Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-vi

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xiv

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xv-xviii

The Selma City Council commissioned the original version of Selma, Queen City of the Black Belt way back in 1988, in hopes that the city would have an up-to-date history in time for the 125th anniversary of the Battle of Selma and the 25th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma-to-Montgomery March. The council entrusted...

read more

1. Selma in Pioneer Days: “Moore’s Bluff ” Strives to Make the Big Time, 1819–1845

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-25

On March 16, 1819, two men appeared at the Federal Land Office in Cahawba to purchase some land in the Alabama Territory. Between them, William Rufus King and Dr. George Phillips bought 460 acres on the Alabama River. The original land grant describes the purchase as “the fractional Section West of...

read more

2. The Queen City Grows As Storm Clouds Gather, 1844–1861

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 26-50

During the sixteen years prior to the Civil War, Selma went through a period of dramatic growth. The amount of cotton received at Selma for shipment down the Alabama River doubled between 1840 and 1850 and doubled again by 1860. In that year Dallas County produced 63,410 bales of cotton, more than any other county...

read more

3. Secession and Civil War: Selma, Arsenal of the Confederacy

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 51-85

“We are not fighting for slavery,” Jefferson Davis told a Yankee reporter in July of 1864. “We are fighting for Independence, and that, or extermination, we will have.” White southerners have been making the same argument ever since. They point out that most Confederate soldiers were not slaveholders, that Gen. Robert...

read more

4. Rebuilding and Reconstruction: Selma Rises from the Ashes, 1865–1880

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 86-118

Selmians slowly began building new lives for themselves and their city after the war’s destruction ceased. Institutions as well as buildings had been lost in the conflict. Both Selma banks went out of business after the war because their holdings consisted largely of Confederate money, which was now worthless. The city itself...

read more

5. The Queen City Resumes Her Throne: Selma, 1880–1912

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 119-164

When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, few white Selmians outside the Todd family felt much grief. In fact, the Chattanooga Rebel (then being published in Selma) rejoiced that Lincoln “had gone to answer before the bar of God for the innocent blood he has permitted to be shed, in his efforts to enslave a free and heroic people”...

read more

6. The Decline of the Cotton Kingdom: Selma, 1912–1939

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 165-198

In the early 1910s, before the coming of the boll weevil and the outbreak of World War I, Selma’s life was rather untroubled. However, the decades that followed brought striking changes in the Queen City of the Black Belt.
Among the notable events were the great flood of 1916, Alabama’s entry into...

read more

7. World War II and After: Selma, 1939–1963

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 199-236

In some respects, World War II had greater impact on Selma and Dallas County than any other conflict since the War between the States. In large part this was because, in 1941, an air force training base was established here. The base provided an enormous boost to the city’s economy, making it possible for Selma to grow and...

read more

8. Selma, Birthplace of Equal Voting Rights: The Queen City in Crisis, 1963–1968

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 237-273

“Selma stands on the threshold of what is probably the most important era in its history since the Civil War,” proclaimed the Selma Times-Journal on March 20, 1964. “This is not because Joe T. Smitherman has been duly elected mayor; nor, that Chris Heinz will no longer serve that office after his term expires. But, simply...

read more

9. The Queen City Recovers Its Poise: Selma, 1968–1988

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 274-306

On August 11, 1979, the National Funeral Directors and Morticians met in Selma to dedicate a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. outside Brown Chapel. One of the main speakers at the ceremony turned out to be Selma’s former mayor, Joseph T. Smitherman, who was not on the original program.
“You remember me?” Smitherman...

read more

10. More Bridges to Cross: Selma, 1989–2008

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 307-333

In January 1990 the Alabama River reached its highest level since 1961, overflowing its banks and flooding portions of east Selma. Elmwood, the city’s second oldest cemetery, presented a striking and grisly spectacle; a number of recently buried coffins emerged from the mud and were seen bobbing about on top of the waves...

read more

Epilogue: What Bridges Lie Ahead?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 334-336

Selma’s history did not come to a close with the mayoral election of 2000 or with that of 2008. An era seemed to be ending as the decade went on. Earl Goodwin died in 2003, and Rev. J. D. Hunter passed the same year. Ed Moss died in early 2005 and Joe Smitherman later that same year. Smitherman’s death prompted one...

Selected Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 337-342

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 343-361