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View Poll Results: Louisville, KY.... southern or midwestern? or both?
Southern 3 14.29%
MidWestern 2 9.52%
Southern with midwestern undertones 8 38.10%
midwestern with southern undertones 6 28.57%
both equally 2 9.52%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-26-2007, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
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Ok no one seems to be happy with the two options I gave so here is a poll with more. Let's try this again!
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Old 05-26-2007, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
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Thank you all for voting again. Keep 'em coming!
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Old 05-26-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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It's hard to say because for instance, Louisville is nothing like the rest of Kentucky, it's like a state of its own. I could be in downtown Louisville and not be able to distinguish one accent from another, then I could go to a friends home who grew up in Louisville and she's got a southern accent but her childhood friend does not. It's wierd..Keep Louisville Weird! It's a beautiful thing or is thang?!?!?!
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Old 05-26-2007, 09:58 PM
 
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Now honestly, I do see why you’d think it has a Midwestern under-culture, but it is a major city. The same argument, I assure you, can be made of New Orleans, Atlanta, Charleston. Major cities have major immigration, and people from all over the country--and the world--make their homes there. Sad as it is, it has shown its effects on the cities, but I assure you, at Louisville’s core, is the South. It has even been said that during the darkest days of the war, Louisville had more “Johnny Rebs” and “Southern Belles” than the entire state of Mississippi. As an historian, I might be inclined to believe that. Having mentioned Southern Belles, you’d be well advised to note Sallie Ward was a Louisvillian. Her portrait is often named “The Southern Belle.” That is because she was THE Southern Belle in the ante-bellum days. More Scarlett O’Hara than Scarlett herself! Literally, she was considered THE belle of the South! None of that is even mentioning that, as someone else noted, Louisville is a river city, giving it all the more reason to intermingle cultures. Nonetheless, to the trained ear, one can hear the traces of Southern accents in downtown Louisville, and thick as molasses accents among some of the older residence. Step outside the city limits--you can no longer judge the South by its cities. Anyone who lives in a Southern city will note the changes over the years. They’ve become melting pots, good or bad! Oh, and what is Louisville’s nickname? You don’t know? Let me tell you, “Gateway to the South!” That’s a take on its old days as a river port, and its being a Southern city, noted for two great Southern pastimes, horseracing and bourbon!

From a cultural geography perspective the usual northmost line of Southern cultural influences in the lower Midwest is US 40, so it might be more accurate to consider southern Indiana and Illinois more southern than it would to consider Kentucky Midwestern. The Southern Focus study referenced earlier seems to confim the Southern character of Kentucky. About the only part of the state that could be considered Midwestern are the three northern counties across the river from Cincinnati.

Louisville is probably a bit more unusual in that it has aspects that are not traditionally associated with the South. In terms of historical aspects the city was settled by Virginians, and then recieved a large immigration from Germany and Ireland. Unlike other Midwestern cities it did not experience input from the second immigration from southern and eastern Europe to any signifigant degree, and lacks any historical "ethnic neighborhoods" that characterize true Midwestern cities like Dayton or Fort Wayne or South Bend. Louisville has experienced in-migration from the rural areas of central and western Kentucky (the areas directly south and west of the city), which has reinforced its southern character in modern times, which reinforced the southern character of the local working-class.

Louisville was and is industrial, but that is not necessarily a marker of being a Midwestern anomaly in a southern region, as numerous southern cities have an industrial base, such as the textile cities of the Carolina Piedmont. Louisvilles industial development was part of the New South, and marketed to the South, and its leading newspaper editor of the postbellum era, Henry Watterson, was considered an expontent of the New South ideology. During the postbellum era the L&N Railroad, headquarted in Lousiville, was a major carrier into the deep South, terminating at Pensacola and New Orleans, and painted its locomotives "confederate gray".

Another aspect of Louisville that gives it a historical and modern Southern character is the experience of slavery. Louisville did have a large slave population (one of the largest), and slaves were used in industry (44 worked for one company), building trades, steamboat trade, and as household servants. During the Jim Crow era Louisville did segrate blacks and whites into seperate school systems, and event tried to enact ordnances restricting blacks to certain neighborghoods (found unconstitutional by the USSC). One did not see this type of legal Jim Crow elsewhere in the Midwest. Some of the residential patterns of black settlement also paralled other urban south centers. In Midwestern cities blacks settled in older inner city neighborhoods, but in Louisville there was a tendancy for blacks to settle on the urban periphery, originally in Smoketown, but later in neighborhoods like Little Africa (later Park Duvalle) and in the Wet Woods (the Newburgh Road area). This pattern is similar to that identified by Harold Rabinowitz in his "Race Relations in the Urban South", where freed slaves formed settlements on the edges of Southern cities (which is quite visible in Lexington, too).

http://www.slaveryinamerica.org/images/slave_census_US_1860_b.jpg (broken link)







The aspect of religion as a indicator of southern cultural character is also key as Louisville is a center of the Southern Baptist faith, with a large seminary in town. Baptists vie with Catholics as the largest denomination in the city. You will not find a Midwestern city ouside Missouri (one county in Kansas city) that has a signifigant Baptist population. Louisville however does.



The Bible Belt

If it's worth mentioning Richmond Va (former capitol of the Confederacy) has a larger Catholic population than Louisville. While Texas has always had a large Hispanic Catholic population, the cities of San Antonio and Galveston, Texas were hot beds for German Catholics. It should also be noted that Louisville German and Irish in migration was to a MUCH less degree than St.Louis and Cincinnati, so much less that Louisville's blacks will be the largest ancestry in the city within 2 or 3 years.

