Place:Lowndes, Alabama, United States

Watchers
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Lowndes County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is named in honor of William Lowndes, a member of the United States Congress from South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,299. Its county seat is Hayneville.

Lowndes County is part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Lowndes County was formed from Montgomery, Dallas and Butler counties, by an act of the Alabama General Assembly on January 20, 1830. The county is named for South Carolina statesman William Lowndes.

Civil Rights Era

The county was referred to as "Bloody Lowndes," the rusty buckle of Alabama's Black Belt. In 1965, a full century after the American Civil War, things had not changed much: 86 white families owned 90 percent of the land in the county and controlled the government. Black residents worked mostly in low-level rural jobs. Not one black resident was registered to vote, as the state legislature had passed a disfranchising constitution at the turn of the century.[1]

The success of the Selma to Montgomery marches and passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, encouraged civil rights leaders to believe they could fight racism even in Bloody Lowndes. "The Lowndes County Freedom Organization" was founded in the county as a new, independent political party designed to help blacks stand up to intimidation and murder.[1]

Organized by the young civil rights leader Stokely Carmichael of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Lowndes residents launched an intensive effort to register blacks to vote in County.

SNCC's plan was simple: to get enough black people to vote so blacks might control the local government and redirect services to black residents, 80 percent of whom lived below the poverty line. Carmichael and others organized registration drives, demonstrations, and political education classes in support of the black residents. Passage by Congress of the federal 1965 Voting Rights Act meant that voting rights would be overseen and enforced by the federal government.

In 1966, the Lowndes County Freedom Organization entered several local residents as candidates for county offices. It adopted the emblem of the black panther in contrast to the white rooster of the white-dominated Alabama Democratic Party.[2][3] Whites in Lowndes County reacted strongly to the LCFO. In retaliation for civil rights work, white landowners evicted many black sharecroppers, leaving them both homeless and unemployed.

The SNCC and Lowndes County leaders worked to help these families stay together and remain in the county. They bought tents, cots, heaters, food, and water and helped several families build a temporary "tent city". Despite harassment, including shots regularly fired into the encampment, residents persevered for nearly two years as organizers helped them find new jobs and look for permanent housing.[4] Whites refused to serve known LCFO members in stores and restaurants. Several small riots broke out over the issue. The LCFO pushed forward and continued to organize and register voters.[2]

The black candidates were defeated then, but others have since been elected. While their initial attempt was unsuccessful, the LCFO continued to fight. Their goal of democratic, community control of politics spread into the wider civil rights movement.

The first black sheriff in the county was John Hullett, elected in 1970.

Timeline

Date Event Source
1830 County formed Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1830 Court records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1830 First census Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1830 Land records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1830 Marriage records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1830 Probate records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1870 No significant boundary changes after this year Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1881 Birth records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources

Population History

source: Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
Census Year Population
1830 9,410
1840 19,539
1850 21,915
1860 27,716
1870 25,719
1880 31,176
1890 31,550
1900 35,651
1910 31,894
1920 25,406
1930 22,878
1940 22,661
1950 18,018
1960 15,417
1970 12,897
1980 13,253
1990 12,658

Research Tips


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Lowndes County, Alabama. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.