Using Primary Sources in the Classroom

Settlement Unit

Introduction to the Settlement Unit:


The defeat of the Creek Indians opened the heartland of Alabama to white settlement and caused Alabama fever to sweep the nation. Pioneers by the thousands left Tennessee, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia seeking fertile land for growing cotton. Mississippi territorial law was in place, but when Mississippi became a state, Congress created the Alabama Territory in 1817.


Congress designated St. Stephens as capital of the Alabama Territory and approved a legislature of Alabama delegates already elected to the old Mississippi territorial legislature. William Wyatt Bibb, a Georgia physician who had served in the United States Congress and had powerful friends in Washington, was named Territorial governor. He was also elected as the first governor when Alabama became a state December 14, 1819. He helped establish the government, pass laws and administer justice. The following documents deal with cost of government, land speculation, cotton, and law as settlers poured in the area during the early settlement of Alabama.


Go to Lesson1: From Territory to State
Go to Lesson 2: Frontier Justice
Go to Lesson 3: Alabama Fever


Alabama Internet Resources


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Updated: December 10, 2013