Seekers of Scenery: Travel Writing from Southern Appalachia, 1840-1900

Overview

During the nineteenth century, American travelers began to “discover” southern Appalachia and to define it within mainstream American culture. As a result, American periodicals—from national publications such as Harper’s and The Atlantic Monthly to smaller circulation magazines such as DeBow’s and The Lakeside Monthly—published a great deal about the region, which encompasses parts of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.

Eighteen articles, culled from this ...

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Overview

During the nineteenth century, American travelers began to “discover” southern Appalachia and to define it within mainstream American culture. As a result, American periodicals—from national publications such as Harper’s and The Atlantic Monthly to smaller circulation magazines such as DeBow’s and The Lakeside Monthly—published a great deal about the region, which encompasses parts of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.

Eighteen articles, culled from this body of literature—including work by Rebecca Harding Davis, W. E. B. DuBois, and Constance Fenimore Woolson—make up this volume. Some passages now read as environmental elegy: descriptions of old-growth forests long since cut, waterfalls now dammed, vistas now hidden behind pollution on high ridges. A variety of genres present a historic view of the region, as well as providing insight into the construction of travel writing in the nineteenth century.

For readers interested in the history and culture of the region, these articles offer a glimpse of the social, economic, and political forces that shaped the region as we now know it. They describe economic and domestic practices in the 1800s; show how the image of the “mountaineer”—a distinct, white, southern Appalachian archetype—emerged in the national consciousness; and detail the development of the region during a crucial period.

The volume contains helpful glosses and explanatory notes, while maps aid twenty-first-century travelers in following nineteenth-century travel routes. In addition, the book is beautifully illustrated with many woodblock engravings.

Contributors: George Cooke, Charles Lanman, Oliver Bell Bunce, Julian Ralph, Bradford Torrey, David Hunter Strother, Constance Fenimore Woolson, Rebecca Harding Davis, Charles Dudley Warner, William Wallace Harney, Louise Coffin Jones, James Lane Allen, Lee Meriwether, Margaret Johann, W. E. B. Du Bois, Jehu Lewis, George Dimmock, Frank O. Carpenter

Kevin O’Donnell is associate professor of English at East Tennessee State University and is director of that school’s writing-across-the-curriculum program. Helen Hollingsworth is professor emerita of English at East Tennessee State University. She has contributed articles to Appalachia Inside Out: Conflict and Change, and The Highlands Bulletin.
 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572332782
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Pages: 385
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin O’Donnell is associate professor of English at East Tennessee State University and is director of that school’s writing-across-the-curriculum program. Helen Hollingsworth is professor emerita of English at East Tennessee State University. She has contributed articles to Appalachia Inside Out: Conflict and Change, and The Highlands Bulletin.
 

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Table of Contents

Introduction : scenery, markets, and mountaineers 1
Sect. I On the heels of the Cherokees : tourism and development in the lower southern Appalachians 39
Sketches of Georgia 41
Dahlonega (letters from the Alleghany Mountains) 49
On Lookout Mountain (with illustrations by Harry Fenn) 59
From "the industrial region of Northern Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia" 71
A week on Walden's Ridge I 83
Sect. II Vacation and representation : writers and sketch artists in "the land of the sky" 97
A winter in the south (4th paper of 7) 99
The French broad 131
The yares of the Black Mountains 173
On horseback II 193
Sect. III Discovering, inventing, uplifting : mountaineers in the backwoods 215
A strange land and a peculiar people 217
In the backwoods of Carolina 233
Through Cumberland Gap on horseback 249
Mountain life in Tennessee 275
A little moonshiner 285
A Negro schoolmaster in the new south 295
Sect. IV Yankee explorations : to the high peaks 305
The grandfather of North Carolina 307
A trip to Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina 319
The great Smoky Mountains and Thunderhead Peak 331
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