Constitution of 1819

During the summer of 1819, forty-four delegates gathered in Huntsville to write Alabama’s first constitution. The document guaranteed significant principles of liberty, declared, “all freemen, when they form a social compact, are equal in rights,” and established some of the most liberal suffrage laws of the era. Ratified by the delegates on August 2, 1819, the constitution ensured Alabama’s path to statehood.      

John Melish's 1818 map was the first to feature Alabama as a distinct political entity. The version of the map seen here was published in 1820 and includes the boundaries of the remaining Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations at the edge of the territory. Within two decades, all of the land would be controlled by Alabama. (Library of Congress)