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Ancestral Cooking Forum

Black Cooks in the White House

Black Cooks in the White House

As we began to dig into the lives of Hercules and Hemings, the little-known stories of black cooks in the White House throughout history began to surface. Dolly Johnson cooked for President and Mrs. Harrison. Johnson had been the Harrisons' cook in Indianapolis and was "called to the White House sometime around 1890 to replace French chef, Madame Petronard," Conrad says.
Mary Campbell cooked for Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Harry and Margaret Truman brought Vietta Garr with them to the White House. Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson came to the White house with Zephyr Wright. Mrs. Johnson hired her when Wright was a home economics student at the historically black Wiley College in Texas. She cooked for the Johnsons for 27 years in Texas and Washington, D.C.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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