Manuscript Cookbooks Survey Database ID#206
Place of OriginUnited States ➔ Massachusetts
Date of Compositioncirca 1830-1860
DescriptionThis little cookbook is inscribed Carrie Madeleine Hewes on the inside front cover. However, Carrie Madeline was likely not the author, for she was not born until 1878, and the notebook in which the cookbook is written was manufactured by John P. Jewett, a publisher in Salem, Massachusetts, who was apparently out of business by 1851. More plausibly, the author was Carrie’s grandmother, Rhoda Batchelder Abbott (1814-1895), who lived in Andover, close to the town where the notebook was made. (Carrie’s mother is a less likely author, as she lived in Ohio as a married woman.) Mrs. Abbot had likely compiled the book by the 1860s, for several items of that decade are tucked into the pages, including a newspaper clipping promoting an abolitionist tract. The bulk of the cookbook is written in a very fine "copperplate" hand but also contains some later penciled recipes that were possibly added by Carrie Madeleine.
The cookbook includes a local recipe that is of particular interest: Pomp's Election Cake. Pompey Lovejoy (1724-1826!) was a popular man in Andover. Born a slave in Boston, he was freed in his 30s, before the Revolution. He and his wife Rose Foster Lovejoy lived in Andover on a plot of land given him by his former owner. The Lovejoys were famed for their hospitality. Writing in "The Andover Townsman," Pam Smith recounts that it was often said in Lovejoy's day, "Pity the town meeting house crowd on election day if Pompey was not custodian of the cake and beer. Woe to the funeral wake if Pompey did not mix the grog for it." However, it may have been Rose Lovejoy who actually did the baking--and Pompey who got the credit!
For information about this cookbook, contact the Andover Historical Society.