Inducted into the



— Created by Chuck Evans, Historian of Hot Pepper Sauces & Salsas and Innovative Creator of Chuck Evans’ MONTEZUMA Brand Sauces & Salsas, Columbus, Ohio …”Fresh Out of the Jar”…Since 1986

— Chuck Evans is the sole surviving manufacturer/exhibitor from the very 1st National Fiery Foods Show, El Paso, Texas (1988), since held annually in Albuquerque, New Mexico

— Collector of the World’s Largest Antique & Vintage Peppersauce Bottle Collection (ca. 1830-1930)

— Co-author, The HOT SAUCE BIBLE, Crossing Press (1996)…premised on Chuck Evans’ Published Collection of Chile Sauces & Salsas, the World’s Largest Collection through May 1995

— Co-author, PEPPER PANTRY: CHIPOTLE, Celestial Arts (1997)…based on Chuck Evans’ creation of the very 1st Smokey Chipotle® Peppersauce & 1st Smokey Chipotle® Salsa manufactured in the United States; exhibited at the New York National Association of the Specialty Food & Tradeshow (NASFT); where Chuck introduced the Chile Chipotle spice to the mainstream United States culinary world.

2017, April 15 INDUCTEES … the New Mexico Connection


1. HISPANIC SETTLERS of the Upper Rio Grande Territories Spanish Entradas:
Antonio de Espejo Expedition 1582-1583 & Don Juan de Oñate Expedition 1598-1604

Initially seeking gold and souls to convert, with the incentive of land grants made available in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (Mexico did not achieve independence from Spain until 1821), beginning in 1534, organized entradas into the frontera norte brought small groups of Spanish settlers from Mexico City through Nueva Vizcaya (present-day northern Mexican states of Sonora & Chihuahua). Traveling El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, a 1,600 mile long trade route between Mexico City and San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico, from 1598 to 1882, the expeditions passed through El Paso del Norte (El Paso) to establish settlements and estancias (a grant of land for grazing sheep or cattle) in the northern frontier of New Spain, the upper Rio Grande territories (present-day northern New Mexico & southern Colorado).

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado y Luján was a Spanish conquistador and Governor of New Galicia, an autonomous kingdom in New Spain (present-day Mexican states of Colima, Aguascalientes, Jalisco, Zacatecas, & Nayarit), who led a large expedition between 1540 and 1542 from Mexico to present-day Kansas through parts of the southwestern United States. Coronado was seeking the Cities of Cibola, i.e., the Seven Cities of Gold, now believed to be the Zuni Pueblo in western New Mexico; discovering many noted landmarks and ending up in Quivira (Kansas) before returning unsuccessful in discovering the riches he was led to believe existed.

Don Antonio de Espejo led an expedition in 1582 – 1583 seeking gold and silver under the guise of the rescue of two Franciscan padres who remained behind in New Mexico from the Rodrigo-Sanchez converso (conversion of natives) expedition. Finding that the padres were killed by natives at Puaray and Tiquex, Espejo’s punishment was the execution of many inhabitants and the burning of their pueblos. The first mention of chile in the current United States came from the journal of one of the expedition members, Baltasar Obregón: “They have not chile, but the natives were given some seed to plant.”

Captain General Don Juan de Oñate, “Founder of New Mexico” and the “Last Conquistador”, led a group of 600 settlers, including soldiers and their families, Franciscan friars and padres, and colonists, arriving in present-day New Mexico in 1598. From Spanish nobility and well-educated, Oñate had the permission and authority of King Philip II of Spain to colonize the upper Rio Grande territories. Oñate
financed much of the expedition, as was customary, and was given the king’s appointment as the first governor and military commander of New Mexico.

The first Spanish settlement in New Mexico, called San Gabriel, was founded in 1598 along the banks of the Rio Grande near present-day Española, and across the river from the Okay-Owingeh (San Juan) Pueblo. The second settlement, San Juan de los Caballeros, was built shortly thereafter, and became New Mexico’s first capital under Governor Oñate. These settlements established the first ranchos and estancias in New Mexico to raise the thousands of cattle, sheep, swine, and horses brought with the expedition. By 1600 Oñate requested from the Viceroy in Mexico City more colonists, soldiers, Franciscan padres to convert the Pueblo Indians to the mission system, livestock, and financial assistance to support the fledgling colonies. With the king’s support, a second wave of Hispanic settlers arrived and with a good water supply from the many rivers, and development of the acequia irrigation system; crops were grown, including wheat, corn, melons, beans, apples, grapes, squash, and chile. Spanish allies, Tlaxcalteca Indians from central Mexico, who came with Oñate in 1598, laid out the acequia irrigation system. While life was harsh in a new land, the settlers who had faith in God remained. Most hispanos in New Mexico, including southern Colorado, can trace their lineage to these original colonists.

