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The Association Between Visitor Origins and Attitudes Towards Slavery At Presidential Plantation Museums

Authors: Kylie James*, University of Mary Washington, Stephen P. Hanna, University of Mary Washington
Topics: Tourism Geography, Cultural Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Tourism, Slavery, Plantations
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The following research focuses primarily on how the demographics of where Virginia presidential plantation visitors reside, impact their overall view point towards historical events pertaining to slavery. The survey questions used in this analysis will revolve around whether or not visitors are more or less interested in hearing about slavery, more or less likely to suggest decreasing emphasis on slavery, and more or less likely to suggest that slavery is over-emphasized in tours and exhibits. Using these questions and the demographics of the counties where visitors reside, I was able to compare the answers pertaining to slavery from the surveys to observe any relevant patterns. To do this, I mapped visitors using their zip codes provided in the surveys collected at Monticello, Montpelier, and Highland, and then aggregated responses to the county level. I then compared the mapped survey respondents to observe any correlation between their responses to the questions pertaining to slavery, and whether or not they differ significantly among visitors based on county. Finally, Using existing research on characteristics of places associated with different racial attitudes, I created a set of demographic, socioeconomic, and other placed-based variables by which US counties can be placed on a scale ranging from more or less likely to be associated with racial intolerance.

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