The Emergence of Appalachian Stereotypes in 19th Century Literature and Illustration

The Emergence of Appalachian Stereotypes in 19th Century Literature and Illustration

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In the world of Appalachia, stereotypes are abundant. There are stories told of mountaineers as lazy, bewildered, backward, and yet happy and complacent people. Mountain women are seen as diligent, strong, hard willed, and overall sturdy and weathered, bearing the burden of their male counterparts. These ideas of mountain life did not come out of thin air; they are the direct product of sensational nineteenth century media including print journalism and illustrative art that has continuously mislead and wrongfully represented the people of Appalachia. These stories, written and told by outsiders, served very little purpose to Appalachian natives other than means of humiliation and degradation. They served mostly to convince readers of the need for so-called civilized people and companies to take over the land and industry of the region, in particular the need for mineral rights, railroads, and logging as the mountain folk were wasting those valuable resources necessary for the common good.
While Appalachian stereotypes changed over time early images of the land and people are seen as very separate entities. The land being lush and the fertile while the people are shown as the crude and undeserving of such a beautiful home. These separate images would gradually fuse together as the arts industry gradually took over the changing social and economic landscape of the Appalachian Mountains.
The Appalachian Mountains in the nineteenth century landscapes are often depicted in a grand, glorious, and often spiritually uplifting form. The Hudson River School artists painting in the romantic style engages viewers to tell a story through naturally occurring images as well as interior knowledge of the times at hand.
In direct contrast ...


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... of Scenery: Travel Writing from Southern Appalachia, 1840-1900. Knoxville: University of Tennessee, 2004. Print.
Strother, David Hunter. "A Winter in the South (4th Paper of 6)." Harpers 16.January (1858): 167-83. Print.
Strother, David Hunter. In Memoriam Feby 9th 1887. 1887. Pen and Ink Wash. West Virginia Historic Art Collection.
Strother, David Hunter"A Romance Concluded".1858 A Winter in the South, by David Hunter Strother. Harper's Magazine 16 (January 1858)print
Strother, David Hunter"Going to Mill".1858 A Winter in the South, by David Hunter Strother. Harper's Magazine 16 (January 1858)print
Strother, David Hunter"Going to School".1858 A Winter in the South, by David Hunter Strother. Harper's Magazine 16 (January 1858)print
Strother, David Hunter"Kan Foster".1858 A Winter in the South, by David Hunter Strother. Harper's Magazine 16 (January 1858)print

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