Landrace (or “Heirloom”) chiles grow in the same conditions and location for decades, adapting to their specific environment (diseases, pests, elevation, drought resistance), and develop distinct characteristics (squared shoulders, crooked pods, thin walls, color, etc.). Genetically, the chile grown in the upper Rio Grande territories has been linked to varieties of chiles domesticated in central Mexico introduced by the Hispanic colonists and grown in family plots. It is likely that the chile planted in the Española Basin is related and a descendant of the chile seeds introduced by the Espejo expedition, as noted by Obregón, but most likely brought by the Oñate expedition.

After the abandonment of San Gabriel and establishment of Santa Fe in 1610, settlements and plaza towns were founded throughout the upper Rio Grande (La Villa Nueva de Santa Cruz de Españoles Mexicanos del Rey Nuestro Carlos Segundo, Chimayo, Trampas, Truchas, Córdova/Pueblo Quemado, Ojo Caliente, Tres Piedras, El Rito, Chamita, Dixon, Velarde, Abiquiu, Talpa, Questa, Taos, etc.), often comprised of a group of Hispanic family adobe homes, a community chapel or morada, and for larger communities, a Spanish Colonial, or mission, church. Subsistence farming, requiring irrigation, provided for the family and crop rotation was practiced to prevent the fertility of the soil from eroding.

Some fortified colonial plaza towns, including Plaza del Cerro/Plaza de San Buenaventura de Chimayo (six miles east of Santa Cruz de la Cañada-which was one of four villas or “legally chartered town” established by the Spanish … Santa Fe, Albuquerque, & El Paso were the others) were built on abandoned Tano Indian Pueblo sites. Many government records, journals, and historic documents address the importance of chiles in these Hispanic settlements where the fertile land and the Santa Cruz River and Rio Quemado provided the water necessary for agricultural success at Santa Cruz de la Cañada and at El Potrero and Plaza del Cerro, in the Chimayo district. Franciscan mission churches were built in earnest over the next seventy years to convert the indigenous Pueblo peoples. The missionaries oppression of the Pueblo villages to discard their katsina (kachina) culture, as well as the encomienda enslavement and indentured servitude of the Pueblo people; led to the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, resulting in the Hispanic settlers fleeing New Mexico south to El Paso del Norte.

Over the next twelve years, three appointed governors attempted the reconquest of the New Mexico pueblos, destroying the Pueblo of Isleta (which did not participate in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt) and the Pueblo of Sandia; executing Pueblo leaders, taking prisoners from the Santa Ana and Zía pueblos and selling them into slavery. Many Tewa-speaking Pueblo Indians fled west to the Moki (Hopi) mesa villages in northern Arizona.

In 1692, Don Diego de Vargas and a contingent of exiled settlers and Franciscans in El Paso del Norte re-entered New Mexico, traveling the Jornado del Muerte {Journey of Death, a dry stretch of El Camino Real in central New Mexico}, re-establishing the Spanish colonization of New Mexico in 1693 and the following years. Two subsequent revolts in 1694 and 1696 were quashed pursuant to De Vargas' ability to bequeath land grants to the colonizers who would return and take up arms with him against the revolting northern New Mexican Pueblos and reoccupy the frontera.

During this time the settlement of Santa Cruz de la Cañada was established in 1695 after Don Diego de Vargas' reconquest of the Indian pueblos of northern New Mexico. According to the 1695 survey expedition of Luis Granillo, former alcalde mayor of Santa Cruz, he reported that the Chimayo settlements were the only upper valley ranchos before formal land grants were made in the Santa Cruz valley. Where the Chimayo district settlers were farming before re-settlement, the landrace Chimayo chile was the earliest domesticated chile grown for trade and barter in the New Mexico territories.

