Monday, September 26, 2011

Thomas Jefferson's Wife Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson 1748-1782 & Her Half-Sister Sally Hemings 1773-1835


This article is based on information from the Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia produced by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, based on Gaye Wilson, Monticello Research Report, October 10, 1998. Also see John Kukla, Mr. Jefferson's Women, (New York: Knopf Books, 2007)

It gets a little complicated...

Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson (1748-1782), was Thomas Jefferson's (1743-1826) wife. She was born in Virginia at The Forest, the Charles City County plantation of her father John Wayles (1715-1773) & his 1st wife, Martha Eppes (1721-1748), who died just a week after giving her birth. John Wayles was an attorney, slave trader, business agent for the Bristol-based tobacco exporting firm of Tarell & Jones, & wealthy plantation owner. In 1734, her father John Wayles, born in Lancaster, England, had sailed for the colonies alone at the age of 19, leaving his family in England. Her mother Martha Eppes was a daughter of Francis Eppes of Bermuda Hundred. She had already been widowed once, when John Wayles married her.

As part of her dowry when she married John Wayles, Martha Jefferson’s mother Martha Eppes brought with her a personal slave, Susanna, an African woman who had an 11-year-old mixed-race daughter, Elizabeth Betty Hemings. John Wayles & Martha Eppes' marriage contract provided that Susanna & Betty were to remain the property of Martha Eppes & her heirs forever. The slave Betty Hemings & her children would eventually be inherited by Martha's daughter, Martha Wayles, by then married to Thomas Jefferson.

Martha Jefferson’s father John Wayles married a 2nd time, to Mary Cocke, who had 4 children. After Mary Cocke died, John Wayles married a 3rd time to Elizabeth Lomax Skelton, who died within 11 months & had no children from their union.

After his 3rd wife died in 1761, he took the mulatto slave Elizabeth Betty Hemings (1735-1807) as his concubine & had 6 children with her. Born into slavery, these children were 3/4 European in ancestry, & they were half-siblings to Martha Wayles Jefferson. And those surviving eventually came to live at Monticello as slaves.

Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson had siblings:

From her father & stepmother Mary or Tabitha Cocke Wayles d 1759 - ,

Sarah Wayles (d. infancy),

Elizabeth Wayles-Mrs Richard Eppes (1752-1810),

Tabitha Wayles-Mrs Robert Skipworth (1754-1851),

Anne Wayles-Mrs Henry Skipworth (1756-1852).

From her father & his slave Elizabeth Betty Hemings -

Nance or Nancy Hemings sold from T Jefferson's estate 1827 to Thomas Jefferson Randloph (slave, 1/2-brother 1761-a 1827),

Robert Hemings freed by T Jefferson in 1794 (slave, 1/2-brother 1760-1819 in Richmond, VA),

James Hemings freed by T Jefferson 1776 (slave, 1/2-brother 1765-1801 in Philadelphia, PA),

Thenia Hemings sold to James Monroe 1794 (slave, 1/2-sister 1767-a 1794),

Critta Hemings - Mrs Zachariah Bowles (slave, 1/2-sister 1769-a 1827 perhaps 1850),

Peter Hemings freed in T Jefferson's will (slave, 1/2-brother 1770-1834 in Albemarle, VA),

Sally Hemings (slave, 1/2-sister 1773-1835).

Betty Hemings also had several children born before those from her union with John Wayles. At Wayles death, the Jeffersons inherited her father’s slaves which had come into John Wayles' household with his marriage with her mother Martha Epps, including the Hemings family. The Hemings family members who came to Monticello had privileged positions, They were trained & worked as domestic servants, gardeners, chefs, & highly skilled artisans.

Just like her mother, Martha Wayley Jefferson had been widowed once, when Thomas Jefferson married her. She was married 1st to Bathurst Skelton on 20 November 1766. Their son, John, was born the following year, on 7 November 1767. Bathurst died on 30 September 1768. Although Thomas Jefferson may have begun courting the young widow in December 1770, while she was living again at The Forest with her young son, they did not marry until 1 January 1772, six months after the death of her young son John Skelton on 10 June 1771.

Following their January 1, 1772 wedding, the Jeffersons honeymooned for about 2 weeks at her father's plantation The Forest, before setting out in a two-horse carriage for Monticello. They made the 100-mile trip in a horrible snowstorm. Just 8 miles from their destination, their carriage bogged down in 2–3 feet of snow. The newlyweds had to continue their journey on horseback. The 2 horses which had been pulling the carriage, now carried them. Arriving at Monticello late at night to find no fire, no food, & the slaves asleep, they toasted their new home with a leftover half-bottle of wine & "song and merriment and laughter." The couple settled into a freezing one-room, 20-foot-square brick building, they nicknamed "Honeymoon Cottage." Later known as the South Pavilion, it was to be their home, until Jefferson had completed the main house at Monticello.

Silhouette of Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson

There are no known portraits of Martha Wayles Jefferson, & descriptions of her appearance are scant. The above silhouette is posted on the National First Ladies Library website. I certainly have my doubts that this was done during her lifetime or even shortly thereafter. It is difficult to know what Martha Jefferson looked like, when she was alive. 

In his Memoirs of a Monticello Slave, Isaac described Mrs. Jefferson as small & said the younger daughter, Mary, was pretty "like her mother." Unfortunately, no contemporary portrait of Mary Jefferson Epps exists either.

Slave Isaac Jefferson wrote that Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson was small & pretty.

As to her disposition, the Marquis de Chastellux described her as, "A gentle & amiable wife. . ." & her sister's husband, Robert Skipwith, assured Jefferson that she possessed, ". . .the greatest fund of good nature. . .that sprightliness & sensibility which promises to ensure you the greatest happiness mortals are capable of enjoying."

As a young girl Martha probably was educated at home by tutors. As a young woman, she was considered accomplished in music, painting & other refined arts. Hessian officer Jacob Rubsamen who visited Jefferson at Monticello in 1780, noted, "You will find in his house an elegant harpsichord piano forte & some violins. The latter he performs well upon himself, the former his lady touches very skillfully & who, is in all respects a very agreeable sensible & accomplished lady." During their courtship Jefferson had ordered a German clavichord for Martha, then changed his order to a pianoforte, "worthy the acceptance of a lady for whom I intend it."

Thomas Jefferson, Martha Jefferson, Anne Cary Randolph. Memorandum Book, 1768-1769, 1772-1782, 1805-1808. This book had first been used by Jefferson for legal notes & then by his wife, Martha (1748-1782), for her household records & recipes.

During her lifetime Martha Jefferson bore 7 children. Her son John, born during her first marriage, died at the age of 3, in the summer before she married Jefferson. Of the 6 children born during her 10 year marriage with Jefferson, only 2 daughters, Martha & Mary, would live to adulthood. Two daughters (Jane Randolph & Lucy Elizabeth) & an unnamed son died as infants. Her last child, also named Lucy Elizabeth, would die at the age of 2 of whooping cough. Martha herself lived only 4 months after the birth of this last child.

