War had begun and supplies were running low. For years the colonies had been treated with respect with the once ruling King George II. However, since King George the III had risen to power, everything became a disaster. He had forsaken the englishmen that had lived in North America and taxed them relentlessly even though they didn’t have proper representation in parliament. Tired of the high taxes on things like tea and other everyday items, Boston residents were in a frenzy. When the Boston Tea Party occurred, King George III was furious and passed something called the Boston Port Act (Boston). He was enraged that the citizens of Massachusetts would disrespect him in this way, that he actually put a blockade to the harbor in 1774 until the funds which lay at the bottom of the harbor have been paid fully back to England (Boston). All the product that had been lost to the harbor combined would equal to about 1 million dollars in modern currency (Staff).
Then when the colonies declared independence on July 2, 1776 the blockades were only enforced more, not only for Boston, but all surrounding colonies as well. Even if you were not supporting the independence (which most were not) you were also affected. Since supplies was running low not only did everything become rationed, but prices were actually increasing. Everyone was feeling the shortages, the poor to even the Founding Fathers, and most importantly, their wives. In 1777 Abigail Adams the wife of the popular lawyer John Adams was writing a letter to her husband. She complained of the rising prices of food prices that are results of the war. Chocolate was actually used as rations for the soldiers, but since most of the supply went to them, people like poor Mrs. Adams are left with higher chocolate prices. In the letter Mrs. Adams made it clear she is amazed by the prices by saying,
” The extravagance of Board is greater there than here tho here every thing is at such prices as was not ever before known. Many articles are not to be had tho at ever so great a price. Sugar, Molasses, Rum, cotton wool, Coffe, chocolate, cannot all be consumed. Yet there are none, or next to none to be sold, perhaps you may procure a pound at a time, but no more. I have sometimes stoped 15 or 20 Butchers in a day with plenty of meat but not a mouthfull to be had unless I would give 4 pence per pound and a pence per pound for bringing. I have never yet indulged them and am determined I will not whilst I have a mouthfull of salt meat, to Eat, but the act is no more regarded now than if it had never been made and has only this Effect I think, that it makes (Adams).”
Before war started raging in the colonies the citizens were mad at having their food taxed when they were not actually regarded as Englishmen. when independence was declared and everything else had their prices risen it had become even more distressing. Chocolate being the fifth most popular non alcoholic beverage in the colonies having its prices raised must have come as a shock and that was only proven by the reaction of the well educated wife of John Adams, Mrs.Abigail Adams.