Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Philadelphia and Its People in Maps:
The 1790s


map of tavernkeeper locations

Map Copyright 2012, Paul Sivitz and Billy G. Smith, published with permission.

Like most Americans at the time, Philadelphians were a hard-drinking group of people during the 1790s. About 180 tavernkeepers, innkeepers, and beerhouses served the population. Rum produced locally from the molasses imported from the West Indies was a popular drink, as was beer. Many of those establishments settled along the waterfront, where mariners, stevedores, shoemakers, porters, and laborers joined merchants and attorneys in conversation and drinking.

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