Martha "Patsy" Washington Jefferson Randolph (1772–1836)
Jane Randolph Jefferson (1774–1775)
Unnamed Son Jefferson (b./d. 1777)
Mary "Polly" Jefferson Eppes (1778–1804)
Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson (1780–1781)
Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson (1782–1785)

Before her death in September of 1782, Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson copied the following lines from Laurence Sterne's Tristam Shandy: "Time wastes too fast: every letter I trace tells me with what rapidity life follows my pen. The days & hours of it are flying over our heads like clouds of windy day never to return--more. Every thing presses on..."

One of just 4 documents in Martha's hand known to survive, this incomplete quotation was completed by Jefferson, transforming the passage into a poignant dialogue between husband & wife: "And every time I kiss thy hand to bid adieu, every absence which follows it, are preludes to that eternal separation which we are shortly to make!"

The exact cause of Martha's death is not known; however, a letter from Jefferson to the Marquis de Chastellux would indicate that she never recovered from the birth of her last child. Lucy Elizabeth was born May 8, & Martha died the following September.

Thomas Jefferson to Marquis de Chastellux, November 26, 1782.

Jefferson noted in his account book for September 6, 1782, "My dear wife died this day at 11:45 A.M." In his letter to the Marquis de Chastellux, Jefferson refered to "...the state of dreadful suspense in which I had been kept all the summer & the catastrophe which closed it." He goes on to say, "A single event wiped away all my plans & left me a blank which I had not the spirits to fill up."

Edmund Randolph reported to James Madison in September 1782, that "Mrs Jefferson has at last shaken off her tormenting pains by yielding to them, & has left our friend inconsolable. I ever thought him to rank domestic happiness in the first class of the chief good; but I scarcely supposed, that his grief would be so violent, as to justify the circulating report, of his swooning away, whenever he sees his children."

Jefferson buried his wife in the graveyard at Monticello, & as a part of her epitaph added lines in Greek from Homer's The Iliad. "Εί δέ φανόντων περ καταλήφοντ ειν Αίδαο, Αύτάρ έγω κάκείθι φίλσ μεμνήσομ' έταίρσ." A modern translation reads: Even if I am in Hell, where the dead forget their dead, yet will I even there be mindful of my dear companion.  Below the Greek inscription, the tombstone reads: "To the memory of Martha Jefferson, Daughter of John Wayles; Born October 19th, 1748, O.S. Intermarried with Thomas Jefferson January 1st, 1772; Torn from him by death September 6th, 1782: This monument of his love is inscribed."

His wife's death left Jefferson distraught. After the funeral, he withdrew to his room for 3 weeks. Afterward he spent hours riding horseback through the woods on the hill surrounding Monticello. His daughter Martha wrote, "In those melancholy rambles I was his constant companion, a solitary witness to many a violent burst of grief." Half a century later his daughter Martha remembered his sorrow: "the violence of his emotion...to this day I not describe to myself."

Detail of Portrait of Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph  (1772-1836) by Thomas Sully (American artist, 1783-1872)  c 1836

Not until mid-October, did Jefferson begin to resume a normal life, when he wrote, "emerging from that stupor of mind which had rendered me as dead to the world as was she whose loss occasioned it." In November of 1783, he agreed to serve as commissioner to France, eventually taking his older daughter Martha "Patsy" with him in 1784, and sending for Mary "Polly" later. Accompanying them in France was the family slave Sally Hemings.

Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836) by James Westhall Ford (American artist, (1794-1866)

Sally Hemings was lady’s maid to Jefferson’s daughters, & also worked as a chambermaid & seamstress. She spent 2 years in Paris, after accompanying 9-year-old Mary "Polly" Jefferson across the ocean. According to her son Madison, Sally Hemings began a relationship with Jefferson in Paris, & bore him a number of children. Although she was not freed by the terms of Jefferson's will, she was not among the slaves sold at the 1827 estate auction at Monticello. Jefferson's daughter Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph presumably gave Sally "her time," that is, freed her unofficially, so that she would not be subject to the 1806 Virginia law requiring freed slaves to leave the state within 1 year. Madison Hemings recalled that after Jefferson's death in 1826, he & his brother Eston took their mother to live with them in a rented house down in Charlottesville. Sally Heming would have been about 54 at that time, & she would live nearly a decade more.

The claim that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with his slave Sally Hemings burst into the public arena during Jefferson's 1st term as president, & it is still the subject of discussion & debate. In September 1802, political journalist James T. Callender, a failed office-seeker & former ally of Jefferson, wrote in a Richmond newspaper that Jefferson had for many years "kept, as his concubine, one of his own slaves." "Her name is Sally," Callender claimed that Jefferson had "several children" by her.  Public knowledge of even the rumors that Jefferson had parented several slave children became a scandal during his Administration.

In 1873, the Pike County (Ohio) Republican, ran a series entitled, "Life Among the Lowly," Which included a memoir by Madison Hemings, a resident of Ross County, Ohio. Hemings stated that his mother Sally, who was the half-sister of Jefferson's wife, Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson & a slave of Thomas Jefferson, gave birth to 5 children "and Jefferson was the father of them all."  Madison Hemings said in 1873, that his mother had been pregnant with Jefferson's child (who, he said, lived "but a short time"), when she returned from France in 1789.

Sally Hemings' children listed in Monticello records are -

Harriet (1795-1797), 
Beverly (born 1798),
an unnamed daughter (born 1799; died in infancy),
Harriet (born 1801),
Madison (1805-1877),
Eston (1808-1856).

All 4 of Sally Hemings’s surviving known children became free close to their 21st birthdays. The oldest surviving son Beverly Hemings & his sister Harriet Hemings were allowed to leave Monticello without pursuit & apparently passed into white society. Their descendants have not been located. Their brothers Madison Hemings & Eston Hemings remained at Monticello until after Jefferson's 1826 death; both were freed in his will.

As one DNA study indicates, the widower Jefferson & Martha Wayley Jefferson's half sister Sally Hemings parented at least one, possibly several illegitimate children, after the death of Martha Jefferson.  The Thomas Jefferson Foundation states on the Monticello webiste, "TJF and most historians now believe that, years after his wife’s death, Thomas Jefferson was the father of the six children of Sally Hemings mentioned in Jefferson's records, including Beverly, Harriet, Madison, and Eston Hemings."

This article is based on information from the Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia produced by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, based on Gaye Wilson, Monticello Research Report, October 10, 1998. Also see John Kukla, Mr. Jefferson's Women, (New York: Knopf Books, 2007)
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Biography - 1708 Husband Rules Children & Wife - Virginia - Ann Walker

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Ann Walker's Fight To Attend Church

In 1708, Ann Keith Walker (1637- a 1708) appeared before the all male Royal Governor and Council in Williamsburg, Virginia, in a continuing dispute between her and George Walker (c1640-1732), her husband, over their religious beliefs and practices.

Ann, a member of the Church of England who tried to attend services regularly, faced opposition from her husband. He tried to prevent her from attending the church of her choice, and he was also adamant in his determination to direct the religious education of their children.

Ann Keith & George Walker, both born in Virginia, had married in 1691. George was a boat pilot on the James River, a gunner, and a shopkeeper at Fort Point Comfort. Ann had produced twins Elizabeth & Margaret in 1692; Jacob in 1694; Helen in 1696; George in 1698; Sarah in 1700; and Frances in 1702.

