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Old St. Stephens:  Where Alabama Began

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This podcast is part of the series: ArchiTreats: Food for Thought


George Shorter


Alabama Department of Archives and History


ArchiTreats: Food for Thought begins another year of informative talks on Alabama history at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Join us as George Shorter presents Old St. Stephens: Where Alabama Began.

Located on the Tombigbee River in southwest Alabama, Old St. Stephens is one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the state. During a brief three decades, from the 1790s to its decline in the 1820s, St. Stephens was the site of a Spanish fort, an American fort and trading post, and the Alabama Territorial capital, as well as the place w here the legislature met when Alabama became a state. The Alabama Department of Tourism has designated 2010 as the Year of Alabama Small Towns and Downtowns. This program will explore the history of one of Alabama’s earliest towns ‐ Old St. Stephens, Where Alabama Began.

George Shorter received Landscape Architecture and Anthropology degrees from LSU. Since 1995 he has worked as a Research Associate at the Center for Archaeological Studies at the University of South Alabama. His research focuses on colonial occupations and early settlement during the 18th and early 19th centuries, and includes projects at Old Mobile (1702‐1711), Port Dauphin Village (1702‐1720s), the French stockade on Dauphin Island (1702‐1718), and various other French colonial sites in the Mobile area. He also recently completed two years of research at Fort Morgan. For the past twelve years he has dire cted archaeological projects at Old St. Stephens.

This ArchiTreats presentation is made possible by the Friends of the Alabama Archives. The public is invited to bring a sack lunch and enjoy a bit of Alabama history. Coffee and tea will be provided by the Friends of the Alabama Archives. For more information, call (334) 353‐4726.

Length: 52:39

Content Areas: Social Studies

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
5. Describe Alabama's entry into statehood and establishment of its three branches of government and the constitutions.
  • Explaining political and geographic reasons for changes in location of Alabama's state capital
  • Recognizing roles of prominent political leaders during early statehood in Alabama, including William Wyatt Bibb, Thomas Bibb, Israel Pickens, William Rufus King, and John W. Walker
    SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
    10. Analyze social and educational changes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for their impact on Alabama.
    Examples: social—implementation of the Plessey versus Ferguson "separate but not equal" court decision, birth of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
    educational—establishment of normal schools and land-grant colleges such as Huntsville Normal School (Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical [A&M] University), Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (Auburn University), Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (Tuskegee University), Lincoln Normal School (Alabama State University)
  • Explaining the development and changing role of industry, trade, and agriculture in Alabama during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including the rise of Populism
  • Explaining the Jim Crow laws
  • Identifying Alabamians who made contributions in the fields of science, education, the arts, politics, and business during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries


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