Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788-1879) determined to make Thanksgiving a national holiday

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788-1879) 

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788-1879) and making Thanksgiving a National Holiday
by Patricia Bixler Reber, Hearthcook, Tuesday, November, 23, 2010

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788-1879) is best known for her poem "Mary had a little lamb" and for promoting Thanksgiving.  She worked for years to get Thanksgiving recognized and celebrated as a national holiday. Her description of a dinner in New England, 1827 and recipes. Born in New Hampshire, she moved to Boston to be the editor of Ladies' Magazine from 1827 to 1836.

She wrote in 1837, "Might [Thanksgiving], without inconvenience, be observed on the same day of November, say the last Thursday in the month, throughout all New England; and also in our sister states, who have engrafted it upon their social system. It would then have a national character, which would, eventually, induce all the states to join in the commemoration of ‘in-gathering,’ which it celebrates. It is a festival which will never become obsolete, for it cherishes the best affections of the heart – the social and domestic ties. It calls together the dispersed members of the family circle, and brings plenty, joy, and gladness to the dwellings of the poor and lowly." (1837)

She also wrote books and poems, one was Mary had a Little Lamb. For 40 years, starting in 1837, Hale lived in Philadelphia and was the editor of Godey's Lady's Book. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national holiday. Hale described a Thanksgiving dinner in her 1827 book Northwood; a Tale of New England: "...considered an honor for a man to sit down to his Thanksgiving supper surrounded by a large family: The provision is always sufficient for a multitude, every farmer in the country being, at this season of the year, plentifully supplied, and every one proud of displaying his abundance and prosperity. Day of National Thanksgiving. The roasted turkey took precedence on this occasion, being placed at the head of the table; and well did it become its lordly station, sending forth the rich odour of its savoury stuffing, and finely covered with the frost of the basting. At the foot of the board a surloin of beef, flanked on either side by a leg of pork and joint of mutton, seemed placed as a bastion to defend innumerable bowls of gravy and plates of vegetables disposed in that quarter. A goose and pair of ducklings occupied side stations on the table, the middle being graced, as it always is on such occasions, by that rich burgomaster of the provisions, called a chicken pie. This pie, which is wholly formed of the choicest parts of fowls, enriched and seasoned with a profusion of butter and pepper, and covered with an excellent puff paste, is, like the celebrated pumpkin pie, an indispensable part of a good and true Yankee Thanksgiving; the size of the pie usually denoting the gratitude of the party who prepares the feast...Plates of pickles, preserves, and butter, and all the necessaries for increasing the seasoning of the viands to the demand of each palate, filled the interstices on the table, leaving hardly sufficient room for the plates of the company, a wine glass and two tumblers for each, with a slice of wheat bread lying on one of the inverted tumblers. A side table was literally loaded with the preparations for the second course, placed there to obviate the necessity of leaving the apartment during the repast. Mr. Romelee keeping no domestic, the family were to wait on themselves, or on each other. There was a huge plumb pudding, custards, and pies of every name and description ever known in Yankee land; yet the pumpkin pie occupied the most distinguished niche. There were also several kinds of rich cake, and a variety of sweetmeats and fruits. On the sideboard was ranged a goodly number of decanters and bottles; the former filled with currant wine and the latter with excellent cider and ginger beer, a beverage Mrs. Romelee prided herself on preparing in perfection. There were no foreign wines or ardent spirits, Squire Romelee being a consistent moralist; and while he deprecated the evils an indulgence in their use was bringing on his countrymen, and urged them to correct the pernicious habit, he practised what he preached. Would that all declaimers against intemperance followed his example..."

Carlo Magini (1720–1806) Still Life with Pies, a Roast Fowl, Olives, Capers and Strawberries 1760

Two pumpkin recipes from Hale's Ladies' New Book of Cookery (NY: 1852) included one American the other English.

Pumpkin Pie (American).-Take out the seeds, and pare the pumpkin or squash ; but in taking out the seeds do not scrape the inside of the pumpkin ; the part nearest the seed is the sweetest; then stew the pumpkin, and strain it through a sieve or cullender. To a quart of milk, for a family pie, 3 eggs are sufficient. Stir in the stewed pumpkin with your milk and beaten-up eggs, till it is as thick as you can stir round rapidly and easily. If the pie is wanted richer make it thinner, and add sweet cream or another egg or two; but even 1 egg to a quart of milk makes "very decent pies." Sweeten with molasses or sugar; add 2 tea-spoonsful of salt, 2 table-spoonsful of sifted cinnamon, and 1 of powdered ginger; but allspice may be used, or any other spice that may be preferred. The peel of a lemon grated in gives it a pleasant flavor. The more eggs, says an American authority, the better the pie. Some put 1 egg to a gill of milk. Bake about an hour in deep plates, or shallow dishes, without an upper crust, in a hot oven.

