Alabama.—The twenty-second State admitted into the Federal Union of America. It lies north of the Gulf of Mexico, and is known as one of the Gulf, or South Central, States. It is bounded north by Tennessee, east by Georgia, south by the Gulf and by Florida, and west by Mississippi. It lies between the paralels of 30°15′ and 35° north latitude, and the meridians of 84° 56′ and 88 48′ west of Greenwich. From north to south it is 336 miles; and east to west, from 148 to 200 miles. It has an area of 52,250 square miles, of which 710 is water surface and 51,540 land surface. Its area in acres is 33,440,000. It has about 2,000 miles of navigable rivers, and Mobile is its only seaport. The State may be roughly divided into the Tennessee Valley on the north, highly productive of corn, cotton, cereals, and fruits; the mineral region; the cotton belt; the timber and the coast regions. The vegetation in the north belongs to the temperate zone, while in the south it is today. Fine hardwood, as well as ordinary timber, are to be found well distributed over the entire State. The climate of the State is equable, and the extremes of heat and cold are rarely experienced. Animals and birds, usual in the West and Southwest, are to be found. The streams abound in fish of almost every variety. The principal crop is cotton, the yield in 1905 being 1,249,685 bales, giving the State the third position in cotton production. Corn, wheat, oats, hay, and all other farm and garden products are profitably grown in considerable quantities. Alabama has, in the last quarter of a century, taken very high rank as a mineral State. The following are the statistics for 1905: iron ore, 3,782,831 tons; coal, 11,900,153 tons; coke, 2,756,698 tons; pig iron, 1,604,062 tons. In addition to the items just named, clay, bauxite, cement, graphite, marble, sulphur, and pyrites, silver and gold are mined in paying quantities. The growth of the mineral interests has quickened the laying out of cities, the multiplication of railroad lines, and the development of manufactures. In 1905 there were in the State 1,882 manufacuturing establishments with a capital of $105,382,859, employing 3,763 officials, and 62,173 wage earners, and turning out a product valued at $109,169,922. The eleven leading industries in 1905 were: car construction, 16 plants; coke, 24; cotton goods, 46; fertilizers,19; foundry and machine shops, 78; blast furnaces, steel works, and rolling mills, 29; lumber and timber products, 590; lumber-planning-mill products, 67; oil, cotton, and coke, 58; printing and publishing, 241; and turpentine and rosin, 144. The following are the statistics of railroad mileage, 1905: 4,227.70 miles of main track; 1,317.36 miles of side track; total of main line, side track, and rolling stock, $53,706,025.93. The public debt of the State is $9,057,000. The State tax rate cannot exceed sixty-five cents per annum on the hundred dollars.
HISTORY.—The territory now included in the State was for hundreds of years the home in part of the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Indian tribes. It is not possible to place any approximate limit to their occupation, and their early history is involved in obscurity. Certain it is that the aboriginal inhabitants, first encountered by European explorers in this region, were the direct ancestors of the tribes named. In the early years of the sixteenth century daring sailors doubtless touched the shores of Mobile Bay; and survivors of the ill-fated Narvaez expedition are believed to have passed across the lower part of the State. In 1540 De Soto traversed the State, entering near Rome, Ga., and passing out not far from Columbus, Miss. On the 18 of October of that year he fought the great battle of Mauvila, the most sanguinary of Indian conflicts on the American Continent. He made no settlements, and his expedition was of no value further than for the record left by his chroniclers concerning the Southern Indians. In 1560 a Spanish colony was located at Nanipacna, believed to be in the present Wilcox county, Ala., but it was shortlived and no details are preserved. A century and a half pass, and a dark veil of obscurity covers the land. In 1697, or 1698, three Englishmen, coming overland from the Carolinas, descended the Alabama River to the village of the Mobilians on the Mobile River. La Salle had in the meantime (1682) taken formal possession of the Mississippi, and named the country Louisiana. Entering the Gulf of Mexico in 1699, Iberville explored the southern coast of what is now the United States, and made temporary settlement at Old Biloxi, near the present Ocean Springs, Miss. In January, 1702, he transferred his colony to 27-Mile Bluff, Mobile River, in the limits of what is now Alabama, and gave it the name of Fort Louis. This was the first attempt at a permanent settlement on the Gulf Coast, and was the site of Old Mobile. It is an interesting fact that in 1707 a number