|Innkeeper Jackie Heinz, on the "Charleston porch" of|
Zeigler House Inn, overlooking world-famous
Jones Street in the Savannah historic district.
Photo by Jerry Harris.
In large measure, early American etiquette of the southern states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia -- once British colonies -- culminated from manners of the United Kingdom.
Yet, as cultures melded and American independence in the USA was won from Great Britain, the etiquette expanded in the America's Deep South over the centuries to be known as southern hospitality, "a phrase used in American English to describe the stereotype of residents of the Southern United States as particularly warm, sweet, and welcoming to visitors to their homes, or to the South in general." -- Wikipedia
"A thousand little things, not separately to be defined, conspire to form these graces, this je ne sais quoi, that always pleases. A pretty person, genteel motions, a proper degree of dress, an harmonious voice, something open and cheerful in the countenance, but without laughing; a distinct and properly varied manner of speaking: all these things, and many others, are necessary ingredients in the composition of the pleasing je ne sais quoi, which everybody feels, though nobody can describe. Observe carefully, then, what displeases or pleases you, in others, and be persuaded that, in general, the same things will please or displease them, in you." --Lord Chesterfield: Letters to his Son, March 9, 1748.
Sundra Hominik, writing for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, points to "Sandra Bullock (who by the way is from Arlington County) in her Oscar-winning role as Leigh Anne Tuohy in 'The Blind Side'." A tidbit worth noting: Sandra Bullock owns a home on nearby Tybee Island, Georgia, about 20 minutes from downtown Savannah.
"True politeness is perfect ease and freedom. It simply consists in treating others just as you love to be treated yourself." -- Lord ChesterfieldAnn Barrett Batson in Having It Ya'll (1993), offers "The Fundamentals of Good Manners": Be Humble. Be Courteous. Behave Yourself. Be Friendly. Be Modest.
AN INTRODUCTION TO SOUTHERN WAYS
Ms. Batson offers these "Common Courtesies in Dixie": "Say "please" without fail. Please, always say "please" when you make a request, no matter how trivial or important. Always ask, never tell. The only way to make a request is to ask for it, directives are much too surly. "Would you please carry me up the road a piece?" is correct. "Give me a ride to the market" is most assuredly not. Say "Thank you" without fail. Upon being granted your request--be it a personal favor or impersonal transaction--always look the other party in the eye, give them a pleasing smile, and cheerily say, "Thank you". To show them you're really grateful, dress it up with "Thank you kindly," "Thanks a whole lot," "Preciate it". If your request is denied, say "Well, thank you anyway." Using your best turn-the-other-cheek manner. Say "ma'am" and "sir" without fail. If any aSay "ma'am" and "sir" without fail. If any adult your senior addresses you, automatically attach the appropriate title to your response ("Yes ma'am, "I reckon so, Sir", "Pardon me ma'am"). Neglecting this rule is apt to be interpreted as arrogance or insolence or just plain bad upbringing. Always refer to those of the female gender as Ladies.
"Travel writer and Savannah native Jim Morekis shares the must-see sights and local secrets of Charleston and Savannah, from exploring the French Quarter to kayaking in the Golden Isles. Morekis includes unique trip strategies like Literary Lark—following the life and work of authors Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allen Poe, and John Berendt—and his Kayaker’s Paradise tour. Including expert advice on walking the squares of Savannah’s Historic District and dining on she-crab soup in Beaufort, Moon Charleston & Savannah gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience." -- Source: Moon Charleston & Savannah by Jim Morekis, a Savannah native
"Compliments of congratulation are always kindly taken, and cost one nothing but pen, ink, and paper." -- Lord ChesterfieldMore resources for true southern ways:
The Southerner's Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life Hardcover
by Editors of Garden and Gun (Author)
Some Day You'll Thank Me for This: The Official Southern Ladies' Guide to Being a "Perfect" Mother
by Charlotte Hays and Gayden Metcalfe
Suck Your Stomach in and Put Some Color On!: What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters that the Rest of Y'all Should Know Too
by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson
"The most well-bred person in a room is the one who makes the fewest other people uncomfortable." -- Lord Chesterfield
*Wikipedia: Culture of Honor: "The traditional culture of the Southern United States has been called a 'culture of honor', that is, a culture where people avoid intentionally offending others, and maintain a reputation for not accepting improper conduct by others. A prevalent theory as to why the American South had or may have this culture is an assumed regional belief in retribution to enforce one's rights and deter predation against one’s family, home and possessions. The concept was tested by social scientists Richard Nisbett and Dov Cohen in their book Culture of Honor and repopularized by a discussion in Chapter Six of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
ABOUT ZEIGLER HOUSE INN
Built in 1856 for Solomon Zeigler -- a prosperous lumber merchant, prominent Savannah citizen and Salzburger* descendant -- the Italianate home is now an historic Savannah bed and breakfast inn located in the heart of Savannah's National Landmark Historic District.
Original house features include beautiful heart of pine wood floors of the era, elegant ceiling medallions, 11 slate and wood fireplaces, and a dramatic heart of pine staircase embellished with a mahogany and walnut handrail.
Featured on "Wheel of Fortune", Zeigler House Inn was fully renovated in 2002. This romantic getaway inn on magnificent Jones Street affords stately Savannah bed and breakfast lodging with delicious cuisine (compliments of caterer-turned-innkeeper Jackie Heinz, a southern 'steel magnolia' from Kentucky). With French-inspired decor -- a nod to Revolutionary hero, General Marquis de Lafayette -- , the 7 private suites and room afford Europe-meets-Savannah style comforts for a leisure trip and business travel. Each of private suites and rooms uniquely features a private kitchen or kitchenette, plus private bath.
* The first Salzburgers landed in Savannah, Georgia after a two months trip across the Atlantic Ocean to escape religious persecution in their native country of Salzburg, presently known as Austria. The industrious settlers built their religious Lutheran community in Ebenezer along the Savannah River near today's Rincon, Georgia.
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