Unable to resove their differences, husband and wife both complained to the governor and Council. She asked for full liberty to attend church, to pursue her religious beliefs, and to raise her children as members of the Church of England. He asked for confirmation of his authority as a father to direct the religious education of their children.

The governor and Council granted both requests in part. Ann Walker was allowed freedom to attend church as she wished; and George Walker, "as Long as he proffesses to Be a Christian and Continues in the Exercise of it," was allowed to direct the religious education of their children, retaining "that authority over his Children that properly Belongs to Every Christian man."

The Church of England was the established church in colonial Virginia; but by 1708, many Virginians were Presbyterians or Quakers, as some earlier Virginians had been Puritans and later many Virginians became Baptists or Methodists.

The case of Ann Walker demonstrates the importance of religious beliefs among early Virginians; how differences of religious opinion could divide members of a family; how such important differences affected the religious education of children; how family members might call on the government to settle such controversies; and how men ruled in 18th-century Virginia.

In this instance, the authority of the husband prevailed over the wishes of the mother, even though the mother was a confirmed & committed member of the Church of England, the official church of the British American colonies, and the father was not.
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Newspaper - 1736 Runaway Woman - Maryland Indentured Servant

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RAN away, on the 30th of September last, from the City of Annapolis, ...a Servant Woman, named Sarah Miers, a Dutch Woman, and talks broken English, pretty Tall, Round Shoulder'd. Likely in the Face, and had a Flat Nose: They took with them some Wearing Apparel, viz. a dark Grey Coat trimm'd with Black, a Woman's Blue Cloak, fac'd with White Silk; a Seesucker Gown, one White Linen Ditto; one strip'd Calimanco Ditto, a brown Camblet Petticoat, a Woman's Bermuda hat, lin'd with Blue Silk, and several other Things, viz. Bedding, Linnen, and in particular a Red Rugg. They went in an old carvil Work Long-Boat, with one Mast, and a Square Sail.

Virginia Gazette (Parks), Williamsburg, From Friday, October 8, to Friday, October 15, 1736.
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Newspaper - 1751 Runaway Love Triangle in Virginia

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Stafford County, October 13th, 1751. RAN away from the Subscriber, this Day, a Servant Man, anmed William Frye...had on when he went away a bluish grey Kersey Coat, with yellow Buttons...The said Runaway went off with the Wife of the Subscriber, named Mary, a short, thick Woman of a dark Complexion, with black hair, black Eyes, aged about 30 Years, and has lost one of her front Teeth: She is a neat Woman in Sewing, Spinning, and knitting Stockngs, and can do almost any Manner of Taylors Work, but is oblig'd to use Spectacles when at Work. She took with her a striped Silk Stuff Gown...And, as the above-mentioned Mary has eloped from her said Husband, I hereby foreward all Persons from trusting her on my Account, for I will not pay any Debts she shall contract after the Publication hereof.

Virginia Gazette (Hunter), Williamsburg, October 31, 1751.
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Newspaper - 1777 Army Deserter from the Revolution Runs Away with his Pregnant Wife

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DESERTED from the 2d Virginia Regiment in New Jersey, the following ...Serjeant, 30 Years of Age...his Wife, who was heavy with Child, went off with him...the Serjeant...enlisted into Captain Alexander's Company, and may be taken in Frederick County, Virginia. ALEXANDER SPOTSWOOD, Col. 2d Virg. Reg.

Virginia Gazette(Dixon & Hunter), Williamsburg , September 5, 1777
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Newspaper - Runaway Slaves Who Could Read & Write

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Virginia Journal and Alexandria Advertiser (Richards), Alexandria, September 29, 1785.
RAN AWAY...a MULATTO WOMAN, named MOLLY; of a middle size. She took with her two Virginia cloth jackets and petticoats, one brown and one green baize ditto, with sundry other things.---As she can read, and is handy at her needle, it is probable she will endeavour to pass for a free woman.

Virginia Gazette and General Advertiser (Davis), Richmond, August 24, 1791.
The following NEGROES...A MULATTO WOMAN went off with the above, who has since been been taken up at Norfolk, and as she can write, she probably has furnished the others with passes, changing thier name.

The Herald and Norfolk and Portsmouth Advertiser (Willett and O'Connor), Norfolk, November 9, 1795.
RUN AWAY...A likely mulatto woman named SILLAR, about the common stature, 25 years of age, and walks generally very brisk; she has been brought up a House Servant and can read a Letter...it is expected as she carried off her bed, bedding, and a number of good clothes, that she as been coaxed away by some free Negro or other, who has conveyed her off by water and intends to pass her as a free woman

Norfolk Herald (Willett and O'Connor), Norfolk, September 14, 1797.
Run away Negroes...JACK, a Carpenter by trade, about 40 years of age, 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, of a dark complexion. PHEBE, his wife, and his daughter BETSEY, about 16 years of age, a very likely wench; also Two of the said Phebe's Children, one of which is 5 or 6 years and the other 6 months old. It is suspected Jack's wife will forge passes as she is very artful and can write...A Negro Fellow named Joe, son to the above Jack, about 20 years of age, plays on the Violin.

Norfolk Herald (Willett and O'Connor), Norfolk, October 2, 1800.
Negro Girl named NANCY, about 19 years of age, about 4 feet 4 inches, good stout looking girl; her complexion paler than general; had on when she went away a black new fashioned paste-board bonnet, trimmed with black ribbon, a blue handkerchief on her neck, dark callico short gown, purple worsted petticoat, she had a sifter in which she had cakes to sell about town...She has changed her name to BETSEY. Speaks very good Dutch, can read and write, and may forge herself a passport.

Norfolk Herald (Willett and O'Connor),Norfolk, October 29, 1801.
Forty Dollars Reward. RAN-AWAY from the subscriber, living in Petersburg, Virginia, in the afternoon of Thursday, the 22d inst. a likely spare made Negro Woman, named LUCINDA, (but sometimes she is called Lucinda Walker, and at other times Lucinda Brown) about 24 years of age, she is of the common height, and rather black: she has a remarkable pleasant countenance, smooth insinuating manners, and speaks very correct and distinct--she had previously sent off the most of her clothes in a trunk, (supposed marked at the bottom W.D. or W.I.D.) of which she has a variety of good materials and well made. I am informed she had made up just before her elopemont, a habit and coat of dark blue cloth in the fashion; and it is likely she will travel in that dress--she can both read and write a little: I am pretty certain that she has been enticed off by some bad designing man, probably white, and that she has through them procured free papers, or a pass of some kind which she will make use of. She was born and brought up in the family indulgently...expressing a desire to go to Europe.
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Newspaper - Runaway House Slaves

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Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser (Goddard), Baltimore, June 27, 1780.
NEGROES, who ran away...Lucy, Hannah, and Nan...They are most of them very artful, and expect to pass as free people...Lucy's business has been to wash and iron. Young Hannah and Nan are exceeding good flax spinners. They are all mostly cloathed in Virginia cloth...They have stole some guns, and many different sorts of clothes, and I expect they will change their names.

Virginia Gazette (Clarkson & Davis), Richmond, August 19, 1780.
RUN away...a young mulatto wench named Sukey. Her dress when she went away was white Virginia cloth, a linen bonnet made in the fashion; she has a large bushy head of hair, her upper fore teeth much decayed, and some of them out, which causes her to lisp, shows her teeth when laughing, and is very brazen and impertinent. She can wash, iron, and cook.

