Digital History (broadly defined) has established itself as an important way of delivering exceptional and heretofore hidden information about Alabama’s past. The Internet and social media tools make it possible for many individuals and entities to gain attention and authority for their contributions to increased understanding about the history of Alabama.
Inspired by Alabama’s bicentennial celebrations, and produced by NewSouth Books in partnership with Alabama Heritage magazine and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, Alabama from Territory to Statehood compiles the work of experts on the history of the state’s formative years. Very little has been written on this period since the mid-20th century, making this volume a welcome addition to the Alabama history canon. Lavishly illustrated articles illuminate the Alabama story. Experts describe the state’s prehistory and colonial settlement. They describe border disputes and land surveys, squatting, prospecting, and the land rush remembered as “Alabama Fever.” They tell of the early settlements and growing towns, the architecture, food, the cultures of a place in flux. They sketch the experience of Creeks on the verge of removal and enslaved persons adjusting to arrival. They analyze the demise of a fragile economy and the legal and political creation of a new state.
Fall 2019 Issue of Alabama Heritage Celebrates Alabama’s Bicentennial with Special Statehood Edition
The Fall 2019 issue of Alabama Heritage magazine is a special collector’s edition that commemorates Alabama becoming a state 200 years ago. This expanded issue is twice the length of a regular issue with articles by state historians and award-winning authors. The Fall issue is a companion piece to the Summer 2017 issue that highlighted Alabama becoming a territory, both of which were published in conjunction with the Alabama 200 three-year-long celebration.
The Summer 2019 issue of Alabama Heritage magazine details Joseph Volker, first present of UAB, who helped turn a small Birmingham medical center into the medical school and university campus that became the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Volker is best remembered as a man who wanted to improve the lives of the people around him and in the Birmingham community that became his adopted home. As he would say in a quote that has become a mantra for UAB’s current 50th anniversary celebration, “We would do Birmingham a great disservice if we dreamed too little dreams.”
The Alabama Genealogical Society, along with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and six state humanities partners, is offering a unique workshop focused on family and local history for anyone interested in history or genealogy. The event will be held August 9-10, 2019, at the Alabama Department of Archives and History, 624 Washington Ave., Montgomery. The workshop is designed to strengthen skills in family and local history research and to bolster the organizations who support this research. Attendees are encouraged to come to one day or both, depending on level of interests.
The Spring 2019 issue of Alabama Heritage magazine features author Emily McMackin’s detailed look at the Kate Duncan Smith Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) School in Marshall County. What started as a viral post about the school’s founding on the Alabama Heritage Facebook page, the magazine’s editors knew the school and its history were worthy of a cover story. Built on land donated by the community, with local families helping construct the original building, the DAR school construction began in October 1923. Funds were raised by the Alabama Daughters and local community groups to furnish the classrooms. The school continues to elevate the community around it with more than half of the teachers and staff as alumni.
Alabama Heritage was a proud co-host of the seventy-second annual meeting of the Alabama Historical Association in Tuscaloosa. The event, held April 25-27, 2019, brought together historians from across the state for three days of sessions and tours. Musician and storyteller Bobby Horton entertained the attendees during the annual awards banquet.
Congratulations to Associate Editor Susan Reynolds, as ALABAMA WOMEN: THEIR LIVES AND TIMES won the 2018 James F. Sulzby Award from the Alabama Historical Association! Susan wrote the section on Augusta Evans Wilson in this contributed volume edited by Lisa Lindquist Dorr and Susan Youngblood Ashmore.
When Gordon G. Martin, senior vice president of Alabama Power Company, accepted the reins as president of the Friends of Alabama Heritage Board of Directors, he asked outgoing president, Dr. Cathy Randall, “Where’s the gavel?” What was a funny dialog between board members turned into the creation of a welcomed and treasured gift.
After the 2018 Friends of Alabama Heritage Board Meeting, the board took a quick tour of the Bryce facilities with Tim Leopard, associate vice president for Construction Administration at the University of Alabama. Tim presented each attendee a small slab of wood from a ca. 1850s beam that was removed during the Bryce renovations. Martin realized this historic beam would make the perfect gavel, and he worked with David Traylor, owner of Birmingham’s City Hardwood, to create the piece.
The gavel was presented by Martin to the Friends of Alabama Heritage Board at its February 2019 meeting for its inaugural use.
Alabama Heritage welcomes Tonta Mauter to its team as its new business manager. Mauter replaces Sara Martin who recently retired after 25 years with the University of Alabama, the magazine’s co-publisher. Born in Arkansas and raised in Missouri, Mauter made her way to Alabama 35 years ago where she settled with husband Barry. She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Alabama. Mauter comes to Alabama Heritage from UA’s Culverhouse School of Accountancy, where she worked for 17 years; before that she worked in Advancement Services for UA. Mauter has two daughters, Page (Michael Hollified) and Kaity (Daryll Spangler) and two grandsons, Will and Charlie Hollified, who Mauter calls “the most amazing, wonderful, coolest little boys in the world!”
The Winter 2019 issue of Alabama Heritage magazine uncovers an early sketchbook by Nicola Marschall. Author Wolfgang Ulbrich acquired the sketchbook from Marschall’s descendants and discovered several pencil drawings of Alabamians. The sketches offer insights into both the Alabama artist’s practice and nineteenth-century life in the state.