It can be hard at times to fathom just exactly what and what was not commonly available to folks in the North American colonies during the 18th century, but we do have some written accounts that can help. Here is a 1732 Boston newspaper advertisement that gives a bit of insight.
John Merrett, grocer. At the Three Sugar Loaves and Cannister near the Town-House sells: cocoa, chocolate, tea borea and green, coffee raw and roasted, all sorts of loaf sugar, powder and muscavado sugar, sugar-candy brown and white, candy’d citron, pepper, pimienta or alspice, white pepper, red pepper, cinnamon, clove, mace, nutmegs, ginger race and powder, raisins, currants, almonds sweet and bitter, prunes, figgs, rice, ground rice, pearl barley, sago, starch, hair-powder, powder blue, indigo, annis, corriander and carraway seeds, saltpetre, brimstone, flower of brimstone, all sorts of snuff, allum, rozin, beeswax, tamarines, castile soap, fine florence oyl, vinegar, capers, olives, anchovies, and fine English pickled wallnuts, icing-glass, hartshorn shavings and burnt gums ” …
Arthur Devis (1712-1787) Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
What do you think that is open right by the boys foot? And Kevin thinks he is reading Izaak Walton’s “The Compleat Angler”.
Detail: children , boy , girl , men , women , water , reading , fishing , fence , fichu , mantua , hat , petticoat , portrait , book , dog, fish, net, fishing pole, bucket, snuff box, Fishing Treen
Thomas Patch (1725-1782) from the Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Detail: boy , men , interior , food , tile , servant , fireplace , relief , dining room , dining table , chandeliers , candles , curtain , plates, dining chairs , fireworks , urn , wine coolers , bust , caricature , paintings , sculpture , wine , meal , dinner, wine glass, bottles, walking stick