Virginia Gazette and General Advertiser (Davis), Richmond, January 26, 1791.
RAN-AWAY...a large fat likely negro woman, known by the name of SARAH, but looks young to her age, which is between 40 or 50, of a bold insinuating countenance, artful and cunning to the highest degree...She is an excellent house servant, as to spinning cotton of flax, sewing, knitting, cooking, washing, or any thing else a wench can do, and can work very well in the crop--She is fond of making and selling ginger bread, &c. ...Her clothing when she went away was a large scarlet frize cloak, a hat dress with white ribbon and buckle, one callico jackcoat, one suit of green durants, sundry suits of strip'd and white Virginia cloth, and wore two silver rings on her fingers.

Virginia Herald and Fredericksburg Advertiser (Green), Fredericksburg, November 14, 1793.
RAN AWAY...in Orange county, the last of September, NEGRO MOLLY, a lusty likely woman, about 41 or 42 years of age, rather dark complexion; she is a healthy, neat, industrious wench, a good cook, washer and ironer, and is well acquainted with house business

American Gazette and Norfolk and Portsmouth Public Advertiser
(Davis), Norfolk, September 15, 1795.
RUN AWAY this morning, a negro Woman named MOLLY, But has of late gone by the name of BETTY...She is very black, has a bushy head, and remarkable white teeth, is about 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, and supposed to be about 36 years of age; is a very good washer and ironer, and am informed a good cook, and is well acquainted with all kind of house business.

Norfolk Herald (Willett and O'Connor), Norfolk, August 2, 1800.
Negro Woman named PATTY...about 28 years of age, thick, well set, and about 5 feet 5 inches high. She has short curled hair, and prominent features, particularly eyes, noes, and mouth. Her teeth are bad and yellow, and the whites of her eyes are much affected by smoke. On her shoulders are two scars visible when she does not wear a handkerchief; and her right arm shews the marks of very frequent bleeding. Her voice is rather shrill; she is very talkative and disposed to be impertinent; but when it suits her purpose can assume every appearance of perfect humility. I expect she is in Norfolk, in company with a sister who bears a very striking resemblance...Patty is a good cook and washer, and probably will practice one or the other for a livelihood.

Norfolk Herald (Willett and O'Connor), Norfolk, March 12, 1801.
Run-a-way...Negro SAREY...well known in Norfolk as a negro hiring herself out to day's work at washing

Norfolk Herald (Willett and O'Connor), Norfolk, July 6, 1802
Ran Away...a tall, spare black woman named POLLY, about 20 years old, formerly the property of Major Roger West: she has been brought up to house-work, is a good cook, washer and nurse.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cooking Cakes in the 18th Century

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During the 18th-century, cooking special cakes to celebrate royal commemorations, weddings, anniversaries, religious holidays, revolutionary victories, and birthdays called for a Rich Cake which was sometimes called a Great Cake in early America.

[1747]
"To Make a Rich Cake
Take four Pound of Flower well dried and sifted, seven Pound of Currants washed and rubb'd, six Pound of the best fresh Butter, two Pound of Jordan Almonds blanched, and beaten with Orange Flower Water and Sack till they are fine, then take four Pound of Eggs, put half the Whites away, three Pound of double refin'd Sugar beaten and sifted, a quarter of an Ounce of Mace, the same of Cloves and Cinnamon, three large Nutmegs, all beaten fine, a little Ginger, half a Pint of Sack, half a Pint of right French Brandy, Sweetmeats to your liking, they must be Orange, Lemon, and Citron. Work your Butter to a Cream with your Hands before any of your Ingredients are in, then put in your Sugar, mix it well together; let your Eggs be well beat, and strain'd thro' a Sieve, work in your Almonds first, then put in your Eggs, beat them all together till they look white and thick, then put in your Sack and Brandy and Spices, and shake your Flour in by Degrees, and when your Oven is ready, put in your Currants and Sweetmeats as you put it in your hoop; it will take four Hours baking in a quick Oven, you must keep it beaten with your Hand all the while you are mixing of it, and when your Currants are well wash'd and clean'd, let them be kept before the Fire, so that they may go warm into your Cake. This Quantity will bake best in two Hoops."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, London [1747]

"To Ice a great Cake another Way
Take two Pound double refin'd Sugar, beat and sift it very fine, and likewise beat and sift a little Starch and mix with it, then beat six Whites of Eggs to Froth, and put to it some Gum-Water, the Gum must be steep'd in Orange-flower-water, then mix and beat all these together two Hours, and put it on your Cake; when it is baked, set it in the Oven again to harden a quarter of an Hour, take great Care it is not discolour'd. When it is drawn, ice it over the Top and Sides, take two Pound of double refin'd Sugar beat and sifted, and the Whites of three Eggs beat to a Froth, with three or four Spoonfuls of Orange-flower-water, and three Grains of Musk and Ambergrease together; put all these in a Stone Mortar, and beat these till it is a white as Snow, and with a Brush or Bundle of Feathers, spread it all over the Cake, and put it in the Oven to dry; but take Care the Oven does not discolour it. When it is cold paper it, and it will keep good five or six Weeks."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, London [1747]

Churning the Butter

[1772]
"A Rich Cake
Take six pounds of the best fresh butter, work it to a cream with your hands; then throw in by degrees three pounds of double refined sugar well beat and sifted; Mix them well together; then work in three pounds of blanched almonds, and having them altogether till they are thick and look white. The add half a pint of French brandy, half a pint of sack, a small quantity of ginger, about two ounces of mace, cloves, and cinnamon each, and three large nutmegs all beaten in a mortar as fine as possible. Then shake in gradually four pounds of well dried and sifted flour; and when the oven is well prepared, and a thin hoop to bake it in, stir into this mixture (as you put it into the hoop) seven pounds of currants clean washed and rubbed, and such a quantity of candied orange, lemon, and citron in equal proportions, as shall be thought convenient. The oven must be quick, and the cake at least will take four hours to bake; Or you may make two or more cakes out of these ingredients, you must beat it with your hands, and the currants must be dried before the fire, and put into the cake warm."
---The Frugal Colonial Housewife, Susannah Carter [1772]

Gathering the Eggs

[1792]
"Bride Cake
Take four pounds of fine flour well dried, four pounds of fresh butter, two pounds of loaf sugar, a quarter of an ounce of mace, the same of nutmegs well beat and sifted, and to every pound of flour put eight eggs, four pounds of currants well washed and picked, and dry them before the fire till they are plump, blanch a pound of Jordan almonds, and cut them lengthways very thin, a pound of candied citron, the same of candied orange, and the same of candied lemon peel, cut in thin slips, and half a pint of brandy; first work your butter to a fine cream with your hand, then beat in your sugar a quarter of an hour, and beat the whites of your eggs to a strong froth, and mix them with your sugar and butter; beat your yolks for half an hour with one hand, and mix them well with the rest; then by degrees put in your flour, mace, and nutmeg, and keep beating it till your oven is ready; put in the brandy, currants, and almonds lightly: tie three sheets of paper round the bottom of your hoop to keep it from running out, and rub it well with butter, then put in your cake, and lay your sweetmeats in three layers, with some cake between every layer; as soon as it is risen and coloured, cover it with paper before your oven in closed up, and bake it three hours. You may ice it or not, as you choose, directions being given for icing in the beginning of this chapter."
---The New Art of Cookery According to the Present Practice, Richard Briggs [W. Spotswood, R. Campbell & B. Johnson:Philadelphia] 1792

"Icing for Cakes.--Take the whites of twelve eggs, and a cound of couble-refined sugar pounded and sifted through a fine sieve, mix them together in a deep earthen pan and beat it well for three hours with a strong wooden spoon till it looks white and thick, and with a thin paste knife spread it all over the top and sides of your cake, and ornament it with sweet nonpareils, or fruit paste, or sugar images, and put it in a cool oven to harden for one hour, or set it at the distance from the fire, and keep turning it till it is hard. You may perfume the icing with any sort of perfume you please."
---The New Art of Cookery According to the Present Practice, Richard Briggs [W. Spotswood, R. Campbell & B. Johnson:Philadelphia] 1792

A Little Coffee with Your Cake...

