S A I N T S: ROOT problems (part 2)…
“…Lucy and the daughters made and sold pies, root beer, and decorative cloths…”
~Saints: The Standard of Truth 1815-1846, 1:1:8~
“Root Beer” as we know it, was not commercially available until 1869; some 50 years after this scenario.
What the Smith family was selling at their store was BEER; containing alcohol.
The church nestled the words “root beer” with “pies” to give the dishonest impression of wholesomeness. It would have been better had they just stuck to the word “pies” exclusively.
“From Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, by Pomeroy Tucker, he quotes what neighbors said about the family business being called a “cake and beer shop.” [Early 20th-century historian] Brigham H. Roberts chose to include only part of the quote, leaving out the word beer, as if “cake and beer” were too wordy. I would say that Roberts chose not to be accurate…
“Another great irony of this very small but ill-conceived lack of clarification is that Roberts, had a drinking problem most all his life. I have not yet researched this enough to give sources, but my guess is that sometime after the death of Brigham H. Roberts, some well-intended, but miss guided editor sanitized the [Comprehensive] History [of the Church], by changing “beer” to “root beer”. It has lowered my esteem for Brigham H. Roberts, that as a very competent historian and one of the brightest of all Mormons, B. H. Roberts sanitized Joseph Smith Sr.’s history, while Roberts himself was a drinker. The beer/root-beer that Joseph Smith Sr. sold resembled BEER a lot more than it did the soda pop that was sold when Roberts wrote the CHC.”
~Perry L. Porter, When was Root Beer Invented?, 2000; see https://user.xmission.com/~plporter/lds/rootbeer.htm
RE-rewrite: “…Lucy and the daughters made and sold pies, beer, and decorative cloths…”