majority of deaths among British soldiers. Roger Buckley (1979:100-104), however, has argued, "more British soldiers succumbed to diseases caused by chronic alcohol and lead poisoning than to malignant fevers." Contemporary doctors often blamed the intemperance of British troops for the high death rates. According to Buckley, the main cause of mortality was the excessive consumption of lead contaminated new rum. Buckley noted that lead toxicity could have been responsible for the onset of diseases such as encephalitis, liver cirrhosis and necrosis, nephritis, anemia, and gout. In addition, yellow fever symptoms often mirrored those associated with alcohol poisoning, which led Buckley to conclude that "many of the deaths ascribed to yellow fever were in fact caused by a disorder resulting from rum intoxication." Geggus also embraced contemporary reports about the negative effect of alcohol on British troops, but disagreed with Buckley's emphasis lead poisoning. Instead, Geggus

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301 argued that excessive drinking contributed to renal and hepatic failure, which compounded the already devastating effects of tropical diseases, especially yellow fever. Alcohol and lead poisoning damage the liver and kidneys, the organs most weakened by yellow fever. As with most Europeans and Americans in the eighteenth century, British soldiers and sailors stationed in the Caribbean believed that alcohol had salubrious qualities and many felt that highly alcoholized beverages helped prevent the onset of disease. According to Geggus (1982:368), "in the Windward Isles we find troops treating alcohol as a prophylactic, afraid that 'a sober hour might give the Disease an Opportunity to attack.'" Thus, "Heavy drinking can be seen as both a cause and effect of the high rate of mortality" (Geggus 1982:368-369). In 1998, Buckley (1998:293) modified his eariier emphasis on alcohol poisoning and focused, like Geggus, on the interplay between the excessive alcohol consumption of British troops and the effects of tropical diseases. Yet, he still held there was a more direct link between high mortality and the excessive consumption of rum, and that lead poisoning and liver cirrhosis greatly increased troop mortality. There is, however, no clear evidence that the consumption of lead contaminated rum would have had such an immediate and devastating effect. Lead poisoning is acquired over many years and, for example. Handler et al's (1986) analysis of slave skeletal remains from Newton Plantation, Barbados revealed that lead toxicity was most concentrated in adult slaves over the age of thirty who had accumulated lead in their bodies after years of constant exposure. In fact, even after years of exposure, the analysis showed that only 6% of the sample had lead levels severe enough to be considered potentially deadly. Modem studies conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services also show lead poisoning is a degenerative disorder that results from long-term exposure (Greeley 1991). Similariy, liver cirrhosis is degenerative disease acquired from years of constant alcohol abuse. Only those troops stationed in the Caribbean who were constantly exposed to rum, especially lead contaminated /zew rum, for many years would have succumbed to these illnesses.

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302 However, Buckley (1998:292) cited cases of troops dying immediately after rum binges, and claimed, "there can be no doubt that hundreds of soldiers were killed soon after hinging on lethal moonshine rum." He pointed out that, in 1789, 26 soldiers from the 45th regiment stationed in Grenada died soon after an alcoholic binge and that, in 1808, 200 members of the Royal Marine garrison stationed at Marie-Galante were hospitalized after hinging on new rum. Mass alcohol poisoning cases are common even today. In Kenya, 143 people died in 2000 after consuming illegally produced poisonous spirits (Associated Press). In such cases, toxins and contaminants in the brew or improper distilling methods poison the consumers. Distilling alcohol at too low a temperature produces deadly methanol rather than ethanol, a practice probably most common among less affluent distillers who sought to economize on fuel, which was scarce in the Caribbean. Also, illicit and smallscale distillers often establish their own "signature" by adding unique ingredients to a mash to give it a distinctive kick. Anthropologist Dwight Heath (2000: 149-150) found that illicit distillers in Costa Rica added jungle vines, tree bark, and mushrooms to their brews with devastating effects to the consumer. Such appears to have been the case in Jamaica where, according to Long (1774;II:30), British troops occasionally died from "their liberal indulgence in a vile sophisticated compound of new rum, pepper, and other ingredients, brewed here by Jewish-retailers." Long (1774;II:30) wrote, 'That this has been, and is still, the main cause of bad health among the troops is evident." In 1750, Griffith Hughes (1750:34) also noted that red peppers were added to rum in order to "augment the heat." Buckley implied that the mass death of 26 soldiers in Grenada was the result of hinging on lead contaminated rum. Yet, because lead poisoning is a long term degenerative condition, a more plausible explanation is that these troops hinged on poorer types of moonshine rum that had been improperly distilled, or which contained a toxic combination of "signature" ingredients. British Caribbean planters had an economic interest in selling rum to the military and, therefore, avoided blaming their rum for the high mortality of British troops. Instead,

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303 they argued that "excessive" drinking was the problem. For example. Long (1774;II:304305) believed that the general health of the troops could be greatly enhanced "by restraining them from the immoderate use of spirituous liquors." Long was also particularly critical of the poorer types of moonshine rum. According to Long (1774;II:30) "new rum," consumed by soldiers and sailors stationed in the Caribbean, "was so fiery, as to be no less unfit for human potation, than burning brimstone." Newcomers were particularly vulnerable. Long believed, ^ \ : ^ If 500 seamen or soldiers pass from England to the West Indies, setting out in very cold weather, and arriving there after a quick voyage, many of them will be seized with a diarrhea, and with violent and mortal fevers, if they indulge, soon after their arrival, in rum newly distilled. .1 ; (Long 1774;1I:518) Long accused Jews of producing and retailing new rum and advocated the sale of only high quality rum to troops. Long wrote. The common soldiers, employed in the West India service, or at least the recruits sent over, have frequently been the refuse of the British army: these men cannot be broke of their sottish habits; but since they must and will have spirituous liquor, care might be taken to provide them with such as, while it gratifies their inclination, may be the least detrimental to their health. (Long 1774;II:518) Hunter (1785:6) made similar arguments. The Jamaican legislature provided tax incentives to troops "that they might be enabled to buy it of the best quality instead of debauching with the balderdash liquor, sold under the name of rum by the keepers of retail shops" (Long 1774;11:304-305). Behind this caring sentiment may have also been the desire to push Jewish retailers out of the local rum market as well as encourage the sale of more expensive aged rum to British commissary agents. Buckley also cited cases of individuals dying immediately after rum binges. Moonshine rum may have been to blame. However, from time to time, individuals, intentionally or not, simply drink themselves to death. Alcohol is a nervous system depressant that inhibits the respiratory center in the brain stem. Too much alcohol forces the body's respiratory system to shut down. Modem medical examiners report that hundreds

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of Americans die every year of acute ethanol poisoning and the problem seems pandemic among university students unfamiliar with the dangers of an alcoholic binge (Hudson 1978). What is most interesting about the case of the 26 British soldiers from the 45th regiment drinking themselves to death is that it occurred in Grenada. Grenada and Jamaica were the only two colonies to regularly produce highly concentrated rum. Rum from these colonies often contained 10-15% more alcohol than rum from the other British colonies. Some British troops, unfamiliar with the highly concentrated nature of rum from Grenada and Jamaica, may have simply overdosed and drank themselves to death. Fear about the excessive drinking of concentrated rum was apparently the basis for Admiral Vernon's practice of giving his troops watered down grog. One of the central debates in Caribbean slavery is how to explain the high mortality and apparently low fertility of slaves. The negative health consequences of rum consumption deserve more emphasis in this contentious and vital debate. Rum, especially that contaminated with lead, contributed to a variety of diseases, accidents, and disorders that must have lowered slave fertility and hastened the demise of many slaves in the Caribbean. Colonial writers recognized the connection between rum and health. At the Parliamentary inquiries into the African slave trade in 1788, Governor Parry of Barbados (cited in Craton, Walvin, and Wright 1976:91-93) believed that the many health problems he observed among Barbadian slaves were attributable to "the too free use of rum." Modem scholars have also noted possible links between rum and the health of Caribbean slave populations. For example, historian Frank Wesley Pitman (1926:642-643) noted alcoholism as a major cause of slave health problems. Kenneth Kiple (1984: 153) argued, "excessive alcohol consumption over time may have damaged black livers and pancreata, just as it did among the Island whites." Historian Robert Fogel wrote. Mortality rates [among Caribbean slaves] were actually worse than abolitionists charged. These high rates were often caused not by the malice of masters but by the

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305 backfiring of well intentioned practices, as when masters fed raw milk to weaned infants or rewarded field hands with liberal allotments of rum. (Fogel 1989:153) Michael Craton (1991: 190) also noted that liver, heart, and urinary conditions were often "exacerbated by excessive drinking." In an extensive study of slave registration records from the last decades before emancipation, historian Barry Higman (1984) explored the numerous factors that influenced the natural increase of Caribbean slave populations and stressed high mortality. According to Higman, the arduous work and extreme hours of sugar plantation agriculture were a primary cause of high mortality among British Caribbean slaves. The crucial factor associated with sugar production was the importance of the manufacturing process. .The demands of the manufacturing processes permitted the maximization of hours of work and physical exertion, while the standardization of cultivation permitted the development of gang labor and the driving system of the field. (Higman 1984:375) Other crops, such as coffee and cotton, demanded lighter tasks that allowed slaves in nonsugar sectors to escape the arduous sugar regimen, especially manufacturing. The strong connection that Higman made between population growth and sugar work regimens is especially interesting because slaves in sugar producing colonies also had greater access to rum. A comparison of British Caribbean rum exports figures and the natural increase of British Caribbean slave populations show a possible link between rum consumption and mortality (Table 10-1). Presumably, colonies exporting the greatest quantities of rum also had the greatest quantities available for local consumption. Between the mid-lSlOs and 1830s, Tobago, Jamaica, Demerara, and Grenada exported the largest amount of rum and the most gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. In 1820, these colonies produced 90% of all British Caribbean rum exported to Britain, more than 6 million gallons. They also had lowest rates of slave population growth. The chart shows that fourfifths of colonies exporting more than one gallon of rum per cwt. of sugar had negative growth rates and no colony exporting more than two gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar had a positive increase. In contrast, Barbados and Tortola were minor players in the rum market.

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306 In 1820, Barbados and Tortola exported a mere 2,61 1 gallons to Britain. They also had the highest rates of population increase. Most striking is the contrast between Barbados, which exported the least amount of rum per cwt. of sugar and had the highest rate of natural increase, and Tobago, which exported the highest amount of rum per cwt. of sugar and had the highest rate of decrease. Although Barbados still produced significant amounts of rum for local consumption, there was probably far less available than there had been in the late eighteenth century. Records from Codrington and Turner's Hall estates, for example, show that in the early 1 820s, distillers at these plantations, the two largest on the island, only produced a few thousand gallons of rum each year (SPG; WFP). Table 10-1. Rum exports to Britain to slave population growth Colony Rum:Sugar Export Ratio Natural Increase British Rum Imports Gallons of Rum Per Slave Barbados 1817-1832 .02 +7.8 58,107 .144 Tortola 1818-1831 .08 +3.0 25,453 1.038 St. Lucia 1815-1831 .11 -4.8 167,803 2.438 Trinidad 1816-1831 .13 -8.8 466,248 3.805 Antigua 1817-1832 .34 -1.7 1,309,124 10.892 Dominica 1817-1832 .43 -1.9 405,733 5.283 Nevis 1817-1831 .54 -1.7 471,034 12.699 St. Vincent 1817-1831 .58 -6.5 2,821,512 29.216 St. Kitts 1817-1831 .96 -0.4 1,925,345 24.487 Montserrat 1817-1831 1.03 +3.5 511,359 21.248 Berbice 1817-1831 1.14 -6.4 1,499,597 14.050 Grenada 1817-1833 1.53 -6.1 5,495,867 12.652 Jamaica 1817-1832 2.18 -2.8 64,515,509 38.803 Demerara 1817-1832 2.20 -11.1 24,996,504 69.284 Tobago 1819-1833 3.45 -17.1 5.577.418 27.940 Sources: Higman 1984:308-3 10; Ragatz 1927: 18 Trinidad, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent show a trend toward high mortality and low rum exports, but, as Higman (1984:308-310, 355, 467) pointed out, these newer colonies, as well as Demerara, Tobago, Grenada, Berbice, and Jamaica had other obstacles to population increase, especially a large African-bom slave population and high male sex ratio. Higman demonstrated that Creole slaves had lower age-specific death rates and, thus, colonies with larger African-bom slave populations had negative growth rates. However, older colonies, such as Antigua, Nevis, and St. Kitts, which had more Creoles slaves, still

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307 did not achieve positive population growth. These colonies, also exported substantial amounts of rum. Alcohol use can increase mortality rates and excessive drinking is known to compound existing health problems. Long-term exposure to alcohol triggers a variety of serious health conditions, including liver cirrhosis, heart disease, kidney disease, certain forms of cancer, and a depressed immune system (Lieber 1998; Wolfgan 1997). It is possible to attribute many of the symptoms and causes of death detailed in plantation slave inventories to drinking. The link between the West India dry gripes and rum, for example, may reflect more than simply lead contamination. Alcoholic hepatitis appears to be a precursory condition to liver cirrhosis and includes symptoms very similar to the West India dry gripes including fever, jaundice, and severe abdominal pain. While lead may have been a factor in the West India dry gripes, excessive drinking alone may also explain the symptoms. Excessive drinking also increases the risk of accidental death. For example, in 1992, alcohol was implicated in three-fourths of all traumatic deaths among Native North Americans (Gibbons and Steinmetz 1992:34). Accidents were one of the leading health consequences of alcohol in the North American fur trade (Mancall 1995). Runaway slave advertisements and plantation inventories from the Caribbean mention numerous injuries that may have occurred as a result of drunkenness. In Dominica, in 1829-1832, 7.5% of all slave deaths resulted from accidents, which were the fifth leading cause of death (Higman 1984:340). Between 1795 and 1 838, accidents accounted for 4.3% of slave deaths at Worthy Park estate in Jamaica (Craton 1991 : 187). Other major causes of death identified by Higman (1984:340) included violence and suicide, which are often indirect results of excessive drinking. Excessive drinking often leads to risky sexual behavior and may have increased the transmission of venereal diseases, which shortened the lives of many in the Caribbean (Craton 1991 : 187; Higman 1984:340; Wolfgan 1997).

