Abby Fisher

Little is known about Abby Fisher, except that which was first authenticated in Karen Hess's afterword in Applewood Books's edition of What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking. Circa 1832 in South Carolina, Mrs. Fisher was born into slavery of a French slaveholder father and a slave mother. She gave birth to and raised eleven children while moving from South Carolina to Mobile, Alabama to Missouri to San Francisco. She and her husband, Alexander C. Fisher, were pickle manufacturers, receiving in 1880 two medals for "best Pickles and Sauces and best assortment of Jellies and Preserves." Mrs. Fisher could not read or write, but managed, with the help of her "lady friends and patrons" to author, in 1881, one of the first African American cookbooks published in America.