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The Southern States of America
Chapter I - The History of Alabama, Colonial and Territorial, Alabama, 1540 - 1819


The Alabama-Tombigbee Basin and Its People.

THE division of territory embraced within the state of Alabama has had a long and eventful history, but not under the modern name. It has been subject to five flags, besides the Indian occupation, and during each period has been connected with other districts and enjoyed a different name. There is no doubt, however, as to the unity of the river basin which makes up the main part of the modern state. The sources of the Coosa lie in Georgia and those of the Tombigbee in Mississippi, and the great bend of the Tennessee has been added on the north for good measure; but the Alabama-Tombigbee basin, nevertheless, makes up a unit, economic as well as historic.

Alabama a Geographical Unit.

If one will take a map of America he will find that, although the Mississippi receives many large tributaries on the west from its source to its mouth, there are none of any volume on the east side below the Ohio. The great Apalachian mountain system comes to an end before it reaches the Mexican Gulf or the Mississippi, but its foothills and highlands throw all streams southward instead of permitting them to reach the Mississippi River. It does more, for, while there are a number of rivers flowing to the Gulf, the watershed and hill country are so pronounced as to make in the Alabama-Tombigbee drainage system a basin greater and of more diversified interests than any other east of the Mississippi. Geographically speaking, there would be room for three Gulf commonwealths between the Mississippi and the Atlantic, and for only three, excluding the Florida peninsula, which is sui generis. The rivers draining to the Atlantic must cause the population of that district to have their interest centred on the ocean, while those near the Mississippi would look, in their turn, to the west. Intermediate between the two there should be a state looking to the Gulf at the mouth of Mobile River. And such has been the course of events.

The physical basis of history includes as its main factors climate, soil and rivers. In this instance the climate is mild, permitting of ice, but with summer weather prevailing over half the year. Geologically the soil shows several belts. One runs in a limestone crescent, beginning near the Ohio mouth and ending near the Atlantic, cutting across the Gulf-bound rivers. This is the fertile Black Belt, producing cereals, especially maize, and nut-bearing trees, although wheat and cotton were not native. Northward was the rough country between the Gulf rivers and the Tennessee Valley, abounding in minerals, but not of much importance in early days. Southward of the Black Belt was the low Coastal Plain, made up largely of sand, and covered with pine forests. The river basins were alluvial and their vegetation luxuriant. Large game, such as deer, bear and, in early times buffalo, abounded, birds were numerous, the beaver plentiful, and fresh and salt water fish to a large extent determined the course of migration and settlement.

The Indians.

The Indians built their habitations mainly upon the bluffs of the rivers, where water and fish were abundant and near which the maize grew with little cultivation. The origin of the Indians is still unsettled. Those of the Al abama- Tombigbee basin were mainly of three stocks. To the west were the Choctaws, and north of them on the sources of the Tombigbee lived the Chickasaws. These two tribes were of the Muscogean race, as was the other great division which now concern us, the Muscogees proper, on the Alabama River and its sources.

There is some reason to think that the Indians of historic times were preceded by other of a higher state of culture. Not that remains are extensive enough to justify any theory of Mound Builders, or that some works found on the Gulf necessarily call for an Aztec origin, but up on the Black Warrior River, at what has been called Moundville, have been found evidences of a civilization superior to that anywhere else near the Gulf. There are numerous large mounds, and from them has been taken pottery of a high grade, many rare stone implements, and in particular a bowl or vase representing a bird so well executed as to earn the title of the Portland Vase of American archaeology.

The Indians were in the stage of culture known as barbarism, claiming descent through the mother, and having a gens ("iksa"), phratry and tribe organization well developed. They were in the transition from the hunting to the agricultural state, but were prevented by the absence of cattle from developing the intermediate pastoral condition, which elsewhere has been almost essential in the advance to civilization. They used pottery but not iron. Like all primitive peoples, religion entered into almost every act of their life. Animism - the belief that every object has life, a faith marked by the use of totems - prevailed, rather than the monotheism often attributed to them. War and hunting were the principal occupations of the men, while the women were the agriculturists. They had not developed an alphabet, and their traditions, which were many and full of interest, were transmitted with the aid of wampum belts from generation to generation.

What would be the effect on these natives of the advent in their country of races further advanced in culture? Would the contact be as a spark to inspire or a fire to consume?

The Spanish Explorers.

With the capture of Granada from the Moors, Spain was redeemed and at last the Genoese Columbus succeeded in interesting Queen Isabella in his plan of finding the East by sailing to the West.

He reached some islands, and they were named for the Indies it was thought he had discovered. In point of fact a new world stood in his way, and exploration by Columbus to the south and others to the west gradually revealed its outlines. He made a settlement in Hispaniola, which remained for some time the Spanish base. From there Cuba was colonized, Mexico conquered by the filibuster-statesman Cortez, Central America explored and Peru seized by the coarse Pizarros.

