Historic Markers Across Alabama

Highlights of Selma History / William Rufus DeVane King 1786-1853

Marker ID: AHC 
Location: is on Broad Street (U.S. 80), Selma, Alabama
County: Dallas
Coordinates: N 32° 24.589    W 087° 1.255
  32.40981666    -87.02091666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMH4VX


Highlights of Selma History

Dallas County was created by Territorial Legislature Feb. 9, 1818. Selma Land Company formed Mar. 19, 1819 by George Phillips, William Rufus King, Jesse Beene, Gilbert Shearer and Caleb Tate. Selma incorporated Dec. 4, 1820. LaFayette visited 1825. First newspaper established 1827. Dallas County Male and Female Academy incorporated 1845 - was forerunner of public school system. Selma Arsenal and Confederate Naval Yard established 1862. Battle of Selma won by Union forces and most of the city burned 1865. First non-rail bridge over Alabama River opened 1885. Both U.S. Senators, Morgan and Pettus, were from Selma 1897-1907. Craig Field established 1940. Civil Rights demonstrations in 1965 culminated in Selma to Montgomery march which influenced passage of 1965 Civil Rights Act.

William Rufus DeVane King
Vice President of the United States

William Rufus DeVane King was born April 7, 1786 in Sampson Co., N.C.; admitted to the bar in 1806; served in the N.C. House of Commons 1807-1809; U.S. Congress 1811-1816; and as Secretary of the U.S. Legation to Naples and St. Petersburg 1816-1818.

He moved to Dallas Co., Alabama in 1818; named and was a founder of the City of Selma ; a delegate to the 1819 State Constitutional Convention; U.S. Senator 1819-1844 and 1848-1852; U.S. Minister to France 1844-1846; and President Pro tempore U.S. Senate 1836-1841 and 1850-1852.

King was elected Vice President in 1852 and because of his poor health traveled to Cuba. By a Special Act of Congress he was permitted to take the oath of office in Matanzas, Cuba on March 24, 1853. His health did not improve and he returned to Alabama where he died April 18, 1853 at his King’s Bend Plantation.

Erected 1981 by Alabama Historical Commission / Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society.

End of Highlights of Selma History / William Rufus DeVane King 1786-1853