The Biloxi Fever

Rebecca Cawood McIntyre

in Souvenirs of the Old South

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036953
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038667 | DOI:
The Biloxi Fever

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In 1895, Julian Ralph, New York travel writer and southern booster, penned an article in Harper's New Monthly Magazine recounting his adventures in Biloxi, Mississippi. Describing the “peculiar charms” of this picturesque village, Ralph warned his northern readers of a malady the locals called “Biloxi fever”, an illness that sooner or later afflicted anyone who came to the town. The symptoms of Biloxi fever, assured Ralph, were easy to detect. While obviously tongue-in-cheek, Ralph's emphasis on leisure in Biloxi, nonetheless, typified how northern promoters pitched the lazy pleasures of a southern vacation to their middle-class readers in the North in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century. Tourism in the United States, though, did not invent a leisurely South as variations of the myth had existed since the colonial era.

Keywords: Julian Ralph; malady; Biloxi; Mississippi; fever; vacation; North; tourism; United States; South

Chapter.  6178 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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