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Sugar Bowl with Lid

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This sugar bowl was owned by Electa McClallen (1800-1871), who's husband, James, founded the McClallen Brothers Farm in East Deerfield, Massachusetts. Once considered a luxury, by 1840 Americans of all classes considered sugar a necessity. Throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries, an expanding number of sugar plantations worked by slaves, allowed sugar to become increasingly cheap and available. Beginning in 1791, plantation owners in the territory of Louisiana began growing sugar cane, launching a sugar revolution in the lower Mississippi Valley. Abolitionists in America began a consumer movement for "free produce" in the late 1830s, which called for a boycott of slave produced goods. Abolitionists turned to beet sugar as an alternative to slave produced sugar. Beet sugar was featured in the up to fifty "free produce" stores that opened in northern states, selling everything from clothing and shoes, to soap.


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