When John Hancock needed to win people over, he didn’t talk about resisting taxes or policy improvements; instead, he served alcohol. He offered rum punch and wine at his home and paid for lavish meals in taverns to bring people together. Guests included lower class men, French officers, and Black women and men. By throwing parties, Hancock gained social and political power among myriad groups, which repeatedly paid dividends. He was consistently elected to political office and when he smuggled madeira into Boston, one of the most memorable and violent mobs during colonial resistance defended him. In this forty-five-minute talk, Brooke Barbier will discuss an oft-ignored aspect of colonial life: the high rate of alcohol consumption. Join us for lively and evocative stories and images that illuminate the critical and complex role that alcohol played in the social, political, and cultural fabric of the American Revolution and how John Hancock used it to his advantage.