Recent Videos and Activities for Pre-20th Century

Alabama River Boats

With an abundance of navigable rivers in Alabama, steamboat traffic flourished and was the primary form of transportation for goods and people from the state’s founding into the 1880s. Many [more]

December 12, 2019

Mount Vernon/Searcy Hospital

Mount Vernon, located in south-central Mobile County, arose near Fort Stoddert, which was constructed by the federal government in 1799 to protect what was then the nation’s southern border. In [more]

December 12, 2019

Kate Cumming

Kate Cumming was a Civil War nurse and diarist whose writings are an invaluable source on southern nursing, Confederate hospitals, and women’s experiences in the war. Born in Scotland, Cumming [more]

December 12, 2019

William Wyatt Bibb

William Wyatt Bibb was Alabama’s first governor. He entered politics in 1802 at the age of 21, first as a Georgia state legislator, quickly followed by US Congress and then [more]

December 12, 2019


On July 8, 1860 the last known slave ship, Clotilda, sailed into Mobile Bay with 110 African men, women, and children on board.  Following Emancipation in 1866, many of these [more]

October 22, 2019

Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind

The Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind was founded in 1858 in Talladega by Dr. Joseph Henry Johnson to offer instruction in farming, trades, home economics and humanities.  Throughout [more]

October 9, 2019

Alabama Gold Rush

First discovered in Chilton County in the late 1830s, gold, or the promise of it, is credited with the establishment of many communities and gold-mining operations in east-central Alabama in [more]

September 17, 2019

Lafayette’s Visit

Touring the United States starting in 1824 to expose a new generation to the “Spirit of 1776,” the Marquis de la Lafayette, former aide to George Washington, arrived in Alabama [more]

September 9, 2019

Treaty of Cusseta

The Treaty of Cusseta was an agreement between the U.S. government and the Creek Nation in which the Creeks were forced to exchange their remaining land in Alabama for new [more]

August 12, 2019

Convict-Lease System

Between 1875 and 1928, the state of Alabama profited from a form of prison labor known as the convict-lease system perpetuating a form of slavery. Under this system, companies paid [more]

March 28, 2019