of the colonists went down to Dauphin Island, where they settled and planted small crops, thus becoming the first farmers in this territory. In 1711, the site of Fort Louis proving unsatisfactory, the whole colony was removed to the present Mobile, and this town was, until 1720, the residence of the governors and the capital of the Province of Louisiana. In 1714, Fort Toulouse, at the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers, was planted as a remote outpost for Indian trade and as a buffer to the English advance from the South Atlantic settlements; in 1721 the first African slaves were landed at Mobile; in 1736, Fort Tombeckbe was built on the Tombigbee River in the heart of the Choctaw country, to keep that tribe under French control; on February 18, 1763, France ceded all her possessions east of the Mississippi, excepting the Island of Orleans, to Great Britain; by treaty of November 30, 1782, marking the close of the contest of the colonies with the mother country, Great Britain ceded to them all her claims north of latitude 31°; and on October 27, 1795, Spain relinquished to the United States her claims to West Florida, south of line 31°. Mississippi Territory was created by Act of Congress, April 7, 1798, and under this and subsequent Acts of enlargement the present States of Alabama and Mississippi constituted one Territory until 1817. The Creek Indian War of 1813 and 1814, fought largely in Alabama, and which started General Andrew Jackson on his long public career, temporarily retarded the growth of the Territory. On March 1, 1817, Alabama Territory was formed, and after the adoption of a constitution under an Enabling Act of March 2, 1819, the State was, December 14, formally admitted into the Federal Union. St. Stephens was the seat of government for the Territory. Cahaba was selected as the capital in 1818; Tuscaloosa, 1826; and Montgomery, 1846. In 1825 General Lafayette, on his last tour through the United States, visited several towns in Alabama. In the thirties the State University was opened, the terms of the judges were fixed for six years, the first railroad track west of the Alleghany Mountains was laid from Tuscumbia in the direction of Decatur, the Indians were removed to the West, a financial panic fell heavily upon the people, a State penitentiary was provided by law, and imprisonment for debt, except in cases of fraud, was abolished. To the struggles of the heroic Texans Alabama contributed a number of brave sons; and to the Mexican War she gave 3,026 volunteers.
Under the leadership of William Lowndes Yancey, Alabama had early taken a most advanced position in opposition to the Abolition sentiment and agitation of the North, and in 1860 the Legislature provided for a convention, in case of the election of Lincoln, “to do whatever in the opinion of said convention, the rights, interests and honor of the State of Alabama require to be done for their protection”. The convention met January 7, 1861, and on January 11 passed an Ordinance of Secession by a vote of 61 to 39. After its passage the members of Congress from Alabama withdrew in a body. On February 4, 1861, in the Senate Chamber of the State capitol at Montgomery, the delegates from six seceding States, including Alabama, met and formed the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America. On April 15, 1861, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, issued a formal proclamation of war, and at once the brave and patriotic people of the State rallied to her defense. The Tennessee Valley was the theatre of numberless raids, and the people suffered many indignities at the hands of the Federals. The forts below Mobile, although strongly defended, were taken in 1864, and the town was taken 1865. The University buildings were wantonly burned in 1865, by an invading force under General Croxton. Selma and Montgomery were taken in 1865. Alabama contributed to the war from 1861 to 1865 more than 100,000 men, out of a total white population, in 1860, of 526,271. There was no important battle east of the Mississippi River in which her troops did not perform an honorable part. Among the general officers credited to Alabama were Longstreet, Gordon, Withers, Forney, Rodes, Clayton, Allen, Pettus, Morgan, Gracie, Battle, Sanders, Kelly, and Gorgas. Admiral Semmes and the gallant John Pelham were on the Confederate rolls as from Alabama. On June 21, 1865, by the appointment of Lewis E. Parsons as Provisional Governor, civil government was in a measure set in motion, but it was almost ten years before the people of the State finally entered upon a normal and healthy growth. The period from 1865 to 1874, known as the Reconstruction Era, was one continuous series of sickening experiences in social, business, and political life, and as a legacy a debt of many millions was fixed upon the people. Constitutional conventions have been held in 1819, 1861, 1865, 1867, 1875, and 1901.
