Continued TOWNS IN THE ALABAMA TERRITORY
(The following story is the 4th section of a news article written in 1817 which describes some early towns of Alabama. It was published in 1817 when Alabama was still a Territory and first printed in the New York Herald, then copied in the Alabama Republican, and finally published in the Huntsville newspaper. This story describes the towns of Jackson, a city in Clarke County, Cahaba in Dallas County and Fort Jackson in Elmore County, Alabama. The article has been transcribed from The Alabama Historical Quarterly, Vol 03, No. 01, Spring Issue 1941 – See all parts of the article at: Towns in the Alabama Territory)
The Town of Jackson lies on the east side of Tombigbee, ten miles below St. Stephens, near what is called Bassetts creek. It is regularly lain out and incorporated; has 8 or ten stores, and is a handsome place and well watered.
Map shows the town of Jackson and Bassett’s on middle left (Alabama Department of Archives and History)
Raphael Semmes Bridge over the Tombigbee River in Jackson, Alabama, 1908 (Alabama Department of Archives and History)
Bigbee Bridge in Jackson, Alabama with Steamship Mary S Blees passing through postcard marked 1908 (Alabama Department of Archives and History)
At the falls of the Cahaba river, which runs into Alabama, nearly one hundred miles north of Fort Claiborne from the north west, and is a fellow to the Black Warrior, a town of some importance will probably be established when the lands are sold. Boats ascend to this place with facility, except in dry times. Considerable settlement are making on this river.
At the mouth of this river, or in its vicinity, an important town will undoubtedly soon be located. The lands are now selling at Milledgeville in Georgia; and the most extensive body of good land lies east of Alabama, and above this place of any part of the Creek cession.
It has been thought by many that a large town would be forthwith springing up at Fort Jackson, in the fork of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers; but as the Indian boundry is within ten miles of that place, in my opinion it will not be the case till the United States acquire the lands up those rivers.
Fort Jackson is five hundred miles from Mobile by the meanders of the river, and good barge navigation extends to that place at all seasons.
It is impossible to foresee where very flourishing inland town is to be permanent in a new country; so much depends on the effect of capital and leading roads, where head of navigation does not settle the question. Great speculations are constantly agitating the minds of the adventurers with regard to the location of towns and every discerning prudent man will calculate for himself on this subject.
Additional information about Jackson, Clarke County, Alabama: “The history of the town traces back to the old French and Spanish times. The earliest settlers were two of the original five commissioners of the board that made the Pine Level land purchase; David White of South Carolina and David Taylor of Georgia. Records show that White came in 1809 and Taylor in 1812. Settlements were made all along the Tombigbee River, one of them being Republicville, later called Pine Level and in July 1816 was incorporated as Jackson. The Town of Jackson was named in honor of General Andrew Jackson. . . The Pine Level Land Company sold lots to start the town and the original plat of the town shows that they planned for a big city.” (cityofjacksonal.com)
ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Confrontation: Lost & Forgotten Stories is a collection of lost and forgotten stories that reveals why and how the confrontation between the Native American population and settlers developed into the Creek-Indian War as well as stories of the bravery and heroism of participants from both sides.
Some stores include:
- Tecumseh Causes Earthquake
- Terrified Settlers Abandon Farms
- Survivor Stories From Fort Mims Massacre
- Hillabee Massacre
- Threat of Starvation Men Turn To Mutiny
- Red Eagle After The War
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