Sunday, September 03, 2006

Albert James Pickett: HISTORY OF ALABAMA
(Kindly contributed by William C. Bell)


Mar. 27 1804: The distance of Natchez from the Tombigby was so great that Congress authorized the President to appoint an additional Superior Court Judge for the benefit of the people settled upon that river.

The Hon. Harry Toulmin was selected. He was born at Taunton, in England, the 7th April, 1766, and descended from a learned and respectable family. He became a pastor of the Unitarian church, at Chowbert, in Lancashire, in 1788, where he occupied a prominent position, officiating before a congregation of a thousand hearers. Becoming an object of suspicion to the government, it determined to silence not only his efforts, but those of every other person who indulged in an independent expression of opinion. Frequently threatened with personal injury, and often surrounded by mobs, who extended their violence to his private residence, as well as his church, Mr. Toulmin determined to seek a land where all religious opinions are tolerated.

Landing at Norfolk, Virginia, he proceeded to Winchester, where he had the misfortune to lose two of his children. The year following, he became the President of Transylvania University, of Lexington, the duties of which he discharged for four years. He was then Secretary of State of Kentucky for the long period of eight years, and wrote most of the public documents of that day. Having pursued the study of law and attained great proficiency in it, he compiled a code of laws for Kentucky in the most satisfactory manner.

A fine writer, an excellent scholar, an amiable man, and a delightful fireside companion, Judge Toulmin won upon the hearts of his friends and engaged the confidence of the public. He came to Alabama by way of New Orleans, settled at a cantonment near Fort Stoddart, and afterwards removed to the court house, which he called Wakefield, in memory of Goldsmith's good vicar.

His first court was held in the fall of 1804, he having been diligently engaged for several months previous in arranging the judicial department of Washington county. There was no newspaper here, and Thomas Malone, the clerk, advertised libels against boats for smuggling in a New Orleans paper, published by Bradford & Anderson.

Albert James Pickett: HISTORY OF ALABAMA.
(Kindly contributed by William C. Bell)

Dec. 7 1807: The military movements of Burr increased the population and wealth of the Mississippi Territory, for hundreds of his followers became permanent citizens. About this time the cultivation of indigo was much abandoned for that of cotton, and some salutary laws were enacted in relation to the toll for ginning the latter staple. The cotton receipts obtained from the owner of a gin were also made a legal tender, and passed as domestic bills of exchange. St. Stephens was laid off into town lots. A road was cut out from thence to the city of Natchez.

Sept. 8 1807: Notwithstanding the revenue exactions upon the settlers, which now subjected them, by means of the Spanish custom-house at Mobile and the American at Fort Stoddart, to a duty of from forty-two to forty-seven per cent, ad valorem for articles essential to family comfort, while at the same time their fellow-citizens about Natchez were entirely free from such exactions, paying only four dollars per barrel for Kentucky flour, when the Tombigby planter paid sixteen--yet they remained loyal to the Federal Government; and both whigs and tories participated in an animated public meeting at Wakefield, pledging their support to the United States to avenge the wanton attack of the British upon the American ship Chesapeake, in a string of eloquent and patriotic resolutions, drafted by James McGoffin.



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