At the Tuck Museum on Friday, August 3, local author Cheryl Lassiter gave away signed copies of her new book “A Meet and Suitable Person: Tavernkeeping in Old Hampton, New Hampshire, 1638-1783.” To receive the book, recipients had posted messages on Lassiter’s website at http://www.lassitergang.com.
The recipients are (left to right in photo, behind Lassiter) Peg Duffin, Ann Carnaby, Amanda Cooper for the Lane Library, Bill Keating, Karen Raynes, Art Gopalan, and Eleanor Becotte. Not pictured: Diane Riley, Hampton; Barbara Phlegar, Princeton, WV; Anne Dustin, Laconia, NH; and Courtney Wagner of the American Folk Art Museum in NYC.
Blending historical fact with a sprinkling of well-crafted storytelling, “A Meet and Suitable Person” takes readers on a back door tour of Puritan Hampton. It details the lives of the men and women who kept the town’s public houses of entertainment during the colonial era and depicts some of the fascinating townspeople and events of “Olde Hampton.” The term “meet and suitable” comes from the permission slips, called “approbations,” given by the selectmen to approved tavernkeepers.
“Hampton has a fascinating yet often overlooked history,” Lassiter says. “With the town’s 375th anniversary in 2013, there is a resurgence of interest in all things Hampton. I want to share what I am re-discovering about our town and present it in an entertaining way that respects the limited time most people have to devote to reading.” Besides her love of history, Lassiter says an interest in wine and beer prompted her to write the book, which is available at the Lane Library, Amazon.com, or through the author. Lassiter is currently researching the life of Goody Cole, the woman who is arguably Hampton’s most famous citizen. Tentatively titled “Weird: The Life of Goodwife Eunice Cole,” the book is scheduled to be published in early 2013.
In 2011, Lassiter published her first work, “A Page Out of History: A Hampton Woman in the Needletrades, 1859-1869,” based on the diary, journal, and letters of milliner Mary Page Getchell, a descendant of some of the first European families to settle at Hampton. It has won awards from the Association of Historical Societies of New Hampshire (2011) and the New England Museum Association (2012). This book is available exclusively through the Tuck Museum and online at the museum store, hamptonhistoricalsociety.org. All profits benefit the museum.
Lassiter’s current book is available at the Tuck Museum, direct from the author at lassitergang.com, and on Amazon.com.
On October 13, 2012, to officially launch “A Meet and Suitable Person,” the Hampton Historical Society will host the first ever “Olde Hampton Tavern Walk” through several downtown taverns. This ticketed event will feature samples of drinks and food from the colonial era, a fun “Are You a Meet and Suitable Person?” game with prizes, and stories from Hampton’s past.
©2012 Cheryl Lassiter. Photo courtesy of Candace Stellmach.