The study of tavern history often brings to light much evidence of sad domestic changes. Many a cherished and beautiful home, rich in annals of family prosperity and private hospitality, ended its days as a tavern.
There is something inexpressibly sad in the thought of the children who crossed the ocean with the Pilgrims and the fathers of Jamestown, New Amsterdam, and Boston, and the infancy of those born in the first years of colonial life in this strange new world.
It is easy to gain a definite notion of the furnishing of colonial houses from a contemporary and reliable source - the inventories of the estates of the colonists.
In the early days of the New England colonies, no more embarrassing or hampering condition, no greater temporal ill, could befall any adult Puritan than to be unmarried.
In the seventeenth century, the science of medicine had not wholly cut asunder from astrology and necromancy; and the trusting Christian still believed in some occult influences, chiefly planetary, which governed not only his crops but his health and life.
We should have scant notion of the gardens of these New England colonists in the seventeenth century were it not for a cheerful traveller named John Josselyn, a man of everyday tastes and much inquisitiveness, and the pleasing literary style which comes from directness, and an absence of self-consciousness.