POPULATION.—As previously stated, Mobile and vicinity were the first settled portions of the State. The inhabitants were largely French. For about one hundred years the interior had only an isolated settlement here and there. In 1800, population had so increased on the Tombigbee that the settlements were formed into Washington county. About 1805 the Tennessee Valley, in the vicinity of Huntsville, received its first settler, and in 1808 Madison county was created. After the Creek War, or about 1815, settlers in large numbers rushed in from the South Atlantic seaboard, consisting principally of American pioneers of British origin. The Spanish came to Mobile in considerable numbers from 1780 to 1811, and the Gulf city today is the only community in the State in which there is any very large infusion of the Latin races. The territory embraced in the State is said to have been settled more rapidly than any other section of the United States, and in 1819 passed from territorial pupilage. In 1800 Washington county, then in the Mississippi Territory, had a population of 1,250; in 1810 the counties of Baldwin, Madison, and Washington, also in the Mississippi Territory, had 9,046. In 1820 the population of the State at the first census was 127,901. In 1900 the population was 1,828,697, or more than fourteen times that of 1820. From 1820 to 1830 the population increased 142 per cent, and from 1830 to 1840, 90.9 per cent, but subsequently the rate of increase declined until the decade from 1860 to 1870, when it was only 3.4 per cent. The rate of increase of 1900 over 1890 is 20.9 per cent. The total land surface of the State is approximately 51,540 square miles, and the average number of persons to the square mile was, for 1890, 29.4; for 1900, 35.5. Detailed population statistics are as follows: 1820, white 85,451, colored (including slaves and free negroes) 42,450, total 127,901; 1830, white 190,406, colored 119,121, total 309,527; 1840, white 335,185, colored 255,571, total 590,756; 1850, white 426,514, colored 345,109, total 771,623; 1860, white 526,271, colored 437,770, total 964,041; 1870, white 521,384, colored 475,510, all others 98, total 996,992; 1880, white 662,185, colored 600,103, all others 217, total 1,262,505; 1890, white 830,796, colored 681,431, all others 790, total 1,513,017; 1900, white 1,001,152, colored 827,307, all others 238, total 1,828,697. The estimated population of Alabama on December 31, 1905, was 2,017,877, and the estimated population of the following cities, same date, is as follows: Anniston, 10,919; Birmingham, 45,869; Huntsville, 8,110; Mobile, 42,903; Montgomery, 40,808; and Selma, 12,047.
Education.—During the territorial period, or prior to 1819, educational advantages were limited to a few private schools and academies. The Congressional Enabling Act granted seventy-two sections of land “for the use of a seminary of learning”, and all 16th sections, or an equivalent, “to the inhabitants for the use of schools”. The constitution of 1819 provided that “schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged”. In the execution of this mandate the Legislature passed a number of Acts regulating (I) the State University and its land grant, (2) the incorporation and regulation of academies, and (3) the management and preservation of the 16th-section funds. On January 10, 1826, the schools of Mobile county were regulated by an Act, through which they were organized in a more or less effective way, but it was not until February 15, 1854, that “a system of free public schools” was adopted for the State. The State University was incorporated December 18, 1821, and on April 18, 1831, it opened its doors for students. The University and well-conducted academies in all parts of the State afforded the principal means for education prior to the Public-school Act of 1854, and even for many years after its passage. The higher education of women received much attention, and in Alabama was located the first chartered institution to grant diplomas to women. The last quarter of a century has witnessed a remarkable increase of interest in education, and at present (1905) about one-half of the State’s revenues go into support of the public or common schools and the higher institutions of learning. The State University, the head of the system, is located at Tuscaloosa; the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (agricultural and mechanical) established in 1872, is located at Auburn; the Alabama Girls’ Industrial School, at Montevallo; four normal colleges, for white pupils, at Florence, Troy, Jacksonville, and Livingston; three normal schools, for negro pupils, at Montgomery, Tuskegee, and Normal, and nine agricultural schools and experiment stations at Jackson, Evergreen, Abbeville, Sylacauga, Wetumpka, Hamilton, Albertville, Athens, and Blountsville. The common schools are directed by a State superintendent of education, and the local machinery consists of county boards and district trustees. There are fifty separate school districts, self-governing or regulated by special Acts, as Montgomery, Birmingham, etc. Separate State institutions for both white and negro deaf, dumb, and blind are located at Talladega. A Reform School for white boys is conducted at East Lake. A separate agricultural experiment station is maintained at Uniontown. Expenditures have been made by the State for educational purposes for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1906, as follows: public, or common, school system, $1,215,115.92; Alabama Polytechnic Institute, $20,280.00; University of Alabama, $27,000.00; Deaf, Dumb, and Blind institutions, $71,322.50; Alabama Girls’ Industrial School, $25,000.00; Alabama Industrial School for White Boys, $8,000.00.
