Author of the first truly American cookbook, including drink recipes
Mary Randolph was born into a prosperous and influential Virginia family. Her husband served the first two Presidents as U.S. Marshal of Virginia, during which Mary became known as a hostess in Richmond. She later operated a boarding house, and in her later years lived in Washington, DC, where she completed the first regional American (i.e., not derived from a European work) cookbook, “The Virginia House-Wife; Or, Methodical Cook”, published in 1824. The book was comprehensive in nature, covering food, drink, and household chemistry, and was reprinted for decades after her death.