"Journal of Drink"
Written in 1774 by Pliny Moore


            In April of 1774 when Pliny Moore was only 15 years old, he started to keep a journal and described when and with whom he had alcoholic beverages. 


            Hugh McLellan published the journal in November of 1929 and printed 86 copies.  It was the seventeenth printing of the Moorsfield Press in Champlain.  Hugh also wrote a detailed Foreword section describing the journal. 

pliny moore papers-journal of drink 1774





THE "JOURNAL OF DRINK” is printed as a curious human document, not without certain interest to the local historian and to the student of the social history of the period of the Revolution.  That such a Journal should have been kept, at a time when "drinking" was a matter of course — before it had become a target for the moralist and the economist — is rather remarkable.


            The Journal begins on April 14th, 1774, with the writer at home in Spencertown, N. Y.   May 6th he goes to Great Barrington and Sheffield, Mass.  On June 29th he returns home, and the last entry is on July 19th.


            Written in a homemade note-book, the Journal was found among the papers of Pliny Moore (b. Sheffield, Mass., April 14, 1759), and although no definite proof as to the author appears in the manuscript, yet his authorship seems quite certain: it was commenced on his fifteenth birthday; he had an aunt called "Aunt Basheba" in family letters; and with the Journal were several boyhood letters written before 1777 to him by five of the persons named — Ezekiel Callender, John Callender, Jr., John Fellows, Jr., Ephraim Fasket and Jacob Vanbozan.


            In a letter from Ezekiel Callender, dated at Sheffield, May 2nd, 1774, to Pliny Moor at Spencertown, we read:


"I Se Mr Venhoesen And I ask him how you Did and he Sade that you Was Not much Better if any and you Did Say if you got no Better you Shold Come to Barrontoun to Be Doctord By Mr Whiting."


            The local historian will appreciate the following list of names appearing in Moore's Journal.  The superior figures in the text refer to this list:


28  “Aunt Bash”     See Loomis, Bathsheba

1  Beamant, Bemant, William

2  Beech, Ira

3  Callender, Ezekiel

4  Callender, John      Married P.M's. aunt, Rebecca Loomis

5  Callender, John, Jr.

6  Clark, Isaac      Buried at Spencertown, d. 1814

7  Colver, Ebenezer

8  Coon, Abraham

9  Day, Aaron

10   Dewes, Daniel Dewey

11  Ducher, Stoffel

12  Dun[n], John, Ensign, Col. C. D. Wynkoop's Reg., N.Y.M.

13  Fairchild, Aaron

14  Fairchild, Zachariah

15  Fasket, Ephraim

31  “Father”      See Moor, Noadiah

16  Fellows, Cherry

17  Fellows, Ezra

18  Fellows, John     Son of Ezra

19  Fellows, Pamela

20  Ferry, Moses

21  Goodrich, Silas

29  “Grandfather”     See Loomis, Samuel

22  Graves

23  Gun, Hezekiah

24  Holdridge, John

25  Keep, Mr. John Keep, minister at Sheffield from 1772 to 1785

26  Kellogg, Jessy

27  Kellogg, Silas

28  Loomis, Bathsheba     Wife of Zadok Loomis, uncle of P.M.

29  Loomis, Samuel       Grandfather of P.M. 1707-1782

30  Mansfield, Mr.

31  Moor[e], Noadiah        Father of P.M. 1730-1786

32  Pratt, David         Buried at Spencertown, 1738-1828

33  Pratt, Joel

34  Raymond, Daniel

35  Root, Aaron, (young)

36  Root, Israel

37  Scot[t], James

38  Shelden, William

39  Smith, Josiah     Great Barrington

44  “Uncle John”      Callender, John

40  Van Alen, Jacobus

41  Van Huzan, Abraham

42  Van Huzan, Jacob

43  Wright, Ephraim


                                                            HUGH McLELLAN



Champlain, N. Y., November 13, 1929








THIS 14th Day of april 1774 I begin to keep a true acount of all The Spiritual Liquors that I Drink from this time forwards   And how with and where I drink it


