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Smith family recipes for 1886 Bazaar in Boston

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In 1886, the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) held a bazaar in Boston to raise funds. It was held in the Music Hall (now the Orpheum Theatre off Tremont Street) and Bumstead Hall, Dec. 13-18, 1886. See image at right of the Music Hall.

Here is how my book describes it:

​​In 1886, among other years, the MWSA held a suffrage festival and bazaar to raise funds. Scituate women helped as local members of the large general state committee. They were Sarah E. Welch, Louisa F. Bonney, C. M. Allen, and Mary F. Prouty, all from prominent local families.

Note: Woman's Journal, December 4, 1886, 388. Sarah Welch (1867-1950) was a daughter of E. Parker Welch who started the Welch Company in Scituate with his son George F. Welch.

On August 18, 2020, the centennial of the adoption of the 19th Amendment giving women the vote, the New York Times carried a long article or series of articles in which it mentioned that a cookbook was created for the 1886 bazaar to raise funds. It was called The Woman Suffrage Cook Book, by Mrs. Hattie A. Burr of Boston.

The Times carried an image of the book, crediting the University of Chicago Special Collections. I contacted them, and they do have it in their collections. However, it is also available on the web. It must have been a success, because that is a 2d edition. A copy of the cover is on this page.

This was America's first suffragist cookbook, and was launched on a drizzly but sold-out evening at a fundraiser at the Boston Music Hall (which is now the Orpheum Theatre). Nina Martyris, "How Suffragists Used Cookbooks As A Recipe For Subversion," NPR, November 5, 2015, here.

Judith Winsor Smith contributed two recipes, Raspberry Cream and Smith Cake. Copies of them are on this page. Let me know if you like these. Many other prominent suffragists contributed to the cook book, including Alice Stone Blackwell, Rev. Annie H. Shaw, Julia Ward Howe, Sarah R. May (Mrs. Samuel), Lucy Stone, Mary A. Livermore, and Miss C. Wilde (probably Judith's niece, Catherine “Kate” Wilde, who was by then working at the Woman's Journal).

One wonders if the Scituate women went to the bazaar, bought the cookbook, and met with Judith Winsor Smith. By then, Judith and her family were spending summers at the Old Scituate Light. Perhaps diaries or letters of the Scituate women will turn up and shed some light. If I knew about this possible connection in 1886, I might have added it to the book, but it was then in the final throes of production for publication. Maybe I will add it in the 2d edition.

Fredie Kay, at Suffrage100MA, mentioned that her friend published a suffrage cookbook in 2020: Laura Kumin,

All Stirred Up: Suffrage Cookbooks, Food, and the Battle for Women's Right to Vote, on Amazon and at

JWS, cook book 1886, cover, PSE edit.png
Boston Music Hall, c1858, Dig Comm_commo

J. H. Bufford's Lith., "Ladies fair for the poor at Music Hall, Boston, March 8th 1858" -- example of what the 1886 bazaar might have looked like. Digital Commonwealth.

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