Today’s tough economics send many of us to sweets and chocolate to find comfort on tighter budgets. Candy satisfies us today; in the Colonial Period in North America, the daily menu often included drinking chocolate.
In 1747 a minister only identified as “Your humble Servant, T.W.,” published a lament about his congregation not maintaining his cost of living in the Boston Evening Post. He claimed this was a common complaint amongst his clergy colleagues. This included his costs for chocolate. He bemoaned in his letter:
Upwards of 40 years ago I was ordained Pastor of a Church… and by the unanimous Vote of my People had settled on me… with which I could buy (as I find by looking over my Accounts 40 Years back) the following Articles… [including] Chocolate…. For the same Articles I have been obliged to pay this present year…. You will readily perceive by comparing these Accounts together that the same Articles one with another have risen more than seven and an half for one since my first Settlement with my People, whereas they would never yet be prevailed on to raise my Salary more than three for one…. And I may venture to say, this is the Truth of the Case with respect to most of the Ministers throughout the Province…. Perhaps it may be of some service to us distressed Ministers under our growing difficulties… [to publish this letter].
We hope that the letter helped and TW’s church finally paid him fairly for his chocolate and other needs.