Pumpkin Pie (English).-Take out the seeds, and grate the pumpkin till you come to the outside skin. Sweeten the pulp; add a little ground allspice, lemon peel and lemon juice; in short, flavor it to the taste. Bake without an upper crust.

19C American Cooking - Thanksgiving Dinners

"Bill of Fare of Thanksgiving Dinner in Connecticut, Nov. 1817. Geese 50,000, Turkeys 5,500, Chickens 65,000, Ducks 2,000, Beef and Pork, 25,000 lbs, Potatoes 12,000 bu, Turnips 14,000, Beets 4,000, Onions 5,000, Cheese 10,000 lbs, Apple-Sauce 12,000 gls, Cranberry do. 1,000, Desert. Pump. Pies 520,000, Apple Pies 100,000, Other pies & Puddings 52,000, Wine, gls. 150, Brandy, gls, 150, Gin, gls 120, Rum, gls, 1,000, Cider, Bran., & Whiskey, 6000. Which would take 650 hhds, of strained pumpkin; 81 do. molasses; 4060 lbs. ginger; 7000 lbs. allspice, 86,666 lbs. flour; 43,333 lbs of butter or lard; 325 hhds. of milk of 100 gals each; 1000 nutmegs; 50 lbs. cinnamon; 43,5000 dozen eggs--all which would weigh about 504 tons, and would cost about $114,000."
---New York Commerical Advertiser, Mssrs. Lewis & Hall, reprinted in several newspapers, including the Times [Hartford, Ct.] December 30, 1817 (p. 3) & Poulson's American Daily Advertiser [Philadelpha, Pa.], December 19, 1817 

"Of all the holidays in the year which are generated among us New England people, there is, perhaps no day in the whole holiday vocabulary, that gives a more general source of satisfaction and joy, than...Thanksgiving...turkeys...bacon...chickens fricassied...oyster patties...soup...vegetables...pigeons...quails...bass...wood cock...potatoes...onions...beets...cold-slaw...rice, pies...plumb puddings..."
---"A Thanksgiving Dinner," Village Register [Dedham, MA] November 24, 1825 (p. 3)

"Thanksgiving...'Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.' And he is no true Yankee, who is not, in heart, at least, at home on Thanksgiving day...Another old saying, of the truth of which is expected every New Englander will on this day give practical demonstration, is theat "Victuals always taste best at home." It is a day of universal stuffing--and it is absolutely requisite to a proper observance of Thanksgiving, that at least three dinners should be eaten up in one. The children and grandhildren return home at this season, to pay their respects and manifest their undiminished love and affection, not to the "old folks" alone, but also to their roasted turkies and pumpkin pies...As a matter of course, Thanksgiving week is the harvest time of the merchants, especially those who deal in butter, lard, eggs, raisins and spices. The markets are supplied with poultry of all kinds...Thanksgiving week, moreover, is the crisis of a turkey's life...The dinner is the all important item...turkeys, geese, and chickens...stuffed and roasted for the occasion...Then come puddings and pies...among the most prominent of which is that savory dish, peculiar to New England--that sine qua non of a Thanksgiving dinner--the well filled, deep and spacious pumpkin pie. This concludes the feast--and for the remainder of the day, a drowsy dullness is very apt to prevail."
---"New-Bedford," New-Bedford Mercury, December 1, 1836 

"Thanksgiving Dinner.
Roast Turkey, stuffed.
A Pair of Chickens stuffed, and boiled, with cabbage-and a piece of lean pork.
A Chicken Pie.
Potatoes; turnip sauce, squash; onions; gravy and gravy sauce; apple and cranberry sauce; oyster sauce; brown and white bread.
Plum and Plain Pudding, with Sweet sauce.
Mince, Pumpkin and Apple Pies.
---The New England Economical Housekeeper, and Family Receipt Book, Mrs. E.A. Howland, stereotyped edition [E.P. Walton and Sons:Montpelier VT] 1845 (p. 72)

"Thanksgiving Dinner.--A number of gentlemen, of this city, have very generously made arrangements to give the children at the Orphan Asylum, on Cumberland-street, a Thanksgiving dinner."
---"Brooklyn," New York Times, November 27, 1851 (p. 2)

