|Mary (Randolph) Randolph|
August 9, 1762
"Ampthill Plantation" near Richmond, Virginia
|Died||January 23, 1828
Washington, D. C.
|Spouse(s)||David Meade Randolph|
|Children||Richard, William Beverly,
David Meade, Burwell Starke
|Parent(s)||Thomas Mann Randolph
Anne (Cary) Randolph
Mary Randolph (1762–1828) was an American author, known for writing The Virginia House-Wife; Or, Methodical Cook (1824), one of the most influential housekeeping and cook books of the nineteenth century.
Randolph was born at Ampthill on August 9, 1762, the daughter of Thomas Mann Randolph (1741–1794), a member of the Virginia Convention of 1776 and descendant of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, and his first wife, Anne Cary Randolph (1745–1789). The eldest of thirteen, her siblings included Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr. (1768–1828) son-in-law of Thomas Jefferson and Governor of Virginia, and the writer Virginia Randolph Cary (1786–1852).
In December 1780 she married a cousin, David Meade Randolph (1760–1830) and they would have eight children, four of whom survived into adulthood. Initially they lived at "Presqu'Ile," his plantation in Chesterfield County, Virginia, but built "Moldavia," a mansion in Richmond, Virginia in 1798. Due to their financial situation, the Randolphs were forced to sell their home in 1804 and by 1808 were operating a boarding house in Richmond.
In 1819 they moved to Washington, D. C. where she wrote the book, first published in 1824, and would die on January 23, 1828. She was buried by Arlington House, home of her cousin Mary Lee Fitzhugh Custis, wife of George Washington's adopted son George Washington Parke Custis, at what became Arlington National Cemetery.
The Virginia House-Wife
Randolph's influential housekeeping book The Virginia House-Wife (1824) went through many editions until the 1860s. Randolph tried to improve women's lives by limiting the time and money they had to spend in their kitchens. The Virginia House-Wife included many inexpensive ingredients that anyone could purchase to make impressive meals. Besides popularizing the use of more than 40 vegetables, Randolph's book also introduced to the Southern public dishes from abroad, such as gazpacho, boldly calling for "poisonous" tomatoes in her Spanish-based recipes.
In 2009 Randolph was posthumously honored as one of the Library of Virginia's "Virginia Women in History". 1n 1999 the state of Virginia erected a historical marker in her honor near the site of her birth in Chesterfield County.
- "Historic Chesterfield – Mary Randolph".
- "Researching Food History. Mary Randolph's family - Bizarre scandal, Pocahontas, Jefferson, eccentrics and Spanish foods".
- "Mary Randolph at Feeding America".
- Arlington Cemetery site
- "The Virginia Housewife: or, Methodical Cook. Baltimore: 1838".
- "Virginia Women in History: Mary Randolph (1762-1828)". Library of Virginia. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
- "Mary Randolph, Chesterfield County". Xroads.virginia.edu. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
- The Virginia Housewife: or, Methodical Cook. Baltimore: 1838. at Feeding America
- The Virginia Housewife: or, Methodical Cook. 1860 at Project Gutenberg
- The Virginia Housewife: or, Methodical Cook. Baltimore: 1836. at Internet Archive
- Arlington Cemetery: Mary Randolph
- 2009 Virginia Women in History profile