“Chile was an important crop from both a subsistence and economic perspective. Chimayo people have always eaten a lot of chile and have been famous for growing the best, most flavorful varieties. Everyone in Chimayo grew chile, and it was a common crop inside the Plaza as well as outside. In the fall, families and neighbors came together for the important task of tying strings of chile (ristras) in the fall.” The Tewa Basin Study (1935) noted that “Chimayo chile is famous throughout the Southwest.”

Place Name Varietals of Landrace Chimayó/Mirasol Chile:

Casados Native grown near Ohkay Owingeh, i.e., San Juan Pueblo (same landrace characteristics as San Juan/Tsile?)
Cochiti Pueblo
El Guique
Española Improved
Isleta (south of ABQ)
Jarales (south of ABQ)
Jemez Pueblo
Nambé Supreme
Puerta de Luna
San Felipe Pueblo
San Juan Pueblo
Santo Domingo Pueblo
Taos Fiesta
Tsile (same landrace of San Juan Pueblo?/Tlaxcala Indian & etymological origin,
Zia Pueblo

2. FABIAN GARCIA [1871-1948] Known as “The Father of Mexican Food Industry in the United States”
— – All New Mexico Chile Varieties, including the “Anaheim”, owe their genetic base to Fabian Garcia’s New Mexico No. 9 cultivar — –

Born January 20, 1871 and orphaned in Chihuahua, Mexico, Fabian Garcia went to live in San Lorenzo, New Mexico, surviving the terror of Apache raids, and a specific
terrifying encounter at age nine in the Mimbres Valley before moving with his grandmother in 1885, (hired into the household of the vast Santo Thomas Spanish Land
Grant) south of Old Mesilla. Owned by prominent pioneers, Fabian was treated as family and afforded the opportunity to attend the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts (NMCA & MA).

Professor of horticulture for forty-one years and member of the first NMCA & MA graduating class (1894) to the forerunner of present-day New Mexico State University (NMSU); around 1907, Dr. Fabian Garcia began a series of experiments establishing standardized chile pepper varieties. In 1913, Dr. Garcia became the first Hispanic director in the nation to lead a land grant agricultural research station. In 1921, chile pioneer Dr. Garcia took the traits of three distinctively New Mexico chile peppers and released “New Mexico 9”, the first stabilized chile with a dependable large-size meaty pod (from the long dark brown/deep green Chile Pasilla), color (red coloring from the Chile Colorado found in northern New Mexico, i.e., the Chimayo variety and also a smart choice for paprika production), and level of capsaicin, i.e., heat/spiciness level (from the somewhat black Chile Negro); opening up commercial venues for New Mexico chiles. Uniformity, making New Mexico varieties suited for mass production and subsequent hybrids, including the precursor to the hot Sandia chile; established the New Mexico chile pepper food industry.

Dr. Garcia pioneered the “raised-bed” method of growing chile peppers to reduce the disease caused by phytophthora, a root rot caused by water mold; a growing method rediscovered to increase yields by those not aware of his earlier research.

Interestingly, Dr. Garcia was purportedly instrumental in the improvement of the Pueblo chile, a mirasol “looking (mira) at the sun (sol) ” variety, characterized by the upright growth of the chile pod facing the sun (as opposed to pendulant “hanging down”), brought into the United States from Mexico circa 1910. While the very recent claim (the Pueblo vs. Hatch Chile war) is the southern Colorado “Pueblo” chile is superior to the New Mexico varieties, the Pueblo chile was first commercially grown in 2005, a hundred years after haphazardly being grown in small plots before current crop breeding methods were introduced. The first domesticated New Mexico chile peppers, i.e., Mesilla “Hatch” valley varieties, were brought up from central Mexico with the Spanish entradas to northern New Mexico at the end of the 16 th century. Not only is there a direct connection with the early Hispanic settlers of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, when at the time the present area of southern Colorado (did not exist) was part of the New Mexico Territory (and not recognized in present boundaries until 1854); Dr. Fabian’s influence is also imprinted on the “Pueblo” chile.

Honoring his legacy at NMSU, recognition of Dr. Garcia’s pioneering research includes naming the university’s 45-acre horticultural farm; naming several meeting and residence halls; and recognition in several named scholarship programs.

