Monroe County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of James Monroe, fifth President of the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,068. Its county seat is Monroeville. It is a dry county, in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is restricted or prohibited.
For thousands of years the area was inhabited by indigenous peoples. In historic times, it was primarily the territory of the Creek peoples, who became known to European-American settlers as one of the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast.
Monroe County was established by European Americans on June 29, 1815. It is known as the county older than the state. Most of the original European-American settlers were of English descent and came from the states of Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas. The prominent Upper Creek chief, Red Eagle (also known as William Weatherford) of the prominent Wind Clan, settled here after the Creek War (1813-1814), where he established a successful plantation. He was of Creek and European descent, and had adopted chattel slavery as a planter and horse breeder. Most of the Creek people were removed from Alabama to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in the 1830s. The area was settled by European Americans, who brought slave workers with them, or purchased more after acquiring land.
The county seat, Monroeville, is the home of two notable 20th-century authors, Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee, who were childhood neighbors. The novelist Mark Childress and journalist Cynthia Tucker are also Monroe County natives. In 1997 the Alabama legislature designated Monroeville and Monroe County the "Literary Capital of Alabama."