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PATRON + The great city Josiah Blakeley envisioned is now a ghost town in Alabama

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34 comments

  1. Dear Ms. Causey,
    I read with great interest your story on Josiah Blakeley and the Town of Blakeley. I am a native New Englander but my great, great grandfather, Richard J. Doran/Doren on every document I can find on him, (marriage, census, military, death cert.) lists his place of birth as “Blakeley, Alabama” in 1832. He lists his father as Michael Doran, born in Ireland. In my many years of genealogical research, the details of how Michael Doran came to reside in Blakeley and where he went after the town’s demise is my brick wall. Richard, his son doesn’t show up definitively in records until 1853 when he marries in Boston. He lists his occupation as “mariner” so I am inclined to think his father Michael was a mariner as well working on the schooners and brigs sailing in/out of Blakeley and Mobile.

    Interestingly enough, I located some newspaper advertisements running in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia from 1817-1821 with detailed descriptions of the Town of Blakeley offering lots for sale. In addition there are ads in Boston and New York papers for passengers to board some of the ships to sail to Blakeley (taking from 16-36 days), so it is possible Michael Doran was an Irish immigrant who first settled in the northeast and then sailed to Blakeley, started a family.

    In any event, I wanted to share that I think I’ve read everything I can find online about Blakeley but your article was new and informative. It has me back on the path to hopefully break down this brick wall on my ancestors.
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you for sharing! I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  2. […] Bluff, on the Tombigbee. Here it remained until December 16, 1820, when it was transferred to Blakeley. The same act directed the county court of Mobile to sell the court house at McIntosh Bluff, and […]

  3. […] group of students of the Henry George philosophy founded Fairhope that year. The difference between Blakeley and Alabama City can be said this: “Alabama City was born again and in its reincarnation became […]

  4. This is a most interesting article to me because some of my ancestors have owned and lived on a few of the islands in the delta. Thanks for posting.

  5. very interesting. I like it. Thank you

  6. No, this was not the last battle of the War Between the States.
    The Battle of Palmito Ranch is generally reckoned as the final battle of the American Civil War, being the last engagement of any significance, involving casualties. The battle was fought on the banks of the Rio Grande, east of Brownsville, Texas, and a few miles from the seaport of Los Brazos de Santiago, on May 12–13, 1865.
    Also the Army of Tennessee (CSA) did not surrender until April 26, 1865 in North Carolina.

  7. Dear Ms. Causey,

    I also enjoyed this article! I’ve lived in Pensacola for 24 years, but only discovered Blakeley about 3 years ago. Since then I have visited many times, and have become keenly interested in the history of the area. Do you know anything about a research project on Blakeley that was conducted in the 70’s or 80’s? I read about it a year ago in the genealogical library in Mobile, and I’m afraid the details are a little fuzzy, but it seems they were conducting a rather large and detailed study of the history of Blakeley. Thanks again for the article.

  8. […] 1810, Blakeley, (now extinct) small village, laid out in 1814, was the seat of justice. Blakely was incorporated […]

  9. […] from August 19 to November 30, resulted in 274 deaths. In 1822, a severe epidemic occurred in Blakely, Alabama, a port city that rivaled Mobile at the time with around 4,000 residents. It devastated the booming […]

  10. Not the last battle of The War for Southern Independent?

  11. Not the last battle of The War for Southern Independent?

  12. Ive been to Blakeley several times. Its fun to hike and picnic there

  13. My GG Grandfather surrendered here at the age of 15, with the 62nd Ala. Infrantry.

  14. One of my 2nd great grandfathers, Thomas Jefferson Riley(63rd Alabama Regiment), was there and captured. My grandmother told me that he said when they surrendered a Yankee Regiment fired three volleys into the surrendered soldiers and some were shot down close to him. I found out a couple of years ago that it was an Illinois Regiment that did this. He spent time after this at Ship Island POW Camp before being paroled at Meridian, MS.

  15. This is a good article and interesting but contains a BIG bit of misinformation right at the beginning. It states that the War ended with the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. This is wrong. Lee only surrendered the Army of North Virginia. He did not, and could not, surrender the Army of Tennessee, the Army of Trans-Mississippi nor the government of the Confederate States of America. In fact, Lee was the FIRST to surrender. The Army of Trans-Mississippi was the last and, indeed, the government of the Confederate States of America NEVER SURRENDERED. Technically the CSA still exists and is a country occupied by a foreign power. The War did not end with Lee’s surrender. The other Armies fought on and the government was still in power.

  16. I learn so much history from this site. Never knew about Blakeley. Now I’ll have to do some research. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

  17. […] spreading limbs. “The Village,” which is three miles south from the Bridgehead, is termed like Blakeley one of the deadest of all dead towns in Alabama. Historian Hamilton writing of “The Village,” […]

  18. Fascinating and entertaining look back. There is so much interesting history in this area of Alabama. I enjoyed this very much.

  19. It’s more than a ghost town, it’s a no town. The park is awesome, the history is too. Great place to go for a day of contemplation (or trail running, or bird watching, or geocaching, or camping)

  20. The battle was fought where the town was located and it was not the last battle it was one of several battles fought through out the last weeks of the war

  21. When I was in High School, 1962, two friends and I camped out on a weekend in Blakeley before it was a public park. It rained all day on Saturday and we had driven my car way back into the woods on the dirt roads. We almost got stuck on the muddy roads trying to go back home on Sunday. We were lucky to get out of the woods.

  22. […] under the municipal code of 1907 and is the third county seat the county has had since 1809. Blakely was the first, and Daphne the second. Bay Minette was chosen by the legislature, February 5, 1901. […]

  23. This was not the last battle of the Civil War. The battles of Girard, Alabama and Columbus, Georgia were April 16th.

  24. Nobody ask you Philip

  25. It’s good to no my home states history thank u Philip

  26. […] is styled in the law the “Town of Blakeley“. It lies six miles north of Mobile Bay on the east margin of the main ship channel of […]

  27. […] Byrne’s Tavern, Baldwin County; On the hill before going down in the valley to reach Blakeley. A breakfast stop, where good coffee might be […]

  28. Joseph Chastang was my great great grandfather. I love hearing these stories.

  29. […] The great city Josiah Blakeley envisioned, prospered for awhile but is now a ghost town in Alabama […]