Louisville like every other Southern city lost black population during the first black migration North. This is quite the opposite in St.Louis and Cincinnati, in which this played a major role in the building of the cities we see today. St.Louis especially was a hotbed for black migrants, which was the complete opposite for Louisville, being steeped in Southern culture and idealology.

http://www.uic.edu/educ/bctpi/greatm...eftcolumn.html (broken link)

http://ucdata.berkeley.edu:7101/rsfc.../blkp10_00.gif (broken link)

Here are two excellent sources showing how Louisville and the South in general held the highest concentration of blacks until the migration.

The physical character of the city is more southern to me. The common vernacular housing of the older pre-WWII city is not like that in other Midwestern cities, where one sees the use of one or two story houses or cottages (sometimes duplex apartments) with the gable end facing the street. Louisville uses the very Southern shotgun house, as well as other forms that are appear to be unique to Louisville, such as a variation on the foursquare. For post WWII building, there was the continued popularity of neoclassical or colonial revival in developer housing. Even the local version of the ranch house sometimes uses wrought iron on the front porches as a sort of generic reference to "New Orleans/River City".

All of the following sources label Louisville and Kentucky as Southern in terms of dialect.











Here is a cultural map created by this nations most reknown geographer D.W. Meinig. He draws the Southern boudary line through Southern the Southern ares of Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio, So obviously Louisville is safely tucked below that line (not saying that it doesn't have Midwestern influence). Again I'm aware that Louisville has Midwestern influence, however it does not top the Southern influence.
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:15 PM
 
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OK...since user "Louisvilleslugger" has copied and pasted his argumentation from the other poll that's almost over, I've done the same with my points addressing his contributions. Enjoy...
__________________________________________________ _____________

I'm going to go ahead and apologize in advance for the long-winded reply I have discussed the points that the user "Louisvilleslugger" has brought up on numerous sites before in discussions like these.

First of all, I would really like to see what the voting results would look like had a third option for "border region" been included. People like me - and my family history goes back to Louisville for hundreds of years - would generally opt for a more compromising "border city" route in classifying the city. But when faced with a blunt choice between the South and Midwest, I would always group the city in with the Midwest, and specifically lower Midwestern cities such as Cinci, St. Louis, KC, etc. Comparing the city to Upper Midwestern cities like Minneapolis is every bit as absurd as comparing it to Deep South cities like Jackson, Mississippi, and I'll avoid doing that. Now, he STATE of Kentucky is an entirely different matter, of course, no question about it, though it is still a border state, but one with a predominantly Southern culture as nearly everyone would agree too. But you cannot judge a city like Louisville based on the state that it is in, as too many people do. Nor can you judge it based on the Kentucky Derby, the presence of Kentucky Fried Chicken, or other superficial qualifiers.



Louisville is also VERY commonly referred to as our country's "southernmost Northern city" - or alternatively (or in conjuction), "northernmost Southern city." I prefer the first. Check Welcome to KPMGCampus | Louisville and Louisville Buildings, Real Estate, Architecture, Skyscrapers and Construction Database, two of many examples. The whole "Gateway to the South" thing started as a marketing concept, anyhow, and could be understood several different ways. To me, it means that Louisville is ground zero. Go north of it, and any remaining traces of Southern culture start to vanish. Likewise, south of it the Midwestern elements drop off rapidly.



The analyses in cultural geography are mixed. One of the most authoritative sources on the Midwest - "The North American Midwest: A Regional Geography" by John Garland includes the entire state of Kentucky, and Louisville, in the region culturally, economically, and geographically. To some people, that one "Southern Focus" survey answers all of the questions and cannot be challenged. I say it is one non-collaborated study - though a meticulous and comprehensive one. The "Southern Focus" study also didn't present people with choices - essentially, it was "Are you Southern or not?" For one example with rather different results, the study "Changing Usage of Four American Regional Labels", published in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers by Professor James R. Shortridge, only 47.86% of Kentuckians opted for the term "South" to describe the state, while a full 33% opted for the term "Midwest." That's only a 15% gap and self-labeled "Southerners" were a minority (albeit, a large minority, and the plurality group), which hardly means that Midwestern culture is "marginal" in this city or state. Furthermore, I guarantee that the people who are identifying as "Midwestern" in Kentucky are ONLY in Louisville and Northern Kentucky...not Bowling Green, Owensboro, Paducah, etc. In neighboring Tennessee, for example, over 80% of residents chose the term "South" in that same study, and the term "Midwest" didn't even register there. If a state in which 1/3 of residents believe they're in the North and less than half believe they're in the South isn't a border state, I'm not quite sure what is. Of course, this is just one study also. But it does show that we will never, ever know the exact percentages, and cannot be so dogmatic and bigoted as to believe that any one study can give us all of the answers about this state - Southern Focus or otherwise.



Quite true. The German percentages in Kentucky differentiate the state from the rest of the South.

Those are "percentages reporting any German ancestry", from a report that you can generate at The Association of Religion Data Archives | Surveys .

