Penn Library

HOUSEHOLD WORDS: Women Write from and for the Kitchen

Image from:
American Cookery by an American Author
by Amelia Simmons
Walpole, N.H.: Printed for Elijah Brooks, 1812

Title page

American Cookery by an American Orphan, later identified as Amelia Simmons in 1812, was the first cookbook authored by an American and published in the United States. Although Simmons had many English recipes in this collection, it is the first book to introduce native resources--cranberries and corn products, for example--into the cooking repertoire. She also used American colloquial expressions in the titles: Jonny Cakes, Indian Slapcakes and Indian Pudding, among them.

This copy of American Cookery was owned and inscribed by Mary Lincoln Wollaston, President of the Boston Cooking School. Although Simmons did not directly bequeath her book to Mary Lincoln, these two key figures in American cooking symbolically shared a book and a legacy.

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