Exploration to the north came later. Ayllon found that Florida was no island and that the Atlantic coast had many inhabitants, deep rivers and fertile lands. The governor of Jamaica sent Pineda in 1519 to explore westward of the peninsula, and he discovered numerous islands, bays and rivers, which he, in true Spanish manner, named for saints or divine attributes, according to the day upon which they were seen. The greatest bay and river were, therefore, called Espiritu Santo-the Holy Spirit. This is found upon numerous Spanish charts besides that sent home by Pineda, but its location has never been definitely settled. The maps show it as a large bay with one and sometimes two rivers emptying into it, and generally with an offset to the east. A number of inlets would possibly suit, but most of the bays of the north Gulf coast are too shallow for the prominence given it, and the Espiritu Santo was probably Mobile Bay.

The first land explorer was Narvaez, who, in 1528, led an expedition from Tampa northwardly, which suffered so as to be compelled to seek to the sea again among the Apalaches. The Spaniards touched at many places, probably Dauphine Island amongst them, and, after losing their leader and many men in storms, were driven westwardly to Texas.

De Soto had acquired fame and wealth in the conquest of Peru, and, after securing the appointment of governor of Cuba and adelantado of Florida, began, near Tampa, the exploration of his new possessions. Like Narvaez, he first reached Apalache, but thence struck northeastwardly. The Spaniards desired gold and De Soto sought to rival the exploits of his comrades in Peru, so that from the Savannah he turned northward towards the mountains of which he heard. He there came in contact with the Chalaques - the Cherokees of a later day -and coasted along the southern line of their mountains, seeking Cosa, of which all Indians in the southeast had spoken.

In the summer of 1540 he crossed the watershed between the ocean and the Gulf and struck the sources of a river flowing to the southwest. According to his chronicler Biedma, this was known as the Espiritu Santo, which emptied into the Bay of Chuse, but his route has been variously placed. There were a number of towns in the Cosa country, some on islands in the river, others inland, probably on the watershed between the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. It was a different land, a different race of Indians from those they had heretofore met. Oaks, walnuts and maize abounded, the towns were palisaded and the tribes stood in closer relations. They were in the Muscogee country. The Spaniards rested over a month, but found little trace of gold.

De Soto proceeded southwestwardly through the river basin and entered the domains of Tascalusa, where, after crossing a large stream, doubtless the Alabama, he came to Mauvila, a palisaded town containing large houses. Here in October, 1541, occurred possibly the most sanguinary battle in Indian warfare. It is true De Soto was victorious on account of his firearms and armor, but he lost many men and horses, pearls and stores, including flour for the mass and much of the swine brought from Spain. It was necessary to remain some time in order to recuperate.

The men were in favor of descending to the Bay of Chuse, forty leagues away, to meet the fleet of Maldonado, which De Soto had directed to repair thither; but the adelantado had nothing to take back to Cuba, and, therefore, resolved on proceeding further. So northwestwardly they took their course, and reaching a large river at Zabusta built a barge. There, possibly at the place now called Erie, they crossed the Black Warrior in the face of the Choctaws.

There were no draft animals in America, and this explains why De Soto so often pressed the natives into service as burden bearers-a usage common enough in South America. Not only this, but De Soto would keep a chief captive until he reached another district. These two practices, together with unnecessary cruelty, brought about many misfortunes, and none greater than he encountered when he crossed what we call the Tombigbee. He had several battles with the Chickasaws, and afterwards worked his way to the Mississippi and beyond. The next year he died. He was buried in the Great River, down which those of his followers who survived made their way and finally reached Mexico.

Not only was no gold discovered, but little was added to knowledge, for the Spaniards followed native paths, and De Soto's four chroniclers throw but dim light upon the country and its inhabitants.

Nevertheless, a recollection was preserved of the pleasant land of Cosa, and in 1558 Velasco, governor of New Spain, sent out an expedition to explore with a view to colonization. His commander, Bazares, describes the coast, where Bas Fonde and Filipina Bays seem to correspond to Biloxi and Mobile. The next year Velasco sent a colony under Tristan De Luna, which occupied the mainland of Florida at Ychuse. The fleet was lost in a storm and the colonists had to remain whether or no. De Luna sent out men who explored the country northwardly, coming first to Nanipacna. There they seem to have crossed De Soto's path, for the country had been desolated by white men, and the name recalls Talipacana near Maubila. The expedition pressed on and reached Cosa, where they were received kindly and won the goodwill of the natives by helping them in war. They finally returned to the colony on the coast, where there was much dissension between De Luna and his second in command, much dissatisfaction and suffering on the part of the people. In 1561 the colonists took advantage of the call of a fleet and abandoned the country.

Colonization of the Gulf coast seemed to Spain of less importance than that of the Atlantic side of Florida, where St. Augustine was soon founded to protect the Bahama channel and the passage of the plate fleets. One of the places occupied was Santa Elena, in what is now South Carolina, whence Juan Pardo, in 1566, undertook exploring expeditions as far west as Cosa and Trascaluza. He must have followed to some extent the Indian trails used by re Soto, and he reported that he was within a few days of New Spain, but he did not reach the Mississippi. He founded several posts, to which may be due the evidences of mining which were afterwards found in the mountains of Georgia and Carolina.

In the next century the Spaniards were not only able to claim Florida as extending from the Chesapeake to Mexico, but several provinces were mapped from Pansacola and Apalache on the Gulf around to Chicora on the Atlantic. Spanish influence was greater than has generally been believed, and the work of the Franciscans and Dominicans, especially among the Apalaches, left valuable results.

