The Formative Period in Alabama, 1815-1828

The Formative Period in Alabama, 1815-1828

The Formative Period in Alabama, 1815-1828

The Formative Period in Alabama, 1815-1828

Excerpt

The Formative Period in Alabama, 1815–1828 was beautifully crafted by Thomas Perkins Abemethy in 1922. Originally written as a doctoral dissertation at Harvard University, under the direction of Frederick Jackson Turner, The Formative Period in Alabama was subsequently published by the Alabama State Department of Archives and History as the sixth volume in its Historical and Patriotic Series. The state's purpose was that of distributing the work to all public and school libraries throughout Alabama, thus making it “subject to call by any student in the State.” A noble gesture indeed!

In 1965 The University of Alabama Press published a new edition of Abernethy's study, making improvements over the original format. Instead of a paperback pamphlet The Formative Period in Alabama became an attractive hardcover book. The illustrations, which had all been placed together as appendixes in the earlier edition, were placed appropriately throughout the text. The result was a more handsome, more durable, and more easily read book.

Not the book's appearance, however, but its contents make Abernethy's work a classic. The book is based on impressive research. The author used numerous manuscript collections, all available public records, and a long list of other contemporary sources, including the newspapers of the time. He also drew upon most secondary sources that had been published up to 1922. His exhaustive research and his appealing literary style enabled Abernethy to produce a masterpiece that provides especially insightful coverage of Alabama's eco-

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