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Macon County, Alabama, Household and Recipe Book,

Identifier: Ms-2011-088

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of one household and recipe book from Macon County, AL. A variety of writers left entries within the journal, most notably Miss Zoonomia d. Hoxey Carter and Mrs. M. P. Edwards.

A majority of the collection pertains to culinary interests. There are numerous recipes for cakes and icings, "messy" doughnuts, "pickels,"and breads. Some unique entries include a "Japanese Salad, "Rusk," and beer. Most of recipes contain a listing of ingredients and appropriate "method." However, some measurements maybe: unfamiliar (e.g. "saltspoon") or ambigous (e.g. wine glass) to the contemporary chef.

Written also within the book is an elaborate "description of servants duties." Each enslaved person receives his/her own section that outlines specific tasks and times for schedules on which they should be executed. Collectively, all were responsible for: meals, the enslaver's children, other enslaved people, clean rooms, livestock, firewood, laundry, gardening, and the enslavers themselves.

Folded between the pages are also several letters of personal correspondence, poetry, prayer. Though one letter is undated, others range from 1842 to 1891.


  • 1842 - 1918


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from Macon County, Alabama, Household and Recipe Book must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Historical Note

European settlers established Macon County, AL, in December 1832. The previous inhabitants, Creek Indians, vacated the land following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Macon County, there after, developed into a traditional, agrarian Southern community; cotton production occurred on large plantations sustained by enslaved people.

After the Civil War, many citizens--black and white--fled in search of jobs within the industrial cities of the North and West. Today, Macon County's population consists largely of African Americans. The rural economy faces high rates of poverty.

Notable sites within Macon County include: Tuskegee University, Tuskegee National Forest, and Moton Field (the training site of the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII).


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The Macon County, AL household book keeps: a variety of recipes and outline of duties for enslaved people. Entires within the book range from 1858 to 1918. Within the pages of the book, there are also a variety of letters and clipped articles kept in a scrapbook fashion.


The collection is arranged by material type.

Acquisition Information

Special Collections, Virginia Tech purchased the Macon County, Alabama, Household and Recipe Book in August 2010.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Macon County, Alabama, Household and Recipe Book was completed in October 2011.

A Guide to the Macon County, Alabama, Household and Recipe Book, 1842-1918
A Collection in Special Collections
Andrea Ledesma, Student Assistant, and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist
© Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2022-10: Updated description to person-first language when discussing enslaved people. adw

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US