Fry five or six slices of fat PORK crisp in the bottom of the pot you are to make your chowder in; take them out and chop them into small pieces, put them back into the bottom of the pot with their own gravy. (This is much better than having the slices whole.)
Cut four pounds of fresh COD or sea-BASS into pieces two inches square, and lay enough of these on the PORK to cover it. Follow with a layer of chopped onions, a little parsley, summer savory and pepper, either black or cayenne.
Then a layer of split Boston, or butter, or whole cream crackers, which have been soaked in warm water until moistened through, but not ready to break. Above this put a layer of PORK and repeat the order given above—onions, seasoning (not too much), crackers and PORK, until your materials are exhausted. Let the topmost layer be buttered crackers well soaked. Pour in enough cold water to barely cover all. Cover the pot, stew gently for an hour, watching that the water does not sink too low. Should it leave the upper layer exposed, replenish cautiously from the boiling tea-kettle. When the chowder is thoroughly done, take out with a perforated skimmer and put into a tureen.
Thicken the gravy with a tablespoonful of flour and about the same quantity of butter; boil up and pour over the chowder. Serve sliced lemon, pickles and stewed tomatoes with it, that the guests may add if they like.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)