"The Thanksgiving Dinner At the Five Points--The Ladies' Home Missionary Society design giving their Thanksgivingd dinner at the Five Points, under the big tent, which also been erected in the square just opposite the old Brewery. The tent previous to the day of the dinner will be used for divine service on the Sabbath, and for temperance meetings in the evenings. Mr. Pease is also active in preparing for his Thanksgiving dinner. Donations are solicted by both the ladies and Mr. Pease., who are engaged in a generous strife for good works, for which the poor will have cause to bless them."
---"New York City," New York Times, November 10, 1852 (p. 6)

"Thanksgiving day has come--let us make the most of it. It has a threefold nature...Spend it simply as a day of religious exercises and it would answer a good turn for men in this irreligious age. Spend it as a day of feasting simply, and one may have a very pleasant recollection of it during the coming year, and perhaps see nothing to regret on it s recurrence to memory. Or give it over entirely to the deeds of charity and works of benevolence, and one may make a good friend of conscience and lay fat streaks of comfort upon the ribs of his experience. Each is good, but the style which most fully meets our ideal of a Thanksgiving is where the three ways are twisted together into one...After service should come a dinner; --one so differnt from the daily dinner as to be a notability among the dinners of hte year;---a thing to be though of with a watering at the mouth;--one that a body may reproduce in his dreams when half-starved. It is all nonsense to say that a good inner is a transient affair; that its virtue, like the savor of a roasting goose, is unsubstantial and of no account but for a moment...A right nice dinner, under right pleasant circumstances, is like a thing of beauty--a joy forever. We feel warmer on a chill November night for the remembrance of a roasting fire the night before. A chill passes over us whne we think of the cold stoveless churches that they used to pack us in and preach us at by the hour. Our sorrows are represented in their memory, and the ghosts of our good dinners come up to comfort us years after the flesh they laid upon our homes has been wasted by toil, and those who eat them with us have ceased from the earth. Hard as the time are, no money that is not of fabulous amount could buy of us the bare memory of some Thanksgiving dinners we have eaten before now with the old folks at home. Let those who can, then, have a good dinner on Thanksgiving day...Blessed charity is not to be omitted...Let all unwelcome tasks be postponed to the next work day. Let the punishments lie over until Friday. Make it a day to be remembered, without any alloy, so far as it is possible...So may this Thanksgiving be a hearty and happy one, and one but pleasant days meet you till the return of another."
---"Thanksgiving Day," New York Times, November 30, 1854 

"Yes, a Thanksgiving in Lawrence (Kansas)! What, exclaims some innocne Miss, sitting by her comfortable and secure fireside in Ohio, reading about the wretched squatter's home, and of the sickening facts form Kansas, what on earth can the people of Lawrence have to be thankful for? Ah! but the Lawrence folks are Yankees, the descendants of the men who two hundred years ago embarked on the Mayflower, seeking a land where they could enjoy freedom for themselves and their children. A public Thanksgiving dinner was preparerd at Lawrence, the proceeds of the tickets to be applied for the benefit of the Free-Sate prisoners at Lecompoton...The table was spread in a large stone building erected for a store, directly opposite the ruins of the Free-State Hotel. The guests sat down to dinner about 4 o-clock..." ---"From Kansas," New York Daily Times, December 3, 1856 (p. 5)  NOTE: No menu/dishes reported.

"Yours of this morning contained a notice in regard to Thanksgiving services, to be held in Metropolitan Hall under the auspcies of the Y.M. Christian Association. The Association desired to carry out the plan suggested in your notice. But after consultation with a number of citizens and soldiers, we found it might create dissatisfaction to thus select a single regiemnt form the 5,000 men now stationed here. Our reason for choosing the Douglas Bridage was that they have been with us longer than any others, and they expect to leave this week for the field. One other season was that they are uniformed, and the regiment is full which we thought might prevent others from coming. As our efforts have not been confined to any one regiment, we desired not to prejudice any of the soldiers against the Association. We would rejoice where we able to give a dinner to all the noble soldiers now in camp near our city, had not our expenditure for libraries, hymn books &c, distributed among fifteen regiments rendered this impossible."
---"The Thanksgiving Dinner to the Soldiers," Chicago Tribune, November 26, 1861 (p. 4)

"Thanksgiving dinner--We understand that a number of our benevolent ladies have in contemplation the idea of giving to the 200 sick and wounded soldiers now in the United States General Hospital...a Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, the 27th..."
---"Thanksgiving Dinner," Chicago Tribune, November 25, 1862 (p. 4)

"Yesteday was duly observed here as a National Thanksgiving, according to the President's appointment...Several of the churches held religions services, and respstabley numerous audiences, considering the condition of the city, gathered to render fitting praise and homage to Him to whose protecting mercy our beloved counry owes all its past triumphs and prosperity..."
---"Affairs in Tennessee," New York Times, December 5, 1863

