Put the crabs into a kettle of boiling water, and throw in a handful of salt. Boil from twenty minutes to half an hour. Take them from the water when done and pick out all the meat; be careful not to break the shell. To a pint of meat put a little salt and pepper; taste, and if not enough add more, a little at a time, till suited. Grate in a very little nutmeg and add one spoonful of cracker or bread crumbs, two eggs well beaten, and two tablespoonfuls of butter (even full); stir all well together; wash the shells clean, and fill each shell full of the mixture; sprinkle crumbs over the top and moisten with the liquor; set in the oven till of a nice brown; a few minutes will do it. Send to the table hot, arranged on large dishes. They are eaten at breakfast or supper.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)