Thursday, March 31, 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

I got your email address from Nancy Dupree at the Americana Collection.

I'm working with the town of Dauphin Island and the Dauphin Island Chamber of Commerce to develop a museum to be housed in Dauphin Island's little red schoolhouse which is about to be removed from it's location by the public beach and moved east down Bienville Boulevard where it will be elevated over a wetland lot across from town hall.

As a way to promote the idea of Dauphin Island having its own museum to go along with the Estuarium and Ft. Gaines, I'm proposing we put together a "Dauphin Island Reader". This would be a book that would include some stunning Dauphin Island graphics along with an annotation of at least 4 different publications:


(I've already begun the annotation of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce's Nomenclature Committee's list of each street name's connection to Dauphin Island

2. Francis Young's UNDER FIVE FLAGS
(It's really should read "UNDER SIX FLAGS" because the Republic of Alabama seized Ft. Gaines before the formation of the Confederate States of America )

3. Richebourg McWilliams' HISTORY OF DAUPHIN ISLAND


The A.S. Williams III Americana Collection has the Jack D.L. Holmes Dauphin Island collection.
It is my opinion that we could benefit from any advice you may have on how we should proceed with this project.

Robert Register

Sunday, March 20, 2016

1685: LaSalle established the first French settlement on the Gulf Coast near Matagorda Bay on the right bank of Garcitas Creek in southern Victoria County, Texas near the present-day town of Inez.

1685-1690: The Spanish launched 11 expeditions to the northern Gulf Coast to search for the LaSalle colony.

1687: LaSalle was killed by his own men in East Texas while on a rescue mission for his colony.

1697: The Peace of Rijswijk ending the War of the Grand Alliance allowed King Louis XIV to relaunch his plans to seize the mouth of the Mississippi River. These plans had been put on hold for ten years due to the war.

April 1698: The Spanish found out that the French were outfitting four vessels in Brittany so they sped up their plans to occupy Pensacola Bay.

October 24, 1698: The Iberville expedition put to sea at Brest.

October, 1698: An expedition to occupy the mouth of the Mississippi River left England but was bound for Carolina. This English expedition did not reach the Gulf until the spring of 1699. English traveling overland from Carolina had visited the Alabama and Tombigbee River Valleys as early as 1698.

November 17, 1698: The Spanish expedition to fortify Pensacola entered Pensacola Bay.

January 25, 1699: The Iberville expedition approached the mouth of Pensacola Bay but are turned away by the Spanish.

January 31, 1699: Iberville visited Dauphin Island for the first time. Even though Dauphin Island is considered the first settlement in what would become the French colonial province of Louisiana, Iberville made Ship Island his primary anchorage for his ocean going fleet and established his first fortifications on Biloxi Bay. After exploring the Mississippi River delta and not finding a suitable site, Iberville concentrated his colonizing efforts in the eastern shore of Biloxi Bay near the present-day city of Ocean Springs. 

February 3, 1699: Iberville discovered a pile of human bones and names present-day Dauphin Island, Massacre Island.

August 1701: A hurricane partially destroyed the anchorage at Ship Island.

December 1701: Iberville returned to Dauphin Island and ordered that the fortifications at Biloxi Bay be moved to 27 Mile Bluff on the Mobile River and Dauphin Island was made the primary anchorage for the ocean going vessels.

April, 1702: Before leaving the colony for the last time, Iberville supervised the construction of a warehouse on Dauphin Island. Dauphin Island remained the primary port for the capital of Louisiana at Mobile from 1702 until 1718.

July 1704: The ship PELICAN arrives with 24 French women who had been shipped over to become wives for the colonists.

September 9, 1710: Dauphin Island is captured and burned by Jamaican pirates.

October 27, 1711: Bienville wrote Ponchartrain that the name MASSACRE ISLAND had been changed to DAUPHIN ISLAND.

September 14, 1712: A monopoly for commerce in Louisiana is given to Crozat and the only geographic place name in the entire contract is DAUPHIN ISLAND. Consideration was given to moving all fortifications to Dauphin Island due to its excellent anchorage which was then in present-day Pelican Bay. This harbor was 31 to 35 feet deep and Pelican Pass between Pelican Island and Dauphin Island was 21 feet deep.


1771: The British Admiralty Chart showed the island directly west of Dauphin as Massacre.

Friday, March 18, 2016


NAVIGATING A COURSE FROM CAPO DE SAN ANTONIO TO DAUPHIN ISLAND "Cabo San Antonio, after which we altered course toward Dauphin Island,  .."

