Highlights of Selma History / William Rufus DeVane King - Selma, AL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member xptwo
N 32° 24.590 W 087° 01.256
16S E 498031 N 3585864
Quick Description: This two-sided marker, located in front of Selma City Hall, gives some of the important historical events in the history of the city and county, as well as the story of one of the founders who became Vice President of the United States.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 5/23/2013 4:17:29 AM
Waymark Code: WMH4VX
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Thorny1
Views: 4

Long Description:
The marker can be found to the right of the front entrance to City Hall on Broad Street, near the corner of Dallas Avenue. It has the seal of the Alabama Historical Commission, though the attribution does not mention the commission at the bottom. On the side facing the door, the history of the town is outlined, including a list of the founding fathers who owned the land sales company. On the other side, the story of founder William King is told. He is the most famous citizen in the founding group, as he was elected 13th Vice President of the United States.

It is interesting to note that when they began their sales, the state capitol was located in Cahaba, just down the Alabama River a short distance from what is now Selma. The Alabama River was the main route for transportation at the time, so Selma was situated in a good place for commercial development.

The text of the marker reads:

Side One

Highlights of Selma History

Dallas County was created by Territorial Legislature Feb. 9, 1818. Selma Land Company formed Mar. 19, 1819 by George Phillips, William Rufus King, Jesse Beene, Gilbert Shearer and Caleb Tate. Selma incorporated Dec. 4, 1820. LaFayette visited 1825. First newspaper established 1827. Dallas County Male and Female Academy incorporated 1845 - was forerunner of public school system. Selma Arsenal and Confederate Naval Yard established 1862. Battle of Selma won by Union forces and most of the city burned 1865. First non-rail bridge over Alabama River opened 1885. Both U.S. Senators, Morgan and Pettus, were from Selma 1897-1907. Craig Field established 1940. Civil Rights demonstrations in 1965 culminated in Selma to Montgomery march which influenced passage of 1965 Civil Rights Act.

Erected 1981 by Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society

Side Two

William Rufus DeVane King
1786-1853

Vice President of the United States
William Rufus DeVane King was born April 7, 1786 in Sampson Co., N.C.; admitted to the bar in 1806; served in the N.C. House of Commons 1807-1809; U.S. Congress 1811-1816; and as Secretary of the U.S. Legation to Naples and St. Petersburg 1816-1818.

He moved to Dallas Co., Alabama in 1818; named and was a founder of the City of Selma; a delegate to the 1819 State Constitutional Convention; U.S. Senator 1819-1844 and 1848-1852; U.S. Minister to France 1844-1846; and President Pro tempore U.S. Senate 1836-1841 and 1850-1852.

King was elected Vice President in 1852 and because of his poor health traveled to Cuba. By a Special Act of Congress he was permitted to take the oath of office in Matanzas, Cuba on March 24, 1853. His health did not improve and he returned to Alabama where he died April 18, 1853 at his King’s Bend Plantation.

Erected 1981 by Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society.
Marker Name: Highlights of Selma History / William Rufus DeVane King 1786-1853

Marker Type: Urban

Addtional Information::
Cahaba, the old state capitol from 1819-1826, remained Dallas County seat until 1866, when the courthouse was moved to Selma.


Date Dedicated / Placed: 1981

Marker Number: None

Visit Instructions:
Please post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Alabama history please include that in your log.
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