3. EMILIO ORTEGA [1857-1942]
— Created California’s 1st Commercial Cannery to Process the “Anaheim” variety of New Mexico Green Chile and one of the 1 st Salsa Producers in the United States —

Raised in a Mexican adobe in Ventura, Emilio Carlos Ortega, the 11 th (of 13) child, came from a pioneering Californio family. Ortega’s grandfather, José Francisco Ortega, was the chief scout for Gaspar de Portolá on the first Spanish exploration of California in 1769. José Ortega accompanied Fray Junipero Serra on his 1782 expedition to found Mission San Buenaventura. Grandfather José received an early Spanish land grant after retiring in 1795 from the Santa Barbara Presidio as the first commandant.
California transitioned from Mexican Territory to statehood in 1850.

Emilio’s father, Emigdio Ortega, built the family adobe around 1857 on former mission property. In 1897, Emilio started the “Pioneer Ortega Chili Company” in the family adobe, inventing a method for roasting and canning green chiles in his mother’s kitchen … the birthplace of the extensive Ortega Mexican food empire. Later, the E.C. Ortega Company operated in a wood frame shed next to the adobe home. The Ortega Adobe Historic Residence is now on the National Register of Historic Places (CA VEN 785H).

After moving to New Mexico in 1890 and working at several businesses (clerk, business student, grocery store owner, rancher (vaquero) in San Diego, superintendent at a New Mexico railroad) with little success, Emilio became enamored with the New Mexico Green Chile he came to enjoy. Purportedly due to ill health, Emilio returned to Ventura in 1894 bringing seeds to grow in the family plot. In the rich soil of southern California, Ortega’s crop proliferated and Emilio could not give them all away, having to let some rot.

Ortega figured a way to preserve the mild chile peppers, by canning, and the label featured a sketch of the adobe home. The ability to have consistent green chiles available year-round, with the surplus green chiles used for “Tru Salsa”, created a demand in the Southwest. Around 1902 the E.C. Ortega Company moved the canning facility to Los Angeles. Not only did Ortega revolutionize the canning industry, but to meet the demand of his products, Emilio contracted with farmers across southern California using his seeds, with a large concentration of growers around Anaheim.

The New Mexico Green Chile Ortega brought to California became known as “Anaheim” chiles. Emilio convinced farmers to stagger the planting of seed to stretch the growing season and to increase the yield. The family sold the packing business after Emilio’s death in 1942 and the cannery was moved to Oxnard, south of Ventura. Ortega Mexican Foods is presently owned by the behemoth B & G Foods.

2016, April 15 INDUCTEES


 Researchers analyze starch grains of chiles, which starch grains preserve well and are identifiable to species, to trace the history of chiles in the Americas. At seven sites around Latin America, microscopic starch grains, recovered on house floors, on grindstones (milling stones), in artifacts/cooking vessels, and in trash heaps/sediment samples, were found to be residue from domesticated Capsicum microfossils. Cultivated chile starch grains are discernible from wild chiles.  Remains of domesticated chiles have been found with corn, forming part of an ancient food complex that predates pottery in some areas.

 The oldest  traces/microfossils, dated to circa 6,000 years ago, were found at Lomo Alta and Real Alto in southwestern Ecuador.  In southeastern Mexico (in the state of Puebla bordering Oaxaca & Veracruz), more convincing macrofossil (clearly visible without a microscope) data, from the Coxcatlan Cave in the Tehuacan Valley was dated to circa 6,000 years ago.  

 The strongest chile-related archaeological evidence reported (paleoethnobotanical vessel contents), comes from the site of Ceren in El Salvador.  The carbonized remains were well-preserved by the ash and lava from the Lomo Caldera volcanic eruption in CE 540 (1476 years ago).  This finding indicated direct results of chiles used in cooking, the predecessor to today’s chile sauces.  Supporting evidence from the site of Chiapa de Corzo, near Tuxtla Guiterrez in the state of Chiapas, Mexico confirms numerous different vessels (spouted jars, bowls, vases) containing chile residue. The study initially was conducted to search for traces of (Theobromo) cacao {used to make a chocolate frothy beverage mixed with spices, including chile, for the Mayan elite class} that tested positive for domesticated Capsicum to the Middle Preclassic (Maya) period, circa 400 BCE (2416 years ago).  

 The presumptive conclusion, i.e., where the residue did not contain macrofossil evidence, is that the chiles were ground into a paste or salsa (sauce) and subsequently used as a seasoning in foods.  