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308 As some slave women participated in the heavy drinking culture of the Caribbean, fetal alcohol syndrome may have also elevated rates infant mortality. Higman (1984:26-33, 317-319) found that in the early nineteenth century, less than half of slaves bom in St. Lucia, Tobago, and Trinidad survived the first year. Infant survival rates were not much better in the older sugar islands. In Barbados, there were about 420 infant deaths per 1,000 births. Most of these infant deaths occurred in the first month of life. The high incidence of infant mortality among British Caribbean slaves helps explain the continuing observance of the Akan and Igbo nine-day moratorium on naming children. Fetal alcohol syndrome can lead to still birth, physical and mental retardation, and low birth weight that can limit a child's chances of survival past one year (Wolfgan 1997). In addition, lead toxicity may have contributed to high infant mortality. A developing fetus and infant are those most vulnerable to lead poisoning, and colic and anemia are major symptoms of lead poisoning in children (Greeley 1991). While the African to Creole ratio is probably the best explanation for high slave mortality rates, the evidence in Table 10-1 intimates a strong possibility that rum was also a factor. Slave fertility also shaped population growth. Overwork, poor nutrition, disease, household organization, and the inability to find a partner all influenced fertility rates. A comparison of rum exports to Britain and the rate of natural increase among Caribbean slaves suggest another possible link (Table 10-2). Of the sugar producing colonies in the late 1810s, Barbados had the highest slave child-woman ratio and the lowest level of rum exports. In contrast, the five largest rum exporters, Grenada, Tobago, Jamaica, Demerara, and St. Vincent had the lowest child-woman ratios (Higman 1984:356). Once again, Trinidad, with its low fertility and low level of rum exports, did not fit the pattern. Higman demonstrated that Creole slaves had higher age-specific fertility rates than African-bom slaves, which is the most likely explanation for higher fertility rates in the older Caribbean colonies. However, the interplay between alcohol use and the hard work regimen of sugar plantations probably also had a major influence of slave fertility.

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309 Table 10-2. Rum to slave fertility Colony/year Slave child-woman Gallons of rum per cwt. ratios of sugar Barbados/ 1817 0.597 0.010 St. Kitts/ 1817 0.469 0.687 Nevis/ 1817 0.468 0.116 Demerara/ 1820 0.431 2.850 St. Vincent/ 1817 0.402 0.688 Jamaica/ 1817 0.399 2.165 Tobago/ 1819 0.375 3.338 Grenada/ 1817 0.352 2.805 Source: Higman 1984:356 Colonial writers recognized the connection between alcohol use and low fertility. In 1788, Charles Spooner, a sugar planter from the British Leeward Islands, wrote. The causes which impede the Natural Increase of Negroes are, the larger proportion of Males to Females on most Estates, the premature and promiscuous Commerce of the Sexes, the indiscriminate Prostitution of the Women in the younger part of their Lives, their frequent total Barrenness brought on by Debauchery, repeated abortions and Venereal Diseases, the immoderate use of New Rum, which brings on Debility and old Age long before Nature would otherwise give way. (Spooner 1788 cited in Pitman 1926:638) Excessive drinking among slave women increased the likelihood of malnutrition, especially when combined with overwork and a generally poor diet. Malnutrition often leads to delayed menarche and the onset of amenorrhea, both of which inhibit a woman's ability to conceive a child. In 1806, Collins (1806:325-326) referred to amenorrhea as the "obstruction" and believed it was very common among slave women. Obstructions were a frequent complaint and noted cause of death among female slaves at Worthy Park (Craton 1991: 184). In men, excessive drinking can result in low sperm count, loss of libido, and poor sexual performance. Moreover, conditions, such as amenorrhea, miscarriage, stillbirths, reduced birth weights, and female/male infertility could have been exacerbated by the slaves' consumption of lead contaminated rum (Greeley 1991). Rum and Vulnerability While many in the Caribbean saw drinking as a means of physical and spiritual escape and a prophylactic against tropical diseases, it was also a source of anxiety. The unpredictability of life on the Caribbean frontier, the coerced labor system, and the unbalanced power structures produced an atmosphere of individual vulnerability that was

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310 only heightened by excessive drink. The result was a rich body of folklore that expressed a theme of drunken vulnerability. Caribbean folklore is loaded with images of victims of excessive rum drinking. Drinking reduced personal vigilance and exposed the drinker to deceit, capture, and death. This vulnerable-while-drunk theme can be found in the traditions of all Caribbean social groups. For Europeans, the immediate enemy was the new disease environment. Ligon (1657:33) believed that "the people [of Barbados] drink much, indeed too much; for it often layes them asleep on the ground, and that is accounted a very unwholsome lodging." Drunkenness also exposed individuals to natural dangers. Moreau de Saint-Mery (1797/98), for example, wrote of drunks falling asleep on the beach and being eaten by land crabs. The threat was very serious for new arrivals to the Caribbean, especially those unfamiliar with the concentrated and sometimes toxic qualities of rum. Rum punch was not improperly called kill-devil; for thousands have lost their lives by its means. When newcomers use it to the least excess, they expose themselves to immanent peril, for it heats the Blood and brings on fevers which in a very few hours send them to their graves. (Leslie 1740:31) Slave satires highlight the alcoholic dangers encountered by seamen stationed in the Caribbean. Sarragree kill de Captain, oh dear, he must die; new rum kill de sailor, oh dear, he must die; Hard work kill de negar, oh dear, he must die (Phillippo 1843:189) Vulnerability-while-drunk was not limited to the interplay between alcohol and environment. In the eariy years of British and French Caribbean settlement, indentured servants made up the bulk of the labor force and kidnapping was one of the primary means of acquiring servants for New Worid plantations. As eariy as 1645, British Pariiament passed an act to prevent the "spiriting" away of English citizens to the American colonies. The term "spirited away" was commonly applied to those who were kidnapped-while-

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311 drunk and taken to the Caribbean as indentured servants. To be "Barbadoesed" was a common fear in seventeenth and eighteenth century England and the fear centered around the danger of drinking too much and being stolen (Horn 1979:55nl7, 93). Robert Louis Stevenson popularized this threat in his nineteenth century novel Kidnapp ed. Similar possibilities existed for West and West Central Africans. Of the Gold Coast, slave trader John Barbot (1732:270) wrote, "[Slaves) are sometimes stolen away, out of their own countries by robbers, or spirited by kidnappers." The threat did not subside once they reached the Caribbean. French smugglers and pirates lured slaves from Barbados with the promise of freedom only to find themselves enslaved in the French islands. French smugglers from Martinique were known to spirit away slaves from Barbados and sell them into slavery in the French islands (Kenneth Banks 1998 pers comm). Caribbean folk heroes often fell victim to alcohol. For example, Makandal, the famous slave fugitive and poisoner in St. Domingue, was captured-while-drunk at a slave assembly. According to Moreau de Saint-Mery's account. One day the negroes of Dufresne plantation in Limbe had arranged for a big dance there. Makandal, who had gone unpunished for a long time, came to join the dance. One young negro, perhaps because of the impression that the presence of this monster (Makandal) had produced on him, came to notify M. Duplessis, a surveyor, and M. Trevan, who were on the plantation. They distributed tafia so profusely that the negroes all became drunk, and Makandal, in spite of his [usual] caution, lost his good sense. (Moreau de Saint-Mery 1797/98) Makandal was arrested that night and later executed. Jamaican planter Matthew Monk Lewis recorded a similar story of a runaway slave named Plato who would only come out of hiding to satisfy his strong desire for rum. Lewis wrote (1834:93-94), one night, "in his rashness and eagerness to taste the liquor, of which he had so long been deprived, he opened the flagon, and swallowed draught after draught, till he sunk upon the ground in a state of complete insensibility." In that drunken state he was captured and later executed. The highly combustible nature of rum meant that it was implicated in a number of deadly accidents. In the earliest recorded death-by-rum Ligon wrote.

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312 We lost an excellent Negro by such an accident, who bringing ajar of spirit, from the Still-house, to the Drink-room, in the night, not knowing the force of the liquor he carried, brought the candle somewhat neerer than he ought, that he might the better see how to put it into the Funnel, which conveyed it into the Butt. But the Spirit being stirr'd by the motion, flew out, and got hold of the flame of the Candle, and so set all on fire, and burnt the poor Negro to death, who was an excellent servant. And if he had in the instant of firing, clapt his hand on the bung, all had been saved; but he that knew not that cure, lost the whole vessel of Spirits, and his life to boot. So that upon that misadventure, a strict command was given, that none of those Spirits should be brought to the Drink-room ever after in the night, nor no fire or Candle ever to come in there. (Ligon 1657:93) In 1785, a slave revolt in Dominica ended when the rebels "beginning their attack. .in the night, and doing considerable damage; in drawing off some rum by the light of their torches, it caught fire, which being communicated to the buildings of the estate, burnt them down to the ground." Ironically, the funds used for raising a militia against the rebels came heavily from the island's tavern licenses and rum duties (Atwood 1791:237-240). In 1878, during the labor riots in St. Croix, 14 women were killed when a rum storehouse they were using to acquire fuel to set sugar cane field fires exploded (Terborg-Penn 1995:54). Fire was not the only danger associated with rum. The process of rum making was also fraught with danger. In 1689, Barbadian planter Edward Lyttleton (1689: 19-20) wrote, "If a stiller slip into a Rum-Cistem, it is sudden death, for it stifles in a moment." In 1750, Barbados sugar planter Griffith Hughes provided a detailed example of the dangers of rum cisterns. In the month of April 1743 Abel Allyne esq. the then manager at the estate of the honorable and reverend Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, ordered one of the cisterns, which the returned liquor (returned from the still) was kept in, to be cleansed: the quality of this thick sediment in it was not above seven inches deep. The first negro slave who attempted to clean it, was no sooner at the bottom, than dead; the second and third met with the same fate instantly. .a white servant followed later and tried to bring out their bodies and almost died himself (Hughes 1750:251) Jamaican sugar planter Bryan Edwards also warned about the dangers of rum cisterns. In truth, it should be a constant rule with the manager or distiller to see that the cisterns are scalded, and even cleansed with strong lime-water, each time they are used, not merely on account of the rum, but also because it has frequently happened that the vapour of a foul cistern has instantly killed the first person that has entered it without due precaution. (Edwards 1819;II:283n)

