Rules for Eating in 1820
Never sit down to a table with an anxions or disturbed mind. Better a hundred times intemet that meal, for there will be much more food in the world for hungrier stomach than yours.
Never go to a full table during bodily exhaustion designated by some as being worn out, tired to death, used up, over done, and the like. The wisest thing to do under these circumstance is to take a craker and a glass of warm milk and within 10 minutesand you will feel relaxed. Then after a few hours have passed, you will eat a full meal as bng as it is not two hours before sundown. Cut your bread with a knife. Don't lean on the table and don't play with your food. Observe your dishes in a straight line, and regular distance.
Like today, the early 19th century table setting often depened upon taste or staion of individual. Among the more refind, or on formal occasions, table clothes were seldom found on American tables and the table cloth was the proper place to wipe their mouth.
Glass wear was a late arrival to early Ameican tables but by the 1830s it was becoming cheaper and more availabl and began to adorn the finer tables. Spoons were generally reserved for servin though if a hostess had severl smaller ones aviailable they might be placed in a bowl for individuals' use.
Eating with a knife was the normal in the Midwest during the frist half of the19th century. Period knives had a wide spatulate blade which was rounded at the end, well suiting them as the tool for eating. Forks, both two and three-tined varieties existedin roughly the same percentage, were generally used to hold or spear food, or place it on the knife.