Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
ALABAMA, a state of the American union, formed mainly from territory ceded to the United States by Georgia, the strip of land on the northern border having been ceded by South Carolina, and the southwestern corner by Spain, (see
—The original constitution, closely following that of Mississippi, formed a free and independent state, with its capital at Catawba (changed in 1826 to Tuscaloosa, and in 1846-7 to Montgomery, its present location); the governor was to hold office for two years; and the legislature was forbidden to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without consent of the owners, to prohibit immigrants from bringing slaves with them, or to deprive slaves of trial by jury for offenses above the grade of petit larceny; but power was given to prohibit the importation of slaves as merchandise.
—Prior to the rebellion the political history of the state was uneventful. Its electoral vote was always cast for the democratic candidates, and all its governors were democrats. During the years 1838-46 a whig opposition was formed, and in 1856 the american, or know nothing, party nominated candidates for state offices. In all other state elections the struggle was rather personal than political, the opposing candidates being of the same party. The state government took part with Georgia against the federal government in the Cherokee case until the removal of the Indians beyond the Mississippi in 1836-7. The only other local political feeling was caused by an unsuccessful effort, 1838-45, to repudiate the debt assumed by the state through its guarantee of various state banks.
—Feb. 24, 1860, the legislature by resolution instructed the governor to call a state convention "in the event of the election of a black republican to the presidency." The convention met Jan. 7, 1861, at Montgomery, and, Jan. 11, passed the following ordinance of secession: "1. That the state of Alabama now withdraws, and is hereby withdrawn, from the union known as 'The United States of America,' and henceforth ceases to be one of said United States, and is, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and independent state. 2. That all the powers over the territory of said state, and of the people thereof, heretofore delegated to the government of the United States of America, be and they are hereby withdrawn from said government, and are hereby resumed and vested in the people of Alabama."
—Feb. 4, the provisional congress of the confederate states met in Montgomery, Alabama being represented and so remaining until the close of the rebellion.
—The ordinance of secession was bitterly opposed in northern Alabama, and its passage was at once followed by arrangements, as in West Virginia, for the formation of a new state with its capital at Huntsville. The name was to have been The state of Nickajack, from a former Indian town: but an irruption of confederate troops soon stamped out the inchoate state.
—At the close of the rebellion, Lewis E. Parsons, the provisional governor, (see
—GOVERNORS: Wm. W. Bibb (term 1819-21, died in July, 1820), Israel Pickens (1821-25), John Murphy 1825-9), Gabriel Moore (1829-31), John Gayle (1831-3), Clement C. Clay (1835-7), Arthur P. Bagby (1837-41), Benj Fitzpatrick (1841-5), Joshua L. Martin (1845-7), Reuben Chapman (1847-9), Henry W. Collier (1849-53), Andrew B Moore (1857-61). John G Shorter (1861-3), Thos H. Watts (1863-5), Lewis E. Parsons (provisional), Robt. M. Patton (1865-7), Wager Swayne (military governor under Maj. Gen. Pope, March, 1867—July, 1868), W. H. Smith (July, 1868—November, 1870), R. B. Lindsay (1870-2), D. V Lewis (1872-4), Geo. S. Houston (1874-8), R W Cobb (1878-82)—(See
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