Thus, despite promises to allow the Creeks to remain in central Alabama, the federal government ordered all the Creeks to Mobile Point. Nearly four thousand Creeks, including relatives of the Creeks fighting in Florida and those captured hiding in the swamps, were congregated near Montgomery in preparation for descending the Alabama River in steamboats. The Montgomery Advertiser reported the condition of the Creeks and in an article noted that, "the spectacle exhibited by them is truly heart rending; with all their cruelties, they are human beings and no man of feeling can look upon their present destitute condition . . . while our citizens are rolling in ease and luxury, those who are natives of the country are in the most abject poverty, dependent for their subsistence on the charity of the government." The Creeks left Montgomery on three steamboats. The first detachment of about eight hundred Creeks traveled on the JOHN NELSON and arrived at Mobile Point on March 18. The second and third detachments, traveling on the Chippewa and Bonnets O Blue, arrived at Mobile Point the following day. The agents established an encampment for the Creeks while they waited the arrival of the warriors from Florida. The news of the Creek families having been removed to Mobile Point eventually reached the Creek warriors fighting in Florida. They probably found out from warriors who were  furloughed to Mobile Point to recover from illnesses they had acquired in Florida. Jesup reported that, while some of the warriors "were satisfied," with the decision, many others were angry. The news of their relocation particularly angered the Lower Creeks and it complicated the government‘s war with the Seminoles. In fact, Jesup noted that the Lower Creeks fighting in Florida, "if not disposed to favor the Seminoles are at least not very zealous in our cause. With the exception of a very small portion of them they were zealous and true until they received information of the removal of their families from Alabama, and the outrages committed upon them there." Jesup noted that the Upper Creeks "do not participate with the Lower Creeks in the excitement produced by recent events" and he attributed this to the fact that many of their family members had emigrated with Opothle Yoholo the previous fall. Jesup did observe, however, that the Upper Creeks were "broken down by hard service and disease—are unfit for duty and are extremely anxious to join their families." Indeed, at least one Creek soldier committed suicide while in Florida. While at Mobile Point, the agents overseeing the Creeks, along with Creek volunteers, went on reconnaissance trips around Mobile Point to search for Creek refugees hiding in the swamps. Some were believed to have participated in the Second Creek War or were aiding the Seminoles, while others fled to escape emigration. In late April 1837, agents collected a number of Creeks including a few Yuchi refugees hiding near Black Water Bay. Agents used interpreters and even the captured prisoners themselves to coax the refugees from their camps. On April 27, ―two hostile men, a woman and child‖ surrendered to agents and later that day, thirty-seven ―friendly‖ Creeks also gave themselves up. On April 30, thirty-two more ―hostile‖ Creeks surrendered. These Creeks, seventy total, embarked on the steamboat Watchman for Pensacola. During their journey, the Watchman came under the protection of the frigate Constellation and its guns. At Pensacola, the Creeks were transferred to the steamboat Champion and arrived at Mobile Point at one o‘clock in the afternoon on May 1. Almost three weeks later, the Champion transported thirty-three more fugitive Creeks to Mobile Point. Also on board was Hobiochee Yoholo, a Creek volunteer serving in Florida who was permitted a leave-of-absence to visit his family at Mobile Point after the death of his brother at Pensacola. The expeditions to apprehend more fugitive Creeks continued into the late summer 1837. In June 1837 agents traveled to Alaqua Creek in Florida in search of a number of fugitive Creek camps. Many of the Creeks hiding in the swamps of Florida were victimized by American soldiers or local whites. Agents found a number of the Creeks‘ old camp grounds which were broken up soon after a number of Indians were massacred nearby. The attack, which occurred near the end of May 1837, seven miles from La Grange, Florida at the edge of a large swamp, was committed by other Indians under the sanction of American commanding officers. There, in a ―space of about fifteen or twenty feet in diameter, [was] where the poor women with children upon their backs were inhumanly butchered the cries of the children were distinctly heard, at a house distant a quarter of a mile, after their mothers were shot down the children‘s brains were deliberately knocked out—the women‘s Ears cut off, for the purpose of obtaining their Ear rings and in several instances scalped.‖ Agents noted that many of the Creek refugees were victimized by ―so many barbarous outrages‖ that many were afraid to emerge from their hiding places.28 This was even true if the Creeks wanted to surrender to the authorities. For instance, on a number of occasions, fugitives attempted to give themselves up peacefully but every time they tried they were shot at by whites. As a result, these Creeks were understandably skittish and the agents used Creek scouts and interpreters who accompanied them to coax the fugitives from their camps. Once found, these Creeks were described as having ―suffered severely in different skirmishes with their troops and were measurably destitute of clothing, much dispirited and nearly broken down with fatigue.‖ The agents and friendly Creeks continued through the woods to a swamp between Pine Log Creek and the Choctawhatchee River, where they found another camp of fugitive Creeks. Sixteen or eighteen of the Creeks surrendered, but twenty men and ―several women and children refused‖ noting that they wanted to settle among the Seminoles. The agents also searched the Yellow River and East Bay where a group of fugitive Creeks had made their headquarters. While federal agents were trying to capture the refugee Creeks in south Alabama,

