Days Gone By - stories from the past

Simpson Manuscript – Deed from the city of Montgomery and plans for new Capitol building to be built in Montgomery


Excerpt from






Late Recording Secretary to the Governor


Roemer Printing Co., Montgomery, Ala,, Printers


(continued manuscript)

After this  (the ballot vote to move Alabama’s capital) all interest in the removal was centered in Montgomery, the city which had been selected. The news of the selection reached this city by the Selma stage on the evening of January 30, 1846, and the people of Montgomery proceeded to celebrate the event by a grand Jollification. After nearly thirty years the prophecy of Andrew Dexter, the founder of the city, that it would become the Capital of the State was verified. The people went to work in earnest to accomplish all the requirements imposed in the act of removal. The city council issued bonds in the sum of $75,000 to pay for the erection of the necessary Capitol building, and at the suggestion of the late Colonel Charles T. Pollard, the property owners and capitalists of the city came forward and bought up the entire issue. The necessary building committee was appointed, and the plan of the new Capitol was drawn by Stephen D. Button. The contract for the construction of the building was let to B. F. Robinson and R. N. R. Bardwell. The contractors went to work at once and had the building ready for inspection by the commission in time for that body to report to the Secretary of the State, and for that official to examine it in person, to receive the keys and to remove the archives of the State from Tuskaloosa to Montgomery in readiness for the session of the Legislature in December 1847.

Alabama Capitol building in Montgomery original plan by Stephen D. Button (Alabama Department of Archives and History)

In October 1847 Nimrod E. Benson, then Mayor of the city of Montgomery, notified the Secretary of State that the new Capitol building would be ready for inspection by the commission elected by the preceding Legislature. The commissioners were notified and about the 1st of November the Secretary of State repaired to Montgomery to receive the building. The structure was satisfactory to the commission, and the building was formally turned over to the State by Mayor Nimrod E. Benson and Colonel Charles T. Pollard, the Chairman of the Building Committee. The Secretary of State used the great key in locking and unlocking the front door of the building, and after this formality, the result was announced that Montgomery became the seat of government and the fact was reported to the Governor.


The act of removal required that the State be given good title to the land on which the State House building was erected, and one of the formalities of the occasion was the presentation of the deed to the Secretary of State. This deed which is on record in the probate court of Montgomery county is as follows:

City Council of Montgomery


State of Alabama. Deed.

Received for record 5th. Nov. 1847.

H. W. Watson, Clerk.

State of Alabama, Montgomery County. )

Know all men by these presents that the City Council of Montgomery, of the State aforesaid in the consideration of the removal of the seat of government of the State of Alabama to the city of Montgomery, and in fulfillment of the conditions prescribed in the act providing for that removal, approved 21st. January 1846, and upon the further consideration of one dollar paid to the City Council of Montgomery by the said State of Alabama, the receipt of which is now acknowledged, and all claims for which is hereby released, has granted, bargained, sold, enfeoffed and confirmed to the said State of Alabama, that parcel of land lying within the corporate limits of the said city at the head of Market street, bounded east by Union street, and west by Bainbridge street, and measuring on Union and Bainbridge street three hundred feet, and measuring east and west on the lines of said lot four hundred feet, forming an oblong square, being that parcel of land in the city of Montgomery, on which the new State House has been erected and which was set apart for that purpose on the original plan of the City of Montgomery called “New Philadelphia/’ together with all the appurtenances belonging to the said lot of land, to have and to hold, the same to the State of Alabama forever.

And City Council aforesaid for itself and its successors doth covenant with the State of Alabama, that they are seized of an indefeasible title to the fee simple of the said lot of land above described, and its appurtenances. That the said land is free from all incumbrances, and that the said City Council, and its successors, to the State of Alabama, the said parcel of land with its appurtenances, will forever warrant and defend.

In testimony whereof, I, N. E. Benson, Mayor of the city of Montgomery, under and by virtue of a resolution of the said corporation, duly authorizing me to perform the act, doth hereby affix the seal of the corporation to this deed and subscribe the same, this the 26th day of October A. D. One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty-seven.

(City Corporate Seal.) N. E. BENSON,

Mayor of the City of Montgomery.

State of Alabama, Montgomery County. )

Personally appeared N. E. Benson, Mayor of the city of Montgomery, before me, Hugh W. Watson, Clerk of the County Court, and acknowledged that he affixed the seal of the corporation to the within deed, and that as Mayor, signed, sealed and delivered the same to the Secretary of the State of Alabama, for the purposes therein mentioned, and on the day and date therein specified.

Witness my hand and seal of office this 26th. day of October, A. D. 1847.


Clerfc C. C. M. C.

The records in the probate court of Montgomery county further show: At a meeting of the Council of the city of Montgomery, at the Mayor’s office on the 26th. day of October A. D. 1847, there were present, the Mayor, and Aldermen L. B. Pope, Samuel G. Hardaway, E. C. Hannon and E. C. Harris.

On motion of E. G. Hannon, the following resolution was unanimously adopted to-wit:

Resolved, That the Mayor of the city be authorized to sign, seal and deliver, on behalf of this corporation, a deed, consigning to the State of Alabama, a good and indefeasible title to the lot of land upon which the State House has been erected in this city, and to the appurtenances belonging thereto, and to acknowledge the same for record; also to insert in said deed covenants of seizure against incumbrances, and of general warranty binding the corporation.

I, L. B. Hansford, Clerk of the City Council, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the records.

Given under my hand and the seal of the corporation. This the 26th. day of October 1847.

(Corporate Seal.) L. B. HANSFORD, Clerk.

State of Alabama, Montgomery County. )

Before me, Hugh W. Watson, Clerk of the County Court for said county, personally appeared the within named L. B. Hansford, Clerk of the City Council of Montgomery, who acknowledged that he signed, sealed and delivered the within certificate to the Secretary of State of Alabama on the day and year mentioned.

Given under my hand and seal of office this 5th. day of November, 1847.

(Official Seal.) HUGH W. WATSON,

Clerk C. C. M. C.

Recorded in Book X, page 417.

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From the time of the discovery of America restless, resolute, brave, and adventurous men and women crossed oceans and the wilderness in pursuit of their destiny. Many traveled to what would become the State of Alabama. They followed the Native American trails and their entrance into this area eventually pushed out the Native Americans. Over the years, many of their stories have been lost and/or forgotten. This book (four-books-in-one) reveals the stories published in volumes I-IV of the Alabama Footprints series.

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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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