Tuesday, April 18, 2017

H. L. Barnum's cookbook from Cincinnati

Not the great showman P. T. Barnum, but H. L. Barnum (another of the vast Conn. family), lived in Cincinnati in 1831 when he compiled the 400 page Family Receipts, including an egg and boiling tea substitute for milk. 

Little is known about the cookbook author.  He left Connecticut (where he had surveyed and mapped Bridgeport in 1824 and Middletown in 1825) for the bustling river city of Cincinnati, Ohio in the 1830s.  It became a meat packing center, and Barnum's recipe for spare-ribs is HERE

His first manual was large - 400 pages - with a large title:
Family Receipts: Or Practical Guide for the Husbandman and Housewife, Containing a Great Variety of Valuable Recipes, Relating to Agriculture, Gardening, Brewery, Cookery, Dairy, Confectionary, Diseases, Farriery, Ingrafting, and the Various Branches of Rural and Domestic Economy. To which is Added a Plain, Concise, Method of Keeping Farmer's Accounts, with Forms of Notes of Hand, Bills, Receipts, &c. &c. by H. L. Barnum, Editor of the “United States Agriculturist and Farmer’s Reporter.” Published by A. B. Roff. Lincoln & Co. Printers. Cincinnati: 1831.

Beat up the whole of a fresh egg in a basin, and then pour boiling tea over it. gradually to prevent its curdling. It is difficult, from the taste, to distinguish it from milk or cream, when used in tea or coffee. 

His second, smaller version was published in Boston in 1832 as The Farmer's own book or the complete title: Family receipts or, Practical guide for the husbandman and housewife,containing a great variety of valuable recipes, relating to agriculture, gardening, brewery, cookery, diary, confectionary, diseases, farriery, ingrafting, and the various branches of rural and domestic economy.

H.L. Barnum also wrote The Spy Unmasked or, Memoirs of Enoch Crosby, alias Harvey Birch, the Hero of Mr. [James Fenimore] Cooper's Tale of the Neutral Ground: being an authentic account of the secret services which he rendered his country during the Revolutionary War. Taken from his own lips, in short-hand. - Comprising many interesting facts and anecdotes never before published.  He was the editor of the Farmer's Reporter.1831-2?

In 1824 he surveyed and did a map of Bridgeport, CT, 1825 map of Middletown, and 1831 surveyed Cincinnati.  In 1836 Capt. Barnum plotted the expansion of Cincinnati.

Map in Orcutt, Samuel.  A History of the old town of Stratford and City of Bridgeport... 1886

©2017 Patricia Bixler Reber
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