Barbecues in Gilded Age America

The barbecue was an established institution in the Southwest. It had in no other part of the country so many devotees. There was a charm in the name that would at any time call together a large concourse of people, on the shortest notice, and for any occasion. And the savory smell of roasted ox, sheep, shoats, turkeys, rabbits, or whatever else was prepared to appease the appetite of a crowd, would keep them together to hear the longest political speeches, listen to the most protracted school examinations, give their attention to the most elaborate expositions of the importance of some projected turnpike or railroad, and secure a patient waiting and an unbroken audience on any occasion when the ‘barbecue feast was to be the agreeable conclusion.

~ In the brush; or, Old-time social, political, and religious life in the Southwest by Hamilton Wilcox Pierson, 1881

The Strand Magazine, volume 16, 1898


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