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Mobile Stories
in the month of

Traveler Describes Mobile in 1902

Mobile's Promising Future. Mobile is having her first permanent street paving done. She is a little late about it, but it will be done well. Thus, Mobile takes another step in progress. If all goes well. Mobile will keep her end of the State in line with Birmingham and both Join to make Alabama great.
The opening of the Warrior and the Coosa is bound to make Mobile great as well as rich. The Ledger has believed that Mobile is to be a great clty. Its growth In the 10 years just passed confirms that- belief. It is the nearest port to Cuba with considerable rallroad facilities; It is the natural coaling station of the gulf, and the opening of the Warrior hut little further will put the port where New Orleans cannot compete with it as a coaling station. The opening of these rivers will Increase the cotton trade of Mobile, and that may mean an increase of all trade.
There is already fine railroad connection between Birmingham and Mobile, and that will in time develop the trade of the countries on the gulf and the Caribbean Sea. The commerce of these countries is het begun, and their development will make Mobile their port for everything except food, and that trade will come later, for Mobile has a road reaching to the corn States.
Mobile does well to Improve her streets as the Government Improves her harbor. for the city is to grow and develop as not dreamed of since the grand dreams of De Iberville.

Baltimore Sun, May 6, 1902

Frascati Resort on Mobile Bay Opens
for 1876 Season

Frascati on Bay Shell Road .jpg

Martin Horst, the proprietor of Frascati, announces it is open for the season. Parties who wish to use the grounds for picnics or other festivals can make arrangements with Mr. Horst at the corner of Commerce, Conti and Front Streets. 


Mobile Daily Tribune, May 7, 1876

The Journey of the Clotilda MAY 1860

Journey of the Clotilda map.jpg

From the journal of William Foster, captain of the Clotilda, Mobile Public Library Digital Collections 

Note: Whyandah, or Ouidah, is a port in the kingdom of Dahomey, now Benin.

Arrived at Whyda [Whydah] May 15th.  15th: anchored 1 ½ miles from the shore; at 4 p.m. a boat boarded us the same evening to know our business. I told him I wished to exchange commodities and therefore would have to see the Prince and officials. The sea rolling at a fearful height at the time, we could not land in our boats -- but the natives had boats 60 feet long manned by 20 natives, darted through the waves like fish. Having gotten ashore safely, I met with interpreters who kindly congratulated me and gave me in charge of three natives, who put me in a hammock with canopy and carried me into the City of Whyda six miles distant: upon arrival I found splendid accommodations for traders. I spent the night in “Merchant’s Exchange.” Having breakfasted early I with Cicerone [this appears to be an old term for a guide, not necessarily someone named Cicerone] sallied forth to see the city and transact my business with the Prince. Cicerone presented me to the ebony Prince, a man of 250 lbs avoirdupois [weight].

Presentation consisted of myself and fifty officials, all of whom fell on their knees in acknowledgement of “His Majesty.” We then partook of social drink, and then I told him my business, that I had nine thousand dollars in gold and merchandise, and wanted to buy a cargo of  negroes, for which I agreed to pay one hundred dollars per head, for one hundred and twenty five.


After detaining me eight days, I thought him purposing my capture, but during this time I thought it not waste, as I was storing up knowledge of the many things it takes to make up the world: Among the many things that attracted any attention, as we repaired to the place of worship, which consisted of a large square of ground with a wall ten ft. high upon which was covered with snakes – trees in there were loaded with the repulsive things, revelling [possibly swelling] in their deified elation. Devotees attending had them wound around their necks and waists,& had the appearance of our rattlesnake. From thence I went to see the King of Dahomey.

Having agreeably transacted affairs with Prince, we went to the warehouse where they had in confinement four thousand captives in a state of nudity, from which they gave me liberty to select one hundred and twenty-five as mine, offering to brand them for me, from which I peremptorily forbid. Commenced taking on cargo of negroes, successfully securing on board one hundred and ten.

I told interpreter if he would send the negroes down to the warehouse on the beach and deliver them on board by 10 a.m. I would transfer my cargo to him, to which he agreed. I went on board at 6 a.m. and had my cargo thereon overboard in water-tight casks, and they sent their surf men who swam the casks ashore safely. 

The crew thinking our capture inevitable, refused duty and wanted to take any boats from the vessel and go on shore but could not have landed with our boats owing to the surf. While getting underway two more boats came along side with thirty five more negroes, making in all one hundred and ten; left fifteen on the beach having to leave in haste. All under headway, both steamers changed their course to intercept us, the wind being favourable; in a short time we knew we were outsailing them; then my crew showed their appreciation for not letting them take my boats to go on shore; in four hours were out of sight of land and steamers.

Abache and Cudjo Lewis, Mobile Public Library Digital Collections

Bicentennial Celebration, May 27, 1911

Times Picayune, May 28, 1911

The Great Magazine Explosion of 
May 25, 1865

Harpers weekly june 24, 1865 re magazine explosion in mobile on May 25, 1865.jpg

Harper's Weekly, Jun 24, 1865

One of the most terrific explosions that has ever occurred in this country was that of the main ordnance depot, with surrounding magazines, in this city, at 2 o'clock yesterday. The shock was dreadful, and the city shook to its very foundation. Eight squares of buildings are now in ruins, and many a victim is buried beneath the walls -- five hundred persons being buried outright The loss incurred, it is said, will reach eight millions of dollars. It is not yet ascertained by what agency the explosion originated.

Various accounts of the accident and incidents attending upon it have been handed to us. We subjoin them, somewhat condensed, but in the main as furnished. We were on the ground a few minutes after the explosion took place, and the scene would baffle in its description the ablest pens.

New York Times, June 8, 1865

Map of area in Mobile destroyed by Great Explosion of 1865 from Report by Charles H. Fonde

Area Destroyed in the Explosion,
from Charles H. Fonde,
Account of the Great Explosion of the United States Ordnance, 1865

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