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Designing Dixie

Designing Dixie: Tourism, Memory, and Urban Space in the New South

Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Designing Dixie
    Book Description:

    Although many white southerners chose to memorialize the Lost Cause in the aftermath of the Civil War, boosters, entrepreneurs, and architects in southern cities believed that economic development, rather than nostalgia, would foster reconciliation between North and South. InDesigning Dixie,Reiko Hillyer shows how these boosters crafted distinctive local pasts designed to promote their economic futures and to attract northern tourists and investors.

    Neither romanticizing the Old South nor appealing to Lost Cause ideology, promoters of New South industrialization used urban design to construct particular relationships to each city's southern, slaveholding, and Confederate pasts. Drawing on the approaches of cultural history, landscape studies, and the history of memory, Hillyer shows how the southern tourist destinations of St. Augustine, Richmond, and Atlanta deployed historical imagery to attract northern investment. St. Augustine's Spanish Renaissance Revival resorts muted the town's Confederate past and linked northern investment in the city to the tradition of imperial expansion. Richmond boasted its colonial and Revolutionary heritage, depicting its industrial development as an outgrowth of national destiny. Atlanta's use of northern architectural language displaced the southern identity of the city and substituted a narrative of long-standing allegiance to a modern industrial order. With its emphases on alternative southern pasts, architectural design, tourism, and political economy,Designing Dixiesignificantly revises our understandings of both southern historical memory and post-Civil War sectional reconciliation.

    eISBN: 978-0-8139-3671-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)

    At the height of Reconstruction, N. H. Hotchkiss, the traveling agent for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, led a group of northern journalists on a typical tour of the defeated South. Hotchkiss believed that if only journalists from the North could be brought face-to-face with their white brethren in the South, “sectional hatred would fade away like the mists of the morning.”¹ After several weeks of touring battlefields and mineral springs and carousing at lavish meals, the northern journalists were ready to spread their positive impressions about the South. At the excursion’s farewell banquet in Richmond, Virginia, one New York...

    (pp. 17-43)

    At a blue-gray reunion in Chicago in 1895, Confederate veteran General Stephen Lee announced to his Yankee listeners, “We invite you to invade us again, not this time with your bayonets, but with your business. Let the voice of your commercial travelers be heard in our land, the flying columns of your goods push into our furthermost strongholds, and the smile of your tourists make glad the waste places of our health resorts.”¹ Equating the handshake of romantic fraternalism with the handshake of the business transaction, the ex-Confederate saw no important distinction between commercial travelers and tourists. He suggested that...

    (pp. 44-87)

    In the late 1880s, Henry M. Field, a northern clergyman and editor, was advised by his doctor to spend time in Florida. In 1890, Field wrote of himself and his fellow Yankee sojourners to St. Augustine: “We do not feel that we are strangers here. … We are still at home, in the same country, under the same flag, and among those who are our countrymen and brothers.” Describing the Civil War as a family quarrel whose resolution brought its participants closer together, Field wrote, “The great Civil War, which covered our land with mourning and woe, accomplished in four...

    (pp. 88-134)

    In 1901, at “Virginia Day” celebrations at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, Virginia governor Hoge Tyler took the pulpit to address the crowd. In a review of American history, Tyler called upon his audience, made up of people from all sections of the country, to recall not the bloody battles of the Civil War but the union between North and South that had been sealed during colonial and Revolutionary times. Early settlers of New York and Virginia had experienced “common suffering,” and “it was on the soils of New York and Virginia that the momentous battles of the...

  9. FOUR “The Chicago of the South”: ATLANTA AND THE NEW SOUTH CREED
    (pp. 135-182)

    In 1886, A. K. McClure, a Philadelphia editor, observed: “Atlanta has every appearance of being the legitimate offspring of Chicago. There is nothing of the Old South about it. … The young men [in Atlanta] are not the dawdling, pale-faced, soft-handed effeminates which were so often visible in the nurslings of the slave.”¹ In the decades following the Civil War and Reconstruction, referring to a southern city, Atlanta, as the “offspring of Chicago” was fraught with political and economic significance because it reflected the reshaping of the southern economy in the image of the North. In what the historian C....

    (pp. 183-188)

    As the preceding chapters have shown, between the Civil War and World War I, cities in the American South designed different versions of the past to encourage capitalist development, sectional reconciliation, and historical amnesia. St. Augustine’s leaders aligned themselves with the unfinished project of Spanish conquistadors; Richmond’s elite traced the city’s lineage to the nation’s founding fathers; Atlanta’s boosters dubbed themselves the Yankees of the South and built up their city to prove it. As southern hosts told narratives of economic progress and sectional reconciliation, they foreclosed an interrogation of Jim Crow and presented democracy’s amputation as southern comfort. The...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 189-228)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 229-252)
  13. Index
    (pp. 253-266)