Clifton circa 1860s, photo courtesy of Bruce Clendenin

A formidable Egg Nog Recipe by Anne E. Matthews, a Waterford resident at the turn of the 19th century, was recently discovered among documents donated to the Foundation’s Local History Collection by the Chamberlin family. It reveals that, despite the Quaker tradition into which she was born of not imbibing alcohol, festive occasions requiring remarkable amounts of spirits sometimes took place.

Known familiarly from an early age as Annie, she was a daughter of Sarah Gover Matthews and Edward Y. Matthews, born outside Baltimore about 1842, just before the family bought property in Waterford and moved to their new home, “Clifton”, on Clarke’s Gap Road, just south of Waterford. The house is still occupied by descendants of the Chamberlin family. As a member of a Quaker family, Annie attended Samuel Janney School in the village of Goose Creek (now the village of Lincoln) and later, during the Civil War, the Quaker school at Sandy Spring, MD. Raised on the Quaker tenet that all people are equals, Annie became a strong activist for social and political reform on behalf of women, Blacks and other marginalized groups. She was among the earliest Quaker women to educate Blacks, including former slaves, after the Civil War.

At a young age Annie became an active participant in the Suffragette Movement, which ultimately resulted in the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1919, guaranteeing women the right to vote. She never married and lived much of her early life at Clifton. In the 1870s she moved to Washington and was employed at the Treasury Dept. She held a position there until shortly before her death in the 1920s.

Mix up a batch of Annie’s Egg Nog for your own toast to Women’s History Month!

Anne E. Matthews’ Egg Nog Recipe

1 quart best whiskey                    1 qt milk

1 pint best brandy                        2 doz eggs

1 pint Jamaica rum                     1 ¼ lbs granulated

3 qts cream                                   sugar


Have all ingredients & utensils cold & make in a cool place.

Separate eggs & beat very lightly. Beat whites to stiff froth adding about 3 teaspoonsful of powdered sugar as you beat. Put half the sugar in half the milk and cream to soften. Stirring from the bottom of the bowl and beating lightly with egg whip while working in yolks of egg. Beat yolks very light and after they get light and after they get quite light add sugar gradually, beating until perfectly smooth. Then begin to add in small quantities the brandy and whiskey as you beat. Beat the milk and cream some, but not too stiff, as you want to keep the mixture in liquid state. When you get most of the brandy and whiskey in, begin with the milk and rum and a little of the whites of the eggs, leaving most of this to stir in lightly at the last.

 I do not use a spoon at all, but mix entirely with an egg beater as it keeps it lighter – I use best California brandy and whiskey and Jamaica rum. In serving put ladel [sic] to bottom of bowl and bring straight up which keeps it the same consistency and gets an equal portion of from on top of glass.