 Sources: Smithsonian Institution and the journal, Science, February 16, 2007; Prehispanic Use of Chili Peppers in Chiapas, Mexico, Public Library of Science (PLOS), November 13, 2013.


    E.R. DURKEE (& Co.) [Est. 1850] BUFFALO, NEW YORK

Eugene R. Durkee began packing spices and extracts in his Buffalo, New York basement in 1850, where he advertised as a wholesale agent for several other drug store lines. It is believed by early food historians that Durkee was the first to pack his spices in tin containers instead of cardboard boxes. In 1857 he created his Durkee Famous (Salad) Dressing And Meat Sauce, a dressing made with 12 spices steeped in vinegar; also adding Worcesterchire Sauce, Mayonnaise, Oleomargarine, Relish, Cooking and Salad Oils, as well as multiple packaged foods under the Durkee Famous Foods banner.  In June 1858 E.R. Durkee moved his business to Brooklyn, New York where it eventually became part of the Glidden Co. in 1929, and after a series of partners and mergers, was sold to Reckitt & Colman (Great Britain) in 1986.

 E.R. Durkee was known for his Design-patented embossed glass bottles, salad dressing bottles, extract bottles, curry powder bottles, salt shaker bottles, spiral peppersauce bottlles, and beehive peppersauce bottles.  

 A distinctive thick hexagonal round or “beehive” bottle, embossed on the bottom: PATENTED  ERD & Co FEB 74 was the earliest Durkee Pepper Sauce bottle. A large quantity of E R DURKEE NEW YORK and E R DURKEE & CO NEW YORK embossed bottles are routinely excavated in late 19th and early 20th century archaeological sites.  By 1896, for another sauce with a “piquancy and richness of flavor”, Durkee adopted bottles similar to Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, embossed vertically E.R. DURKEE & CO and on the shoulders, CHALLENGE and SAUCE.  An 1873 Durkee advertisement boldly boasts “Pronounced by connoisseurs unqualifiedly the best, and at the same time a “perfect Sauce” for table use. It is cheaper than the English, and no dearer than the disgusting trash put up in this country and sold as Sauces.”

 Durkee Famous Foods Pepper Sauces were the common Cayenne Pepper Sauces that proliferated under several large Eastern Seaboard manufacturers and were distributed nationwide. A pre-Colombian chile cultivar, the word Cayenne, or Bird Pepper as this variety was known in the 1800s, {Capsicum Annuum var. Cayenne} derives from the native Brazilian Tupi language family. Cayenne is also the name of the river that runs through French Guiana/Guyane (this country is located between Suriname and Brazil on the northeastern coast of South America), as well as, the name of the capital of French Guiana. However, Cayenne chiles are no longer cultivated in South America.

For a period of time, Durkee’s manufactured the Cayenne Pepper Sauce, originally called “Frank’s Red Hot Pepper Sauce“.  In 1977, when Frank’s [Frank’s RedHot’s recipe dates to 1896 to the Frank Tea and Spice Company in Cincinnati, Ohio…Jacob Frank will be a forthcoming WORLD REGISTRY Inductee] was bought by Durkees Famous Foods, this sauce was marketed as “Durkee Louisiana Hot Sauce“.  The 1986 purchase by R.T. French Company (a subsidiary of present owner Reckitt-Benckiser) put “Frank’s” back in the name “Durkee’s Frank’s Original Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce” because of the fame of the Anchor Bar and Grill (Buffalo, New York) for it’s origin (1964) of Buffalo Chicken Wings and exclusive use of Frank’s Original Red Hot (Chicken Wing) Cayenne Pepper Sauce.

 Subsequently, “Durkee’s” was dropped and the perennial best-selling category leading “hot sauce” is currently marketed under “Frank’s Original Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce“.


  1.  WILBUR L. SCOVILLE [1865-1942] Pharmacist, Research Scientist, Author
    Parke-Davis Pharmeceutical Company
    Author of THE ART OF COMPOUNDING (1895), textbook used for 70 years as the definitive reference for pharmocology.  Wilbur Scoville also authored the lesser known EXTRACTS AND PERFUMES.
    Creator of the Scoville Organoleptic Test [1912]

 The empirical measurement of piquancy (pungency/spicy heat) of chiles, a function of capsaicin concentration. In Scoville’s method, an exact weight of dried pepper is dissolved in alcohol to extract the heat components (capsinoids), then diluted in a solution of sugar water. Decreasing concentrations of the extracted capsinoids are given to a panel of five trained tasters, until a majority (at least three) can no longer detect the heat in a dilution. Weaknesses of the Scoville Organoleptic Test are its imprecision due to human subjectivity, depending on the taster’s palate and their number of mouth heat receptors, and sensory fatigue.

