We the People: Alabama’s Defining Documents

We the People: Alabama’s Defining Documents

Haws Gallery
June 30 – August 11, 2019

In the summer of 1819, forty-four delegates met in Huntsville to draft Alabama’s first constitution, the defining document that provided the framework for the state’s government and made Alabama the 22nd of the United States. Two hundred years later, the Constitution of 1819 is returning to the city as part of a special bicentennial exhibition curated by the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH).

We the People: Alabama’s Defining Documents will feature all six of Alabama’s constitutions along with the 1861 ordinance of secession, which declared Alabama’s separation from the Union on the eve of the Civil War.

For two centuries, Alabamians have been engaged in a civics conversation. Whose voice matters? What do we value? What is the role of state government? Who can vote? The people of Alabama have debated these issues through political conventions, referendums, and in the courts. At crucial moments in history, these fundamental questions have been answered in the state’s principal governing documents: its constitutions. This exhibition will explore how these documents, some of the most important in state history, reflect their framers’ values, hopes and fears.

The exhibition is curated and designed by the staff of the ADAH in Montgomery, where the documents permanently reside. In preparation for the celebration of Alabama’s bicentennial year, extensive conservation work has been conducted on the documents by the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) in Andover, Massachusetts.

We the People will be the first public display of these historic records since returning from their conservation, and the first time they have been displayed together outside of Montgomery. This exhibition is part of a statewide celebration of Alabama’s bicentennial in 2019. For more information, visit Alabama200.org.


Free Museum Day!

Sunday, June 30, 2019  |  12-5 p.m.

Official Ribbon Cutting: 1 p.m.
Lecture in Great Hall: 3 p.m.
Lecture by ADAH Director Steve Murray and Conservator Katie Boodle

Museum admission is Free to the public – one day only!


Thank you Sponsors!

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Alabama Public Radio

2019-04-26T17:55:44+00:00