A Thirst for Madeira

By Daniel Crown, for Atlas Obscura

In the summer of 1775, as General George Washington outfitted his first mobile headquarters for the newly formed Continental Army, he seems to have intuited the importance of creature comforts. His personal expense accounts in 1775 and 1776 detail countless purchases that would allow a privileged man like himself to remain comfortable as he superintended an increasingly anxious volunteer army: trunks, table linen, curtains, bedding, and, perhaps most important of all, copious amounts of wine.

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