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Three Capitals, Three Capitals, 0817312498, 0-8173-1249-8, 978-0-8173-1249-7, 9780817312497,

Three Capitals
St. Stephens, Huntsville, and Cahawba, 1818-1826
by William H. Brantley Jr

Quality Paper
2002. 312 pp.
Price:  $39.95 s

 "Three Capitals is an in-depth study of Alabama's first three seats of government--St. Stephens, Huntsville, and Cahawba.... The University of Alabama Press has reprinted the book in a handsome new edition with a pertinent introduction by Malcolm C. McMillan. Brantley's study is a tribute to the accomplishments of an amateur historian and contains a wealth of useful information."

--Bulletin of the History of the Early American Republic

 William Henderson Brantley, Jr. was born September 17, 1896 in Pike County, Alabama, and died June 19, 1964 in Birmingham. Brantley, a professional lawyer and amateur historian, had a deep love for the State of Alabama, and a continuing interest in her hiatory. His book Three Capitals: A Book About the First Three Capitals of Alabama, brings this love and interest into focus to a greater extent than any of his other works. Brantley's Three Capitals remains his most popular book and deserves republication after being out of print for some years. It is a meticulous, scholarly, and thorough work.

In 1946 Mr. Brantley was one of the founders of the Alabama Historical Association, and remained one of it continuing counsellors and guides until his death. A Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Alabama, a graduate of Harvard University Law School, and a long-time trustee of Howard (now Samford University), he compiled many personal historical records including a diary, 1948-1956, all of which he donated to Samford University in 1963. These, along with his collection of rare books, manuscripts, and photographs, are available in the Brantley Room at Samford University Law Library.


“Alabama has had five different capitals since becoming a territory in 1818: a territorial one at St. Stephens, and four state capitals, at Huntsville, Cahawba, Tuscaloosa, and Montgomery. Brantley’s volume examines minutely the development of government at the first three of these during the years 1818-1826. Politics in early Alabama was excited by the issue of the location of the seat of government, since that issue served as a focal point for regional rivalries among the Alabama, Tombigbee, and Tennessee river valleys. Brantley’s discussion thus becomes intertwined with other political issues of the time, making his book in fact a detailed political history of the state’s early years.
    “Brantley’s work is history of high quality, and the original 1947 edition is reproduced exactly here with an added introduction by Malcolm C. McMillan. The quality of reproduction, including that of the color maps, is excellent. The volume belongs in all Alabama libraries and in research collections on Southern history.”
Reprint Bulletin

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