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The soil of this State was first trodden by Europeans in 1540. These were the followers of De Soto (q. v.). In 1702, Bienville. the French governor of Louisiana, entered Mobile Bay, and built a fort and trading-house at the mouth of Dog River. In 1711 the French founded Mobile, and there a colony prospered for a while. Negro

State seal of Alabama.

slaves were first brought into this colony by three French ships of war in 1721. By the [75] treaty of 1763 this region was transferred by France to Great Britain. Alabama formed a portion of the State of Georgia, but in 1798 the country now included in the States of Alabama and Mississippi was organized as a Territory called Mississippi. After the Creeks disappeared the region of Alabama was rapidly settled by white people, and in 1819 it entered the Union as a State. The slave population increased more rapidly than the white. In the Democratic National Convention that was held at Charleston in 1860 the delegates of Alabama took the lead in seceding from the convention.

In October of that year, Herschell V. Johnson, the candidate for Vice-President on the Douglas ticket, declared, in a speech at the Cooper Institute, New York, that Alabama was ripe for revolt in case Mr. Lincoln should be elected; that it was pledged to withdraw from the Union, and had appropriated $200,000 for military contingencies. The governor suggested secession at the beginning of November; and in December, 1860, the conference of the Methodist Church, South, sitting at Montgomery, declared “African slavery as it existed in the Southern States of the republic, a wise, beneficent, humane, and righteous institution, approved of God, and calculated to promote, to the highest possible degree, the welfare of the slave; that the election of a sectional President of the United States was evidence of the hostility of the majority to the people of the South, and which in fact, if not in form, dissolves the compact of union between the States.” Northern Alabama was opposed to the movement.

Elections for members of a State convention in Alabama were held Dec. 24, 1860, and as in some of the other States, the politicians were divided into “Secessionists” and “Co-operationists.” The latter were also divided; one party wishing the co-operation of all the slave-labor States, and the other caring only for the co-operation of the cotton-producing States. The vote for all but ten counties was, for secession, 24,445; and for co-operation, 33,685. In the ten counties, some were for secession and some for co-operation. In the convention assembled at Montgomery, Jan. 7, 1861, every county in the State was represented. William Brooks was chosen president. There was a powerful infusion of Union sentiment in the convention, which endeavored to postpone a decision, under the plea of the desirableness of co-operation. A committee of thirteen was appointed to report an Ordinance of Secession. It was submitted on the 10th. It was longer than any other already adopted, but similar in tenor. They assumed that the commonwealth, which had been created by the national government first a Territory, and then a State (1819), had “delegated sovereign powers” to that government, which were now “resumed and vested in the people of the State of Alabama.” The convention favored the formation of a confederacy of slave-labor States, and formally invited the others to send delegates to meet those of Alabama, in general convention, on Feb. 4, at Montgomery, for consultation on the subject. The convention was not harmonious. Union men were not to be put down without a struggle. There was a minority report on Secession; and sone were for postponing the act until March 4, with a hope of preserving the Union. Nicholas Davis, from northern Alabama, declared his belief that the people of his section would not submit to any disunion scheme, when Yancey (q. v.) denounced him an his fellow-citizens of that region as “tories, traitors. and rebels,” and said they “ought to be coerced into submission.” Davis was not moved by these menaces, but assured the Confederates that the people of his section would be ready to meet their enemies on the line and decide the issue at the point of the bayonet. The final vote on the Ordinance of Secession was taken at 2 P. M. on Jan. 11, and resulted in sixty-one yeas to thiry-nine nays. An immense mass meeting was immediately held in front of the State-house, and timid “co-operationists” assured the multitude that their constituents would support the ordinance. A Secession flag, which the women of Montgomery had presented to the convention, was raised over the capital. In Mobile, when the news reached that city, 101 guns were fired in honor of Alabama, and fifteen for Florida. At night the city blazed with fireworks, the favorite pieces being the Southern cross [76] and the Lone Star. The convention had voted against the reopening of the slave-trade, and adjourned on Jan. 30, 1861.

A week before the Secession Ordinance was adopted, volunteer troops, in accordance with an arrangement made with the governors of Louisiana and Georgia, and by order of the governor of Alabama, had seized the arsenal at Mount Vernon, about 30 miles above Mobile, and Fort Morgan, at the entrance to Mobile Harbor, about 30 miles below the city. The Mount Vernon arsenal was captured by four Confederate companies commanded by Captain Leadbetter, of the United States Engineer Corps, and a native of Maine. At dawn (Jan. 4, 1861) they surprised Captain Reno, who was in command of the arsenal, and the Alabama Confederates thus obtained 15,000 stands of arms. 150, 000 pounds of gunpowder, some cannon, and a large quantity of munitions of war.

