Ante-bellum watering places of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas




Jones, Ruth Irene, 1931-

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The Southerner of the ante-bellum period had more leisure time than his modern counterpart, but he did not have air conditioning nor the clue to yellow fever. The climate of much of the lower South, and especially that of New Orleans, made a summer change imperative for health's sake. Furthermore, the warm months made traveling easier for invalids who sought relief in the mineral waters of interior springs or in the restoring breezes of a coastal resort. Whether he sought health or merely pleasure and diversion, the Southerner resorted to a "watering place." A number of Northern resorts, including Saratoga and Ballston, attracted Southern planters and their families, and that the springs of Virginia were famous ante-bellum resorts is a well known fact. Accounts of Saratoga are numerous and Perceval Reiner's The Springs of Virginia; Life, Love and Death at the Waters, 1775-1900, is the standard work on those springs. Isolated articles in historical quarterlies have dealt with the other resorts of the upper South. The mineral springs and watering places of the lower South, however, have been largely ignored. This work is a survey of the resorts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas from the earliest times to 1861