"saint stephens alabama" Saint Stephens by doug48

Saint Stephens Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 12 photos

old saint stephens

old saint stephens is located in washington county off of US 43 just south of jackson alabama. today the remains of the town of old saint stephens is a alabama historic park. saint stephens was the first territorial capital of alabama. saint stephens was first established in the 1790's on a bluff overlooking the tombigbee river. at this point in the river there were shoals which forced boats to off load their cargo to be carried over land to mobile. this made the town of saint stephens an important trading post and transportation hub. juan vincente folch, the spanish governor of mobile was aware of the economic and strategic importance of saint stephens and built a fort there in 1789. in 1804 mississippi superior court judge ephram kirby visted saint stephens and wrote a letter to president thomas jefferson about his impression of the residents of the town. he wrote "the residents of saint stephens are illiterate, wild and savage, of depraved morals, unworthy of public confidence or private esteems, litigious, disunited and knowing each other, universally distrustful of each other". saint stephens' wild reputation was well known in the mississippi territory and traveling minister lorenzo dow decided to bring religion to saint stephnes. dow was tarred and feathered and run out of town. in 1817 mississippi was granted statehood and saint stephens became the first capital of the alabama territory. the population of saint stephens grew into the thousands and by 1818 there were 500 homes in the town and 20 stores and commercial establishments. the decline of saint stephens began in 1819 when the alabama territorial legislature decided to move the capital to cahawba. also during this time shallow draft river boats were developed and river commerce by passed the town. by 1833 saint stephens had shrunk to a tiny village and by the outbreak of the civil war saint stephens was a ghost town. for those interested in early american history old saint stephens is an interesting place to visit in southwest alabama.

  • Last visit to Saint Stephens: May 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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