PAGE 338
over two thousand Creeks still remained at Mobile Point waiting for their warriors to be discharged from service in Florida. While the delay in the return of the Creek warriors from Florida had allowed the Creek family members in Alabama to be victimized by white settlers, the delay also allowed the Creeks now at Mobile Point to be exposed to sickness. The first death occurred on March 24, and by early July, ninety-three Creeks had died at Mobile Point.  Mobile Point, agents observed, was ―exceedingly unhealthy and many of the children have died‖ from diarrhea which the agents believed the Creeks contracted from drinking stagnant water.  Mobile Point turned out to be a breeding ground for illnesses, including diarrhea, dysentery, and intermittent fever. Agents reported that that as a result of the diseases, ―the Creek Indians at [Mobile Point] are becoming very discontented‖ and ―the citizens in the vicinity are becoming alarmed.‖ Some Creeks, likely trying to escape the disease, fled Mobile Point and made their way into the interior of Florida. Almost fifty Creeks, including women and children, were apprehended on the Perdido River and Escambia Bay.  The sick were placed on beds made of planks. Soldiers at the post, however, removed the planks which forced the sick Creeks ―to lie on the hard bricks exposed to the dampness of the earth.‖ Some Creeks required extreme treatment. For instance one Creek Indian needed an arm amputated and was transferred to a hospital in Mobile. Compounding the problem was that the contractors of the Alabama Emigrating Company failed to furnish the Creeks with fresh beef while at Mobile Point.56 While the contractors searched local farms for fresh meat, many Creeks took matters into their own hands. Residents of south Alabama noted that many Creeks, in parties of between five and twenty individuals, fled their encampment at Mobile Bay to hunt white settlers‘ livestock. These Creek hunters were scattered over a large area between Mobile Bay and the Perdido River. Oystermen at Bon Secour sold the Creeks ammunition and whiskey, and many residents feared that, in addition to the loss of their livestock, the Creeks would join the Seminoles. But the sickness and disease among the Creeks at Mobile Point became so bad that agents had little choice but to move the Creeks to a healthier location. In June 1837, Mathew Bateman, who had returned from accompanying Opothle Yoholo‘s detachment to Fort Gibson, along with another agent, traveled by boat to Dauphin Island to explore possible camp sites. Sensing that the land was no healthier than that at Mobile Point the agents rejected Dauphin Island as a possible location. But agents continued to scout locations. On June 23, an emigrating agent, an assistant surgeon, and thirty-eight Creek headmen, traveled on the steamboat Farmer to the islands between Mobile Point and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi—including Cat Island, Ship Island, and Horn Island—to look for healthier land. Horn Island and Ship Island were rejected by the Creeks ―in consequence of the barrenness of the soil, the abundance of musquetoes and the low situation of the ground.‖ Moreover, the proprietor of Cat Island refused to let the Creeks occupy that place. Eventually, Pass Christian, Mississippi, was selected as the site of the new encampment because it was ―high, dry, and airy, with three or four springs of excellent water and beautifully shaded with large oaks, hickory and other flourishing trees.‖ It was also a refuge for residents of New Orleans during the sickly season of summer.60 The agents moved the Creeks to the wharf at Mobile Point in anticipation of taking the John Nelson to Pass Christian.61 John Page, who oversaw the emigration, reported that they had ―great difficulty getting [the Creeks] on board the Boat there were a great number sick many of them died on the warf before they could get on board and some died immediately after they embarked and we had to bury them, this detained the Boats some time.‖ On the evening of July 7, 1837 the first detachment of Creeks left Mobile Point for Pass Christian. They arrived the afternoon of the following day. Compounding their misery, on the boat‘s return to pick up another detachment, a storm blew in and the boats could not dock at the wharf. The storm lasted two days forcing the Creeks to remain at Mobile Point. The agents reported that they did all they could to shield the Creeks from the weather but the storm still ―rendered the situation of the Indians very unpleasant.‖ The Creeks remained on the wharf through the storm because they were unwilling to ―spoil their Physic,‖ by returning to their former encampment.62 It took a number of days to ferry the Creeks to Pass Christian. The last of the detachmentsarrived at Pass Christian in the third week of July. Despite the death and disease, there were at least twenty-three births while the Creeks were at Mobile Point.63 Although Pass Christian was a much healthier location, many Creeks who had contracted their illnesses at the previous, camp died. In fact, within days of arriving at Pass Christian, twenty-five Creeks died over a two day period. By July 31, 1837, eightyfour Creeks had died at Pass Christian.64 Most of these were young children or the elderly. By August, however, the number of new cases of sickness had decreased sharply and agents noted that ―the sick are convalescing very rapidly.‖65 Moreover, agents reported that the Creeks were ―perfectly satisfied‖ with their new camp. Agents purchased cloth and made tents for the party. The contractors furnished fresh beef, bacon, corn, and beans ―so the Indians have their choice of Rations.‖66 Observers, who visited the Creeks‘ camp at Pass Christian, reported that ―‗their tents are rude and slight, though some of them betray a neatness almost amounting to elegance; for even with these children of nature there are evidently classes or grades. There is too, an aristocratic or ‗West End‘ of the encampment, where the squaws are better dressed—where the papoose