 Due to its scientific accuracy, High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) supplanted the Scoville Organoleptic Test, however, the unit measurement of capsaicinoid concentration, i.e., the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU), remains the standardized name for the measurement of spiciness of chiles and chile products.

 — 1922 The American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) awarded Wilbur Scoville with the Ebert Prize, to “recognize the author(s) of the best report of original investigation of a medicinal substance…”

— 1929 The American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) awarded Wilbur Scoville with their top award, The Remington Honor Medal.  The same year he also received an honorary Doctor of Science from Columbia University.

2015, April 15 Inaugural INDUCTEES
  1.  STICKEY & POOR SPICE COMPANY [Est. 1815] William Stickney; Rufus B. Stickney (brother of Charles L. Stickney)
    & John R. Poor
    The Oldest Pure Spice Milling Company in the United States

Stickney & Poor is the oldest spice milling company in the United States and today the name Stickney & Poor remains alive on billions of condiments and spice packets. In 2015, it celebrated its 200th birthday. The company introduced the innovative use of neat and attractive printed labels on its goods, replacing unsightly stencil-markings.

William Stickney was established as a mustard manufacturer in Boston in 1815.  It is interesting to note that “Massachusetts was home in 1807 to the first known American bottled  pepper sauces …”   Also excerpted from BOTTLES FROM THE DEEP,  Ellen C. Gerth, Shipwreck Heritage Press (2006) p.69, described the excavation of “more than 150 such (pepper) sauce bottles” where “(a)t least a half dozen of the bottles still hold some remnants of…well-preserved red or green chili peppers,…” from the Steamship Republic lost in 1865, in a hurricane 100 miles off the Georgia coast, at the close of the Civil War.

In 1834, William Stickney opened a large grocery store combining with his spice company, Subsequently, William relinquished his mustard manufacturing concern to his son, Rufus, who in 1848, joined with John R. Poor .

It is important to note that Charles Lowell Stickney (and his son with the same name), owned and operated, Stickney Mustard Co. of New York City. Charles was the brother of Rufus B. Stickney of the Stickney & Poor Spice Company of Boston.

This Historian owns a color photocopy of the earliest known handwritten invoice for pepper sauce sold commercially. The October 19, 1835 Stickney & Poor invoice to customer Silas Pierce lists 21 Pepper Sauce bottles purchased at a wholesale cost of $1.00 per bottle.

Stickney & Poor Spice Company historian, Owen Mathewson, provided several additional Stickney & Poor invoices for comparison. Located on Chatham Street (and later listed on  Chatham Row) in Boston, Massachusetts, Stickney & Poor’s invoice heading describes itself as “Manufacturers of and Dealers in Mustard, Yeast Powder, Pepper Sauce, Coffee, Spices, & C.”

Interestingly, another New York City Pepper Sauce was being bottled, circa 1840s, by Wells Miller & Provost, No. 217 Front Street, New York; which label information was embossed on an identical glass bottle to Stickney & Poor’s pepper sauce bottle. It is likely that the same glass bottle manufacturer produced the bottles.

During the 1870-1880s, it appears from the use of identical pepper sauce bottles (other than embossing), that the E.R. Durkee & Company in New York and Stickney & Poor Spice Company in Boston, became great rivals.



 In 1837, John B. Wells established a New York City bottling manufacture for pickling, fruit preserves and condiments, forming a partnership with Ebeneezer Miller in 1841.  Three years later they joined with Stephen H. Provost where the firm became the nation’s most prolific bottler and distributor (of embossed bottles with the partner’s names and intitals) in that era, expanding to the west coast as early as the mid-1850s, establishing a western distribution outlet for their popular products. Wells, Miller, & Provost manufactured pickles, pepper sauces, many varieties of jarred fruits & preserves, extracts, spices, tomato catsup, gherkins, and jellies.

 The firm’s extensive use of lead labels, listing their 217 Front Street address, created a value-added price point.  Miller left the partnership in 1854 and a management change occurred in 1867.