On that map, darker colors = heavier in German ancestry - so for example, W. Virginia and Kentucky are heavier in Germans than Virginia, while Illinois is heavier in Germans than Kentucky, and Wisconsin is heavier in Germans than Illinois, etc. etc. Only 4 "Southern" states, all of them somewhat marginal - Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Florida - have German ancestry percentages in one of the 3 upper quintiles - every single other Southern state, including so-called "heavily German" Texas, are in the lower 2 quintiles. Furthermore, looking at Jefferson County, KY compared to others in terms of percent claiming any German ancestry (numbers from same site):

Jefferson, KY - 18.6%
Jackson County, MO - 17.7%
Marion County, IN - 17.2%
Davidson, TN - 9%
Shelby, TN - 6.1%
Richmond, VA - 14.7%
Henrico County, VA - 5%
Bexar County, TX - 10.2%

In Texas, Hispanic immigration has somewhat diluted the picture - but nobody has ever called Texas cities "Midwestern" in any event, so that's besides the point. You have to look at multiple factors working together, and this is just one of them. Nor is modern-day Jefferson County is only marginally less black compared to typical urban Midwestern counties - Jefferson County is about 19% black, compared to 23.4% in Hamilton County, OH; 24.1% black in Marion County, IN; and 23% black in Jackson County, MO. In truth, this county's demographics would be out of place in either region for various reasons, but I find far, far fewer differences between Louisville's demographics and Kansas City's (500 miles away) than Memphis's (only 385 miles away.)

And distance-wise, let's not forget what the two biggest cities are to Louisville - Cincinnati and Indianapolis, both undeniably Midwestern. You can't ignore the factor that such a proximity plays. I have often, oftentimes heard Louisville referred to as a smaller, slightly-more-Southern version of Cinci.



Louisville's Rust Belt-type industrial development (I'm not talking textile mills here) and consequent population declines for much of the later 20th Century are unquestionably more in line with Midwestern cities than Southern ones. It can't be argued otherwise. Why does Birmingham, Alabama have industry? Simple: It's purely a matter of location, with the area being one of the only places in the country (and world) where all 3 ingredients needed for steel fabrication can be found. In 1998, the Census Bureau issues a document discussing a potential "rebound" in the Rust Belt. They said, among other things, "ONE OF THE MOST STRIKING demographic and economic
trends of the mid-1990s has been the comeback
of the so-called Rust Belt — that swath of
formerly smoke-shrouded Midwestern cities identified
with big factories, big autos and big steel." Which cities did the Census include in the Rust Belt in this report?

Cedar Rapids, Iowa .................................... 7.7 -0.6 13.4 2.9
Sioux City, Iowa-Neb. ................................ 5.1 -2.1 6.6 3.6
Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, Mich. .................... 4.9 -2.0 6.2 4.5
Louisville, Ky.-Ind. .................................... 4.7 -0.5 10.9 4.4
Jackson, Mich. .......................................... 3.7 -1.1 8.9 5.1
Kokomo, Ind. ........................................... 3.1 -6.5 5.7 3.6
Canton-Massillon, Ohio .............................. 2.2 -2.6 7.9 5.4
Peoria-Pekin, Ill. ....................................... 2.0 -7.3 8.8 6.1
Dubuque, Iowa ......................................... 2.0 -7.8 8.9 5.7
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Iowa-Ill. ..... 1.8 -8.8 5.9 4.4
Cleveland-Akron, Ohio ............................... 1.7 -2.7 6.3 5.1
Parkersburg-Marietta, W.Va.-Ohio ................ 1.0 -5.5 6.7 6.2
Saginaw-Bay City-Midland, Mich ................. 0.9 -5.3 8.7 4.9

So apparently, Louisville is the only Dixie-fied "Southern" city to make the cut, in with a list of Northern industrial cities like Cleveland, Detroit, and Canton. Riiiight. It's a good report. Explanation of the numbers and more analysis of the region is available here - http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/cenbr987.pdf



Enough with this myth of Louisville being a "heavy slave" city. Louisville is an old city, and was one of relatively few in the western theater, at the time of the Civil War, to have a very significant population among the slave states. Louisville had a large absolute number of slaves, but it's MUCH MORE important to look at the PERCENTAGES of slaves - and in 1860, slaves made up an incredibly huge 11% of Jefferson County, KY. Some small counties in rural southern Georgia may have had only 200 or 300 slaves, but this may have been out of a total county population of only 450 or 500 - you absolutely cannot look at it simply in terms of absolute numbers. In any event and regardless of the very important slavery issues, Louisville's role in the Civil War was crystal clear. Louisville was host to regular meetings between Sherman and Grant at the old Galt House, including ones that led to the plans for the campaign that burned Atlanta to the ground and "made Georgia howl." Hardly Southern in my book.

Even in terms of Jim Crow, Louisville (and Kentucky) was mixed - certainly not Minnesota, but sure as hell not Alabama, either. I am black and have grandparents who grew up in the area - and know blacks who lived through the horros of Jim Crow in the Deep South - so I know what I'm talking about. This was especially true in the case of suffrage, a most fundamental right that was generally not denied to blacks in Kentucky, as it was in nearly every other non-border state of the South. To quote a few passages from Louis C. Kesselman's scholarly article "Negro Voting in a Border Community: Louisville, Kentucky" published many years ago (1957 in fact) in the Journal of Negro Education: "The Southern system of suffrage barriers is virtually unknown in the Border states...Louisville Negroes have enjoyed freedom to vote and participate in party politics since 1870. The Midwestern influence upon this city has been demonstrated by its success in desegregating its university and private colleges, public and parochial schools, public libraries, parks, swimming pools, and golf courses without incident..." Remember, Missouri, Maryland, etc. also had at least some form of legal or de facto segregation up until the Civil Rights movement - yes, Kentucky was more Southern and thus more stringent in its enforcement, but it is a flat out lie to equate this state's treatment of blacks to states such as Georgia and Alabama in order to try make some kind of a point. Both older blacks raised in Kentucky and those raised under the oppressive hell of unrelenting Jim Crow in the Deep South would resent that, and I know it from personal conversations.

.

