“A Poor Dinner It Was”: 1860 and the Politics of Barbecue

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“A Poor Dinner It Was”: 1860 and the Politics of Barbecue

by John Steele Henderson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 1, No. 3: Spring 1995

"The Hendersons were Democrats, and John didn't much like what he heard at the rally, but like a true connoisseur, he complained about the quality and quantity of the barbecue."

The following letter was written by fourteen-year-old John Steele Henderson to his father, Archibald Henderson, reporting on a Whig political rally in piedmont North Carolina on the eve of the presidential election of 1860. The Hendersons were Democrats, and John didn’t much like what he heard at the rally, but like a true connoisseur, he complained about the quality and quantity of the barbecue.

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