With the Spaniards begins American literature. Biedma was a soldier accompanying De Soto, Ranjel the adelandato's private secretary, and the Gentleman of Elvas was a Portuguese adventurer-all witnesses of the scenes they record. The more stilted Garcilasso, on the other hand, was a Peruvian who obtained his material later from soldiers, and did not write on our soil. The report of Pineda was earlier, but official rather than literary, and this may also be said of Tristan De Luna and of Pardo.

Not only Spanish thought, but Spanish power dominated America. Charles V. was unable to accomplish in Europe his desire to restore to his Roman Empire the whole coast of the Mediterranean, but this ambition was realized around the American Mediterranean. The new provinces of Spain extended from the Chesapeake Bay to Venezuela.

French Colonization.

It was a great ambition to hold the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but it required a great country to carry it out. And Spain did not remain what she had been. In the Seventeenth century her place was taken on land by France and on the sea by England. From political and economic causes Spain declined, and the great duel with the Saxon was left to the Frenchman. The French had settled Canada while the English were colonizing Virginia, Massachusetts and the Carolinas, and the Canadian La Salle, in 1682, took possession of the Mississippi Valley and named it Louisiana for the King of France.

It required much diplomacy to satisfy Spain with this severance of Florida from Mexico, but at last it was submitted to. She had not used the river systems, for the land east of Mexico was valuable to her only to guard the ocean approaches to her treasures. The Frenchman, on the other hand, while desiring mines, was to exploit the Indians as he had done in Canada, and thus the river basins were of paramount value to him.

Iberville discovered the mouth of the Mississippi, but found, on account of its swift current and the nature of the adjacent soil, that it was expedient to establish his colony further to the east. This was effected in 1699 temporarily at Biloxi, and then permanently at Twenty-seven Mile Bluff on Mobile River. The Spaniards had fortified the mouth of the Pensacola Bay a few months previously, but there they found a harbor only, while the French, by means of the widely extended Alabama-Tombigbee basin, came in immediate touch with the great Choctaw, Chickasaw and Alabama tribes of the vast interior. Moreover, they gained portages over to the Tennessee River, whose upper reaches brought them to the Cherokees of the Apalachian range, who, in turn, looked down upon the waters draining to the English colonies on the Atlantic. The Mississippi River was to be important as a means of communication with Canada, but the first real colonization was on the Mobile, and thence began the sphere of influence among the Indians.

The French had already, at Quebec and Montreal, entered upon the experiment of town-making, and now took up the same task in the South. In Canada they sought to translate to America the mediaeval walled city, but at Mobile, on its first site and also on the second made necessary by an overflow in 1710, they established a commercial town which should owe its protection to the cannon of a regular fortress. A port, called for the Dauphin, was found and utilized at the east end of Dauphine Island, but the main settlement was at the head of the Bay. Thence expeditions, for trade or for war, came and went between the French and the Indians upon the double river system, and thence naval stores, timber, and especially skins and furs were taken to France to exchange for the manufactures of that day.

Louis XIV. found it necessary, on account of the war with England in which Marlborough and Prince Eugene worsted him, to commit the new colony, including Mobile and other posts, to the merchant Crozat in 1712, although he still retained control of the military. Bienville had been the governor after Iberville's death, and now Cadillac, who had founded Detroit, was placed in control. The experiment, however, was not a success for the merchant, and he was glad enough when, in 1718, the more enterprising John Law took it off his hands and those of the king for the Company of the West.

Law's Company was to do great things for Louisiana, but relatively less for the settlements on Mobile waters. A storm in 1717 shoaled up the entrance to Port Dauphin, and the channel over by Mobile Point had not yet deepened. The Mississippi became the great attraction, painted in golden colors in the broadsides of that day, and so the capital was removed to the west. The AlabamaTombigbee basin became what the French would nowadays call a Department, supreme in Indian affairs, to be sure, but in civil administration second to the lately founded New Orleans. Bienville had, in 1714, built Fort Toulouse up between the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers in order to influence the Alibamons and check the English of Carolina, and during the first Chickasaw war in 1736, when he was again governor, erected Fort Tombecbe on the Tombigbee above the Black Warrior to dominate the Choctaws and Chickasaws.

The history of the river basin is almost that of the city at its mouth, for such posts as Toulouse and Tombecbe were little more than forts and town life centred on the bay. No plan has been preserved of Mobile on its first site, but as it was merely removed there is every reason to suppose that the "Plan de la Ville et Fort Louis de la Louisiane" made by Sr. Cheuillot in 1711 shows not only the new town but substantially the arrangement of the old town also. The site selected was where the river makes a slight bend to the southwest, a fact subsequently of importance in the growth of the city; but at the beginning the streets were run parallel and perpendicular to the river. These streets were thirty toises wide - each toise being six feet and the blocks averaged fifty toises square.

The fort, with its esplanade and shade trees, was the principal feature of the town. At first it was, like most of the houses, of cedar, but in 1717 was renamed Fort Conde and reconstructed of brick made in the vicinity. In the fort was the house of the governor, together with the magazine, bell tower and other necessary structures.

