Life in Old South Central Alabama

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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.

Best Stove in Alabama

I visited my friend Charlie's shop in Clanton and was taken by this giant piece of Americana, a deluxe wood burning stove that is probably the best and most complete one I've seen in years.  He left it sitting on the roller dolly so it can be loaded, as it takes four strong men to lift it.

As you see, it's called the Home Comfort and I suspect it would bring a lot of comfort on a cold day.  I am sure Tasha could fire this one up and produce some cakes and pies that would inspire complements from anyone in the house.

I already have a cook stove about half this size that I love, or I would be bringing this one home with me.  I think the gray color  ( spelled grey if you are Old South)  would enhance any color scheme.