The Alabama Senators and Representatives withdrew from Congress Jan. 21, 1861. On March 13, a State convention ratified the constitution adopted by the Confederate Congress. The authorities of the State seized the national property within its borders, and sent troops to Florida to assist in capturing Fort Pickens and other public works there. Alabama sent a commissioner to Washington as an ambassador, but he was not received. During the war that ensued. Alabama bore her share of the burden, and her cities and plantations suffered from the ravages of the conflict. Wilson's cavalry raid through the State caused great destruction of property. During the war Alabama furnished 122,000 troops to the Confederate army, of whom 35,000 were killed or wounded. Montgomery, in the interior of the State, was the Confederate capital until July, 1861, when the seat of government was removed to Richmond. At the close of the war a provisional governor for Alabama was appointed (June 21. 1865), and in September a convention re-ordained the civil and criminal laws, excepting such as related to slavery: declared the Ordinance of Secession and the State war-debt null; passed an ordinance against slavery: and provided for an election of State officers, who were chosen in November. The government thus constituted remained in force until superseded by military rule in 1867. In November of that year a convention formed a new constitution for the State, which was ratified Feb. 4, 1868. State officers and members of Congress having been duly chosen, and all requirements complied with, Alabama became entitled to representation in Congress; and on July 14, 1868, the military relinquished to the civil authorities all legal control. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the national Constitution were ratified by Alabama, the latter Nov. 16, 1870. Population in 1890, 1,508,073; in 1900, 1,828,697.

Governors of the Mississippi Territory. Including the present States of Alabama and Mississippi.

Names.Term of office.
Winthrop Sargent1799 to 1801
Wm. C. C. Claiborne1801 to 1805
Robt. Williams1805 to 1809
David Holmes1809 to 1817

Governor of the Territory of Alabama.

Wm. Wyatt BibbMarch 1817 to Nov. 1819

Governors of the State of Alabama.

Wm. Wyatt BibbNov. 1819 to July, 1820
Thomas BibbJuly, 1820 to Nov. 1821
Israel PickensNov. 1821 to Nov. 1825
John MurphyNov. 1825 to Nov. 1829
Gabriel MooreNov. 1829 to Mar. 1831
Saml. B. MooreMar. 1831 to Nov. 1831
John GayleNov. 1831 to Nov. 1835
Clement C. ClayNov. 1835 to July, 1837
Hugh McVayJuly, 1837 to Nov. 1837
Arthur P. BagbyNov. 1837 to Nov. 1841
Benj. FitzpatrickNov. 1841 to Nov. 1845
Joshua L. MartinNov. 1845 to Nov. 1847
Reuben ChapmanNov. 1847 to Nov. 1849
Henry Watkins CollierNov. 1849 to Nov. 1853
John A. WinstonNov. 1853 to Nov. 1857
Andrew B. MooreNov. 1857 to Nov. 1861
John Gill ShorterNov. 1861 to Nov. 1863
Thomas H. WattsNov. 1863 to Apr. 1865
Interregnum of two months.
Lewis E. ParsonsJune. 1865 to Dec. 1865
Robt. M. PattonDec. 1865 to July, 1868
Wm. H. SmithJuly, 1868 to Nov. 1870
Robt. B. LindsayNov. 1870 to Nov. 1872
David B. LewisNov. 1872 to Nov. 1874
Geo. S. HoustonNov. 1874 to Nov. 1876
Geo. S. HoustonNov. 1876 to Nov. 1878
Rufus W. CobbNov. 1878 to Nov. 1880
Rufus W. CobbNov. 1880 to Nov. 1882
Edward N. O'NealNov. 1882 to Nov. 1884
Edward N. O'NealNov. 1884 to Nov. 1886
Thomas SeayNov. 1886 to Nov. 1888
Thomas SeayNov. 1888 to Nov. 1890
Thomas G. JonesNov. 1890 to Nov. 1892
Thomas G. JonesNov. 1892 to Nov. 1894
William C. OatesNov. 1894 to Nov. 1896
Joseph F. JohnstonNov. 1896 to Nov. 1898
Joseph F. JohnstonNov. 1898 to Nov. 1900
W. J. SamfordNov. 1900 to Nov. 1902


United States senators from the State of Alabama.

Names.No. of Congress.Date.
William R. King16th to 28th1819 to 1844
John W. Walker16th to 17th1819 to 1822
William Kelley17th to 19th1823 to 1825
Henry Chambers19th1825 to 1826
Israel Pickens19th to 20th1826
John McKinley19th to 22d1826 to 1831
Gabriel Moore22d to 25th1831 to 1837
Clement C. Clay25th to 27th1837 to 1841
Arthur P. Bagby27th to 30th1841 to 1848
Dixon H. Lewis28th to 30th1844 to 1848
William R. King30th to 32d1848 to 1852
Benj. Fitzpartrick30th to 36th1848 to 1861
Jeremiah Clemens31st to 33d1849 to 1853
Clement C. Clay. Jr33d to 36th1853 to 1861
37th, 38th, and 39th Congresses vacant.
George E. Spencer40th to 46th1868 to 1879
Williard Warner40th to 42d1868 to 1871
George Goldthwaite42d to 45th1872 to 1877
John T. Morgan45th to----1877 to----
James L. Pugh47th to 55th1880 to 1897
Edmund W. Pettus55th to----1897 to----

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