Taken from Mark Kurlansky’s amazing book Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World.
Take a cod of ten pounds, well cleaned, leaving on the skin. Cut into pieces one and a half pounds thick, preserving the head whole. Take one and a half pounds of clear, fat salt pork, cut into thin slices. Do the same with twelve potatoes. Take the largest pot you have. Try out the pork first, then take out the pieces of pork, leaving in the drippings. Add to that three parts of water, a layer of fish, so as to cover the bottom of the pot; next a layer of potatoes, then two tablespoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of peepper, then the pork, another layer of fish, and the remainder of the potatoes.
Fill the pot with water to cover the ingredients. Put over a good fire. Let the chowder boil twenty-five minutes. When this is done have a quart of boiling milk ready, and ten hard crackers split and dipped in cold water. Add milk and crackers. Let the whole boil five minutes. Then chowder is then ready to be first-rate if you have followed the directions. An onion may be aded if you like the flavor.
This chowder is suitable for a large fishing party.
– Daniel Webster, from The New England Yankee Cookbook, edited by Imogene Wolcott, 1939