A peculiarity of the French colonies was that the people had little to do for themselves. The government provided all the necessaries, and shops were almost unknown. Gardeners and hunters could dispose of their wares, but anyone wishing to purchase cloth or other manufactures bought, them of the company or royal magazine. The king or the company thought for everyone. Even Paris fashions prevailed, for everything came from France.

The government did not give patents, but assigned lands and recognized the transfers thereafter. Town lots were twelve and a half by twenty-five toises, and thus admitted of house and garden. There were a number of more formal land grants in the vicinity, such as the St. Louis Tract, between Bayou Chateaugue (Three Mile Creek) and St. Louis River (Chickasabogue), and at the mouth of the bay Mon Louis Island, belonging to the Durands. In the distressing years which closed the French administration the population decreased, and Madame De Lusser, perhaps in lieu of a pension for her husband killed in the Chickasaw war, was granted a tract of land immediately south of the fort and running a mile westward. Bienville on the highland facing the bay had a "maison avec jardin," and near by the Mandeville Tract commemorates one of the most distinguished officers.

Priests ministered in their sacred vocation, and missionaries were found not only among the Tensas and Apalaches, whom Bienville had settled near, but also far up the rivers among the native tribes. Even literature began, for there is no more charming writer than Penicaut, who describes the country and gives its history, and later Bossu writes of Toulouse and Tombecbe, as well as of the quarrels of the officers and the maladministration in which Louisiana began to resemble the parent France. For law they had the Coutume de Paris, quaint and ill-suited, one would think, in its Middle Age provisions, and indeed it took not the firm hold it acquired in Canada.

The last campaigns of Louis XIV. had resulted unfortunately, and they were not in this to stand alone. The Regent, the friend of John Law, kept the peace, but Louis XV. was drawn into the wars which made Frederick famous. In America the English, by their traders, succeeded in influencing the Cherokees and Chickasaws, and, reversing Bienville's ambition, in a measure hemmed the French colonies between the Apalachians and the Gulf. They even built a fort on the Tallapoosa which threatened Toulouse and caused a civil war among the Choctaws.

The Seven Years' War of Europe was reflected in the British blockade of the Gulf ports. but the fall of Fort Duquesne on the Ohio, and of Quebec and Montreal in Canada, wrought the ruin of Louisiana. The French King ceded the territory west of the Mississippi, together with New Orleans, to the King of Spain, and all of the first settlements, Mobile and its river basin, to Great Britain. The Peace of Paris of 1763 marked the withdrawal of the French flag from the whole of North America.

British West Florida.

The British flag now waved from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River. There was a possibility that, like Spain, England had grasped more than she could hold. Two things, however, must be remembered. In the first place the English were increasing in numbers, and in the second the change of occupations due to the industrial revolution at home was driving many to the new colonies, where the ingrained Anglo-Saxon love and knack of local self-government promised a firm foundation for future commonwealths.

The coast territory was divided into East and West Florida, of which the Chattahoochee or Apalachicola was the boundary, while the interior above the line of 31 was reserved as hunting grounds for the red subjects of the king. Although Mobile was the larger, the British, for naval reasons, chose as their capital Pensacola, located on a smaller bay but nearer the Gulf.

The Indian policy was different. The Anglo-Saxon seems to have a greater repugnance than the Latin to intermarriage with darker races, and consequently the British introduced the plan, already adopted on the Atlantic, of buying lands from the Indians for the settlement of white colonists. This was effected by a series of treaties, and in 1765 the vicinity of Mobile and a strip reaching far up the west bank of the Tombigbee was secured. Indeed, to embrace this and similar settlements on the Mississippi the colonial boundary was moved northward to pass through the mouth of the Yazoo.

The Indian trade was systematized, prices fixed, traders licensed, and all placed under the supervision of a superintendent of Indian affairs. At the same time large powers were vested in the local governors and also in the legislature which was granted to the province of West Florida. Those Scotchmen who had been carrying British influence from Carolina over the mountains north of the French forts now flocked to Mobile, and McGillivray, McIntosh, and similar names became familiar on the bay as well as on the river. Fort Conde was called Charlotte for the new queen, Toulouse and Tombecbe were renamed, but almost immediately abandoned, and forts built at Manchac and on the Mississippi, where now lay the true frontier.

The legislature was made up of a council and of commons from several districts. Those from Mobile, and Charlotte county in which it lay, were especially influential. They led the movement for annual elections, and the conflicts with the governors, especially Chester, stopped only short the revolution which broke out upon the Atlantic. A full set of courts, from Chancery and Admiralty down to a Court of Requests for small debts, was established, and the jury system introduced where the French had had the one-man rule of the commandant. Even the Church of England was established, although the rector, Rev. Mr. Gordon, was paid so little that he did not long remain, and Father Ferdinand after all kept his old influence. On the whole, there promised to be little difference between West Florida and the other southern colonies except in the larger numbers of the Latin race, and there was greater harmony with the Catholic French than in Carolina with the Huguenots.

