Fanning's Illustrated Gazetteer of the United States.... (New York: Phelps, Fanning & Co., 1853), 20.
ALABAMA, one of the United States, lies between 30° 17, and 35° N. latitude, and 84° 58' end 88° 26* longitude w. from Greenwich ; and is bounded n. by Tennessee, E. by Georgia, s. by Florida and the Mexican gulf, and w. by Mississippi. Its superficial area is 50,722 square miles.
Physical Aspect. — The face of Alabama is somewhat varied. Near the gulf of Mexico the country in low and level, embracing numerous swamps and savannas. A large portion ot the upland, toward the centre, consists ofpine-barrens, thinly wooded, or covered with coarse grass. The soil here is generally sandy and thin. The central part of the state consist of a table-land, with a deep, rich, productive soil. Toward the north, the surface becomes mountainous and hilly, beyond which lies the valley of the Tennessee, where the soil is highly fertile.
Mountains. — The Cumberland or Appalachian range extends into this state from the northeast, and is believed to abound in mineral wealth.
Rivers and Bays. — The principal rivers are, the Alabama, Tombigbee, Black Warrior, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Tenneesee, Chattahoochee, Perdido, Cohawba, and the Mobile. The chief bays are, Mobile, and Bon Secour, which are situated in the southwest part of the state.
Islands. — At the mouth of Mobile bay is а chain of low islands, the three principal of which are, Dauphine, Hurricane, and Horn
Climate.— The climate of the uplands is generally salubrious, with mild winters, and pleasant summers; but in the southern parts, and along the borders of the streams, it is unhealthy. The extremes of the seasons greatly vary. Those portions of the state lying along the gulf may be regarded as sub-tropical, while those situated in the more elevated and northerly parts, are more or les subject to excessive frosts, and abiding snows. Although the navigation of the rivers is sometimes impeded by ice, it is more frequently the case that it is suspended by excessive droughts.
Productive Resources.— No part of this state will admit of the profitable cultivation of the Sugar-cane, unless we except a narrow strip along its extreme border on the southwest The staple products are cotton, rice, tobacco, wheat, oats, potatoes, and Indian corn. Indigo was formerly ranked among the staple crops, but its cultivation has long since ceased. The farms under cultivation, in 1850, were 41,964. Mines of gold, silver, and iron, are successfully worked in the county of Randolph. Gold also occurs in Tallapoosa, Coosa, Talladega, and Chambers. Silver is found in Tallapoosa ; iron in Benton, Clarke, and Talladega ; nitre in Blount; and lead in the bed of the Тоennessee, on Muscle shoal. Coal abounds in Tuscaloosa, and on the Cuhawba, and Black Warrior; marble, granite, limestone, &c., in Clarke, which also produces salt.
Manufactures. — There are upward of 1.000 manufacturing establishments in this state, producing $500 and more each annually. There are several cotton factories established, though they produce only the more common fabrics required for domestic use. Tanneries, flouring, and saw mills, are numerous ; and the products of individual industry in the mechanic arts are considerable.
Railroads and Canals. — There are as yet but about 150 miles of railroad completed in Alabama. But new lines are projected, and some of them will be carried through at an early day. The principal canals are, the Muscle Shoal canal, thirty six miles long, and the Huntsville canal, sixteen miles.
Commerce.— The foreign trade of Alabama (mostly exports of domestic produce) amounts to about $12,000,000 annually. The shipping engaged in the foreign trade is about 100,000 tons, and about as much more in the coasting- trade, principally with the northern Atlantic ports.
Education.— OF the educational institutions in Alabama, the university at Tuscaloosa, founded in 1828, is the principal; besides this are, La Grange college, founded in 1831; Spring-Hill college, founded in 1830; and Howard college, at Marion, founded in 1841. A law-school is attached to the university, and theological seminaries to Spring-Hill and Howard colleges. There are in the state about 200 academies and grammar- schools, and about 1,000 primary and common schools.
Population.— In 1800, estimated at 2,000; in 1810, at 20,845; in 1820, it was 127,901; in 1830, 309,527; in 1840, 590,756; in 1850, 771,672. Number of slaves in 1820, 41,879; in 1830, 117,549; in 1840, 253,532; in 1850, 342,892.
Government. — The legislative power is vested in two branches, a senate, and house of representatives. The house of representatives consists of 100 members, elected for two years; the senate consists of 33 members, elected for four years, one half retiring every two-years. The executive power is vested in a governor, who is elected by the people for two years ; and is eligible four years out of six. State election first Monday in August. The legislature meets biennially at Montgomery. The judicial power is vested in a supreme court, of three justices; in a court of chancery, of three chancellors, tlhe state being divided into three chancery districts; in circuit courts, each held by one judge, the state being divided into eight circuita, and such inferior courts as the legislature тmay establish. The judges of the supreme and circuit courts, and the chancellors, are elected by a joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly, for six years. The right of sufffrage is possessed by every white male citizen, of twenty-one years of age, who has resided within the state one year preceding an election, and the last three months within the district in which he offers his vote. History. — The territory of Alabama was formerly held by France, as a part of Louisiana, its first permanent settlement by Europeans having been established by D'Irberville, in 1703; on Mobile bay. Subsequently, four degrees of latitude, of its most northerly part, fell into the possession of the English, and was embraced within the grant to the Georgia colony, in 1732. After the treaty of Paris, in 1763, when Florida was ceded to Great Britain, and the French restricted to the western side of the Mississippi, the southern part of the present state of Alabama was attached to the western division of Florida, the northern division being claimed by Georgia, as a part of the original grant, which embraced the region between the river Savannah and Altamaha, extending from their head waters westward to the "South sea." In 1781, Governor Galvez, of Louisiana, invaded and conquered West Florida, which, together with a part of East Florida, then held by the British, once more fell into the hands of Spain, in 1783, who held it until 1798, at which time, all that portion of Georgia south of the Altamaha was ceded to the United States. By act of Congress, subsequent to the adjustment of the boundary between Louisiana and Florida, and our then newly-acquired territory, north of the thirty-first degree of latitude, provision was made for a territorial Government, in what is now comprised Missippippi and Alabama, called the " Mississippi Territory." ln 1802, cession was made, by Georgia, to the United States, of all her territory on the west, between the Chattohoochee and Mississippi rivers, as far up the former as near the thirty-third parallel of latitude, and then to latitude thirty-five degrees by the existing line between Georgia and Alabama. In this condition the Mississippi territory remained until 1817, when it waa organized by act of Congress into two states, Mississippi and Alabama. In 1819, the inhabitants of the latter formed its constitution, and in 1820 it was admitted into the Union as an independent state.