Clarke County Alabama and Its Surroundings from 1540 to 1877 – Editor’s Preface

To the Citizens of Clarke County


While reading from the author’s original work and transcribing it with great care and thoroughness, I recognized an escalating sense of responsibility to help fulfill the author’s intent for the book’s contents. His intent, as mine, was to collect and pass on valuable information concerning “the facts and circumstances of the early settlement;” “the incidents, the traditions, the family recollections of the earlier settlers.” “… to treasure up our local history and secure its transmission to succeeding generations.”

Also, I found myself in the exact same position he must have been when asked, “Why do I especially undertake this work ? And my first answer is, Because it is a variety of literary work which I peculiarly love.”  My journey from first glance to completion of this project has reaffirmed my belief in the value of historical texts and reminded me that I have a self-imposed responsibility to preserve and pass on for future generations.

The inspiration for completing this project comes from a curious nature and adventuresome spirit. As the years have passed, I find it more efficient to research aging texts to satisfy both my curious nature and adventuresome spirit. Texts such as this book have the power to move the reader to a sense of presence within the story; and, as such, it is an important historical text worthy of preservation and reference. My intent is that readers have an enjoyable reading experience while being exposed to historical information available from no other source.

Transcription issues were minor but when in doubt, several sources were perused in order to correct errors found. All but the most well-known dates, persons, places and incidents, were verified with a minimum of three external sources. This preface is being written in the first part of the 11th month of work on the project. It has been a labor of love and has rewarded me with a wealth of previously undiscovered truths and a plethora of future projects.

Of the dozens of sources for the author’s original work, this edition is, to the best of my knowledge, the only transcribed copy available. All others found were scanned from various sources resulting in a less than ideal reading experience. Also, this edition has been enhanced with notations and web-links which lead to additional information that may interest the reader.

My thanks to the many citizens and agencies of Clarke County Alabama who were so generous with their time and support. Months of travels to and from Clarke County resulted in overwhelming assistance and cherished friendships.

Terry W. Platt
Semmes, Alabama
November 2019

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