Victorian-American newspapers illustrate the rules of etiquette governing New Year’s calls. Society’s expectations were made public and adherence expected. What did proper decorum require on January 1?
A newspaper article published on November 25, 1897 (El Dorado, KS, syndicated from NY Tribune) sheds historical light on what Thanksgiving Day was to the late Victorians in the United States. Includes: origins, thanksgiving souvenirs, thanksgiving entertainments, and thanksgiving decorations… a glimpse into Thanksgiving in 1897.
How did our Victorian-American ancestors select a turkey? How did they roast it (without a Reynold’s Oven Bag)? Were their Thanksgiving Dinner side dishes as complicated as restaurant menus made them appear?
This newspaper article, published in Vermont Journal of Windsor, Vermont, on November 30, 1889, instructs our Victorian ancestors (in the United States) how to properly carve a turkey. Picture the Thanksgiving table laden with fancy dishes, and the head of the household carving the bird from his place of honor at the head of the table.
Harvest Celebrations from the mid- to latter-half of the 19th century, as reported in newspapers in the United States, show the different types of “Harvest Customs” celebrated. Some customs and words were borrowed from various German immigrants, others were simple gatherings after the work of the harvest with time for thanksgiving and gratitude for adequate (or abundant) food to last until next harvest season.