Days Gone By - stories from the past

Ex-slave Wimbs became the bookkeeper and general clerk in the law office of Alabama governor

Some Interesting Anecdotes about the State of Alabama transcribed from The Cyclopedia of the Colored Baptists of Alabama – Their Leaders and Their Work copyright 1896


Organized in 1867, is perhaps the oldest Colored Association in Alabama.

Bro. Byrd Day, a pioneer in this part of the State, relates the following interesting story: As I could read in the days of slavery, and as the people on the place wanted to know the sayings of God, as they called the Bible, they bought me a Bible and got me to read for them. We slaves were allowed night farms in those days. An acre or so of land was given to each person wanting to work at night. Well, in order that I might study the Bible, the other slaves on the place worked my patch for me. So I studied the book and read it to them.” The writer once spent a month in Eufaula giving Bible instruction to ministers, and was paid by the ” Ministers’ Association.”


Organized in 1870. Revs. Henry Woods, W. H. McAlpine, and Isham Robinson were the chief founders of this body. Talladega county is their main territory, though they have churches in Coosa, St. Clair and Calhoun counties.

Talladega is the “Old Indian battle ground,” and here the white Baptists formed a church in 1835. Sister Cain, a member of the Mount Canaan Church, Talladega, said to the writer: “There was no town here when I came. The Indians lived here and it was all nothing but wild woods.” As she was talking, the Talladega College bell loudly rang out some orders or notice upon the ears of Negro students. I mused: “How the world changes! About the years 1820-1830, negro slavery is established in Talladega county. In 1835 a white church rises up and, unknowingly, begins to prepare to give birth to a Negro church, which will give birth to a Negro Association. In 1865 the slave is free, and in 1870 the white church constitutes the Mt. Canaan Church (colored), out of which comes the Rushing Springs Association. And Negro men and Negro women are carrying diplomas from buildings erected by white Baptists for the education of white people. All this in less than fifty years.


In Talladega county, has a rather peculiar history. The lot was donated in 1849, it appears, by a Mr. William Jenkins, a wealthy slave owner, who lived about eight miles south of the town of Talladega. It is said that In addition to the gift of land and building, he paid a man to teach the catechism to the colored children, and paid annually $150 toward the salary of a minister for the colored people who worshiped with this church. Samuel Jenkins, a slave from South Carolina, was one of their first deacons.

Governor Thomas Seay 1886-1890 (Alabama Department of Archives and History)


This is saying good things for the white Baptists of Greensboro. Deacon Dock Lane, one of the most honorable and consecrated among men, deserves mention as a pillar in this church. Among the leaders of this church appears the name of Mr. A. Wimbs.

Desiring to make honorable mention of this worthy young man, I requested of him something of his history, and he sends me the following:

“I was born in Greensboro, Ala., September 23, 1860. My mother was named Josephine; she was brought from Washington and sold to Mr. A. L. Stollenwerck, of this town. My father was named Addison Wimbs and resided in Washington; he was a slave on account of his mother being a slave, but his father was a free man, and had bought nearly all of his children and sent them to Canada. What education I have, I received at the town school here—Tullibody Academy—under the management of Prof. W. B. Patterson. I have served my church in the capacity of superintendent of the Sabbath School and clerk of the church; was secretary of the Sabbath School Convention of the Uniontown Association; nm a member of the Executive Board of the Convention. I was at one-time editor of a small paper here called the Voice.

“I have been for many years the bookkeeper and general clerk in the law office of Governor Seay. I was, I am quite confident, the first Negro in Alabama, if not in the entire South, to operate on the typewriter, and now I think, I am the first Negro to manage the Edison phonograph for business purposes.”

I know of no ex-slave and ex-slaveholder, between whom there is more confidence on one side and high regard on the other, than exist between Governor Seay and Addison Wimbs. This means for Brother Wimbs quietness of spirit and solid worth, as well as a conservative, genial soul in Governor Seay.

Check out all genealogy and novels by Donna R. Causey


ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Pioneers: A Collection of Lost & Forgotten Stories 

includes the following stories

  • The Yazoo land fraud
  • Daily life as an Alabama pioneer
  • The capture and arrest of Vice-president Aaron Burr
  • The early life of William Barrett Travis, hero of the Alamo
  • Description of Native Americans of early Alabama including the visit by Tecumseh
  • Treaties and building the first roads in Alabama

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ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Pioneers: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 3) (Paperback)

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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One comment

  1. Great narrative! I was pleased to read something on accomplishments of an African American, particularly one who overcame the legacy of slavery. Thank you.

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