Whoa. You just completely ignored and marginalized the fact that both Louisville and Kansas City - both situated in border states - have something major in common there. Why? Because Kansas City is a quintessential Midwestern city and yet, religiously, it's profile is VERY similar to Louisville's. From the ARDA, the numbers are:

Jefferson, KY - 156,949 Catholics, compared to 108,354 Southern Baptists (a ratio of roughly 1.45 Catholics for every SBC member)

Jackson, MO - 101,207 Catholics, compared to 75,521 Southern Baptists (a ratio of roughly 1.34 Catholics for every SBC member)

So, per capita, the chief county of Louisville's MSA is MORE heavily Catholic than the chief county in Kansas City's MSA. Therefore, by your logic, Kansas City must be boiling over with Southern culture. It is hardly a coincidence that these two cities in border states share this characteristic. It also shows that major Midwestern cities can have a substantial Baptist component, though I'll be the first to admit that these is a phenomenon of the Lower Midwest only. In the Spring 1978 edition of the Journal of Popular Culture, Stephen W. Tweedie, in the study "Viewing the Bible Belt" did NOT include Louisville in the Bible Belt. His litmus test (agree with or not) was based on the popularity of television-based religious shows. He stated that "nearly half of the Southern ADIs have high viewing rates, with only 6 of its 29 large television markets falling in the low viewing rate. These six "exceptions" are all in peripheral locations with regard to the South - Baltimore and Washington, Louisville, San Antonio, Houston, and Miami." Houston was sort of a surprise there, to me at least, but the rest made sense.

I will concede your point that Louisville's loss of blacks during the Great Migration is indeed a Southern element of the city. That's undeniable, but regardless, just one element out of many.



When it is present, Kentucky's accent is most certainly not vintage Southern, and in many parts of Louisville (especially near downtown and on the east side) the accent is rare to sporadic at best. Some neighbors may have it, some may not. Linguists group the South Midland/Lower Midland accent in different ways - for a varying example : . Furthermore, one of the studies that you normally include with your list of links - the LAVIS study - includes Bowling Green, KY, of all places, in a group of Northern cities linguistically, whereas Nashville and points South were labeled Southern. This was done based on user judgments from a lower Midwestern city - overall, college-educated Bowling Green residents ranked in this study as haven a "more Northern" accent than some residents of Michigan, at least to the untrained ear - quite a shocker. The study is accessible here - http://www.msu.edu/~preston/LAVIS.pdf Check out pages 7-9 specifically. Anybody from Louisville KNOWS that there are plenty, plenty of us who do not have a Southern accent, or traces of it. I'm not saying that's a good thing or bad, but it is a fact. And it's not due to immigration either, as Louisville is not booming like Atlanta or Charlotte. We are not drawing in outside citizens to water down the accent, as is happening in Sunbelt cities further South.

Of course, I completely disagree with the one gentlemen's anecdotal analysis of the city, but that hardly matters.

And lastly, a note on climate. Technically, Louisville is located in the transition area between the humid continental (typically Midwestern) and humid subtropical (typically Southern) climate zones, but it is often included in the former. According to highly popular weather site Weatherbase (Weatherbase, Louisville receives more snow annually on average than Cinci - Louisville with 16.2 inches compared to Cinci with 14.2 inches. Very Southern, ha. Hardiness lists, relating to plant environments, are important to consider also, and you'll notice that in this important ecological measure, Louisville is grouped in with lower Midwestern area - lower Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, etc. -


http://homegarden.move.com/hs_media/images/homegarden/gardening/landscaping/zones/hardiness/zonemap_small.jpg (broken link)

The saying "from coal to corn" is quite accurate, as much of Kentucky lies squarely in the Midwest Corn Belt. Not true of any other so-called "Southern" city.




And on a last somewhat "sentimental" note - that world famous Southern magnolia, one of the South's most famous and iconic plants? Not in Kentucky -



PLANTS Profile for Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia) | USDA PLANTS

So yes, I can understand how some Louisvillians may travel to Milwaukee and feel out of place. But many of us also feel FAR more out of place when in Mobile, AL or Beaumont, TX. We drink "soda" or "pop", we speak with a plain accent, we identify as Northerners or Midwesterners, not Southerners, but we think it's GREAT to live in a city that can, in truth, claim either region, and generally has the best of both, while avoiding the extremes of either. Really though, I couldn't disagree more strongly (but respectfully) with claims that Louisville is merely a Catholicized "Diet Nashville" or something. I've never seen the city in that light, and I never will. It often comes up in professional articles - one of my favorite examples is at SIX THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT: KENTUCKY. This city is multifaceted, diverse, and has a very hard to define identity. Just my view, though.
*Steps down.
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louisvilleslugger View Post
It should also be noted that Louisville German and Irish in migration was to a MUCH less degree than St.Louis and Cincinnati
I've already addressed the German immigration, but I forgot to address the Irish element - something also common in Lower Midwestern cities. Kentucky is also more Irish than every other non-border state of the South:



The Association of Religion Data Archives | Denominations

That's also from the ARDA - again, darker = more heavily Irish, and the only "Southern" states in the upper 3 quintiles for Irish immigration are Florida, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Kentucky - not coincidentally, just like the German ancestry picture. All of these states are "Southern with reservations."