"The undersigned, committee appointed at a meeting held at the Union League Club House, appeal to the people of the North to join them in an effort to furnish to our gallant soldiers and sailors, a good Thanksgiving dinner. We desire that on the twenty-fourth day of November there shall be no soldiers in the Army of the Potaomac the James or the Shenandoah, and no sailor in the North Atlantic Squadron who does not receive tangible evidence that those for whom he is periling his life, remembering him. It is hoped that the armies at the West will be in the like manner cared for by those nearer to them than we. It is deemed impracticable to send our more Southern posts. To enable us to carry out our own undertaking, we need the active cooperation of all loyal people in the North and East, and to them we confindently appeal. We ask primarily for donations of cooked poultry and other proper meats, as well as for mince pies and for fruit. If any person is so situated as to be unable to cook the poultry or meat, we will receive it uncooked. To those who are unable to send donations in kind, we appeal for generous contributions in money. Will not every wife who has a husband, brother, serving in the armies or navies of the Union, feel that this appeal is to her personally, and do her part to enable us to accomplish our undertaking?...We will undertake to send to the fort all donations in kind that may reach us on or before Nov. 20, and to see that they are properly and equally distributed. The should be wrapped in white paper boxes, and addressed to Geo. W. Bluff, Getty's Buiding, Trinity Place, New York. If uncooked it should be so marked on the outside of the box, and a list of contents should accompany the mix. Poultry, properly cooked, will keep ten days. None should be sent which has been cooked prior to Nov. 14. Uncooked poultry or meat should reach us on or before Nov. 18, that it may be cooked here."
---"Thanskgiving Dinner for the Soldiers and Sailors, New York Times, November 8, 1864 (p. 2)

"The committee consisting of our leading merchants and citizens, appointed to carry out the proposition to furnish our gallant coldiers and sailors a Thanksgiving dinner, appeal to the people of the North to join them in the effort. They ask for cooked poultry and other proper meats, as well as mince pies, sausages and fruits...Contributions in money should be sent to Theodore Rosevelt, Treasurer., No. 94, Maiden Lane."
---"A Thanksgiving Dinner for the Soldiers", Chicago Tribune, November 14, 1864 (p. 1)

"Whatever the rest of New Jersey may have accomplished, this town has certainly done all its duty by making a generous and hearty response to the appeal to assist in furnishing the soldiers with Thanksgiving dinner. The movement was inaugurated last week, and it at once enlisted the cordial cooperation of the whole community....Those who have heard this "war song" do not need ot have it described, and those who have not heard it must take the fist opportunity of doing so. The turkies, chickens and other "fixens," wioll be packed to-morrow morning and forwarded to New York to swell the contributions which will enable our soldiers to observe Thanksgiving in a becoming manner."
---"A Turkey Festival in Montclair, N.J.," New York Times, November 19, 1864, (p. 8)

"Thanksgiving Dinner. Oyster soup, cod, with egg sauce, lobster salad, roast turkey, cranberry sauce, mixed pickles, mangoes, pickled peaches, cold slaw, and celery; boiled ham, chicken pie ornamented, jelly, mashed potatoes browned, tomatoes, boiled onions, canned corn, sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli. Mince, and pumpkin pie, apple tarts, Indian pudding. Apples, nuts, and raisins."
Jennie June's American Cookery Book, Jane Cunningham Croly, New York 

"Thanksgiving Dinners. --Oyster soup; boiled fresh cod with egg sauce; roast turkey, cranberry sauce; roast goose, bread sauce or currant jelly; stuffed ham, apple sauce or jelly; pork and beans; mashed potatoes and boiled onions, salsify, macaroni and cheese; brown bread and superior biscuit; lobster salad; pressed beef, cold corned beef, tongue; celery, cream slaw; watermelon, peach, pear, or apple sweet-pickles; mangoes, cucumbers, chow-chow, and tomato catsup; stewed peaches or prunes; doughnuts and ginger cakes; mince, pumpkin, and peach pies; plum and boiled Indian puddings; apple, cocoa-nut or almond tarts; vanilla ice-cream; old- fashioned loaf cake, pound cake, black cake, white perfection cake, ribbon cake, almond layer cake; citron, peach, plum, or cherry preserves; apples, oranges, figs, grapes, raisins, and nuts; tea and coffee."
Buckeye Cookery, Estelle Woods Wilcox, Minneapolis Minnesota 

