“Shall I Not Take Mine Ease In Mine Inn?”

To Falstaff’s question, early America gave an unequivocal answer. Its roadside taverns were the traveler’s refuge and the townsman’s club

The old saying about many an American inn, that “George Washington slept here,” is not necessarily so apocryphal as we sometimes assume. His campaigns kept him constantly on the move, and wherever he found himself, there was likely to be an inn nearby. On foot, on horseback, or even in a coach, a day’s journey was very short by our modern standards, and accommodations had to be available nearly everywhere. New Jersey alone, just after the Revolution, had 443 inns.

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