Publication Date

4-15-2018

Advisor(s)

Paul Erickson

Major

History (HIST)

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis will explore the dietary theories of Sylvester Graham and how they were practiced by the Grimke´-Welds, a family of abolitionists. To Graham and his adherents, a diet was connected to the idea of living a good life, which implied spirituality, morality, and especially, a social conscience. The desire to eat was driven by more than merely taste or possible health benefits. The moral and political implications were just as important. Thus, through his dietary theories, Graham visualized a means to the ideal civilization. For this reason, abolitionists and radicals like the Grimke´-Welds found the Graham diet especially compelling, and used it as a means to embody and visualize their belief systems.

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