"Our Thanksiving-dinner table is not furnished as our grandmothers loaded their in the olden time. The board no longer groans, either literally or metaphorically, under its burden of meats, vegetables, and sweets...Begin the meal with a good soup. Either oyster or tomato is recommended. To this should succeed fish. If you live near the seashore, boiled cod with drawn butter may be suggested; if you are in one of the interior States, lake trout or whitefush with egg sauce will be found equally good for the occasion. Most well-bred people, I may ht just here, in eating fish--boild, in particular--rarely touch it with their knives, even when there are of silver. The fork is used for breakgin apart the flakes, for separating form these and removing the bones, and for conveying the prepared morsel to the mouth. No vegetables, unless it be potatoes, plain or mashed, are passed with fish. Then, leading up to the main business of the hour, let the next offering be nice entree of made-dish--chicken-pates or croquettes, in memoriam of the ponderous chicken-pie which was a standing dish with our grandmothers on the fourth Thursday of November. With these send around stewed salsify and pickles. Then--the central theme, the point of clustering interests--the Thanksgiving turkey! He should be well stuffed, carefully basted, judiciously turned from time to time, rich in coloring, done to a turn in the thickest joint, but nowhere scorched--a goodly type of plenty from temporary seclusion. Our bird should be dished on a large platter and accompanied by a sauce-boat of gravy from which the fat was skimmed before the chopped giblets were stirred in; also a dish of cranberry-sauce, or jelly, and sweet potatoes. When the savory portion laid on each plate and has been duly discussed, pass a glass stqand or salver or crisp celery, both as an assistant to the gastric juices and as a tonic to the palate that shall prepare if for the remainder of the banquet...Eat the lettuce--and, indeed, all salads--with the fork alone. If the leaves have been properly selected, there is no excuse for touching the knife; and lettuc which cannot be cut with a fork-tine is unfit for table use. Crackers and cheese follow this course, and if you like, olives. This is the breagint-space in a 'course dinner,' and is the cheerful chat that has been the best sauce of the meal is here especially in order--a runnign fire of jest and repartee, reactign wholesomely upon the appetite and digestion. The pumpkin-pie is the next consideration. The crust should be short and flaky, not friable and tasting like dessicated lard. The filling must be of a golden brown, in the enjoyment of which the palate cannot discern the various elements of milk, sugar, eggs, and pumpkin, but is well pleased with the combined whole. Fruit and nuts are eaten at eas; and, these disposed of, send black coffee after the withdrawing company into the parlor as a grateful stomachic sequel. The dinner here proposed costs no more than the very promiscuouis 'spread' that crowds many a table in farmhouse and unfashionable street upon this national anniversary, to be swallowed in half the time the decorous suggestions above will require."
---"Thanksgiving Dinner, Adapted from Marion Harland, The Kansas Home Cook-Book, Mrs. C. H. Cushing and Mrs. B. Gray, facsimile 1886 edition Creative Cookbooks:Monterey CA] 2001 p. 27-320

"During the week preceding Thanksgiving the New England housekeeper is a busy woman. All over the country, but especially in New England, men and women look forward to the holiday as a time for going to old homes,--a family day. At no other time in the year do so many large family-gatherings take place. It is desirable to preserve the characteristics of the old-fashioned dinner, yet the addition of comparatively modern dishes improves the meal...Remember that the chief aim is to produce happiness, and that many of the company will not be wholly happy if the mistress of the household must pass a good part of the day in the kitchen. On this account the greater the preparations made in advance the better, so as to relieve the housekeeper of as many duties and as much anxiety as possible of the holiday."
---Miss Parloa's Kitchen Companion, Maria Parloa [Estes and Lauriat:Boston] 1887 (p. 918)

"This, of all days in the year, is the one to lift you from the burdens of care and trials. It is a day of happiness, because as a rule it brings a family reunions; and to the American, home happiness is as essential to his existence as pure air. This day should also be a day of happiness, as it is a day of thanksgiving, and every creature, no matter what his position chances to be, has, if he looks at it in the proper light, something to be thankful for. One day, among the many days, put aside as a thanksgiving to Him, the Giver of all good to all men, makes it more impressive than each day's thanksgiving. The dinner should be as good as one can afford. Thought and management will give a change to those whose purses be thin, and, with a proper feeling and happiness, this dinner, with but slight variations, will be the best dinner of all the year. To eat and enjoy the good that God has given us is one way of showing to him our appreciation of them. Milton says: 'To refrain, when bounty has been given us, is an evidence of ingratitutde to the Giver.' Come, if possible, this day to the table with a light heart and a cheerful manner, and do your part to make the feast a happy one. A turkey must, of course, be an important feature of this our thanksgiving dinner, and a New Englander would tell you that a baked ham was also a necessity. I shall give three bills of fare, with quantities for twelve person. 
Menu No. 1.
Oysters on the Half Shell
Puff Ball Soup
Olivers, Gherkins, Salted Pistachio Nuts
Fish Souffle, Parisian Potatoes
Roasted Turkey, Oyster Stuffing
Cranberry Sauce
Potato Croquettes, Asparagus Tips
Baked Ham, Champagne Sauce
Lettuce, French Dressing, Fried Shrimps
Toasted Water Biscuit
Pumpkin Custard, Cranberry Tart
Menu No. 2.
Oysters on the Half Shell
Olives, Salted Almonds
Roast Turkey, Bread Stuffing
Oyster Sauce
Mashed Potatoes, Peas
Cranberry Jelly, Mayonnaise of Celery
Wafers, Neufchatel

