Nelly Custis Lewis’s Housekeeping Book


THNOC 1982; 3rd printing 1992
hardcover • 6" × 9" • 144 pp.
ISBN 978-0-917860-09-6

Available from The Shop at The Collection for $14.95

 

As the adopted daughter of George Washington, Eleanor “Nelly” Parke Custis learned as a girl the considerable duties and responsibilities involved in the management of a southern household. Like many young ladies, Lewis kept a handwritten housekeeping book in which she jotted down recipes, instructions for the care of clothing, and medical remedies. Dedicated craftsmen may wish to try some of the formulas for dyes or paints. Other entries, such as the cure for mad dog bite, are of historical interest. The collection of recipes, remedies, and housekeeping information Custis garnered under the tutelage of Martha Washington is presented in the framework of plantation life of the period. Nelly Custis Lewis’s Housekeeping Book, a classic of social history, is used as a resource guide for plantation docents and house museums recreating open-hearth cookery.