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Destination DixieTourism and Southern History$
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Karen L. Cox

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813042374

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813042374.001.0001

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“History as Tourist Bait”

“History as Tourist Bait”

Inventing Somerset Place State Historic Site, 1939–1969

(p.112) (p.113) 5 “History as Tourist Bait”
Destination Dixie

Alisa Y. Harrison

University Press of Florida

Former plantations were sites of slavery in the South, but when they are presented to the touring public that fact has often been absent from the interpretation. Indeed, as Alisa Y. Harrison shows in her essay about the Somerset Place State Historic Site, North Carolinians during the 1960s sought not only to preserve the plantation home of Josiah Collins III but also to interpret the mansion by focusing on the romance and mythology of the antebellum South. Doing so meant ignoring the plantation’s slave past in the interest of not upsetting the touring public, assumed to be entirely white.

Keywords:   plantations, Somerset Place State Historic Site, Creswell, North Carolina, Josiah Collins III, slavery, ignoring slavery, myth of the Old South, romance of the Old South, selective interpretation, white tourists

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