Menu NO. 3.
Tomato Soup
Salted Almonds
Roasted Duck, Potato Stuffing
Baked Macaroni
Chicken Croquettes, Peas
Celery on Lettuce Leaves with French Dressing
Cheese Fingers
Pumpkin Custard
---"A Thanksgiving Dinner," Mrs. S. T. Rorer, Table Talk, November 1890(p. 416-417)

1897: Vegetarian Thanksgiving
"Menu of the Vegetarians.
Amont the most novel celebrations planned for Thanksgiving day is the banquet of the Vegetarian club of the University of Chicago. It might puzzle the ordinary citizen to figure out a way for a vegetarian club to do justice to the day sacred to roast turkey and stuffed pig, and a Thanksgiving day without turkey might seem like the play of 'Hamlet' with the part of Hamlet left out, but he Vegetarian club seems to have solved the problem to the entire satisfaction of the members, as the following menu will show:
Mock turtle soup with quenelles
Salted almonds. Olives
Potatoes en pyramide with mushrooms
Nut croquettes. Haricot verts.
Farced tomates with spaghetti a la Milnaise.
Orange gueseurs.
Maraschino jelly. Chartreuse of cranberries.
Whole wheat bread.
Pineapple bavaoris with carmine cream.
Pistachio cake, Kisses.
Melange of fresh nuts.
Mixed nuts with raisins.
Cheese. Zephyrettes.
Cafe noir. Milk. Calpilaire.
---"For a Royal Feast," Chicago Daily Tribune, November 21, 1897 (p. 46)

See The Food Timeline

Thomas Nast's 1st image of Uncle Sam - "Thanksgiving Dinner - Come One, Come All, Free and Equal."

Thomas Nast's First Image of Uncle Sam - Uncle Sam's Thanksgiving Dinner - Come One, Come All- Free and Equal

Thomas Nast (German-born American artist, 1840-1902) was a German-born American caricaturist & editorial cartoonist. While Uncle Sam does not show the top hat & striped pants that we have come to associate with him, he shows something much more important in this image.  In this image, Uncle Sam is a symbol of unity & equality. The image shows many people welcomed at Uncle Sam's Thanksgiving table . . . Black, White, Chinese, & Indian, as wall as many other immigrants are seen sitting around the table.   The image is captioned, "Uncle Sam's Thanksgiving Dinner; Come One, Come All, Free and Equal." The image clearly shows that Uncle Sam was originally a symbol of freedom, & equality.  Uncle Sam was a unifying symbol.

Thanksgiving - November, 1859 Diary of Indiana farm mother Sarah Young Bovard

About the writer: Sarah Waldsmith Young was born on February 21, 1828 in Hamilton County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Abner Young, born 1799 in Maine, and Jane Waldsmith, born 1806 in Hamilton County, Ohio. Her husband James W. Bovard had been born in Steubenville, Ohio in 1828. They married February 29, 1844 in the small crossroads town of Alpha in Scott County, Indiana, which was nestled in southern Indiana.

By the time she began her diary in 1859 at age 31, she had eight children: Oliver William, February 9, 1845
Marion McKinley, January 11, 1847
Maria Jane, February 4, 1849
Freeman Daily, January 9, 1851
Melville Young; December 6, 1852
Abner Sinclair, October 13, 1854
George Finley, August 8, 1856
James Carvossa, July 20, 1858.
One of her children had died before she began writing her diary. Oliver William Bovard died Nov. 11, 1857 at 12 years, 8 months and 6 days old. By 1866, Sarah would have 4 more children, 2 would go on to become college presidents.