The first governor was George Johnstone, a rough naval officer who soon embroiled himself with the army, and in particular with Major Farmar, the commandant at Mobile. He had Farmar tried by court-martial, from which, however, this gentleman emerged victorious. The governors changed in rapid succession. One committed suicide, another was promoted to a West Indian position. Elias Durnford was chief executive for some time, and to him and to Pittman we are indebted for the first survey of Mobile River and Bay. Pittman, indeed, is one of our authors, but his subject was the Mississippi Settlements.

After England had acquired from the Indians the territory about the Bay and Tombigbee River, she put in force a land system which tended to induce immigration. The plan was perhaps crude in that it enabled the grantee to locate his own claim, and thus there came to be a great deal of irregularity, and in the course of time overlapping grants ; but it was a case of first come first served, and in its way was efficient. Officers and soldiers of the late war with France were given land, which took the place of a modern pension. A private soldier got fifty acres and officers more, and upon the Tombigbee many took advantage of the donation. McIntosh, Farmar, Blackwell, Sunflower, Bassett, McGrew, and other names date from this period. On the Eastern Shore of the Bay there not only grew up the Village, but Durnford, Terry and Weggs had pleasant places, and Crofttown, on its lofty red cliff, became the regular summer camping ground of the Mobile garrison.

The town clustered about Fort Charlotte, being more regular to the north, however, than on the west and south sides. The lots surviving from French times were unchanged, and the little frame and mortar houses, often shaded with oaks or magnolias and overgrown with vines, faced rural ways where cattle mingled with people from three continents. McGillivray & Strothers, or McGillivray & Swanson, were the leading merchants and carried on a considerable business from the King's Wharf in front of the fort. Grants were made in the suburbs to people who wished to farm. The present Orange Grove, Fisher and Choctaw Point Tracts and Farmar's Island date from this time.

To the British is due the credit of making indigo as well as naval stores a fixed product of the country, in addition to the peltries of former days, and agriculture as well as Indian trade furnished a basis for future growth. Even the Revolution which broke out upon the Atlantic promised to result to the advantage of West Florida for fleeing loyalists, many bringing property settled on the Tombigbee. The Floridians remained loyal and are said to have burned the Declaration of Independence as well as imprisoned two emissaries who brought that treasonable document. Certain it is that Superintendent Stewart used his influence only too well to incite the Indians, particularly the Muscogees and Cherokees, to harry the Georgian and Carolinian settlements.

Spain had not formally recognized the independence of the British colonies, but took advantage of their civil war to advance her own interests. Bernardo Galvez, the energetic young governor of Louisiana, in 1779 advanced up the Mississippi River, captured the British posts before General Campbell could relieve them from Pensacola, and next year invested Fort Charlotte. Campbell undertook a relief expedition, but was delayed by storms, and Durnford was compelled to capitulate. The Spaniards then took the offensive and eastward from Spanish Fort on the Bay defeated the Waldeckers, who were in the British pay.

Not only did Galvez hold Mobile, and with it the Alabama-Tombigbee basin and the dependent coast, but next year attacked and captured Pensacola also. General Campbell, Governor Chester and the troops were repatriated to New York.

The treaties of peace in 1782-3 which recognized the independence of the United States also recognized that the northern coast of the Mexican Gulf had become Spanish again. The Spanish flag waved from St. Augustine to Mobile, from Mobile to New Orleans. The Anglo-Saxon had fallen back before the Latin, and the Choctaws and Muscogees looked on in amazement from their native fastnesses. It seemed as if the hand had been turned backward upon the dial.

Spanish West Florida.

Galvez's conquest of West Florida showed a revival of Spanish vigor. Affairs were regulated by royal decrees from Madrid, but practically American viceroys had learned to accommodate themselves to the new world conditions and were good governors. There had ceased to be any large immigration from the mother country, and to the south the population was made up of Indians, with the Spanish or Creoles as upper classes. In Louisiana, and also in Florida now reconquered, the population was largely French, the Indians remaining in the interior. Representative government entirely disappeared, and in its place the authorities paternally regulated everything. English law had been superadded to the Coutume de Paris, and now both were gradually displaced by the Partidas, and the local alcaldes continued the jurisdiction of the English justices of the peace.

Pensacola was still nominally the capital. There was the land office and there were held juntas or commissions for sundry purposes. But the governorship of West Florida was practically annexed to that of Louisiana, and almost everything of importance had to be sent to New Orleans for ratification. The old Latin division of authority came into force again, for the intendant controlled the grant of lands and was practically independent of the governor. They often differed and their quarrels remind us of Bienville and La Salle.

The lack of immigration from Spain made it necessary, in order to build up the country, to induce immigration from some other quarter, and the British colonies and the American Union, which succeeded them, furnished a good many adventurers, who received grants and became valuable citizens. This caused in turn a relaxation of the rules as to religious observances. Theoretically, everything remained Catholic, and the Mobile church at the corner of Royal and Conti was the place of worship for a large parish. The priest, as in French times, made visitations to the coast and to the interior, but there grew up a great deal of religious indifference, which was to prove more difficult to handle than dissent.

