Life in Old South Central Alabama

My photo
South of Birmingham, Alabama, United States
I am an antique trader in central Alabama....I love old houses... My log home was built in 1817 by my ancestors Benjamin and Hannah Harless Wilson .............. Outside the house are herb gardens and lots of pass-along plants................ No one in Alabama is in a hurry about anything......... Visitors think that the garden needs weeding and the furniture needs polishing....I am a direct descendant of Joseph Towne, whose two sisters Rebecca Towne Nurse and Mary Towne Easty were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 as witches. I am also a direct descendant of Pocahontas and husband John Rolfe.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

From William Lowndes Yancey's Estate

This is a huge piece of furniture from the estate of Alabama Senator William Lowndes Yancey.  He was a planter in Dallas County, Alabama,  served in the Alabama legislature from Coosa County, was a state Senator from Coosa and Autauga Counties,  and was elected to the United States Congress in 1844.





 Before he made his first speech defending the South, Secretary of State John C. Calhoun advised him to hold back a little, but Yancey gave a brilliant and forceful opening address that gave him instant national fame.   He was actually challenged to a duel because of the speech, but the dispute was settled before any shots were fired.

Mr. Yancey served two terms in Congress then came back to Alabama to practice law in Montgomery. ( One old biography said he came back because he needed to "repair his fortune" which is a nice way of saying he was running out of money. ) 

Mr. Yancey's ability to stir up the crowds in his speeches earned him the reputation and nickname of being a "fire eater."   He was the leader of the Alabama delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Charleston, where he led a walk out of Southern delegates which split the party and basically guaranteed the election of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican, as President in 1860.

Jefferson Davis was then elected President of the Confederate States and he offered Mr. Yancey any government position that he might desire.  Mr. Yancey asked to be appointed Minister to Great Britain, and his request was granted.  After a year he returned to Alabama.  He died near Montgomery in the summer of 1863. 



Here is an original photograph I have of William L. Yancey. 

I don't know if this should be called a bureau, a blanket chest, a sort of linen press, or some type of desk for storing important documents and papers, but I I know that the drawers are massive and that it was the property of William L. Yancey and could be the centerpiece of someone's collection. It sat in his home or his law office and has remained in Alabama until this day.  It is offered for sale at Charlie's shop in Clanton.

4 comments:

  1. Marshal, this is a amazing piece! Oh the history!! If those drawers could talk!!!! Happy New Year! OLM

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so glad to see you today. happy new Year my Bama friend. I hope you have a wonderful one. I got the guards and can't wait to plant some next spring. I love your big chest, and what history. If only those drawers could talk. I send you love and Sissy Dog Kisses from My Blog to Yours. Richard

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy New Year, Marshall. I love the stove, but oh that chest. Certainly anyone would like that with all the history. It is beautiful and there is just something special about those magnificent old chests. I am so enjoying my gourd eggs.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy New Years too you Marshall, That is a great find. And enjoyed the history about it. Have yourself a great weekend....Julian

    ReplyDelete