July 10, 1820
July 5, 1819
July 7, 1915
July 10, 1862
July 10, 1864
This Week in Alabama History
July 5 - July 11
Alabama’s first governor, William Wyatt Bibb, dies as a result of injuries received in a riding accident. As specified in the 1819 constitution the president of the state senate automatically became the new governor. The new governor was Bibb’s younger brother, Thomas Bibb, who had represented Limestone County at the Constitutional Convention and in the state senate. Thomas did not stand for re-election, but later served again in the legislature and as director of the Huntsville Branch of the Bank of Alabama.
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Other Events this Week
Alabama's first constitutional convention is convened in Huntsville. Less than a month later the forty-four delegates, representing twenty-two counties, adopted what would become known as the Constitution of 1819, the first of six Alabama constitutions.
Author Margaret Walker is born in Birmingham. Walker is best known for her collections of poetry and her novel, Jubilee, which is based on her maternal grandmother's memories of slavery. Walker taught for many years at Jackson State University in Mississippi and she died in 1998.
Forty men from the hill country of northwest Alabama sneak into Decatur to join the Union army, prompting Gen. Abel Streight to mount an expedition to the south to recruit more volunteers. With the help of an impassioned speech from fervent UnionistChristopher Sheats of Winston County, a center of anti-secessionist sentiment, Streight added another 150 Alabamians to his force.
Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau of the Union army begins his raid through Alabama at Decatur. Under orders from Gen. William T. Sherman, Rousseau's 2,200 cavalrymen raided south more than 300 miles to the West Point and Montgomery Railroad in east Alabama. By July 20 they had destroyed more than thirty miles of track between Chehaw Station and Opelika, thereby aiding Sherman's march on Atlanta by cutting a vital supply line to the city.