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Alabama Timeline


Georgia formally cedes western claims for its southern boundary at the 31st parallel.

1803 .. 1811

Federal Road conceived and built connecting Milledgeville, Georgia to Fort Stoddert, American outpost north of Mobile.

1805 .. 1806

Indian cessions opened up to white settlement large portions of western (Choctaw) and northern (Chickasaw and Cherokee) Alabama.


West Florida, from Pearl River to the Mississippi, annexed by U.S. from Spain.

1811 .. 1812

Schools established in Mobile (Washington Academy 1811) and Huntsville (Green Academy 1812).

1811 .. 1816

Newspapers established in Mobile to the south (Sentinel May 11, 1811; Gazette 1812) and Huntsville to the north (Alabama Republican 1816).

1813 .. 1814

Creek Indian War
July 27, 1813 — Battle of Burnt Corn Creek
August 30, 1813 — Fort Mims Massacre
December 1813 — Battle of Holy Ground
March 1814 — Battle of Horseshoe Bend


U.S. annexed West Florida, from the Pearl River to the Perdido River, from Spain; Spanish surrender Mobile to American forces.

August 9,1814

The Treaty of Fort Jackson is finalized after warring Creeks, under the leadership of William Weatherford, aka Red Eagle, surrender to Gen. Andrew Jackson and cede their lands to the federal government. This event opened up half of the present state of Alabama to white settlement.


British attack on Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point fails, prompting them to abandon plans to capture Mobile and turn towards New Orleans.


British forces take Fort Bowyer on return from defeat at New Orleans, then abandon upon learning that the war is over.


March 3: The Alabama Territory is created when Congress passes the enabling act allowing the division of the Mississippi Territory and the admission of Mississippi into the union as a state. Alabama would remain a territory for over two years before becoming the 22nd state in December 1819.


January 19: The first legislature of the Alabama Territory convenes at the Douglass Hotel in the territorial capital of St. Stephens. Attendance is sparse with twelve members of the House, representing seven counties, and only one member of the Senate conducting the business of the new territory.

The Alabama, the area's first steamboat, constructed in St. Stephens.

Cedar Creek Furnace, the state's first blast furnace and commerical pig-iron producer, established in (now) Franklin County.

November 21: Cahaba, located at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba Rivers, is designated by the territorial legislature as Alabama’s state capital. Huntsville would serve for a short time as the temporary capital. The selection of Cahaba was a victory for the Coosa/Alabama River contingent, which won-out over a Tennessee/Tombigbee Rivers alliance group that wanted to place the capital at Tuscaloosa. The power struggle would continue between the two sections of the state; in 1826 the capital was moved to Tuscaloosa, but in 1847 it was moved to the Alabama River at Montgomery.


March 2, 1819: President Monroe signs the Alabama enabling act.

July 1819: Constitutional Convention meets in Huntsville. Constitution adopted with Cahaba selected as temporary seat of government for the new State.

September 20-21, 1819: The first general election for governor, members of the U.S. Congress, legislators, court clerks, and sheriffs is held as specified by the Constitution of 1819. Held on the third Monday and following Tuesday of September, the voters elected William Wyatt Bibb as the state’s first governor.

October 25 through December 17, 1819: General Assembly meets in Huntsville until the Cahaba Capitol is constructed.

December 14, 1819: Alabama enters Union as 22nd state.


December - The Legislature charters Athens Female Academy, which later becomes Athens State University.


French general and American Revolution-hero, the Marquis de Lafayette, toured Alabama at Governor Israel Pickens' invitation.


State Capitol moved to Tuscaloosa.


Tuscumbia Railway Company chartered by General Assembly; first two miles of track link Tuscumbia and Sheffield (1832).

State's population=309,527.
1830 Federal Census:
White population=190,406
African-American population=119,121
Slave population=117,549
Free black population=1,572
Urban population=3,194
Rural population=306,333.

LaGrange College chartered by the Legislature January 19, 1830; eventually becomes the University of North Alabama


April 13: The University of Alabama formally opens its doors. Fifty-two students were accepted that first day. By the end of the session, the student body had swelled to nearly one hundred. The faculty was made up of four men including the Reverend Alva Woods who had been inaugurated president of the University on April 12, 1831.


Bell Factory (Madison County), state's first textile mill, chartered by General Assembly.

Alabama’s first railroad, the Tuscumbia Railway, opens, running the two miles from Tuscumbia Landing at the Tennessee River to Tuscumbia. The railway was the first phase of a planned railroad to Decatur, forty-three miles to the east. That railroad was needed in order for river traffic to avoid the dangerous and often unnavigable Muscle Shoals of the Tennessee River.


In a spectacle seen across the Southeast, a fantastic meteor shower causes this night to be known as “the night stars fell on Alabama.” The shower created great excitement across the state and for years was used to date events and became part of Alabama folklore. It also became the title of a famous book and song in the 1930s. Jimmy Buffet sang "Stars Fell on Alabama" at the January 1999 inauguration of Governor Don Siegelman.

Daniel Pratt established cotton gin factory north of Montgomery; his company town, Prattville (founded 1839), became a manufacturing center in the antebellum South.

1835 - 1836

Alabama gold rush, concentrated in east-central hill country.

Dr. James Marion Sims, "the Father of Modern Gynecology," established a medical practice in Mt. Meigs, then in nearby Montgomery (1840), before moving on to New York in 1853 to found the renowned Woman's Hospital.

1836 - 1837

Second Creek War (Seminole War).

Battle of Hobdy's Bridge last Indian battle in Alabama (1837).


State population=590,756.

1840 Federal Census:
White population=335,185
African-American population=255,571
Slave population=253,532
Free black population=2,039
Urban population=12,672
Rural population=578,084.


January 28: Montgomery is selected as capital of Alabama by the State Legislature on the 16th ballot. Montgomery won the final vote largely because of promises of Montgomery city leaders to provide $75,000 for a new capitol and the rise of the prominence of the Black Belt region of the state.


State population=771,623.

1850 Federal Census:
White population=426,514
African-American population=345,109
Slave population=342,844
Free black population=2,265
Urban population=35,179
Rural population=736,444
Cotton production in bales=564,429
Corn production in bushels=28,754,048
Number of manufacturing establishments=1,026.


Alabama Insane Hospital established at Tuscaloosa (renamed Alabama Bryce Insane Hospital upon death of its first director, Peter Bryce, 1892).


Alabama Public School Act creates first state-wide education system by establishing an office of State Superintendent of Education.


Alabama Coal Mining Company begins first systematic underground mining in the state near Montevallo.

East Alabama Male College established at Auburn by Methodists; evolved into Auburn University.


State School for Deaf, Dumb, and Blind established at Talledega.

State population=964,201.

1860 Federal Census:
White population=526,271
African-American population=437,770
Slave population=435,080
Free black population=2,690
Urban population=48,901
Rural population=915,300
Cotton production in bales=989,955
Corn production in bushels=33,226,282
Number of manufacturing establishments=1,459.

This Page was Created October 2007 | Last Modified Saturday, 29-Nov-2014 21:20:18 EST