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Text / The house servant's directory. Or A monitor for private families: : comprising ...

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The house servant's directory. Or A monitor for private families: : comprising hints on the arrangement and performance of servants' work, with general rules for setting out tables and sideboards in first order; the art of waiting in all its branches; and likewise how to conduct large and small parties with order; with general directions for placing on table all kinds of joints, fish, fowl, &c. : With full instructions for cleaning plate, brass, steel, glass, mahogany; and likewise all kinds of patent and common lamps: observations on servants' behaviour to their employers; and upwards of 100 various and useful receipts, chiefly compiled for the use of house servants; and identically made to suit the manners and customs of families in the United States
Roberts, Robert
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
UC San Diego, Special Collections and Archives
American Institute of Wine & Food Culinary Collection
Rights Information
Public domain
Constraint(s) on Use: This work may be used without prior permission.
Use: This work is available from the UC San Diego Library. This digital copy of the work is intended to support research, teaching, and private study.
Written by an African American butler, this is a guide for household staff to help them to understand the procedures in keeping a prominent white household. It includes "recipes and advice to other black household management staff on how to properly clean plates, proper etiquette, how to restore furniture, and self-care..." More of a household-management manual than cookbook, Roberts gives suggestions for employers on how to manage domestic help and how to teach young black men to be successful and ensure their advancement. Considered a seminal work by a 19th century African American man by advising men of singular ability as caterers, and managers, rather than servants, of large households
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego, La Jolla, 92093-0175 (
Edition statement transposed; follows imprint at foot of title page
Copyright Mar. 9, 1827, by Munroe & Francis
Armorial bookplate of John Lowell Jr
Boston, Munroe and Francis, 128 Washington-Street.
New York, Charles S. Francis, 252 Broadway
By Robert Roberts. ; With friendly advice to cooks and heads of families; and complete directions how to burn Lehigh coal
Xiv, [1], 16-180 pages ; 19 cm
Home economics
Household employees
Formulas, recipes, etc
Handbooks and manuals
New York (N.Y.)
Boston (Mass.)
New York (N.Y.)
Boston (Mass.)

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