Information from  Foodtimeline.org
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Slaves & Rice Cultivation in Georgetown County, South Carolina

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Salves and Rice Cultivation in Georgetown County, South Carolina

The intricate steps involved in planting, cultivating, harvesting, and preparing rice required an immense labor force. Planters stated that African slaves were particularly suited to provide that labor force for two reasons: 1) rice was grown in some areas of Africa and there was evidence that some slaves were familiar with the methods of cultivation practiced there, and 2) it was thought that the slaves, by virtue of their racial characteristics, were better able than white laborers to withstand the extreme heat and humidity of the tidal swamps and therefore would be more productive workers. Rice cultivation resulted in a dramatic increase in the numbers of slaves owned by South Carolinians before the American Revolution.


In 1680, four-fifths of South Carolina's population was white. However, black slaves outnumbered white residents two to one in 1720, and by 1740, slaves constituted nearly 90% of the population. Much of the growing slave population came from the West Coast of Africa, a region that had gained notoriety by exporting its large rice surpluses.


While there is no consensus on how rice first reached the American coast, there is much debate over the contribution of African-born slaves to its successful cultivation. New research demonstrates that the European planters lacked prior knowledge of rice farming, while uncovering the long history of skilled rice cultivation in West Africa. Furthermore, Islamic, Portuguese, and Dutch traders all encountered and documented extensive rice cultivation in Africa before South Carolina was even settled.


At first rice was treated like other crops, it was planted in fields and watered by rains. By the mid-18th century, planters used inland swamps to grow rice by accumulating water in a reservoir, then releasing the stored water as needed during the growing season for weeding and watering. Similarly, prior records detail Africans controlling springs and run off with earthen embankments for the same purposes of weeding and watering.

Soon after this method emerged, a second evolution occurred, this time to tidewater production, a technique that had already been perfected by West African farmers. Instead of depending upon a reservoir of water, this technique required skilled manipulation of tidal flows and saline-freshwater interactions to attain high levels of productivity in the floodplains of rivers and streams. Changing from inland swamp cultivation to tidal production created higher expectations from plantation owners. Slaves became responsible for five acres of rice, three more than had been possible previously. Because of this new evidence coming to light, some historians contend that African-born slaves provided critical expertise in the cultivation of rice in South Carolina. The detailed and extensive rice cultivating systems increased demand for slave imports in South Carolina, doubling the slave population between 1750 and 1770. These slaves faced long days of backbreaking work and difficult tasks.


A slave's daily work on an antebellum rice plantation was divided into tasks. Each field hand was given a task--usually nine or ten hours' hard work--or a fraction of a task to complete each day according to his or her ability. The tasks were assigned by the driver, a slave appointed to supervise the daily work of the field hands. The driver held the most important position in the slave hierarchy on the rice plantation. His job was second only to the overseer in terms of responsibility.


The driver's job was particularly important because each step of the planting, growing, and harvesting process was crucial to the success or failure of the year's crop. In the spring, the land was harrowed and plowed in preparation for planting. Around the first of April rice seed was sown by hand using a small hoe. The first flooding of the field, the sprout flow, barely covered the seed and lasted only until the grain sprouted. The water was then drained to keep the delicate sprout from floating away, and the rice was allowed to grow for approximately three weeks. Around the first of May any grass growing among the sprouts was weeded by hoe and the field was flooded by the point flow to cover just the tops of the plants. After a few days the water was gradually drained until it half covered the plants. It remained at this level--the long flow--until the rice was strong enough to stand. More weeding followed and then the water was slowly drained completely off the field. The ground around the plants was hoed to encourage the growth and extension of the roots. After about three weeks, the field was hoed and weeded again, at which time--around mid-June or the first of July--the lay-by flow was added and gradually increased until the plants were completely submerged. This flow was kept on the field for about two months with fresh water periodically introduced and stagnant water run off by the tidal flow through small floodgates called trunks.


Rice planted in the first week of April was usually ready for harvesting by the first week of September. After the lay-by flow was withdrawn, just before the grain was fully ripe, the rice was cut with large sickles known as rice hooks and laid on the ground on the stubble. After it had dried overnight, the cut rice was tied into sheaves and taken by flatboat to the threshing yard. In the colonial period, threshing was most often done by beating the stalks with flails. This process was simple but time consuming. If the rice was to be sold rough, it was then shipped to the agent; otherwise, it was husked and cleaned--again, usually by hand. By the mid-19th century most of the larger plantations operated pounding and/or threshing mills which were driven by steam engines. After the rice had been prepared, it was packed in barrels, or tierces, and shipped to the market at Georgetown or Charleston. In 1850 a rice plantation in the Georgetown County area produced an average yield of 300,000 pounds of rice. The yield had increased to 500,000 pounds by 1860.

See National Park Service
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

American Artist John MacKay or M'Kay flourished 1788-1791

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John Mackay or M'Kay, Hannah Ackley Bush (1767-1807) of New York, 1791

These late 18th-century paintings are something of a puzzle. Several things seem apparent. The artist does not seem to feel at ease portraying hands, but he has absolutely no problem with rather daring color schemes. I don't usually include portraits of men, but here is an exception; because Mr. Bush was reported to be a rather unusual character. He was known to cut quite a figure, and he had 3 wives.

The portraits of the Bushes are clearly signed with both the name MacKay and the name M'Kay, but the identity of the artist has remained elusive.

A John MacKay/M’Kay listed himself as a glazier and ornamental painter, an artist who could have painted portraits, in New York City directories in 1790, but there seem to be no ads in newspapers for his business.

John Mackay or M'Kay, John Bush (1755-1816) of New York, 1791

1791 John MacKay or M’Kay, Catherine Brower Mrs Stephen Hyde of New York (1783-1865) 1791

John MacKay or M’Kay, Ruth Stanley Mrs John Mix of Connecticut 1788
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tornados & Whirlwinds - Reading Outdoors in 18th-Century America

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Well, it has been a glorious day, until the weather turned to tornado warnings about an hour ago. By the way, I had suspected that tornados were usually called whirwinds in 18th-century America. As one man wrote in the 1739 Boston Newsletter, "...we had a violent Whirlwind or Tornado (as some all it)." But when I searched, I found mention of 851 torandos in American newspapers from 1733 to 1800. Whirlwinds were noted in the same newspapers 1054 times between 1719 and 1800. I was surprised.

