The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Montgomery (Alabama)
MONTGOMERY, a city of Montgomery co., Alabama, capital of the county and state, and the second city of the state in population and importance, situated on a high bluff on the left bank of the Alabama river, about 300 m. above Mobile, in lat. 32° 22′ N. and lon. 86° 23′ W.; pop. in 1860, 8,843; in 1870, 10,588, of whom 5,183 were colored. The river is navigable to this point by steamers at all seasons, and four lines of railroad furnish means of communication with all sections of the state, viz.: the Mobile and Montgomery; Montgomery and Eufaula; South and North Alabama; and Western of Alabama. The city is the point of supply and shipment of a large and fertile cotton region. Its trade in groceries is important, and its receipts of cotton are large. The entire trade amounts to nearly $10,000,000 a year. The chief manufacturing establishments are an iron foundery and a flouring mill. There are two national banks, with a joint capital of $425,000, and three private banking houses. The state house, which occupies an elevated situation on Capitol hill, was erected in 1851 at a cost of $75,000, the original capitol having been destroyed by fire in 1849. The dome commands a fine view of the city and adjacent country. Among other public buildings are the court house, a fine city hall containing a market and rooms for the fire department, and the theatre. The city is lighted with gas, and supplied with water by artesian wells and water works (from the river) of sufficient capacity to keep in reservoir three months 1 supply for 25,000 people. The public schools are attended by about 300 white and 500 colored children, and there are several private schools, with a large attendance. Three daily newspapers (issuing also weekly editions) and a weekly agricultural journal are published. There are 14 churches, viz.: 4 Baptist (2 colored), 1 Episcopal, 1 Jewish, 5 Methodist (2 colored and 1 Northern), 1 Presbyterian, 1 Protestant Methodist, and 1 Roman Catholic.—Montgomery was laid out in 1817, and the seat of government was removed to it from Tuscaloosa in 1847. It was the seat of the confederate government from Feb. 4, 1861, to the following May, when it was removed to Richmond. The city was evacuated by the confederates April 11, 1865, after burning 80,000 bales of cotton, and on the following day it was occupied by the federal forces under Gen. Wilson, when the arsenal, railroad depots, and foundery were destroyed.