Walter Lynwood Fleming

Educator, Historian

Author and teacher of history. His presentations of the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction days are acclaimed as scholarly interpretations of those periods.

Walter Lynwood Fleming, born during the last days of Reconstruction, interpreted that period of Alabama history in volumes that rank today as primary references. His brilliance as a teacher inspired countless students to follow his example, thus perpetuating his meticulous research methods and charming writing style.

A native of Pike County, Fleming was completing his education at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) and Columbia University at the turn of the century. He believed that most histories of the previous 50 years in the South were superficial and filled with bias. Fleming set out to make his writings and the volumes he edited factual and warm, yet without prejudice. His doctoral dissertation, "Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama," was the first complete account written of the period. It and his other works, including "Reconstruction of the Seceded States," and "The Sequel of Appomattox," have been relied upon heavily by historians, with confidence in the authenticity of Fleming's works. His research, as original and detailed as he was indefatigable, made him a pioneer in Southern history. His writing, clear in meaning, beautiful in form, made his research sparkle with life.

As a teacher at five universities he gave students valuable direction in the study of history. His later years as a college dean allowed the display of a keen administrative ability as well. While West Virginia, Louisiana State and Vanderbilt Universities claimed the most productive years in his life, Fleming's early years and education in Alabama and his lifelong interest in its history and development bound him to his native state.

Elected 1957

Alabama Hall of Fame, 1968

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Revised: 3/18/96