Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dr. Willis Roberts- Joel Ninde's great-grandfather.

portrait circa 1840 by unknown artist

XII. Family History of Building and Architecture in Mobile

Willis Roberts (1779-1853) came to the Alabama territory in 1819 as part of a three-man panel to select a place for the new capital. From the wilderness was carved a new city named Cahawba, at the confluence of two rivers. Willis Roberts owned a mercantile store and stable as well as being the governor’s private secretary. M. B. Lamar, a member of the Roberts household, wrote in his journal: “There was not another community more representative of the South’s best culture than this new capitol. No people in all America sat down to more bounteous dinners, served by better servants on richer mahogany. No people rode better groomed horses, or spoke their vernacular with gentler accents.” Cahawba was, unfortunately, susceptible to flooding, prompting the Roberts family to move on to Mobile.

[i] The Knickerbocker Magazine. New York, Vol XXV No. 5 May 1845, page 379.[ii] Isbell records, 910 Government Street, Mobile, Alabama.[iii] Mobile Register, Sunday, March 11, 1925. “City Hospital Dates Inception back 200 years.”

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