The materials needed are fifty round CLAMs (quahogs), a large bowl of salt pork cut up fine, the same of onions finely chopped, and the same (or more, if you desire) of potatoes cut into eighths or sixteenths of original size; wash the CLAMs very thoroughly and put them in a pot with half a pint of water; when the shells are open they are done; then take them from the shells and chop fine, saving all the CLAM water for the chowder; fry out the pork very gently, and when the scraps are a good brown take them out and put in the chopped onions to fry; they should be fried in a frying pan, and the chowder kettle be made very clean before they are put in it, or the chowder will burn. (The chief secret in chowder-making is to fry the onions so delicately that they will be missing in the chowder.)
Add a quart of hot water to the onions; put in the CLAMs, CLAM-water and pork scraps. After it boils, add the potatoes, and when they are cooked, the chowder is finished. Just before it is taken up, thicken it with a cup of powdered crackers, and add a quart of fresh milk. If too rich, add more water. No seasoning is needed but good black pepper.
With the addition of six sliced tomatoes, or half a can of the canned ones, this is the best recipe of this kind, and is served in many of our best restaurants.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)