Of Government in Petticoats!!!

The provision on suffrage in the New Jersey state constitution of 1776 granted the right to vote to “all inhabitants” who were of legal age, owned property worth 50 English pounds, and resided in a county for at least one year. No one is sure what was meant by “all inhabitants” since the New Jersey constitutional convention …

Congress establishes the State Department, July 27, 1789

The Constitution of the United States, drafted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 and ratified by the states the following year, gave the President responsibility for the conduct of the nation’s foreign relations. It soon became clear, however, that additional resources and formal structures were necessary to support President Washington in the conduct of …

Upcoming Event

July 31, 2021 — 10:00 am – 4:00 pmSpies in Philadelphia: Codes, Cyphers, and SpycraftCARPENTERS’ HALL Going into the Revolution, Americans were at a huge disadvantage to the European powers when it came to cryptography, many of which had been using secret offices where sensitive letters were opened and deciphered by public officials for centuries. …

Birth of the US Post Office

On July 26, 1775, the Second Continental Congress declared “…that a Postmaster General be appointed for the United States, who shall hold his office at Philadelphia, and shall be allowed a salary of 1,000 dollars per annum…”  Benjamin Franklin was not, however, the first Postmaster in America nor was this the first time he would …

Beer Recipe: Common Sense Cherry Pils

Although little used today, pamphlets were an important medium for the spread of ideas in the 16th through 19th centuries. Before the era of radio communication and television, when you wished to convey a message to a large audience, you published it. Originally published anonymously, “Common Sense” not only advocates independence but explains how the …

The Invention of the Thermometer

Every time I give a brewer’s presentation, I must remind the various homebrewers who come to these events that a thermometer would have been an EXPENSIVE and rare instrument in the 18th Century.  Today they are ubiquitous, even my car has a built-in thermometer, but in 1750 these would have been delicate and hard to …