Diary of November, 1859

NOVEMBER 3, 1859: I commence early to boil syrup, boil all day. Catherine and children comes-stays all day--warm and pleasant. Go in the afternoon to grind cane. Mother comes in the evening.
Sarah was boiling cane juice to make cane syrup. Syrup-making is a cold-weather task. The cane is cut close to the first heavy frost. Cold weather increases the sweetness of the juice, a delay would cause it to sour or ferment. As soon as the cane is cut, the grinding and pressing begins to extract the cane juice. Sarah talked of going to grind cane in the afternoon. Apparently there was someone nearby who had a mill or animal-driven crushing device. Cane syrup, molasses, and brown sugar all start with the juice squeezed from sugar cane stalks. The cane juice itself is only faintly sweet, and the original color is an unappetizing murky gray. To make cane syrup, the raw cane juice is boiled to evaporate the liquids and stabilize the sugars; the result is sweeter than molasses, with a rich caramel flavor. Sarah would boil her cane juice for hours in a kettle regularly skimming it to remove impurites. As it boils and thickens, dirt, leaves, bits of stalk, wax, and bark roll to the suface. Sarah might use a coarse collander attached to a long wooden pole as a skimmer. After each skim, she would probably lift the syrup and let it spill back into the kettle to hasten the evaporation. The boiling juice slowly thickens to syrup over the course of several hours. It's nearly finished when a spoonful of it runs down a sloping pan at a slow speed. The syrup is now a rich golden color. Probably Sarah would filter her syrup one last time, blazing hot, through a bed sheet into another kettle. After it cooled a bit, she finally would pour it into waiting mason jars or crocks.

NOVEMBER 4, 1859: Pleasant morning. I boil syrup cane juice till noon, then wash and warp my jeans at night. James helps me. Pap and mother went to Paris to day. Mother bought a fine shawl---$6.30. Clear day but very windy and smoky. Dry time--we wish it would rain.
Paris, Indiana is about 15 miles northeast of Jennings Township.

NOVEMBER 6, 1859: Very smoky. Sleep late. My throat is sore--bad cold. Brother Moses and family goes home to day. James goes with me to Gilead to meeting. Mr. Potts preaches--his text was "Enoch walking with God 300 years and then was not for God took him." Come home late. All well, we left little Jimmy home with the rest of the children. I write at night. The children reads their books and make noise enough.
After visiting for 11 days, Sarah's brother, his pregnant wife, and his 4 children faced a long carriage ride back home. On December 26, Moses' wife Martha would give birth to their 5th child, George Buchanan Young.

NOVEMBER 9, 1859: Pleasant and warm. We beam our 40 yards of jeans--takes us one hour to beam it--put it through the gears and reed. Mother comes with some filling. James still works at fixing our house-the doors and windows. We begin to want rain very bad--the corn is turning yellow for want of rain.
Here are some weaving terms Sarah uses:
Warp are the threads running the length of the loom across which threads are woven.
Weft or filling are the threads which are woven crosswise to the warp to form the web.
A reed is a comb with both sides closed which fits into the beater. It spaces the warp threads evenly and beats the weft into place.
Beaming is winding the warp, which is spaced out to its weaving width, onto the warp beam.

NOVEMBER 14, 1859: Up early this morning--commence washing with frozen water. The children goes to school. I wash hard. Get done against 2 o'clock. Norwood Tobias is here for dinner. Mother goes by to Catherines. James goes to mill with corn to Mayfields then hauls wood. I weave at my jeans. We are all well.
Norwood Tobias was the 21 year old son of neighbors William H. Tobias from Ohio and Sarah Sally Kashow from New Jersey who had married in Jennings County, Indiana, in 1835. Catherine was Sarah's sister. Issa Mayfield, 46, was a nearby widower who lived on a farm with his 4 children aged 12 to 6.