From the same site, county statistics regarding Irish ancestry percentages are as follows (generated from The Association of Religion Data Archives | Surveys):

Jefferson, KY - 13.1% reporting "any Irish ancestry"
Jackson, MO - 11.4%
Hamilton, OH - 13.6%
Marion, IN - 10.6%
St. Louis (county), MO - 15.6%

Davidson, TN - 9%
Shelby, TN - 6.9%
Richmond, VA - 6.3%
Henrico, VA - 5.7%
Bexar, TX - 5.8%

So, there is hardly an "abnormal" shortage in terms of Irish ancestry percentages in Louisville relative to other Lower Midwestern cities - quite the contrary.
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Far Western KY
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geez ... (10 char)
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:31 AM
 
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my god, what is with you two and the MAPS...???
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:36 PM
 
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Quote:
I'm going to go ahead and apologize in advance for the long-winded reply I have discussed the points that the user "Louisvilleslugger" has brought up on numerous sites before in discussions like these.
No problem you're just getting your point across

Quote:
First of all, I would really like to see what the voting results would look like had a third option for "border region" been included. People like me - and my family history goes back to Louisville for hundreds of years - would generally opt for a more compromising "border city" route in classifying the city.
I honestly like this pole a bit more, we all know that Louisville is a "mixed city" (cross between South and Midwest). The fact that this pole was placed in the general U.S. forum and over 85% of the voters saw us as more Southern then anything shows that we aren't just a city that just can't be placed in a region because it has a blended culture to both regions, But shows that we have more ties to the South then anywhere else. Cassius Clay could also track his family history back to the antebellum Louisville, and found that his father was a Louisville slave. He was also recongnized as "Southern gentleman" in the boxing world.

Reed, John Shelton
The Twenty Most Influential Southerners of the Twentieth Century
Southern Cultures - Volume 7, Number 1, Spring 2001, pp. 96-100

The Twenty Most Influential Southerners Of The Twentieth Century 1. Martin Luther King 2. William Faulkner 3. Elvis Presley 4. Billy Graham 5. Jimmy Carter 6. Louis Armstrong 7. Margaret Mitchell 8. Lyndon Johnson 9. George Wallace 10. Woodrow Wilson 11. Muhammad Ali 12. Hank Williams 13. Sam Walton 14. Bill Clinton 15. Tennessee Williams 16. Ted Turner 17. Huey Long 18. Booker T. Washington [End Page 96] 19. Rosa Parks 20. Michael Jordan Surely every name on this list will be known to every Southern Cultures reader, and that's partly the point.


Quote:
But when faced with a blunt choice between the South and Midwest, I would always group the city in with the Midwest, and specifically lower Midwestern cities such as Cinci, St. Louis, KC, etc.
I will always have to group Louisville in with the Mid/upper South along with Nashville, Memphis, Lexington, Richmond, Norfolk, Va, Beach, Raleigh, Little Rock, ECT. There is no doubt a strong connection between Louisville, St. Louis, and Cincinnati.


Quote:
Comparing the city to Upper Midwestern cities like Minneapolis is every bit as absurd as comparing it to Deep South cities like Jackson, Mississippi, and I'll avoid doing that.
Well the reason I use this method, is because cities like Birmingham, New Orleans, Savanah, Ect. are often thought of as the definition of Southern cities, and if Louisville had nothing in common with the cities that more times than not define the region, then their would be no point in arguing that Louisville has any connection to the region people are claiming it's included in.


Quote:
Now, he STATE of Kentucky is an entirely different matter, of course, no question about it, though it is still a border state, but one with a predominantly Southern culture as nearly everyone would agree too.
That's agreeable

Quote:
But you cannot judge a city like Louisville based on the state that it is in, as too many people do. Nor can you judge it based on the Kentucky Derby, the presence of Kentucky Fried Chicken, or other superficial qualifiers.

Well the Kentucky Derby is the largest cultural event in this city and state. During the derby the Southern Belle, Mint Julep is protrayed, I wouldn't think people in Indianapolis, or even Cincinnati would play such a role to protray their city's culture on national T.V.

SOLD Kentucky Derby Hat Southern Belle Hat Tea Hat NEW design by Darna "Miss Merry Melody"
Artisans : Hats : Victorian Style Hat : Victorian Style Tea Hat : Tea Hat : Southern Belle Hat : Wide Brim Hat

http://www.tennessean.com/NLS/graphics/gallerythumb/2006-08/McNeilly_thumb.jpg (broken link)



Quote:
Louisville is also VERY commonly referred to as our country's "southernmost Northern city" - or alternatively (or in conjuction), "northernmost Southern city." I prefer the first. Check Welcome to KPMGCampus | Louisville and Louisville Buildings, Real Estate, Architecture, Skyscrapers and Construction Database, two of many examples.
This is a title I see very commonly attached to Louisville, But I can find an example of the "Southern most Northern city" part being dropped.

"Louisville is Kentucky’s largest city (800,000 residents)
and the nation’s northernmost southern city. Louisville,
a beautiful river city on the banks of the Ohio, is historically
known as a relaxed and hospitable city of handsome
homes and tree-lined streets."

http://www.naccchildlaw.org/training...ochure-Web.pdf (broken link)



Quote:
The whole "Gateway to the South" thing started as a marketing concept, anyhow, and could be understood several different ways. To me, it means that Louisville is ground zero. Go north of it, and any remaining traces of Southern culture start to vanish. Likewise, south of it the Midwestern elements drop off rapidly.
Despite 19th century political agenda, the title has always and will forever be held by Louisville. For decades that huge lit sign on the Old LGE building had the Words "Louisville Gateway city to the South" aluminating our downtown. This sign was put in place after the need for "regional trade" (to South) diminished, so there couldn't have been anything other than pride for raising the sign in the first place.


