"a jaunt . . . agreeable and instructive" THE VACATIONER as TOURIST
While, in ancient times, the costly privilege of traveling at a creeping rate, in a huge and clumsy vehicle, was limited to a few eastern despots; now, it is within the reach of nearly all classes, to be transported, with tempest speed, from place to place, by a locomotive power that does not tire; and in a vehicle that vies with the parlor in splendor and appliances . . . now, nearly all who wish it, may be wafted across the waters, with almost flying celerity, and surrounded with the gorgeousness of a floating palace. 1
Jeremiah Harris, a school teacher and farmer living in Virginia, made this observation in July of 1856 upon return from a two-week trip to New York City, Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Harris' choice for a vacation -- a sightseeing trip from one place to another -- was becoming increasingly popular during the last half of the nineteenth century. Rather than spend a week at the mountains, springs, or seashore, some vacationers visited natural wonders, historic places, and the numerous cultural attractions of cities. They chose to be tourists.
A word on the word "tourism." Many scholars who have studied tourism have defined it as almost any sort of travel for pleasure. 2 Using this definition, tourists would include those who traveled to Cape May or Atlantic