I’m reading through the table of contents of one of the new books I’ve discovered for my research.
Beecher, Catharine Esther, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
The American woman’s home: or, Principles of domestic science; being a guide to the formation and maintenance of economical, healthful, beautiful, and Christian homes.
[New York, J.B. Ford and company; Boston, H.A. Brown &; co.; etc., et, 1869]
PDF available from the Library of Congress
How can I be so excited about the table of contents?
You’re probably asking yourself that very question (and perhaps thinking I may be off my gourd just a little bit 😜). Maybe I am, but these table of contents are elaborate and awesome!
Each chapter comes with a descriptive paragraph telling me what to expect within.
Chapter II promises to contain a plan of a model cottage. Chapter V says it will discuss the different stoves and cooking on each. Chapter VII and VIII cover health and exercise down to a cellular level.
There’s a chapter on clothing and multiple chapters on food and drinking with the promise of recipes included. Housekeeping and child raising will be covered. There are thirty seven chapters total.
The dedication reads:
TO THE WOMEN OF AMERICA, IN WHOSE HANDS REST THE REAL DESTINIES OF THE REPUBLIC, AS MOULDED BY THE EARLY TRAINING AND PRESERVED AMID THE MATURER INFLUENCES OF HOME, THIS VOLUME IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED.
Mary, herself, may have read this book. She is the perfect age group for the intended target audience. She would have been 16 in 1869. She married Jesse in 1872.
I’m excited because it will help me build Mary a beautiful, modern home. Much research is, of course, still needed to ensure that her home would, indeed, be found in Iowa in 1872, but it’s a huge piece of the research puzzle.
Being honest, I’m the most excited at the potential for recipes to try that Mary may have cooked for Jesse. If I am successful, I will share with all of you.
I’m off to dive in. I’m only halfway through the table of contents, and I’m geeked! 🤓