This comprehensive new history of Mobile celebrates the rich heritage
of Alabama’s oldest city and commemorates the city’s tricentennial from
1702 into the present.
Alabama’s oldest city from the period of European settlement was founded
in 1702 by French naval officer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville.
Bienville named the settlement after the neighboring Maubila Indians and situated
it on the west side of the protected harbor now called Mobile Bay on the
Gulf of Mexico. During the colonial period, Mobile was occupied successively
from the French, British, and Spanish until it was captured by the Americans
in 1813. From that point on, the city evolved from a trading post
into a prosperous river port, as a result of the cotton production of antebellum
Black Belt plantations.
After the defeat of the Confederacy, Mobile Started to decrease and Birmingham
took over as the economic leader of Alabama. During World War II, Mobile
experienced a second boom period as shipbuilding and defense businesses
expanded and flourished. At the turn of the 21st century, as it observes
its tricentennial, Mobile remains an important American port city whoes economy has diversified to include oil, natural gas, and newspaper.
Mobile: The New History of Alabama’s First City reassesses Mobile’s
place in history and celebrates its proud heritage. Recognized
scholars of Mobile history have collaborated to produce a highly readable,
richly illustrated narrative that showcases the terrific assortment of influences
with this bustling maritime city. Published in cooperation with the Mobile
Tricentennial Committee, this long-awaited book will be invaluable to historians
and general readers alike as it documents and interprets the first 300
years of a great and vital American city.