2002, Issue 63
Article Abstracts and Supplements
John Grimes: Alabama's First Portrait Artist
By Edward Patillo
Alabama was once the rough frontier of our nation, but to the citizens of early Huntsville, having a portrait painter in town added a touch of civilization to the wilderness. That painter, John Grimes, left behind a body of stunning work that provides an insightful glimpse at the earliest citizens of the state. In the Winter 2002 issue of Alabama Heritage, Edward Patillo follows the life of Grimes, from his early days as a student of painter Matthew Harris Jouett, to his timely arrival in Alabama where he made a name for himself. Huntsville was then ambitious and new, and Grimes painted its leading citizens. In addition to biographical information, stunning photographs of Grimes' work accompany the article, including renderings of his earliest paintings and his later, more developed style. These beautiful portraits show the richness of the artist's talent and offer an enlightening look at the earliest upper class in Alabama.
By Sam Duvall
In the final days of the Civil War, Colonel D. S. Troy, C.S.A., was attempting to reform his lines in a battle near Petersburg, Virginia, when he was shot by a Union private. Troy survived the wound-which he thought was fatal-and told a tale of surprising humanity in times of war. In the Winter 2002 issue of Alabama Heritage, Sam Duvall tells how Colonel Troy was captured and transported to a field hospital, where he received compassionate care from his captors throughout his recovery. In the article, Duvall refers to the journals of the men who participated in the skirmish and paints a vivid description of the scene from both Union and Confederate perspectives. He also relates how the story of Colonel Troy is intertwined with that of George W. Thompkins, the Union private who nearly killed him. Most amazing is the story of how, in 1923, Colonel Troy's son was able to contact Thompkins, telling him that the Colonel had indeed survived the wound Thompkins inflicted-news which reportedly pleased the Union veteran very much.
Old Mobile Archaeology
By Gregory A. Waselkov
The year 2002 marks the three hundredth anniversary of the year Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville sailed up the Mobile River to a spot now known as Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff and established a settlement there named Mobile. In conjunction with the City of Mobile's Tricentennial Celebration, Alabama Heritage looks back at the founding of the city through its archaeology. In the Winter 2002 issue of Alabama Heritage, Gregory A. Waselkov tells the story of the decision to establish a settlement up the Mobile River, and how the colony was later moved further south to Mobile Bay. Left behind at the Old Mobile site are tantalizingly brief clues about early colonial life in Alabama. Waselkov guides an archaeological tour through the remains of Old Mobile, providing a unique-and often unexpected-glimpse at the first Alabama colonists and their possessions. His article explains the process of digging up history and gives the most complete understanding of the state's elusive earliest settlement.
By T.J. Beitelman
In 1890, the work of spreading religion to foreign lands was often perilous and risky at best. But for an unlikely duo of Southern Presbyterian missionaries-one the son of former slaves, the other kin to former slave owners-peril and risk spelled the chance of a lifetime. In the Winter 2002 issue of Alabama Heritage, T. J. Beitelman tells the story of Samuel Lapsley, a white minister, and William Sheppard, a black minister, who were joined together by the Southern Presbyterian Church to spread Christianity through the African continent. Sheppard and Lapsley would soon discover that their differences had the strange quality of fitting together like cogs in a machine. One supplied what the other lacked. Through letters and journals written by the two men, Beitelman follows the missionaries throughout their African mission work, including Lapsley's bout with "bilious fever," which he eventually succumbed to, leaving Sheppard alone. Sheppard continued his work for many years, finally returning home in his old age to be welcomed with a measure of celebrity-and bringing with him a story of faith, friendship, and adventure.
THE NATURE JOURNAL
A liverleaf enjoys early spring
sunshine, Jefferson County, Alabama.
(Photograph by L. J. Davenport)
Liverleaf (And the Doctrine
by L. J. Davenport
CONTRIBUTORS, SOURCES, AND SUGGESTED READING
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