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Diary of a Call Slip Girl

08/31/2010

General Collection F233.625.J3.J33.front

Diary of a Call Slip Girl

Episode 2: We Want You To Order Room Service!

Using Thomas Jefferson as its patron saint, The Jefferson hotel printed a brochure in the 1890s, entitled Declaration of Independence to the tourist and traveler: with apologies to the Declaration of American Independence, in which the hotel appealed to American patriotism by claiming it is a tourist’s “inalienable right” to be “surrounded by comfort and luxury.”  And where else but at The Jefferson hotel in “the beautiful historic city of Richmond” could you find such rights fulfilled. While presenting its version of the Declaration of Independence on one side of the brochure, the other side shows

vignettes of different rooms where travelers will be able to enjoy their pursuits of happiness. The room I would find myself spending the most time is the dining room, where “A meal here will always leave a fragrant recollection.” I will also remember this brochure for its overuse of a particular letter, but I can’t tell you which one (we could probably play a very boring game of hangman). But I encourage you readers out there to come in to the reading room at the Virginia Historical Society and see for yourself how The Jefferson used language and spelling to entice the weary traveler to spend some time in Richmond.

The Jefferson's Rotunda

Forever at your request,

Call Slip Girl

Elaine Hagy is a Library Clerk at the Virginia Historical Society.

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