In addition to the institutions maintained from the public treasury, there are the following higher institutions supported and controlled by religious denominations: Spring Hill College, near Mobile; St. Bernard College, Cullman; McGill Institute, Mobile; St. Joseph‘s College for Negro Catechists, Montgomery (Catholic); Southern University, Greensboro; North Alabama Conference College, Birmingham; Athens Female College, Athens; and Alabama Conference Female College, Tuskegee (Methodist Episcopal Church, South); Howard College, East Lake; and Judson Female College, Marion (Baptist); Noble Institute, Anniston (Protestant Episcopal); Synodical College for Men, Anniston, and Isbell College, Talladega (Presbyterian). Several institutions of high grade are conducted as private enterprises, notably the Marion Military Institute. Colleges of medicine and pharmacy are located in Birmingham and Mobile; and a school of dentistry at Birmingham. Theological courses are offered at Howard College (Baptist); schools of music and art, and business colleges are in operation in Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile. A law department is maintained at the State University.
Coeducation obtains in all State institutions, except in the Alabama Girls’ Industrial School and the Livingston State Normal School. There are several schools for the higher education of negroes in addition to the three normal schools above noted, namely: Talladega College, Talladega; Alabama Baptist Normal and Theological School, Selma; Academic and Industrial Institute, Kowaliga; Calhoun Colored School, Calhoun; and Normal Industrial Institute, Snow Hill. The Theological School at Selma, as the name implies, has a theological department; the Stillman Institute is conducted under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church (white) for the education of negro preachers, and St. Joseph‘s College, at Montgomery, is a Catholic institution for the training of negro catechists.
RELIGION.—The Catholic Church on the Alabama Gulf Coast dates from the coming of Iberville’s colony in 1699. He was accompanied by Father Anastase Douay, who had once been an explorer with La Salle. Catholic missionaries were abroad in the Mississippi Valley prior to this date, and Biloxi had hardly been located when Father Antony Davion made his appearance. He and Father Douge ministered to the spiritual wants of the colonists until 1704, and even after, but in this year came the induction, by Davion, of De La Vente as priest of a church formally set up at Fort Louis. This step was taken in consequence of the erection of Mobile into a canonical parish by the Bishop of Quebec. From this time on the Church has a continuous history in Mobile. La Vente alternated with Alexander Huve, his assistant, until 1710, while the later continued to about 1722. Father Jean Mattheu, of the Capuchin Order, officiated at Mobile, 1721 to 1736; while Father Jean Francois and Father Ferdinand, also Capuchins, as well as Jesuits, were here from 1736 to 1763. From time to time numbers of other names appear as officiating priests. The quaint manuscript records, showing births, deaths, marriages, and baptisms, are preserved in the church archives at Mobile. Excellent summaries and details from these records are to be found in Peter J. Hamilton’s “Colonial Mobile” (1897). After the occupation of Mobile by the Spanish, in 1780, and the expulsion of the British, the church was called the Immaculate Conception, a name it has since borne. After American occupation, in 1812, for a number of years no substantial advance was made, and in 1825, when Bishop Portier entered upon his office, the church in Mobile was the only one in Alabama, and he was the only priest. The church building was burned in 1827.