 Embossed W.M. & P. N.Y. glass pickle bottles were excavated from both steamships, Arabia and Bertrand, which sank in the Missouri River in 1856 and 1865, respectively.  

 Stephen Provost continued the pickling operation at 70 Fulton Street until 1883, where he listed the manufacture of sauces.  By 1887, the company’s reign ended.


    Created “Concentrated Extract of Tobasco Sauce” [ca. 1855]


After the Battle of New Orleans, Colonel Maunsel White, became active as a commission merchant, and pursuant to, his extensive wartime contacts, Maunsel White was appointed a New Orleans commissioner. The New Orleans Canal and Banking Company, which owned and built the New Basin Canal, was founded by Maunsel White. Financially, the canal was a success serving as a transport to downtown New Orleans and opening up trade with communities north of Lake Pontchartrain and cities along the Gulf of Mexico.  Maunsel White invested heavily as a sugar cane farmer, receiving U.S. Patent No. 1,326 on September 17, 1839 for an evaporating pan in setting and arranging sugar kettles.  Maunsel White also marketed cotton grown from his war contacts, including General John Coffee from Tennessee, the subsequent Surveyor General of Mississippi Territory & Alabama Lands, who also served under General Jackson.

 Maunsel White operated his Deer Range plantation growing sugar cane, corn, and other crops.  In 1858, his son Maunsell White, Jr. (1835-1883) purchased “Junior Place”, formerly the Velasco Plantation.  Maunsel White and his eldest son kept extensive plantation records, including a set of plantation journals from 1852-1883 documenting the operation of the White’s plantations;  diaries of his agricultural pursuits and economic conditions, including New Orleans business news, crop predictions, and cotton shipments.  Also included are a set of autograph books and letters of correspondence with Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, and letters written to his eldest son, who attended Mandeville College near Baton Rouge as well as the University of Virginia.  These records are documented in the “Inventory of the Maunsel White Papers, 1802-1912”, Collection Number 2234, at the Manuscripts Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 Of special interest in the Maunsel White Papers is a letter of 13 June 1847 in which Maunsel White described the reception of returning Mexican-American war heroes in New Orleans. The war arose from the competing claims to Texas by Mexico and the United States in the wake of the Mexican Revolution. According to a series of articles from the Metropolitan News-Enterprise and conversation with the great-great grandson bearing the same name of Maunsel White; The New Orleans Daily Delta published an article on January 26, 1850 [18 years before the McIlhenny Company/Tabasco {Family Member and CEO Tony Simmons on 60 Minutes (2015)} claimed to have started growing Tabasco peppers AND claiming Edmund McIlhenny invented “hot sauce”]:

 “Col. White has introduced the celebrated tobasco red pepper, the very strongest of all peppers, of which he cultivated a large quantity with the view of supplying his neighbors, and diffusing it throughout the state.”

 The article reports:

 “Owing to its oleaginous character, Col. White found it impossible to preserve it by drying; but by pouring strong vinegar on it after boiling, he has made a sauce or pepper decoction of it, which possesses in a most concentrated form all the quantities of the vegetable.  A single drop of the sauce will flavor a whole plate of soup or other food.  The use of a decoction like this, particularly in preparing the food for laboring persons, would be exceedingly beneficial in a relaxing climate like this.  Col. White has not had a single case of cholera among his large gang of negroes since the disease appeared in the south.  He attributes this to the free use of this valuable agent.”

 Maunsel White’s “Concentrated Extract of Tobasco Sauce” (spelling of Tobasco used circa 1850s-1863) was commercially available throughout the dining establishments in New Orleans, and also available, where “Concentrated Extract of Tobasco Sauce” was listed, on the dining menus of the steamships and paddleboats that plied the Mississippi River.  

Maunsel promoted his sauce with his custom-made Silver Service Valet glass container, and mounted  to the top of the valet (with an attached silver spoon), was a porcelain “Red Devil” figure.  Maunsel was the first to “advertise” a red devil (a common name for the chile).  The “Red Devil” figure was copied by many later Louisiana hot sauce manufacturers for promotional advertisements (Tabasco Sauce {McIlhenny Company}) and product marketing/labels (Trappey’s Fine Foods {B&G Foods}); (Frank’s RedHot Sauce {Reckitt-Benckiser}).

 Montezuma Founder Sign