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

 Mobile like every Southern city that I have seen has but little that is attractive in appearance, whatever it may be in reality. It's day of prosperity is past--at least I think so. In all my walks through it yesterday & this morning, I do not recollect having seen a single new house putting up. The wharves are tolerably good, the store houses large, but look both old & neglected. The private buildings are without taste, and have not even the only recommendation of the "Birmingham Warehouse,"--size--the pillars are the largest part of them. There is but one fine public building in the place--an Academy. The Port of Mobile is miserable--larger vessels than schooners & occasionally brigs [?] cannot get nearer the city than 30 miles, at which distance they have to discharge their cargoes by lighters.
Dauphin Island West Base. — This station is on the western end of Dauphin Island. In 1847 the station was within one-half mile of the extremity of the island, while in 1897 the island extended 3^ miles west of it. I11 September, 1897, the distance was reduced by a storm which washed away 1 mile of the western end of the island. The station is marked as described at Dauphin Island East Base, except that the cement at this station is 6 feet square and 5 feet deep and only one piece of tile pipe was put in.

Monday, March 14, 2016

from Harbinger article   Dauphin Island is fourteen miles long, with an eastern portion heavily wooded, wider and more elevated than the wind- and water-swept western portion. Over the centuries, Gulf waters have washed away and then rebuilt portions of the island. The east end is the most stable. During the nineteenth century the Gulf swept away miles of the present island's western portion . The federal government constructed Fort Gaines at the east end of the island in the early 1800s. By the end of that century, the federal government owned nearly 1,000 acres around the fort, a tract that extended to the present-day Cadillac Square Park. Land records in Mobile County Probate Court examined by The Harbinger show that in 1911, Congress sold 700 acres of this land to the Dauphin Island Railway and Harbor Company on the condition that within four years the company would build a railroad bridge from the mainland, and a dock on the Gulf to off-load cargo. During the next several years, the syndicate involved in the railway project bought and consolidated ownership of most of Dauphin Island. It was during these years that the name of Forney Johnston first appears in probate court records. Johnston was the son of former Alabama Governor and U.S. Senator, Joseph F. Johnston. The elder Johnston served in the Congress from 1907 until his death in 1913.
Some years later, Frank Boykin, Mobile's Congressman from 1935 until 1962, joined Forney Johnston and other business people to form Gulf Properties Corporation. Boykin had made a fortune through land speculation before he entered Congress. Since the early 1900s he had bought and sold land and timber throughout south Alabama. According to a probate court document the Gulf Properties Corporation was organized in 1930 to acquire and hold land on Dauphin Island until a bridge and other developments would add "to the value and use or marketability of the land thereon." By 1953 Gulf Properties held most of Dauphin Island.
Another version, attributed to Frank Boykin, of how Gulf Properties acquired the island appeared in a 1973 book by Edward Boykin, Everything's Made for Love in This Man's World: Vignettes from the Life of Frank W. Boykin. In this account, the prosperous Boykin met a man named Breck Musgrove, of Jasper, Alabama, on a train trip from New York in 1929. Musgrove approached Boykin for a $50,000 loan, offering to "put up Dauphin Island as collateral." Boykin and several others made the loan. Eighteen months later, after Musgrove failed to pay it back, Boykin, Forney Johnston, T. J. Rester, and Judge Matt Boykin, Frank Boykin's brother, took title to "over ninety percent of Dauphin Island." The partners then formed the Gulf Properties Corporation.

by Louis XIV to Crozat. This grant empowered him " to carry on exclusively the trade in all our territories by us possessed and bounded by New Mexico, and by those of the English in Carolina; all the establishments, ports, harbours, rivers, and especially the port and harbour of Dauphin Island, formerly called Massacre Island ; the River St Louis, formerly called the Mississippi, from the sea-shore to the Illinois ; together with the River St Philip, formerly called the Missouri River, and the St Jerome, formerly called the "Wabash (the Ohio), with all the coun tries, territories, lakes inland, and the rivers emptying them selves directly or indirectly into that part of the river St Louis. All the said territories, countries, streams, and islands, we will to be and remain comprised under the name of ' The Government of Louisiana,' which shall be dependent on the general government of New France, and remain subordinate to it; and we will, moreover, that all the territories which we possess on this side of the Illinois be united, as far as need be, to the general government of New France, and form a part thereof, reserving to our selves to increase, if we think proper, the extent of the government of the said country of Louisiana." This document defined with tolerable precision the province of Louisiana.