Quote:
The analyses in cultural geography are mixed. One of the most authoritative sources on the Midwest - "The North American Midwest: A Regional Geography" by John Garland includes the entire state of Kentucky, and Louisville, in the region culturally, economically, and geographically.
Passages from the Article

"Many of the settlers who moved into southern Illinois were from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas. They were attracted to the Midwest by favorable descriptions of the area and by a land system which enabled the pioneer to purchase good land easily and cheaply from the public domain. "

"In a peripheral position with reference to the Midwest, the Upper Ohio Valley occupies the borderlands of eastern Ohio, western Pennsyl* vania, most of West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and a small part of Tennessee."

(notice it's including Tennessee in the Definition of the Midwest) While it is also noting.

"The southern limits lie in the eroded hills of West Virginia, Ken* tucky, and Tennessee, far beyond the limits of continental glaciation, where, in general, the resi* dents of much of West Virginia face west for their contacts, rather than east. This is true through* out the hills of Tennessee and Kentucky as well, although in these parts there is a strong cultural kinship to the South."


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To some people, that one "Southern Focus" survey answers all of the questions and cannot be challenged. I say it is one non-collaborated study - though a meticulous and comprehensive one. The "Southern Focus" study also didn't present people with choices - essentially, it was "Are you Southern or not?"
AHHH I see you've been reading the Wikipedia Article. The Southern Focus Study has been conducted for over a decade and is still being conducted at to this very day by a UNC. Here are it's findings

John Shelton Reed Percent who say their community is in the South (percentage base in parentheses) Alabama 98 (717) South Carolina 98 (553) Louisiana 97 (606) Mississippi 97 (431) Georgia 97 (1017) Tennessee 97 (838) North Carolina 93 (1292) Arkansas 92 (400) Florida 90 (1792) Texas 84 (2050) Virginia 82 (1014) Kentucky 79 (582) Oklahoma 69 (411) West Virginia 45 (82) Maryland 40 (173) Missouri 23 (177) Delaware 14 (21) D.C. 7 (15)

Percent who say they are Southerners (percentage base in parentheses) Mississippi 90 (432) Louisiana 89 (606) Alabama 88 (716) Tennessee 84 (838) South Carolina 82 (553) Arkansas 81 (399) Georgia 81 (1017) North Carolina 80 (1290) Texas 68 (2053) Kentucky 68 (584) Virginia 60 (1012) Oklahoma 53 (410) Florida 51 (1791) West Virginia 25 (84) Maryland 19 (192) Missouri 15 (197) New Mexico 13 (68) Delaware 12 (25) D.C. 12 (16) Utah 11 (70) Indiana 10 (208) Illinois 9 (362) Ohio 8 (396) Arizona 7 (117) Michigan 6 (336) All others less than 6 percent.


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For one example with rather different results, the study "Changing Usage of Four American Regional Labels", published in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers by Professor James R. Shortridge, only 47.86% of Kentuckians opted for the term "South" to describe the state, while a full 33% opted for the term "Midwest."
This study was also conducted for one year, in 1987 and is dated by the more recent and accurate Southern Focus Study. One thing that one person felled to relized about these finding were that the 47% that identified with the South were the largest chunk of the pie. Something interesting about this study is that it gave people choices of the South, Southeast, West, Midwest, Ect.


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That's only a 15% gap and self-labeled "Southerners" were a minority (albeit, a large minority, and the plurality group), which hardly means that Midwestern culture is "marginal" in this city or state.
If you'd rather take the word of a study conducted for only a year at the most (1986), over another more recent one that was conducted for over a decade, has much more accuracy, and is stillbeing conducted than go right ahead.

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Furthermore, I guarantee that the people who are identifying as "Midwestern" in Kentucky are ONLY in Louisville and Northern Kentucky...not Bowling Green, Owensboro, Paducah, etc. In neighboring Tennessee, for example, over 80% of residents chose the term "South" in that same study, and the term "Midwest" didn't even register there.
I wouldn't be to sure that it was just Louisville and Northern Kentucky opting for another region. We both know that Eastern Kentucky, and West Viriginia have almost synonymous cultures (appalachain). West Virginia also had a minority of it's population identify with the South, so couldn't Eastern Kentucky just as easily been a contributor to those finding

If a state in which 1/3 of residents believe they're in the North and less than half believe they're in the South isn't a border state, I'm not quite sure what is. Of course, this is just one study also.
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But it does show that we will never, ever know the exact percentages,
True that, but with 98% accuracy I think the Southern Focus Study comes darn close.


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and cannot be so dogmatic and bigoted as to believe that any one study can give us all of the answers about this state - Southern Focus or otherwise.
I think it's just common sense to see that the Southern Focus Study has more merrit then a predated study conducted for one year in (1987)


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Only 4 "Southern" states, all of them somewhat marginal - Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Florida - have German ancestry percentages in one of the 3 upper quintiles - every single other Southern state, including so-called "heavily German" Texas, are in the lower 2 quintiles.
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/map_it...German,+Irish (broken link))

Here we can see the actual migration pattern of German when they came to America. As I acknowledged Louisville had a few migrational patterns unique to the South. We can see from this map that Louisville was no where near as heavily settled by Germans than say Cincinnati or St. Louis, But was none the less a Midwestern trait. We can also see that parts of Texas, namely present day Austin, Galveston, and San Antonio had signifigant migration to Germans in the area But it was above all else a Midwestern trait.

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Jefferson, KY - 18.6%
Jackson County, MO - 17.7%
Marion County, IN - 17.2%
Davidson, TN - 9%
Shelby, TN - 6.1%
Richmond, VA - 14.7%
Henrico County, VA - 5%
Bexar County, TX - 10.2%
From what you've posted the former Capitol of the Confederacy is 15% German, Virginia beach is 14% German, Austin is 14% German, Knoxville is 12%German. However on the Issue of Kentucky it is prodominantly American in ancestry along with Tennesee and Arkansas.


