SYLACAUGA, Ala. – On Wednesday, Feb. 20 at noon, noted Indian historian Kathryn Braund will be at the Comer Library to talk about the impact of the Old Federal Road on early Alabama.

Braund will discuss the construction, major changes over time, and the impact of the pathway through the wilderness – but her major focus will be on the colorful stories and experiences of the historic travelers of that road through the Creek Nation during the 1820s and 1830s.

The Federal Road, built to connect Washington D. C. with New Orleans after the 1803 purchase of Louisiana from France, was agreed upon as a horse path through Creek lands to facilitate the U. S. mail.  The widening of the road in 1811 brought thousands of white settlers in, causing friction with the Indians and leading to the devastating Creek War of 1813-1814.  The defeated Indians lost lands that covered almost half of Alabama, and the state’s white population increased by 1,000 percent during the decade before 1820!

Kathryn H. Braund, Hollifield Professor of Southern History at Auburn University, has a M.A. from Auburn and a Ph. D. from Florida State University.   She has authored, co-authored, or edited numerous books on Southeastern Indians, and she will soon have a guide book out on the Old Federal Road.

The “Celebrating Alabama’s Storied Past” adult lecture series is sponsored by the SouthFirst Bank and the Coosa Valley Medical Center’s Hickory Street Café.  Refreshments begin at 11:00, and participants are invited to bring a sandwich with drinks and desserts provided by the library.

Working adults are invited to come by on their lunch break to enjoy the programs which will begin promptly at noon in the Harry I. Brown Auditorium.  For more information, contact Director, Tracey Thomas, at 256-249-0961 or e-mail tthomas@bbclibrary.net.

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