The following text from the 1832 American State Papers proposes the construction of works known in the present day as the Tenn-Tom Waterway, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from Bon Secour to Pensacola, Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines (there's even a forshadowing of THE ESTUARIUM!)  :
Mobile Bay lies 40 miles west of Pensacola Bay. It receives the Alabama and Tombeckbee Rivers, the navigable waters of which flow through the State of Alabama, and will, by improvements in their head branches, connect the southern district of Tennessee, and the western of Georgia, with the Gulf of Mexico. The entrance of this bay is between the eastern point of Dauphin island and Mobile Point. The distance from one point to the other is 3 and one quarter miles. A bank projecting 5 miles to the southward of Mobile Point, obstructs the entrance of the bay; but, however, affords through it various channels, the main of which offers on the bar, 15 and a half feet at the lowest tide, and comes from the south around Mobile Point. The interior of the bay has water enough for any vessel which can pass over the bar; but, on account of a shoal formed opposite to the mouth of Dog River, 11 miles south of Mobile city, vessels drawing more than eight or nine feet cannot, at low tide, ascend the bay further up, and reach the mouth of Mobile River.  In following close to the out shore of Dauphin island, and leaving to the east Big Pelican island, vessels drawing 7 feet can, at low tide, enter the bay- in coming from the westward and steering close round a spit of sand, which projects out one and one quarter miles from the eastern end of Dauphin island; besides, there is a good anchorage between Big Pelican island and Dauphin island, and close to the latter, for vessels drawing 12 feet. This anchorage can be entered either from the westward, in steering close to Dauphin Island, or from the main channel, leaving it two miles southwest of Mobile Point.  During a prevalence of northerly wind, vessels from the sea being prevented from entering the bay, this anchorage affords them a good shelter to wait for a favorable wind. The main channel has a width, of 1600 yards for a least depth of 16 feet opposite Mobile Point. Between this channel and Dauphin Island, vessels drawing 7 feet can, at high tide, pass almost in every direction over the banks which lie at the entrance of the bay. The mean rise of tide is two and a half feet. A good anchorage is found at Navy Cove, north of Mobile Point, and vessels drawing 9 feet can reach, within four miles, the mouth of Bon Secours River, which enters into a bay of the same name. It is through this river, as it will be said hereafter, that the bay of Mobile might be connected by water with the bay of Pensacola. The defence of the entrance of Mobile Bay will rest on the occupation, by permanent works, of Mobile Point, and of the eastern end of Dauphin Island. Whilst the former point will defend the main channel, the other will overlook the western pass, as also the anchorage between Dauphin Island and Big Pelican Island, and both together will, within their respective range, control, as much as practicable, the shoal, over which small vessels might enter the bay. The work at Dauphin Island will, besides, ensure the possession of the island, and prevent an enemy from making on it, in time of war, a permanent establishment. From such an establishment, a naval adversary might cut off the coasting navigation between Mobile Bay and New Orleans, through Lake Pontchartrain; and, moreover, blockade the bay and interrupt the extensive trade destined to be carried through this estuary of the Alabama and Tombeckbee rivers. In fine, the work at Dauphin Island will protect the anchorage of steam batteries, which might become necessary in time of war, to scour the coast, to keep free the navigation of the sound leading from Lake Borgne and Lake Pontchartrain to Mobile Bay; and, also, to prevent the blockade of the mouth of the Mississippi, as well as of the entrances into Lake Pontchartrain.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

de la Harpe's history



navigating the mouth of the Mississippi

silting of the ship channel after Civil War

status of Mobile docks circa 1914



settlement of the gold country by European and American pioneers. Ball, Dave (Florida State University/Archaeological Investigations Northwest, Inc.) [36] THE IRONCLAD PHOENIX AND THE CONFEDERATE OBSTRUCTIONS AT MOBILE BAY During the American Civil War a series of obstructions were erected near Choctaw Point in upper Mobile Bay, Alabama. These obstructions incorporated wooden pilings, as well as sunken boats, barges, and flats, filled with brick and rubble, to block the Union Navy from taking the city of Mobile by water. Rediscovered in 1984 during a harbor improvement project survey for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, these obstructions were nominated to the National Register of Historic Places and given Alabama State Historic Site number 1Mb28, in 1985. Among the vessels which lie within these obstructions is Phoenix, one of the larger and more unique Confederate ironclads built during the War. This paper will present an analysis of information which was obtained during a 1993 archaeological survey of the vessel Phoenix. Included in the discussion is an historical sketch, and an examination of some of the defensive measures which were implemented at Mobile during the War.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

named for Phillipe, the Duke of Orleans, nephew of Louis XIV and Regent of France when the fort at Mobile was enlarged and named Fort Conde. Orleans Drive is southwest of the 3-way stop. It is the first south turn off of Bienville Boulevard after Salt Creek. Wikipedia link for Phillipe II, the Duke of Orleans,_Duke_of_Orl%C3%A9ans 
Findagrave link for Phillipe II, the Duke of Orleans

named for the sea bird that is often seen in the skies and on the beaches of Dauphin Island.