The 1st time the English word "tornado" appeared in print was in Richard Hakluyt's (c 1552-1616) Principall Navigations, Voiages, and Discoveries in 1589, when W Towerson noted, "We had terrible thunder and lightening, with exceeding gusts of raine, called a Ternado." The term "whirlwind" had been used in print since 1340.

Well, anyway, before the high winds and storms, it would have been the perfect day here in the Chesapeake for reading outdoors. Here are a few 18th-century American ladies doing just that.

1750 Joseph Badger (American Colonial Era artist, 1798-1765) Mrs. Nathaniel Brown (Anna Porter Brown)

1750-1760 Joseph Badger (American Colonial Era artist, 1798-1765)Mrs. John Edwards (Abigail Fowle)

1755 Benjamin West (American colonial era artist, 1738-1820). Mrs Geo Ross Anne Lawler Franklin & Marshall

1764 John Singleton Copley (American Colonial Era artist, 1738-1815) detail Mary Greene Mrs Dan Hubbard

1767 James Claypoole, Jr. (American Colonial Era artist, 1743-1814) Ann Galloway Mrs Joseph Pemberton Phil Acad of Arts

1789 Ralph Earl (American artist, 1751-1801) Esther Boardman

1789-1795 George William West (American artist, 1770-1795) Sybil West Holland Mrs Francis Utie Holland

1793 James Peale (American artist, 1749-1831) Ramsey Polk Family in Cecil County MD

1798 William Clarke (American painter, fl. 1785-1806) ) Mrs William Frazer Delaware
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Cookbooks & Food in 18th-Century England Spread to the Colonies Reflecting Changes in Society

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Burgeoning cities in England

During the 18th century, English life started to breed the money-fuelled materialism that we are familiar with today. As landowners forced peasants off their land, freeing up the opportunity for commercial farming, the industrial revolution was taking hold. Consequently there were huge population shifts, as vast numbers of people moved from the countryside to the towns. Cities swelled, stretching out to incorporate both dilapidated slums and elegant new vistas. Britain was developing a consumer culture, and city life throbbed with activity. Glinting shops, market stalls, cattle traffic, puppet shows, dog fights, fops, prostitutes, and pickpockets, all packed out the streets. Street vendors sold everything from scissor grinding and matches to oranges, hot gingerbread, and love songs. It was an age of gambling on both a large scale (on the stock market) and a small scale (in domino games or cockfighting). As a result, fortunes were frequently made and lost overnight.

Technology

It was also a century of great technological innovation, and the activities of the kitchen were affected just as much as society at large. Rolled sheet iron produced improved kitchen utensils, superior fire grates, and modern novelties like the clockwork spit. In earlier times cattle were killed at the beginning of winter when fodder ran out. Therefore meat had to be salted so that it was preserved during the winter months. In the 18th century, however, the English adopted new winter feeding methods, which enabled fresh meat to be available all year round. Improved seeds from Holland brought new varieties of fruit and vegetables to England, while better transport allowed fish to be brought inland fresh from the sea, and regional foods - such as cheddar cheese - to be enjoyed all over the country.

English favourites and flavours from abroad

Although the Whig aristocracy employed French chefs, the swelling ranks of middle England liked their simple, plain fare, enjoying roast and boiled meats, pies, and puddings. Roast beef became part of the construction of a British national identity, in opposition to the fancy sauces of France. The invention in the late 17th century of a muslin cloth for steaming, fed England's obsession with puddings - previously, a cook would have had to obtain fresh animal guts in which to steam her pudding. And the English had an enormous appetite for puddings, whether stuffed with meat or game, or oozing with butter or custard.

Whilst the poor depended increasingly on bread and cake, the wealthy were enjoying such delicacies as vermicelli and macaroni from Italy, curry, pilau rice and mango pickle from India, and even turtle soup containing freshly imported turtles from the West Indies. They grew exotic fruits in their hothouses, and kept ice-cream in their ice houses.

Spirits such as gin and brandy were extremely popular.

Indulgence

The government had given enormous financial backing to the distilling industry at the beginning of the century, having realised that the production of spirits offered a solution to the problem of the corn surplus. Spirits were hugely profitable and were produced in abundance. Consequently they were dirt cheap, and as gin and brandy shops spread like rashes over the cities' poor districts, the incidence of alcoholism among men, women and even children became appallingly high.

This age of indulgence led to widespread health problems, with a high incidence of gout, diabetes, heart and liver disease. And many foods were secretly or unwittingly made with poisonous ingredients. Pickles were made green, sweets multi-coloured, and cheese rind red, all with the use of copper and lead. Pepper was mixed with floor sweepings to bulk it out, and alum (a toxic mineral salt) made bread whiter. Even copper and brass pans were dangerous - when mixed with acidic food, they produced a poisonous layer of verdigris.

Cookery Books

Throughout this period booksellers churned out popular recipe books, fully aware of the commercial viability of recipes linked to prestigious chefs. Unfortunately many of the books were thrown together by money-making charlatans who had simply filched their material from existing publications.

With the growth of the middle classes during the course of the 18th century, there was an increasing demand for books designed to save the lady of the house from the tedious duty of instructing her kitchen maids. So recipe books such as The Art of Cookery by Hanna Glassie were directed at the servants rather than the mistress, and were written in plain and accessible language.

From the British Library.
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The Art of Cookery by Hanna Glassie

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The first American edition of The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse was published in Alexandria, Virginia in 1805. The English edition of the cookbook had been available in the colonies for decades.

The Art of Cookery, written by Hannah Glasse, was published in 1747. It was a best seller for over a hundred years, and made Glasse one of the best-known cookery writers of the eighteenth century.


As Glasse explains in the preface, the book was intended to be an instruction manual for servants - 'the lower sort' as she called them. During the 1700s there was a fashion for books of this kind, which were designed to save the lady of the house from the tedious duty of instructing her kitchen maids. As Hannah Glasse puts it, the book should 'improve the servants and save the ladies a great deal of trouble'. She is dismissive of the fanciful language used by other cookery book writers, which she feels simply confuses the servants: 'the poor girls are at a loss to know what they mean,' she writes. In contrast, her style is precise and direct.

Glasse was a housewife, rather than a professional cook, and according to her biographers her primary aim as a writer was to make money. She wrote the book quickly and methodically - in fact 342 of the 972 recipes are taken directly from other books. However, she does show a great deal of skill and originality. Firstly, her writing style is lively, intelligent and amusing. Also, the book contains one of the earliest references to Indian curry in an English cookbook. Asian food first became popular in Britain during the eighteenth century, reflecting the tastes developed by the employees of the East India Company.

Glasse is scornful of the elaborate and extravagant French recipes of the period - 'If gentlemen will have French cooks', she writes, 'they must pay for French tricks'. However, many of her recipes will have been influenced by French cuisine which was becoming increasingly fashionable at the time. Her deliberate hostility towards the French was probably intended to please English readers of a lower social status, who would have disapproved of the excessiveness and conspicuous consumption of French culture.