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313 Residues in the fermenting cisterns emitted carbon monoxide and other poisonous gases that, if not properly ventilated, became trapped at the bottom of cisterns and suffocated slaves and servants who carelessly entered fermenting vats. Drunken vulnerability was also a common theme in Carib society. For example, in 1605, the stranded members of the crew of the Olive Branch abandoned in St. Lucia, gave the Caribs Aqua Vitae [Spanish brandy] in order to get them drunk so that they could more easily kill them (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:72-73). One of the most egregious examples of drunken vulnerability was the case of Indian Warner, a Carib leader of mixed European and Carib descent. Indian Warner was the son of Governor Sir Thomas Warner of St. Kitts and the half-brother of Philip Warner of St. Kitts. In 1674, after Carib raids on Antigua left many British settlers dead; Philip Warner went to meet with his Carib half-brother in Dominica in an attempt to negotiate an end the Carib-British conflict. According to William Dampier's account. Great seeming Joy there was at their Meeting; but how far it was real the Event shewed; for the English Warner [Philip] providing plenty of Liquor, and inviting his half-Brother to be merry with him, in the midst of his Entertainment, Ordered his Men upon a Signal given to murder him and all his Indians. (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:90) The Governor of Barbados, Sir Jonathan Atkins (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992: 101) wrote that Philip Warner invited Indian Warner and the Caribs "to a treat, and having made them drunk with rum, caused them all to be massacred, not sparing his brother or little children." William Hamlyn (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992: 101), a member of Philip Warner's crew, testified that Philip Warner, "having made them [the Caribs] very drunk with rum, gave a signal, and some of the English fell upon and destroyed them." However, in another version of the story, Indian Warner and the Caribs were already drunk when English Warner arrived. According to that account, an old Indian woman came up to Capt. Warner and told him ye King [Indian Warner] and ye rest had made theire drinking as it is their custome to make a 3 nor 4 days, and to be druncke before they go upon their design. .Like a wise man and good soldier Capt. Warner he took ye advantage of they being druncke and fell upon them in the night. (John Hilton 1675 cited in Hariow 1926:2)

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314 Drunken vulnerability was not always an outside threat in Carib society. According to Father Labat, It is seldom that a murder is not committed at these vins [Carib celebrations]. It is quite enough for a man, heated with drink, to remember that one of these guests has killed one of his relatives, or done some such injury to him, to make him take vengeance there and then. So he gets up without saying a word, and bravely going behind his enemy, splits his head with a club, or stabs him in the back. (Labat 1970:99-100) Analysis of Native American drinking in colonial North America has also shown that violence was more frequendy perpetrated against other Indians rather than European colonists (Mancall 1995: 93-%). In addition, historian Peter Mancall has pointed out that Indians occasionally "feigned drunkenness in order to attack other Indians and avoid the consequences." Poisoning was a widespread fear in the Caribbean and rum was often the vehicle through which poisons were administered. According to Labat, a dying slave confessed, He had allowed one of his fingernails to grow long, and said that when he intended to kill a man, he would scratch the stem of a plant, which grows on the Carbesterre, till his nail became full of the sap. He would then go home and ask his victim to have a drink with him. Having poured some of the rum into a coui he would first drink some himself and then hand it to his victim, taking care, however, to soak his nail in the rum as he did so. This was sufficient to poison the drink and kill the victim in less than two hours time. (Labat 1970:69) Drunkenness was often an excuse to release aggression and even colonial authorities were not safe from drunken mobs. In the late seventeenth century, a gang of drunken men killed Governor Stapleton of Nevis (Labat 1970: 1 19). Drunken members of the Jamaican militia fired upon Methodist minister Reverend G. W. Bridges because they were angry about the Methodists' conversion of slaves (Gardner 1871:354). Women in the Caribbean were also targets of drunks. For example. Father du Tertre (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:94) described an attempted rape that happened in 1665 "when a pirigou full of savages came to Guadeloupe where, getting drunk on rum as they usually do they met a well dressed Frenchwoman whom they dragged aside, tore

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315 her clothes, and tried to violate." Drunken domestic violence toward Carib women was also widespread. According to Joseph Senhouse, Every Husband having so unlimited a power over his Wife that he can even put her to death on the slightest offence and it is to be feared this horrid brutality too often happens amongst this barbarous people, especially when they are intoxicated with Spirituous Liquors which they are extravagantly fond of, because their number from long experience is evidently upon the decline. They seem otherwise, to be a shy, reserved set of People. (1776 cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:184) In colonial North America, Native American women often hid the weapons of men during drinking binges in order to protect themselves (Mancall 1995: 1 14). Excessive drinking and the anxieties brought on by culture change and European colonialism worked in a dialectic that disrupted traditional family structures and often led to violent outbursts against Carib women. In 1964, television host Alan Wicker (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:335) stated "rum has done perhaps more than anything else to destroy the Carib race." Although the tropical fevers brought from Africa did more to reduce the Carib population, excessive rum consumption made their impact all the more deadly. Alcohol. Resistance. Violence, and Accountability As a social lubricant at weekend events and as a vehicle to the spiritual world, alcohol helped slaves transcend the physical bonds of slavery. Bacchanalian celebrations temporarily enhanced their escapist strategy and the Caribbean planter found these symbolic forms of escape preferable to actual marronage, revolt, or other forms of resistance. Planters often encouraged the "time-out" release through the distribution of alcohol. On these occasions, planters overiooked excessive drinking and drunkenness. Planters only became concerned when it posed a genuine threat to the existing social order or when it interfered labor productivity, the source of the planters' power. In 1%9, anthropologists Craig MacAndrew and Robert Edgerton developed a model for understanding drunken comportment that challenged simplistic biological explanations. Biological models advanced the principle that drinking suppresses the part of the brain [the superego] that normally inhibits deviant social behavior. MacAndrew and

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316 Edgerton (l%9:72-73) identified numerous cross-cultural examples in which drunken comportment remained inhibited and within-the-limits of acceptable social boundaries. For example, although members of a society may get drunk, they are still aware that incest, murder, and the mistreatment of particular kin are deviant behaviors that transgress social limits. The absence of deviant drunken behavior and evidence of the changing nature of a culture's drunken comportment over time supported their fundamental argument that drunken comportment was socially, rather than biologically, determined. The argument has implications for understanding drinking patterns in the Caribbean. According to MacAndrew and Edgerton, drunken comportment removed, temporarily, individual accountability and helped circumvent certain social controls. the state of drunkenness is a state of societally sanctioned freedom from the otherwise enforceable demands that persons comply with conventional proprieties. For a while -but just a whilethe rules (or, more accurately, some of the rules) are set aside, and the drunkard finds himself, if not beyond good and evil, at least partially removed from the accountability nexus in which he normally operates. In a word, drunkenness in these societies takes on the flavor of ''time-out" from many of the otherwise imperative demands of daily life. (MacAndrew and Edgerton 1969:89-90) Thus, while drunken comportment remains within the social boundaries of acceptable behavior, alcohol can stretch those boundaries and do so without serious repercussions. Ordinarily, drunken comportment operates on the level of interpersonal relationships and merely defies social norms. For example, in Dominica, French missionary Father Raymond Breton (cited in Whitehead and Hulme 1992: 1 12) wrote, 'The [Caribj husband never talks with the father, the mother, and the brothers of his wife unless they be either drunk or children." What Breton revealed was alcohol's ability to shortcircuit kinship taboos [the restricted interactions between particular kin |. Kinship taboos have been a popular focus of anthropologists who usually explore how these taboos function to reduce family and clan conflict. Breton described a particular type of kinship restriction among the Caribs of Dominica, but also showed how drunkenness circumvented such taboos.

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317 Drunken comportment occasionally did more than simply relax the rules of social interaction. Drunkenness could greatly reduce and, in some extreme cases, entirely remove, individual accountability. For example, according to Mancall (1995:121), in colonial North America, it was common practice within many Indian communities to "exonerat [e] anyone who committed even the worst crimes under the influence of alcohol." Caribs apparently shared this time-out philosophy of reduced accountability with their North American comrades. Caribs, particularly women, were vulnerable to violence from drunken members of their society and Father Labat (1970:99-100) even believed that it was rare for Carib drinking festivals to "go by without some murder being committed." Thus, for Caribs, like Native American groups in colonial North America, alcohol stretched the limits of deviant social behavior and accountability remained very low. However, drunken comportment is more complicated in societies with diverse social classes. In these contexts, drunken comportment is more structured, less violent, and functions primarily as a shield to safely challenge authority. For example, in his study of the role of the drunk in the Oaxacan village, Philip Dennis (1964) argued that the drunk is socially liberated and able to speak freely against those in positions of power. In the case of Oaxaca, drunkenness provided a shield for less powerful individuals to verbally attack and embarrass public officials. In South Africa, Alan Cobley (1997:96) argued that blacks had a long history of using the shield of drunkenness to trash the social elite and community leaders. He referred to this practice as "ritualized dissent." Alcohol historian W. Scott Haine (1996) has shown that, in the nineteenth century, the French working class used the shield of drunkenness to insult police. The shield of drunkenness also allowed less powerful social groups to circumvent boundaries erected by colonial powers. Under British colonial rule in Kenya, young Kikuyu men often used the guise of drunkenness to hurl rude remarks and shoot blunt arrows at British soldiers (MacAndrew and Edgerton 1969:75).

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318 In the highly structured social climate of the Caribbean, the time-out model of drunken comportment was tightly controlled. The strict social boundaries and the planters' desire to maintain the status quo, increased personal accountability and weakened the execution of time-out performances. As a result, slaves, Caribs, and poor whites rarely exhibited drunken aggression toward the planter class. For example, while the abundance of alcohol provided numerous opportunities for drinking binges, Caribs targeted their violent impulses at other Caribs, especially Carib women. Caribs realized that verbal attacks or physical assaults against whites transgressed social boundaries and would have resulted in dangerous consequences. Evidence that the shield of drunkenness was weaker than the need to defend social boundaries was most pronounced in the^social interactions between slave and free. Colonial Assemblies and metropolitan governments explicidy regulated the behavior of slaves. Informal rules also governed social interactions between slave and free. Because planters were so greatly outnumbered, metropolitan troops, colonial militias, and the plantation manager's whip helped sustain their power. Criticizing or insulting a member of white society was likely to result in physical punishment regardless of the slave's lack of sobriety. "Flagrant insults to white men. .seldom escape either publick punishment, or private revenge" (Dickson 1789: 15). The severity of the punishment was often magnified by the "intoxication, ill-nature, and revenge" of the slave owner (Dickson 1789: 15). Stills were often employed as instruments of torture. In the 1770s, John Stedman, an English mercenary captain in Surinam, recorded the punishment of a slave who had attempted to stab his plantation overseer. For this crime, the condemned was to be chained to the furnace which distills kill-devil, there to keep in the intense heat of a perpetual fire night and day, being blistered all over till he should expire by infirmity or old age, of the latter of which however he had but little chance. (Stedman 1796:37) While the shield of drunkenness did not protect the slave from punishment for immediate physical confrontations with whites, slaves may have used the guise of drunkenness to

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319 sabotage the source of the planters' power. In 1689, Lyttleton (1689) wrote that cane fields were "often burnt and destroyed by the drunkard, the malicious or the sottishness of our runaway negroes." The high level of slave accountability was most evident in work situations, the fundamental and least negotiable relationship between slaves and planters. In the early nineteenth century, Collins wrote, [Slaves] who have been dancing, or drinking, or otherwise engaged on some nocturnal excursion, either on the business of love, or depredation, will be found at the hospital the next morning. They may be detected by the lateness of the hour at which they come there, and the soundness of their sleep, much greater than indisposition would admit. You will order them to their work, and wink at their transgressions, unless too frequently repeated. (Collins 1811:224) Although planters may have winked at a few transgressions, they rarely tolerated frequent drunkenness, especially if it challenged their authority or reduced plantation productivity. In the Caribbean, slavery, more than anything else, shaped patterns of drunken comportment. To the planter, slaves were an investment in productive labor and planters wanted sobriety from their slaves. In order to identify particularly hard working and temperate slaves, planters even constructed stereotypes of African ethnic groups that included references to their drinking behaviors. For example, according to Moreau de Saint-Mery (1797/98:48) among the good qualities of Senegalese slaves was that they were "tres-sobre." A temperate work force was a more efficient work force and, in 1812, a committee of British West Indian planters recommended a reward system for slaves who adhered to principles of sobriety (Handler and Lange 1978:78). Like marronage, drunkenness was a form of escape that stole productive labor. Both forms of escape removed the planters' resources and were, thus, considered acts of theft. When drunkenness interfered with work, it was rarely tolerated and, like marronage, was severely punished. In 1823, Cesaire, a slave on Pierre Dessalles's sugar estate in Martinique, was given "30 lashes for being drunk" (Forster and Forster 1996:58). In 1844, Dessalles' cook Philippe received the same punishment for getting drunk and ruining

