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COLLECTION Identifier: A/S339

Recipe collection of Marion King Schlefer, 1793-1826


Food and medicinal recipes from the Clarkson-Masters-King family collected by Marion King Schlefer.


  • Creation: 1793-1826

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Smith-Clarkson-Masters-King families is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


3 folders

This collection contains recipes from the Clarkson-Masters-King family, 1793-1826, including Belinda (Mrs. Matthew) Clarkson's Receipt Book, ca.1793. Clarkson was the daughter of Margaret Stephens and John Smith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This handwritten book of American receipts (recipes) includes food recipes from cakes to curing beef, as well as homemade cures for medical ills, including for rheumatism, worms, cough and consumptive symptoms, etc. According to family tradition, the book was passed around so that family members could add recipes. The volume ended up in France before being returned to Marion Schlefer.

In addition, the collection contains other family recipes, some from "Mrs. Whetmore," including recipes for sausages, cakes, preserves and pickled fish; as well as a family tree and other genealogical information "written out by Marion King Schlefer (June 2003) based on family lists and family bible." Also included are receipts (recipes) mostly from the John Smith family, Philadelphia, 1790s, which includes recipes for curing beef, pickling meat, calves feet jelly, cakes, puddings, fruit preserves, cheese, etc.; as well as homemade medicinal cures for fever, saltrheum?, rheumatism, etc.


Marion King Schlefer, a descendant of the Clarkson-Masters-King family, was born February 1923 in Brooklyn Heights, New York and grew up on Long Island, New York. Schlefer graduated from Putney School (1941) and Swarthmore College (1945). Later she attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design and received a master's degree from American University. She and her husband Mark Schlefer moved to Washington, D.C., in 1951. They had one son, Jonathan and two daughters, Ellen and Kate.

Schlefer's professional interests were in urban planning and architecture and while living in Washington she was a member of the D.C. Board of Commissioners' Planning and Urban Renewal Advisory Council. Among her professional activities, she worked as an analyst specializing in planning for the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and published studies on housing and urban planning. The Schlefers moved to Putney, Vermont in 2005. Schlefer died on January 17, 2015.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2003-M134

The recipe collection of Marion King Schlefer was given to the Schlesinger Library, October 2003.

Processing Information

Processed: November 2003

By: Anne Engelhart.

Updated and additional description added: June 2020

By: Laura Peimer.

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by Radcliffe Class of 1956 and the Mary Mitchell Wood Manuscript Processing Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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