The early priests were zealous missionaries, and with consecrated zeal they labored to bring the untutored child of the forest into the fold of the Church. Father Davion, above mentioned, was first a missionary to the Tunicas. In 1709 churches were erected at Dauphin Island, and also ten miles above Mobile for a band of Apalache Indians, who had been earlier converted by Spanish missionaries. Father Charles, a Carmelite, was a missionary among them in 1721. There were missions at Fort Toulouse and Fort Tombecbe, and also at Chickasawhay. Father Michael Baudouin was for eighteen years among the Choctaws. These missions were largely abandoned after 1763, owing to British occupation. Until 1722 the parish of Mobile was a part of the Diocese of Quebec. In this year, with the subdivision of the southern country for administrative purposes by Law‘s Company, there was a parcelling-out, or assignment, of the divisions to the different orders of the Church. The Illinois country went to the Jesuits; New Orleans and west of the Mississippi to the Capuchins, and the Mobile district to the Barefoot Carmelites. In a very short time a change was made, and Mobile was given over to the Capuchins. During Spanish occupation Mobile was in the Diocese of Santiago de Cuba. Later the northern part of the territory now embraced in the State was under the Archbishop of Baltimore, while the southern was under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Louisiana and Florida. In 1825 the Vicariate-Apostolic of Alabama and Florida was created, and the Reverend Michael Portier was appointed bishop. He was consecrated November 5, 1826. On May 15, 1829, the Diocese of Mobile was created, embracing in its bounds West Florida and all of Alabama. Bishop Portier was continued in his office, and served until his death, in 1859. His successors in order were John Quinlan (1859-1883); Dominic Manucy (1883-1885); and Jeremiah O’Sullivan (1885-1897). These men possessed marked ability and were positive and uplifting forces in the life of the State. The incumbent bishop is the Right Reverend Edward P. Allen (1897). During the life of the Church in the State it has been served, in Mobile and at other points, by many priests of deep piety and extensive learning, and men who have contributed their part as well in shaping the growth of the commonwealth in high civic ideals. In addition to the abovenamed clergy, the following prominent members of the Catholic Church in Alabama should be noted: Father Abram J. Ryan, poet-priest; Margaret O’Brien Davis, author; Lucian Julian Walker, journalist and author; Raphael Semmes, Admiral in the Confederate States Navy; S. A.M. Wood and Alpheus Baker, Brigadier-Generals, C. S. A.; R. M. Sands and D. S. Troy, Lieutenant-Colonels, C. S. A.; Wm. R. Smith, poet, historian, lawyer, political leader, and Colonel, C. S. A; Frank P. O’Brien, political leader and journalist. Arthur and Felix McGill are the names of the founders and patrons of McGill Institute at Mobile. The Catholic population of the State at the present writing is 28,397.
In educational and benevolent enterprises the Catholic Church of Alabama has an enviable record. Institutions devoted to charity and education under its direction are as follows: Spring Hill College, St. Bernard College, Academy of the Visitation, and McGill Institute, at Mobile; St. Vincent’s Hospital, at Birmingham; Providence Infirmary, at Mobile; and St. Margaret’s Hospital, at Montgomery. Convents and schools are conducted in Montgomery and Birmingham by the Sisters of Loretto, in Selma by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, in Cullman by the Sisters of Notre Dame, and in Tuscumbia by the Sisters of St. Benedict. An asylum for boys is conducted at Mobile by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart; and for girls by the Sisters of Charity, of Emmittsburg, Md. St. Joseph‘s College for negro catechists is located near Montgomery. A Catholic newspaper, The Messenger, is published in the same city.
Protestant and other religious efforts.—From the very first arrival of American emigrants the Protestant denominations were represented, but it was not until 1808 that formal organization of congregations took place. They entered the field that year most probably in the following order: Methodist, Cumberland Presbyterian, and Baptist. However, in the territorial period the struggle for existence on the part of settlers was so intense that no very general progress was made until the first decade of statehood. From 1819 to 1832 they entered upon a real healthy growth and expansion. A higher state of intellectual cultivation existed among the preachers. Regular houses of worship took the places of the makeshifts of private houses, the county courthouse, and the open air. The camp-meeting grew to be a most potent factor in awakening religious interest, and in advancing the cause of the churches. In October, 1823, the Baptist State Convention was organized. On March 1, 1821, the Presbytery of Alabama was formed, and in 1834 the Synod of Alabama was set off from the Mississippi Synod. From its introduction into the State, in 1808, to 1832 the Methodist Church had at various times been in part under the South Carolina, the Tennessee, the Mississippi, and the Georgia Conferences. In the latter year the Alabama Conference was organized. The Methodist Protestant Church was organized in Alabama in 1829. While there were numbers of individual Episcopalians in the State from the date of the occupation of its territory by Great Britain, it was not until 1825 that, in Mobile, its first Episcopal church was organized, but it had no minister until December, 1827. A Primary Convention was held January 25, 1830, and an organization effected. According to the most reliable information, the Southern Baptists in Alabama number 150,945; the Methodist Episcopalians, 133,000; the Southern Presbyterians, 15,020. The following denominations are also represented in the State: Unitarians, Congregationalists, Universalists, Christian Scientists, Lutherans, Salvation Army, and Campbellites. Nearly all denominations are well represented among the colored population, which also has several religious organizations of its own. The Jews have strong congregations in all of the leading towns. Sectarian schools have already been noted under the head of education. Orphan asylums and other benevolences are conducted by the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and the Salvation Army.
