[APG Public List] "jug distemper"
laboswell at rogers.com
Tue Oct 5 07:43:10 MDT 2010
I turned to the resource that usually has all these things, newspapers.
The Milwaukee Sentinel, 20 Aug 1839 on page 2 has this reference: "An
inquest having been held over the body of a toper down south; the verdict
was "Died of the Jug Distemper." The free dictionary defines a 'toper' as
"a person who drinks alcoholic beverages (especially to excess). A
hardcore, chronic alcoholic.
So I would say it's the death of a person known to be a hardcore drinker
where there aren't other specific causes.
The reference in the google book threw me because it had it the context of
trying to ban various entertainments, but clearly it was saying that it
wouldn't be possible to ban what was on the list, including heavy drinking.
so the previous answers referencing death due to drinking were right on.
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