The two sections of the Reminiscences of George Strother Gaines form one of the most important primary sources on the early history of Alabama and Mississippi. The Reminiscences cover the years 1805 to 1843, when Gaines served as assistant factor and then factor of the Choctaw trading house (1805-18), as cashier of Tombeckbee Bank in St. Stephens (1818-22), as a merchant in Demopolis (1822-32), and finally as a banker and merchant in Mobile (1832-43). In addition, Gaines played a key role in Indian-white relations during the Creek War of 1813-14, served a two-year term in the Alabama Senate (1825-27), led a Choctaw exploring party to the new Choctaw lands in the West following the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek (1830-31), and served as the superintendent for Choctaw removal (1831-32). Gaines dictated his Reminiscences in 1871 at the age of eighty-seven. In this first book-length edition of the Reminiscences, James Pate has provided an extensive biographical introduction, notes, illustrations, maps, and appendixes to aid the general reader and the scholar.
Publisher: The University of Alabama Press
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 376 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
Edition: Annotated edition
"George Strother Gaines was a leader in the Bigbee Valley area of Alabama and Mississippi during the critical territorial and early statehood periods. He had firsthand information about the Indians and government policy on Indian removal, and he knew the people, events, and issues which shaped the politics of the period. Gaines' Reminiscences have long been used historians to recount the early days of Alabama, but this edition gives the reader the advantage of the scholarship of James P. Pate, who has written a fine introduction and provided annotations, an additional Gaines letter, and two interviews with Gaines which are in appendices. This is an important addition to the Library of Alabama Classics." -- Leah Rawls Atkins, Auburn University
"Gaines' Reminiscences is an interesting and important document pertaining to the early history of Alabama. There are few such accounts from people as significant as George Strother Gaines that are not written with some particular motive in mind, and this makes Gaines' account all the more important. This is a very significant publication." -- Harvey H. Jackson III, Jacksonville State University