Janie Mitchell, Reliable Cook
“Janie Mitchell, Reliable Cook by Lisa Foster holds a magnifying glass to life in Charleston from the point of view of an African American woman born in Civil War times. It is fascinating, informative and bursting with charm. Lifted from the actual diaries of Janie Mitchell and placed in context by Ms. Foster, this gem of a book belongs in the personal libraries of everyone interested in our history.” – Dorothea Benton Frank.
A non-fiction account of an ex-slave’s life, this story gives a snapshot view of Charleston from 1862-1931 through the eyes of Janie Mitchell, based on her own writings. Janie Mitchell, Reliable: An ex-slave's recipe for living chronicles Janie’s life as well as her relationship with her owners, the Rutledge family, and her later employment with other Charleston families. It offers readers a unique perspective on Charleston during the Civil War and Reconstruction and sheds light on attitudes toward slavery during this time.
Bound in handsome bonded leather and trimmed in goldleaf, the volume is the second in the Evening Post Book’s Charleston Reader Series. The on-going series offers accounts of local history and each volume is numbered.
This second book in the series also includes images of Janie’s Charleston, spanning Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, and the downtown area. Many of the landmarks of Janie’s time still stand. The book begins with an introduction by John M. Burbage highlighting the importance of Janie’s story to our current and future generations.
Much like its predecessor in the Charleston Reader Series, Volume 2 is based on an account written by an individual never anticipating publication. Janie’s original compositions are included in the final section of the book, unedited and unpunctuated.
Written by Lisa Foster with Mary Lou Murray Coombs
$26.95 (plus $5.00 shipping)