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Hi, Primmies... I stitch reproduction antique samplers and dolls. I also have lots of great artists and their sites featured as well as tutorials and some recipes for you to enjoy. Eventually we will have our own items for sale. Until then I hope you will enjoy the content, please leave a comment on any post you wish to.

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December 30, 2011

A Look At Life In 1871 From A New England Woman

Hi, Primmies, it's Friday and tomorrow  is New Year's Eve. I feel like my household is very disorganized right now. I know it's because we have tried to make 5 rooms fit into 3, so I'm going to
break a rule and make a resolution. I don't make them because I
usually don't keep them. But for 2012 I'm going to have a more
relaxed view on things. I got a kick out of reading advice to young housekeepers setting up their homes for the first time. I thought
you'd like a glimpse of how Mrs. Mary H. Cornelius would advise
you regarding housekeeping. The excerpts below are from her writings in Young Housekeepers Friend revised in 1871 from her
Newton Centre,MA home:

At least the servants didn't have to cook on Sunday.
And I wonder how many homes employed domestic help in 1871. I always had the impression that only a privileged few had that luxury. 
I also got a little treat from Mr. Glen Oaks. He found a copy of the first American collection of 'receipts' for
five dollars on Amazon. It's reprinted as The First American Cookbook from the original American Cookery, 1796 by Amelia Simmons. This is reported to be the first cookbook written by an American and
published in the United States. Amelia Simmons wrote her book in the spring time of 1796 where she
lived in Hartford, Ct.
What's fascinating is that a lot of her receipts were
"borrowed" from English cookery books most notably a woman called Susannah Carter. Copying another's works was acceptable practice during this time period and even much later on. Ms. Simmons herself was
copied from even after filing for the first Federal copyright law of 1790. The book was welcomed also
because English did not use ingredients that Americans used. So Ms. Simmons set out to right a collection of receipts for making meals that she had
eaten all of her life in America.
I will be scanning some pages from my copy and include them in another post. They are such fun to
read and the nice thing is that this book includes a
glossary with the meanings of 18th century phrases
and measurements.
Enjoy your Friday afternoon,


frontporchprims said...

Oh this is a wonderful post. I think I will run out and find me a cook today. And taking the whole day off just to do laundry sounds great!!! I will refrain from screaming at my children even if paint and moon sand and playdough, and cookie crumbs, and pee all get smeared on the furniture. I would love to bake on Wednesday and Saturday if I didn't have to cook any other day of the week. Of course Sunday is the Lord's day. I can't wait to see the other posts!!! Thanks. -Steph-

Brenda said...

I look forward to reading your snippets Susan. Vintage books are so fascinating to me. This is such an interesting article and a joy to read. It reminds me of my dire need to get on a schedule... minus the hired help of course! ;)

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

happy new year Susan..and love the kitty on the keyboard.that just makes me giggle.;)

Barb said...

Great advice then and now!
Love the kitty at the keyboard!!
Wishing you and your family the very best in the New Year!

Karen/My Colonial Home said...

Morning Susan,
What a neat post....I think many, many people had servants back then...the poor people obviously didn't...they WERE the least that is how it appears in many readings.

What a wonderful gift from your husband....I'll be waiting your posts with some of the excerpts.


I Look Forward To Your Comments

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