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In Texas, Hispanic immigration has somewhat diluted the picture - but nobody has ever called Texas cities "Midwestern" in any event, so that's besides the point. You have to look at multiple factors working together, and this is just one of them.
I honestly don't think that you can tie alot of today's demographics to the migration patterns of the 19th century, because waves of migrations followed that one migration. Take Texas while unlike most of the South it did have a wave of German immigrants settle there, it was followed by waves upon waves of Hispanic (mexican) immigrants. With those demographic changes to Texas it has almost completely washed away any evidence of any previous migrations to hit the area.

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Nor is modern-day Jefferson County is only marginally less black compared to typical urban Midwestern counties - Jefferson County is about 19% black, compared to 23.4% in Hamilton County, OH; 24.1% black in Marion County, IN; and 23% black in Jackson County, MO. In truth, this county's demographics would be out of place in either region for various reasons, but I find far, far fewer differences between Louisville's demographics and Kansas City's (500 miles away) than Memphis's (only 385 miles away.)
I don't really regaurd the current black population demographics of major cities as a MAJOR cultural indicator. While you've acknowledged that Louisville (20% black) and Nashville (25% black) have demographis similar to those of Midwestern cities, you have disregaurded the History leading up to these demographics. St. Louis, Cincinnati, Columubus, and just about any Midwestern city could not have hoped to be as black as Louisville or nashville until the great migration occurred.

http://ucdata.berkeley.edu:7101/rsfcensus/graphics/blkp10_00.gif (broken link)

http://www.uic.edu/educ/bctpi/greatmigration2/dataviewer/usa/USgmdatamaps/1890afampop.jpg (broken link)

http://www.uic.edu/educ/bctpi/greatmigration2/dataviewer/usa/USgmdatamaps/1930afampop.jpg (broken link)

http://www.uic.edu/educ/bctpi/greatmigration2/dataviewer/usa/USgmdatamaps/1900afampop.jpg (broken link)


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And distance-wise, let's not forget what the two biggest cities are to Louisville - Cincinnati and Indianapolis, both undeniably Midwestern. You can't ignore the factor that such a proximity plays. I have often, oftentimes heard Louisville referred to as a smaller, slightly-more-Southern version of Cinci.
Again no one is denying that Louisville has cultural ties to these cities nor do I deny that is has cultural ties to the region as a whole, But while these cities are close to Louisville, Believe or not some cultural ties are apparent to the South because it's below the Mason Dixon Line. IE it's large Baptist population.



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Why does Birmingham, Alabama have industry? Simple: It's purely a matter of location, with the area being one of the only places in the country (and world) where all 3 ingredients needed for steel fabrication can be found.
So can you explain why Pittsburgh only speacializes in Steel? Obviously it's not the only place where the three elements are found. Birmingham was also called the Pittsburgh of the South for it's production of steel , now if modeling your economy is a after a major Rustblet city doesn't make a city rustbelt then I don't know what doesn. There were also the tons Textile Mill in Durham and Raleigh North Carolina during and around this time. Even with the large presence of manufacturing in Louisville, acredited to it's location, Louisville was still deemed the Gatewat city to the South and the manufacturing capitol of South for it being the largest manufacturing center distributing goods within the South. This is a title that Louisvillians have prided themsevles on.

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa .................................... 7.7 -0.6 13.4 2.9
Sioux City, Iowa-Neb. ................................ 5.1 -2.1 6.6 3.6
Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, Mich. .................... 4.9 -2.0 6.2 4.5
Louisville, Ky.-Ind. .................................... 4.7 -0.5 10.9 4.4
Jackson, Mich. .......................................... 3.7 -1.1 8.9 5.1
Kokomo, Ind. ........................................... 3.1 -6.5 5.7 3.6
Canton-Massillon, Ohio .............................. 2.2 -2.6 7.9 5.4
Peoria-Pekin, Ill. ....................................... 2.0 -7.3 8.8 6.1
Dubuque, Iowa ......................................... 2.0 -7.8 8.9 5.7
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Iowa-Ill. ..... 1.8 -8.8 5.9 4.4
Cleveland-Akron, Ohio ............................... 1.7 -2.7 6.3 5.1
Parkersburg-Marietta, W.Va.-Ohio ................ 1.0 -5.5 6.7 6.2
Saginaw-Bay City-Midland, Mich ................. 0.9 -5.3 8.7 4.9
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So apparently, Louisville is the only Dixie-fied "Southern" city to make the cut, in with a list of Northern industrial cities like Cleveland, Detroit, and Canton. Riiiight. It's a good report. Explanation of the numbers and more analysis of the region is available here - http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/cenbr987.pdf
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:41 PM
 
301 posts, read 1,242,586 times
Reputation: 174
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Enough with this myth of Louisville being a "heavy slave" city. Louisville is an old city, and was one of relatively few in the western theater, at the time of the Civil War, to have a very significant population among the slave states. Louisville had a large absolute number of slaves, but it's MUCH MORE important to look at the PERCENTAGES of slaves - and in 1860, slaves made up an incredibly huge 11% of Jefferson County, KY.
Myth

http://www.slaveryinamerica.org/images/slave_census_US_1860_b.jpg (broken link)







How in the World could you have possible come to make such a statement. Louisville was the second largest city in the South after New Orleans before the Civil War. It is fact that Urban areas of the Old South were not as heavily reliant on Slavery as their rural counterparts. Despite Louisville did had more slaves per capita than New Orleans. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/map_item.pl (broken link) While Louisville was only 11% black New Orleans was less than 10% black.