Mobile remained the principal town. The streets were renamed for Spanish saints and worthies, Dauphin being called for Galvez, St. Charles becoming St. Joseph, and Conti yielding to St. Peter. There was less commerce than formerly, especially after the outbreak of the French Revolution, and the streets leading to the river were gradually occupied or became mere lanes. When the government house was removed to Royal near Fort Charlotte, it gave the name to a new street, Government, north of the Fort Esplanade.

The house of John Forbes & Co. succeeded Panton, Leslie & Co., of British time, and became the principal institution. Their main business was conducted from the spot now occupied by Royal and St. Francis, and from the warehouses further west, and they had a canal and landing to the north of the King's Wharf. Spain continued their license to import English goods, to which the Indians had become accustomed, and they took the place of the old British traders, their caravans traversing Indian paths and their bateaux plying the rivers. John Forbes & Co. were really the diplomatic agents of the Spanish government, and played a great part in all the events of the day. It might almost be said that they conducted the department of the interior.

The impetus given by Galvez did not last more than a few years. Public affairs became Spanish in form, and even private documents were finally written in Spanish instead of the native French, but the uncertainty of political matters in Europe was reflected, if not intensified, in America.

In acknowledging the independence of the United States, England had made their south boundary the line 31, ignoring that of 32 28' which she had previously fixed as the limit of West Florida. This, of course, did not bind Spain, but it proved a matter of embarrassment until, in 1795, Jay effected a treaty in which Spain acknowledged the line of 31. Her colonial officials delayed carrying this out as long as they could, but in 1798 they had to yield. Next year the surveyor Ellicott, with his Spanish consorts, erected a boundary stone on Mobile River hardly thirty miles above the Bay, and shortly afterwards Fort St. Stephen was turned over to McClary and his troops from Natchez.

North of the line came into existence Mississippi territory, and West Florida, as thus cut short, consisted of a strip of coast hardly sixty miles wide. Naturally there was little basis for growth, and the ruling classes were hardly the ones to take advantage of what there was. Indeed, an entirely new period may be dated from the delimitation of the boundary. It is true immigration from the United States somewhat increased, but it was to a large extent of people who looked forward to the absorption of the country by America. For a while Forbes & Co. maintained their old hold upon the Indians, but the gradual immigration to Mississippi territory rendered that increasingly more difficult. As Napoleon's hold grew in Europe, and England's was strengthened on the sea, even Spaniards feared separation of West Florida from Spain.

President Jefferson seized the opportunity, and in 1803 purchased Louisiana. Louisiana had formerly gone to the Perdido and such was to be the American construction. It is true that Napoleon hinted in no doubtful manner that this was not correct, and the administration did not dare oppose him; but the time might come when even he might have his hands full at home. The. Spaniards exacted duties on goods brought by sea to the American Fort Stoddert just above the line, and, as is usual on ill-guarded frontiers, criminals of all kinds escaped from one country to the other.

West Florida had reached a crisis in its history. Its rivers were gone and time must soon tell whether the coast should remain Latin or become Anglo-Saxon.

The Territorial Governments.

The creation of Mississippi territory in 1798 cut the history of the Southwest in two, but it did not mark the coming of the Anglo-Saxon and the retirement of the Latin, for that had occurred when the British came. It was not so much a change of race as a change of institutions. Previously the population had come from Europe and settled on the coast and rivers so as to communicate the better with the old home. With the coming of the Americans, however, we have an immigration through the interior and from communities which had ceased to look to the ocean except as a means of commerce, which were instinctively expanding over the mountains to the Mississippi Valley. The district south of Tennessee did not even touch the Gulf, and there were originally plans for its creation into a vast state fronting the Mississippi River and touching Georgia to the rear. It was the old British West Florida cut off from the sea, and, after a little, compensated by the addition of the Indian country lying between 32 28' and the Tennessee line. At first ruled entirely by governor and judges appointed from the seat of Federal government, it rose to the second grade of territory in 1800. Besides earlier counties about Natchez on the Mississippi there came to be Washington county on the Tombigbee, and from it, in 1812, was taken Clarke county in the forks of the rivers, and Madison up in the great bend of the Tennessee had been formed in 1800.

The political history of the territory can be better told in connection with Mississippi, for the eastern half, whose separate interests soon came to the surface, was less populous and had less weight in the government. The purchase of Louisiana emphasized the affiliations of the Mississippi communities, and correspondingly emphasized the unity of the Mobile and Tombigbee settlements. The claim that the purchase extended to the Perdido determined the people to make the ideal a reality. At last the Tombigbee people were erected into a separate judicial district, and, in 1804, President Jefferson sent, in the person of Harry Toulmin, a professor late from England, a man who was to be influential in the development of this section. Locally its growth oscillated between Fort Stoddert, where the United States had a garrison and Admiralty Court, and St. Stephens, a town built somewhat further back from the river than the old Spanish fort. Huntsville on the Tennessee, with its beautiful site and admirable climate, also grew rapidly from immigration down the river from the Carolinas and Virginia, as well as across from Nashville and other Tennessee settlements. Many of those pressed on further and down the Bigbee.