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320 dinner (Forster and Forster 19%: 189). In Cuba, the punishment for drunkenness could include being chained to a bed (Everett 1991:76). Collins (181 1:224) confirmed the tension releasing similarities between alcoholic escape and actual marronage when he implied that winking at a few of the slaves' hangovers reduced their inclination to run away. In 1778, the slave lists from York estate Jamaica identified Juba and Thomas as excessive drinkers. Their excessive drinking was noted under the heading "conditions," a column reserved for information about a slave's illnesses and injuries. Like old age or a debilitating disease, drunkenness inhibited their work performance and was, in a sense, the theft of productive labor. The fact that they remained heavy drinkers over the years suggests that their drinking had not become intolerable, but the potential danger was conspicuous enough to make it noteworthy as a disability. But there were times when slave drunkenness was encouraged. These were rituals of rebellion, liminal periods when the planter class sanctioned the temporary reversal of social roles. The underlying principle of rituals of rebellion is that social inequities produce tensions within a society that regularly need to be released (Turner l%9:%-97). Rituals of rebellion, such as celebrations and festivals, provide regular opportunities for weaker social groups to temporarily reverse social roles and, thus, release tensions. The occasional release of tension, in turn, reaffirms and strengthens the normal social order. For example, anthropologist Victor Turner (1%9: 179) argued that the Apo [New Year's] ceremonies of the Gold Coast Ashanti "provide, in effect, a discharge of all the ill feeling that has accumulated in structural relationships during the previous year." The physiological effects of alcohol make the change in status more convincing. Rituals of rebellion, such as the Akan odwira festival and the Igbo yam festival, have a long history in West and West Central Africa and were revived in a modified form in the slave societies of the Caribbean. Bacchanalian celebrations occurred at Easter, cropover, Christmas, and New Year. Like the role of the Asantehene [king of the Asante] at the Akan odwira festival, the Caribbean planter encouraged rituals of rebellion and often

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321 dispensed alcohol at these events. In 1791, Atwood (1791:260) wrote that the Christmas holiday was a time of "dancing, singing, and making merry." Atwood added, 'This they are able to do, by having also given them at this time four or five pounds of meat, the same quantity of flour or rice, with some rum and sugar to each negro." Plantation accounts frequently mention the distribution of rum to slaves for such celebrations. Alcohol enhanced the temporary change in social status at holidays. It was only during these occasions that alcohol reduced individual accountability and allowed slaves to stretch the limits of acceptable behavior. According to an anonymous writer in Jamaica (1797:23), "The negroes ideas of pleasure [at the Christmas holiday) are rude and indistinct: They seem chiefly to consist in throwing off restraint and spending two or three days in rambling and drinking." During a New Year celebration. Long wrote. The masquerader, carrying a wooden sword in his hand, is followed with a numerous crowd of drunken women who refresh him frequently with a cup of aniseed water, whilst he dances at every door, bellowing out John Canoe! With great vehemence; so that what with the liquor and the exercise most of them are thrown into dangerous fevers; and some examples have happened of their dying. (Long 1774;II: 424) Matthew Monk Lewis recorded a similar event celebrating his arrival at his plantation, which occurred within a week of New Year's day. The singing began about six o'clock, and lasted without a moment's pause till two in the morning; and such noise never did 1 hear till then. The whole of the floor which was not taken up by the dancers was, through every part of the house except the bed-rooms, occupied by men, women, and children, fast asleep. But although they were allowed rum and sugar by whole pailfuls, and were most of them merry in consequence, there was not one of them drunk; except indeed, one person, and that was an old woman, who sang, and shouted, and tossed herself about in an elbow chair till she tumbled it over, and rolled about the room in a manner which shocked the delicacy of even the least prudish part of the company. (Lewis 1843:80-81) It is generally thought that Akan slaves were the originators of the Jonkonnu [John Canoe] character and greatly influenced the nature of the ceremonies in the British Caribbean (Burton 1997:66-67). Planters indulged the release of social pressures during these rituals of rebellion, but these events did not always go according to expectations. The risk of slave revolt

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322 increased during holiday celebrations when huge allotments of rum were dispersed, social conventions were relaxed, plantation work was halted, and large numbers of slaves had greater opportunity to roam and assemble. The Barbados slave revolt of 1816 occurred during Easter and the Jamaican slave revolt of 183 1-1832 occurred at Christmas (Craton 1982; Dirks 1987a). Most slaves remained within the boundaries of acceptable behavior and the lack of wide scale involvement in many of these revolts suggests that, despite the relaxation of rules and the shield of drunkenness during these binges, inhibitions continued to exist. However, the increase in slave revolts suggests that some slaves decided to take advantage of the more relaxed conventions and sanctioned freedoms in order to tum their short time-out into an actual reversal of the social order. Alcohol became a powerful symbol in that cause. Horton identified the underlying connection between excessive drinking, anxiety, and the release of aggressive impulses. Similarly, anthropologist David McClelland et al. (1972 cited in Schaeffer 1979:291) has argued that drinking gives the anxiety ridden individual a momentary feeling of power and "a source of imaginary superhuman control over many anxiety producing situations encountered in daily life." The notion of alcohol as a type of liquid courage existed among all social groups in Caribbean slave societies. For example. Father Labat wrote, after a hammerhead shark had bitten off an Indian child's leg, when he was bathing in the harbor, a Carib volunteered to kill the fish. .The Carib armed himself with two well-sharpened bayonets, and after raising his courage by drinking a couple of glasses of rum, he dived into the sea. (Labat cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992:348) Europeans had similar beliefs. According to Jamaican sugar planter Charles Leslie, drinking gave birth to that frequent custom of raising courage in common soldiers, who often want nobler motives to heroic deeds, by giving them strong liquors to heat their blood immediately before an engagement, that, by the assistance of such a borrowed flow of animal spirits, they may be the more resolute, and thoroughly rush into the heat of battle, and there act with intrepidity suitable to such dangerous circumstances. (Leslie 1750:12)

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323 During a privateering venture in the 1630s, the English ship carrying Sir Henry Colt encountered a hostile Spanish convoy off the coast of Guadeloupe. The Spanish pursued Colt's ship and soon began to overtake it. Colt wrote (1631:79), at that moment "And after I had bestowed two great bottles full of hott water amongst our men, we now tume to Incounter those, from whom not long befoor we fled from." Drinking also enhanced the aggressive tendencies of Caribbean pirates. Before being executed in May 1724, John Archer, a member of the pirate crew of the Bartholemew Roberts, confessed one wickedness that has led me as much as any, to all the rest, has been my brutish drunkenness. By strong drink I have been heated and hardened into the crimes that are now more bitter than death unto me. (Roberts cited in Cordingly 1997) The courage promoting nature of alcohol made it an important weapon in warfare. According to Sieur de la Borde (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992: 149), the Carib "never go to war without first having held a great drinking party and it is there that they hold counsel." Father Labat's description of Carib war rituals is quite detailed. After all the company is assembled and has eaten and well drunk ouicou to excess and tafia, when they are able to have it, the master of the Carbet makes the proposal for which he has invited them. Whatever it may be it never fails to be well received and approved in the usual manner. If it is a war party that is proposed some old woman never fails to exhibit herself and to harangue the guests in order to excite them to vengeance. She gives them a long detailed account of the wrongs and injuries that they had received from their enemies and joins to this the enumeration of their relations and friends who have been killed and when she does that all the company, already overheated by drink, is beginning to give signs of fury and that they live only for blood and death of their enemies, she throws into the middle of the assembly some cured limbs of those who have been killed in war, on which they swoop immediately like furies, scratching them, cutting them in pieces, biting them and munching them with all the rage of which cowardly vindictive and drunken people are capable |and| they go to exterminate their enemies. (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992: 164) Slaves also saw alcohol as an important weapon of war. Slave leaders often evoked African cultural traditions in order to mobilize and strengthen the resolve of rebels. Among the traditions used to excite slave rebellion was the powerful symbol of alcohol. Alcohol was a key to spiritual and physical escape and this is evident in the use of alcohol in slave uprisings and in the ritualistic manipulation of white victims. Alcohol was necessary for integrating ancestral spirits into revolts and rebellions and receiving ancestral guidance. For

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324 example, Jamaican maroons, after defeating British troops during an uprising in 1795, "returned to their town to recruit their spirits by the aid of rum" (Dallas 1803: 191). Oath drinks were an important feature of slave uprisings. Igboand Akan-styled oaths were transferred to the British Caribbean and were a common feature of slave uprisings and conspiracies. As in Africa, these oath drinks strengthened alliances and individual obligations to the community. During the organizational stages of the 1736 slave conspiracy in Antigua, the participants consumed oath drinks that consisted of rum, dirt from the graves of deceased slaves, and cock's blood (Craton 1982:122; Caspar 1985:244). During the Jamaica slave conspiracy of 1765, slaves consumed oath drinks that consisted of rum, gunpowder, grave dirt, and blood (Williams 1932:163). In 1773, in Barbados, a gang of "armed ruffians" consumed an oath drink that consisted of blood, gunpowder, and rum before their rampage (Alleyne 1978: 18). In 1795, slaves in Cura9ao consumed an oath drink called awa hoeramento, consisting of rum and ground horns, prior to their uprising (Coslinga 1990:9). And the consumption of rum and gunpowder oath drinks preceded the slave uprising in St. Croix in 1848 (Hall 1992:223). Even after emancipation the oath drink continued to be an important facet of black resistance. During the peasant uprising at Morant Bay, Jamaica in 1865, captured police officers were forced to consume oath drinks of rum and gunpowder in order to show loyalty to the rebels (Heuman 1994:6). The combination of alcohol and other powerful ingredients in these oath drinks highlights the manipulation of the lowest common denominator of shared beliefs of diverse African ethnic groups, especially Igbo and Akan. For example, the enduring and important role of ancestors in daily life and the need for ancestral assistance in the uprisings is evident in the use of grave dirt. Historian David Barry Caspar wrote, taking the oath with grave dirt signified that the worid of the living was intertwined with that of the dead, that they were united with their ancestors, by whom they swore to be true to their solemn obligations or incur dreadful sanctions. (Caspar 1985:245)

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325 Gunpowder, the basis for power in Africa and the Caribbean, was probably a means of intensifying the violent purpose of the oath. The use of ground horns in the oath drink in Cura9ao probably shows the embrace of powerful masculine symbols like the bull. Blood was another powerful fluid associated with ancestors and warfare. On the Gold Coast blood was offered to gods and ancestors in order to secure favors. In Akan society, for example, blood was usually reserved for abosom brafo, war gods (Akyeampong 19%:28). Not only was blood and important offering to ancestors and war gods, but it was also a powerful symbol of military conquest, which may explain why alcohol and red color symbolism were combined in slave oaths and uprisings. Ethnographies from the Gold Coast reveal that Akan war gods preferred the red color of rum highlighting the war gods' particular desire for blood. According to Emmanuel Akyeampong (19%:28), there was a strong relationship between the rise in warfare on the Gold Coast and the symbolic use of blood and alcohol. The use of alcohol in oath drinks also reflects shared beliefs about the spiritual power of alcohol and the loyalty building role of oaths. Alcohol and blood were sacred fluids in both Igbo and Akan societies and the widespread use of these ingredients in oath drinks suggests that Akanand Igbo-styled oath taking practices were particularly strong in the British Caribbean. Caspar (1985:245) argued that the oath drinks consumed during the 1736 Antigua slave conspiracy "were deeply rooted in Akan religious tradition." However, there is some evidence that the mixture of ingredients in the oaths reveals an especially strong Igbo influence. Although oath drinks were common in pre-colonial Gold Coast, and blood was a symbol of warfare, the Akan did not integrate blood into their oath drink potions. According to historian Robin Law (1999), Igboland was one of the few places in West Africa that clearly used blood in their oath drinks. In addition. Law argued Despite the reputation of Igbo slaves in the Americas for docility (or more precisely for expressing their dissatisfaction through suicide rather than rebellion), it seems quite likely that it was the Igbo form of blood-oath which was utilized in some recorded slave insurrections. (Law 1999)