State laws on subjects directly affecting religion.—Under the Constitution of 1901, which practically followed earlier instruments, it is provided (Section 2): “That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religions sect, society, denomination or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship, nor to pay any tithes, taxes or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State; and that the civil rights, privileges and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles”. In the courts testimony is required to be given under oath or affirmation. No search warrant can issue unless supported by oath. All executive, legislative, and judicial officers are required to take an oath to support the Constitutions of the United States, and of the State, and to faithfully discharge the duties of the office. By statute the word “oath” includes “affirmation”. (See 71 Ala. Reports, 319, for discussion of nature and character of an oath.) The observance of Sunday is not directly enjoined, but the sanctity of the day is recognized in the prohibition against the working of a child, apprentice, or servant, except in “the customary domestic duties of daily necessity or comfort, or works of charity”, also in the prohibition against shooting, hunting, gaming, cardplaying, or racing, or keeping open store or market (except by druggists) on that day. It is to be observed that these provisions “do not apply to the running of railroads, stages, or steamboats, or other vessels navigating the waters of this State, or any manufacturing establishment which requires to be kept in constant operation”. There is no statute against blasphemy or profanity, as such, these subjects being regulated as at common law. There is no constitutional or statutory provision requiring the use of prayer in the State Senate and House of Representatives, but it has always been customary for each body to provide for such a service to be held at the opening of the day’s session. Usually the clergymen of the capital city, without discrimination, are asked to alternate. Among other holidays, Sunday, Christmas, and Good Friday, are set apart by statute for public observance.
Laws on subjects affecting religious work.—Members of any church or religious society, or the owners of a graveyard, may become incorporated by complying with a liberal statute on the subject, and may hold real and personal property not to exceed $50,000 in value. The property of institutions devoted exclusively to religious, educational, or charitable purposes is exempt from taxation to a limited, yet liberal, extent. Ministers in charge of churches are exempt from jury duty. Military service is voluntary. Marriage between whites and negroes is prohibited. Legislative divorce is not allowed under the constitution. With certain limitations the following are the statutory grounds for divorce: physical and incurable incapacity, adultery, voluntary abandonment, imprisonment in the penitentiary, the commission of the crime against nature, habitual drunkenness, and cruelty. The Constitution prohibits the appropriation of public school funds in support of any sectarian or denominational school. Liberal charters of incorporation are allowed to charitable institutions, and their property is exempt from taxation as above, but no public funds can be appropriated to any charitable institution “not under the absolute control of the State”. Cemeteries are not subject to taxation. The sale of liquors is regulated by State, county, and municipal license. Special prohibition laws, local dispensaries, and local-option laws are in operation in various parts of the State. A State penitentiary is maintained. State and county convicts, under general or local regulations, are worked in the mines, in lumber camps, on the public roads, on farms, and in factories. A reform school for white boys is conducted by the State at East Lake. Insane hospitals, for the whites at Tuscaloosa, and for the negroes at Mt. Vernon, are generously supported by the State. Liberal regulations obtain on the subjects of wills of real and personal property, limited to soundness of mind, and to persons of twenty-one years, in the case of realty, and eighteen years, in the case of personalty. Devises may be made to any person or corporation capable by law of holding real estate. The Supreme Court has held that a bequest to “the Baptist Societies for Foreign and Domestic Missions and the American and Foreign Bible Society“, is valid; also one to “Pilgrim’s Rest Association”, and also one for the erection of monuments to certain named persons. But in the case of Festorazzi vs. St. Joseph‘s Church (104 Ala., 327), it was held that a bequest to a church to be expended in saying Mass for the repose of the testator’s soul is invalid, because the church might apply the fund to other uses, and thus defeat the testator’s intent.
THOMAS M. OWEN