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Some small counties in rural southern Georgia may have had only 200 or 300 slaves, but this may have been out of a total county population of only 450 or 500 - you absolutely cannot look at it simply in terms of absolute numbers.
If you're taking rural counties into account however the Bluegrass region of Kentucky is very heavily populated percentage wise by slaves. One county in the Bluegrass region even has 50% of it's population being comprised of slaves.


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In any event and regardless of the very important slavery issues, Louisville's role in the Civil War was crystal clear. Louisville was host to regular meetings between Sherman and Grant at the old Galt House, including ones that led to the plans for the campaign that burned Atlanta to the ground and "made Georgia howl." Hardly Southern in my book.
BTW the Galt house prides itself with fine Southern Hospitality and Southern cuisine. If you watched the Travel Channel the Host of "Taste of AMerica" described the Hotbrown as a "Southern favorite" and regaurded Louisville as the Gateway to the South. As far as the Civil War stuff goes. Here is an article that breaks down how Jefferson county how Jefferson county faired.



Some excerpts:

About Confederate sympathizers:

"In 1860 the young men of this section were Southerners and began drilling in order to join the Southern Army. They did their drilling in a field near Pleasure Ridge Park, on Mr Charles Pages' place. The Miller's, Camp's, Shively's, and most of the young men of the leading familys of that section went to the Confederate Camp at Bowling Green. Mr. Thomas Camp had four sons to go and a nephew....Mr. Camp's exhortation to them was never to run; if any of them came back shot in the back they need not come to him for help or expect to be allowed to stay in the house. They went off gaily to the war saying, "We will have the Yankees whipped and back home by Christmas to eat turkey with you." Some of them never got back.

The Camp family are mentioned again in this exploit:

" During the Civil War many young men wh were inducted by conscription into the Northern army deserted to the South. Some of these men came across the Ohio River near Goshen. In one instance a young boy of fourteen, William Adams, drove a spirited team and springboad wagon from Goshen to Valley Station. His mission was to deliver a grandfathers clock, but in the clocka Southern sympathizer was hiding. The boyt brought him through the back roads to the Camp farm, of whom the young deserter was a relative. He hid in the hills above the farm and the Camps fed him until he could join the Southern army

For the Louisville readers: the hills mentioned are visible today, off the Gene Synder freeway, and is that part of the Jefferson County Forest between Pond Creek and Blevins Gap.

The map upthread shows the route of the Don Carol's Buells Union army marching to Louisville. The history mentions this march up "Salt River Pike", todays Dixie Highway:

"Buell's Army, in his race with Bragg, passed along the pike....they camped one night in that territory between Salt River and Louisville. The next day there were not as many chickens, turkeys, geese, hogs, beehives, rail fences, and cordwood ast there was the day before, and there was some horse trading".

..this bivouac before reaching Louisville was someplace in southwest Jefferson County, off of Dixie Highway.

It should be said this area, though pro-South, was not really plantation country, thought there was some large old houses and big pieces of property, like this one along the river, on 200 acres (but enlarged later to 1,500 acres)...the Moorman House:



The property was worked by slaves.

"Mr. Moorman was good to his slaves. He did every thing he could to encourage their legal marriage of slaves. Often he would buy or sell a slave so that the slave could be on the same farm with their legal husband or wife. After the war was over and the slaves where freed the head of each colored family recieved $100.00 to start on. Up until the time of his death, Israel Putnam, son of Alanson, heard from children of these old slaves. The letters came addressed to "Old Marse".

There apparently was a rural African-American population in SW Jefferson County into the 20th century. A "Cold. Church" shows on an old 1870s map, at around Pages Lane and 3rd Street Road. The history mentions two others:

One of the early colored churches in our community stands at Blevins Gap Road and Orell Road. It will soon be 100 years old. A school for colored children formerly was in the same area.

On Johnsontown Road and Mill Creek there stood at one time a church and school for colored folk. It was begun by the slaves and their families. At the end of World War I, it was burned with a firey cross supposedly by the Ku Klux Klan. There is now a good 'hog proof' fence around the plot and it is well kept and mowed by the descendants"

Which brings up a question of a "secret history"...what happened to this rural African American population? Where they driven out by racial violence prior to white suburbanization?

As Kentucky was a border state and Jefferson County was right on that border, there where Union sympathizers. One pro-union family left Southwest Jefferson County for Indiana for the duration of the war and returned when the war was over.

And there was a region of German farmers in Southwest County that where Union sympathizers, shown on the map above:

"Mr. Carl Schroerlucke remembers many stories told to him by his mother concerning the Civil War. He said that 50,000 Union soldiers where camped at the Old Folk Home in Shively and around Louisville. Some of the men visited in this German settlement, which was very strong Union. Hannah, Carl's mother, would as ask the little boy what he could possibly do in a battle, and he answered he was needed to beat the drum.

One of the Union soldiers by the name of Dickeman visited the farm often, and said he intended to return one tday to live in this valley. From Louisville this army went ot the battle of Shiloh, he was never heard from again and the Friauf's assumed he was kidded.

There was a company of 100 men from this Shardine Precinct...

So, just as their neighbors further south joined the CSA army, the German farmers formed a company to join the Union.

The history also makes passing mention to the depredations of the "guerillas". Kentucky (and Missouri) had quite a few irregulars, actually just plain bandits in many cases, called "guerillas". One famous one operated in the area south and southwest, was captured, and hung out on what is now Dixie Highway...



Sue Mundy
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