named for the Pascagoula Indian tribe who were known as "bread eaters" and whose villages were on the Singing River and Pascagoula Bay where now stands the cities of Pascagoula and Moss Point, Mississippi.

named for both the great fishing bird of the Gulf area and for the ship "Pelican" which brought twenty-four carefully selected young ladies to Mobile to marry men in the colony who had no homes of their own.

named for Bishop Louis Penalver y Cardenas, the first bishop of the new diocese set up in 1795 in the provinces of Louisiana and Florida.

named for Penicault, a young Frenchman who roamed French Louisiana in the early days, a ship-carpenter by trade, probably the first Mobile history writer and as such a valuable informer regarding life in the new colony.

named for Pensacola which was established by the Spanish expedition at about the time d'Iberville first landed on Dauphin Island in 1699.

#99 PEQUENO STREET (pronounced Pe-cane-yo)
named fro on of the early Spanish settlers.

named for Perdido Bay, the boundary between Spanish Florida and French Louisiana established in earliest colonial days.

named for the pirates of LaFitte who gave valuable aid to General Andrew Jackson in his campaign in the Gulf area.

named for Ponce de Leon, the Spanish discoverer of Florida who believed that the "fountain of youth" existed in this part of the World.

named for Monsier Ponchartrain, the French Minister of Marine, who authorized the establishment of Fort Louis de la Mobile as the capital of French Louisiana.

#104 PORTIER COURT (pronounced Porteer)
named for Reverend Michael Portier, the first Catholic Bishop in Mobile, who founded Spring Hill College in 1830.

named for the Federal ship of eight guns, the "Port Royal," which was a member of the fleet that attacked Fort Morgan and Mobile Bay at the close of the Civil War.

named for President Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States at the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and who successfully claimed that the Louisiana Purchase included the Gulf Coast from the Mississippi River eastward to the Perdido River.

#107 PUSHMATAHA COURT (pronounced Push-ma-ta-ha)
named for Pushmataha, most famous of the Choctaw chiefs, given the rank of general of the U.S. Army as a result of the services rendered by his Indians during the War of 1812.

named for Quebec, the first permanent French colony in America, northern anchor (Mobile being the southern anchor) for the chain of settlements the French laid around the English colonies hoping to force the English off this continent.

named for Admiral Raphael Semmes, a resident of Mobile who as a leader in the Confederacy was the only man in the Civil War to hold the rank of both admiral and general.

named for Father Abram J. Ryan, pastor of St. Mary's Church, the leading literary figure in Mobile in the years before the Civil War, and "poet priest of the Confederacy."

named for Saint Andrew, one of the twelve apostles and patron saint of Scotland; and for the French ship, Le St. Andre which brought a cargo of food and one hundred German families to the Louisiana Province during the administration of Bienville as Governor General.

named for Louis Juchereau, Sieur de St. Denis, one of the most successful traders in the Mobile colony, sent by Cadillac to trade with the Spanish colonies of the New World. As one-time commandant of Isle Dauphine, he successfully defended the Island against an attack from a Spanish expedition. On one of his missions into Spanish territory he was captured but fell in love with a Spanish girl, who he later married and moved to Mobile.

#113 SERIGNY STREET (pronounced Se-reen-ye)
named for Joseph LeMoyne, Sieur de Serigny, brother of Bienville who came to the Mobile colony in 1719 and contributed much by making accurate charts of Mobile Bay, the lower Mississippi River, and other waters along the Gulf Coast.

named for the "Tennessee," pride of the Confederate fleet, which single-handedly attacked the entire Federal fleet in the second conflict of the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864.

named for the great river which flows through east Mississippi and west Alabama and joins with the Alabama and joins with the Alabama River to form the Mobile River. This combined waterway is the second largest navigable water system on the North American Continent.

named for General Henri de Tonty, LaSalle's deputy commander and only close friend, who joined Bienville's group after LaSalle's death at which time he earned the name of Hook Hand from the Indians who feared his wrath and who knew him by an iron hook which he wore as a substitute for a lost hand. Many think that General Tonty is buried at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff where Mobile was first built and where a giant rayon manufacturing plant is now operating.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Whatever it's gonna be called, the advent of an island museum to be located in the town's new community center is an excellent opportunity to showcase Dauphin Island's STRATEGIC GEOGRAPHY as well it's status as AMERICA'S MOST HISTORIC GULF ISLAND based upon all the amazing events which have occurred in this area of the Mississippi Sound, Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico over the past three centuries of recorded human history. The "Founding Fathers" of D.I.'s development gave us a perfect HISTORIC DAUPHIN ISLAND HALL OF FAME when they named the streets. Scroll down on this link to see our annotated description of each street name's importance to Dauphin Island's long story. A great way to introduce visitors to the island's history would be to represent each of the TWELVE AGES OF DAUPHIN ISLAND HISTORY with a mural painted along the crown molding of the relocated building.