The territorial system of the United States is in a measure colonial, in that the territory is dependent upon a distant head, but it is different in that this dependence is meant to be temporary. From the first there is the aspiration for statehood. The Federal authorities followed the preceding governments in making treaties with the Indians, but its plan was more definite and covered not only acquisition of lands for settlers, as from the Choctaws and Cherokees, but also the opening of roads through to the Atlantic states. The land system, too, was an improvement in that it required the survey of the whole country and then the sale of small tracts to individuals. While the rivers remained the principal means of intercourse and on account of the soil attracted planters, they ceased to be the only highways.

The fertility of the river bottoms led to a feature which was to become important as time went on. Slavery had existed from the beginning of European settlement, at first of the natives and afterwards of negroes imported from the Spanish Islands and from Africa. It had been adopted in Virginia and other Anglo-Saxon colonies as a necessity in the competition with the Spaniards to the south. Now the American immigrants brought slaves with them and the institution assumed a more definite shape and took a stronger hold upon the country than under the Latins.

The basin of the Alabama River was held by the Muscogees, now generally called Creeks, but the Choctaws soon relinquished all their lands on the Tombigbee, thus extending the cession of 1765. This district rapidly grew in population and resources. It had local courts, county organization and a militia system, springing from the needs of a country which had slaves in every household, and an Indian border but a few miles away. Rough as was the civilization in many respects, it was not as when men begin from savagery. People brought with them the institutions-political, social, economic-of the older states. Even religion soon took a hold. The eccentric Lorenzo Dow was probably the first Protestant preacher on the Bigbee, but the Congregationalists and Presbyterians had been about Natchez even from British times, and from 1808 Baptists and Methodists had local churches.

The people took an interest in Federal affairs, and held an indignation meeting when the report came that the Leopard had fired into Chesapeake over the right of search. Interest aroused by Burr's descent of the Mississippi River was intensified by his escape to the Tombigbee and capture at McIntosh Bluff by Capt. E. P. Gaines from Fort Stoddert. There was much sympathy for Burr, and so he was soon sent eastward by Indian roads for trial at Richmond. The Bigbee settlers loved their district, but looked eagerly forward to the acquisition of Mobile from the Spaniards. When the Kempers and others established the short-lived state of West Florida, with capital at Baton Rouge, the settlers made, also, an attempt on Mobile. It was ill-managed, however, and the United States sent a detachment from Fort Stoddert to protect the city against the Americans.

When the War of 1812 broke out with England, the use of the Spanish Gulf ports by the English fleet gave the long-wished for excuse, and General Wilkinson, in command of the Southwest, sailed from New Orleans for Mobile. He politely demanded that the Spaniards retire across the Perdido, as Mobile was in American territory. Cayetano Perez was even more polite, but denied the assumption; however, his forces were so inferior to Wilkinson's that the American general was shortly able to report that Mobile had been surrendered "without the effusion of a drop of blood." The river basin was at last a political unit, and its commerce flowed unvexed to the sea.

There remained, however, a greater problem than the Latins, who at least could be absorbed into the body politic, for at Mobile the Bigbee immigrants cordially united with them in building up the port. This was not true of the Indians, who occupied more than half of the territory, in fact practically the whole of the basin of the Alabama and its tributaries. Whether the Indian could become an American citizen was a question to be settled by time. At all events he was there and had to be dealt with. He had given up all the land he could spare from hunting, and, unless civilized, there must come a conflict of interests between him and the whites. The Union had agents among the Indians, and agriculture, cattle and other evidences of progress abounded among the Choctaws and Chickasaws. Col. Benjamin Hawkins oversaw the Creeks from his headquarters near what is now Macon, Ga., but despite his optimism there was a strong undercurrent of opposition among them. This was brought to a head by the visit of Tecumseh, who was aiding the British in the Northwest. Pushmataha managed to keep the Choctaws in line, and the Chickasaws were too far off to be dangerous, but the war party among the Creeks soon acquired the upper hand. An attempt at Burnt Corn failed to prevent them from obtaining munitions from Pensacola, and on Aug. 30, 1813, the Creek, Weatherford, captured and destroyed Fort Mims, where the Alabama joins the Tombigbee. Settlers in Clarke county fled to blockhouses and improvised forts, and terror reigned supreme.

The Federal authorities had their hands full in opposing British armies, and indeed were soon, with the capture of Washington, themselves in flight; but "Remember Fort Mims" became a watchword which roused Georgia and Tennessee as well as the territorial authorities at Natchez. Three armies of militia were soon in the field converging towards the heart of the Creek territory.

All suffered from the short terms of enlistment, and the Georgia troops under Floyd effected little. The Mississippi army was hampered by instructions to restrict itself to the defense of Mobile, but fortunately Claiborne construed this broadly and assumed the offensive. He defeated the Indians at Holy Ground, Econochaca, and built a supply depot and fort upon the commanding Alabama bluff since named for him. The rough but energetic Andrew Jackson, accompanied by Coffee and others, marched by way of Huntsville to the upper Coosa and fought his way southward, possibly on the old route of De Soto. Talladega, Horse Shoe Bend and other victories made him famous, and he was finally able, from Fort Toulouse-rebuilt and rechristened for him-to dictate peace, which settled the Indian question for many years. All land west of the Coosa and of a line running southeastwardly from Fort Jackson was ceded to the United States.

