In 1757, George Washington ran for the Fairfax County seat in the House of Burgesses. His campaign expenses included twenty-eight gallons of rum and fifty gallons of rum punch. There was also wine, beer, and cider. This may seem modest compared to today’s campaign spending, but in 1757 Fairfax County, Virginia, had only 391 voters.

Mark Kurlansky, from Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World