Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama

The Alabama Department of Archives and History – The First Publicly Funded State Archieve Agency

The Alabama State Archives building.

Thomas McAdory Owen, a Alabama lawyer, proposed a bill to the Alabama state legislature that would establish a public archives agency.

Photography of Thomas McDory Owen.

In 1901, the Alabama Department of Archives and History was founded and became the first publicly funded state archives agency in the United States.

Dexter Parsonage Museum, Martin Luther King, Junior, Montgomery, Alabama

The Bombing Of Martin Luther King, Junior’s Family Home In Montgomery, Alabama

On 9:15PM on January 30th, 1956, Martin Luther King, Junior’s family home on 309 South Jackson Street in Montgomery, Alabama was bombed by a white supremacist. Days before the bombing, Martin Lither King, Junior, got a call demanding that he and his family leave Montgomery, Alabama. Since King and his gmail refused to leave, the white supremacist bombed the house,m. Fortunately, no one was injured by the bombing.

After the bombing, the King family had floodlights installed after the home that they lived in from 1954 to 1960.

Presently, the house serves as the Dexter Parsonage Museum, which goes over the history of the twelve pastors who lived at the home from 1920 to 1992.

Martin Luther King, Junior, Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks

Civil Rights Activist Rosa Louise McCauley Parks

On February 13, 1913, Rosa Louise McCauley was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her parents James and Leona McCauley both we’re former slaves were adamant advocates for civil rights. In 1932, Rosa Louise McCauley married NAACP member Raymond Parks, and changed her name to Rosa Louise McCauley Parks.

Photograph of Raymond Parks.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, on her way home from work, refused to give up her bus seat and was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama. The arrest of Rosa Parks launched Martin Luther King, Junior’s Montgomery Bus Boycott.

In 1956, after the boycott ended, Rosa Parks took a bus ride for her first time since she was arrested in an unsegregated bus.

In 2015, 60 years after Rosa Parks was arrested, a historical marker commemorating the civil rights icon and the Montgomery Bus Boycott was established in Montgomery, Alabama.

Congressional Reconstruction, Montgomery, Alabama

1867 to 1874 – The Period Of Reconstruction In Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama, and the rest of the state, during the era of Congressional Reconstruction, saw the introduction African American politicians and some freedoms for African Americans.

This 1872 lithograph by Currier and Ives depicts African Americans legislators who were elected to the 41st and 42nd Congress during Reconstruction. Representative Benjamin Turner of Alabama is pictured seated second from the left.

However, the Black Codes cut down on the newfound freedoms of former slaves. In addition, cotton crop failures due to dropping cotton prices, indentured servitude due to lack of work, government subsidies for railroads that could not afford to expand without government assistance, and starvation for many farmers, and other individuals, who did have sufficient work nor government assistance were issues at the time.

This C-Span documentary discusses the Civil War and the era of Reconstruction in Alabama.

Alabama, Battle of Selma, General James Harrison Wilson, Montgomery, Alabama, Wilson’s Raiders

April 12, 1865 – Wilson’s Raiders Raise The US Flag Over The Former Confederate Capital

Wilson’s Raiders at the Battle of Selma.

On May 29, 1861, the capital of the Confederacy was moved form the state capital of Alabama to the state capital of Virginia, in order be to be closer to the primary areas of conflict along the Mason Dixon line. As a result of the move, the city of Montgomery remained virtually untouched by conflict during the war. It was not until after the Battle of Selma, April 12, 1865, which was four years and a day after the Confederate Secretary of War sent a telegraph requesting Fort Sumter to vacate the confederate owned fort and three days after General Robert Edward Lee’s surrender at Appatomattox, that the Union army first arrived at the city of Montgomery. Major General James Harrison Wilson and his Wilson’s Raiders captured the city of Montgomery for the Union and moved on eastward to Columbus, Georgia on April 14, 1865, the day John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

Sketch of General James Harrison Wilson.

In present day, a historical marker indicates where the Wilson’s Raiders raised the United States flag over Montgomery, Alabama.

Fort Sumter, LeRoy Pope Walker, Montgomery, Alabama

April 11, 1861 – Telegraph From The Confederate Secretary Of War Was Sent From Montgomery, Alabama To Fort Sumter, South Carolina

LeRoy Pope Walker, the Confederate Secretary of War, sent a telegraph to military command of Fort Sumter from the second floor of the Winter Building.

In the telegraph, LeRoy Pope Walker demanded that federal troops abandon the base since it was under the jurisdiction of the the Confederate States of America. The original text of the telegraph reads as follows:

Montgomery, April 11, 1861

General Beauregard, Charleston:

Do not desire needlessly to bombard Fort Sumter. If Major Anderson will state the time at which, as indicated by him, he will evacuate, and agree that in the meantime he will not use his guns against us unless ours should be employed against Fort Sumter, you are thus authorized to avoid the effusion of blood. If this or its equivalent be refused, reduce the fort as your judgment decides to be most practicable.

L. P. Walker

Sec. of War. C.S.A.

In present day, there is a historical marker on Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, Alabama, marking the site of where this telegraph was sent.

Author’s Note:

The Smithsonian Institute has the original telegraph with the Union response to Washington, D.C., indicating their surrender of Fort Sumter to the Confederates.

Battle of Quebec, General Richard Montgomery, Montgomery, Alabama

The Battle of Quebec – The American Attempt To Invade Canada

Painting of the Battle of Quebec.

From December 8th to 31st, 1775, American forces, led by General Richard Montgomery, faught the British in the Battle of Quebec.

Sketch of the American General Richard Montgomery.

On December 31, 1775, General Richard Montgomery was killed during the end of the battle, and the Americans failed to capture Quebec, Canada, forcing a retreat. After this failure, the Americans did not attempt to invade Canada for the rest of the Revolutionary War.

Painting of the death of General Richard Montgomery.

Author’s Note:

The city of Montgomery, Alabama, and several other American cities, as well as Montgomery County, Maryland. as well as several other American counties, are named after General Richard Montgomery.

Montgomery, Alabama, Quebec, Canada

Montgomery, Alabama – Named After Revolutionary War General Richard Montgomery

In 1819, the town of Montgomery, Alabama, was established. Montgomery was named for General Richard Montgomery, who died in the American Revolutionary War Battle of Quebec, which was an American attempt to capture the colonial town of Quebec, Canada from the British.

Sketch of Revolutionary War General Richard Montgomery.

Montgomery gained status as a city in 1837 and was named the state’s capital in 1846.