This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In a notice of Okra, our good neighbor, the American Agriculturist, which, by the way, we are glad to find as interesting as ever under its new management, says:
"Though in the catalogues, the plant is called 'Okra, or Gumbo, ' the name Gumbo properly belongs to the dish prepared from the pods, rather than to the plant itself, as the Southern cooks make Gumbo without the use of Okra, but substitute the pith and young leaves of Sassafras, one of the native violets, and perhaps other plants".
Our impression is that Okra is the substitute for the Sassafras, and not the Sassafras for the Gumbo. As we are not sure about this, however, we call attention to it so as to get at the " bottom facts " by those who are in the secret.