Princeton’s Thanksgiving Dinners

Last year, we shared a typical Princeton Thanksgiving of football rivalry with Yale rather than turkey and trimmings with you on our blog. That Princetonians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries tended toward urban entertainment in preference to a heavy meal does not mean that the meal was wholly unimportant, however. We’ve been collecting menus from the University Archives on our Tumblr page since June, and in the process of doing so we’ve discovered a handful of Thanksgiving menus we’d like to share with you here during this holiday season.

The first is George Whitefield Betts, Class of 1892, who had his 1890 Thanksgiving dinner at “Mrs. McCarty’s.” A modern audience will recognize some of what was on offer as currently traditional, but might balk at cold boiled tongue. (Scrapbook Collection (AC026), Box 150)

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Click to enlarge.

The second, more specifically Princeton-themed menu belonged to George M. Priest of the Class of 1894. Again, though we see turkey, we also see the things less popular today, like boiled haddock. (Scrapbook Collection (AC026), Box 260)

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Menu_pg2_Box_174_2Back_Box_174_2The third and final example, with a 1904 Thanksgiving meal eaten in early December, comes from the scrapbook of Gustav Wuerth of the Class of 1907. (Scrapbook Collection (AC026), Box 260)

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Although these menus are all within 15 years of one another, our Menu Monday series spans a much broader swath of time. Look for new menus every Monday.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library! Enjoy your tomato soup and squab on toast.

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