Could there be more of a contrast between Amelia Simmons and Mary Randolph? We talked about Simmons, and when it comes to Mrs. Randolph we have someone from the opposite end of the social spectrum.
Mrs. Randolph was born into one of the half-dozen most powerful, wealthy and connected families in Virginia. Her relatives read like a who's who list of the early American southern aristocracy. A read through of her biographical section will show families that controlled vast amounts of land, slaves and wealth. And her marriage further strengthened the bonds of these powerful families.
Unlike Simmons, Mrs. Randolph had the benefit of the best education money could buy and was supremely cultured before she married and took over the duties as estate manager for her husband. These duties would eventually end up as the core of her book, which was the first regional American cookbook published. It gives a detailed picture of what a woman of means was responsible for in her role as estate manager of a large plantation. Notice also the wide variety of foods available as well as influences of other cultures on the everyday cooking that was found on the estates of her time.
The two photos here are of Mary and her grave which is now part of Arlington National Cemetery. The Cemetery was founded on Robert E. Lee's confiscated estate during the civil war, and the Randolph and Lee and Custis families were all related.