Nat Fuller's Feast: The Life and Legacy of an Enslaved Cook in Charleston

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About the Authors
David Shields, PhD, is the McClintock Professor of Southern Letters in the English Department at the University of South Carolina. His forthcoming book, Culinarians: American Chefs, Caterers, and Restaurateurs 1793-1919, will be available from the University of Chicago Press in 2016.

Chef Kevin Mitchell is an Instructor of the Culinary Arts with the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College. He is also one of the founders of the Bridging Culinary Awareness program, which provides resources to urban high schoolers interested in pursuing a career in the culinary arts.

Editorial Contributors
Simon Lewis, College of Charleston
Amanda Moniz, National History Center
Bernard Powers, College of Charleston

Secondary Sources

Blight, David. Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2001.

Covey, Herbert C. and Dwight Eisnach. What the Slaves Ate; Recollections of African American Foods and Foodways. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2009.

Curry, Leonard Pr. The Free Black in Urban America, 1800-1850: The Shadow of the Dream. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

Drago, Edmund L. Charleston’s Avery Center: From Education and Civil Rights to Preserving the African American Experience. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2006.

Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2002.

Hess, Karen. The Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1998.

Jenkins, Wilbert L. “Chaos, Conflict and Control: The Responses of the Newly-Freed Slaves in Charleston, South Carolina to Emancipation and Reconstruction 1865-1877.” PhD Diss., Michigan State University, 1991.

Johnson, Michael P. and James L. Roark. Black Masters: A Free Family of Color in the Old South. New York, New York: W. W. Norton, 1988.

Koger, Larry. Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina 1790-1860. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 1985.

__________. Climbing up to Glory: A Short History of African Americans during the Civil War. Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 2002.

McInnes, Maurie Dee. The Politics of Taste in Antebellum Charleston. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.

Morris, Robert C. Reading, ‘Riting, and Reconstruction: The Education of Freedmen in the South 1861-1870. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1982.

Myers, Amrita Chakrabarti. Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2011.

Poole, W. Scott. South Carolina’s Civil War: A Narrative History. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 2005.

Powers, Jr., Bernard. Black Charlestonians: A Social History, 1822-1885. Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of Arkansas Press, 1999.

Shields, David S. Culinarians: American Chefs, Caterers, and Restaurateurs 1793-1919. Chicago, Illinois: forthcoming from University of Chicago Press, 2016.

__________. Southern Provisions: The Creation and Revival of a Cuisine. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 2015.

Walker, Juliet E. K. The History of Black Business in America; Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship, vols. 1-2. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.

Wikramanayake, Marina. A World in Shadow: The Free Black in Antebellum South Carolina. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1973.

Primary Sources

Charleston Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), November 19, 1823-December 21, 1878.

Charleston Daily News (Charleston, South Carolina), December 1, 1866-July 6, 1868.

Charleston News & Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), October 16, 1877-March 30, 1889.

Charleston Mercury (Charleston, South Carolina), January 8, 1857-January 9, 1865.

Croly, David G. Miscegenation; the theory of the blending of the races, applied to the American white man and Negro. New York, New York: H. Dexter, Hamilton & Co., 1864.

De Voe, Thomas Farrington. The Market Assistant. New York: Hurd & Houghton, 1867.

[Diana Fuller Bank Record.] Freedman’s Bank Records, Charleston, South Carolina, Entry 6629.

[Diana Fuller Death Certificate.] Health Department, City of Charleston, Certificate of Death, August 18, 1884.

[Election Notice]. Southern Patriot (Greenville, South Carolina), February 10, 1847.

“Fall of Charleston.” New York Tribune (New York, New York), March 3, 1865.  

“From Charleston.” Edgefield Advertiser (Edgefield, South Carolina), March 15, 1865.

“From South Carolina: Grand Procession of Southern Loyalists.” New York Tribune (New York, New York), April 5, 1865.

“Fuller V. Gatewood.” [Legal papers.] Simons & Simons case records, Box 19, Fuller V. M. Gatewood legal papers. South Carolina Historical Society Manuscript. 0431.02 (F).

[Nat Fuller Death Certificate.] Charleston Record for December 16, 1866. Charleston Records Office.  

“One Hundred and Thirty-Seventh Anniversary of St. Andrew’s Society.” Charleston Daily News (Charleston, South Carolina), December 1, 1866.

“Our Fireman at Charleston.” Daily Constitutionalist (Augusta, Georgia), May 1, 1866.

“Under Decree in Equity.” City Gazette (Charleston, South Carolina), March 8, 1821.

U. S. Federal Census, 1870, Sumter Townships, Sumter County, South Carolina, 70.

“Waves of Desolation.” Elkhart Daily Review (Elkhart, Indiana), September 2, 1886.

Sources for Recipes

Baldwin, William P. and Charlotte Jenkins. Gullah Cuisine: By Land and by Sea. Charleston, South Carolina: Evening Post Books, 2012.

Charleston Mercury, Charleston, South Carolina, July 18, 1863.

Hill, Annabella P. Southern Practical Cookery and Receipt Book: A facsimile of Mrs. Hill’s New Cook Book, 1872 edition, ed. Damon L. Fowler. Reprint, Columbia, South Carolina: The University of South Carolina Press, 2011.

Huguenin, T. H., ed. Charleston Receipts. Charleston, South Carolina: The Junior League of Charleston, Inc., 1950.

Peterson, Hannah Mary Bouvier. The National Cook Book. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: T. B. Peterson & brothers, c. 1866, University of Michigan Library.

Rutledge, Sarah. The Carolina Housewife. Charleston, South Carolina: W. R. Babcock & Co., 1847.


Montana State University — History of Food in America Online Cookbook

New York Public Library — What's on the Menu?

University of Illinois — Communal Cuisine: Community Cookbooks 1877-1960

Teaching American History in South Carolina - Lesson Plan: Slavery, Manumission, and Freedom: Free Blacks in Charleston before the Civil War