America's Most Historic Gulf Island With The Most Ignored, Overlooked and Misrepresented
Story in North America.

Age Number 1 (Chapter 1): Pre-historic Dauphin Island (this includes the island's transformation into being the most prominent landmark on European maps of the Northern Gulf Near the Mouth of the Mississippi River during almost 200 years of failed attempts at colonization)

Age Number 2 (Chapter 2): Cradle of the French Colony, 1699-1729

Age Number 3 (Chapter 3): French-Indian Trade Port of Call, 1729-1763

Age Number 4 (Chapter 4): British Dauphin Island, 1763-1780

Age Number 5 (Chapter 5): Spanish Outpost and Pilot House, 1780-1813

Age Number 6 (Chapter 6): A Leading Port of The Cotton Kingdom, 1813-1865

Age Number 7 (Chapter 7): An Occupying Army's Base of Operations and Fishing Village, 1865-                                                    1898
Age Number 8 (Chapter 8): Island's Fortifications Strengthened, 1898-1918

Age Number 9 (Chapter 9): The Roaring Twenties, Great Depression & WWII, 1918-1945

Age Number 10 (Chapter 10): The Development of Dauphin Island Real Estate, 1945-1979

Age Number 11 (Chapter 11): Disaster Recovery and Natural Gas Drilling, 1979-2005

Age Number 12 (Chapter 12): Post-Katrina, BP and The Future, 2005- (until)
 D'Iberville, when on his expedition "to plant a colony 
on the Mississippi,"- made a stop at San Domingo. There he "took 
on board M. de Grave, a famous bucaneer, who some years before 
had surprised and pillaged the town of Vera Cruz." San Domingo 
in later years furnished slaves to the new colony, and I think it 
more than possible that some were brought on this first voyage of 
DTberville's. However that may be, there were in the colony, in 
May, 1713, "four hundred persons, including twenty negroes." 3 
Then it was that Cadillac, the founder, in July or August, 1701, 
of Detroit, arrived in the new colony to serve as governor general. 
The entire province, including all the region "between Carolina on 
the east and Old and New Mexico on the west," had, by royal 
decree dated 14th September, 1712, been transferred, as far as com- 
mercial, mining and certain other privileges were concerned, to Sieur 
Antoine Crozat. Permission was granted him, "if he find it proper 
to have blacks in the said country of the Illinois," to "send a ship 
every year to trade for them directly upon the coast of Guinea, taking 
permission from the Guinea company to do so." But "before Crozat's 
plans were fairly organized, the operations of the treaty of Utrecht 
debarred him from the importation of Africans. Its provisions 
had, in fact, transferred the control of the slave trade to England. 
a plan far-reaching enough to make the mother country responsible 
for the long bondage of the negro in America." 

Nevertheless it must be said that though Crozat's plans in regard 
to the importation of negroes from Africa were defeated, it must 
have been for reasons that do not appear in the treaty, for designs 
of the same sort were successfully carried out by the man} r -named 
company of which John Law was, at first, the controlling spirit. 
"On the 6th of June," 1719, two vessels "arrived from the coast of 
Guinea with five hundred negroes. * * In the beginning of July, 
1720, "the ship l'Hercule, sixteen guns, arrived at Dauphin [Ship] 
Island from Guinea, with a cargo of negroes for the colony. * * On 
the 17th [of March, 1721], the frigate l'Africain arrived with one 
hundred and eighty negroes, being the remains of two hundred eighty 
which had embarked on board in Africa. On the 23d, le Due du 
Maine, thirty-six guns, arrived with three hundred and ninety-four 
negroes, being the remains of four hundred and fifty-three who had 

2. The colony, however, was not planted on the Mississippi but at Biloxi. 

3. La Harpe's "Establishment of the French in Louisiana," French's "Historical, 
lions of Louisiana," Part III., p. 39. 


-sailed from Africa about the same time. On the 4th of April, M. 
Berranger was sent to Cape Francais to purchase corn for the negroes, 
who were dying with hunger at Biloxi (Fort Louis). * * On the 
20th, the frigate la Nereide * * arrived with two hundred and 
ninety-four negroes, being the remains of three hundred and fifty 
which had been put on board. 4 He reported that the frigate le Charles. 
with a cargo of negroes, had been burnt at sea within sixty miles of 
the coast." We need not continue the dismal story— told by Benard 
-de La Harpe — any farther to be reminded of the fact that the mon- 
opoly granted to England by the 12th article of the treaty of Utrecht 
related to Spanish and not to French America. 

