For the colonists of the 1600s and 1700s much of daily life was filled by tiring drudgery, but throughout the long hours of the work day, intoxicating beverages provided a dependable source of comfort. Drinking accompanied a diverse range of occasions that often took place in taverns, or during meals, work breaks, business meetings, weddings, funerals, trials, and legislative sessions.
When John Hoskins sailed to the New World, he was a middle-aged family man. The paper trail that establishes his English background is shaky, but has recently been fleshed out using advancements in DNA technology. Hoskins’s story is of interest not only to descendants, but also to anyone whose family research might benefit from similar genetic study.
According to legend, on October 4, 1675, Toto "the Windsor Indian" learned of a surprise attack on the city of Springfield being planned by King Philip’s soldiers. In response to this news, Toto ran 20 miles to sound the alarm, thereby saving the people of Springfield from a massacre. But the legend conjures up several questions for the historical record.