In sunshine and in shadow: adolescent girls and thanatourism in the early American Republic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children’s and adolescents’ tourist activities and patterns before the late nineteenth century have not garnered much scholarly attention. This study addresses this oversight by focusing on the travel experiences of thirteen, white, middle and upper-middle class, American adolescent girls touring the United States between 1782 and 1834. I trace their visits to two site clusters: battlefields, forts, and cemeteries, and prisons, hospitals and asylums; sites which some scholars term ‘dark sites’. Reading their writings, I argue that such sites were viewed as places which exemplified civic sacrifice or benevolence and hence the girls’ visits to such sites were part of a shared desire to foster female civic virtue in the new Republic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-85
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Tourism History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation [grant number 864/19].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • American girls
  • early Republic
  • gender
  • thanatourism
  • travel diaries
  • ‘small tour’

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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