Jefferson was given a 1,600 pound cheese from Cheshire, Mass. Every farmer brought his curd to be poured into a large cider press to make the huge variegated cheese. A large round of cheese from New York was given to President Jackson, kept in the vestibule of the White House and finally cut in 1837. "The air was redolent with cheese, the carpet was slippery with cheese."
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In 1801, newly elected Thomas Jefferson wanted his former (freed in 1796) slave James Hemings (1765-1801) as his presidential chef, but Hemings wanted Jefferson to contact him personally and said he was busy with an engagement with Mr. Peck, a "Tavern Keeper" in Baltimore. William Evans, the owner of the Indian Queen, a block away on the same street as Peck's Columbian hotel, was the go-between for Jefferson and Hemings. James had accompanied Jefferson to France where he took lessons on French cooking.