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326 In fact, despite Caspar's emphasis on Akan oath traditions, sources indicated a strong Igbo component in the oath drinks prior to the revolt. According to Caspar (1985:244), "It was disclosed at the trials that the Igbo slave Oliver and some others who took the oath swore they 'would Die first' rather than 'betray the secret.'" While the use of blood may have been characteristic of Igbo oath drinks, the use of alcohol, a ubiquitous substance for contacting spirits and receiving ancestral guidance, probably represents a braiding of Akan, Igbo, and other West and West Central African traditions. The widespread use of oath drinks in British Caribbean slave revolts reveals that slaves sought to mobilize all potential allies, including ancestral spirits, through the powerful symbolism of alcohol. Oath taking was also evident in the French Caribbean where Kongo and Aja-Fon ("Arada ") influences seem to have been particularly strong. The Bois Caiman ceremony that preceded the 1791 Saint Domingue slave uprising, which led to the creation of Haiti provides an excellent example. On the night of August 21, 1791, slaves gathered in the forest of Bois Caiman for a clandestine meeting (Geggus 1991 ; Law 1999). At this meeting a black pig was slaughtered and its blood was consumed as part of an oath ritual. Most have argued that the Bois Caiman ceremony represented a Kongo-influenced Petro ceremony, because the ceremonies are nowadays associated with black pigs. Petro, as Moreau de Saint-Mery ( 1797/98 ;I:44; Williams 1932:68) noted, appeared in the late eighteenth century and was distinguished by the consumption of rum and gunpowder. The rum and gunpowder concoction used by devotees was probably an oath drink used to bind participants to silence. However, Law (1999) has argued that the Bois Caiman ceremony may have been a Dahomean-styled blood pact rather than a Kongo-influenced Petro ceremony, because, he claims, the ritual sacrifice of pigs was common in Dahomean-styled blood pacts. According to Geggus (1991:50), "one may doubt that the ceremony was narrowly identified with one particular ethnic group. It is more likely that the ceremony exhibited a blending of religious traditions." The sketchy historical accounts of the Bois

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327 Caiman ceremony do not mention the use of alcohol. Nevertheless, anthropologist Paul Hazoume (1938), described the use of alcohol in Dahomean blood pacts, and the use of rum was clearly a distinguishing feature of the Kongo-influenced Petro cult (Argyle 1970:156-161; Law 1999). As alcohol was a commonly used ingredient in both Aradaand Kongo-oriented oaths, it is likely that it also was used in the oath drink at the Bois Caiman ceremony. In 1791, the slave uprising in Saint Domingue erupted. One angry colonist would later complain, 'The Africans against whom we fought are a cowardly people. .and without rum there would never have been any fighting with those people" (Dorigny 1997:58). As the slave uprising wore on, Toussaint Louverture emerged as the revolutionary leader. Toussaint's leadership stemmed from his abilities to communicate with and manipulate various social groups within Saint Domingue including whites, freedmen, slave elite, Creole slaves, and especially, African slaves. According to Geggus, Toussaint did not lose touch with his African roots. He is said to have spoken fluently the language of his 'Arada' father-apparently the son of a chief -and to have enjoyed speaking it with other slaves of his father's ethnic group. He seems to have become skilled in the medicinal use of plants and herbs. Such slaves who lived at the interface between white and black society needed to know the ways of both worlds. (Geggus 1989:34) Toussaint was personally abstemious, but appears to have understood the value of rum to the African slave when he stated "Give a negro a glass of rum and he'll do anything for you" (cited in Price Mars 1945). Although this particular remark may have been meant disparagingly, the sacred nature of rum and its links to ancestral guidance made it an important symbol of resistance during the uprising. In fact, the rebels operated a distillery during the fighting to supply troops (de Puech Parham 1959:62). The French Creole soldiers from Saint Domingue probably also recognized the symbolic value of rum to the rebels, which is why they destroyed rebel rum supplies after their battlefield victories and seizures of rebel troops (de Puech Parham 1959:62). After seeing the negative consequences of excessive tafia drinking on the Haitian peasantry, especially in the South,

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328 Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Toussaint's successor, attempted to restrict tafia making in Haiti in 1806. Although tafia gave force to the Revolutionary troops, excessive drinking was destabilizing the new nation. However, during the reign of Christophe, distilling was once again encouraged (Mackenzie 1830;II:169; Madiou 1989;I1I:339-340,512). As in the slave revolts in the British Caribbean, a similar link existed between alcohol, blood symbolism, and warfare in Haiti. According to Melville Herskovits, the Haitian vodou war god Ogun ate red cocks and red beans mixed with rice, and his color, red, is worn by his devotees. To this fact may be referred the custom of the Caco warriors who fought against the American Marines in 1918-20 to wear red as their distinguishing color. (Herskovits 1937:316) Herskovits (1937:317) pointed out that some of the Ogun loa preferred to drink [red] Haitian rum, rather than the white clarin. Aggressive spirits in Afro-Brazilian cults are also known to prefer rum for its powerful physiological effect and, possibly, its red color (Leacock 1964). The power attributed to alcohol is also evident in the ritualistic treatment of white victims in Caribbean slave uprisings. For example, during Tacky's rebellion in Jamaica in 1760, slave rebels, after killing the white servants at Ballard's valley plantation, drank the blood of their victims mixed with rum (Edwards 1819;1I:78). During a revolt at a plantation in St. Anne's parish, Jamaica, the owner defended himself for some time with a broad sword, but being overpowered by numbers and disabled by wounds, he fell at length a victim to their cruelty; they cut off his head, sawed his skull asunder, and made use of it as a punch-bowl. (Long 1774;11:447) According to reports of the 1701 slave uprising in Antigua, slaves cut off the head of a white victim "and washed it with rum and triumphed over it" (Craton 1982: 118). Although rum was widely used in slave uprisings, its particular link to alliance building also made it an important symbol of peace. According to Labat (1970:69), alcohol was used to control conflicts between slaves from neighboring plantations. During one conflict "Peace was restored between the slaves by giving them some rum to drink

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329 together." Missionaries in St. Vincent used rum to restore peace between Yellow and Black Caribs. According to a report by French missionary M. De Beaumont during the two days Father Breton stayed during his trip I always had a considerable number of savages on board to cement friendship with them and the negroes, which is what they wanted, to make them drunk, and to give them some presents, without making them aware of any mistrust, I was, however, on my guard. (cited in Hulme and Whitehead 1992: 176) During the Black Carib uprising of 1795, the life of a French woman captured by Caribs during the conflict was spared because "she had frequently given them rum." However, the friendship that her frequent allocations of rum had bought did not carry over to her husband and child who were killed (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:223). Peace treaties signed between British colonial officials and maroon groups in Jamaica and Surinam frequendy included rum drinking and the pouring of libations. In both territories (Surinam and Jamaica) the solemn ratification of the peace was performed in almost the same way; the oath was taken according to white as well as to black customs. The practices of Jamaican and Surinam maroons show a striking similarity in this respect: blood from a cut in the arm (hand) mixed with water and a little clay and rum was caught in a calabash and drunk by both parties. (de Groot 1986:180) Alcohol use was widespread in Caribbean slave societies. It provided a means of spiritual and physical escape from the many anxieties encountered in the Caribbean. In addition, many believed rum was a salubrious beverage that provided endless health benefits. However, rum was also a cause of much anxiety and sent many to an early grave. Rum, especially lead contaminated rum, probably increased rates of slave mortality and decreased rates of slave fertility. Drunkenness lowered usual defenses and made individuals vulnerable to a variety of dangers. Although rum was a symbol of slave rebelliousness, drinking provided an alcoholic marronage, a temporary relief from social inequities, which probably hindered organized efforts to resist slavery. Nevertheless, alcohol was instrumental in strengthening community bonds and between the living and ancestral worlds during war and peace.

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CHAPTER 1 1 TAMING A VOLATILE SPIRIT: THE BATTLE BETWEEN TEMPERANCE AND TRADITION IN THE MODERN CARIBBEAN In the nineteenth century, alcohol continued to provide a means of physical and spiritual escape. Slave emancipation did not alleviate all the anxieties that confronted the majority of Caribbean peoples and, in many parts of the region, especially in the smaller and more densely populated islands, former slaves had few opportunities for economic independence. Colonial assemblies instituted vagrancy laws and other legal constraints that forced many former slaves back to the grueling work of plantation labor. As with the former indentured servants and poorer classes of whites during the slavery period, those ex-slaves who were able to become independent farmers faced a somewhat precarious existence. Sugar planters also encountered heavy debts and declining sugar prices. Asian migrants, mainly from India and China, also found anxieties, which, as with their European and African predecessors, fostered the pursuit of alcoholic escape. However, social change and new attitudes about alcohol challenged traditional Caribbean drinking patterns. Christian missionaries from Europe and North America arrived in the Caribbean in large numbers converting emancipated slaves and advocating temperate lifestyles. Reformers confronted a tough and diverse set of alcohol-based tradition. Planters, who sought to maintain a stable and steady supply of labor after emancipation, offered rum-based work incentives as they had during slavery. Temperance also countered African-oriented traditions about the sacred and spiritual meaning of alcohol. Moreover, folk beliefs about alcohol's medicinal properties remained deeply ingrained in Caribbean society. On the other hand, temperance fit with the conventional attitudes of black Creoles, many of whom had rejected excessive drinking during the slavery period. Some Asian migrants also embraced ascetic traditions, rather than alcohol, to help cope 330

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331 with the anomie of their new American lives. In the twentieth century, military intervention and the onslaught of tourism brought new demands that helped shape Caribbean social consciousness. Caribbean nationalists often defied these forces by manipulating symbols of Caribbean identity, including rum. A Tropical Wave of Temperance In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Methodist, Baptist, and Moravian missionaries from Europe and North America began migrating to the Caribbean. They saw slaves as ripe for conversion and, often to the displeasure of the planter class, spread their versions of the gospel. Unlike Anglican ministers of the Church of England, these new missionaries actively encouraged slaves and freedmen to embrace the tenets of Christianity. In the early period, however, they had little success. In 1789, for example, Methodists erected a chapel in Bridgetown, Barbados, but the reverend was removed a decade later due to the lack of interest. The Methodists made another attempt to establish themselves in Barbados in 1801, yet, by 1812, the Methodist congregation consisted of only 30 people, including 1 1 whites, 13 freedmen, and 6 slaves. A resurgence of Christian missionary activity occurred during the amelioration period just prior to slave emancipation, which breathed new life into the missionary movement. By the time of slave emancipation in 1834, Methodists, Moravians, and Baptists had established substantial roots. In late 1830s, Moravian missionaries in Antigua had added about 15,000 members to their flock. Antigua also had about 6,000 Methodist congregants (Thome and Kimball 1839:25). Baptists were especially strong in Jamaica and membership jumped dramatically after emancipation. In 1837, there were 16 Baptist missionaries and 3 1 chapels with a membership of 32,960 (Thome and Kimball 1839:86). By the mid-1 840s, Methodists in Barbados had 8 chapels, 4 other preaching places, 3 missionaries, and 14 local preachers. They regularly attracted more than 5,000 people to their chapels and meetinghouses (Schomburgk 1848:96-97).

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332 In North America and Europe, these new Christian denominations, especially Methodists and Baptists, were leading advocates of temperance reform. The emancipation of British Caribbean slaves in 1834 coincided with the height of their temperance activity and these passionate agitators carried their message of temperance to the former slaves. In 1837, Reverend James Thome and J. Horace Kimball, members of the American AntiSlavery Society and temperance advocates, visited Antigua, Barbados, and Jamaica and recorded the positive changes that had occurred since slave emancipation. Among the improvements they noted was rise of temperance. They traveled to different estates in the islands and found that distilling had ceased on many plantations owned by Methodist, Moravian, and Baptist planters. Thome and Kimball expressed joy at the rise of Sunday churchgoing. Saturday, rather than Sunday, became market day and it was no longer an occasion of drunken excess. In 1843, Baptist minister James Phillippo visited Jamaica and also noted the changes. It is universally acknowledged that intemperance is not now the besetting sin of the lower classes in Jamaica. On the first introduction of the Gospel by black teachers, abstinence from intoxicating drinks was made a term of communion and this previously to the existence of temperance and total abstinence societies: so that even before the abolition of slavery intemperate habits had been abandon by nearly onethird of the population. (Phillippo 1843:264) In 1861, a Moravian-based revival movement spread across Jamaica. According to Jamaican Congregational minister W.J. Gardner (1971:466), the movement had a temperate effect. "Evil habits were abandoned. The rum shops were forsaken by multitudes, and thousands were added to different congregations, of whom many became communicants, and have remained faithful." In 1836, Antigua boasted the arrival of its first temperance society (Thome and Kimball 1839:28). Within two years, temperance societies existed in the town of St. John's and on the estates of Wesleyan missionaries. According to Joseph Sturge and Thomas Harvey (1838: Appendix A, p.vi), English Quaker abolitionists, the temperance societies in Antigua were very successful and drunkenness was no longer an "overwhelming evil in

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333 this island, as in the United kingdom." Thome and Kimball also celebrated the rise of temperance societies in Antigua. A large number of persons who once used spirituous liquors moderately, have entirely relinquished the use. Some who were once intemperate have been reclaimed, and in some instances an adoption of the principles of the temperance society, has been followed by the pursuit and enjoyment of vital religion. Domestic peace and quietness have superseded discord and strife, and a very general sense of astonishment at the gross delusion which these drinks have long produced on the human species is manifest. (Thome and Kimball 1839:28) In Trinidad, wealthy white ladies and gentlemen, pursuing the philanthropic pastimes of the Victorian age, also started temperance societies. In 1873, Trinidad had a branch of the Independent Order of the Good Templars, one of the most powerful temperance societies in the world (Fahey 1997). In 1888, the Good Templars challenged attempts by Trinidad's colonial Council to extend rum shop hours. Other temperance societies included the Blue Ribbon Society, the Band of Hope, and the League of the Cross (Brereton 1979:56-57). Total abstinence societies also operated in Jamaica (Phillippo 1843:264). Many planters and plantation managers embraced temperance and encouraged their workers to do the same. For example, Thome and Kimball recorded the impact of emancipation and temperance on James Howell's estate in Antigua. A great change in the use of rum had been effected on the estates under his management since emancipation. He formerly, in accordance with the prevalent custom, gave his people a weekly allowance of rum, and this was regarded as essential to their health and effectiveness. But he has lately discontinued this altogether, and his people had not suffered any inconvenience from it. He gave them in lieu of the rum, an allowance of molasses, with which they appeared to be entirely satisfied. When Mr. H. informed the people of his intention to discontinue the spirits, he told them that he should set them the example of total abstinence, by abandoning wine and malt liquor also, which he accordingly did. (Thome and Kimball 1839: 12) Plantation managers at Wallen and Rose Hall estates in Jamaica also stopped dispensing weekly rations of rum (Sturge and Harvey 1838: Appendix F p.xxxviii). In addition, many planters suspended the practice of allocating rum at Christmas and, as a result, Christmas celebrations became solemn events characterized by worship and prayer rather than "drunken riot" (Thome and Kimball 1839: 12).

