An illustrated guidebook documenting the history and sites of the state’s origins
Alabama’s territorial and early statehood years represent a crucial formative period in its past, a time in which the state both literally and figuratively took shape. The story of the remarkable changes that occurred within Alabama as it transitioned from frontier territory to a vital part of the American union in less than a quarter century is one of the most compelling in the state’s past. This history is rich with stories of charismatic leaders, rugged frontiersmen, a dramatic and pivotal war that shaped the state’s trajectory, raging political intrigue, and pervasive sectional rivalry.
Many of Alabama’s modern cities, counties, and religious, educational, and governmental institutions first took shape within this time period. It also gave way to the creation of sophisticated trade and communication networks, the first large-scale cultivation of cotton, and the advent of the steamboat. Contained within this story of growth and innovation is a parallel story, the dispossession of Native groups of their lands and the forced labor of slaves, which fueled much of Alabama’s early development.
Early Alabama: An Illustrated Guide to the Formative Years, 1798–1826 serves as a traveler’s guidebook with a fast-paced narrative that traces Alabama’s developmental years. Despite the great significance of this era in the state’s overall growth, these years are perhaps the least understood in all of the state’s history and have received relatively scant attention from historians. Mike Bunn has created a detailed guide—appealing to historians and the general public—for touring historic sites and structures including selected homes, churches, businesses, government buildings, battlefields, cemeteries, and museums..
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1. Before Alabama: The Mississippi Territory Chapter 2. Alabama in Flames: The Creek War and War of 1812 Chapter 3. “Alabama Fever”: The Great Migration Chapter 4. Alabama: The Place and the People Chapter 5. The Land Called Alabama: From Territory to State Chapter 6. Alabama: From Old Southwest to Old South Epilogue Historic Sites Tour Notes Bibliography Index
Mike Bunn is director of Historic Blakeley State Park in Baldwin County, Alabama. He is a coauthor of Battle for the Southern Frontier: The Creek War and the War of 1812 and the author of Civil War Eufaula.
“Featuring selected homes, churches, businesses, government buildings, battlefields, cemeteries, and museums, Early Alabama: An Illustrated Guide to the Formative Years, 1798–1826 is an impressively detailed historical guide that is unreservedly recommended as a curriculum textbook, and a uniquely informative addition to community, college, and university library collections.” —Midwest Book Review
“You’ll find no better pathfinder through the historical thickets of Alabama’s past than Mike Bunn. Curious readers and adventurous travelers alike will enjoy this authoritative and lively guide to our state's remarkable origins.” —Gregory A. Waselkov, author of Old Mobile Archaeology and A Conquering Spirit: Fort Mims and the Redstick War of 1813–1814