Alabama Coasting 2018 - Page 6

ISLE OF 7 FLAGS FRANCE REIGNS (1699-1763) In February, 1699 came the voyage of Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d'Iberville and his brother Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur d'Bienville to the shores of what we know as Dauphin Island. Ashore, they discovered a mountain of bones of Indians, many with their heads cut o˜ . The mountain of bones was a burial mound that had broken open during a hurricane. Because of this macabre discovery, they named the island Isle Du Massacre or Massacre Island. In 1707, the name Massacre Island was changed to Dauphin in honor of an heir to the French throne. At this time, the little island was the capital of the whole Louisiana Territory which made up about two-thirds of the United States. GREAT BRITIAN RULES SPAIN ASSUMES CONTROL REPUBLIC OF WEST FLORIDA UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (1763-1783) (1783-SEPTEMBER, 1810 ) • September 23, 1810, a group of pro-American men living in Spanish West Florida attacked the Spanish and established the Republic of West Florida. They adopted the “Bonnie Blue” °ag as their emblem. The geographic area included what we now know as the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Although this °ag ac tually never °ew o ver Dauphin Island during that republic's 74-day existence, this free and independent republic claimed Dauphin Island. • However, in reality, the “Mobile District,” coastal Alabama and Mississippi, actually remained under Spanish occupation. U.S. President James Madison's October 27, 1810 proclamation authorized the U.S. to ignore West Florida’s sovereignty and to occupy this territory. • Not until February of, 1813, did U.S. General James Wilkinson sail from New Orleans to Mobile Bay, and in April, 1813, with a force of 600, and he received the surrender of the Spanish for the coastal territory in the name of the United States. (1819-1861) AND (1868-PRESENT DAY) When the French and Indian War ended with the 1763 'Treaty of Paris,' the British were victorious. After 81 years, French ceded its territory east of the Mississippi River to England. From 1763 the British 'Red Ensign' °ew o ver the Gulf coast and all of the future state of Alabama. England divided its territory on the coast into East and West Florida, with Dauphin Island being a part of West Florida. During the American Revolution, the British ceded West Florida to Spain, and in 1783, the Spanish °ag r epresenting the Provinces of Castile and Leon °ew o ver the Gulf coast until 1810. Some historians say the Spanish °ag °ew o ver Dauphin Island until 1813. (SEPTEMBER DECEMBER, 1810) December, 1819, with the admission of Alabama into the Union, the US °ag w as redesigned from 21 stars to 23 stars. Alabama was admitted to the Union and declared to be a state of the United States of America as the 22nd state December 14, 1819, signed by President James Monroe. The state of Maine also joined the U.S. at this time to be the 23rd. The stars were arranged with one row of six on the top, then one row if ÿve stars, with two lower rows of six stars each. The 23-star °ag remained in service from 1820 until 1822. The second period for Alabama resulted from secession from the U.S. in 1861; participation in the Civil War; and readmission to the Union in July, 1868. REPUBLIC OF ALABAMA (1861) The Republic of Alabama existed for a little less than a month in 1861. When the popularly elected Alabama Secession Convention of 1861 voted to secede from the Union, the State operated as a sovereign political community and freely joined the Confederate States of America as an independent State. It is generally accepted by most scholars that the state of Alabama had no o˝cial sta te °ag during the Civil War. There was a blue °ag with Liber ty carrying a sword on one side and a rattlesnake under a cotton bush on the reverse, with the Latin motto "Noli me tangere” (Do not touch me). This °ag , is often called the °ag of the Republic of Alabama, but it is usually described by some as a ‘secession banner’ that was never o˝cially adopt ed as a state °ag . CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA (1861-1865) Alabama declared its secession from the U.S. in January 1861 and joined the Confederate States of America in February. The American Civil War broke out in April, 1861. Dauphin Island and its Fort Gaines, played an important role in the Civil War, protecting the commerce of the port of Mobile for a long period of time. Near the end of the War, during the “Battle of Mobile Bay,” Fort Gaines surrendered to Admiral David G. Farragut’s forces on August 8, 1864. Southern General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865. Following a re-construction period, Alabama was readmitted to the Union on July 14, 1868. FROM MASSACRE ISLAND TO SUNSET CAPITAL The History of Dauphin Island When your history stretches back in time as long as Dauphin Island’s, there are a lot of stories that can be told. Many historians consider Mobile – and Dauphin Island in particular – to be the birthplace of French Louisiana. From Bienville’s arrival in 1699 until 1718 with the founding of New Orleans, our little island was the heartbeat of the entire French colonial efforts in this part of the New World. For a complete immersion in the history of Dauphin Island, check out DauphinIslandHistory.com where historian and island resident, Jim Hall has archived a treasure trove of books, maps, images and more. You should also stop by the newly restored Little Red Schoolhouse which serves as the Town’s Welcome Center and houses a nice collection of Island history exhibits and information (see sidebar). What follows on these pages are just a few of our favorite nuggets from the Island’s rich history that we pulled (mostly) from Jim’s Dauphin Island History site. 6 ALABAMA COASTING’S DAUPHIN ISLAND LIFE 2018