NOVEMBER 18, 1859: Rained all day--commenced before daylight. James commenced his sled--went to paps for an auger--took their salt home. I wove all day. James quilted some. We are glad to see it rain. Jimmy went barefooted. He is a good boy--I do not get to nurse him much. I do not get to read my Bible enough--too much work to do.
Surprised to see her husband quilting. Her baby James Carvossa had been born on July 20, 1858. Baby James would die after Sarah stopped her diary, on July 20, 1864.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1859: Cloudy, make a kettle of pumpkin butter--very good. I weave some. Mother comes out awhile. I fill quilts. Maria Jane irons, James finishes his sled. Marion went to the [post] office. Freeman and Melville and Aby and George all disobedient children. I hope they will get better.
Pumpkin butter is thicker than apple butter and usually eaten as a spread on breads. The taste depends on what spices you have on hand; the recipe is very easy. The mixture is so thick, that it is splattery when cooking and must be stirred constantly. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes.3 1/2 cups of pumpkin, pureed 3/4 cup apple juice 1 - 2 teaspoons ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 cup sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Not sure how Sarah stored her pumpkin butter. With so much family living nearby and her own family of ten, perhaps it disappeared quickly. If she did store it, I hope she used a boiling water bath to can it, because in the 19th century, the govenment did not tell you what to worry about. Today the USDA recommends not canning pureed pumpkin, because the density and pH vary too much-- which can lead to botulism. The 21st century advice seems to be to freeze or refrigerate pumpkin butters. No freezers in Sarah's day.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 1859 ; Blessed Sabbath morning. We are all well as common. Up late this morning. James and I went to Gilead to meeting. Brother Potts preached. His text was, "Ye are my friends as long as you do whatsoever I command you."--5 chapter and 14th verse of St. John.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1859: Up early this morning. James goes to husk corn for Mrs. Miller, then hauls corn in the afternoon. I weave hard afternoon and mind the children, cook dinner, sweep, wash in the forenoon, sew at night thinking how much work I have to do and how to get it done.
Mary Miller was an 80 year old widow who was born in Virginia and lived with a 35 year old William Miller and a young housekeeper in Jennings Township, Scott County, Indiana.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1859 This is Thanksgiving Day. I feel thankful that all is as well with us as what it is. Pap and mother have gone to Deborah's to day. Cool, and cloudy. James hauls rails for his fence--then is very sick at night. I weave all day--almost out of heart. So much to do here. Here comes Mary Ann Tobias with Ruth's jeans. My thoughts don't get much rest.
Mary Ann Tobias, 23, was Mary Ann Whitsett who married John J. Tobias, 26, in Scott County, Indiana in 1854. They lived nearby in Alpha and had one child at this time, Edward who was nearly 2.
Ruth was probably Ruth Ann Kashow, 34, who married William Jefferson Young, 30, Sarah's brother. They lived in Jennings Township, Scott County, with their 4 children: Maurice Pierce, 7; Eleanora, 5; Viola Jane, 3; and William Arthur, 1.
No Thanksgiving celebration on this day.

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 29, 1859: Up early and off to town. Beautiful day, warm sun--some streaked white clouds-cool air-white frost. The children goes to stay with Catherine (her sister.) Isaac goes to town. We get to town before sun down. James stays at the tavern and I stay at Mrs. Byrds. I seen and heard many things, but with very little satisfaction amid poor encouragement. This is a very wicked world, but I do not see much of it. I did not sleep much. The boats made such a noise and I was uneasy about home and children.
James and Sarah traveled to Madison, Indiana, on the Ohio River. They dropped 7 of their 8 childern off to spend the night with her sister, Catherine Sampson, who had 2 of her own.
Isaac Sampson, Catherine's husband, traveled with them.
James and Isaac spent the night at a tavern/inn. Sarah and her nursing baby boarded at a local home.
Madison was about 25 miles from home. Madison is located on the north bank of the Ohio River 46 miles upstream from Louisville Ky, and 88 miles downstream from Cincinnati Ohio. It prospered in the 1st half of the 19th century, when river travel conveyed goods and people into the midwest. It began to decline in the 1850s as railroads began to criss cross the land.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 1859: Leave town (Madison) at half past 9--sick and tired. Not enough money to buy what I need. James (husband) buys 5c worth of cake and l0c worth of cheese. We get home just dusk-the roads very good. We stopped at Julia Roseberry's a few minutes. A beautiful warn day--begins to look like rain in the evening. The children all well--done well. Marion (son, 12) and Maria Jane (daughter, 10) goes to a spelling to night. I slept very sound last night was very tired. Little Jimmy (son, 1) was such a good babe at town--never cried to trouble me any. I bought Maria Jane a shawl for $l.25. Caroline McLain come home with Maria Jane from spelling.
Julia Roseberry was Sarah's aunt. Sarah's mother Jane Waldsmith's sister Julia Ann Waldsmith (b 1819) married Samuel Roseberry (b 1817) in 1841. They lived about 14 miles away in Jefferson County, Indiana.

You might enjoy reading Sarah Bovard's Diary from its beginning in January of 1859. Free websites containing all diary entries include:

Thanksgiving Dinner Harper’s Weekly 1857

Thanksgiving Dinner Harper’s Weekly December 5, 1857

Madonnas attributed to Artemisia Gentileschi Italian artist, 1593–1652

Attributed to Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Madonna and Child

Attributed to Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Madonna with Sleeping Christ Child

Attributed to Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian artist, 1593–1652) Madonna and Child. Madonna col Bambino (1610-12)

In this blog, I try to begin each day with a painting of the Madonna & Child. It centers me; connects me to the past; & encourages me to post some of the religious paintings which were a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.