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John Sledge

John Sledge
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Tedious on the Mud

Getting into or out of antebellum Mobile by sea wasn’t easy. No one involved with maritime traffic then was completely happy with the port. The river was to...

Steamboatin' on Mobile River

Steamboats were the defining objects of antebellum Mobile. According to one contemporary list, there were 50 of them working the local waterways. They ranged in size from...

Eyeing the Sparrow

In the weeks before my father’s March 2001 passing, he began jotting notes about his Port City boyhood and love of natural history. Tentatively titled “Recollections of...

The Stakes: 1814

In the late summer of 1814, a year after the massacre at Fort Mims and five months after the Creek defeat at Horseshoe Bend, Gen. Andrew...

French Plantation Life on the Mobile River

Throughout the Port City’s long colonial century (1702 - 1813), there were plantations all around the Bay area. These were not like the enormous cotton farms of...

The Mississippian Period

Long before Europeans first trod these shores, Native Americans were here. In the beginning, they were simple hunter-gatherers, subsisting on what they could take from...

Grit Lit

Tom Franklin burst upon the literary scene in 1999 with the publication of his award-winning short story collection “Poachers.” He followed up that impressive success in a methodical...

History Repeats Itself

Charles McNair calls me on a rainy Saturday afternoon after I’ve left him several messages. He’s in Miami on a job, and his view sounds a lot...

The Canoe Fight

This month marks the 200th anniversary of one of the most storied incidents in Alabama history, the Canoe Fight. It took place during the bloody Creek War,...

A Strong Voice

Jesmyn Ward is a fighter. You wouldn’t know it to look at her. Elegant and graceful with a beautiful smile, she is the very image of a...

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