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Women, Tavern Keeping, and Public Approval
Presented by Marcia Schmidt Blaine
Hosted by the Friends of the Library
Sponsored by New Hampshire Humanities
Wednesday, September 28
Government regulations, licensing, handling drunks, controlling the flow of information –why would the Colonial-era government allow women to run a tavern? When her husband died in 1736, Ann Jose Harvey became the owner of a prominent Portsmouth tavern and sole guardian of seven small children. For at least twenty years, Harvey ran the increasingly prosperous establishment. Using documents related to Harvey’s venue, Marcia Schmidt Blaine explores the world of female tavern keepers. A tavern was potentially the most disruptive spot in town. Why would a woman want to keep one?