Friday, December 24, 2010
No Spiked Eggnog
Sylvanus Thayer became the commander of the United States Military Academy in 1817. In 1826 there were 36 faculty and staff teaching there. One of the rules at the Academy, prohibited the possession of alcohol and drunkenness, with the threat of expulsion. However by 1826 it seemed drinking was getting out of hand among the 260 cadets.
Cadets purchased a half-gallon of whiskey on December 22nd 1826, to used in making eggnog for a Christmas party in the North Barracks. Two of the cadets got in 2 gallons and took them to room # 33, while another cadet, TM Lewis of Kentucky snunk in a gallon to room # 5. The Cadets in the North Barracks also lifted some food from the mess hall for their party.
On December 24th 1826, nine Cadets in the North Barracks started the Eggnog Party in room # 28. As the party grew it progressed into room # 5, and included Jefferson Davis. Cadet Charles Whipple of the Michigan Territory heard a commotion in room # 2 in the early morning hours. As the party became louder, the drunk cadets were discovered, and sent back to their rooms. After this the Riot got started with wood being thrown through windows, swords were drawn and at least one shot was fired. It would grow to take in a third of the cadets.
Following the Eggnog Riot 19 Cadets were court marshaled, 6 Cadets resigned from the United States Military Academy. Many others include Jefferson Davis were confined to their quarters for more then a month.
A web site I recommend for further information on this subject is The Eggnog Riot, or Jefferson Davis, Party Animal