Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
					Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

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Bill honoring state's first black lawmakers signed - The Tuscaloosa News Wednesday, April 8, 2009During the Reconstruction Era (1868-1878), over 100 Black men served as members of the Alabama Legislature. My great great grandfather was The Honorable Shandy Wesley Jones, who was elected in 1868 with the first group. I refer to them as "Alabama's First Legislative Black Caucus." Alabama has never recognized any of these men for their service, until now. Through my lobbying efforts and the help of a Montgomery news reporter, Gov. Riley recently signed legislation that would provide for 3 memorial plaques per man to be constructed at the Alabama State Capitol.

The Honorable Shandy Wesley Jones was also the first Black elected official in Tuscaloosa County. He was elected in 1868 to the Alabama House of Representatives. I also lobbied to have him recognized by the City of Tuscaloosa, and the Mayor and City Council graciously honored that request in their first council meeting of 2009 with the presentation of a Proclamation to me and my family.

Now that the State legislation has passed, I am on a quest to find the descendants of the other men. We did a local call-out in Alabama and received about 10 responses so far. I know that most of these people have probably moved out of Alabama by now. I would like to issue a national call-out in search of these descendants. I would hate for these families to miss out on such an auspicious occasion as the dedication of the memorials to not only my relative but theirs as well. Please help me with this mission. My dream is about to culminate, but this is a way that it will just keep on giving.

Martha O'Rourke-Arrow
marrow@senate.ms.gov

Resolution Honoring Alabama's Black Legislators Serving During the Reconstruction Period of 1868 - 1878

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Black Delegates to Alabama's Constitutional Convention Held at Montgomery
November 5 - December 6, 1867

OFFICE/DISTRICT NAME COUNTY
Assistant Secretary: Moses B. Avery Montgomery
First District: John Carraway Mobile
First District: Ovid Gregory Mobile
Sixth District: Thomas Diggs Barbour
Seventh District: L. S. Latham Bullock
Seventh District: B. F. Royal Bullock
Thirteenth District: Washington Johnson Russell
Fifteenth District: Peyton Finley Montgomery
Sixteenth District: Henry Stokes Dallas
Sixteenth District: Jack Hatcher Dallas
Seventeenth District: J. Wright McLeod Marengo
Eighteenth District: Benjamin Inge Sumter
Nineteenth District: Samuel Blandon Lee
Twenty-First District: Thomas Lee Perry
Twenty-Second District: James K. Greene Hale
Twenty-Second District: Benjamin F. Alexander Greene
Forty-Second District: Lafayette Robinson Madison
Forty-Second District: Columbus Jones Madison
Forty-Third District: James T. Rapier Lauderdale

Alabama's Black Legislators 1868 - 1878

 

1868
SENATE
NAME COUNTY
B.F. Royal – Bullock
HOUSE
NAME COUNTY
Benjamin Alexander – Greene
James H. Alston – Macon
Samuel Blandon – Lee
John Carraway – Mobile
George Cox  – Montgomery
Thomas Diggs – Barbour
Joseph Drawn – Dallas
Ovide Gregory – Mobile
James K. Greene – Hale
D.H. Hill – Bullock
George Houston – Sumter
Benjamin Inge – Sumter
Columbus Jones  – Madison
Shandy Wesley Jones – Tuscaloosa
Horace King – Russell
Thomas Lee – Perry
Greene S.W. Lewis – Perry
Jefferson McCalley – Madison
A.G. Richardson – Wilcox
James Shaw – Mobile
L.S. Speed – Bullock
W.L. Taylor – Chambers
Holland Thompson – Montgomery
William V. Turner – Elmore
Spencer Weaver – Dallas
L.J. Williams – Montgomery
1870
SENATE
NAME COUNTY
B.F. Royal – Bullock
HOUSE
George W. Braxdell – Talladega
Thomas Clark – Barbour
H. Cochran – Dallas
H.H. Craig – Montgomery
A.H. Curtis – Perry
Thomas H. Diggs – Barbour
John Dozier – Perry
W.G. Gaskin – Lowndes
Edward Gee – Dallas
James K. Greene – Hale
Jere Haralson – Dallas
Horace King – Russell
R.L. Johnson – Dallas
Henry St. Clair – Macon
Holland Thompson – Montgomery
Mansfield Tyler – Lowndes
Levi Wells – Marengo
L.J. Williams – Montgomery
1872
SENATE
NAME COUNTY
A.H. Curtis – Perry
Jere Haralson – Dallas
J.W. Jones – Lowndes
Lloyd Leftwich – Greene
B.F. Royal – Bullock
HOUSE
NAME COUNTY
Granville Bennett – Sumter
William E. Carson – Lowndes
Henry Cochran – Dallas
John Dozier – Perry
Hales Ellsworth – Montgomery
J.K. Greene – Hale
R.L. Johnson – Dallas
G.S.W. Lewis – Perry
Perry Matthews – Bullock
January Maull – Lowndes
Willis Merriweather – Wilcox
G.R. Millan – Russell
George Patterson – Macon
Robert Reed – Sumter
L.S. Speed – Bullock
Henry St. Clair – Macon
Lawson Steele – Montgomery
William Taylor – Sumter
J.R. Treadwell – Russell
Thomas H. Walker – Dallas
L.J. Williams – Montgomery
1874
SENATE
NAME COUNTY
A.H. Curtis Perry
J.K. Greene Hale
Jere Haralson Dallas
J.W. Jones Lowndes
Lloyd Leftwich Greene
B.F. Royal Bullock
HOUSE
NAME COUNTY
G.W. Allen Bullock
Elijah Baldwin Wilcox
Granville Bennett Sumter
W.H.  Blevins Dallas
James Bliss Sumter
M. Boyd Perry
H.V. Cashin Montgomery
Elijah Cook Montgomery
D.J. Daniels  Russell
Charles Fagan Montgomery
Adam Gashet Barbour
William Gaskin Lowndes
Charles E. Harris Dallas
A.W. Johnson  Macon
Samuel Lee  Lowndes
G.S.W. Lewis  Perry
Jacob Martin  Dallas
Perry Matthews  Bullock
Willis Merriweather  Wilcox
Edward Odum  Barbour
George Patterson  Macon
B.W. Reese  Hale
R. Reid  Sumter
Charles Smith  Bullock
A.E. Williams Barbour
J.R. Witherspoon  Perry
M. Wynn  Hale
1876
SENATE
None
HOUSE
NAME COUNTY
Elijah Baldwin Wilcox
W.H. Blevins Dallas
H.V. Cashin  Montgomery
C.O. Harris Dallas
Greene S.W. Lewis Perry
Nimrod Snoddy Greene
William J. Stevens Dallas
1878
SENATE
None
HOUSE
NAME COUNTY
George English Wilcox

SOURCES:
Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins, The Scalawag in Alabama Politics: 1865-1881 (1977)
Richard Bailey, Neither Carpetbagger nor Scalawag (1995)

Category: Reconstruction | Subcategory: Politics | Tags: There are no tags defined for this page
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: 1868, 1870, 1872, 1874, 1876, 1878, Alabama, C. J. Wright, Reconstruction, Tuscaloosa (Alabama),