For the decades following its publication, there were widespread rumours that The Art of Cookery had been written by a man. For a woman to have written such an eloquent and well-organised work seemed implausible to many. James Boswell's diary records a party at the house of the publisher Charles Dilly, at which the issue was discussed. He quotes Samuel Johnson as saying, 'Women can spin very well; but they cannot make a good book of cookery.'

Information from The British Library.
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The Frugal Houswife Available in America 1772

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Pehr Hilleström (Swedish artist, 1732-1816) A Maid Taking Soup from a Cauldron

A cookbook available in the early American republic was

Susannah Carter
The Frugal Housewife, or Complete Woman Cook;...Also The Making of English Wines. New York: G. & R. Waite, no. 64, Maiden-Lane. 1803

Little is known of Susannah Carter, the author of The Frugal Housewife, which was first published as early as 1765 in London and Dublin, and was first reprinted in America in 1772. The 1772 edition was re-printed in America by Benjamin Edes and John Gil, well-known Boston printers, journalists, and booksellers, famous for publishing the works of many Revolutionary writers, and for their role in instigating the Boston Tea Party.

The Frugal Housewife made no mention of colonial cooking or common American ingredients. It wasn't until 1803 that "an appendix containing several new receipts adapted to the American mode of cooking" was added. This probably was not the work of Susannah Carter, but the result of an editing job by the American publisher in order to attract American readers. the identical appendix appeared 2 years later in the first American edition of The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse (Alexandria, 1805), a cookbook very popular in its native England.

The Frugal Housewife was one of several English cookbooks that sold well in America. It strongly influenced the aforementioned Amelia Simmons' American Cookery (1796), the first cookbook authored by an American, and containing not just English fare, but dishes based on American ingredients and common to the early country. Much of Simmons' work is original, but much is copied, verbatim or near verbatim, from The Frugal Housewife - a customary and acceptable practice at the time. Susannah Carter's book eventually saw six American editions; many of her British recipes became American standards via Amelia Simmons, even as the success of American Cookery inspired the Americanization of The Frugal Housewife.

This is the 1803 appendix.

AN APPENDIX, CONTAINING SEVERAL NEW RECEPTS ADAPTED TO THE AMERICAN MODE OF COOKING.

To make a baked Indian Pudding.
ONE quart of boiled milk to five spoonfuls of Indian Meal, one gill of molasses, and salt to your taste; putting it in the oven to bake when it is cold.

An Indian Pudding boiled.
One quart of milk, and three half-pints of Indian meal, and a gill of molasses, then put it in a cloth, and let it boil seven, or eight hours. The water boiling when it is put in. Water may be used instead of milk in case you have none.

To make Mush.
Boil a pot of water, according to the quantity you wish to make, and then stir in the meal till it becomes quite thick, stirring it all the time to keep out the lumps, season with salt, and eat it it with milk or molasses.

Buck-Wheat Cakes.
Take milk-warm water, a little salt, a table spoonful of yeast, and then stir in your buck-wheat till it becomes of the thickness of batter; and then let it enjoy a moderate warmth for one night to raise it, bake the same on a griddle, greasing it first to prevent them from sticking.

To make Pumpkin Pie.
Take the Pumpkin and peel the rind off, then stew it till it is quite soft, and put thereto one pint of pumpkin, one pint of milk, one glass of malaga wine, one glass of rosewater, if you like it, seven eggs, half a pound of fresh butter, one small nutmeg, and sugar and salt to your taste.

Dough Nuts.
To one pound of flour, put one quarter of a pound of butter, one quarter of a pound of sugar, and two spoonfuls of yeast; mix them all together in warm milk or water, of the thickness of bread, let it raise, and make them in what form you please, boil your fat (consisting of hog's lard), and put them in.

To make Sausages.
Take your pork, fat and lean together, and mince it fine, then season it with ground pepper, salt, and sage pounded, then have the offals well cleaned, and fill them with the above; they are then fit for use. When you put them in your pan remember to prick them to prevent them from bursting.

To make Blood Puddings.
Take your Indian meal (according to the quantity you wish to make), and scald it with boiled milk or water, then stir in your blood, straining it first, mince the hog's lard and put it in the pudding, then season it with treacle and pounded penny-royal to your taste, put it in a bag and let it boil six or seven hours.

To make Cranberry Tarts.
To one pound of flour three quarters of a pound of butter, then stew your Cranberry's to a jelly, putting good brown sugar in to sweeten them, strain the cranberry's, and then put them in your patty-pans for baking in a moderate oven for half an hour.

To pickle Peppers.
Take your peppers and cut a slit in the side of them, put them in cold salt and water for twelve hours, then take them out and put them in fresh salt and water, and hang them over the fire in a brass kettle, letting the water be as hot as you can bear your band in, let them remain over the fire till they turn yellow, when they turn yellow, shift the water, and put them in more salt and water of the same warmth; then cover them with cabbage leaves till they turn green, when they are done, drain the salt and water off, then boil your vinegar, and pour it over them: they will be fit for use in three days.

To pickle Beets.
Put into a gallon of cold vinegar as many beets as the vinegar will hold, and put thereto half an ounce of whole pepper, half an ounce of all spice, a little ginger, if you like it, and one head of garlic.

Note. Boil the beets in clear water, with their dirt on as they are taken out of the earth, then take them out and peal them, and when the vinegar is cold put them in, and in two days they will be fit for use. The spice must be boiled in the vinegar.

To make Peach Sweetmeats.
To one pound of Peaches put half a pound of good brown sugar, with half a pint of water to dissolve it, first clarifying it with an egg; then boil the peaches and sugar together, skimming the egg off, which will rise on the top, till it is of the thickness of a jelly. If you wish to do them whole, do not peel them, but put them into boiling water, and give them a boil, then take them out and wipe them dry.-- Pears are done the same way.

Quince Sweetmeats.
To one pound of quinces put three quarters of a pound of good brown sugar: the quinces boiled. With respect to the rest follow the above receipt.

Green Gage Sweetmeats.
Make a syrup just as you do for quinces; only allowing one pound of sugar, to one pound of gages.-- Plumbs and damsons are made the same way.

A Receipt to make Maple Sugar.
Make an incision in a number of maple trees, at the same time, about the middle of February, and receive the juice of them in wooden or earthen vessels. Strain this juice (after it is drawn from the sediment) and boil it in a wide mouthed kettle. Place the kettle directly over the fire, in such a manner that the flame shall not play upon its sides. Skim the liquor when it is boiling. When it is reduced to a thick syrup and cooled, strain it again, and let it settle for two or three days, in which time it will be fit for granulating. This operation is performed by filling the kettle half full of syrup, and boiling it a second
time. To prevent its boiling over, add to it a piece of fresh butter or fat of the size of a walnut. You may easily determine when it is sufficiently boiled to granulate, by cooling a little of it. It must then be put into bags or baskets, through which the water, will drain. This sugar, if refined by the usual process, may be made into as good single or double refined loaves, as were ever made from the sugar obtained from the juice of the West India cane.

To make Maple Molasses.
This may be done three ways.
1. From the thick syrup, obtained by boiling after it is strained for granulation.
2. From the drainings of the sugar after it is granulated.
3. From the last runnings of the tree [which will not granulate] reduced by evaporation to the consistence of molasses.