Jackson descended the river to Mobile, and placed Fort Charlotte and Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point in proper condition for defense. Captain Lawrence on the Point had soon to sustain the attack of a British fleet, assisted by Indians on land, but was victorious. The Mobile district seemed reasonably secure, and Jackson transferred his headquarters to New Orleans to oppose the British. After their defeat at that point they returned, captured Fort Bowyer and made Dauphine Island one vast camp; but Fort Charlotte protected Mobile until the Peace of Ghent put an end to hostilities.

Now that the heart of the river basin from the Tennessee Valley to the Florida line was open to white settlement, immigration came by leaps and bounds. The Whitney gin made cotton-raising the money-making industry, and planters took up much of the Black Belt. Town-making became the rage. Not only was Blakely founded across the delta as a rival to Mobile, and even St. Stephens had neighbors, but Wetumpka, Montgomery, Selma and Tuscaloosa were laid out, besides others which were to live only on paper. The steamboat had come on the Mississippi. ,, It was clear that in a short time it must solve the transportation question and make of the river basin an agricultural commonwealth. The old times when the port which looked abroad was the only place of interest had passed. Local centres were developed over the eastern half of Mississippi territory, and the commerce through Mobile vastly increased.

The western half, with Mississippi River as its promoter, had increased even more rapidly, and in 1817 was erected into the state of Mississippi. The counties left outside became the territory of Alabama, whose legislature met at St. Stephens as the first capital ; but in two years the sentiment steadily grew that this new territory also was ripe for statehood.

Thus, then, we have traversed the early history of Alabama, from its exploration by the Spaniards and settlement by the French, through the varying domination of the Briton and Spaniard. The Indians were still there, but they were segregated. The African had come, but he was a laborer. The Latin and Briton had fused into the American. The unity of the Alabama-Tombigbee basin had at last been recognized, and steam was to make of it a reality heretofore undreamed of. Colonial dependence upon a mother country across the sea had come to an end, and even territorial institutions were to merge into those of a self-governing state.

BIBLIOGRAPHY.-I. GENERAL: Brown, W. G.: School History, Alabama; Hamilton, P. J.: Colonial Mobile (1897), Colonization of South (1904, History of N. A. Series); Winsor, Justin: Narrative and Critical History (8 vols., 1887); Transactions Alabama Historical Society.
II. INDIAN: Gatschet: Creek Migration Legend; Hawkins: Sketch of Creek Country; American State Papers, Indian Relations (1832, Vols. I. and IL).
III. SPANISH: Maps, etc., at Seville; American State Papers, Public Lands (Vols. L-VI.); White: New Recopilacion (Vols. I. and II); Translated Records, Mobile Probate Court; Original Records, Mobile Probate Court. Travels-DeSoto: Garcilasso, Gentleman of Elvas (Sp. Explorers, 1907), Biedma and Ran jet in Trail Maker series; Ternaux-Compans, Recueil Floride; Collot: Atlas; Cabeza de Vaca (Spanish Explorers, 1907). Histories-Seaife, W. B.: America, Geographical History (1892); Barcia: Ensayo Cronologico (1723); Lowery, W.: Spanish Settlements in U. S. (1901); Ruidiaz: Florida (1893, 2 vols.).
IV. FRENCH: Documents-Maps in Howard Library (New Orleans); Parochial Records, Mobile; Mss. by Margry at New Orleans; Mss. by Magne at New Orleans; French, B. F.: Historical Collections, Louisiana (Vols. I.-V.), Historical Collections, Louisiana and Florida (Vols. I. and II.); Margry: Decouvertes (Vols. I.-VI.); Cusachs Mss., New Orleans. Travels-Penicaut in 6th French and 5th Margry; La Harpe, B.: Journal Historique (1831); Charlevoix, Histoire de la Nouv. France, etc. (1744); Le Page du Pratz: Histoire de la Louisiane; Dumont: Memoires Historiques (6 French); Bossu: Nouvaux Voyages; Kip's Early Jesuit Missions. Histories-Gayarre: Louisiana (4 vols.); Martin: Louisiana; Fortier: Louisiana (1904, 4 vols.); King's Bienville (1892); Shea, J. G.: Catholic Missions (1854), Catholic Church in Colonial Days.
V. BRITISH: Documents-Haldimand Papers (Ottawa); West Florida Records in Alabama Department of Archives. Travels-Adair's American Indians (1775); Romans' Florida; Jeffrey's French Dominion. Robert's Florida; Bartram's Travels North Carolina (1793). HistoriesCampbell, R. L.: Colonial Florida (1892).
VI. AMERICAN: Documents-Pickett Papers, Alabama Department of Archives; Draper Mss. (Madison, Wis.); Ellicott's Journal; Latour's War in West Florida (1816); Deed Books, Probate Court, Mobile County, Washington County, etc. Histories-Claiborne, J. F. H.: Sam Dale; Meek, A. B.: Romance of Southwest. History (1857); Pickett, A. J.: Alabama, 1851 (1896, reprint); Brewer, W.: Alabama (1872); Ball and Halbert: Creek War (1895); Ball, T. H.: Clarke County (1882).

PETER JOSEPH HAMILTON,
Author of Colonization of the South; Reconstruction, etc.


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