When Bakers Attack

As mentioned, Sylvester Graham was a prolific (if extremely graphic) writer. His books and pamphlets were almost literally gobbled up by his fanatical adherents (high in fiber, don’t you know), though they predictably enraged others, especially those engaged in traditional culinary pursuits. One such group were Bostonian bakers who, driven to hysteria by Graham’s 1837 anti-white bread screed A Treatise on Bread and Bread Making, attempted to storm one of Graham’s speaking events at the Marlborough Hotel and lynch him. They were joined in no small number by city butchers, whose customers Graham was turning into vegetarians by the thousands.

Warned in advance that a riot was in the works, the mayor and police department informed the Grahamites that there weren’t enough police in the city to protect their leader. Only emboldened, the Grahamites barricaded the hotel and braced for the worst. When the assault came, it came in surprising strength, and the front line defense of wan and spindly vegetarians was quickly overwhelmed by the beefy, butcher-baker onslaught. Retreating to the reinforced upper floors of the hotel, the Grahamites poured buckets of caustic lime down on the rioters. Eyes burning, the bakers were forced to retreat, yet not before they’d succeeded in underscoring the point that when properly provoked, even a jolly pastry maker will kick your flippin’ can.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *