Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop Outreach Programs
How does colonial chocolate-making relate to the Massachusetts Frameworks? Contact us to find out and to book a program for your class!
Grades: 3rd – 5th grades
Subject Area: History and Social Studies
Time Required: 60 minutes
Location: YOUR classroom. We come to you!
Capacity: 25 students maximum
Cost: $200 for the first class; only $100 for any additional classes at the same school
Reservations: To book a chocolate outreach program, please contact the Director of Education by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Available Lesson Plans
1. Merchants and Colonial New England: The Business of Chocolate
Students explore how chocolate was made in colonial New England while making connections between two local historic sites (Old North and the Clough House) and local businesses in 18th century Boston. Students will discuss the role of trades and occupations in colonial New England through visual imagery and discover the tools and techniques involved in chocolate-making through a hands-on demonstration.
2. Colonial Home Life & the Uses of Chocolate
Students make connections between daily life in the 18th century and daily life today, specifically examining how chocolate was enjoyed in the home and in public. The lesson begins with a visual examination of historic home interiors and drawing parallels to to kitchens, offices, and living rooms we see today. Students then discover the tools and techniques involved in chocolate-making through a hands-on demonstration after learning about the Old North Church and the Clough House. Then students will brainstorm and discuss the three main ways chocolate was incorporated into daily life in colonial Boston (besides drinking it!).
3. Food Bartering: the Geography of Colonial Chocolate
Students examine the geographic implications of the popular colonial consumption of chocolate. The lesson begins with a discussion of place, familiarizing students with New England’s location in the world, then delves into a visual exploration of how chocolate in its original form made its way from Central/South America to Boston by utilizing maps. Students then discover the tools and techniques involved in chocolate-making through a hands-on demonstration after differentiating between bartering and trading goods.
What does chocolate have to do with Old North Church?? What is Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop?
Captain Newark Jackson was a merchant and a mariner in Boston’s North End during the 1730s and 1740s. Like most men of his day, however, Jackson held many professions throughout his life, including chocolate maker! Located near what was Mr. Clark’s Shipyard not far from Old North, Jackson’s chocolate mill produced the chocolate that he sold to consumers. Jackson worshipped at Old North and owned pew #13 with his wife Amey, who he married here. All three of their children — Elizabeth, Newark, and Amey — were baptized in this church as well.
We know his chocolate business thrived since chocolate was the fifth most popular non-alcoholic drink in the American colonies. A chocolate drink? Yes, colonists enjoyed chocolate as a thick, frothy, warm beverage in the morning or afternoon. Due to its high fat content and antioxidants, chocolate was also rationed to soldiers and prescribed medicinally in the 18th century. Bostonians even used chocolate as a form of protest after the Boston Tea Party: they actively chose to drink chocolate instead of English tea!
Captain Jackson’s, the only shop of its kind in New England, explores the history of chocolate, including how it was produced and consumed during the American colonial period, and its connections to Boston and the Old North Church. Daily demonstrations illustrate how chocolate was made and enjoyed by some of Boston’s most famous Revolutionary-era patriots as well as Captain Newark Jackson for whom the shop is named. Located on the campus of the Old North Church historic site, Captain Jackson’s opened in 2013 as a living history educational space and retail shop.