Saturday, 1 October, 1864

This has been a close, rainy day. Notwithstanding, Bill persisted in trying his boilers. Made some 3 or 4 gallons excellent molasses, or rather syrup, before dinner. He is very persevering in whatever he undertakes to do. – – Dellah finished weaving Ju’s double cloth today as far as the yarn would go. Wove a blanket for one of the servants and then commenced plain. – – Everybody has been eating and stewing molasses today.1 Gave Nan and Rose a stew exclusively and I had a nice one with plenty of ginger myself. Sold Mrs. Garrett two pounds butter this evening for 13 dollars. Bill, Zac and nearly all the servants went in the marsh tonight and killed a great many Sora, i.e. some 7 or 8 doz. between them all. Bill and Zac killed only 16. – – Came in at 12 and went down and got supper.

  1. This is the first reference, among many to come, to molasses stew. While I can find many references to stews made with molasses, I cannot find much on molasses stew as such. The term came to be used much like a “candy-pull,” a social event rather than a dish. Think “fish fry.” The use of the term in this journal seems, to me at least, much more complex. I would love to hear from readers who are more familiar with this term.  (back)