Spencertown April the 14th 1774 in the mor[n]ing I Drinked a dram with John Callender Junr5 Thirsday


And Friday another dram in the Morning with John Callender4 that was the 15th of april


Sunday april the 17th Stopping fire When Isack Clarks6 barn was burnt I drinkd four moderate drams of york Rum


Tuesday the 19th of april I drinkd one Dram of rum


Saterday the 23d Day of april I drinkd one very small dram of rum


Wensday the 27th of april I drinkd about one Spoon full of rum in the morning with John Callender Junr5


Wensday april the 27th 1774 at the ra[i]sing of Isacks clarks6 New barn in the afternoon i drink'd one dram of rum


Thirsday the 28th of april I Drinkd 3 drams one at Scots37 frame of his house as he raised his house that day another with Ebenezer Colver7 at E'ns John duns12 hous another in Scots37 Shop with James Scott37 and tasted of a Sling with Ebin Colver7 at E'n Duns Hous


My Journal of Drink when I Livd in Sheffield from that Day that I went from Spencertown Beginning May the 6th 1774 Friday I Drank a nip of Tody @ Josiah Smith89 @ Great Barrington alone.


Saterday May the 7th I Drank a Small Dram of rum @ my Grandfathers.29


Wensday May the 18th I Drank a Small Dram in the morning with My Father 31  @ Grandfathers.29


Thirsday May the 19th @ Great Barring ton @ Josiah Smiths39 I Drank Sum Gin Tody with Ephraim Foskit15 and then @ Silos Goodrich21 Sum Rum Tody with Do and Israel Root36 and then @ Goodrich21 Sum Gin Tody with Do E. F.15 and then in the Evening @ Mr Mansfields30 hous I Drank Gin Tody Twice and Grog once and York Rum Tody Three times and wine I Drank Parts of 3 Glases


Saterday May the 21st I Drank Two Small Drams the one alone and the other With aunt Bafh28 and Moses Ferry20 @ Grandfathers29


Wensday May the 24th I Drank Sum Egg Punch with Ira Beech2 and Ezekil Callender3 and John Fellowsl8 and Stoffell Ducher11 and Hezekiah Gun28 @ young Aaron Roots35 hous and after that the Same Day and With the Same company Sum Rum Tody and after that tasted twice of Sum Milk Punch and after that in the Evening I Drank 9 times of Rum Tody and Tasted Twice of a Sling   This Was after I came to Ezra Fellowses17




Thirsday May the 25th I Drank a Small Dram in the morning @ Mr Ezra Fellowesl7 with John Fellowsl8


Friday May the 26th I Drank a glass of Bitters in the morning with Do @ Do


Munday May the 29th I Drank a Shugar Dram @ Do with Cherry Fellows16


Tuesday May the 30th I Drank Sum Egg Punch In the morning with Cherry Fellowsl6 @ Do and Pamela Fellows19 ‑ and in the afternoon Sum More Egg Punch with Cherry Fellows16 @ Do


Wednesday June the 1st AD 1774 I Drank a Shugar Dram with John Fellows18 in The morning @ Ezra Fellowsesl7 and in the afternoon Sum Sour Punch with Ezra Fellows17


Thirsday June the 2nd in the Fournoon I Drank a Small Dram @ Grandfathers29 With Ephram Foskit15 and in the afternoon @ Mr Ezra Fellowsesl7 With himself I Drank Sum Sour Punch and in The Evening I Drank Sum Flip Alone @ Do


Tuesday June the 7th I Drank 2 Drams of Raw rum @ Mr Fellowses Store And Two of Grog with John Fellowsl8 And Dan Raimond34


Thirsday June the 9th I Drank Part of 4 Bolls of Gin Tody 3 of the First with John Fellowsl8 and Aron Fairchildes18 And the other with Do Do and Jefsy Kellogg26 @ Mr. Sheldens38    


Friday June the 10th I Drank a Bitter in The Morning With Zachariah Fairchiles14 @ William Beamants1 Shop


