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Curious but Palatable Chinese Dishes, and How To Make Them

Since the influx of Chinese immigrants during the 19th century, Chinese cuisine in America has undergone a variety of changes.  Chinese immigrants during the second half of the 19th century lived in segregated “Chinatowns” throughout the American frontier. Chinese businessmen and family-cooks combined to open restaurants catering to their local population. These restaurants served dishes that preserved and reflected their different Chinese cultural and regional identities. Initially, Chinese foods were not accepted or liked by the American public because they were perceived as foreign. From the 1890s onward, Chinese dishes began changing to appeal to the American taste by using more “American” ingredients and cooking techniques.

This article from Frank Leslie’s Weekly provides insight into American Chinese food and its preparation. Reference librarians, students, faculty, historians, and researchers, using Frank Leslie’s Weekly, can trace the development of America in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. Researchers interested in popular culture will find Frank Leslie’s Weekly full of unique information covering every phase of America’s evolution for over 70 years. This collection creates endless possibilities for new and more thorough research.

Curious but Palatable Chinese Dishes, and How To Make Them

By Harriet Quimby

MANY different races are domiciled in New York City, but of all the races the Chinese have the most defined quarter as well as the most interesting. The Chinaman does not yield to the gradual assimilation with the country in general as do the other foreigners, but he likes to make a little China of his own in this country and to keep to himself. This quality of exclusiveness and indifference attracts hundreds of visitors to the Chinatowns of New York and other cities, and brings prosperity to the various shops and eating places abounding in these colonies. It is the latter especially that are patronized by the American visitors, always on the qui vive for something new. It has become quite a fad with many Americans to learn the Chinese art of eating with chopsticks. Much fun is caused at dinner parties in Chinese restaurants by the awkwardness of beginners in this art. Some Occidentals acquire it very readily, while others are never able to master it.

The Chinaman, it must be admitted, knows how to cook, and he cooks with such skill that the peculiar mingling of flavors in which he delights pleases the Occidental as well as the Oriental palate. The excellence of Chinese food may be due to the influence of religion in the kitchen, for the god which presides over this portion of the Chinese home is considered an important one among the deities.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, published from 1855 to 1922, was an American illustrated news publication started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.



The Early Years of Pasadena

The winter of 1873 was one of the worst on record for the Midwest; particularly in Indiana. The opening of the transcontinental railroad led to a surge in travel westward, particularly into California. In addition, the economic recession in 1873 pushed many emigrants westward in the hopes of finding new employment opportunities.

These events led a group of Indianapolis residents, also lured by emigration notices extolling the warm climate of California, to meet and propose a settlement of Hoosiers among the orange groves of southern California. This group acquired a number of investors for a settlement and dispatched a committee to select a suitable area for the emigrant investors. The “California Colony of Indiana” came into being in September 1873. Years later, after a dispute with the U.S. Postal Service, the Colony would be re-named the city of Pasadena, California.

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter.



Ferocious Dueling in Mobile

On Sunday a duel was fought between two gentlemen from New Orleans. The scene of it was in the grove, South of the buildings known as the “Six Sisters,” in the lower suburbs of the city.

The parties were Charles Roman, son of ex-governor Roman, and W. H. Bouligny, son of a late Senator from Louisiana of that name. The fight commenced at one o’clock with small swords for weapons. The first pass was made by Mr. Bouligny, whose sword struck upon the suspender button of his antagonist, and broke in two. In the pass of Mr. Roman, made simultaneously the sword penetrated the side of Mr. Bouligny, inflicting a slight but not dangerous wound. The sword being broken, the parties resorted to pistols at five paces. At first fire Mr. Bouligny received the ball of his antagonist back of the hip. The wound was painful, but slight. The shot of Mr. Bouligny passed on without touching.

We learn that the duel originated in an old misunderstanding, but after both parties had stood steel and fire, they conceived a higher respect for each other, and left the field reconciled. They returned to New Orleans yesterday in the steamer Oregon.

–Mobile Tribune, April 4.

Source: Frederick Douglass Paper, May 5, 1854

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.


A Word for the Poor in The Lily

This appeal for help for the poor, penned by Helen Bruce, appeared in The Lily in the March 1855 issue.

A Word for the Poor

Winter is here—a winter in the midst of fearfully hard times, and we are surrounded with the starving poor. Why are our cities thronged with helpless paupers, when there are thousands of acres of land overflowing with nature’s bounty, waiting for them to come and take possession? If all this waste population could only be turned out to thrive and fatten, to grow light-hearted and joyous upon those rich unoccupied lands, what a blessed thing it would be. But they are not there—they are here, and they crowd, steaming and half-smothering into cellars and garrets, and live in destitution and distress.

Hundreds who are willing to work cannot get work, and they must beg, steal or starve. One poor widow in Brooklyn, two weeks before Christmas, went for three days without a single meal for herself and her five children! She had not been used to beg, but actual starvation drove her to it at last. This is but one case out of thousands.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Newspapers Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily, The Revolution, and the National Citizen and Ballot Box.



The Question of Negro Soldiers in the South

This rather fascinating editorial about the issues surrounding arming slaves to fight for the south appeared on February 18, 1865. As all know, it never came to anything like full fruition, but it is interesting to see thoughts on the topic at a time when the South was in desperate need of a game-changing solution.

The Question of Negro Soldiers

(Richmond, Virginia – February 18, 1865) The question of negro soldiers we consider as settled. Public opinion has definitely declared in favor of arming the negroes; the resolution introduced in the Virginia Legislature, giving the consent of the State to the measure, will pass, and may be followed, and should be, by instructions to Senators to vote for the measure and thus put the matter at rest.

As to giving the slaves their freedom, this should be the reward for faithful services, at the end of the war, if desired by the slaves. To some it may be a boon, a reward – others may not even desire freedom. Negroes are divided in opinion as to whether they would prefer freedom to slavery, but by all means leave the choice with them, let them decide the matter. We do not expect this reward to make soldiers of them; discipline only will do that. It must be a discipline differing, very much, from that which now holds together, with loosened bands, the armies of the Confederate States. It must be a discipline sharp, severe, exacting, which first teaches them their duty and them compels them to perform it. There never has been discipline in the armies of this Confederacy, but instead thereof a kind of universal suffrage, which fights when it chooses and straggles when it feels like it. All this must be changed with the negro troops; they have not the motives that compel the white man to this fight; they must be kept up to the mark by fear of punishment more than by hope of reward.

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.