Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Chasing DirtThe American Pursuit of Cleanliness$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Suellen Hoy

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195111286

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195111286.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2020

Dreadfully Dirty

Dreadfully Dirty

(p.3) Chapter One Dreadfully Dirty
Chasing Dirt

Suellen Hoy

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses ancient America wherein sanitation was known but not observed nor practiced throughout the nation. It chronicles that in the 1800s, cleanliness in the Unites States was at the same level as that of the Third World countries where peasant villages were dominated by primitively unhygienic inhabitants. The chapter describes the indifference of the early Americans, particularly those living in the rural areas, to cleanliness and sanitation. As chronicled by several European travelers, Midwesterners were filthy and bordering on beastly. It also tackles the efforts of the three prime catalysts of cleanliness. Staunch advocates of cleanliness and health, Beecher, Graham, and Alcott cemented the role of women in keeping their households clean, affirming that cleanliness would keep out dreaded diseases and insisting that cleanliness overhauls personal image and status quo. Discussions soon revolved around creating cleanliness as a public policy and reform resulted at the onset of Civil War, which has a lasting effect during the insurgency.

Keywords:   sanitation, Beecher, Graham, Alcott, Civil War, cleanliness, Midwesterners, health

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .