AUNT JENNY’S PIES
Something was said about the absurdity of the Breckinridge followers in holding fast to the old party name, when Democratic principles had long been thrown overboard. Upon this hint Mr. Lincoln spoke, relating how an ancient colored lady, dwelling upon the line of one of the old Missouri highroads, had acquired considerable fame as a manufacturer of game pies. In the natural course of events her ‘ole man,’ who provided the chief ingredient of these delightful pasties, grew feeble and rheumatic, and failed to keep up the supply but the business was too profitable to be stopped, and the sales went on for a while as briskly as ever. Presently, however, customers began to grumble, and at last Aunt Jeny was called to account.
“What is the matter with these pies of yours, Aunt Jenny?”
“Well, what is the matter, they’re good pies, isn’t they?”
“But there’s no game in them.”
“Lord, child, prayer hen (prairie hen) ain’t suitable to these times. My ole man, eh do the best he can, but they’re too quick for his rheumatiz. You jest wait a while.”
“But you shouldn’t let on to sell game pies when there’s nothing but crust and old pork to them. What do you call them game pies for anyhow?”
Aunt Jenny thought this unreasonable, and her patience gave way. “Bless you, child, I call ’em game pies ’cause that’s their name. Game pies always was the name, and games pies is always agoing to be the name. That’s all they is about it.”
Charles A. Dana, New York York Daily Tribune, 1860
Emanuel Hertz, Anecdotes By & About Abraham Lincoln, p. 152.