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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1119

Governor's Choice cookbook collection, 1948


Recipes and related correspondence of former and sitting United States governors, compiled for the ultimately unpublished Governor's Choice cookbook.


  • 1948

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the records of the Governor's Choice Cookbook 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.


.21 linear feet (1/2 file box)

The Governor's Choice cookbook collection consists of a collection of looseleaf recipes and letters, from the governors, or from their wives or assistants, organized by state. Copies of McReynolds's letters requesting recipes are also included. Many recipes are handwritten. Some governors expressed considerable enthusiasm for the project, sending recipes for which they express great fondness. A former governor of Connecticut noted that he once worked as a cook in a monastery and sent a recipe for a sheep bake which begins, "You take a whole sheep. Put it over an open fire and cook for six hours." A former governor of West Virginia, however, expressed little enthusiasm for the project, writing, "The only receipt [recipe] I could give you would be to boil eggs which certainly would be of no value to you." Several respondents sent recipes using local ingredients, with Charles Robins, the governor of Idaho, sending a recipe for an Idaho baked potato and including a history of the Idaho potato; while Georgia governor Richard Russell contributed a recipe for "Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie." In acts of cultural appropriation, James Noe, Governor of Louisiana, provided a recipe for "Mammy's Spoon Bread," while former Oklahoma governor William H. Murray offered a recipe for "Chickasaw Indian Green Corn Dish."


The Governor's Choice cookbook was compiled in 1948 by Cecil Ira (C.I.) McReynolds of Tucson, Arizona, and his sister-in-law, Shirley Porter, of Salinas, California. McReynolds (1887-1960) was an attorney. McReynolds and Porter contacted over a hundred former and sitting governors throughout the United States. Their intention was to produce a cookbook, organized by state, including the favorite recipes of governors across the country. Governors who contributed included Earl Warren and Strom Thurmond. The cookbook was never published.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2020-M126

The Governor's Choice Cookbook collection was acquired from Johnson Rare Books & Archives in November 2020.

Processing Information

Processed: April 2021

By: Susan Earle

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 the Radcliffe College Class of 1955 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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