To make Maple Beer.
To every four gallons of water when boiling, add one quart of maple molasses. When the liquor is cooled to blood heat, put in as much yeast as is necessary to ferment it. Malt or bran may be added to this beer, when agreeable. If a table spoonful of the essence of spruce be added to the above quantities of water and molasses, it makes a most delicious and wholesome drink.

Receipt to make the famous Thieves Vinegar.
Take of wormwood, thyme, rosemary, lavender, sage, rue and mint, each a handful; pour on them a quart of the best wine vinegar, set them eight days in moderate hot ashes, shake them now and then thoroughly, then squeeze the juice out of the contents through a clean cloth; to which add two ounces of camphire. The use thereof is to rinse the mouth, and wash there with under the arm pits, neck and shoulders, temples, palms of the hands, and feet, morning and evening; and to smell frequently thereat, has its salutary effects. N. B. The above receipt did prove an efficacious remedy against the plague in London, when it raged there in the year 1665.

Method of destroying the putrid Smell which Meat acquires during hot Weather.
Put the meat intended for making soup, into a saucepan full of water, scum it when it boils, and then throw into the saucepan a burning pit coal, very compact and destitute of smoke, leave it there for two minutes, and it will have contracted all the smell of the meat and the soup.

If you wish to roast a piece of meat on the spit, you must put it into water until it boils, and after having scummed it, throw a burning pit coal into the boiling water as before; at the end of two minutes, take out the meat, and having wiped it well in order to dry it, put it upon the spit.

To make Spruce Beer out of the Essence.
For a cask of eighteen gallons take seven ounces of the Essence of Spruce, and fourteen pounds of molasses; mix them with a few gallons of hot water; put it into the cask; then fill the cask with cold water, stir it well, make it about lukewarm; then add about two parts of a pint of good yeast or the grounds of porter; let it stand about four or five days to work, then bung it up tight, and let it stand two or three days, and it will be fit for immediate use after it has been bottled.

To make Spruce Beer out of Shed Spruce.
To one quart of Shed Spruce, two gallons of cold water, and so on in proportion to the quantity you wish to make, then add one pint of molasses to every two gallons, let it boil four or five hours and stand till it is luke-warm, then put one pint of yeast to ten gallons, let it work, then put it into your cask, and bung it up tight, and in two days it will be fit for use.

To make an Eel Pie.
Skin your eels and parboil them, then season them with pepper and salt, and put them into your paste, with half a dozen raw oysters, one quarter of a pound of butter, and water.

To make a Pork Pie.
Take fresh pork and cut it into thin slices, season it with pepper and salt, and put it into your paste.

To make a raise Pork Pie.
Take six ounces of butter to one pound of flour, and so on in proportion, boil the butter in a sufficient quantity of water to mix with the flour hot, let the paste be stiff and form it in a round shape with your hands; then put in your pork, seasoned to your taste with pepper and salt, and then bake it for about an hour.

To make a Bath Pudding.
Take one pint of new milk, six eggs beat well in the milk, four table spoonfuls of fine flour, three table spoonfuls of yeast, three spoonfuls of rose-water, and three spoonfuls of Malaga wine; grate into it a small nutmeg, sweetened with fine soft sugar to your taste; mix them all well together, and let them stand
one hour before they are to be baked: bake them in eight small patty-pans, and one large one for the middle of the dish; butter the patty-pans; put them in a fierce oven, and in fifteen minutes they will be done.

To make a pot Pie.
Make a crust and put it round the sides of your pot, then cut your meat in small pieces, of whatever kind the pot-pie is to be made of, and season it with pepper and salt, then put it in the pot and fill it with water, close it with paste on the top; it will take three hours doing.

To make Short Gingerbread.
One pound of superfine flour, to half a pound of good fresh butter, and so on in proportion to the quantity you wish to make, beat your butter till it froths, half an ounce of ginger, a few carraway seeds, and one pound of sugar, roll it out thin and bake it.
Common gingerbread is made the same way, only molasses instead of sugar.

To make Whafles.
One pound of sugar, one pound of flour, one pound of butter, half an ounce of cinnamon, one glass of rose water; make it in balls as big as a nutmeg, and put them in your whafle iron to bake.

To make Crullers.
One pound of flour to half a pound of good brown-sugar, and half a pound of butter, let your hog's lard be boiling, then make them into what form you please, and put them in to fry.

From The Historic American Cookbook Project: Feeding America
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Short Tea Story

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Anna Green Winslow (1759-1779) was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the daughter of Joshua Winslow & his wife Anna Green. In 1770, at the age of 10, she was sent south to a finishing school in Boston, where she lived with her aunt & uncle, Sarah & John Deming.

During her separation from her family, she kept a diary sporadically from November 1771 to May 1773. Her aunt encouraged the diary as a penmanship exercise & as a running letter to her parents. Most entries detail her daily routine. She writes of sermons; weather; entertainments; current fashions; & family matters. And this 11-year-old girl writes of taking tea with friends & family of all ages.

Winslow was reunited with her parents in 1773, when Joshua Winslow moved them to Marshfield, Massachusetts. In 1775, he was exiled as a Tory; but his family remained behind. Before the end of the Revolution, Anna Green Winslow died of tuberculosis in Hingham, Massachusetts. Anna was 20, when she died.

Some excerpts from Anna's diary:

Nov'r 18, 1771 ...Mr. Beacon ask'd a question. What is beauty--or, wherein does true beauty consist? He answer'd, in holiness--and said a great deal about it that I can't remember, & as aunt says she hasnt leisure now to help me any further--so I may just tell you a little that I remember without her assistance, and that I repeated to her yesterday at tea



Jan'y 31, 1772 ... I was at Aunt Sukey's with Mrs Barrett dress'd in a white brocade, & cousin Betsey dress'd in a red lutestring, both adorn'd with past, perlsmarquesett &c. They were after tea escorted by Mr. Newton & Mr Barrett to ye assembly at Concert Hall...



Feb. 18, 1772 ...Saterday I din'd at Unkle Storer's, drank tea at Cousin Barrel's, was entertain'd in the afternoon with scating...



March 9, 1772 ...It's now tea time--as soon as that is over, I shall spend the rest of the evening in reading to my aunt. It is near candle lighting...



April 14, 1772 ...I went a visiting yesterday to Col. Gridley's with my aunt. After tea Miss Becky Gridley sung a minuet. Miss Polly Deming & I danced to her musick...



April 16, 1772 ...I dined with Aunt Storer yesterday & spent the afternoon very agreeably at Aunt Suky's. Aunt Storer is not very well, but she drank tea with us...



April 24, 1772 ...I drank tea at Aunt Suky's. Aunt Storer was there, she seemed to be in charming good health & spirits...



May 11, 1772 ...I had the pleasure of drinking tea with aunt Thomas the same day, the family all well, but Mr G who seems to be near the end of the journey of life...



May 16, 1772 ...Thursday I danc'd a minuet & country dances at school, after which I drank tea with aunt Storer...



May 31, 1772 ...I spent the afternoon at unkle Joshua's. yesterday, after tea, I went to see how aunt Storer did...



To read more of 11-year-old Anna's diary go to this posting on this
18th Century American Women blog.


Source: Diary of Anna Green Winslow, A Boston School Girl of 1771 (edited by A. M. Earle 1894).

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