The Peerless Cook Book: With Recipes for the Chafing Dish

by Mary J. Lincoln


Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln was born on July 8, 1844 in South Attleboro, Massachusetts. At the mere age of seven, her father died. She was able to attend school, graduating in 1864 from the Wheaton Female Seminary, now today known as Wheaton College. She married and became a housewife, but due to her husband’s failing health, she began teaching at the Boston Cooking School in the Spring of 1879. At first she declined the position, not thinking she was qualified, but after some instruction she took on the role and it grew immensely with her. Aside from organizing and teaching a variety of classes, she wrote Mrs. Lincoln’s Boston Cook Book: What to Do and What Not to Do in Cooking. Her cook book was highly detailed and considered scientific for including information on chemistry and food composition. It set the standard for cook books.

The Peerless Cook Book, first published in 1886, was her second published book. She also wrote a textbook for cooking, Boston School Kitchen Textbook: Lessons in Cooking for the Use of Classes in Public and Industrial Schools, which was published the following year. She thoroughly enjoyed teaching and writing, and published several articles in various magazines, she taught at Lasell Seminary, was a member of the New England Woman’s Press Association, served as editor and advisor on various publications and much more, including owning her own company, Mrs. Lincoln’s Baking Powder Company of Boston. Her work can be found under the name, Mrs. D.A. Lincoln, until 1894 when her husband, David A. Lincoln, passed away. Afterwards, she went by Mary J. Lincoln. She passed away on December 2, 1921.

This edition is dedicated to Elizabeth Helm in hopes she finds it handy.