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Alabama Planter, March 27, 1852

Stories of Mobile
in the Month of March 

George Walton Jr., father of Octavia Walton Levert .jpg

On March 30, 1837, the New Orleans Picayune announced the election of Col. George Walton as mayor of Mobile. Walton was the father of nationally renowned author and socialite, Madame Octavia Walton Levert. Having arrived in Mobile in 1835, the Walton family was still new to the city. Walton was victorious in the election but defeated Captain John Pagles by only 39 votes.

Slave Ships Arriving in Mobile 
March , 1839

Mobile Slave Manifest March 5 and March 12, 1839.jpg

Like most southern newspapers of the Antebellum Era, the Mobile Register carried a regular column of runnaway slaves. The following, from March 22, 1845,  are a typical examples: 

 

$200 Reward -- Ranaway from the subscriber about the 29th of June lost my negro man John, 22 years old, about 5 feet, 6 or 7 inches high, dark complexion, a little round shouldered, has a beautiful set of front teeth, rather stupid in appearance but very pleasing when spoken to. John is a brick layer by trade. 

___

 

Ranaway on the 9th inst., my negro man slave Harry, aged almost 45, and give feet 7 or 8 inches high. His head shows considerable gray hairs, and his beard, when long, is quite gray. He is stout built, carries his head erect and walks quick -- chews a great deal of tobacco, also fond of smoking. Some of his front teeth are out. He is a country negro and speaks in rather a drawling tone, but very plausible, and has worked some time as a shoemaker; he is also something of a fiddler, and it is believed carried off his violin. 

Wartime in Mobile

The voyage of the Clotilda began in
March 1860 

William Foster's own account of his voyage on the Clotilda has been transcribed by the Mobile Public Library.  There he describes leaving the port of Mobile on March 4, 1860.  

 

 

Cleared and sailed from Mobile March 4th with the following cargo: 26 [25?] casks of Rice, 80 casks of augident [maybe aguardiente, meaning contains 29%-60% alcohol?] Rum, 30 bbl. [barrels] Beef, 40 bbl. Pork. 3 bbls Sugar, 25 bbls Flour, 4 bbl Bread, 4 bbl Molasses, 25 Boxes dry goods and sundries, 125 casks water, and nine thousand ($9,000) dollars in gold; 9 men fore the mast, first and second mates and myself made 12 in all on board.

March 7th: crossed Mobile Bar with fair winds, and made island of Cuba 3 ½ days, from there to Bermuda. Had rough weather, ??? [suffering?] main boom and other damages.

March 17: off Bermuda 60 miles north, encountered a heavy gale of wind lasting nine days with great damage to vessel, having shipped a sea which carried overboard everything on deck except two boats, one fastened on top of midship’s house, and one one cabbin’s [cabin’s] house. Also carried away boat Davits half the steering wheel, and split the Rudder head in three pieces. Portuguese “Man of War” chasing us from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Squalls all day, and about dark our foresail went out of the bolt rope in splinters: the most exciting race I ever saw.

Woolsey's Camels, March 9, 1860

Woolseys Camels reported in California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences, March 9, 186

California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences, March 9, 1860

Women working at Mobile Shipyard, march 9, 1943.jpg
Sunday Baseball in Mobile, Baltimore American, March 10, 1911.png.jpg

On March 21, 1981,

a 19-year-old Black man named Michael Donald was beaten, strangled, slashed at the throat, and hanged in Mobile, Alabama, by two members of the United Klans of America. Initially, local police wrongly attributed Mr. Donald's death to drug violence, but his family insisted he had not been involved in drug activity and demanded a more thorough investigation. Tests also showed no trace of drugs in Mr. Donald's body.

Authorities later charged Klansmen Henry Hays and James Knowles with Mr. Donald's murder and charged Benjamin Cox Jr. as an accomplice. Evidence revealed that local Klan leaders had been monitoring the trial of Josephus Anderson, a Black man charged with killing a white police officer in Birmingham, Alabama. When that trial ended in mistrial on March 21 because the jury was unable to reach a verdict, members of the Klan in Mobile sought to make a violent response.  Michael Donald was killed that night.

The three men charged with Michael Donald's death were convicted. In 1984, Michael Donald's mother, Beulah Donald, sued the United Klans of America. She ultimately won a $7 million wrongful death suit, and the ruling bankrupted the Klan.

 

On Mar 21, 1981: Michael Donald Hanged by Members of the Klan in Mobile, Alabama (eji.org)

Michael Donald Ave. .jpg

Tornado Destroys Visitation Monastery
March 26, 1840 

Visitation Monastery, Mobile, Alabama, 1906

Tornado in Mobile.-More injury was done by the hurricane which swept over Mobile on the 26th of March than was at first suspected. The Nunnery building which was fifty-two feet in length and about twenty in breadth, was entirely lifted from its foundation by the vio. lence of the wind. One of the walls buried the inmates in the ruins, but by timely assist. ance they were rescued without receiving any dangerous wounds. Buildings and structures in every direction were prostrated.

Pitsfield Sun, April 16, 1840

March 31, 1702

the colony of Mobile was established at what is now Le Moyne, Alabama, on the Mobile River in the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. The settlement served as the capital of French Louisiana from 1702 until 1711, when the capital was relocated to the site of present-day Mobile, Alabama.

map from widipedia, Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville's 1732 map of Louisiana showing Mo
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