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334 However, temperance defied plantation traditions. During the slavery period, planters liberally distributed rum to their slaves in weekly rations and as a work incentive. Despite protests from missionaries, as well as some colonial officials, rum rationing and incentives continued after emancipation in a modified form as planters doled out large amounts of rum to free workers as a substitute for and supplement to wages. For example, weekly ledgers from Turner's Hall estate in Barbados indicate that plantation managers often paid "Negroe Workmen" in rum (WFP). Historian William Law Mathieson (1%7:132-133) explored the causes of social disorder in Barbados and argued, "for this the planters were largely to blame; for they persisted in supplementing wages by a gill to half a pint of rum." In 1845 the practice still prevailed in more than half of the parishes in Barbados and "not only was all the rum made in the island consumed in it, but more was imported" to help fuel this system. In 1 846, the use of rum to supplement wages was so necessary to retain plantation workers in St. Vincent that "planters firmly resist[ed] any attempt to interfere by a legislative enactment with this pernicious system" (Mathieson I%7: 133). Workers in Montserrat were also paid in rum (Berleant-Schiller 1995:58). In order to improve plantation productivity and reduce social decay, missionaries and colonial administrators forced planters in Trinidad and Demerara to abandon the rum-based wage system in 1841 (Mathieson l%7: 132-133). However, planters found creative ways of circumventing colonial legislatures and the condemnation of temperance-minded missionaries. During the slavery period, some planters distributed food to their slaves in the middle of the week rather than at the end in order to prevent them from selling their rations for rum at weekend markets (Collins 181 1:65-66, 80). Planters feared, of course, that slaves who sold their rations would not have enough substantive food to get them through the workweek and that they would be required to provide additional rations or rely on underfed and less productive slaves. After emancipation, however, planters paid workers at the end of the week in the hope that their workers would spend extravagantly on rum on the weekend and, thus, be compelled to

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335 return to work on Monday. The establishment of plantation-owned stores and rum shops heightened the effectiveness of this system. Company stores and rum shops sold great amounts of rum to laborers, which created a large body of debt peons and ensured a stable workforce. Workers were compelled to return the next week or harvest in order to payoff their debts. In 1949, colonial officials in British Guiana complained, 86. 'Nothing to do' is a deadly cry which lowers morale and stifles ambition, and it was no doubt the lack of opportunities for recreation after a day's work that helped to develop the habit of drinking at the estate rum-shop, which is very strong to-day. These shops are to be found on every estate, generally near the pay office, and all our witnesses without exception were vehement in denouncing them. This was the only subject on which we experienced such remarkable unanimity among them... 87. By personal enquiry we discovered that the shop on one of the estates was open from 6.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. and again from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. It was owned by an East Indian living in Georgetown and managed by an assistant. We learned that over a hundred workers were allowed bottles of spirits on account of their next week's wages. This vicious system whereby a man might drink away his wages before he had them was condemned by all our witnesses, and we fully agree with them. We were told by some that complete abolition of the estate rum-shop might lead to bootleg bush spirit being manufactured and sold, but since there are other rum-shops in the villages, generally within half a mile from the estates, where those who want to drink their rum or beer can easily go to do so, we think there is little danger of that. We are concerned to see that these shops are completely removed from their tempting proximity to the pay office and that the pay-packet has more chance of getting back to the family of the worker. 88. We therefore recommend that all rum shops upon estates should, by means of existing licensing regulations, be closed forthwith. (CO. 1949:136) The use of alcohol to supplement wages and create debt-ridden workers was not unique to the Caribbean and has been described in a number of historical and cross-cultural contexts (Bender 1978: 144 in Angola; Crowley 1974:34 in Australia; Pope 1997:59 in Newfoundland; Rorabaugh 1979: 141 in the United States). In the Caribbean, the practice was mainly associated with itinerant work gangs, whose labor was especially needed during the intensive harvest season. In British Guiana, these rootless work gangs were condemned for their excessive drinking and immoral lifestyles (Mathieson 1%7: 139). Small farmers also received their share of rum. In some parts of the Caribbean, planters developed a system of sharecropping known as metager. Under this system.

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336 sharecroppers worked small parcels of plantation land in exchange for a portion of the produce. In 1843, sharecroppers in Tobago received half of all the sugar as well as a bottle of rum for every barrel of sugar their plots produced. In Grenada, rum was also shared between the plantation owner and metayer; the latter received a gallon of rum for every barrel of sugar (Marshall 1996:67). The inclusion of rum in the metayer payment system was based on the supposition that the molasses that drained from the sugar and was sent to the distillery also belonged to the sharecropper (Woodcock 1867: 190). Christian missionaries offered an alternative to rum-based wages and rum-laden company stores. During the period immediately following British Caribbean slave emancipation, Phillippo and other religious leaders instituted schemes to buy land for exslaves and establish "free-villages." According to anthropologist Sidney Mintz (1974: 160), free villages in Jamaica involved as many as 100,0(X) people and the social and economic importance of these settlements cannot be overstated. The free village system provided land, education, and economic opportunities for many former slaves. Driven by the Protestant doctrine of hard work, free village members adopted principles of moderation and temperance in all forms of life, including drink. Mintz's study of Sturge Town, a free village in Jamaica, highlighted the impact of the free village system. According to Mintz (Mintz 1974:173), "settlers of the church-founded free villages shared an ideology based on church membership and acceptance of its Christian tenets, particularly thrift, industry, and other doctrinal precepts associated with uprightness and humility." What was the impact of Methodist, Baptist, and Moravian missionaries on drinking patterns in the Caribbean? Christian missionaries sought to relieve the many anxieties that confronted former slaves and offer a constructive substitute to alcoholic escape. In Antigua, the rise of temperance societies and entrenchment of missionaries fostered a spirit of teetotalism. In Jamaica, the missionary influence and free village systems may have been especially successful at reducing levels of alcohol consumption. In the 1890s, Jamaica was one of the worid's largest rum producers, yet Jamaicans had one of the lowest rates of per

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337 capita rum consumption in the Caribbean. In the 1890s, Jamaicans consumed only about 660,000 gallons of rum annually for a per capita consumption rate of about one gallon per year (Pairault 1903: 13-14; Watts 1987:459). Per capita rum consumption rates in Trinidad and British Guiana were also comparatively low (Table 11-1). Table 11-1. Estimated level of annual per capita rum consumption in the 1890s in gallons Countrv Consumed Exported Per capita consumption Haiti 9,107,721 0 6.1 Dominican Republic 3,035,907 0 5.5 Guadeloupe 792,602 762,791 4.8 Martinique 792,602 4,533,748 4.5 French Guiana 105,680 0 4.1 Barbados 660,502 0 3.6 Trinidad 324,595 142,720 1.3 Jamaica 660,502 2,798,326 1.0 British Guiana 159.313 4.224.821 0.6 Sources: Pairault 1903:14; Pluchon 1982:427; Watts 1987:459. In contrast, the level of rum consumption in Barbados remained high. Although Barbados was a much smaller rum producer than Jamaica, its annual per capita rate of rum consumption in the 1890s was about 3.6 gallons, three and a half times greater than that of Jamaica (Pairault 1903: 13-14; Watts 1987:459). In large part, the higher per capita rum consumption rate reflects the more limited impact of missionary activity, which was resisted by the sizeable population of conservative whites in Barbados. For example, in 1789, white mobs frequently disrupted Methodist sermons and stoned the Methodist chapel in Bridgetown (Schomburgk 1848:%). In 1823, whites in Barbados blamed Methodist reformers for inciting slave rebellion in Demerara. After learning of the unrest, a white mob in Bridgetown destroyed the chapel of Methodist minister William Shrewsbury and ran him off the island (Bisnauth 1982:133; Schomburgk 1848:%-97; Thome and Kimball 1839:7172). Local officials refused help quell the riot. During the slavery period, other reform minded religious leaders in Barbados were publicly chastised and occasionally brought to trial (Bisnauth 1982: 1 37). Although Methodism grew after emancipation, the Bishop of the Anglican Church in Barbados publicly denounced their teachings and many planters refused to allow Methodists to preach on their estates (Thome and Kimball 1839:72). The negative impact of Methodist teachings on plantation rum sales to workers and the local

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338 community probably strengthened their resolve. According to Thome and Kimball (1839:72), resistance to Methodist preachers "greatly retarded the religious instruction through their means." In 1837, Methodists in the smaller island of Antigua had six times as many converts and regular attendants at Sunday sermons as Methodists in Barbados (Thome and Kimball 1839:25,71). In addition, Moravians and Baptists, the largest denominations in Jamaica and Antigua, all but failed to establish a foothold in the Barbados. Moreover, while organized temperance societies flourished in Antigua and Jamaica, historian Robert Schomburgk did not record the presence of such an organization in his detailed list of Barbadian societies in 1848. The suppression of missionary activity, the lack of an extensive free village system, and the absence of temperance societies largely explains Barbados' considerably high per capita rum consumption rate in the 1890s. However, the high per capita rum consumption rate in Barbados also reflects the larger number of white drinkers, especially poor whites. In the nineteenth century, as in earlier periods, visitors to Barbados condemned the excessive drinking of poor whites. Thome and Kimball (1839:57) wrote, "They live promiscuously, are drunken, licentious, and poverty-stricken, a body of most squalid and miserable human beings." However, the 10,000 or so poor whites could not have been solely responsible for the high per capita rum consumption rate in Barbados. In order for per capita rum consumption rate of Barbados to equal that of Jamaica, poor whites in Barbados would have had to have consumed an almost deadly level of more than 48 gallons of rum per year, or more than a pint per day. Thus, while poor whites probably drank a disproportionate amount of rum, Barbados's relatively high per capita rum consumption rate also encompassed a large number of immoderate black drinkers. Of course, it is ironic that Barbados, which at present is considered the more conservative and law-abiding society with a sedate and stable image, consumed far more rum than "rude boy" Jamaica. The substitution of rum for wages probably also contributed to the relatively high level of rum drinking in Barbados. After emancipation, the economically and politically

