Patron Past Stories

PATRON + Scraps VI -A new government was organized for Alabama



By Thomas Smith Malone

This excerpt has been transcribed from The Athens Post, April 11, 1867.

Page 2, Column 3.

Part VI

The first Governor of Alabama Territory was William Wyatt Bibb, then a Senator in the United States from the State of Georgia. He was the son of a Revolutionary Captain, Wm. Bibb. His mother, a Miss Wyatt, of New Kent County, Virginia, was highly distinguished for talents and every estimable virtue. Our first Governor was born in Amelia county, Va., on the 2nd of October, 1781; was a graduate of William and Mary College; as a Physician in Petersburg, Ga., became a politician, and finally, reach the United States Senate at a very early age.

William Wyatt Bibb

Convened at St. Stephens

The first Territorial Legislature was convened at St. Stephens, January 19, 1818. James Titus was sent as Delegate from this county, and claimed to have been elected as Councilman, or Senator, being the only Senator present, is said to have cut quite a ludicrous figure, meeting solitary and alone every day at the appointed hour for the other House to convene, passing on all of their acts, and adjourning himself at the usual hour.

1819 map showing territory of Alabama

The lower house was composed of thirteen members, of which Gabriel Moore was the Speaker. This Territorial assembly, under the able direction of Gov. Bibb, did much for the advancement of the Territory. They laid off five or six new counties; re-arranged the boundaries of the old ones, etc., etc. Madison county hitherto a triangle, was squared into her present limits; Limestone, at the same time, received her present meets and boundaries.

The counties south of the river were laid off with their names and boundaries, save Morgan, which was given the Indian name of Cotaco, after a creek running through it. The President, and only member of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House, were allowed Seven dollars per day, and members five, with mileage added; this was quite liberal for the times.

A committee was appointed to select a suitable place for the permanent seat of Government, In this Committee are found the names of our member; James Titus, and the Madison County member, Clement C. Clay, Sr. This Territorial Legislature, erected the following counties into the “Northern judicial District”; Madison, Limestone, Cotaco, Lawrence, Franklin and Lauderdale, and on the 14th February 1818, Gov. Bibb appointed Henry Minor Attorney General of the District. John W. Walker, of Huntsville was first appointed, but declined the office.

When in the Mississippi Territory a “Stock Bank” had been established in Huntsville. This Assembly changed its name to that of the “Planters and Merchants Bank,” with a State Capital of Three Hundred Thousand dollars. During this spring, (1818), thousands flooded to this section from Virginia, the two Carolinas, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The writer remembers well, one of the Cavalcades that came from Virginia, at this time, there were 87 vehicles (Waggons, Carts) with a large amount of stock, with this living cargo, came the Spanish potatoes, at one time noted in this country. The Assembly appointed one member to each of the counties.

The election for a second meeting of the Territorial Legislature was fixed for the first Monday in May 1818, of that year. The Legislature convened under this new election, in the fall at St. Stephens again. John W. Walker, of Huntsville, was elected Speaker of the House, our Jas. Titus President of the Council or Senate. The committee, appointed for the purpose, selected a point at the junction of the Alabama and Cahawba rivers, for the permanent seat of the Territorial Government, to be called Cahawba; authorized Gov. Bibb as sole commissioner, to have the ground surveyed, the buildings erected, etc.  March 30, 1867. Respectfully, M. S. T.

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Statehood: Lost & Forgotten Stories lost & forgotten stories include:

  • Who Controlled And Organized The New State of Alabama?
  • Tuscaloosa Had Three Other Names
  • Chandelier Falls & Capitol Burns
  • Alabama Throws Parties For General LaFayette
  • Francis Scott Key Was Sent to Alabama To Solve Problems



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