A Tour of Reconstruction: Travel Letters of 1875


A Tour of Reconstruction: Travel Letters of 1875

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During the Civil War, public speaker Anna Elizabeth Dickinson became a national sensation, lecturing on abolitionism, women's rights, and the Union war effort. After the war she remained one of the nation's most celebrated orators and among the country's most famous women. In 1875 Dickinson toured the South, lecturing and inspecting life in the southern states ten years after the war. Her letters are a fascinating window into race relations, gender relations, and the state of the southern economy and society a decade after Appomattox. In a series of long letters home to her mother, Dickinson describes the places she visits and the people she encounters in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Her rich descriptions include detailed commentary on buildings, monuments, churches, schools, prisons, cemeteries farmland and battlefields. Her travels provide valuable information on hotels, trains, and carriages and all manner of postwar travel. Along the way Dickinson battles unreconstructed southern women, unscrupulous hotel keepers, and shady newspaper editors, while meeting a fascinating assortment of kindred spirits, both white and black.

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY




978-0-8131-3425-3 (pdf version)


978-0-8131-4044-5 (epub version)




Reconstruction, Anna Dickinson, Race relations, Civil War memory, Southern women


Cultural History | Politics and Social Change | United States History | Women's History