Historic Markers Across Alabama

Alabama State University - The Early Years / Tatum Street

Marker ID: AHA 
Location: Tatum St., Montgomery
County: Montgomery
Coordinates: N 32° 22.060    W 086° 17.491
  32.36766666    -86.29151666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMERYC


Alabama State University
The Early Years

Founded in 1867, the Lincoln School in Marion, Alabama became the first state-assisted normal school for African Americans in 1874. The school prospered in that location for 13 years, training teachers, preachers, and scholars. Following a racial incident in Marion in 1887 the main building was burned down and the school was moved to Montgomery where it would become the State Normal School for Colored Students. The state reneged on its promise to support the school after the move to Montgomery and suspended its funding for three years, during which period the college held classes in churches and survived largely because of contributions from the black community and northern philanthropies.

Tatum Street

For three years, the American Missionary Association (AMA) teachers, President William Burns Paterson (1849-1915), his wife, Margaret (1853-1904), and his deputy, John Beverly (1858-1924), kept the school going. After state funding was restored in 1890, Tatum St. and nearby Hall St. became"faculty row.” There, Paterson built a house, a greenhouse, and Rosemont Gardens, which would contribute to the support of the school and his family. Beverly, who would be the school's next president, also built his house on Tatum St. AMA teachers from NY, MA, and VT boarded on the street.

Erected 1995 by Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Historical Preservation and Promotion Foundation Alabama Historical Association.

End of Alabama State University - The Early Years / Tatum Street