Archives Photograph Collection

preview image

A grog shop

image number:



This image scanned from the Cornelius Pering letter held in the Indiana University Archives. Search the accession number 0036 to see images of all of the pages of the letter as well as details of the watercolor images. For a description of the entire letter see image P0024522. Pering describes this image in his letter, in full: "...a specimen of the poorest sort of a log house, with mud plastering between the logs, with clapboard roof and logs laid across to confine them. The chimney is constructed of split pieces of wood laid at right angles and daubed inside and out with mud. Opposite the door is a sign, but the space was too small to print 'Whiskey, Gin, Brandy, and Rum for sale.' This is a grog shop, or doggery, 'where a man can get drunk as a Chloe' for a twopence. It is of course disreputable and where no respectable man would be seen. Such places were necessary appendages to every village in the country not long ago and persons might be often seen lying about outside, unable to stand or sit, the objects of pity and compassion, exciting the regret and disgust of the more temperate and reflecting part of the community. But temperance societies have effected astonishing (and as happy as surprising) revolution in public opinion. Thousands of confirmed drunkards have been reclaimed and thousands have ceased to vend the intoxicating draught. On entering the tavern, however humble, the spirit decanters were always first put before the traveler (and in this country everyone makes for himself), and all were accustomed to drink, in greater or less proportion; now they are never produced unless especially called for and many have relinquished the traffic. I cannot detail a hundredith part of the beneficial effects produced by the change in public sentiment. Almost the first thing that struck me on landing in this country was prevalence of this vice amongst the lowest class, and the reflection involuntarily arose in mind that to have ardent spirits cheap is a curse to any nation."

date taken:

1833 August 27

photographer studio:

Pering, Cornelius (as artist)

accession number:


copyright owner:

Indiana University


Taverns (Inns)




Alcoholic beverages


Log buildings






Buildings & Grounds