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339 powerful resident Barbadian planter class held onto their lands. In contrast to Jamaica, the small size and dense population of Barbados prevented the emergence of a large peasantry. In 1873, a visitor to Barbados wrote, Since the island is so thickly populated [the peasantry] are obliged to work; for though they generally own their own huts, and get a good deal out of the little patches of land attached to them, still it is not sufficient to keep them without working. (Amphlett 1873:57) Former slaves, therefore, were forced to work for Barbadian planters, who, unlike their counterparts in other British colonies, maintained the practice of paying former slaves with rum. For example, planters in British Guiana stopped using rum to supplement wages in 1 841 and, as a result, colonial officials there believed "the young were less addicted to spirit-drinking than their elders" (Mathieson 1967: 139). In the 1890s, the annual rate of per capita rum consumption in British Guiana was one-sixth that of Barbados and probably reflects the impact of abandoning of the rum-based wage system and its smaller poor white population (Newman 1964:43; Pairault 1903:14). Upper class whites in British Guiana had a reputation for excessive drink, but they drank imported European alcoholic beverages. Some considered British Guiana a place "where eight or nine gin zwizzles before breakfast were almost an institution" (Bell 1889: 190). Table 1 1-2. Estimated level of annual per capita rum consumption in the 1930s in gallons Country Per capita consumption Cuba 2.0 Haiti 1.1 Guadeloupe 4.0 Martinique 6.3 French Guiana 2.6 Barbados 1.5 Trinidad 1.5 Jamaica 0.5 British Guiana 1.9 Sources: Kervegant 1946:467-491; PI uchon 1982:427; Watts 1987:459. Levels of rum consumption in both Jamaica and Barbados declined in the early twentieth century (Table 1 1-2). In the 1930s, Jamaica's annual per capita rate of only 0.5 gallons was considered "very weak" (Kervegant 1946:472-473). The annual consumption rate in Barbados also declined, but remained three times higher than Jamaica's. The decline

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340 probably reflects the ongoing success of missionary activity and the almost global attack on intemperance in the early twentieth century. Contrarily, rum consumption in British Guiana increased and in the 1930s tripled to about 1 .9 gallons. The increase may reflect the growing sophistication of the estate store and rum shop system. However, the increasing proportion of the population represented by Asians, who were generally less affected by missionary activity, may have been largely responsible for the increase (Bisnauth 1982:140-164; CO. 1949:136; Kervegant 1946:478; Newman 1964:43). Trinidad, which like British Guiana had a large influx of Asian migrants, also experienced a slight increase in per capita rum consumption between the 1890s and 1930s. Temperance was a central canon of Protestant reformers in the British Caribbean, but Catholic priests and missionaries, based in the French and Spanish Caribbean, were much less aggressive in their proselytizing of former slaves and in temperance crusades. While cost and availability certainly played a major role in dictating levels of rum consumption, a comparison of per capita rum consumption rates also reveals different attitudes toward drinking in the Protestantand Catholic-oriented Caribbean. In the 1890s, Catholic-oriented regions of the Caribbean had a higher rate of per capita rum consumption than Protestant-oriented regions. Haitians, for example, annually may have consumed about 6 gallons of rum, tafia, and clarin per person, and Martinique and Guadeloupe had a per capita consumption rate of over 4 gallons (see Table 11-1). Although we lack estimates for Cuba in the 1890s, rum consumption was probably not especially high. War and civil unrest in the 1890s had a devastating impact on Cuban sugar production, which reduced the availability of rum. Moreover, Cuba had a high percentage of Spanish colonials, who, unlike their European counterparts in the British Caribbean, generally had a reputation for temperance (Long 1774;II:557; Moreau de SaintMery 1798:50). Former slaves in Cuba, however, probably consumed a great amount of rum. As in the British Caribbean, rum-based wages and rum-laden company stores increased the level of rum consumption. For example, ex-slaves in Cuba hired themselves

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341 to plantations or joined woric gangs called cuadrillas. These roving workers received rations of aguardiente }ust as slaves had under slavery (Scott 1985:230). In 1892, the company store at Santa Lucia sugar factory in Gibara, Cuba possessed a distillery and nine saloons (Fraginals 19%:332). Workers were paid with company tokens, which they spent on rum at the company stores and saloons. In the 1890s, the per capita rum consumption rate in the Dominican Republic was 5.5 gallons per year. Considering the temperate reputation of Spanish colonials, it is unlikely that Cuba reached that level and the relatively high rate of rum consumption in the Dominican Republic may reflect rum consumed by the large number of seasonal migrants from Haiti (see Table 11-1). Levels of rum consumption in the French Caribbean generally remained higher than in the British Caribbean during the early twentieth century. In the 1930s, the annual rate of per capita rum consumption in Guyane was about 2.6 gallons, Guadeloupe about 4 gallons, and Martinique an incredible 6.3 gallons (see Table 1 1-2). Liberal Catholic attitudes toward drink, the growing popularity of rum drinking in France, and the substantial white [bekel population, especially in Martinique, probably had a positive impact on per capita rum consumption rates in the French Caribbean. The abstemious reputation of the Spanish in the Caribbean remained strong in the early twentieth century. In 1915, Albert Robinson, an American temperance advocate, traveled to Cuba and wrote. The Cubans are an exceedingly temperate people. Wine is used by all classes, and aguardiente, the native rum, is consumed in considerable quantity, but the Cuban rarely drinks to excess. .Beer is used, both imported and of local manufacture. Gin, brandy, and anisette, cordials and liqueurs are all used to some but moderate extent, but intoxication is quite rare. (Robinson 1915:76-77) In the 1930s, Cubans produced an annual average of almost 9 million gallons of aguardiente and exported only about half a million gallons per year (see Figure 1 1-1). At this rate, per capita consumption was about 2 gallons, higher than that of the British Caribbean, but still less than most of the other Catholic-oriented regions. Trade and

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342 production statistics also confirm Robinson's statement that Cubans consumed a substantial amount of locally made beer and cider, as well as imported European and North American alcoholic beverages (Franco 1932: 1 15-132; Robinson 1915:76-77). For example, between 1920 and 1927, Cuba imported more than 3.5 million gallons of liquor, especially whiskey and gin. In this period, Cubans also imported more than 7.5 million gallons of white wine, 24 million gallons of red wine, 9 million gallons of beer, and 180,000 gallons of champagne. Yet, much of this imported alcohol, as well as a great deal of the aguardiente, probably went down the throats of the millions of American tourists who traveled to Cuba in these years of prohibition. 14000000 12000000 10000000 8000000 6000000 4000000 2000000 0 Cuban aguardiente exports -Cuban aguardiente production II III II III II III II III II III IIITI IITfl T llTllll M ill I 1905 1910 1915 1920 1925 1930 1935 1940 1945 1950 1955 Year Figure 1 1-1. Cuban aguardiente production and exports (sources: Ministerio de Hacienda 1957:56-57; American Chamber of Commerce in Cuba 1955: 127; see also Franco 1932:127-132.) In the early twentieth century, Cuba became a destination for fantasy-seeking tourists. Robinson (1915:77) was already complaining in 1915 about the negative impact of North American visitors on temperate Cuban culture and wrote, "the temperance question in Cuba is only a question of how soon we [Americans] succeed in converting them into a nation of drunkards." After 1919, Prohibition accelerated the growth of Cuba's tourist industry. According to Cuban historian Lx)uis Perez, Cuba entered the North American imagination in many forms, but principally as a place of pleasures unavailable at home where one could do those 'things' that usually were not done anywhere else. Access to alcoholic beverages during Prohibition was an early tourist attraction. 'Never has so much beer, rum, and

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343 Daiquiri been consumed in so short a time,' a tourist wrote home. Visitors availed themselves of the opportunity to drink immediately on arrival. (Perez 1999:183) Unemployed American saloonkeepers and bartenders migrated to Cuba and renewed operations during Prohibition, which helped magnify Cuba's image as an alcoholic retreat (Perez 1999: 168-169). Ernest Hemingway and other popular writers celebrated Cuba's alcoholic freedoms and used rum to construct their romantic depictions of the tropics. In the 1890s, Haiti had the highest rate of rum consumption in the Caribbean, but, by the 1930s, rum drinking in Haiti had experienced a sharp decline. Although the estimate in Table 1 1-2 probably does not account for the vast amount of rum, tafia, and clarin produced in the 2,000 or so small stills that operated in the rural areas, there appears to have been an actual decrease in rum consumption (Millspaugh 193 1 : 129). In the early twentieth century, the United States invaded Haiti and attempted to stabilize the country's politics. Between 1915 and 1934, U.S. marines occupied Haiti and instituted social, political, and economic reforms. The occupation of Haiti overlapped with the height of temperance activity in the United States and many U.S. marines and government officials considered excessive drinking inimical to Haiti's social stability. In 1929, for example, U.S. officials blamed anti-American agitators for supplying liquor to seasonal migrants from rural areas and inciting riots in Les Cayes, which resulted in the deaths of six Haitian peasants (Millspaugh 1931:179). In 1928, U.S. officials imposed an excise tax on alcohol. Although the large number of small-scale rural distillers made it difficult to collect, at least one official considered the tax "a marked step toward the establishment of modem and productive internal taxes" (Millspaugh 1931:129). American officials probably also saw the tax as a way to curb excessive drinking. An American owned distillery in Port-au-Prince generated substantial tax revenues and competed with a Haitian owned distillery in Les Cayes. The local distillery in Les Cayes attempted to combat the American owned distillery in Port-au-Prince by appealing to nationalism and convincing peasant farmers to sell their cane at low prices (Millspaugh 1931:178). In 1930, U.S. officials began transferring

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344 power to local authorities and decided to impose martial law during the transition in order to quell internal unrest. The American high commissioner to Haiti justified his actions by stating, Martial law and the support of the American marines would not have been necessary in this instance. However, until the mentality of the people becomes accustomed to stable government, and as long as ignorance and poverty of the people furnishes a revolutionary field for irresponsible politicians, as long as a large, irresponsible mob element of the population exists, as long as cheap alcohol can be obtained for this 'hoodlum fringe,' any police force in Haiti must be ready to act promptly and decisively and, until the courts are reorganized, to do their share in preserving public order, extraordinary measures must occasionally be taken. (Millspaugh 1931:179-180) Among the improvements that accompanied U.S. intervention was the implementation of protective tariffs. The tariffs increased U.S. capital investment and led to a revival in the Haitian sugar industry. The Haitian American Sugar Company, which had operated in Haiti since before the U.S. intervention, as well as six other American agriculture corporations, greatly benefited from the surge in capital investment. Sugar jumped from an annual average of 3% of exports in 1916-1926, to 20% in 1939 (Williams 1970:440). The growing interest in sugar making apparently had a negative impact of rum production and, therefore, helps explain falling consumption rates. The American occupation of Haiti also brought Protestant missionaries and strengthened the role of Catholic Church. Among the objectives of some clerics was the eradication of African-oriented vodou practices, which was highlighted by the campagne anti-superstitieuse in the eariy 1940s (Nicholls 1979: 161,181-183). Alcohol played a prominent role in vodou ceremonies and was, no doubt targeted by reformers. While temperance may not have been an explicit goal of the campaign, religious-based social movements generally embraced temperance ideals. However, political leaders continued to recognize the value of rum to the Haitian peasantry. In 1957, for example, presidential candidate Fran9ois (Papa Doc) Duvalier plied Haitian peasants with clarin in order to win their support (Heinl 1978). The act was reminiscent of Toussaint Louverture's disparaging comment that Haitians would follow the lead of anyone with rum.