Saterday June the 11th I Drank Sum Gin Tody in the Fournoon With John Fellows18 @ Sheldins38 and @ noon Sum Sour Punch @ Mr Fellowses and in the afternoon Sum More Sour Punch @ Do with Mr Keep25 and Bemant and Mr Fellows Made his Hail Stones  


Wednesday June the 15th I Drank Sum rum @ the Shop with Ezra Fellows17 and his Sun John18


Thirsday June the 16th 1774 In The Evening I Drank a half A Bool of Rum Tody @ William Sheldins38 with John Fellows18 and Ezekiel Callender8 and Silas Kellogg37 and aron Fairchilesl8


Munday June the 20th 1774 I Drank Sum Nutmeg Tody @ Mr Fellows with John Fellows18


Tuesday June the 21st @ sundown I Drank sum Shugered Rum @ Mr Fellowses and in the Evening @ Daniel Dewes10 I Drank Sum Mathegelin And Sum Clove water with hezekiah Gun23 and John Fellowsl8 and the Rum With John Fellows18


Wednesday June The 22nd at noon I Drank Sum Flip @ Mr Fellowses With John


Saterday June the 25th In the Morning I Drank a Bitter with John Fellows18 @ Mr Fellowses


Sunday June the 26th I Drank Sum Sour punch with Do @ Do at Mr Fellows Return From New York


Munday June the 27th I Drank Sum Sour punch with Do @ Do and in the Evening I Drank Sum Egg punch With Do and aron Fairchiles13 @ Mr Fellowses Store


Wednesday June the 29th 1774 I Drank Sum gin Tody @ Smiths @ Great Barring Ton with John Callender4 and @ Graveses22 I Drank Sum Rum Tody with Do Comming To Spencertown


Friday July the 8th I Drank A Dram in our Follow with John Callender4 and Jacob Van huzan42


Saterday July the 9th I Drank Two Drams the one with Aaron Day9 and John Hollridg24 and Ephram Right43 In David Pratts32 Meddow‑and the other with John Callender4 and Jacob Van huzan42


Wednesday July the 13th I Drank Sum Grogg at Home with John Callender4 and Jacob Van huzan42


Noon and in the after noon a Dram with Do Do and Abraham Coon8 In uncle Johns4 Corn and in the Evening I Tasted of Sum Rum @ Joel Pratts33 Store house


Friday July the 15th I Drank a Bitter alone @ home


Satterday July the 16th I Drank 3 Small Drams in the afternoon with Jacob Vanhuzan42 and Abraham Coon8 In our Meddow


Munday July the 18th 1774 I Drank a Bitter In the Morning With John Callender4 in the hous and In the after noon a Dram with Jacobus Van alen40 in The Meddow


Tuesday July the 19th I Drank a Bitter and then in the Fournoon I Drank a Dram with Abraham Van Huzan41 and Jacob Vanhuzan42 in Our Little Meddow and then in the After noon with Abraham Coon8 and Jacobus Van alen40 I Drank 3 Drams @ Do



[1]   Fernow, N. Y. in Rev. I, p. 101

[2]   Clinton Papers, v, p. 223

[3]   Pliny Moore, Allen Everest, page 4.

[4]  Roberts, N. Y. in Rev., I, p. 87

                      MOORE PAPERS-JOURNAL OF DRINK 1774
                      MOORE PAPERS-JOURNAL OF DRINK 1774
                      MOORE PAPERS-JOURNAL OF DRINK 1774
                      MOORE PAPERS-JOURNAL OF DRINK 1774
                      MOORE PAPERS-JOURNAL OF DRINK 1774
                      MOORE PAPERS-JOURNAL OF DRINK 1774
                      MOORE PAPERS-JOURNAL OF DRINK 1774
                      MOORE PAPERS-JOURNAL OF DRINK 1774
                      MOORE PAPERS-JOURNAL OF DRINK 1774
                      MOORE PAPERS-JOURNAL OF DRINK 1774
                      MOORE PAPERS-JOURNAL OF DRINK 1774
                      MOORE PAPERS-JOURNAL OF DRINK 1774
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