Montgomery - What’s in a Name?
By Ed Walsh
Okay, for all you history buffs out there, how did Montgomery, Alabama get its name?
Well you are correct if you answered that when the city was established in 1819 it was named after General Richard Montgomery who fought in the American War of Independence.
In fact in the same year, New Philadelphia and Alabama Town merged and took the name Montgomery after the good General. He was a Revolutionary War hero who died in 1775 during the Battle of Quebec.
(It was at the Battle of Quebec that Quebec was captured, beginning a run of victories that temporarily secured North America for the British crown.)
The city of Montgomery should not be confused with Montgomery County, which had been named three years earlier, in 1816, by the Mississippi Legislature.
They named Montgomery County for Major Lemuel Purnell Montgomery who died at Horseshoe Bend.
(The Battle of Horseshoe Bend was a war fought from 1811 to 1814 in the Southeast between the Creek nations and white settlers from Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee under the leadership of Andrew Jackson.
The Creek resistance dwindled by attrition until the critical Battle of Horseshoe Bend ended the war.)
But did you know that Montgomery wasn’t Alabama’s first capital?
No, that award actually goes to Cahaba, but in 1826 the state decided that the seat of government should be moved to Tuscaloosa.
Later, in the 1830s and the early 1840s, as the boundaries of the state moved eastward and the demographic and geographic centers of the state shifted, it was decided that the seat of government should be more centrally located.
Thus it was that in 1846 the state’s government was moved from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery.
There was a fire in 1849 and there was some talk of the capital being moved yet again, but once money was set aside to have the capitol building renovated, it made more sense for the capitol to remain in Montgomery.
It has remained there ever since.
Tags: General Richard Montgomer , American War Of Independe , New Philadelphia , Montgomery , Alabama
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