The Spirit Of ’76 Was Jamaican

Stephen Hopkins House Governor Stephen Hopkins led our delegation to the 1774 Continental Congress, later signing the Declaration of Independence for the colony of Rhode Island, an act of great bravery. John Adams wrote in his autobiography regarding Hopkins’ contributions to the congress,

But Governor Hopkins of Rhode Island, above seventy Years of Age kept us all alive. Upon Business his Experience and judgment were very Usefull. But when the Business of the Evening was over, he kept Us in Conversation till Eleven and sometimes twelve O Clock. His Custom was to drink nothing all day nor till Eight O Clock, in the Evening, and then his Beveredge was Jamaica Spirit and Water. It gave him Wit, Humour, Anecdotes, Science and Learning. He had read Greek, Roman and British History: and was familiar with English Poetry particularly Pope, Tompson [Thomson] and Milton. . . I could neither eat nor drink in those days. The other Gentlemen were very temperate. Hopkins never drank to excess, but all he drank was immediately not only converted into Wit, Sense, Knowledge and good humour, but inspired Us all with similar qualities.

Can you still get this stuff? Sounds excellent. This is the Stephen Hopkins House on Benefit Street next to the courthouse. George Washington visited once. It is unknown if he actually slept there, or whether the two of them stayed up all night giggling.

Stephen Hopkins garden


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