The Great American Cook Book; or, Table Receipts, Adapted to American Housewifery. By Mrs. A. M. Collins.

New York: A. S. Barnes & Company, [circa 1875].

Octavo (19 x 12.5 cm.), 144 pages. Table of contents. Running header: Receipts. Date of publication estimated from external evidence. ~ Evident FIRST EDITION with this title; later printing of The Great Western Cook Book; or, Table Receipts Adapted to Western Housewifery (New York: A. S. Barnes, 1857), and the only known copy with this title. The culinary address here is assigned on the basis of the original source, the first cookbook known to have been published in Indiana, Mrs. Collins' Table Receipts, Adapted to Western Housewifery (New Albany, Indiana: Published by Jno. R. Nunemacher, 1851). With approximately three hundred fifty recipes, including: California Soup (dehydrated broth stock), Rough and Ready Soup, Carrot Soup, Codfish Pie, Roast Oysters, Braised Turkey, Sausage Hoosier Fashion, Pork Apple Pie, Succotash à la Tecumseh, (Mashed) Potatoes and Onions, Fried Parsley, Sorrel Sauce, Indiana Sauce (with horseradish, mustard, and celery seed), Mushroom Catsup, Peach Salad (with brandy), (Preserved) Whortleberries, Plum Butter, Mangoes (i.e., pickled muskmelons), Green Gages, Pickled Walnuts, Sour Kraut, Egg Bread, Mrs. Collins' Batter Cakes, Ratafias, Corn Fritters, Chestnut Pudding, Quince Pudding, Gooseberry Cheese, Pumpkin Yankee Fashion, Whip Syllabub, Ratifia of Coffee, Apple Toddy. A point of clarification: for Mrs. Collins, ratafias were biscuits made with ground almonds; for cordials and liqueurs of the type called ratafia today, she used the older spelling ratifia. ~ Angelina Maria Lorraine (Mrs. James) Collins (1805-1885) hailed originally from Virginia, but moved to Indiana when her husband began a law practice there. James Collins (1802-1869), also born in Virginia, had grown up in Louisville, Kentucky, across the Ohio River from New Albany where the couple would establish themselves in 1830. Acceding to prominence as a lawyer, James Collins eventually served in the state assembly, a member of the anti-slavery faction of the Whig Party, before the latter's effective extinction in 1856. For many years a school teacher, Angelina Collins earned a reputation for herself not only in abolitionist circles, but also, as a devout Methodist, among advocates for temperance. Two years after the appearance of her cookbook, she published a novel in which the evils of drink are played out, Mrs. Ben Darby; or, The Weal and Woe of Social Life (Cincinnati: Moore, Anderson, Wilstach, & Keys, 1853). ~ The contents of The Great American Cook Book are identical to those of the 1851 original, which had been published by the author's neighbor, the proprietor of a bookshop and printing house in New Albany. And they were identical again to those of The Great Western Cook Book, the title chosen after rights had been acquired by the publisher Alfred Smith Barnes (1817-1888), newly ensconced in New York. Barnes had learned the publishing trade in Hartford and Philadelphia before the century's midpoint, carving out a sizable niche in the market for educational texts, school primers, and teachers' guides. In 1857, when The Great Western Cook Book appeared, the Chicago printer D. B. Cooke and Company advertised as the "Western Publishers of the National Series of School Books published by A. S. Barnes & Co., New York" (e.g., in the Fifth Annual Review of the Commerce [...] of Chicago, wrapper, page [ii]) – a circumstance that suffices to explain why at least one instantiation of the 1857 edition has been recorded under the Cooke imprint (Lowenstein 723). A later dated printing (1864) is known to have been issued by Barnes in New York, but a number of undated printings may be later still. No firm date of publication can be assigned to The Great American Cook Book, but the change in title from "Western" to "American" suggests a marketing decision that is at least consistent with the scramble on the part of publishers across the country to exploit the public's anticipatory euphoria during the run-up to the centennial festivities of 1876. But while the author's preface from the original edition of 1851 addressing "Ladies of the West" is now directed to "Ladies of America" – indeed, the word "America" is visibly discernible as an overlay text – there is no compelling reason to suppose that she collaborated with Barnes in altering the title. Well before this time, in any case, the Collins house on Main Street had been sold (in 1865), and at some point, presumably after the death of her husband a few years later, Angelina Collins relocated to the home of her son, in Salem, Indiana. ~ Light foxing to endpapers and a few small and light spots throughout; one leaf dog eared. In publisher's brick-red cloth, with title in a medallion the shape of a serving tray. Some rubbing and wear to extremities; otherwise very good. [OCLC locates no printings with this title; Bitting, page 95, Lowenstein 525, 722-723, and Cagle 171-172 acknowledge only the editions with earlier titles of 1851 and 1857; not in Brown].

Price: $1,500.00