The royal proclamation creating Law's company gravely states 
that "in the settlement of the lands granted to the said company by 
these present letters, we have chiefly in view the glory of God, by 
procuring the salvation of the savage Indian and Negro inhabitants 
whom we wish to be instructed in the true religion." Perhaps this 
explains the seeming absurdity of beginning a decree (issued in 1724) 
regulating slavery with the command: "We enjoin the directors gen- 
eral of said company, and all our officers, to remove from said country 
[of Louisiana] all the Jews who may have taken up their abode 
there — the departure of whom, as declared enemies of the Christian 
name, we command within three months, including the day when 

■ presents are published, under pain of forfeiture of their bodies 
and estates." With the exception of this first article and a part of 
Article III., 5 the decree is devoted to slavery, and the treatment of 
es and other negroes. In regard to these matters the decree is 
quite as humane as we could expect. I fear that later slave codes 
would suffer in comparison. To be sure, the slave who ran away for 
the second time might be "hamstrung" and for the third offense 
of the sort be put to death. "A slave who. having struck his master, 
his mistress, or the husband of his mistress, or their children, shall 

4. The official estimate [of the population of Louisiana] in 1721. was 5,420, of 
whom six hundred were negroes. — Winsor, Vol. V., p. 49. 

5. "We prohibit any other religious rites than those of the Apostolic Roman 
Catholic church; requiring that those who violate this shall he punished as rehels 
disobedient to our commands." In mournful accord with this is a remark of La 
Harpe's. He has been speaking of the English ship found by Bienville in the 
Mississippi, 1699, September 16th. "On board of this vessel," he says, "was M. 
Secon, a French engineer, who gave secretly to M. Bienville a petition addressed to 
the king, professing to his majesty that if he would grant religious liberty to 
the colony, he would settle more than four hundred families on the Mississippi. 
This petition was forwarded to the minister. M. de Ponchartrain, who replied that 
the king would not suffer heretics to go from his kingdom for the purpose of forming 

In contrast with this unhappy policy we notice the fact that non- 
adherents of the church of England have been the very backbone and strength of the 
Jiritish colonies. 


have produced a bruise, or the shedding of blood in the face, shall 
suffer capital punishment." But slavery must needs he cruel. '"The 
power of the master must be absolute to render the submission of 

the slave perfect." 11 

Whatever else, under the decree of 1724, might be done or left 
undone, we may be sure that slavery would spread as widely as 
seemed advantageous to the slaveholders. 7 For herein is ihe econom c 
danger of slavery, as in the making and selling of intoxicants, .that 
what is most hurtful to the community as a whole is immediately 
profitable to individuals. Accordingly, we are not surprised to learn 
that slavery was firmly established, under French authority, in the 
Illinois country. In 1721, according to Winsor, perhaps, however, in 
1726, Phillippe Francois Renault brought to Kaskaskia, or at leasl 
to the region above the confluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi, 
"some two hundred miners and live hundred slaves." In 1750 a 
Jesuit missionary, probably Father Vivier, quoted by Chief Justice 
Sidney Breese, found eleven hundred whites and three hundred blacks 
in five Illinois villages. When, in October, 1705, the British, under 
Thomas Stirling, afterward general and knight, came to the Illinois 
country to take possession there according to the treaty of Paris, [763, 
February 10th, the non-Indian population, estimated at five thousand. 
included, perhaps, five hundred slaves. Whatever the number, it was 
soon reduced by emigration into the Spanish country across the 
Mississippi. Thus it was that St. Genevieve. Missouri's oldest town, 
became a place of relative importance. And it was from St. Genevieve, 
in later years, that there came part of the blot of slavery as we find 
it on early pages of Wisconsin's history. 

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Right now there are at least three different BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS MOVIE PROJECTS in the works. That January 8, 1815 battle was the culmination of 10 different battles fought during the ROYAL NAVY'S GULF CAMPAIGN. The first battle of this famed military expedition occurred around Dauphin Island as well as the last battle of  not only the New Orleans campaign but also of the entire WAR OF 1812.  The British attempt to capture New Orleans began September 15, 1814 on Mobile Point  with the Battle of Fort Bowyer and it didn't end until five months later when the Royal Navy finally took Fort Bowyer from the Americans on February 12, 1815 ; only to get news the next day that the war was over. THE U.S-GREAT BRITAIN ALLIANCE, the greatest alliance the world has ever known, began over 200 years ago on the deck of a British warship anchored off Dauphin Island with the shaking of hands.