1770s.1

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British Soldiers Seek Amusements, Rebels Yawn

Salience Noteworthy
Tags Military
Game Cricket
Text

"the presence of large numbers of British troops quartered in the larger towns of the [eastern] seaboard brought the populace into contact with a new attitude toward play. Officers and men, when off duty, like soldiers in all ages, were inveterate seekers of amusement. The dances and balls, masques and pageants, ending in Howe's great extravaganza in Philadelphia, were but one expression of this spirit. Officers set up cricket grounds and were glad of outside competition. . [text refers to cock-fighting in Philadelphia, horseracing and fox hunts on Long Island, bear-baiting in Brooklyn].

"There is little indication, however, that the British occupation either broke down American prejudices against wasting time in frivolous amusements or promoted American participation and interest in games and sports."

Krout, John A., The Pageant of America: Annals of American Sport (Oxford U Press, 1929), page 26.



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