A 19th-Century Virginia Novelist and Public Servant Imagines 18th-Century Life at the Green Springs Mineral Springs, c. 1880

[George Wythe Munford, The Two Parsons[;] Cupid’s Sports; The Dream; and The Jewels of Virginia (Richmond, 1884), pp. 138-139:]

In the summer of 1793, Mr. [Thomas] Rutherford, for the benefit of his wife's health, accompanied by some friends, paid a visit to the Green Springs, in the county of Louisa, at that time the resort of many of the best families from the city of Richmond, seeking either health or pleasure. Among the rest were old Col. Harvie, the father of Gen. Jacqueline B. Harvie; Mr. Archibald Bryce, of Goochland; and the two brothers Alexander and John Buchanan.

In their conversations they naturally alluded to the pleasant recreation they were then enjoying. They felt that relaxation from business, freedom from the cares of life, a change of air, and new scenes and company produced a buoyancy of spirit which contributed more to health than the use of the waters. It was a delight to be freed from the dust and heat of the city. Perhaps to a confirmed invalid who required renovation, who was radically out of order, some of our celebrated mineral waters would act like a charm; but in general it was the jolting over rough roads, the change of diet, and the new atmosphere that improved the health and gave vigor to the mind.

[Relevant Component(s), National Park Service Thematic Framework: Expressing Cultural Values--Literature; Creating Social Institutions and Movements--Recreational Activities; Peopling Places--Health, Nutrition, and Disease]

[selected and posted by NGH]

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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