Date of Award

Fall 12-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mary Niall Mitchell

Second Advisor

Connie Atkinson

Third Advisor

Michael Mizell-Nelson


In the 1880s, two cycling clubs formed in New Orleans—the New Orleans Bicycle Club in 1881 and the Louisiana Cycling Club in 1887. These clubs were institutions of Victorian middle class culture that, like other athletic clubs, arose from the conditions of urban modernity and Victorian class anxieties. The NOBC, like other American cycling clubs, conformed to Victorian values of order and respectability. The attitudes and activities of the LCC, whose membership was younger, reflected instead a counter-Victorian ethos. This paper examines these two clubs in the context of late Victorian culture in New Orleans as it responded both to the conditions of urban modernity common to American cities in this period and to the particular cultural situation of New Orleans at the end of the nineteenth century, including proximity to and amalgamation with the recently-dominant, non-Anglo culture of the Creoles.


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