Colonel Maunsel White’s Hygenic Peppers

One of the most useful vegetables in hygiene is red pepper. Especially in warm countries has it been considered invaluable as a stimulant and auxilary in digestion. Among the French and Spanish races it is used in the largest quantities, and they invariably enjoy most excellent health.

Of late, particularly since the cholera visited our State, our planters have begun to discover the advantages of this vegetable, and mingle large quantities of it with the food of their negroes.

Considerable attention has been drawn to the selection and cultivation of the best kinds of pepper. Among those who have appreciated the importance of this vegetable is that admirable planter and exceedingly practical gentleman, Col. Maunsel White, the proprietor of “Deer Range,” commonly known as the model sugar plantation. Col. White has introduced the celebrated tobasco red pepper, the very strongest of all peppers, of which he has cultivated a large quantity with the view of supplying his neighbors, and diffusing it through the State.

The tobasco pepper yields a small red pod less than an inch in length, and longitudinal shape. It is exceedingly hot, and a small quantity of it is sufficient to season a large dish of any food. Owing to its oleaginous character, Col. White found it impossible to preserve it by drying; but by pouring strong vinegar on it after boiling, he has made a sauce or pepper decoction of it, which possesses in a most concentrated form, all the qualities of the vegetable. A single drop of the sauce will flavor a whole plate of soup or other food.

The use of decoction like this, particularly in preparing the food for laboring persons, would be found exceedingly beneficial in a relaxing climate like this. Col. White has not had a single case of cholera among his large gang of negroes since that disease appeared in the South. He attributes this to the free use of this valuable agent.

— New Orleans Daily Delta


Although White never marketed this pepper sauce, his heirs advertised it for sale beginning in 1864, a year after White’s death (as “Maunsel White’s Concentrated Essence of Tobasco [sic] Pepper”). The White family apparently ceased production of this sauce in the late nineteenth-century. (McIlhenny Company, maker of world-famous Tabasco brand pepper sauce, denies persistent claims that its founder, E. McIlhenny, obtained his peppers and pepper sauce recipe from Maunsel White.)

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