The Diary of Olive Dame Campbell
Publication Year: 2012
In 1908 and 1909, noted social reformer and "songcatcher" Olive Dame Campbell traveled with her husband, John C. Campbell, through the Southern Highlands region of Appalachia to survey the social and economic conditions in mountain communities. Throughout the journey, Olive kept a detailed diary offering a vivid, entertaining, and personal account of the places the couple visited, the people they met, and the mountain cultures they encountered.
Although John C. Campbell's book, The Southern Highlander and His Homeland, is cited by nearly every scholar writing about the region, little has been published about the Campbells themselves and their role in the sociological, educational, and cultural history of Appalachia. In this critical edition, Elizabeth McCutchen Williams makes Olive's diary widely accessible to scholars and students for the first time. Appalachian Travels only offers an invaluable account of mountain society at the turn of the twentieth century.
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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I offer my sincere thanks to my colleagues at Appalachian State University who so kindly supported and encouraged me in this pursuit. The W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection has provided most of the resources cited in this book. Many of them would have remained undiscovered without the gracious ...
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Olive Dame Campbell’s original diary of the pioneering trip that she and her husband made through the Southern Highlands in the fall of 1908 and the early months of 1909 is in the John Charles and Olive D. Campbell Papers in the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina. ...
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Olive Dame Campbell is generally remembered as the founder of the John C. Campbell Folk School or as a ballad collector—a “songcatcher”—but she also played a key role as a social reformer at the turn of the century in Appalachia. ...
1. October 1908: Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia
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The beginning could hardly have been made under more favorable conditions. Mr. Glenn, head of a new organization with untraveled ways to chart, was ready for experiment. Conscious of the full weight of his responsibility, he yet placed great reliance on the personality of the worker. ...
2. November 1908: Tennessee and Kentucky
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John was insatiable. He pushed travel as fast as he could and let no op- portunity slide for gathering new information. From my diary one may pick almost at random a characteristic series of days. For example, from Novem- ber 7 to November 11 we were travelling by buggy—John driving—over the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee to Pleasant Hill, ...
3. December 1908: Kentucky
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Hindman was probably the first mountain school to appreciate fully the na- tive culture of the mountains, to use the old handmade things, and to try to preserve the crafts themselves. They also used native shrubs and “pretties,” such as gourds, hornets’ nests, vines and berries. The “Big House” made a great impression on us, as indeed did the fund of information passed on to us by Miss Pettit and Miss Stone. ...
4. January 1909: Kentucky and Tennessee
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Whatever its drawbacks, riding horseback over rough mountain country was usually to be preferred to going by jolt wagon, especially in winter. We had a trunk to transport, however, and so by wagon on a cold but brilliant January 1, 1909, we left Hindman via the regular Eastern route to Beaver Creek on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. ...
5. February 1909: Tennessee
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The next day [February 3] we visited the school, about forty pupils present, with an enrollment of under fifty. The public school was now closed; it had a six month term and enrollment of sixty. The Webbs and the teachers had quite different ideas as to the work, and there was no real cooperation between them ...
6. March 1909: North Carolina
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Full of information we got off on Monday, March 15th, with the affec- tionate farewells of all the household, the girls waving from the windows. Even at the station John had a hasty last interview with the Superintendent of Southern Presbyterian work, Mr. P. S. Smith. Then Dr. Winston joined us just in time to catch the 3:35 p.m. train to Waynesville, ...
Appendix: Publications by Olive Dame Campbell
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Page Count: 318
Publication Year: 2012