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Early American taverns were important gathering places for townspeople and for travelers. Because of the arduous conditions in early colonial travel, taverns were generally erected every few miles on main roads to accommodate weary and hungry travelers. Although people could certainly buy and drink beer, ale, wine, and other liquors, as well as enjoy a good meal and get a good night’s sleep, taverns were places where townspeople socialized, exchanged ideas, talked about local politics, and even made laws and declared action. For example, the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia, served as the staging grounds for Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and other Virginians to form Committees of Correspondence with other colonial leaders to protest and monitor actions of the British Crown against them.
13 Colonies Artisans and Trades Articles and Activities