The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: January 19

NORFOLK, January 19, 1775.
We are informed, from King and Queen county, that several Gentlemen there have of late attempted to extract molosses from pumkins (a plant easily raised in this county) and met with the desired success; the pumkins yielded liquor of a good quality, and in such quantities that two rendered three quarts fit for distilling.----This being the case, the colony may, with a proper use of this information, be thoroughly supplied with rum without extra imports of molasses.

Virginia Gazette (Dixon & Hunter) January 28, 1775

About this entry:

Molasses was one of the commodities in the controversy over the Sugar Act of 1764 and later in the nonimportation agreements. While the Sugar Act slightly reduced the tax on foreign molasses, it increased the tax on sugar imports and prohibited the importation of rum. Finding a locally made substitute would reduce the need to import molasses.

Language notes:

Variant spellings of molosses / molasses, pumkins / pumpkins

Sources: Encyc. New American Nation

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