On October 1st, 1856, “Mrs. A. Cameron”, whose full name is Mrs. Anne Ruffin Cameron, seems to have received a recipe for a red cabbage pickle from “J.D. Wright”. Underneath Cameron’s name is written “Burnside”, meaning the name of Anne and her husband, Paul’s, estate in Hillsborough, NC that Paul had built for them as newlyweds. Paul and Anne Cameron, part of one of the wealthiest NC families of the time, sold Pauls’s law practice and moved to Fairntosh, NC so that Paul could tend to his family’s extensive plantation land, only to move back to Burnside of Hillsborough in the late 1850s. Perhaps this recipe could have been a “welcome-back” of sorts for the Cameron’s from a neighbor or friend.
Typically, a red cabbage is planted in the mid-to-late spring or early summer if a fall harvest is the desired outcome; this recipe for a red cabbage pickle, then, came to Mrs. Cameron in perfect time for red cabbage to have been harvested and to then start getting creative on what could be done with this leafy, vitamin-rich crop. Cabbage is most popularly known to be a flexible option as a side dish and is able to be boiled, stewed, baked, sautéed, and of course, pickled into a tasty and refreshing addition to meals. Pickling was a popular means of preservation of this time, in which fresh fruits and vegetables are put into what is called an acidic or salt brine (an acidic, vinegar brine in the case of this recipe), until bacteria is not able to multiply in the brine and spoiling cannot occur. The pickled produce would then be sealed into jars for keeping. This process would have allowed for this pickled red cabbage to be enjoyed by the Cameron’s year-round, a matter of importance for Mrs. Cameron, or her servants, in preparing for winters and completing meal-planning for the year-long.
Subseries 5.6 Folder 3497 in the Cameron Family Papers #133, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 Subseries 5.6 Folder 3497 in the Cameron Family Papers #133, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 Southern Historical Collection, Subseries 5.6 Folder 3497
 “Cameron Family Papers, 1757-1978.” UNC Chapel Hill Libraries: Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/00133/#d1e7668.
 “Growing Cabbage.” The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Accessed October 10, 2018. https://www.almanac.com/plant/cabbage.
 “Food Preservation.” In UXL Encyclopedia of Science, 3rd ed., edited by Amy Hackney Blackwell and Elizabeth Manar, 975-978. Vol. 5. Farmington Hills, MI: UXL, 2015. Science In Context (accessed October 10, 2018).
 “Food Preservation”, Amy Hackney Blackwell, Elizabeth Manar
-Elaine Nix, UNC Chapel Hill AMST276 Student