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345 New Migrants and Old Anxieties In order to secure a steady and stable supply of labor after the abolition of the slave trade and the emancipation of Caribbean slaves, contract workers, mainly from India, China, and the East Indies, were brought to the Caribbean as indentured servants. Between 1833 and 1917, more than 500,000 contract laborers from the East, as well as free migrants from Africa and the Atlantic islands, reached the Caribbean (Knight 1990:186187; Parry, Sherlock, and Maingot 1989:174-175; Watts 1987:483). About 125,000 Chinese immigrants arrived in Cuba and 14,000 arrived in the mainland colony of British Guiana (Newman 1964:25-26; Scott 1985:29; Turner 1996: 135-136). The majority of new migrants, however, came from India. Between 1845 and 1917, more than 230,000 East Indians entered British Guiana and, by 1911, they represented nearly half of the population (Moore 1995:8; Newman 1964:26,43). Trinidad received about 140,000 East Indians and, by 1901, they represented 33% of the population. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Guyane received about 75,000 East Indian migrants (Pluchon 1982:427; Renard 19%: 166). Although many Asian laborers returned to their homelands after completing their indentures, most stayed and their descendants now represent a large percentage of the modern Caribbean population. Today, East Indians make-up half of the population of Guyana (the former British Guiana) and about 38% of Trinidad's population (Newman 1964:43; Nichols 1985:61). Asian migrants brought with them new attitudes and beliefs about alcohol use that added a fresh dimension to drinking in the Caribbean. East Indians, for example, came from societies with strong traditions of alcohol use that went back to ancient times (see chapter 1). In the mid-eighteenth century, British, Dutch, French, and Portuguese colonials established distilleries in India, where they made sugar cane-based spirits popularly known as arrack. By the nineteenth century, rum making was a well-developed industry in many parts of colonial India, China, and Indonesia (Charpentier de Cossigny 1783; Fitzmaurice

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346 1793; Wray 1848). Because indentured migrants departed from colonial centers in Asia, many were probably already familiar with rum before they arrived in the Caribbean. Despite the ubiquity of alcoholic beverages in India, the ascetic Hindu philosophy of Dharm placed tight restrictions on alcohol use. Proscriptions against drink were most ardently embraced by higher castes, especially the spiritually minded Brahmans. Brahmans saw alcoholic intoxication as harmful to religious life (Carstairs 1979:298). In the twentieth century, Mahatma Ghandi voiced the traditional Brahman view of alcohol use. Drinks and drugs degrade those who are addicted to them and those who traffic in them. The drunkard forgets the distinctions between wife, mother, and sister, and indulges in crimes of which in his sober moments he will be most ashamed. (Ghandi cited in Dorschner 1983:63) After independence, Indian FYime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru advocated Brahman asceticism and proposed legislation that prohibited alcohol use in India. Prohibition was successfully introduced in 1977 under the leadership of Morarji Desai, but, after popular protest, it was lifted during the government of Indira Ghandi (Dorschner 1983:63-70). While Brahmans were models of Hindu spiritual asceticism and opposed the use of alcoholic beverages, drinking was tolerated, and often encouraged, in some segments of Indian society. For example, anthropologist G.M. Carstairs' (1979) study of intoxicants in India revealed that alcoholic stimulation was particularly encouraged among the Rajput [Khshatriyas] warrior caste (Dorschner 1983:20; Malik 1971:31). Although drinking conflicted with Brahman attitudes about alcoholic intoxication, British colonial rule and the large presence of British soldiers helped validate and intensify Rajput drinking. British colonial administrators integrated the militaristic Rajputs into British colonial agendas and, at the same time, introduced the British military penchant for excessive drinking. Drinking became a symbol of Rajput status and masculinity. Besides the Rajputs, the Sudras, members of the low "untouchable" castes, were also not averse to the consumption of alcoholic beverages (Carstairs 1979:298; Dorschner 1983:21). In India, drinking was especially widespread among low castes at weddings and the spring Holi festival.

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\ 1 347 Moreover, libations and drink offerings were frequently made to village deities (Dorschner 1983:59-60; Srinivas and Shah 1968:365 cited in Vertovec 1992:51). East Indian migrants entered a Caribbean social environment that held relatively liberal attitudes toward drinking and where rum was cheap and readily available. Moreover, East Indians worked in the sugar sector of the economy and, therefore, frequently encountered rum and distilling activities. In the nineteenth century, Trinidad and British Guiana, the main destinations for East Indian migrants, were major rum producing colonies. In fact, by the end of the nineteenth century, British Guiana was among the world's largest rum producers (Pairault 1903: 13-14). Poor living conditions, inadequate food and water supplies, an unbalanced sex ratio, a lack of safe medical care, hard labor, homesickness, and many other anxieties provided a favorable environment for social unrest. Between 1872 and 18%, East Indians in Trinidad committed 109 murders (Lai 1993: 144). East Indian agitators also instigated numerous plantation strikes, riots, and work stoppages. In British Guiana, in 1869, plantation strikes and labor riots became so violent that police and military detachments were brought in to quell the unrest. In Trinidad, one of the more spectacular riots occurred during the Muhurrum or Hosein religious celebration; originally a Shiite Muslim Tadjah festival that eventually became a syncretic popular event (Bisnauth 1982: 159). According to historian Walton Lx)ok Lai, During the so-called Hosein riots of 1884, when religious celebrants chose to defy an official proclamation placing restrictions on public procession and celebration that year, the clash which ensued between the celebrants and police resulted in 22 dead and hundreds seriously injured. (Lai 1993:145) Unrest occurred even within some of the smaller East Indian migrant communities. For example, in the mid-nineteenth century, arson became an especially common form of protest among East Indians in Guadeloupe (Renard 1996: 165). Desertion from estates was also widespread (Laurence 1996: 147; Turner 1996: 135). Immoderate alcohol use provided another avenue of escape from the anomie.

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348 As with white perceptions of slave drinking during the slavery period, white perceptions of East Indian drinking were also tainted by fears of social unrest and the desire to maintain a productive labor force. John Amphlett, an English visitor to British Guiana, expressed the usual complaint of planters. Coolies are very fond of rum, and their chief drink is rum-and-water; and rum of a very inferior description too, for they buy it from shops kept by Portuguese, as the managers are restrained from giving it to them by law. I was told by the manager of one of the largest estates in the colony, that nearly every coolie gets drunk when he receives his money on a Saturday, and remains drunk all Saturday, and lies about on the roadsides on Sunday in the heat and glare of the sun, either drunk or incapable. I myself one Saturday, when calling at an estate some distance from Georgetown, found a coolie man lying dead drunk in the middle of the drive to the manager's house, so that I had to tum aside the carriage to avoid him; and he had not moved an inch when I returned after a long call at the house. The consequence is, that on Monday the estate hospital is nearly full. (Amphlett 1873:109) Although British Guiana and Trinidad outlawed the rum-based wage system in 1841 and temperance societies flourished in Trinidad in the 1880s, nineteenth century temperance reforms had little impact on East Indian drinking patterns. Few East Indians embraced the Christian denominations, especially Methodists and Baptists who led the crusades against alcohol use in the Caribbean (Malik 1971:31,38). Moreover, many doubted the commitment of those East Indians who did convert (Bell 1889: 128). In the 1930s, the Sanatan Dharma Association of Trinidad emerged, which had some success at reviving orthodox Hindu asceticism (Malik 1971:33-34; Vertovec 1992:1 19). However, alcoholism has remained a greater problem in modern East Indian communities than in Afro-Caribbean communities (Yawney 1979). Structural changes within the overseas East Indian diaspora helped liberalize attitudes toward alcohol. Migration to the Caribbean weakened the traditional East Indian caste system as high caste Brahmans, the conscience of ascetic Hindu values, represented only a small percentage of the Hindu East Indian migrants. For example, in Trinidad, Brahmans made up 14% of migrants while artisan, agricultural, and generally "low" castes represented more than 70% of the East Indian migrant population (Vertovec 1992:%).

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349 Moreover, British colonial administrators attempted to break Brahman social control over the masses of East Indian migrants and, as a result, the ideology of Brahman asceticism diminished in the overseas East Indian communities in the Caribbean (Singh 1994). The caste organization ceased to function as it did in India. Instead, a generalized and progressive form of Hinduism emerged, which had a more egalitarian flavor and which stressed anti-caste ethics (Bisnauth 1982: 150; Vertovec 1992:55,1 1 1). The weakness of Brahman control and the large migration of low caste groups created a social climate that tolerated alcohol use. Many of the East Indians who migrated to the Caribbean came from Muslim backgrounds. Muslims, for example, represented about 14% of East Indian migrants in Trinidad. Although Islamic law condemns drinking, it is not clear that East Indian Muslims entirely rejected alcohol use in the tolerant Caribbean drinking environment. Anthropologist J. Midgley (1979) examined Muslim adherence to religious taboos (haraam) against alcohol use in Muslim communities in Cape Town, South Africa. According to Midgley (1979:347), despite the widespread availability of alcohol and frequent contact with heavy drinking social groups, alcohol use within the Muslim community was rare. However, Midgley's survey identified drinking in about 12% of the sample. A similar situation probably occurred in the context of the Caribbean whereby Muslim proscriptions against alcohol were somewhat weakened at the margins of the Islamic world. For example, in British Guiana, Muslim celebrations, such as the Tadjah festival, became widespread secularized events, which included excessive rum drinking (Bisnauth 1982:159). Hindu social and spiritual uses of alcohol transferred to the Caribbean and enhanced the sense of alcoholic freedom. In the plantation villages, Hindus conducted religious ceremonies using crude platforms and shrines similar to those found in villages in India. Migrants practiced non-Brahmanic Hindu traditions, such as animal sacrifice, which frequently included the pouring of libations and the offering of alcohol to lesser deities and spirits. For example, the pig sacrifice to the goddess Parmeshwari, which was conducted

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350 annually and at the birth or marriage of a son, was generally associated with the low Chamar caste. During the Parmeshwari sacrifice offerings are set on to nine paan leaves, representing the 'seats' of the various related goddess manifestations. Hawan [fire oblation] is also performed. After a wooden stick is anointed with sindhur [vermilion powder] and saffron, the heart of the pig is quickly pierced. Any participant may then pour dhar [a liquid mixture of camphor and a variety of other substances] on the dead animal's head, and offerings of rum and cigarettes are set before it. (Vertovec 1992:214-215) Spirit possession followed the sacrifice, during which time participants ritualistically consumed rum, food, and cigarettes (Bisnauth 1982:151). In India, upper castes viewed these ceremonies as "impure" rites associated with low castes. The strength and persistence of these practices may be attributed to the fact that low caste migrants represented the great majority of East Indians in the Caribbean. Among the more common Hindu blood sacrifice ceremonies, alcohol and cigarettes were annually offered to Dih, the tutelary demigod of lands (Vertovec 1992:215, 1 14). Offerings to land gods may have been especially important to East Indian migrants starting a new life on new lands in the Caribbean. The offering, called a totka, required that the first few drops from a newly opened bottle of liquor be poured on the ground for the deity Dih (Vertovec 1992:217). The totka ensured successful harvests and a healthy household. While some religious ceremonies followed conventional Hindu traditions, others were modified to fit Christian rituals. For example, at Christmas celebrations in Trinidad in 1855, "a goat wearing garlands of red flowers and surrounded by pans of washed rice and bottles of molasses and rum was beheaded to the sound of drums" (Vertovec 1992: 109). Some Hindu religious festivals maintained a more ascetic format. In Trinidad, the weeklong yagna festivals, which celebrated particular Hindu deities, were often temperate occasions. Usually, about three months prior to the yagna festival, the family giving the yagna began a period of spiritual fasting, which included restrictions against alcohol use (Vertovec 1992: 168). The puja festival, similar to, but on a smaller scale than the yagna.

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351 also required a period of temperance. These events strengthened East Indian identity in the Caribbean and celebrated the more ascetic Hindu philosophy. Chinese migrants also came from societies with strong traditions of alcohol use and added new dimensions to the culture of alcohol in the Caribbean. In the mid-nineteenth century, opium use was widespread among Chinese and Chinese migrants in the Caribbean. It provided sanctuary for a number of Chinese migrants and was a major concern of colonial administrators (Moore 1995:287-289). In 1873, a Chinese Commission in Cuba recorded brutal assaults on Chinese laborers and their high rate of suicide (Scott 1985:33). According to historian Brian Moore, the absence of sufficient numbers of Chinese women provided little opportunity to recreate traditional Chinese family units. The lack of a traditional family structure created personal instability that compounded existing anxieties within Chinese immigrant communities (Scott 1985:271). The difficulty procuring opium in the Caribbean and the ready availability of rum meant that alcohol also provided an alternative means of escape. In 1853, the Immigration Agent-General in Trinidad (cited in Lai 1993:92) reported that some Chinese "had shown a stronger predilection for rum drinking than might have been predicted from tea drinkers." In addition, Moore (1995:291) noted sporting events among Chinese laborers in which bottles of alcohol were placed atop greased poles for the first climber who could reach them. East Indians and Chinese were brought to the Caribbean as agricultural laborers, but many quickly became shopkeepers and entered the local alcohol trade. In 1891, more than 78% of East Indians in Trinidad were agricultural laborers, but prominent among the remainder were proprietors of rum shops (Lai 1993:236). In the 1890s, Indian government representative Dr. D.W.D. Comins (cited in Lai 1993:234) reported "Some [East Indians] take out spirit licenses, and a few of the shops are of a large size and do a thriving trade." In 1913, 664 East Indians in Trinidad held licenses for rum shops, which represented more than 1 1% of all licenses granted to East Indians (Lai 1993:250). Colonial officials in British Guiana were especially critical of the aggressive tactics of East Indians rum retailers who

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352 operated rum shops near pay offices on sugar estates (CO. 1949: 136). Chinese were also strong in the local rum trade. In British Guiana, some Chinese laborers deserted the plantations and became involved in illicit rum-making and rum-smuggling operations (Lai 1993:197). In 1880, Chinese held half of the 784 food shop licenses in Trinidad, as well as 89% of the colony's 320 liquor licenses (Lai 1993:200). Yet, in Trinidad and British Guiana, the Portuguese initially dominated the alcohol trade. In the nineteenth century, Portuguese, mainly from the Atlantic island of Madeira, migrated to the British Caribbean in large numbers. Most went to British Guiana, which, between 1835 and 1881 received 32,216 Portugues